Tag Archives: Salad

recipe goodness :: heidi swanson’s harissa spinach chop salad

A few good ingredients

A few good ingredients

I know a few people who would rather leave the lettuce eating to the rabbits. But they like cooked greens — spinach, collards, amaranth greens will all be happily stabbed with a fork and consumed. I also know a few vegetarians who roll their eyes when people suggest all they eat are salads. So when I came across Heidi Swanson’s {a well-known vegetarian cookbook author} recipe for a warm spinach chop, with hard-boiled eggs, garlic, almonds and harissa, not only did my mouth begin to water, but I felt like I discovered a solution to a salad that’s not just another salad.

Everything on this ingredient list I usually have on hand, except the spinach — so it’s an easy last minute menu saver if you can get your hands on some fresh cooking greens. And with the spice of the harissa, the crunch of the almonds, the tartness of the lemon and the substance of the egg, you’ll find this chop combines complex flavors and doesn’t leave you feeling like a peckish rabbit.

Heidi Swanson's Spinach Chop

Heidi Swanson’s Spinach Chop

Heidi Swanson’s Spinach Chop

1 lb. spinach {or other good cooking green — kale, collards}
1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs. harissa
4 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup slivered or whole almonds, toasted
Scant 1/2 tsp. fine-grain sea salt
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon

  1. Remove any tough spinach stems. Add ½-inch water to a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Add spinach and stir constantly until the spinach collapses entirely, about a minute. Drain spinach and run cold water over it until cool. Spin-dry very well in a salad spinner, or press-dry in a clean kitchen towel.
  3. Finely chop the spinach. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and cook for about a minute, without letting it brown. Remove pan from heat and stir in harissa and spinach. Add eggs, almonds, salt, and lemon zest and stir again gently to combine well.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Stab-Worthy Salads:
Julia Child’s Salade Nicoise
Lime-Kissed Peach and Corn Summer Salad
Orzo, Spinach & Feta Summer Salad
Spinach, Strawberry & Halloumi Salad
Tomato, Basil & Feta Salad
The Ultimate Summer Slaw

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recipe goodness :: balsamic-drizzled watermelon steak topped with feta, mint and pistachios

Watermelon-Feta Steak

Watermelon-Feta Steak

Every now and then something brilliant hits you over the head and you wish you discovered that genius trick first, patented it and retired to easy living on the shores of a remote caribbean island. I often struggle with slicing the unwieldy watermelon — do I cut it in half first, then slice it into easy-gripping triangles? Do I chop it into neat little cubes for easy bites that don’t require a fork and knife? Is there a *right* way to slice that big bertha? I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that thanks to my brother’s brilliant find, I recently discovered the simplest plan of attack that, in my opinion, is the most beautiful as well. Simple circles. The result is like cutting into a juicy steak, only sweeter. Doesn’t that plate just make you swoon for summer?!

Simple Slicing

Simple Slicing

Balsamic-Drizzled Watermelon Steak Topped
with Feta, Mint and Pistachios

Serves a watermelon sized party {all ingredients optional}

1 Seedless Watermelon
1/2-1 lb fresh goat’s milk feta  {NYC: Ardith Mae at the greenmarket is the best!}
1 bunch fresh mint, chopped
1/2-1 cup shelled pistachios, chopped
Good aged balsamic for drizzling
Maldon salt to taste

  1. Place the watermelon on its side — if it is more round in shape, slice a thin edge off the rind to create a flat surface that you can lay on the cutting board to avoid rolling.
  2. With a large chef’s knife slice into 1-inch thick circles and set aside.
  3. Lay each circle flat and take a small paring knife to slice around the circle where the melon meets the rind.
  4. Place each melon circle in the center of a plate, top with crumbled feta, chopped mint, chopped pistachios and a drizzle of balsamic. Add flaky salt to taste, if desired {will bring out the sweetness of the melon}.

More Summer Stars:
Fresh Lime-Margarita Marinated Watermelon
Pink Fizzy Lemonade Cocktails Beat the Heat
Avocado & Tropical Fruit Salsa 
Creole Roasted Fresh Corn-Tomato Salsa
Lime-Kissed Peach and Corn Summer Salad
The Ultimate Summer Slaw

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recipe goodness :: egg on egg salad {introducing bottarga}

egg on egg salad sandwich

egg on egg salad sandwich

Ok this is a totally spectacular way to amp up an otherwise standard mid-week lunch. Egg salad: meet your new friend bottarga, also known as poor man’s caviar. Stop. Keep reading. This is not caviar. Bottarga is a delicacy beloved by those salty Italians, but has been finding its way more recently onto U.S. restaurant menus. Shaved over pasta, pizza and yes, even eggs, this salt-cured, sun-dried mullet roe is the perfect way to add the saltiness of the sea to a dish with very little effort. It comes pressed into a hard form that can be swiped along your microplane to finish a dish like a fine pecorino or can be slid along a mandolin for more decadent paper-thin slices that become a central addition to your plate. Lucky for us there is now an American-produced Cortez bottarga that you can get your hands on from Anna Maria Fish Company.

Egg on egg means business. With a little creamy mayo and peppery dijon to bind the this salad together, all I did was toss in a few radish leaves {no you should not throw those out when you buy radishes — they have amazing flavor!} and green scallions for color and a contrasting herby flavor. Then zested some salty bottarga over top to make this standard lunch truck sammie a true stand-out.

The goods

The egg on egg goods {bottarga lower left}

Egg on Egg Salad

Serves 1

2-3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and  roughly chopped
1/2 tablespoon mayo
1 teaspoon dijon
1/2 small scallion diced {or 2-3 chives}
4-5 radish leaves, washed and julienned
Pepper to taste
Bottarga for grating
Good crusty bread

  1. Roughly chop your eggs. I often remove one of the yolks to cut back on the dry bits.
  2. Toss everything, except the bottarga in a bowl, reserving some scallions for topping later.
  3. Add more of anything you desire, then serve in a bowl or on top of a toasted piece of bread.
  4. Sprinkle with some scallions for giggles and then grate your bottarga across the top, adding as much or as little as your salty italian desires.
  5. Sit down and be amazed by your revamped american favorite.

