Vermont Creamery Toasted Bijou Salad

This article comes from our friends at the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, which Blast is proud to sponsor!


  • 4 leeks, the white and light-green section only, cut in half lengthwise and washed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 Bijou, cut in half horizontally
  • 8 slices French baguette, ¾ inch thick
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, trimmed, washed, and spun
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half


  1. Pat dry and toss leeks with a splash of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil in the oven for about 5 minutes until tender but not mushy! Let the leeks cool, then chop thinly and put in a medium-size bowl.
  2. Prepare the dressing. Mix together the mustard, vinegar, olive oil, and leeks, and let sit for 4 hours to 1 week.
  3. Put a medallion of the Bijou, rind facing up, on each baguette piece and place under the broiler until the cheese is soft to a little runny. The rind should be slightly golden (about 2 to 3 minutes).
  4. Serve immediately over mixed greens tossed in the leek vinaigrette and the tomatoes.

Shrimp Salad Stuffed Avocado

This year, Redwood Creek Wines joined the Arbor Day Foundation in planting thousands of trees in the nation’s forests. You can celebrate Arbor Day (or any day!) with a signature recipe from Redwood Creek Wines: Shrimp Salad Stuffed Avocado. The recipe pairs perfectly with Redwood Creek’s fruity Pinot Grigio, which has notes of ripe red apple, pear and citrus.

Shrimp Salad Stuffed Avocado Paired with Pinot Grigio


  • 3 medium Haas avocados
  • 1 lb. medium raw shrimp
  • 6 tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 ½ tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Paprika for garnish

Bring 2 qts. lightly salted water to a rolling bowl with 2 tbs. lemon juice and 1 bay leaf. Add shrimp, reduce heat to low and simmer covered 3-5 minutes or until shrimp have turned pink. Reserve ½ cup of cooking liquid. Drain and let cool. Peel and clean shrimp. Place shrimp in food processor with reserved liquid, lemon juice, tarragon and mayonnaise. Pulse mixture until shrimp have broken into small chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Keep cool until ready for service.Cut each avocado in half lengthwise, working around pit. Split avocado apart and discard pit. Carefully peel avocado and make a few slices ¾ of the way up each half, slightly fanning out each half over dressed greens. Spoon shrimp salad onto each avocado and garnish with paprika. Serve over lightly dressed salad greens. Pair with Redwood Creek Pinot Grigio.

Also try Redwood Creek’s Tri-Tip with Cabernet Sauvignon Marinade.

Appetizers Featured Recipes Healthy Options Salad

Garden of Spring

The artistic home cook will enjoy creating a collage of color, texture and flavor, not to mention the fact that this salad contains scads of fiber and nutrients.  Add depth by placing a glob of goat cheese (or feta) on top if desired, but flavor also comes from a drizzling of vinaigrette. Proper blanching of each vegetable is critical, so note how long each should be dunked in boiling water, then shock them in ice water. Three tips:  BIG POT, LOTS OF HEAVILY SALTED WATER, BIG BOWLS OF ICE WATER.


Lower layer: Beet Tartare

Take one large beet, trimmed and peeled, and roast it in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Finely chop it into tiny squares and season with salt and pepper to taste,  then add a  tiny splash each of EVOO and balsamic vinegar, plus ½ tsp. Dijon mustard

Upper layer: Spring Vegetables

Boil water in a large pot, and drop veggies in one by one, using an egg timer to make sure none get too thoroughly cooked.

  • 1 radish, raw, sliced thin
  • 4 whole stalks asparagus, raw, peeled then shaved
  • 4 Snow peas- blanched 50 seconds
  • 4 Fava beans- blanched 70 seconds
  • 4 Sugar snaps- blanched 60 seconds
  • 4 asparagus tips- blanched 75 seconds
  • 4 Pearl onions – peeled and blanched 80 seconds

Allow vegetables to drain and cool on a paper towel, then toss them in the dressing.

Caper-Mustard-Honey Vinaigrette: Place 1 tbsp. each capers, Dijon mustard and honey into a food processor, adding 2 tbsp. lemon juice and EVOO as needed until smooth and emulsified.

To plate: Shape beet tartare in an 8”x 1” high rectangle on the plate, then top that with the vegetables in whatever design you choose.  Top with cheese if desired, and/or garnish with chives, lemon zest and fleur de sel.

Appetizers Featured Recipes Healthy Options Salad

Grated Beet & Carrot Salad with Ginger


  • 1 lb. red or golden beets
  • 1 lb. carrots
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 tbsp. freshly peeled and grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Peel and grate the beets and carrots.
  2. Wash and slice the scallions (white and green parts) thinly.
  3. Toss together the grated vegetables, scallions and ginger.
  4. Add the mustard, lime juice, and oil.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and toss together.
  6. Just before serving, garnish with the cilantro leaves.

Pomegranate Salad a la TAVOLO

A dish from Nuno Alves, chef at Tavolo Ristorante in Dorchester.

This is a light and refreshing salad perfect for the fall or winter (pomegranate season).

Note: Italians normally eat salad after the meat course.


  • 1 Head frisee, ripped and washed
  • 1 Head Boston lettuce, ripped and washed
  • 1 Head romaine, chopped and washed
  • 3 Ounce Baby arugula
  • 1 Shallot
  • 1 Teaspoon Honey
  • 2 Ounce White balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Ounce EVO
  • 2 Ounce Grapeseed Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Pomegranate, seeded
  • 8 Ounce Goat or feta cheese
  • 2 Ounce Toasted pistachio nuts
  • 1 Cup POM juice, reduced to a syrup

Cooking instructions:

  1. For the Vinaigrette:
  2. Mince the shallot and put in a medium bowl along with the honey and vinegar.
  3. Season liberally with salt and pepper, whisk well to combine. Salt dissolves in the vinegar so adding the salt before you add the oil ensures even seasoning. Let sit for ten minutes.
  4. Whisk and add the oils, it will not stay emulsified for long, so make sure to mix it well just before dressing the salad.
  5. For the Salad:
  6. Mix lettuces and toss with a small amount of EVO. (This helps protect the lettuces from the acid and keeps them crisp longer)
  7. Salt and pepper them, then dress with the vinaigrette. Start with a few tablespoons and taste the greens.
  8. Adjust the amount if you like your greens more dressed.
  9. Top with pistachios, pomegranate seeds and crumbled cheese. Drizzle with cold POM reduction and a little more EVO.

Tavolo is a comfortable spot where everybody knows your name. Be welcomed with a smile as big as our TV screens. Try a meatball that was featured in Bon Appetit Magazine. Free parking across the street. The food press call Tavolo: unpretentious, tasty, diverse, a keeper. How many more reasons do you need? Visit Tavolo today. Where good food is everything. Open daily from 5 p.m.