Roasted Vegetable Salad with Green Lentils, Zhug & Toby’s Ranch Dressing

This post is sponsored by Toby’s Family Foods, but all recipes and opinions are my own.

Happy National Salad Month!! May is the very start of the summer harvest season in my opinion–it’s when you’re going to start seeing breakfast radishes around and fresh spring onions; all the greens!! (I use greens loosely in this case). They come in an array of colors really. You’ll start seeing greens you’ve never heard of before. I still remember the summer I found red mizuna for the first time. It was stacked up high in mounds about eye level in the corner stand at the market, and it caused me to do a triple take from the center aisle. I decided for this recipe post I would try to incorporate its sharp, jagged leaves in marriage with the soft, delicate curvature of butter lettuce. I absolutely love the complimentary silhouettes and flavors. I’m not sure whether you’ve made your way to your local farmer’s market yet, but greens are at their sweet peak. If you’re just getting acquainted I heartily recommend getting a bag of mixed greens to start–or perhaps something that will make you double-take.

Here in Portland, OR, the Shemanski Park Farmer’s Market is one of the earliest seasonal markets to kick back into gear. Located in downtown park blocks off SW Salmon, the market occurs every Wednesday through October 10am-2pm and the vendors shift throughout, but there are consistently four produce vendors and some really delicious breads from Pearl Bakery (I covet a good Paesano loaf myself–they sell out before noon usually). On one trip I was able to gather all of the fresh produce needed to curate this salad. I then gathered the rest of the ingredients at my local Safeway, including Toby’s Ranch Dressing and naan, which I sliced then toasted for crunch and maximum dressing dippability.

This is my second year putting a beautiful salad together on behalf of Toby’s Family Foods. You can check out last year’s recipe at the bottom of the post by clicking its picture. Before I get too far ahead of myself, let me explain zhug. This green sauce originated in the area of Yemen and was popular in Israel, but is now (thankfully) widely popular all over the world. Per Wikipedia, zhug is made from fresh red or green hot peppers (in most cases I’ve seen, serranos chiles) seasoned with coriander, garlic, salt, black cumin (optional) and various spices. Some also add caraway seed. Zhug may be red or green depending on the type of peppers used (site).

So without further adieu, I give you my yummiest of new salad obsessions.

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Green Lentils, Zhug & Toby’s Ranch Dressing

Ingredients

  • 4 Beets, sliced and lightly tossed in olive oil
  • 4 Large carrots, sliced and lightly tossed in olive oil
  • 1 Bunch of breakfast radishes, sliced
  • 1 C Green lentils, rinsed
  • 1 Large clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 Bayleaf
  • 3 C Water
  • 8 oz Zhug, either homemade or store bought (look in the refrigerated section near dressing)
  • 1 T Tahini
  • 1 Head butter lettuce, washed and torn
  • 1 Head red mizuna, washed and torn
  • 4-5 naan, sliced then toasted to preferable doneness
  • Toby’s Ranch Dressing

Method

I recommend starting this recipe by prepping the roasted vegetables and lentils ahead to allow them ample cooling time. The lettuce in this recipe is relatively delicate, and will wilt if topped with hot ingredients. You can prepare the items up to 3 days in advance.

Prep

Place beets and carrots on a parchment-lined baking sheet, lightly salt and roast at 400°F for 25-30 minutes, flipping everything over once and applying more oil if sticking occurs. Doneness with vegetables can be to personal preference. You’ll notice in the images here that the carrots are a bit black on the edges–I accomplish this by tossing the pan under the broiler for about 4-5 min at the end of roasting to create some additional crunch and flavor, which is, of course, optional. 

While vegetables are in the oven, prepare the lentils. Measure out 1 cup of lentils and rinse under cold water. Combine the lentils in a medium saucepan with garlic, bayleaf and water and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer (minimum bubbles), and cook (stirring occasionally) for 20 minutes or until al dente (with a slight springiness) on your palate. Drain water from the lentils and remove and discard the garlic and bayleaf–cool lentils alongside vegetables and store separately in airtight containers.

Assembly

This salad comes together pretty quickly–the only steps left are to toss together the zhug, tahini and lentils. Taste the zhug alone prior to assembly because its spice can vary. When making this salad for a large group, I’ll chop the vegetables smaller an make a sort of tossed chopped salad, but when just cooking for myself I prefer it as pictured. 

