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Tad Seaborn for The Globe and Mail

Totally Tubers

Fingerling potatoes taste great simply tossed with the tarragon dressing, but add crème fraiche with fresh grated horseradish and crisp pancetta and you’ve turned a basic potato salad into a special occasion. You can make this for two or for the whole family. Just adjust the dressing to suit the quantity of potatoes and other ingredients. Whisk together a basic vinagraitte of 1 part white wine vinegar, 3 parts olive oil, add a dollop of grainy mustard and a some chopped fresh tarragon. To your cooked and cooled potatoes add fresh peas (or cook from frozen) and toss with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Grate some fresh horseradish into crème fraiche (or sour cream) and serve on the side with a few slices of pan-fried pancetta – which can be crumbled into the salad. Add hard-boiled egg on the side for added protein. – Sue Riedl
Tad Seaborn for The Globe and Mail

’Shroom Sauté

’Shroom Sauté

When it comes to healthy comfort foods, you can’t beat a poached egg. Silky, runny and tender, it satisfies the taste buds as well as providing a pop of colour during midwinter blues. Served on a bed of wild mushrooms sautéed in butter and balsamic this makes an excellent brunch dish placed on toast, or a great warm appetizer on its own. You can poach your eggs in advance and just hold them in a bowl of warm water until ready to serve. To poach the eggs: Bring a deep pot of water to a boil and back to a simmer. You want to see bubbles on the bottom of the pot float up and just break the surface of the water. Add a splash of vinegar. With a spatula, stir the simmering water in a circle to create a funnel effect in the centre of the pot. Crack an egg into a small bowl and ease the egg into the funnel centre quickly but gently. Allow to cook about 3 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon. The white will be cooked and the yolk should be soft. Sauté your wild mushrooms on med-high heat in a couple of tablespoons of butter, add a generous pinch of salt and a splash of balsamic. Remove from heat, toss with sliced endive and serve immediately with the poached egg on top. – Sue Riedl

Tad Seaborn for The Globe and Mail

Caesar, Revisited

Some may lump tempeh, the soybean-based food into the same “no way” category as tofu. But this dense, protein-rich food comes precut into tasty strips that are delicious when lightly fried. My husband and I ended up dipping the hot tempeh strips straight into the Ceasar dressing — (which is obviously so wrong and I would never do it again … except maybe yes I would). I used tender baby kale, but you can also tear up some curly or lacinto kale instead. Whisk together 2 fresh egg yolks, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, an inch-long squirt of anchovy paste (optional), 2-3 cloves minced garlic and a splash of Tabasco, add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle in about ½ cup olive oil while whisking until the dressing thickens to your liking. Toss with the salad and a generous helping of fresh grated Parmesan before serving. Top with pan-fried tempeh strips. – Sue Riedl
Tad Seaborn for The Globe and Mail

The Red and White

I stole this beautiful salad idea from my friend Ally, an excellent cook and even better host who loves to keep things simple and relaxed. When I asked for the recipe she said, “there is no recipe.” And there really isn’t – but trust me – people will ask you for it anyway. Shave or thinly slice a medium bulb of fennel. Add the seeds from half a pomegranate (or cheat and buy the seeds already removed). Sprinkle with chopped mint. Toss at the last minute (to prevent the salad getting watery) with your best olive oil, a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice and a pinch of salt and fresh pepper. – Sue Riedl
Tad Seaborn for The Globe and Mail

Beet Carpaccio

Carpaccio typically refers to a dish of very thinly sliced raw meat or fish but has also been used to beautiful effect with red or gold beets. This is an easy, prepare-in-advance recipe,that you can pull out for a special occasion – even if that’s just you and Netflix). Once you’ve roasted and cooled the beets, you can quickly assemble this salad whose earthy notes are brightened by juicy, winter citrus wedges. In advance: Preheat oven to 400. Trim leaves off 2 medium beets (red or gold) and wrap in foil. Bake for about 45 minutes-1 hr. Check the beets at 45 minutes for tenderness, a paring knife should slide into them easily. Allow the beets to cool. With a spoon scrape the exterior skin off the cooled beets, it should come off easily. Slice as thinly as possible, using a mandolin will yield ideal results. Set aside. Peel and slice one blood orange and one navel orange into circle (or small wedges). To serve: Divide the the beets slices among the individual plates – in one layer – and top with a few pieces of the citrus. On one side of each plate add 1 tablespoon goat chèvre. Sprinkle with a few arugula leaves and drizzle with olive oil, white balasmic and fleur de sel. Serve immediately. – Sue Riedl

Reader's Salad: @mommamazzone

this is a quinoa salad with chickpeas, red and yellow peppers, celery, carrots, fresh parsley and cilantro, apple, dried cranberries, raw cashews, green onions - dressing is fresh squeezed lime juice, honey, garlic, and good ol SnP!

Reader's Salad: @localkelly

warm salad: wheat berries, leeks, sage/apple sausage, Marcona almonds!
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