I can't resist buying beets at the farmers market.  My beet obsession is persisting golden yellow beets, peppermint striped beets, if you're selling them I'm buying them. I have not tried pickling my own beets...yet...but I've been roasting them and eating them as soon as they are cool enough not to burn my mouth!  A few months ago I had a pistachio covered beet dish at Lupa in NYC.  I've been obsessed with trying to recreate the pistachio dressing, really more like spread or dip and this is the version I like best.  I prefer the taste of golden beets but they just don't photograph as nicely as these red ones! XO Martha
Pantry Must Haves:

Beets washed with stems removed

1/2 cup pistachios shelled
1/2 cup soft goat cheese
1/2 cup fresh spinach
2 T vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
1-2 T olive oil
water as needed

More fresh spinach for the salad
First step is to roast the beets.  Just wash them and wrap them in tin foil and pop them in a 400 degree oven for 45-60 minutes, or until they are fork tender.  Once they are done and cooled you can peel off the skin.

As for the "dressing" use a blender or food processor to finely chop the pistachios, next add the spinach and cheese and lastly the vinegar and oil.  You can add more of the oil and vinegar or some water if you'd like your dressing to be more fluid...I rather like mine thick.  

Slice beets over a bed of fresh spinach and top with the pistachio cheese dressing.

This salad is all about FRESH!  And lucky for me it was on the menu at Upstate Emily's house the other night when I was visiting.  Blueberries, cucumbers, mint and feta cheese tossed in Wegman's white balsamic dressing, mean this salad isn't just delicious it's easy.  Enjoy! XO  Martha

Chop the cucumbers into bite size pieces, finely mince the mint and crumble the feta cheese.  Add whole blueberries, drizzle dressing and toss.  

Pantry Must Haves

1 box Israeli Couscous or small pasta shapes eg orzo
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds
2/3 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
200g/7 oz feta, roughly chopped
Handful fresh basil, chopped 
Vinaigrette dressing* (2 - 3 Tbspns)  

*(I love Trader Joe's Light Champagne)

Cook couscous/pasta according to package directions.  

Drain and rinse in cold water.

Stir remaining ingredients through pasta and add vinaigrette last.


4B Salad



I am a little obsessed with Butter lettuce (B #1).  It's my current favorite "green." I'm also a pickled Beet addict (B #2).  It's a good thing they are pretty healthy for you since the next two "Bs" add all the calories to the 4B salad.  Blue Cheese & Balsalmic dressing are Bs #3 & #4.  Yup, just four easy ingredients make me and my mouth insanely happy.  Hope it'll do the same for you!  XO  Martha

Pantry Must Haves:
Butter Lettuce
Sliced pickled beats
crumbled blue or gorgonzola cheese
balsamic dressing
There's nothing to do but wash and prep the lettuce, slice the beets, and toss on the cheese and dressing.  Voila! Instant lunch!  Enjoy!
One of my favorite ways to use left overs or to make a meal stretch is to make it into a salad.  Chopped up bits of london broil or chicken along with some cheese and dressing and you've got dinner.  
Enjoy! XO  Martha

Pantry Must Haves:
At least 1/2 a head or 1/2 a bag of lettuce
leftover meat chopped up
a handful of crumbly or chopped up cheese
various veggies, fruits or nuts you like
Your favorite dressing
How tos:

Toss lettuce, and veggies together.  
Top with meat and cheese and drizzle on dressing.  Serve immediately and devour!
Here's an easy way to make leftover chicken and half a box of orzo into a meal.  Just add some fresh veggies from the fridge (I meant to add kalamata olives but I was out!) and a few table spoons of your favorite dressing (with this dish I like a citrus vinaigrette) salt and pepper and you're done. It makes a great meal or a side dish.  The best part is the tiny orzo pasta doesn't take over like larger shaped pastas tend to do.  Enjoy! XO  Martha

Pantry Must Haves:
1/2 lb orzo pasta
1 large chicken breast grilled
1 cucumber
1 tomato
1/4 to 1/2 cup of salad dressing
salt & pepper
Cook orzo according to package directions, drain and cool.  In a large bowl shred chicken on top of the pasta.  
Add chopped veggies (olives, sun dried tomatoes, whatever you like) 
and the dressing, stir well 
and season to taste.
     Some things just go together, and the caprese salad is one of those classic flavor combos. The ingredients are all fresh: tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese.  When I make a salad for the dinner table I like to use tomatoes about the same size as the balls of fresh cheese.  I also like to use heirloom tomatoes because of their fun color varieties. 

If I want to make this salad as a passed hors d'oeuvre I use cherry tomatoes, and bite size balls of cheese on toothpicks.  No matter how your compile your ingredients you should finish the Caprese salad off with a drizzle of olive oil.  I let diner's add their own pour or dip in balsamic vinegar as the finishing touch and it's summer salad perfection.
Enjoy!  XO  Martha

Bean Salad
Serves 4-6 people

1 can yellow wax beans rinsed and drained
1 can red kidney beans rinsed and drained
1 can green beans rinsed and drained (this can be made with green beans from the farmer's market that are blanched and then shocked in cold water and the salad will be even better)
3/4 chopped white onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
S&P to taste

Mix sugar, vinegar, oil and S&P in small bowl. Toss with beans, pepper and onion.  Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.  

I recently made this salad for one of The Pantry's lunches - the idea was stolen from a lovely friend, Erris.  It is perfect for a lunch either on it's own or with a light meal.  Even those who aren't huge blue cheese fans will eat it. Seriously! xx

2 heads of endive
1/2 bag salad greens 
1 pear sliced finely
squeeze of lemon juice
small wedge of your favourite blue cheese (I LOVE Castello)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts 

To assemble...
Layer a row of the endive leaves around the edge of your salad bowl (1 head).
Finely chop remaining head of endive and sprinkle into bowl, along with other greens.
Slice pear finely and sqeeze over lemon juice.
Slice/crumble blue cheese over salad and top with walnuts.

Nikki xx

A salad, Fine line style.  We can't help our carnivorousness showing through what one might think is going to be a "light" dish.  

This is one of those dishes, that I would say you would ideally want to have in our restaurant first, and then attempt to make at home, BUT as this is the inter webs, and you might not be skipping distance from our place, I will outline how we do it, and then you can try.  

The ingredients of the salad are quite simple
Salad greens (we most often use local micro greens), Bacon, Diced Apple (nice crispy tart apple, a Cortland maybe?), Pecans, Crumbly Blue Cheese, and topped with a Sunny Side Up Egg! 

You can add some more texture and flavor to the salad with some Roasted Beets if you're feeling really ambitious.

The dressing:  The proportions to follow are for our restaurant, so unless you're catering for 100 people, you'll need to pare it down and make it appropriate for your needs.  But you'll get the idea.
1 Cup Maple Syrup (not Aunt Jemima...do not even think about it...Vermont, or NYS Maple Syrup) 
1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar 
pinch of black pepper (so if you're making this scaled down, be careful on the pepper) 
Put these ingredients in your food processor (or blender) and buzz, then slowly add some Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and continue buzzing until it thickens to your liking. 

Again, if you're reading along in my posts, you'll see that I'm not great with exact measurements, so you may have to experiment a tad.   Your belly will thank you!

Click HERE to link to Upstate Emily's blog and read more!