Salads, be they fruit or vegetable-driven, are tasty sources of color and nutrients. You can pair endless ingredients, mix-ins, and flavors to complete them, and never run out of combinations. Salads can be enjoyed as a main meal or delightful companion.

Chocolate tomatoes are a type of small heirloom tomato whose skin turns a purpley-brown color (hence, chocolate) that we grow in our garden. You can find them at local farm stands or farmers markets. They may be small, but they are full of deep flavor. Horseradish chocolate tomato and grape salad is tart and spicy and slightly sweet from the tomatoes.

Shaved horseradish cheddar and a horseradish vinaigrette make this salad savory and salty. The flavors are similar to that of a bloody mary which, I don’t know about you, but is one of my favorite cocktails. This tomato and grape salad includes remnants of summer with a hearty spice and comfort of winter. The purple hues are even similar to that of a fall mum, perfect for this time of year.

serves 3-4


for the vinaigrette

  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish (I used hot)
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

for the salad

  • 1 cup chocolate or grape tomatoes, some halved, some sliced
  • ½ cup red grapes, halved
  • 1 small red onion, sliced into rings

for the assembly

  • 4 ounces horseradish cheddar cheese, thinly shaved or sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, loosely packed, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, loosely packed, chopped


Prepare the vinaigrette and let it sit while you arrange the salad by whisking together the horseradish, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil as you continue to whisk to allow the dressing to properly emulsify. Set it aside and arrange the tomatoes, grapes, and red onion on a large plate or dish. Scatter the horseradish cheddar cheese, basil, and parsley over the top of the salad then pour the vinaigrette over the top of the salad. Let the salad sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving. This salad is best when enjoyed day-of.

Reminder: Labor day may have come and gone, but it is still summer until the Autumnal Equinox on September 22! Thus, tomato season continues on. Once tomato season arrives, tomatoes seem to appear in nearly every meal or snack I eat. Cucumber peach and yellow tomato salad is a bright, colorful summer salad, so light and fresh you could eat it all day long. It’s kind of like a riff on a classic caprese salad with some extra sweetness and crunch. 

Two varieties of cucumbers bring the crunch and the juicy yellow tomatoes and summer peaches bring the light sweetness. A touch of fish sauce enhances the unique umami of the tomatoes and adds a salty touch. Polished off with bits of shaved Parmesan and mozzarella, this cucumber peach and yellow tomato salad is a medley of some of my favorite summer produce.


  • 1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large cucumber, sliced diagonally into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Persian cucumbers 
  • 2 medium-large yellow tomatoes, halved and sliced ½-inch thick
  • 1 large peach, halved and sliced
  • ½ cup basil leaves, loosely packed
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved
  • 2 ounces mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced 
  • 1 teaspoon flaky salt, like maldon


In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the fish sauce and olive oil. Set aside.

Choose a large plate or platter and scatter the cucumbers, tomatoes, peach, basil, and mozzarella in layers. Drizzle the fish sauce and olive oil mixture on top. Sprinkle shaved parmesan and flaky salt on top. Allow to sit for 1 hour before serving so that the flavors marinate. 

Garlic lime cod with pickled red onions and celery salad is full of spring vibes with a brief homage to lingering winter! The light, celery-based salad is a burst of crisp + crunch enlivened by the cumin and coriander. Cod typically takes on the flavor of however it is prepared, and here, the garlic and lime do wonders to flavor the flaky fish.

Garlic and lime are a tried-and-true flavor pairing, and work their magic in this garlic lime cod. Topped off with the salty sweetness of the pickled red onions, garlic lime cod with pickled onions and celery salad is a bright and easy dish for any night of the week.

If you don’t have a cast iron grill pan (which I highly recommend investing in !), the garlic lime cod can be cooking on a regular cast iron skillet or baked on a sheet pan, but you won’t get those beautiful grill marks !


for the pickled red onions

  • 2 medium red onions, sliced into rings
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

for the celery and peas

  • 3 cups celery, sliced on the diagonal
  • 3 cups green peas
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seed, toasted and ground
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seed, toasted and ground
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper 

for the cod

  • 2 5-6-ounce cod fillets
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated

pickled red onion steps

In a small pot, combine the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar, and bring the mixture to a boil. Place the sliced red onions into a mason jar and pour the hot mixture over it. Cover and close with a lid to ensure it makes a seal.

celery and peas steps

Place the celery and green peas in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the ground cumin, ground coriander, red wine vinegar, salt, and parsley until evenly combined. Evenly distribute the dressing over the celery and peas and let sit for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator to allow it to marinate. 

cod steps

In a shallow bowl or dish, lay the cod fillets out flat. Cover with the lime zest, lime juice, and garlic. Let sit for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Heat a grill pan or cast iron skillet over medium high heat for 4 minutes. Place the cod, skin-side down on the pan (you should hear that nice sizzle) and cook for 6 minutes. Carefully flip and cook on the other side for 5-6 minutes. If the cod does not release easily from the pan, it is not ready to be flipped. In this case, cook it for another minute or 2 then try flipping it again. The telltale sign that cod is finished cooking is when it begins to flake apart. Serve with the pickled red onions and celery salad. 