Combine the two lettuces, zhug-and-tahini-covered lentils, beets, carrots, radish, and naan. Now drizzle with the ranch and enjoy!

Recipe serves 4 as entree, 6 for starter course. this recipe can be made GF by omitting the naan

Check out more of my recipes using Toby’s Family Dressings (click the images to be taken to the recipes):

Roasted Beets and Feta in Belgian Endive with Toby's Feta Dressing | The Spicy Bee


The Spicy Bee National Salad Month Bacon, Radish, & Blue Cheese Dipped Asparagus Featuring Toby's Dressing and Dip

Spicy Pork Sliders with Toby's Jalapeño Ranch Slaw

Game Day Bacon Turkey Wrap Featuring Toby's Blue Cheese Dressing | TheSpicyBee

Salted Caramel Tres Leches Featuring Darigold Old Fashioned Salted Caramel Milk

Salted Caramel Tres Leches with Darigold Salted Caramel Milk | The Spicy Bee

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Darigold. All thoughts, recipes, and opinions are my own.

Every time I make tres leches I’m reminded how easy it is to be successful when baking. While this cake has its own interesting tricks (sifting, separating eggs, incorporation of egg whites, heating dairy) it’s really one of those recipes that can teach good basics and yet you don’t have to stress too much about whether it’s risen properly; because at the end of the day, you drown it in a delectable concoction of milks.

It was while I was enjoying one of these cakes over the holidays with my family that I realized there is so much versatility to a good base recipe of tres leches and what has always kept me from making it regularly was that I’m not really wild about all the canned dairy. Therefore, in a personal effort to eliminate 90% of the canned dairy traditionally used, I’ve partnered with Darigold to use one of their newest products, a creamy Salted Caramel Milk that is about available in stores by the pint. The salted caramel flavor in conjunction with cinnamon and fatty whipping cream really rounds out the flavor profile of the cake beautifully. I merely added the berries to this recipe shoot to make it a bit more colorful—but you could easily do without.

This cake is a crowd-pleaser to say the least, serving 12. Although I will admit, I found myself taking larger and larger slices for myself as the evening went on—it serves especially well with coffee and can be made up to 48 hours in advance, which by itself is a win in my book!!

You can purchase Darigold’s Salted Caramel Milk in the refrigerated section of the grocery store next to where you’d find heavy cream—other flavors they make include vanilla and chocolate. Enjoy the recipe!

Salted Caramel Tres Leches Featuring Darigold Old Fashioned Salted Caramel Milk

Salted Caramel Tres Leches with Darigold Salted Caramel Milk | The Spicy Bee

Ingredients

Cake

Topping

  • 1 C Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 t Vanilla paste
  • Berries (optional)

Salted Caramel Tres Leches with Darigold Salted Caramel Milk | The Spicy Bee

Method

Begin by mixing the egg yolks together with the vanilla in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. With the mixer on high, slowly add the cup of sugar and mix for about 10 minutes, until the color has lightened and most of the sugar has dissolved. Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Once the egg mixture has matured, change the mixer whisk to a paddle and on a low setting, add the dry ingredients slowly, using a large spoon, and about halfway through adding the dry ingredients, pause and add the milk; then resume adding the dry ingredients. Mix until incorporated.

With a hand mixer, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and set to the side. Grease a 9x13inch glass or ceramic pan. Remove your bowl from the mixer and fold in the egg whites using a large spatula.Transfer the batter into the pan and bake 25-30 min or until golden and pulling slightly from the edges–the top should also spring back nicely when pressed. Remove the cake from the oven, poke many times with a fork and set to the side to cool for at least 1 hour. During this rest time add the Darigold Whipping Cream, condensed milk, and Darigold Old Fashioned Caramel Milk in a small saucepan with the cinnamon stick. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for 2 minutes, turn off the heat, cover and set for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick.

Evenly pour the salted caramel mixture over the cake, and refrigerate at least 4-12 hours; my preference is overnight. Prior to serving, whip the remaining Darigold Whipping Cream and vanilla and frost the cake. Serve until gone–this recipe will feed up to 12 guests and gets better and better with time! It will also store in the fridge for up to a week. Berries are optional for serving.

You can make this recipe gluten free too!! Simply substitute in your favorite GF all purpose flour.

