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Melon Trio & Feta Salad

In Fruit and Jams, Salads On June 19, 2015 0 Comments

Sometimes I just don’t know where my tastebuds are headed – do I want sweet or savory foods? Maybe I want both. For this salad, I used three types of melon: cantaloup, honeydew and watermelon. Then, I added red onion, lime juice, salt, pepper and Feta cheese. The flavors in this salad definitely satisfy a sweet or savory palate. Enjoy this refreshing salad all summer long!

Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 to 1/3 cup lime juice
1-1/2 cups diced cantaloup
1-1/2 cups diced honeydew melon
1-1/2 cups diced watermelon
1 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
salt, to taste (if needed)

1. Place the sliced red onion in a bowl with lime juice; set aside for 5 minutes.

2. After 5 minutes and in a separate bowl, combine the diced melons with red onion and slightly toss.

3. Top the melon and onion with Feta cheese and black pepper. Taste.

4. If needed, add a little salt (1/4 teaspoon); taste again. Adjust seasonings and serve immediately.

5. This salad pairs well with fish or poultry.
Photograph & Text 2015 Nancy DeLucia Real

Caesar Salad (Eggless recipe)

In Salads On March 29, 2011 3 Comments

Inspired by the Original Caesar Salad from Caesar’s Restaurante Bar (published on this blog), I came up with this version of the salad sans egg. I made both salads the same day for my husband and son. They were clearly impressed – they couldn’t even tell that there was no egg in this recipe. The consistency is a little thinner than the original Caesar Salad recipe, but my end note clearly states how to thicken the dressing. As they told me in Mexico last week, “Buen Provecho” (Bon Appetit)!

Prep time: 25 to 30 minutes
Serves: 2 as main course; 4 as appetizer course

1 head Romaine lettuce, dark outer leaves discarded
1 tablespoon plain, nonfat yogurt or mayonnaise*
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (Grey Poupon® brand preferred)
2 teaspoons anchovy paste can be substituted
1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup oil (in a 3/4-cup measure, combine half each extra virgin olive oil and vegetable oil – a perfect blend!)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Garlic croutons, for garnish (can be substituted with plain baguette toasts or Kalamata olive bread toasts)
2 to 4 leaves of Italian (flat leaf) parsley, for garnish
2 to 4 pitted Kalamata olives, for garnish

1. Rinse lettuce leaves under cold water; spin them dry and gently pat with paper towels.

2. Refrigerate lettuce leaves for at least 1 hour or more (this can be done the night before or early in the morning the day of).

3. Meanwhile, in a large wooden or stainless steel bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, garlic, mustard, anchovy paste, Worchestershire sauce, vinegar, lime juice, the lesser amount of salt and black pepper until well blended; set aside.

4. Slowly whisk in the combined oils in a stream until dressing emulsifies and all oil is absorbed.

5. Stir half of the cheese into the dressing and reserve the other half. Taste and adjust salt level, if needed.

6. Add the whole Romaine lettuce leaves to the dressing in bowl and gently roll them around until they are thoroughly coated. Alternatively, tear the leaves into slightly larger than bite-size pieces and then coat them with the dressing.

7. Divide the salad evenly among 2 or 4 plates. Garnish each serving with remaining Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, a few croutons, 1 parsley leaf and 1 olive placed in center of salad.

Serve immediately.

*Note: Before tossing the lettuce leaves into the dressing in bowl, you may thicken the dressing by adding 1 additional tablespoon of plain yogurt or mayonnaise.

Also, rather than saving half the grated cheese for garnish, I prefer to stir it all into the dressing before coating the Romaine leaves.

Recipe inspired by Original Caesar Salad Recipe of Caesar Restaurante Bar, Tijuana, Mexico
Text and Photograph ©2011 Nancy DeLucia Real

Roasted Peppers (Peperoni Arrostiti)

In Salads, Vegetables On July 12, 2010 0 Comments


Although red bell peppers are delicious when freh and added raw to salads or other foods, they’re quite succulent when roasted. This is because their naturally sweet flavors are enhanced in the roasting process. Make this traditional “peperoni arrostiti” salad and discover why Italians have such delicate palates. After savoring every ingredient in this delicacy, you’ll never go back to ready made roasted peppers!


Active prep time: 5 to 20 minutes
Inactive prep time: 10 to 15 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

3 to 4 large red bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise, seeds and stems discarded
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 to 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons fresh chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley or fresh basil

1. Line a 12 X 18-inch baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place peppers, rounded side up, on foil-lined sheet.

2. Place baking sheet with peppers on an oven rack positioned 6 to 8 inches away from overhead oven broiler/grill.

3. Roast peppers 8 to 14 minutes or until skin is charred.

4. Transfer baking sheet with peppers to a counter and cool, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and discard the charred skins from roasted peppers.

5. Cut the peppers lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick strips. In a glass or porcelain serving bowl, toss the peppers together with remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serving tips: Enjoy roasted peppers with Italian breadsticks called “grissini” or on toasted bread.

Accompany with some cheese, a salad and a favorite wine.

Buon Appetito!

Text ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real
Roasted Peppers Salad Photograph Only ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real

Salmon Nicoise Salad

In Fish & Shellfish, Salad Dressings, Salsas & Savory Sauces, Salads On May 29, 2010 3 Comments

Salade Nicoise is a salad that originated in the city of Nice, located on France’s southern Mediterranean coast. Traditional ingredients for this salad are composed of raw vegetables, anchovies and tuna. In American restaurants the Nicoise Salad includes various types of lettuce, potatoes, green beans and hardboiled eggs. Because I favor salmon over tuna and love all types of fresh vegetables, I created a special version of this great French salad which is perfect for summer. Bon Appetit!


8 small potatoes (red or white), cooked and cooled
6 ounces French green beans, cooked and cooled and sliced
4 hardboiled eggs, cooled and peeled
3 cups loosely packed fresh arugula leaves
3 cups loosely packed baby Romaine lettuce or mixed salad greens
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup Kalamata olives
1/2 cup Spanish Manzanilla olives
8 marinated artichoke hearts
1 pound fresh salmon, divided into fourths and poached or grilled

1. Cut potatoes in half; set aside (potatoes can be cooked a day ahead & refrigerated, uncut).

2. Cut green beans in half crosswise;  set aside (green beans can be cooked a day ahead & refrigerated, uncut).

3. Slice eggs into thirds; set aside (eggs can be cooked a day ahead & refrigerated, uncut).

4. Divide the arugula and lettuce or salad greens evenly among four dinner plates.

5. Divide potatoes, green beans and egg slices, onion slices, olives, artichoke hearts and salmon pieces evenly into four portions; arrange decoratively over lettuce mixture in four plates.


1 garlic clove, crushed or 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons white Balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash freshly ground black pepper

1. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic or shallot, lemon, vinegar and mustard.

2. Slowly whisk in the oils until dressing begins to emulsify.

3. Stir in the salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.

4. Drizzle vinaigrette over salads.

Note: Dressing can be made up to a day ahead and refrigerated.

Serve immediately with wine.

White wine suggestions: Bordeaux, Pinot Grigio or Viognier.

Text and Photographs ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real