Other Ways to Jazz Standards:
Blueberry, Lemon & Coconut Pancakes
Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits
Cumin & Dill Dijon Egg Salad with Radish Sprouts
Creole Roasted Fresh Corn-Tomato Salsa

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recipe goodness :: mastering the art of julia child’s salade nicoise #jc100

Julia Child's Salad Nicoise

Julia Child’s Salad Nicoise

This is exactly the type of recipe that you are not meant to follow to a T. A big bowl of fresh ingredient goodness is all that matters. No green beans at the market yet? Asparagus makes for a lovely substitution. Not feelin’ the canned tuna? A beautiful bright tuna filet from my friendly fishmonger Warren at American Seafood was a first class upgrade. And with green garlic in season, I opted for those sweet stalks instead of scallions. I was not really feelin’ the five-page recipe laying out the original steps for Julia’s masterpiece. Really? For a salad? So I skimmed through her instructions and general flavor combinations, made a trip to the greenmarket, did a bit of chopping and doused everything in lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. The result was a bountiful bowl full of beauty that was both healthy and hearty and will definitely be repeated again. soon. This is the perfect summer evening meal {which a chilled glass of wine of course}.

Julia Child's Salad Nicoise

Julia Child’s Salad Nicoise

“A bountiful arrangement in a bowl or platter is so handsome to behold that I think it a cruel shame to toss everything together in a big mess.”
– Julia Child

Julia Child’s Salade Niçoise {slightly modified}

Serves 2-4 | Link to the original recipe HERE

1 head boston bibb lettuce, washed and dried
1/4 bunch fresh asparagus {or 1 pound green beans} trimmed, cut into 3-inch pieces
1/4 pint grape tomatoes, halved {or 1-2 whole tomatoes cut into wedges}
3/4-1 lb tuna filet grilled and sliced {or 8-10oz  oil packed tuna, drained and flaked)
2-4 hard boiled eggs, halved
1 can flat anchovies packed in oil, drained {optional}
1/4 cup black nicoise-type olives {optional}

Dressing:
1-2 tablespoons capers
1/4 cup minced parsley
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 as much olive oil as lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Potatoes:
4 small new potatoes sliced into circles
1 stem green garlic or scallion, finely diced
1/4 cup potato-cooking water
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley
2-3 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Rinse and dry all the vegetables. Add the lettuce to a large bowl while you prepare the rest.
  2. Add eggs to a medium pot and cover with water by 1-inch. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to a low simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, remove eggs and cool.
  3. Bring water back up to a boil and add sliced potatoes until just slightly tender when you pierce with a fork. Reserve 1/4 cup of the starchy water, then drain and immediately toss in a bowl with vinegar, scallion/garlic, parsley, olive oil and cooking water. Season with salt and pepper and let potatoes absorb the liquid as they cool.
  4. Bring a medium pot of water back to a boil and add the 3-inch pieces of asparagus {or green beans} to the boiling water, cover and cook 1-2 minutes until bright green, but still firm. Drain and immediately run cold water over or add to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  5. Mix the dressing. Pour a little over the cut tomatoes in a small bowl and set aside. Pour a little over the asparagus in a small bowl and set aside. Pour the rest over the lettuce and toss to coat.
  6. Heat your grill to high.
  7. Coat your tuna with olive oil, salt and a generous amount of coarse black pepper on both sides. Cook 3-5 minutes on each side, just until the outer edges turn white and the center is still a light pink for medium rare. Remove from heat and let rest.
  8. Assemble the salad by channeling your inner Julia, creating sections of the seasoned potatoes, tomatoes, asparagus {or green beans}, the egg halves and olives. Sprinkled the anchovies over the salad. Slice the tuna and arrange in the center of the bowl.
  9. Bon Appetit!

More Juuuuuuuulia:
recipe goodness :: mastering julia child’s rolled french omelet
recipe goodness :: mastering the art of julia child’s chocolate mousse
Do This!: Celebrate Julia Child’s 100th Birthday 

Excerpted from The Way to Cook by Julia Child. Copyright © 1989 by Julia Child. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

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Memorial Day Recipe Round-Up

IT WOULDN’T BE A BBQ WITHOUT BOOZE 

Alton Brown’s Bourbon Mint Julep
Bottle of Baron {Refreshing “Island Cocktail” a la Tippling Bros.}

Fresh Lime-Margarita Marinated Watermelon
Kickin’ Ancho Chili Fresh Citrus Margarita
Pink Fizzy Lemonade Cocktails Beat the Heat
Smokey Margarita {a la Tippling Bros.}

Stand-Out Spanish Sangria
Summer Strawberry Chilled Chamomile Tea {non-alcoholic}
Spritzy Sunday Morning Citrus Cocktail {non-alcoholic}

SNACK’EMS {makes happy hour happier}

Avocado & Tropical Fruit Salsa {also good as an entree side}
Creole Roasted Fresh Corn-Tomato Salsa
Fresh Lime-Margarita Marinated Watermelon{double duty bites}
Inside-Out Scotch Eggs w/ Ground Lamb, Harissa Yolk & Panko Gremolata

Peppers Padron at Home
Rosemary, Truffle and Parmesan Chips or Fries
Spiced Sweet Potato Hummus
Union Square Bar Roasted Rosemary Nuts

SALADS 

Orzo, Spinach & Feta Summer Salad
Spinach, Strawberry & Halloumi Salad
Tomato, Basil & Feta Salad
The Ultimate Summer Slaw

PIZZA & BREADS {d’oh! why didn’t i try this yet}

Creative Crowd-Pleasing BBQ’d Pizzas
Red Chili-Lime Cornbread Muffins
Za’atar-Pecorino Toasted Crostini

FOR THE GRILL 

Bison, a Better Burger Worth Biting Into
Sesame Ginger Lime-Poached Cod
Pistachio-Encrusted Spring Lamb w/ Pickled Red Onions & Cumin Yogurt Sauce
Whole-Grain Mustard & Rosemary Pork Chops

DESSERT {life is short, eat it first}

Alton Brown’s Bourbon Banana’s Foster w/ Bourbon Ice Cream
Banana Puddin’ Chocolate Cups
 {bottom of post}
Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse
Violet’s Lemon Cheesecake with BBQ’d Summer Berries{bottom of post}

Creole Roasted Corn-Tomato Salsa and Chips

Creole Roasted Corn-Tomato Salsa and Chips


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recipe goodness :: how to love a radish {with sesame ginger lime-poached cod}

How to Love a Radish

The Radish is one of the most under-appreciated vegetables in my opinion. It’s often the last man standing on a veggie platter, the filler in the sad tasteless airplane salads or an ornament carved to serve no other purpose than to decorate a dinner plate.

But what’s not to love about a radish — it’s pink! it’s purple! it’s Chanel red! A radish has a great crunch that can add texture to any dish and has a peppery bite that makes this veg one of the more flavorful fresh ingredients that can completely change a recipe without a lot of fuss. And because it’s hearty, radishes can keep for at least a week if stored properly in an airtight container, so you use them up as time allows.

