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Posts from the ‘Salads’ Category

A Non Traditional Panzanella, A Gooseberry Red Currant And Plum Crumble And Salsa

Salad

Salad

The first thing that I made with my Farmers Market finds is a salad. There is nothing like a salad made with fresh vegetables. There is no recipe for this, it’s a salad after all and everyone has their own favorite way of making and dressing them, this is sort of a panzanella,  sort of because it’s not traditional. A traditional Tuscan panzanella is made with tomatoes and stale bread dressed with olive oil and vinegar. I spread pesto on the bread and put it under the broiler for a few minutes to brown. Saturday’s farmers market find included both cherry and regular size tomatoes, for a salad cherry tomatoes are so easy and I love how crisp and sweet they are.

Panzanella

tomato

cucumber

spring onion

bread

pesto

shaved pecorino romano

salt and pepper

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, slice the onion very thinly, cut the cucumber into small pieces and throw it all in a bowl, season with salt and pepper.  Spread some pesto on the bread and either broil or grill until lightly browned. Cut into bite size pieces. Dress the salad with vinegar and oil. I don’t measure starting out light and adding more as/if needed. Add the bread and toss it together. Shave pecorino romano cheese on top and enjoy.

crumble

crumble

Today I experimented with some of the gooseberries. Having never eaten them or cooked with them I didn’t really know what to expect,  For the first attempt I thought a crumble would be nice and only made two individual servings in my tiny cocotte pans. I chose purple gooseberries, red currants and a golden plum. The fruit when baked produced a lot of juice and was very tart, next time I would probably add another 2 tbs of sugar although the tart fruit when eaten with some vanilla ice cream was really nice. For the crumble top I used spelt, oat and AP flour in equal parts added some butter and brown sugar. Before baking I dotted with a little butter and sprinkled with demerara sugar.  I thought adding a plum would be nice with the gooseberries and currants, somewhere in my research I saw that the gooseberry is a member of the plum family or vice versa, not sure thats correct but they do go together nicely.

Gooseberry,red currant and plum crumble

serves 2

Crumble

1/4 cup spelt flour

1/4 cup oat flour or oats

1/4 cup AP flour

1/4 cup dark brown sugar (not packed)

4 tbs butter+ more to dot on top before baking

whisk the flour and brown sugar together add the butter and mix with your hands until it resembles pea size crumbs.

Fruit

red currants

purple gooseberries

1 golden plum

1/4-1/2 cup sugar

I didn’t measure the berries if I had to guess how much it was about 1/3 cup of each. Put all the fruit into a bowl and add the sugar, toss to combine. Spoon into baking dishes and top with the crumble topping. Dot with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 degree’s for approximately 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream.

Warm crumble with vanilla ice cream

Warm crumble with vanilla ice cream

There are a few more recipes I plan on making with the gooseberries and will post them very soon, it’s fun working with an ingredient you are not familiar with getting your sea legs so to speak. The crumble was delicious the combination of gooseberries, currants and plum created a lot of juice and some of the crumble sank creating what was more akin to a cobbler. It was really good this turned out to be a cobbler/crumble.

Salsa

Salsa

The green gooseberries are very tart, sour really and using them in a savory dish seemed like it would be delicious. I had a flounder filet earmarked for dinner the other night and thought instead of a heavy tartar sauce (love it) a light fruity salsa would be nice with the fish. I didn’t measure, don’t need to with this type of dish, the beauty of it is that it is tailored to suite the individual’s taste.

Salsa

makes approximate a cup of salsa

Green gooseberries (larger ones cut in half and quartered and small ones cut in half)]

1/2 mango- chopped

1 purple spring onion- chopped

approx a tbs of chopped fresh mint

1 jalapeno chopped and seeds removed

1 small orange bell pepper chopped

approx a tbs of chopped flat leaf parsley

juice of one whole lime

salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients, serve right away.