Salted Caramel Tres Leches with Darigold Salted Caramel Milk | The Spicy Bee

The plates in this post were purchased at Fiftyoneandahalf based out of Seattle, WA. Her pieces are typically handcrafted one-of-a-kind ceramics that I love and highly recommend. You can find more at her Etsy Shop and on her Instagram.

Looking for more Darigold deliciousness? Check out their Heat ‘N Serve Hot Cocoa and the Cranberry Orange Cookies recipe I made to pair with it.

Game Day Bacon Turkey Wraps with Toby’s Blue Cheese Dressing

Game Day Bacon Turkey Wrap Featuring Toby's Blue Cheese Dressing | TheSpicyBee

This post is sponsored by Toby’s Family Foods, but all recipes and opinions are my own.

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With Game Day coming up, I’ve honed a fun recipe that is easy for small group option in halves or cut into pinwheels for a large watch party. I feel like so much game food is heavy and hot–I wanted to share something that could make a large group happy but also translate to all seasons–and thus, my Bacon Turkey Wraps, pulled together with avocado and Toby’s Blue Cheese Dressing. I picked up my jar at my Safeway in the Woodstock neighborhood here in Portland; it’s right by my house, which makes it a convenient stop. They just started carrying some of Toby’s Family Foods Dressing at the end of 2017. You can now get their Blue Cheese, Ranch, and Chunky Feta Dressings in the refrigerated section of both Albertsons and Safeway.

I like this dressing over a more traditional cream cheese or vinaigrette option because it carries a lot more flavor and the blue cheese plays off the smokiness of the bacon and turkey quite beautifully. I had started this recipe thinking I would toss the spinach in the dressing, but upon testing, I found that things really hold up nicely longer if the dressing and spinach have some space between them, and it’s more controlled flavor-wise to wait until the end to apply the dressing. One thing I love about Toby’s Blue Cheese Dressing is that it’s creamier and milder than others I’ve used, and that makes it a crowd pleaser as not everyone likes blue cheese!

There are a few varieties of turkey you can utilize. I’ve made these wraps with run of the mill sliced turkey, but there’s something that smoked turkey adds that I really love. The avocado works itself in nicely with the knowledge that people consume the most avocados during the first half of February, one reason or another. 😉 

 

Game Day Bacon Turkey Wraps with Toby’s Blue Cheese Dressing

Game Day Bacon Turkey Wrap Featuring Toby's Blue Cheese Dressing | TheSpicyBee

Ingredients

  • 6 Flour tortillas or 3 lavish bread
  • 1 lb Smoked turkey, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lb Thick cut bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 3 avocados, ripe
  • 1 Red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 Red pepper, very thinly sliced
  • 4 c Spinach
  • 1/3 c Toby’s Family Foods Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Method

Game Day Bacon Turkey Wrap Featuring Toby's Blue Cheese Dressing | TheSpicyBee

Game Day Bacon Turkey Wrap Featuring Toby's Blue Cheese Dressing | TheSpicyBee

This healthy wrap is meant to be easily prepped up, tossed in the fridge and then pulled out when guests arrive! A healthy, easy bite that, if not trimmed into spirals, could be eaten by one’s self for a proper meal. start by lightly toasting the tortillas and laying them out one at a time to build. Depending on the size of your canvas (tortilla) and avocado, spread a light layer of avocado across the top side, leaving a half inch around the edge of the tortilla. On top you’re going to build, in order: bacon, spinach, red pepper, turkey, onion, cracked pepper, and drizzle with dressing.

Beginning at one side (your left or right) begin tightly rolling the wrap and  close the wrap with some additional drops of dressing. You may secure it if needed with a toothpick. Time in the fridge will help things come together, so-to-speak. After at least an hour in the fridge, you can remove and slice into pinwheels with a very sharp knife, or slice into halves and wrap in colorful napkins. This recipe serves 6-8 for apps, 4 for a meal.

You could also do a BYO (Build Your Own) wrap station at your watch party! Should you go that route, I would recommend cutting the tortillas/lavish bread into easy-to-roll strips about 4 inches wide and place all the toppings in colorful bowls–this would help accommodate all dietary needs 🙂 GAME ON!

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Do you remember last season’s recipe? Find the spicy pork sliders with Toby’s Jalapeño Ranch here.