Fleur de Lolly: Salads are delicious any time of year

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South
Plaquemine Post South

Laura Tolbert More Content Now

Salads aren’t solely for hot summer days. They can be delicious at any time of year, especially when you add a variety of proteins and vegetables to make them hearty main course meals.

Pan-Fried Portuguese Sardines Over Roasted Red Potatoes and Mixed Salad Greens

Put aside every negative thought you’ve ever had about sardines. These beautiful whole sardines from Portugal were delicious served with roasted potatoes over mixed salad greens. I played the Mediterranean flavor profile heavily on this dish and added capers, Mediterranean seasonings, and lots of garlic and lemon.

This was a lovely meal, and I will be searching for new ways to use these little fish. The colors were so vibrant on a cold, gray day. It felt like a little bit of the Mediterranean was in my kitchen!

• 2 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch-wide wedges

• 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

• 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or Mediterranean seasoning blend

• 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

• 2 tablespoons minced shallots

• 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

• 1 large garlic clove, minced

• 1 to 2 pounds whole sardines (or you can substitute two 4.5-ounce cans of oil-packed sardines)

• 5 oz. of mixed salad greens

• 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped

• 2 tablespoons capers, drained

• Lemon wedges

• Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly spray a baking sheet. Combine potatoes, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt on the baking sheet and toss to coat the potatoes. Sprinkle with either Mediterranean seasoning blend or Italian seasoning. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Stir potatoes and bake an additional 12 to 15 minutes until potatoes are tender and golden brown.

Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, shallots, paprika, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, whisking until well combined. Add hot potatoes to the serving bowl and toss to coat.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Pat sardines dry with paper towels and season with the remaining 3/8 teaspoon salt. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet, swirl to coat. Add sardines to the pan, cooking 3 minutes per side or until crisp and done.

At this point, you may either plate individual servings or mound all the ingredients on a large platter and serve family style.

Place salad greens on the bottom of the plate or platter, add tomatoes and capers, spoon over potatoes and then top with cooked sardines.

Add a few grinds of black pepper and serve with lemon wedges.

- Adapted from Cooking Light, September 2012

Winter Mixed Lettuce Salad with Herbs De Provence Vinaigrette

If you’re not familiar with the herb mix of herbes de Provence, it basically includes a combination of basil, fennel, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, tarragon and thyme.

• 6 to 8 cups of your favorite winter mixed greens

• 1 shallot, finely chopped

• 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

• 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

• Salt

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 1 tablespoon honey

• 2 teaspoons whole-grain Dijon mustard

• 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence

• 1 cup olive oil

In a small bowl, add shallot and garlic and pour in lemon juice. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. The lemon juice helps cut the sharpness of the raw shallot and garlic.

Add about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir in the honey, mustard and herbes de Provence.

Slowly pour in olive oil, whisking continuously, until dressing is emulsified. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Drizzle over greens when ready to serve.

Mixed Green Salad with Wild Alaskan Salmon and Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette

The mixed greens are topped with a can of drained Alaskan salmon (boneless/skinless), chopped cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, julienned carrots and boiled eggs.

The dressing is as follows:

• 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar

• 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

• 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

• 1/4 cup olive oil

Whisk together in a small bowl and serve over salad greens.

Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, has been sharing recipes, table decor ideas and advice for fellow foodies and novices on her blog,, for more than eight years. She won the Duke’s Mayonnaise 100th Anniversary nationwide recipe contest for her Alabama White BBQ Sauce. You can contact her at, on Instagram, and at