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Community Meeting, Half Marathon, Bark Fest And a Noodle Bowl

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It has been a crazy few weeks. Have to say it is kind of a blur. Our neighborhood has been fighting a proposal by DOT to change Clinton Ave a two way street into a one way street with TWO buffered bike lanes. Safety for everyone on that stretch came into question. There are many big coop buildings with MANY elderly and disabled residents and we saw flaws in the plan because (in a nutshell) they did not take into account emergency vehicles, delivery vehicles, access-a-ride- fire trucks, sanitation trucks not to mention how the elderly and disabled can cross two bike lanes to get to their vehicles or service car.  The plan was ONLY considering cyclists. The 2 way (NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE IN BROOKLYN) buffered bike lane would be curbside thereby eliminating curb side parking for residents with cars, the city has long been trying to make it as difficult, unsavory and as expensive as possible for those who drive. Limited parking would be in the middle of the street and the one lane would be going north bound. Traffic from the eliminated lane would be diverted to my street and one other.  My opposition to this plan is because of safety issues for the residents but also the block I live on CANNOT safely sustain any more traffic, it is already a bumper to bumper traffic nightmare during certain times of the day and it would get much much worse.

Even the elected's had concerns

Even the elected’s had concerns

I don’t own a car, I walk, take public transporation or even bike from time to time and I am all for safety for cyclists but this plan is only taking them into consideration and not the needs of the community as a whole. We fought back and fought back hard, opposition was HUGE and loud and it got ugly because the people from Transporation Alternatives, a very powerful and wealthy lobbying group for the cyclists were there to try to discredit us. In the end DOT temporarily withdrew their proposal and promised to go back to the drawing board, we will see but we are still mobilizing and fighting because the battle is has not been won there is only a short reprieve. More to come on this one.

Brooklyn Half Marathon

I had the honor and priviledge of holding the tape for the winners of the Air Bnb Brooklyn Half Marathon. What a great day it was, beautiful weather for running and over 27,000 runners started at the Brooklyn Museum on Eastern Parkway and the race ended at Coney Island. The race started at 7AM and I had to be at the finish line before 7:30AM, a very early morning, Percy is not used to having his morning walk at 5AM but he was a really good sport.

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Bark Fest

Percy is ready for bark fest

Percy is ready for bark fest

My friend Carla and I took our dogs, Percy and Olive to Bark Fest. It was in Manhattan on Pier 97 on the west side of the city. We bought VIP tickets which gave us some perks. It was my first bark fest, last year Nando was very ill and I couldn’t go, I have heard it’s fun so thought we would give it a try.

It was a beautiful day, not too hot a little over cast which was good for the dogs. I would have preferred it were held in a park with grass rather than a concrete pier. The people from Bark Box were the people who organized it. Honestly, it was ok but we were a little disappointed, It was packed there were thousands of people there, only 2 food trucks we had to wait in line almost 2 hours to get something to eat, there was a long line for everything. We got there right when it opened at 2 PM and got a few minutes in the VIP lounge  but after that there was over a 1 hour wait to get in. Would I go again? Doubt it.

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Spring Roll Bowl

I saw this on Pure Wow and thought it looked easy, delicious, light and fresh and I wanted to immediately make it. I did just that and it was really good, so good in fact that I had to make it again and tweak a bit. The first one I made I used chicken which I sauteed in sesame oil as called for in the recipe, the second time I marinated a pork tenderloin in soy sauce, lime, sesame oil and ginger. It really is a wonderful light meal.

Spring roll bowl with chicken

Spring roll bowl with chicken

SPICY PEANUT SAUCE

¾ cup smooth peanut butter

2 teaspoons sesame oil

3 tablespoons soy sauce

¼ cup rice vinegar

⅓ cup water

Juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon agave or honey

2 teaspoons minced ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon Sriracha

Salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS

1. In a blender or food processor, combine the ingredients for the peanut sauce and process until smooth. If the sauce is too thick, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time. Set aside.

carrot, cucumber,watermelon radish spiralized

carrot, cucumber,watermelon radish spiralized

The bowl

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts or you can use pork tenderloin

sesame oil

boston lettuce

scallions

carrots ( I spiralized a purple carrot you can grate or cut into strips

straight thin cut rice noodles

cucumbers cut into strips

Avocado cut into slices

sesame rice crackers (optional)

Place some rice noodles in a bowl and fill with boiling water add some salt, add a little salt and let sit until noodles soften.

