Showing posts with label balsamic dressing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label balsamic dressing. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette & Feta

I am so pleased to announce that Roberta Isleib (Lucy Burdette) and I (Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames) have been nominated for the Anthony Awards for our short stories. Whee!

The Anthony Awards are literary awards for mystery writers presented at the Bouchercon Mystery Convention since 1986. The award are named for Anthony Boucher (1911-1968) one of the founders of the Mystery Writers of America.

Click this title to read Roberta's "The Itinerary". You can catch my story, "Palace On The Lake" from FISH TALES: THE GUPPY ANTHOLOGY on my website.

Speaking of fish...

Oh, wait, no, I don't want to talk about fish today. I want to talk about's almost summer, right? [Can you tell I'm a little befuddled? I'm waiting for a baby to come from my nephew and his wife - my nephew is like a son to me! So sweet. On pins and needles.]

Anyway, back to summer. Summer should be simple, easy, and fun, don't you think? It's time to spend hours outside, drink in the sun, inhale the fabulous aromas of barbecue and ocean (lake) air.

Summer is also one of the best times to enjoy fresh vegetables and fruits. I love going to the local farmers' market and picking up tomatoes, lettuce, and all sorts of goodies.  One of the easiest things to do to liven up a salad is sprinkle it with cheese.  Feta offers a terrific tang to just about any salad. 
My husband loves to add Greek olives and red onions to his salad. In addition, I like to add artichoke hearts. Yum!  (Granted, I don't get the artichokes at the farmers' market. I'm all about efficiency sometimes. But don't cheap out on artichoke hearts. There is a difference in certain canned or jarred goods!)

Make your salad with your preferred ingredients.

DRIZZLE with balsamic vinaigrette and you're good to go.  Enjoy your greens. They're so good for you!


(Yields: one cup, approx.)


1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black or white pepper, ground
1 teaspoon fresh or dried basil


Mix the vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and basil in a blender.  Slowly add the olive oil so the mixture emulsifies.    [If you're not going to use the dressing right away or use all of it, cover and refrigerate. Shake well before using.]


* * *

If you don't figure it out yet, I, Avery Aames, am also

Daryl is what my husband actually calls me.

Here's how to learn more about Avery Aames or Daryl Wood Gerber.

Click this link to get to "our" website.

Chat with Avery on Facebook and Twitter.

Daryl will have a new series out in 2013:
featuring a cookbook store owner
who is an avid reader and admitted foodie!

"Like" Daryl's page on Facebook and "follow" Daryl on Twitter.
She doesn't say all the same things "Avery" does. Promise.

And if you haven't done so, sign up for the mailing list
 so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests!

Say cheese!


Monday, October 26, 2009

Trick or Treat!

This week we're celebrating HALLOWEEN in our recipes. Isn't that fun? Six different ways to TRICK OR TREAT! I'm curious to see what the others come up with, aren't you?

I think I've told you before that my character, Charlotte Bessette, likes to experiment with food. Well, I do, too, and I inspired to do so this week because I took a tour of Ohio and fell in love all over again with FALL. The colors and the rolling hills, the fields upon fields of corn, and the wonderful flavors of foods that I tasted. I stayed at the best little bed and breakfast called Acorns at the White Oak Inn, in Danfield, Ohio, out in the "middle of nowhere" (as they advertise), and I was treated like family. The innkeeper, Yvonne, is a terrific chef and spoiled me rotten. I then went on a tour of the Amish country with a fabulous guide named LaVonne who runs Amish Tours of Ohio, who works out of Berlin, Ohio. What an insight to a very different culture.

In honor of Halloween and Fall, I decided to use pumpkin seeds as an ingredient in a fall salad. Actually, this salad uses all the elements of the season. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did

(for two)

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt

Baste a 9” square baking pan with the oil.
Sprinkle in the seeds so they’re flat on the bottom.
Sprinkle with salt.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, stir so they get coated with oil on all sides. Flatten them on the bottom and bake 10 minutes more until they’re a golden brown.

Remove and reserve.


2 cups raw spinach
4 sticks baby corn
6 slices cucumber
1/4 zucchini, chopped thin
2 Tbs. craisins
1 Tbs. olive oil
4 Tbs. pumpkin seeds
1 oz. cheddar, cubed or shredded

Pile spinach on a plate, adorn with cucumber, corn, and craisins.

Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in sauté pan. Drop in zucchini, sauté quickly until light brown. Divide over two salads.

Drizzle with dressing (recipe to follow)
Top with pumpkin seeds and cheddar.
This is melt in your mouth good, if I do say so myself!


2 Tbs. olive oil
4 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. basil
1/8 tsp. ground pepper

Stir together and shake well. Divide between 2 salads.


Note: I used Australian Cheddar. It's got a nice tang to it. Sharp without a bite. The pumpkin seeds really give this salad a crunchy and nutty zing!

If you want to check out other recipes or learn more about the upcoming Cheese Shop Mysteries, check out my website: There's lots to read.

And LAST BUT NOT LEAST, we have another contest!!

Win a $25 Gift Card to Williams-Sonoma gourmet food and kitchenware store! In early November, we're going to have an Iron Chef Week. Each of our mystery writing cooks will post a recipe with the same secret ingredient. To enter our drawing for the gift card, all you have to do is send an e-mail, suggesting a future Secret Ingredient to:

You must be a follower of our blog for your entries to count. Just click on one of the "follow" buttons in the right column and you're all set. One entry allowed per day per person. The winner will be announced right here on November 9th! (Again, if you're not following our blog, another winner will be be sure to follow!)