The Art of Salad Cookbook

By Julie Deffense

Most people know me for my exquisitely designed and personalized wedding cakes that have garnered international recognition in both Portugal and the United States. Through my artistry I celebrate the unique joy and love of each couple. My passion for cakes and baking, combined with my background in Fine Arts, has helped me to become an award winning cake designer. Through the years my followers have come to know me for not only my cakes, but also for pies, cookies, cupcakes and cheesecakes… in short, all things dessert!

Despite all the cake, we do eat healthy (most of the time). At home, we practice what we call “The Cake Diet”.  If we eat cake for breakfast, and we do, the rest of the day we fill our plates with healthier options. Have that dessert for breakfast, then have healthier options for the rest of the day. It works for us!

Beyond the traditional Caesar, Cobb, and Wedge, this book features over 70 delicious salads that you can easily make for your family and friends. These salads aren’t just green, they are full of color, texture, detail and flavor. Some of my favorites include scallop ceviche, roasted figs with caramelized onions and blue cheese, and watermelon with feta, avocado and tomato.

There’s a salad for everyone in this book, with inspiration from Europe, Asia and of course, America – the source of some of my favorite salads! Just as a cake is not a cake without a frosting, the same can be said about a salad not being a salad without a fabulous dressing. In these pages you will find dozens of vinaigrette recipes and delicious sauces… as well as a section on breads to complement the salad you serve.

I hope you enjoy my latest book!

Order – The Art of Salad Cookbook

Autumn Salad

Serves 4

For the vinaigrette:

1 Tbsp shallot, minced
1 Tbsp whole-grain mustard
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad:

4 medium endives, cut into thin slices
8 stalks of celery, trimmed and thinly sliced
8 oz (230 g) cheddar cheese, grated
2 Fuji or red delicious apples, sliced
¾ cup (100 g) walnuts, coarsely chopped

To make the vinaigrette, combine the shallot, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.

Just before serving, add the endive, celery, cheese, apple and walnuts to the vinaigrette and toss gently until the everything is coated with the dressing. Serve.

Butternut Squash with Pears, Dried Cranberries and Feta

Serves 4-6

? cup (70 g) pecans, chopped
2 Tbsp butter, melted
½ tsp chili powder

2 lbs (1 kg) butternut squash, cut into ½ inch (1 cm) cubes, with skin, seeded
2 Tbsp olive oil
¾ tsp salt

For the vinaigrette:

3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp brown sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup (70 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

Mixed salad greens
1 pear, cored, cut in half and sliced thinly
½ block of crumbled feta
1 ½ cups (170 g) dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).

In a small bowl, mix together the pecans, butter and chili powder. Spread the nuts on a tray in a single layer and bake until toasted, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash with the olive oil and salt. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the butternut squash evenly across the sheet. Roast the squash until brown, about 45 minutes (flip once halfway through). Set aside.

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, brown sugar and salt in a small bowl. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking constantly, until emulsified.

Place the salad in a bowl and lightly mix with some of the dressing. Divide between the plates, then add the butternut squash, pears, feta, pecans and cranberries on top. Serve with additional vinaigrette on the side.

Chestnut and Apple salad

Serves 4

1-2 tsp olive oil
1 apple, cored and cut into wedges
1 cup (150 g) cooked chestnuts
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp red wine vinegar
Mixed greens
½ (50 g) dried cranberries

For the vinaigrette:

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the apples until golden. Add the chestnuts, followed by the sugar and vinegar and a small pinch of salt. Cook until golden and sticky. Set aside.

Arrange the salad on a serving plate and add the warm apples and chestnuts. Add the dried cranberries.

Whisk the olive oil and vinegar together and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad, and gently toss to coat.

Caprese salad for winter months

Serves 4

2 boxes of mixed cherry tomatoes
2 tsp fresh oregano
3 garlic cloves, smashed
¾ cup (180 ml) olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

8 oz (about 250 g) fresh mozzarella
Fresh basil leaves

4 slices rustic bread, thickly sliced
1 garlic clove, whole
Olive oil and salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

In a medium bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, oregano, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Spread the tomatoes in a single layer on a rimmed baking tray and roast until soft and beginning to brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool.

Pull apart the mozzarella into large chunks with your hands and arrange on a platter. Spoon the roasted cherry tomato mixture over the mozzarella. Decorate with fresh basil leaves.

Serve with rustic garlic bread: toast 4 slices of bread. Cut the end off of a garlic clove, and rub 1 side of each piece of bread with the garlic. Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle some salt on top.

Order – The Art of Salad Cookbook

Julie Deffense
Julie Deffense Artistry

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