We are often at a loss of what to do with a radish, other than slice it up into a bowl of greens. Keep this recipe in your back pocket for a vibrant and quick Spring radish slaw that is not only good on its own, but can be the perfect accompaniment to a grilled steak, fish, pork chop or just about anything asking for a punch of flavor {also xoxo on tacos!}

Grilled Ginger Sesame Cod with Radish Slaw

Grilled Ginger Sesame Cod with Radish Slaw

Spring Radish Slaw {on Sesame Ginger Lime-Poached Cod}
Serves 2

6 radishes, thinly sliced
3 scallions, diced
small handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 lime, zested and juiced
sel gris or other coarse salt
pepper to taste

1 x 12-16oz cod filet
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
1 teaspoon regular sesame seeds
1/2 lime
olive oil for drizzling
sel gris or other coarse salt
pepper to taste

For the Slaw:

  1. Wash and thinly slice radishes, removing roots and stems. Thinly dice scallions halfway up the dark green stem, discarding the rest and the root. Roughly chop parsley and add everything to a small bowl.
  2. Add the zest and juice of half a lime, a general sprinkle of coarse salt and pepper and toss everything together with your hands, giving it a good squeeze. Set the bowl to the side or place in the fridge if you don’t plan to use it within ~30 minutes. Enjoy as a salad as is, or continue to cook your favorite grilled item and use as a fresh slaw topping.

For the Fish:

  1. Cut a large enough piece of foil to place your fish filet in the center and be able to bring the edges together to create a sealed pouch after prep.
  2. Place your filet in the center and lightly drizzle with olive oil and the juice of half a lime. Bring up the edges of foil slightly if needed to prevent juice for getting all over your counter. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a small bowl mix the ginger and sesame seeds and sprinkle over the fish to generously cover. Save any extra for another time.
  4. Bring the edges of the foil together and fold over creating a tight seal, which leaving enough room for air to circulate to poach the fish.
  5. Heat your grill to low and place the foil pouch either directly on the grill or on the rack above, allowing it to cook 10-15 minutes. Check when the timer is down that the fish is completely white — add additional time if needed.
  6. Top your filet with the radish slaw, sprinkle some flaky maldon salt across the top and enjoy!

Summer Grillin’ is Good:
Gourmet Grilled White Truffle Corn
Grilled Thyme-Cumin Vegetable Kabobs

Creative Crowd-Pleasing BBQ’d Pizzas
Bison, a Better Burger Worth Biting Into
Whole-Grain Mustard & Rosemary Pork Chops 

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recipe goodness :: violet-radish spring salad with secret lemon-garlic dressing

violet-radish spring salad with secret dressing

violet-radish spring salad with secret dressing

Think this is just a pretty salad? Think again — this will change your attitude about boring leafy greens. Radishes are in season. Why do we love them? They’re colorful, crunchy and add a nice peppery bite. Violets are in season. Why do we love them? They’re pretty and you can find them all over public parks, so they’re free! {steer clear of the dog zone and make sure your park doesn’t spray pesticides}. Buy your favorite greens {mine are red mustard greens pictured above, for their slight peppery flavor and pretty purple and green leaves}, toss in a few slices of radishes and edible flowers and you have a kodak-worthy plate. But I’m also going to share a secret dressing with you that will not only make this dish eye-catching, but will put Paul Newman to shame.

I recently finished the book An Everlasting Meal, by Tamar Adler. I’m pretty experimental in the kitchen, but this book changed my outlook on so many things. Adler’s witty and approachable read encourages you to think about ways to extend everything you make in the kitchen. Use leftover roasted vegetables in a tart or omelet. Use stale bread to make toasted crostini or homemade breadcrumbs. Freeze all the ends of your carrots, celery, onions, fennel to make your own stock when you have some chicken bones on hand. Pretty simple, but thinking this way makes leftovers so much more interesting when you recreate a second dish instead of just reaheating what you had yesterday.

My favorite lesson and the recipe for a secret life-changing dressing: use all the pan drippings from a roast chicken to make your next salad dressing. Last week we roasted chicken with garlic, lemon, white wine, olive oil and thyme. After cooking away for 30-40 minutes we had a pan full of the most amazing concentrated flavors — things I would want in a dressing anyway, but normally dumped down the drain. This time, I poured everything straight into a container, tossed it in the fridge and pulled it out a few days later when I was looking for something to pour over my pretty Spring salad. The result: inquiries from the entire table as to where I bought this amazing dressing. Try it next time you roast anything and have some good liquid leftovers. It will change your salad world.

Violet-Radish Spring Salad with Secret Lemon-Garlic Dressing

1-2 radishes per person, sliced
handful of violet flowers and leaves, washed and stems removed
2-3 oz of lettuce leaves of choice per person
Drizzle of your leftover roasted whatever pan-drippings
Flaky Maldon salt and pepper to taste

  1. Rinse and dry all your greens and flowers
  2. Toss the greens in leftover dressing. Sprinkle flowers on top.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste. ‘nough said.

Spring is in the Air:
Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken {for your dressing!}
Cumin & Dill Dijon Egg Salad with Radish Sprouts

Grilled Thyme-Cumin Vegetable Kabobs
Pistachio-Encrusted Spring Lamb w/ Pickled Red Onions & Cumin Yogurt Sauce 

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Recipe Inspiration: Take the Labor Out of Labor Day Grilling

Woo-wee, this summer has flown by. In the same way I love to start BBQ season off with a bang on Memorial Day, I think a proper summer send-off is essential come Labor Day. Here are a few last minute favorites if you’re looking to make the most of the long weekend, your Weber and cocktail shaker.

DRINKS {start the party out right}

Alton Brown’s Bourbon Mint Julep
Bottle of Baron {Refreshing “Island Cocktail” a la Tippling Bros.}

Fresh Lime-Margarita Marinated Watermelon
Kickin’ Ancho Chili Fresh Citrus Margarita
Pink Fizzy Lemonade Cocktails Beat the Heat

Stand-Out Spanish Sangria
Summer Strawberry Chilled Chamomile Tea {non-alc or a mixer!}

SNACK’EMS {your guests eat, while the grill heats}

Avocado & Tropical Fruit Salsa {also good as an entree side}
Creole Roasted Fresh Corn-Tomato Salsa
Fresh Lime-Margarita Marinated Watermelon{double duty bites}

SALADS {beautiful and delicious}

Lime-Kissed Peach and Corn Summer Salad
Orzo, Spinach & Feta Summer Salad
Spinach, Strawberry & Halloumi Salad
Tomato, Basil & Feta Salad
The Ultimate Summer Slaw

