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Video: Fresh and simple: Giada cooks up light summer salads

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    >>> me. we're cooking with giada as we usually today. today show contributor and chef. you made it happen. you're the most powerful chef in the country.

    >> thanks for being here.

    >> we think light refreshing salads with lettuce or whatever but this time we're not doing that.

    >> i think sometimes salads get a bad wrap and people think they're boring and they're not. we're going to make a traditional italian salad which natalie loves but doesn't do it a lot.

    >> because of the bread.

    >> you don't like that.

    >> i always think salad light refreshing.

    >> that's what is so great you take everything out of your fringe and grill it and everything comes together.

    >> left over salad.

    >> that's right. olive oil , salt and pepper on both.

    >> i got you the a problem. now have to work.

    >> i'm ready. put me to work, please.

    >> so now you're going to get carson . so what we're going to do is use artichokes and some bread. any kind of bread you want. now the artichokes, they're frozen, defrosted. i'm making it easy.

    >> that's great.

    >> i really like artichokes.

    >> listen i'm like everybody else. i want to make it fast and easy but delicious.

    >> who peels artichokes? you do.

    >> i love them but this makes it doable. carson , put them up there and grill them on one grill pan .

    >> so the bread goes and you flip them.

    >> it's hot.

    >> what we do is we're going to grill -- you want to take the bread too and you can do this on the indoor grill or on the outdoor grill. whatever you want to do.

    >> okay.

    >> there you go. use any kind of left over vegetables you want.

    >> are these croutons.

    >> basically giant croutons.

    >> you cut them big.

    >> they tend to shrink and traditionally in italy it's a tomato and bread salad. so we cut up fresh tomatoes and this time of year they're beautiful. they're sweet. you cut them up so you add the bread and the artichokes.

    >> okay. we'll run out of time if we do it carson 's way. let's go carson . natalie , get in there. help him out.

    >> throw it all in.

    >> you don't cook, your wife -- girlfriend cooks.

    >> she cooks.

    >> she cooks.

    >> i drink a lot.

    >> okay. olives and basil. so now, dressings, natalie .

    >> white wine vinegar.

    >> add the olive oil . a little simple. someone has been making dressing around here.

    >> that's good.

    >> a little salt. a little pepper. whisk it and go for it.

    >> oh, nice.

    >> wow.

    >> that's what i do first thing in the morning.

    >> you rub it on your skin.

    >> how do you stay so beautiful and fresh giada?

    >> it's the olive oil my friend.

    >> this sits for awhile.

    >> that's why it's so great to do it ahead of time. tell me you don't want to eat it.

    >> even with the bread.

    >> i love the bread.

    >> okay. 30 seconds.

    >> this is a asia chicken salad . cabbage and romaine. chicken, carrots and you can make this look pretty here.

    >> okay.

    >> there you go.

    >> yeah.

    >> okay. anyway, it's supposed to be really easy. there you go and then make just a little asian dressing. soy sauce and white wine vinegar. dump it. go. chicken.

    >> we got to go. giada de laurentiis thank you so

TODAY recipes
updated 7/29/2013 4:53:14 PM ET 2013-07-29T20:53:14

Recipe: Asian chicken salad

  • For salad:
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 3 cups shredded Napa cabbage, from 1 small cabbage
  • 3 cups shredded Romaine lettuce, from 1 small lettuce
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and deveined, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Thai basil or fresh mint, chopped*
  • 2 cups thinly sliced store-bought rotisserie chicken (about 2 small chicken breasts)
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted white or black sesame seeds*
  • *Can be found in specialty Asian markets
  • For dressing:
  • 1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar*
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste (optional)
  • *Can be found in specialty Asian markets
  • 1/2 cup chow mein noodles

For the salad:

Using a vegetable peeler, shave the carrot and place in a large salad bowl. Add the cabbage, lettuce, pepper, Thai basil, chicken, almonds and sesame seeds.

For the dressing:

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, if using.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Garnish with the chow mein noodles and serve.


To toast the slivered almonds, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly golden. Cool completely before using.

Serving Size

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Recipe: Wheat berries with strawberries and goat cheese

  • For wheat berries:
  • 2 cups soft white wheat berries, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For dressing:
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (from 2 oranges)
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest (from 1 large orange)
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
  • 1/4 packed cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 medium strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1/3 cup (4 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see cook

For the wheat berries:

In a large saucepan, combine the wheat berries, chicken broth, water and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and cook until the wheat berries are tender, about 60 to 70 minutes. Drain the wheat berries in a colander and set aside to cool, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a salad bowl.

For the dressing:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, orange zest, agave nectar, mint leaves, salt and pepper until smooth. Pour the dressing over the wheat berries and add the strawberries, goat cheese and walnuts. Toss until all the ingredients are coated.

Cook's Note:

To toast the walnuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 6 to 8 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool completely before using.

Serving Size

Makes 4 servings

Recipe: Artichoke and tomato panzanella

  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed (about 2 cups)
  • 3 cups whole-wheat bread, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 large, red tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup pitted black olives, halved
  • 3/4 cup chopped, fresh basil leaves (about 1 bunch)
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Drizzle the bread and artichoke hearts with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the bread and artichokes until golden brown at the edges, about 6 minutes total, turning every 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the bread and artichokes from the grill and transfer to a large bowl.

Add the tomatoes, olives and basil to the bowl and toss to combine. In a small bowl stir together the 2/3 cup olive oil, white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Toss to combine and serve immediately.

Serving Size

Makes 4 servings

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