Tag Archives: Charleston

Your new favorite summer salad: Squash Salad w/Buttermilk Dressing

Hi, friends!

Long time no chat. Boy have we been super busy. We moved again, no thanks to issues with the house we rented while we build THE house. And now we are temporarily in a charming farm house way on the other side of town. We love the more spacious kitchen with its most excellent light.  But I  am looking forward to finally, one day, moving, hopefully for the very last time. Ever.

Months from now.

Anyhoo…while we’ve been busy cleaning up floods and traveling to forget it all, we came across this awesome little restaurant in Charleston called The Glass Onion. It’s adorable and we were starving and trying to be true to our new Keto way of eating (or at least mr. foodie is, lol) and it came highly recommended. Slid right in before their Saturday brunch ended and grabbed a couple of small plates of deviled eggs and this Squash Salad. We were like, “What the heck is a squash salad?” And the server, bless him, told us about it and said it was unlike anything he’d had before but that it was delicious, so of course we had to try it.

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 The Glass Onion’s Squash Salad

It was a yummy crisp salad but the only greens was a small bed of butter lettuce. Piled onto the lettuce were very thinly sliced yellow squash, mint, slivered almonds and a homemade buttermilk dressing. On top of THAT was a veritable cloud of freshly grated parmesan.

Disclaimer (I realize here that buttermilk is not exactly Keto. I get mine organic from a local market but it has no nutritional info regarding sugar. In the place of buttermilk in this recipe, feel free to use a plain kefir or Greek yogurt, though I prefer Siggi’s Icelandic Yogurt to any and all). If you use yogurt, you may want to cut back on the mayo or add a little milk or something to loosen so it’ll have the consistence of dressing and not a dip.

So giving credit where credit is due, here’s a hat tip to The Glass Onion and my version of its delicious Summer Squash Salad.

Summer Squash Salad (adapted from The Glass Onion, Charleston, SC)

For the Dressing (serves a salad for 4-6 people):

3/4 cup mayo (I use Duke’s because it has no sugar)
1 cup  buttermilk (If Keto, full fat or plain Greek or Siggi’s yogurt or plain Kefir)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 shallot, minced
2 tbs. red wine or white wine vinegar
2 tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
dash hot sauce (I used Texas Pete)
fresh ground pepper to taste
Salt to taste

In a pint mason jar, add ingredients, attach lid and shake, shake,  shake. You can also whisk all the ingredients in a bowl but since I put the dressing in a jar anyway, I just throw it in there. Add more salt or pepper or even hot sauce as necessary. Hopefully you won’t use it all and can make another salad for another day or use it as a dip. Refrigerate for 1-2 weeks.

This dressing makes a great base and you can go from there to adding parmesan or italian herbs for a great creamy Italian if you like. Or the zest of the lemon to make it more lemony.

For the salad:

2 zucchini squash
2 yellow squash
1-2 sprigs mint leaves, chopped or torn
1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds (you can also toast for extra flavor)
1/2 cup fresh parmesan for grating

Slice the squash very thinly with a mandolin or with a knife to about 1/8 inch thickness. Line a salad bowl with butter lettuce, baby lettuce or baby spinach (just a handful). Top the greens with the sliced squash. Add almonds and sprinkle the mint around the squash. About 10 minutes prior to serving, pour the desired amount of dressing onto the salad. You can toss it if you want here, but I don’t bother to. Just before serving, shave the parmesan over the salad. It’s best to cover the whole salad (with an audience) for maximum effect.

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Before the cloud…

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My version of Summer Squash Salad

 

The fresh squash and the pop of mint along with the crunch of the nuts make for a great summer salad that really is unlike anything you’ve ever had. And it has definitely become my new favorite.

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Enjoy!

 

Beyond the Triad: Triple C’s– Columbia, Charleston, Charlotte

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Occasionally during summer break, the fam gets the privilege of joining the Mr. on biz trips. That was just the case a couple of weeks ago when he had plans to travel through SC, including Columbia and Charleston. Considering Charleston is one of my favorite places in the world, this was considered a real treat. Of course, it’s just another opportunity to share our adventures with our foodies.

First stop, lunchtime in Columbia, SC. I’d heard Bluefin in the Village at Sandhill was great, but the price point for a family of four at lunch was higher than I wanted and the neighboring restaurant Al-Amir just sounded so darn good, that we decided to eat there. My kidlets like flatbread and if nothing else, they’d eat that and hopefully some chicken. We got comfy and ordered Falafel, Damascus Bread, Hummus and a selection of kabobs featuring chicken and lamb. Check out the pics!
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Falafel

Falafel

Hummus

Hummus

Side Salad

Side Salad

Damascus Bread

Damascus Bread

Chicken Kabob

Chicken Kabob

Lamb Kabob

Lamb Kabob

This food hit the SPOT! I mean seriously, delicious, all of it. The salad was fresh and crispy with that deliciously tangy Mediterranean style dressing, the Damascus bread (we ordered large) was huge and had wonderful texture with the toasted white and black sesame seeds. I could’ve eaten a plate of falafel myself. And the kabobs were awesome. Oh and the hummus was smooth and creamy and delightful. Mr. foodie then went on sales calls and we did a little walking around the shopping center until he returned. When he did, it was off to Charleston, baby!