PIZZA & BREADS {d’oh! why didn’t i try this yet}

Creative Crowd-Pleasing BBQ’d Pizzas {this is what I’ll be serving! So FUN}
Flaky Cheese Straws, As Easy As Being Barefoot
Red Chili-Lime Cornbread Muffins

FOR THE GRILL {that’s what it’s all about}

Bison, a Better Burger Worth Biting Into
Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken
Pistachio-Encrusted Spring Lamb w/ Pickled Red Onions & Cumin Yogurt Sauce
Whole-Grain Mustard & Rosemary Pork Chops
Grilled Thyme-Cumin Vegetable Kabobs

DESSERT {life is short, eat it first}

Alton Brown’s Bourbon Banana’s Foster w/ Bourbon Ice Cream
Banana Puddin’ Chocolate Cups
 {bottom of post}
Violet’s Lemon Cheesecake with BBQ’d Summer Berries{bottom of post}

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recipe goodness :: lime-kissed peach and corn summer salad

Summer Jersey Peaches

Two of my favorite things come out in the heat of the summer: corn and peaches. So the obvious thing to me is to put them together, add some citrus, heat and herby goodness and create a spectacular summer salad that can be made in 5 minutes. We served this up to our Freshocracy customers and also just shared a few bites at our Freshocracy Greenmarket cooking demo…to rave reviews. So for those of you who would like to try this simple sweet and savory salad at home, here’s to sharing…

Lime-Kissed Peach and Corn Summer Salad
Serves 4
Recipe modified from Jessica Albertson 

4 ears of corn, shucked
2 peaches
1/2-1 serrano pepper
1/2 red onion, diced finely
0.5 oz cilantro or mint, chopped
1 lime, zested and juiced
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Shuck the corn and use a large sharp knife to cut off the root part of the cob that is sticking out, creating a flat end. Tip: Using a baking sheet with edges, hold the corn standing up on its flat end in the middle of the sheet and carefully run your knife down the sides to cut off the kernels. Cutting directly on the baking sheet with edges will catch the kernels as they fall off. Add the corn to a medium sized bowl.
  2. Wash and dice the peach into pieces approximately the size of the corn or a little larger.
  3. Depending on your tolerance for spice, dice 1/2 to all of the serrano and add to the mixture. Note: Be careful not to touch your eyes after handling a hot pepper!
  4. Finely dice red onion and add to the bowl.
  5. Wash and chop cilantro or mint and add to the bowl.
  6. Zest and juice lime into the bowl.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and mix gently.
  8. Serve as a side salad with fish, chicken or beef or just as a salsa!

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recipe goodness :: barcelona favorite recreated | balsamic chick pea salad

balsamic chick pea salad

I had this dish at an amazing little tapas bar called Pinotxo in Barcelona’s Mercat de La Boqueria. I went for breakfast, so I didn’t expect to be served such a savory, delightful combination of flavors at 9am, but delightful it was! After conversing with my minimal spanish and a lot of hand gestures, the sweet and lively owner, dished up a warm combination of flavors — chick peas, brightened by the parsley with a great balsamic tanginess that just put this simple, but amazing dish over the top. You certainly can eat this breakfast, but it will also make for a great side salad or protein rich entree.

Barcelona Balsamic Chick Pea Salad

Serves 4-6

2 oz ground beef
2 cans unsalted chick peas, drained
2 scallions diced
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
Black pepper to taste
Olive oil for drizzling
Balsamic for drizzling
Fleur de sel to taste

In a large pan break up ground beef to very tiny pieces and brown just until not pink. Add scallions to pan for 1 minute to release fragrance and soften slightly. Add drained chick peas to pan and add black pepper to taste. Stir to combine and remove from heat, transferring to a serving bowl. Drizzle with good olive oil and lightly drizzle some good balsamic. Sprinkle generously with fleur de sel and enjoy! Serve warm or at room temperature.

The Original Inspirational Dish:

Amazing Chick Pea Breakfast from Pinotxo

More from Barcelona:
Barcelona Digested: Mercat de La Boqueria
Barcelona Digested: Chocolate Central
Barcelona Digested: Hang with the Locals – Cava and Cafe Catalonian Style

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recipe goodness :: farro salad with steamed kale and roasted pinenuts

Farro Salad w/ Steamed Kale and Roasted Pine Nuts

I was at the farmer’s market recently and with the winter veg dwindling, I grabbed a bunch of kale and thought I would experiment with a green that I don’t normally cook with. Kale is one of the veggies that I want to add to my “I need more of this in my life” list. It has cancer-fighting properties is great for detoxing the body — just what I need after a late Saturday night. Everything else I just grabbed out my cupboard and fridge and threw together a lovely nutty and bright dish that is great on a cold winter’s night or as a cold salad on a warm day.

Farro Salad with Steamed Kale and Roasted Pine Nuts

Serves 4 | Time: 20 minutes

1 cup farro
1 bunch kale, stems removed
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 lemon
olive oil {equal parts to lemon juice}
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan for grating

  1. Pour farro into medium saucepan and cover with cold water until an inch above the grains. Let soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Drain farro and recover with cold water. Add a generous amount of kosher salt and bring to boil.
  3. Lower heat to a simmer and cover for 10 minutes.
  4. While farro is cooking, wash and dry kale. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Juice half a lemon into a glass measuring cup and add the same amount of olive oil. Add salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste. Set aside.
  6. In a small dry pan, toast pine nuts until light brown and remove from heat.
  7. After farro has cooked for 10 minutes, add kale to the pot on top of the farro and recover for an additional 5 minutes.
  8. After 5 minutes, turn off heat and check to be sure kale is bright green and tender and farro is cooked, but still has an al dente bite. If more time is needed, cover the pot off the heat for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  9. Drain farro and kale and transfer to a large bowl.
  10. Pour lemon and olive oil over salad and toss to mix. Serve in a bowl with grated parmesan and toasted pine nuts sprinkled on top. Enjoy!