As we are rounding out the final stretch of winter, dreams of summer don’t seem so far off. Grilling is one of the great joys of warmer days, though this winter, we have been keeping the grill pan hot and busy. Grilling fruit is a wonderful way to accentuate its natural sweetness. With grilled pineapple, there is something magical that occurs when the hot grates of the grill come into contact with the smooth golden pineapple flesh. It becomes even more juicy, tender, and full of that distinctive sweet-tart pineapple flavor.

Grilled pineapple with ricotta, hazelnuts, and sage is incredibly simple to prepare and highly rewarding. The ricotta provides a cool, creamy contrast to the tangy pineapple, complemented by fragrant hazelnuts and earthy sage. Enjoy this grilled pineapple with ricotta, hazelnuts, and sage all year long!


  • 1 pineapple
  • 16 ounces whole milk ricotta
  • ¼ cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1 tablespoons sage leaves, chopped


Place the ricotta in a mesh sieve and strain over a bowl. Let sit while preparing the other ingredients. Heat a grill pan or grill on high heat. While it heats, prepare the pineapple: slice the top and bottom of the pineapple then slice the skin along the sides until the smooth golden flesh is revealed. Slice the pineapple into thirds lengthwise. Then slice them again to create spears.

Place 4 or 5 spears on the grill pan (or more on a regular grill) and cook for 3-4 minutes, flip, and then cook for another 3-4 minutes on the other side. Transfer grilled pineapple to a plate and continue to grill the remaining pieces until all have been cooked.

Meanwhile, use a stand mixer, hand mixer, food processor, blender (basically anything that is powerful enough to get the ricotta going) to whip the ricotta on high for 5-7 minutes. Spoon the whipped ricotta over the grilled pineapple and top with chopped hazelnuts and sage leaves. 

In the winter, I often find myself cooking most vegetables, as I want my food to be warm and cozy and usually not cold and raw. Yet, sometimes I have the occasional need for a salad, full of delicious winter citrus and lots of crispy green vegetables. This endive butter lettuce celery and blood orange salad with toasted pine nuts is just that.

Endive salad is a perfect stand-in for classic mixed greens or romaine. Endive salad includes the perfect amount of fresh, crunchy greens to see you through these final winter months, accentuated by sweet blood orange and fragrant toasted pine nuts. Endive butter lettuce celery and blood orange salad with toasted pine nuts is a cheerful homage to waning winter days.


  • 1 bunch butter lettuce, torn
  • 1 bunch endive, chopped into 1-inch size pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced on the diagonal into 1-½-inch sized pieces
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 blood oranges, peeled, sliced and halved
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


On a large plate or platter, evenly layer the butter lettuce, endive, and celery. Distribute pieces of the blood orange throughout and tuck them into the lettuce, endive, and celery. Sprinkle with the fresh parsley. Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the salad followed by the vinegar. Then sprinkle with the salt and pepper. You can make it up to 30 minutes before you plan to serve to allow the flavors to intermingle and marinate. 

Layer the ingredients to ensure every bite is evenly flavorful!

Red cabbage is delicious, hearty, and brilliantly reddish-purple. I love it as a bright veggie amid winter greyness. Not only is red cabbage vibrant, but it is actually quite versatile, healthy and very inexpensive. I grew up eating it prepared in the classic Austrian/German way (rotkohl), which is shredded and braised with apple, vinegar, and onion sort of like a sweet sauerkraut. I love to eat it this way. I also love roasted red cabbage.

Roasted red cabbage is minimally bitter; as it cooks, it releases the sweetness hidden in its purple leaves. Caraway adds a nutty layer of flavor which complements the classic pairing of apple and blue cheese. You never would have thought red cabbage could taste so delicious!


  • 1 head red cabbage, cored and chopped into 1-2 inch strips and wedges
  • ¼ cup + 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 apple, diced
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped


Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the chopped cabbage in a large bowl and add the salt, 1 teaspoon of the pepper, ¼ cup of the olive oil, and the caraway seeds. Mix to combine and pour out onto a baking sheet. Leave space on about ¼ of the baking sheet and add the sliced onion and shallot. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil.

Roast in the oven for about 45-50 minutes. The cabbage will be soft but still chewy.

While the cabbage roasts, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet and add the breadcrumbs, oregano, and remaining teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Toast for 5 minutes until golden.

Remove the cabbage from the oven and serve warm, topped with apple, blue cheese, breadcrumbs, and fresh dill.