Did I mention I LOVE LOVE LOVE Charleston? It’s where Mr. foodie and I honeymooned. We’ve been back a couple of times since then. It’s pretty much the place I became a “foodie” and the food scene just keeps getting better.

We couldn’t get into Husk even though it was pouring down rain from the beginnings of Tropical Storm Andrea. There was about a 90 minute wait. So we walked next door to Poogan’s Porch. The place is pretty much legendary and probably not quite as touristy as some other spots in the area.

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We were seated very quickly, ordered some cocktails and Pimento Cheese fritters and She Crab Soup. It sounded good and warm since we were dripping wet. Because we took a Rickshaw to dinner. In the pouring rain. Not smart…life lessons, foodies! Anyway, they also brought out these most delicious, fluffy incredible biscuits ever. Awesome.

She Crab Soup

She Crab Soup

Pimento Cheese Fritters

Pimento Cheese Fritters w/ Green Tomato Jam

The. Biscuits. Wowza!

The. Biscuits. Wowza!

The fritters were crispy and cheesy and so was very satisfying. For entrees, Mr. foodie ordered the Crispy Skinned Snapper  with cheddar grit cake, pulled pork, local radish, wilted arugula, finished with NC bbq reduction. This dish was amazing. It won the table.

Crispy Skinned Snapper

Crispy Skinned Snapper

I ordered the Pan Seared Scallops. They were fresh and lovely and were served with a smoked bacon risotto cake, citrus scented spinach, tomato & green onion buerre blanc. Yummy and not too heavy.

Pan Seared Scallops

Pan Seared Scallops

The kids got mac and cheese and a grilled cheese. Something got eaten and something didn’t really. That has nothing to do with the food but more with the kids. And since it was raining so hard and we didn’t feel like it would be a good idea to go searching for dessert in the rain, we opted for a couple of the offerings on Poogan’s dessert menu. Are we glad we did. This beauty is the Chocolate Pecan Pie. With Buttermilk Smoked Bacon Ice Cream. Yes indeedy. Roll your eyes amazing. The pic doesn’t do it justice one bit.

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Chocolate Pecan Pie

The kidlets wanted banana pudding. This was pretty much a standard banana pudding except it had sugar cookies crumbles instead of the vanilla wafers I’m used to. I think that’s what the kiddos were missing because Mr. foodie ended up eating most of it.

Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding

For lunch the next day, Travis Myers, chef at River Birch Lodge in Winston-Salem said I just HAD TO check out Butcher & Bee on King Street. This is a tucked away little joint that has farm to table goodness and stays open late for the culinary workforce in the area. A place for chefs! I’m there. It’s a very cool industrial place with remnants and this crazy hive. The scene comes with great fresh sandwiches and pop up dinners. Definitely a must try if you are there.

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Roast Beef Sandwich

Roast Beef Sandwich

Korean Short Rib Sandwich

Korean Short Rib Sandwich

Kale Slaw

Kale Slaw

Fries

Fries

Then it was time to say goodbye to rain soaked Charleston. We were supposed to drive up the coast to Wilmington, but the tropical storm thwarted those plans so we decided to travel more inland to Charlotte.  Dinner was at Zen Asian Fusion. What was it fused with? Spanish. Wild, right?

We stuck with the traditional: Edamame, Hibachi for the eldest and sushi. Oh and the wee boy got spaghetti. Something for everyone, hooray! There was also live music and everything was very enjoyable.

Sushi at Zen

Sushi at Zen

And finally, my fellow blogger in Charlotte, Fervent Foodie, suggested a great family friendly place…7th Street Public Market. This is like a tiny little version (way tinier) of the famous Pike Place Market in Seattle. It has various vendors offering sandwiches, pizza, sushi, coffee, confections, cupcakes, wine, beer, etc. plus it’s a real market where you can buy veggies, spices, salts, meat and all things local. Like Disney World for me.

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Panoramic of 7th Street Market

Panoramic of 7th Street Market

I ordered a pizza from Pure Pizza and a grilled cheese on focaccia for the kidlets and Mr. foodie ordered a sandwich from Local Loaf. The pizza was amazing. A little spicy and so very fresh. Mr. foodie’s sandwich was killer. He got the Hot Steak with horseradish garlic aioli, red onion jam, melted aged white cheddar, cress microgreens served on a fresh crusty Baguette. Mmmm!

Chorizo Pizza @ Pure Pizza

Chorizo Pizza @ Pure Pizza

Check out 7th Street Market’s link for a list of their vendors and what makes them so unique as a public market. Truly, it’s a place worth visiting. After a little walk around uptown and a brief ride on the light rail, we headed home to sunny skies and lots to blog about!

What are some of your favorite local places to eat in Columbia, Charleston and Charlotte?