I Need More of This in My Life:
Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata Breadcrumbs
Savory Cauliflower Fried Rice
Greenmarket: Put Smarter, Cheaper & More Scrumptious Food on Your Table

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A+ 8.ate@eight Back to School Nite

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Apologies for my absence for a few days, but I have been busy shopping and chopping for what was the last 8.ate@eight supper club of the outdoor season. You wouldn’t think preparing “cafeteria” food would be such a distraction, but when you’re hand selecting figs and prosciutto from Italy for your pizza, catching red snapper off the east coast for your tacos, hunting bison out west for your mini sliders and hand frying potatoes for your truffle-rosemary chips, then there isn’t much time for blogging. Well maybe I wasn’t actually doing all of those things {except the hand frying – look out Frito Lay!} but the menu is accurate. As several friends had kids heading back to school, I thought it would be fun to relive the nostalgia of new sneakers, trapper keepers and the best of school cafeterias — only better! Here’s the full report card…

The Syllabus:

Starter
3 Grilled Pizzettes:
{1} Arugula, Fig & Proscuitto w/ Grated Parmesan Cheese
{2} Greek Olive Tapenade, Pickled Red Onion & Feta w/ Lemon Olive Oil
{3} Spicy Italian Sausage, Roasted Fennel & Fresh Mozzarella
w/ Grandma’s Sauce & Fresh Rooftop Basil

Mini Lime-Chili Red Snapper Tacos
w/ “Fruit Punch” Sangria

Salad
Roasted Corn & Vegetable Medley w/ Chipotle Bacon & Queso Fresco
w/ Bodegas Valdesil Godello Valdeorras Val de Sil Montenovo (Spain)

Entrée
Mini Bison Sliders w/ Buffalo Mozzarella and Olive Tapenade
Homemade Truffle Rosemary Parmesan Chips
w/ “P.S.” Local 2 Brooklyn Dark Ale

Dessert
Coconut “Twinkies” w/ Lemon Curd Filling
w/ Kahlua-Rum Chocolate “Milk”

It was just like showing up to a new classroom — some old friends and some new faces to get to know. This is why I started 8.ate@eight and what I love about my table. People can come together to enjoy good food and drink and easily fall into conversation with an unfamiliar group.

Pablo is the Principal at his own school he started -- how awesome is that!

As the 8.ate@eight-ers filed in, I was busy at work grilling pizzas on the BBQ. Not an entirely new concept, but a new twist on school lunch favorite — wasn’t pizza day a must?! With dough and toppings on hand, I grilled up three different versions: an Arugula, Fig & Proscuitto w/ Grated Parmesan Cheese Pizza, a Greek Olive Tapenade, Pickled Red Onion & Feta w/ Lemon Olive Oil Pie and a crowd-pleasing favorite, Spicy Italian Sausage, Roasted Fennel & Fresh Mozzarella w/ Grandma’s Sauce & Fresh Rooftop Basil.

Fresh Figs

Served alongside the pizza were some Red Snapper Tacos with a Lime-Chili Marinade and Avocado Sauce. I’m pretty sure the lunch ladies didn’t fill our shells with anything better than greasy ground beef, but I wanted to keep it light. Both of the appetizers were served with an adult version of fruit punch: sangria! With a winning combination of spanish vino, brandy, triple sec and lemonade, I soaked a combination of lemon, lime, orange slices and cherries overnight and topped each cup off with a little club soda — every party is better with bubbles!

Red Snapper Tacos

Sangria "Fruit Punch"

Probably the least eaten items on those styrofoam trays were the vegetable medleys and fruit cup cocktails, so I decided to do a combination of both with a modified version of my friend Nora’s delicious corn salad. There are several things that are great about this salad and its a recipe for success that I have written about before: sweet, spicy, citrusy, savory and salty. I roasted several ears of sweet jersey corn, removing the kernels and adding to a combination of grapes {strange, but sweet and amazing}, red bell peppers {peppery and colorful}, red chilis {that subtle spicy kick that I love}, cilantro {a polarizing ingredient for many, but even I converted a hater at the table}, scallions and lime. So that’s the regular combination, but I also decided this salad would do well with a few bits of chipotle bacon crumbled on top with some queso fresco — if only school veggies were always this good.

Roasted Corn & Vegetable Medley

Roasted Corn Salad

It’s not only important to eat your veggies, but a good healthy protein also tops the food pyramid. I keep speaking the praises of bison to anyone who will listen {recipe here}, so I thought if I put them in slider form I could win the hearts of my table too. So let’s reiterate some important facts — please take notes.

Bison tastes very similar to beef, but is slightly richer, so I complemented that flavor with a spread of salty olive tapenade on the mini buns and melted some creamy buffalo mozzarella on top for a better take on a kiddie craving.

Mini Bison Sliders

And just like PB&J is a match made in heaven, so are burgers and chips. So I carried out the dutch oven, a few pounds of potatoes and got to work slicing, rinsing, drying and frying the makings of my Homemade Truffle, Rosemary Parmesan Chips. A lot of work, but there is something very satisfying about putting Frito Lay to shame from your own kitchen {recipe to follow}.

Toss in corn starch to remove moisture and create crispier results

Toss in 375 degree oil 4-5 minutes until golden blond

Strain and Season with Fresh Rosemary and Truffle Salt

Season with Rosemary, Truffle Salt, Parmesan Cheese and Try Not to Eat Too Many

While everyone settled in for the Ferris Bueller classic, Naerim also made a guest appearance and served her Coconut “Twinkie” with Lemon Curd filling and I blended up some Kahlua-Rum Chocolate “Milk” just in case  everyone didn’t have enough to drink.

Coconut "Twinkies" with Lemon Curd

As usual, we cleared the plates, handed out some blankets as the night started to cool and fired up the projector for our guest visitor: Ed Rooney. No better end to another memorable 8.ate@eight supper club.

Ed Rooney Was Our Guest Visitor

Thanks!

Thanks to Naerim again for all the help serving drinks and food and ending the evening with a great new take on an old lunchbox treat! Thanks to Kristin for snapping some pics while I was manning the grill. And I of course want to thank everyone who grabbed a seat at the table — it was lovely to have you all!

I’m ruminating on some future indoor events for the fall and winter, so stay tuned. If you aren’t on the dinner distribution list, email me at 8ateateight@gmail.com to be added. See you at the table!

Recipe Goodness:

Homemade Rosemary, Truffle and Parmesan Chips or Fries

Prep Time: 1 Hour | Cook Time: 20-30 Minutes
Serves 4

2 1/2 # russet potatoes  (about 4 large)
3 QT. peanut or canola oil

Peel and cut potatoes into either long sticks or 1/2-inch thick circles for fries or use a mandolin to thinly slice flat or waffle cut circles {using the waffle blade} for chips. Rinse cut potatoes in large bowl under cold running water until water turns clear. Cover with cold water and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.

Pour off water,spread potatoes onto towels, and thoroughly dry {important for crispiness}. Transfer to large bowl and toss with cornstarch until evenly coated. Transfer to wire rack set on rimmed baking sheet and let rest until fine white coating forms, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large, heavy bottomed dutch oven, fitted w/clip-on candy thermometer, heat oil to 325.  Add half of potatoes a handful at a time and increase heat to high.  Fry, shirring with mesh spider until potatoes start to turn from white to blond, 4-5 min.(oil temp will drop). Transfer fries to paper towels to absorb oil and cool. Return oil to 325 and repeat with rest of potatoes. Let potatoes cool.

