Memorial Day Salads: Salmon Salad, Grilled Radicchio Salad, Avocado and Tomato Salad

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone. If you haven't already planned out all of your dishes for the many BBQ's you will be attending this weekend, consider one (or all) of these three salads. The components for each can be put together in moments, and complement grilled meats and veggies ever so well. I realized I maybe a little late in sharing my Memorial Day ideas, but here they are. There maybe a few posts today, so I can be sure to share as many ideas for your weekend entertaining as possible. Hope you enjoy and that you are able to spend some quality time with your friends and family.

Salmon Salad


  • 1 pound salmon, skin on
  • 1/2 cup leftover mashed potatoes (method here, dairy free option included)
  • 1/2 cup steamed cauliflower (or any other nice veggies you have around)
  • 1 cup mache salad greens (any greens will do here, esp. something peppery like arugula or mache)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat BBQ grill until super hot, but not smoking.
  2. Place the salmon, skin side down, on the BBQ grill.
  3. Cook for four minutes, or until you see the edges of the salmon turning light pink.
  4. Flip the salmon over and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Put the mache on a platter, add the mashed potatoes in dollops over the salad and distribute the cauliflower around the platter.
  6. Place the salmon on top and finish by drizzling the olive oil and lemon juice on top.

Grilled Radicchio Salad


  • 1 head Radicchio
  • 1 large Shallot, minced
  • 2 ears Corn
  • 1 large Heirloom Tomato, chopped
  • 1 bunch Frisee, shredded
  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste


  1. Heat BBQ grill until super hot, but not smoking.
  2. Cut up radicchio into chunks.
  3. Pour olive oil over radicchio on toss to coat.
  4. Place radicchio chunks on grill, grill on one side for two minutes, making sure flames don’t get too high.
  5. Turn radicchio over, pouring remaining oil onto it. Cook for two more minutes, or until soft.
  6. Remove from heat, and chop into smaller pieces.
  7. Take corn off the cobs, placing the loose kernels into a large bowl.
  8. Add tomatoes, shallots and grilled radicchio to bowl. Toss, gently pulling the radicchio leaves apart.
  9. Sprinkle shredded frisee on top of mix.
  10. Finish with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

Avocado and Tomato Salad


  • 2 large avocados, cut into chunks, skin and pit removed
  • 4 tomatoes (I used Roma, but love Heirlooms the best)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes and avocados with salt and pepper.
  2. Whisk together the oil and lemon juice in a small bowl.
  3. Pour the dressing over the tomatoes and avocados, stir gently to coat all ingredients and add a final grind of fresh black pepper on top.

Greek Sandwich Salad Style

Recently, I went to dinner with my uncle (known as Uncle), who is Gran Fran's brother. For the most part, I'm a lettuce with olive oil and salt kind of salad girl. Uncle ordered just this as his salad, which floored me. I hadn't realized there maybe a family connection to my style of salad. He told me that he has always eaten his salad this way, and that he thought it did come from his parents. Who knew?!

Warm weather has arrived in San Francisco. You never know how long this nice patch of weather will be in town, so it's fun to pretend like we have seasons and cook like it's going to stay warm for a few months.

This weather puts me in the mood for a good salad. I made a nice roast pork with Greek flavor a few weeks ago, reminiscent of a the Greek sandwich I had in Paris.  Since I have salad on my mind, I decided to take all the Greek sandwich fixings and make a huge salad.

Seeing as I don't usually make fancy salads (except for my salad nicoise) , I really had to think about how to layer everything in. Some special dressing, which includes Za'atar, a Middle Eastern spice, added a nice extra kick. It's earthy, sour, salty and just interesting. You can just use oregano here, but I love the unexpected flavor.

You don't have to follow my ingredients exactly, but do put the roast pork, red onions and fried potatoes in the salad as these are the keys to the Greek sandwich-ness of the salad.

Greek Sandwich Salad Style


serves 2

  • 1 heart of romaine lettuce, cut into pieces
  • 2 potatoes, oven fried (recipe here)
  • 8 slices of Greek roast pork (recipe here)
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into chunks
  • 8 to 10 small tomatoes cut in half
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Za'atar spice blend or dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Lay the romaine on a platter, making a mound in the center.
  • Layer on top the red onions, potatoes, tomatoes and red bell peppers, with the pork on top.
  • Put the mayonnaise, olive oil, Za'atar (or oregano) and salt and pepper into a bowl and mix until combined.
  • Drizzle dressing over the salad and serve.

You can put some nice warm pitas out on the table to serve with this great salad.


Spring = Salad....Salad Dressings Galore

As  featured on The Fruit Guys website

Salad dressing has been on my mind lately. I think it's a sure sign of Spring, what with all the nice greens beginning to show up in the farmer's markets.

In my head, I keep hearing my brother singing a song he made up "All My Dressings", but I can't remember the rest of it. I think this was something he started singing to one of his many nieces and nephews or his kids as pre-dinner entertainment. Salad dressing and I were never best friends. The reappearance of my brother Chris' song, has, however, prompted me to think some more about dressings. I generally like an undressed (naked, if you will) salad. I'm not sure why I have this aversion to dressing, it certainly has nothing to do with calories. There was a time when I did like dressing. I do remember a good vinaigrette that Gran Fran and Joe would make which I ate when we were kids. That said, I'm beginning to wonder if all of the packaged dressings that people offer me are the turn off. There are too many flavors mixed in that take over the taste of the lovely greens.

I set myself a mission: to find not one, not two, but three dressings that I could rotate through my salads. This coincided perfectly with my recent thinking about how to increase the flavor in my salads. In combination with adding fruits, nuts and sometimes rice noodles to my salads, dressing seems the next logical step to bring up the flavor.

A mustard vinaigrette dressing always plays a part in my Salade Nicoise. I know that I can use that same dressing on any number of salads, or even over some warm boiled potatoes. One down, two to go.

Cole Slaw is a big favorite of mine, especially my homemade version. The dressing doesn't have to be exclusively for cabbage, even though it goes so well with it. I figured I could try it with a heartier green, like spinach, add some cucumbers, nuts and shredded carrots and have myself a great salad. I was right.

Dressing number three came to me in my half-sleep the other day, just waking up after a long night of dreaming about food. Those dreams paid off because I came up with an Asian-style dressing that includes orange juice, ginger and sesame oil. A winner when put over romaine lettuce with rice noodles, almonds and orange slices.

I think the vinaigrette and the Asian-style dressing can double as a good marinade for meats, too. So looking forward to trying them out on a variety of salads and reporting back!

My friends came to dinner the night after I made these dressings. It was really great to be able to say, for once, that I did have not one, but three dressings to offer them. They were all a big hit. I'm going to think up a few more dressings before too long. I think I actually *do* like dressing.

Mustard Vinaigrette

Serves 4


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic minced finely
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl, using either a small wire whisk or a fork to fully incorporate all the ingredients

Use this vinaigrette on everything from a side dinner salad to a salade nicoise.

Creamy Salad Dressing

serves 4


  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, or up to overnight.
  3. Add your favorite salad and enjoy.

You can make a traditional cole slaw just by adding two cups of shredded cabbage and some julienned carrots. Or, simply pour some dressing over well-washed spinach, cucumbers, carrots and sunflower seeds.

Asian-Style Dressing

serves 4


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl.

This dressing is fantastic for a mixed green salad featuring hardy vegetables like red bell peppers and green beans.

You can also add rice noodles to showcase the dressing’s flavor and some cilantro as garnish.