Heat oil to 375. Add half of fries or chips, a handful at a time, and fry until golden brown, 2-3 min. Transfer to paper towels & repeat with remaining fries. Season immediately with chopped rosemary, truffle salt and shaved parmesan.

Read About Past 8.ate@eight Events:
8.ate@eight Went Whole Hog and Hog Wild @ the Big Southern BBQ
Who Cut the Cheese Didn’t Stink!
Silencing of the Spring Lambs was Lambtastic!

What are you still doing here? It’s over. Go home.

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SF Best: RoliRoti Rolls Out Revolutionary Rotisserie

RoliRoti Sets Up

At first RoliRoti may sound like the name of an Indian restaurant, but in fact it’s a food truck rolling out gourmet rotisserie recipes originating from the Swiss Alps and taking the Bay Area by storm. Rotisseur Thomas Odermatt, the son of a Swiss “Metzgermeister,” or Master Butcher, grew up in the family’s Swiss butcher shop before moving to Berkley to pursue an education in organic farming. Serving only sustainably-farmed meats and organic produce, Thomas learned the importance of premium cuts from his father and perfect preparation with a secret spice rub from his mother, bringing a crowd-pleasing culinary combination to the local San Francisco market.

…and to my brother’s wedding rehearsal dinner. Normally to get a bite of RoliRoti you would have to queue up in a long line of hungry Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market foodies on Saturday morning, but after standing in many long lines themselves, my brother and his wife decided to hire RoliRoti to cater the Friday night rehearsal dinner. Lucky us.

So what kind of goodness did this infamous truck roll up with? It’s all about the rotisserie chicken and porchetta slow roasting over a bed of potatoes — yes, vegetarians will have to pass on these spuds. RoliRoti’s prized crispy rotisserie chicken is served with a generous portion of rosemary sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lime for a burst of zesty flavor. The porchetta consists of Heritage’s free range pork loin rolled into the belly with RoliRoti’s original herb mix and lemon zest, grilled on the rotisserie for four hours until crispy brown on the outside, resulting in one succulent hunk of pig!

Dinner's Done!

Rosemary Sea Salt

RoliRoti's Famous Rotisserie Chicken and Roasted Potatoes

The rotisserie may be the main attraction, but the steakhouse salad with sweet early girl tomatoes, red onion and roquefort cheese is a perfect pairing. Or try the charred corn summer salad with fresh avocadoes tossed in punchy lime-jalapeño vinaigrette, garnished with halved cherry tomatoes, bell pepper chunks, and cilantro. Both provide a light and refreshing plate partnership to your carvings.

Early Girl Tomatoes

RoliRoti Summer Salads

The Skim: Whether you’re looking for some finger lickin’ chicken at the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market or a really kick-ass party pleaser, roll over to the RoliRoti truck and you will be begging for seconds. Case in point, after a lot of excited and hungry guests, RoliRoti packed it up early after running out of food — only the second time that had ever happened!

Map: San Francisco Ferry Plaza
Phone: 510.780.0300

More on the Left Coast Cuisine:
Bistro Don Giovanni: Napa-Sourced & Italian-Inspired
Do This!: Le Grand Fooding 2010 New York vs San Francisco

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recipe goodness :: tomato, basil & feta salad

Fresh Tomato Salad

I went to the farmer’s market and bought the most perfectly imperfect tomatoes from a New Jersey farmer. They had big brown spots where the sweet fruit previously hung from the vine, they were not perfectly round, nor perfectly red on the outside, but when you cut into them, all their glorious perfection was revealed. Redder than any red I have seen before {especially from a store-bought tomato} and that red persisted throughout — there was no big seedy, liquidy center or even an ounce of that white flesh so common in a tomato these days. It’s at moments like this, that I am convinced of the merits of buying locally grown farm fresh produce — this tomato tastes far superior to anything you will find while strolling the air conditioned aisles of your grocery store. And while we have been conditioned ourselves to expect perfection on the outside of our shiny, clean, bruise-free pyramid of produce, I think we have also all experienced that piece of fruit or vegetable that tasted nothing like it looked…or didn’t taste like anything at all. So do not be afraid of buying that unwaxed, slightly gnarly produce from the farmer at the market — you may be surprised by what you find inside!

Farm Fresh Tomato

So with my perfectly imperfect red tomato in hand, I made a stop at a local artisan cheese maker, Ardith Mae {you may remember them from 8.ate@eight #2: Who Cut the Cheese Didn’t Stink!}, to pick up some fresh goat’s milk feta and came home to make a salad so simple, but so fresh and flavorful. Here it is:

Farm Fresh Tomato, Basil & Feta Salad

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Serves 4

3 large, ripe field-grown fresh tomatoes
1/2 lb fresh feta
1 sprig fresh basil
4 TBS olive oil
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Wash and cut tomatoes into equal size wedges and then cut in half again to get pieces approximately 1 inch in length.  Season lightly with salt {you can add more later, but the feta will add salt to the dish as well} and pepper and gently toss. Crumble feta on top of tomatoes. Chiffonade basil by removing basil leaves from the stem, stacking 5-6 leaves at a time and rolling tightly lengthwise and then slicing with a paring knife perpendicular to the roll — this will give you delicate ribbon-like basil to sprinkle across the salad which will look pretty, but will also make sure you don’t have to chew on a full basil leaf! Drizzle olive oil over salad and gently toss. Taste and add more salt, pepper or basil as you like .

Tomato Feta Basil Salad

Looking For More Farm-Fresh Inspiration?
Orzo, Spinach & Feta Summer Salad
Gourmet Grilled White Truffle Corn
Grilled Thyme-Cumin Vegetable Kabobs
Whole-Grain Mustard & Rosemary Pork Chops

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recipe goodness :: orzo summer salad

Orzo Prep

Whew! It’s HOT out there! If you’re looking for a great recipe to cool down with, this is the one. Not many people haven’t had this salad at one of my BBQs. It’s always a huge hit and on the rare occasion that there is actually any leftover, it’s even better the next day. The orzo summer salad is extremely easy to throw together and makes a large amount, so this recipe is perfect for a big gathering and can be made ahead of time so all you have to do is toss a spoon in the bowl and put it on the table. Yay for delicious and easy crowd-pleasing recipes!

Orzo Summer Salad

Serves a lot!

1 box orzo
1/2 bag baby spinach, roughly chopped
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 lb fresh feta
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook orzo according to package instructions (approx. 7 minutes). While the orzo is cooking, roughly chop baby spinach and add to a large bowl. Juice and zest 1 large lemon and add 1/4 cup olive oil to a separate small bowl and whisk together. When orzo is done cooking, drain thoroughly and add to the large bowl, pouring over spinach leaves. {TIP: Adding the orzo while warm will slightly cook the spinach so you get softer, brighter spinach leaves} Pour the lemon-olive oil dressing over the orzo, crumble the feta and add the green onions and halved grape tomatoes. Season generously with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly and serve immediately or cool in the fridge to serve chilled {TIP: Remove salad 15 minutes before serving if chilled to allow the olive oil to come back to room temperature}.

Orzo Summer Salad

Try the Orzo Summer Salad with one of these great entrees:
Bison, a Better Burger Worth Biting Into
Pistachio-Encrusted Spring Lamb w/ Pickled Red Onions & Cumin Yogurt Sauce
Whole-Grain Mustard & Rosemary Pork Chops

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Happy 4th of July Weekend from 8.ate@eight!

Happy 4th of July from 8.ate@eight!

I hope the sun is shining as brightly as it is in NYC for all of you. Enjoy the holiday weekend and if you’re looking for a few easy and unique dishes to share at your BBQ, try a few of these 8.ate@eight favorites and let me know how they turn out!

DRINKS {cheers!}

Pink Fizzy Lemonade Cocktails Beat the Heat

APPETIZERS {makes happy hour happier}

Avocado & Tropical Fruit Salsa {also good as an entree side}

SALAD

Spinach, Strawberry & Halloumi Salad

PIZZA & BREADS {d’oh! why didn’t i try this yet}

Creative Crowd-Pleasing BBQ’d Pizzas

BISON & BEEF {where’s the…}

Bison, a Better Burger Worth Biting Into

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8.ate@eight #1: Silencing of the Spring Lambs was Lambtastic!

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What can I say, the inaugural 8.ate@eight supper club was lambtastic! Perfect weather (mid-70s) and perfect company set the scene for a great evening of fresh, hand-prepared food, deliciously paired wine and good conversation shared amongst new and old friends. Here’s the scoop >>>

Naerim, my friend and French Culinary Institute-trained pastry chef, showed up around 11am to start throwing around some cake flour and gettin’ down to business preparing her superbly delicious Panna Cotta Tartlets with Balsamic Strawberries. Meanwhile, the prosecco was chillin’ and I was chopping, grinding and whizzing away to to get all the elements together for each course of the meal, organized to complement our post-dinner flick, Silence of the Lambs.

The Menu:

Starter
Minted Fava Bean & Spring Pea Puree with Fresh Italian Ricotta on Garlic Rubbed Toasts
w/ Fresh Squeezed Blood Orange Mimosas

Salad
Warm Goat Cheese Salad with Pancetta Vinaigrette, Michigan Dried Cherries & Candied Pecans
w/ 2008 Domaine Dupeuble Pere et Fils Beaujolais

Entrée
Pistachio encrusted Spring Lamb with Cumin Yogurt & Pickled Red Onion
w/ 2001 Cataregia Gran Reserva

Dessert
Panna Cotta Tartlets w/ Balsamic Strawberries

Movie
Silence of the Lambs

Everyone grabbed a Fresh Blood Orange Mimosa, introduced themselves and settled in for some good food and drinks.

Fresh Blood Oranges Being Squeezed for Blood Orange Mimosas

Fava Bean and Pea Puree

Warm Goat Cheese Salad with Pancetta Vinaigrette, Dried Michigan Cherries and Candied Pecans

While the salad was being served, we were off in the kitchen orchestrating all the elements of the entrée. The lamb (and Jessica’s sea bass) was encrusted with a spice blend of thyme, chilli pepper, cumin, lemon zest and pistachios, pan-seared and finished in the oven. Each was topped with freshly pickled red onions and a cumin yogurt sauce. The white asparagus was steamed and topped with a melted smashed mint, lemon butter sauce. Pans were flying and the kitchen mercury was rising as we had all the burners fired at once, but with the help of Naerim, we got everything cooked and plated before anyone pulled a Hannibal Lector.

Pistachio Spring Lamb w/ Cumin Yogurt & Pickled Red Onion; White Asparagus w/ Smashed Mint & Lemon Butter

After the plates were cleared, we rolled the movie, opened more wine and Naerim got to work finishing dessert.

Naerim Plating Dessert

Panna Cotta Tartlets w/ Balsamic Strawberries

Hannibal Lector showed up for a bite too.

Hannibal Lector Shows Up After Dinner

Click here to see the full album.

Thanks:

I want to thank Naerim for preparing such a beautiful and delicious dessert and for all the help in getting the 8.ate@eight-ers fed. Thanks to Kristin for snapping some candids while I was off in the kitchen and for doing dishes late night {tisk tisk!!} And I of course want to thank everyone who grabbed a seat at the table — it was lovely to have you all!

Our next dinner will be announced shortly {very shortly} so if you aren’t on the list, email me at 8ateateight@gmail.com. See you at the table!

Recipe Goodness:

Pistachio-Encrusted Spring Lamb w/ Pickled Red Onions & Cumin Yogurt Sauce

Serves 4

Chops:
12 lamb chops, ~ 1 1/2 inches thick
2 TBS fresh thyme
1 TBS ground chilli pepper
1 TBS ground cumin
2 TBS fresh lemon zest
Salt & Pepper
1 Cup shelled pistachio nuts

Pickled Red Onion:
1 red onion
1 lemon
Salt & pepper to taste

Sauce:
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 tsp cumin
Salt & pepper to taste

Thinly slice the red onion and put into a container that will seal. Pour the juice of one lemon over the onion, add a dash of salt and a crank or two of black pepper. Set the container in the fridge for at least 2 hours. The lemon juice will pickle the onion and soften the flavor for a nice addition to your chops.

In another bowl add the 1/2 tsp of cumin, salt and pepper to the yogurt and stir thoroughly. Set aside.

Meanwhile, mix all the dry spices and lemon zest in a bowl. In a zip lock, smash the shelled pistachios to smaller bits that will stick easily to your lamb. Pour the nuts into a separate bowl. Lightly drizzle a little olive oil over the lamb chops and gently press each side of the chops first in the spice bowl and then in the pistachio bowl, making sure both sides are generously covered in pistachios.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat a large oven safe pan on the stove {no need to add olive oil as the fat from the lamb will be enough to cook the chops}. Add all the of chops to the pan and push firmly down to create a good sear. Cook for 2 minutes, flip and put the pan into the oven for 4 minutes. {Note: If you don’t have an oven safe pan, you can preheat a cookie sheet in the oven and transfer the chops to the sheet to finish}.

To serve, top the lamb chops with a few rings of the pickled red onion and a drizzle of the cumin yogurt. Enjoy!

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recipe goodness :: spinach, strawberry & halloumi salad to knock your socks off

Spinach, Strawberry & Halloumi Salad

One of my favorite flavor combos is sweet and salty — what’s better than chocolate covered pretzels or PB & J?! This is one of the reasons that this is such a standout salad. Halloumi generally comes from Greece and is a distinctly salty cheese made of goat’s and sheep’s milk. When you combine that with the sweetness of the strawberries and the bright, citrusy dressing, you get all of the taste-buds jumping for joy. If that sounds exciting, then get ready for more – Halloumi has a very high melting point enabling you to grill it {redefining grilled cheese!} so when your guests are expecting a nice cool, refreshing salad, the element of surprise from the warm, slightly softened cheese will really knock their socks off. Opa!

spinach, strawberry & halloumi salad

1 bag of baby spinach, washed
1 pint fresh strawberries
1 lemon
1/2 as much olive oil as lemon
1/4 tsp salt
a few cranks black pepper
1-2 packages Haloumi cheese

Tip: People usually fight over the last of the cheese, so you might want to be nice to your guests and buy 2 packages of Halloumi!

Wash and dry your baby spinach leaves thoroughly. If you can only find large spinach leaves, tear them roughly with your hands so they are bite sized pieces and remove any long stems. Cut all of the strawberries into quarters or long slices depending on your visual preference and toss on top of the spinach in a large bowl.

In a separate container with a tightly sealing lid, squeeze the juice of one lemon and add 1/2 as much olive oil as the juice {exact measurers need not apply}. I prefer this to be quite lemony to contrast the sweet strawberries, salty cheese and very full bowl of Popeye’s favorite green. Add 1/4 tsp of salt and several good cranks of black pepper to the liquid. Set aside.

Grilled Halloumi Cheese

RIGHT before serving you want to grill or fry your cheese. If grilling, slice into 1/4 inch slices and place perpendicular to the grates on your hot BBQ {while this is a very firm cheese, you don’t want to lose any through the slits to the charcoal gods!} Once the cheese gets a light brown color on the downward facing side, turn carefully with tongs and brown the other side. If you are doing this stovetop, you can easily do in a non-stick pan with a small drizzle of olive oil, browning both sides until done. When the cheese has a nice toasty color, remove from the grill or pan and place on top of the salad.

Vigorously shake the dressing you set to the side to emulsify the lemon and olive oil and pour over the top of the beautiful green, red and white salad. Gently toss and serve.

This Crowd Pleasing Salad Also Goes Well With These Recipes:
Bison, a Better Burger Worth Biting Into
Whole-Grain Mustard & Rosemary Pork Chops
Pistachio-Encrusted Spring Lamb w/ Pickled Red Onions & Cumin Yogurt Sauce

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recipe goodness: roasted chicken salad w/ dried cranberries & sunflower seeds

Roasted Chicken Salad with Dried Cranberries & Sunflower Seeds

What came first, the Chicken or the Egg?

Well in the case of my blog, the egg salad recipe, but I actually created the chicken salad first. This is another great alternative to a boring sammie and I actually recommend you eat it sans bread only because there are so many good flavors you should enjoy!

Roasted Chicken Salad with Dried Cranberries & Sunflower Seeds

3 Chicken Breasts
Dijon Mustard
Sprinkle of Dill
Crank of Black Pepper
1 Stalk Celery
1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries
2 TBS Sunflower Seeds (no shell)
1 TBS Mayo
1 TBS Dijon

Tip: Making with 3-4 chicken breasts will give you enough for 3-5 servings depending on how hungry you are — easy lunch for a few days that week or lunching with the ladies.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lay the 3 chicken breasts on a cookie sheet with sides.  Spread a thin layer of dijon on both sides of each chicken breast, then sprinkle with dill and crank a little whole black pepper on both sides. Put the chicken in the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes flip each chicken breast and return to the oven for 10 more minutes. Remove and let cool.

Meanwhile, dice celery stalk. When chicken is cool, roughly chop into bite sized pieces and add to the bowl with celery. Add dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, a dollop of mayo and dijon and another crank or two of black pepper. Toss to mix ingredients thoroughly and enjoy. This is another great salad to sprinkle a few radish sprouts on top for an surprising fresh, peppery flavor.

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recipe goodness: cumin & dill egg salad with radish sprouts

That's lunch! Egg Salad with Grilled Asparagus and REAL carrots

In the spirit of sharing good meals, I thought I would also share recipes from my own kitchen that I promise are EASY to make. You can find all recipes in the “@home” Category link on the side of 8.ate@eight, so if you’re looking for a little inspiration, I hope you find it there and who knows, maybe it will kick off your own kitchen experiments!

I’m not usually one for lunch meat on a regular basis, and since I have the benefit of preparing most of my lunches at home, I’ve been experimenting with a few standards. Your momma’s egg salad + my love of herbs = cumin & dill egg salad with with radish sprouts. Nothing was measured exactly and I encourage everyone to break away from measuring spoons and cups and just start tossing…here is my attempt to recipetize my creation:

cumin & dill egg salad with with radish sprouts

4 eggs (preferably small farm / free range)
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 tsp Capers
1 TBS Mayo
1 TBS Dijon Mustard
Dash of Ground Cumin
2 Dashes of Dill
Coarsely Ground Black Pepper

Tip: Hard boiling 4 eggs will make enough for 2-3 servings depending on how hungry you are or if you want to share with a well-deserving friend. Nice to share, but also nicer to have lunch made for a few days in the fridge!

Put eggs in a pot and cover with 1-in of water. Bring water to a boil and then lower to a very slow simmer, cover with a lid and let it dance for 20 minutes. In the meantime, chop celery. When eggs are done simmering, put pot in the sink and run cold water until the eggs are cooled. This method should prevent that unsightly green rim from forming around the yolk. Peel, roughly chop and add to the bowl with the celery.

Tip: If you are trying to be a bit more healthy, only use 2 of the egg yolks and 4 egg whites. You will still get all the good flavor and bright yellow goodness.

Toss the rest of the ingredients in the bowl with the eggs and celery. Dollop of dijon & mayo. Sprinkle of cumin & dill. Crank of black pepper. And capers (no need to add any salt — capers and dijon are plenty salty.) Mash away with a fork to blend thoroughly and enjoy. My favorite addition — toss a few radish sprouts on top. Alfalfa sprouts always confuse me — I find them tasteless and like getting a hair in your mouth. But radish sprouts are peppery like a radish and tend to be a bit more leafy. Nice touch!

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