Clean lettuce and place in bowl, saute the chicken in sesame oil, season with salt and pepper and slice.

Cut cucumber into strips, spiralize or cut carrot into strips.

toasted cashews chopped as a garnish

lime wedges

Add whatever you like, avocado, eliminate meat entirely if you like. Drizzle with peanut sauce and enjoy.

The second time I made it I used pork tenderloin which I marinated in sesame oil, soy sauce and ginger and pan seared then finished in the oven. Takes only minutes.

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Happy New Year, Some Favorites And 2015 in review

Taken from Pinterest

Taken from Pinterest

I wish each and everyone of you an amazing, healthy, happy, joyous and prosperous 2016. I want to thank you all for being such great friends, for leaving such uplifting and kind comments and for being my source of inspiration. Below is the report compiled by the WordPress helper monkey’s. I don’t really keep track of the stats, but do appreciate the work that WordPress puts into these reports, thank you to the good people at WordPress!! Both 2014 and 2015 were hard years for me, harder than I can even express. The start of a new year brings with it hope and we also reflect on the past year, the good and the bad, the sad and the happy, triumphs and failures. Life can sometimes be like a rollercoaster ride.

Going into my 4th year of blogging in January is quite momentous for me. I can’t believe I am still doing this,  have made such great friends and learned so much. Hope you all have a wonderful time on New Years Eve and joyously welcome 2016, peace, love and joy to all. Below are some photo’s I compliled with some of my favorite dishes both sweet and savory.

Savory favorites

Savory favorites

Baked, desserts and the epic biscuit!

Baked, desserts and the epic biscuit!

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 37,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 14 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Fall Harvest Salad And Meeting A Friend

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I honestly didn’t know what to call this salad. The name is sort of an accurate description. I saw this amazing Fall Panzanella salad on Susan Pridmore’s blog The Wimpy Vegetarian. I immediately knew I had to make it it just sounded so good, kale, butternut squash, bread, apples, onions. I fell in love, then I had lunch at Speedy Romeo’s, a fantastic restaurant in my neighborhood that makes the most amazing brick oven pizza in incrediblely creative ways.  They also have some awesome salads,  I ordered a kale, apple, pomegranate, goat cheese salad that rocked my world. I have to add that I went there with Patty Nguyen, she is an very talented photographer and has a beautiful blog of the same name that I have been following for several years now. This is not the first time we met, whenever Patty comes to NYC we get together. I had the pleasure of meeting her family this time and we had a wonderful time.

Pizza with Patty and family at Speedy Romeo's Brooklyn

Pizza with Patty and family at Speedy Romeo’s Brooklyn photo by Patty Nguyen

Back to the salad as I explained Susan’s Fall Panzanella grabbed me and then the salad at the restaurant was incredible, they have similar flavor profiles. I need to eat more salad, but for me it has to be super flavorful and very interesting. Lettuce and tomato are great (on a BLT) but not that interesting. I decided to take both salads and take a little from each, add my own touch and see how it comes out. It had to have kale that was a must, I wanted it to be seasonal so I added butternut squash that was roasted in the oven, apples,  some toasted pumpkin seeds and pine nuts and grated aged Asiago cheese.  I used Susan salad dressing which is made with apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and apple.  I massaged the kale for a long time, a good 15 minutes I wanted it to be really relaxed, 10 minutes with a little olive oil and another 5 minutes with dressing, added chopped apple, butternut squash,nuts, seeds and grated cheese, another splash of dressing, season and voila, a delicious, nutritious fresh salad, bursting with flavor.

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Fall Harvest Salad

1 head green curly kale cleaned, leaves torn from stems and chopped chiffonade

2 apples cleaned, cut into bite size pieces

2 cups cubed butternut squash

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds toasted

1/2 cup pine nuts toasted

approximately 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese

Pre heat oven to 375 degree’s. Place butternut squash pieces on sheet pan lined with parchment, drizzle with olive oil and toss to make sure every piece is covered in oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or unti squash is tender and lightly browned.

Remove the squash and set aside, place the pumpkin seeds and pine nuts on the same piece of parchment and toast in the oven for about 15 minutes watching carefully so they do not burn. Remove nuts and set aside.

Grate cheese and set aside.

Place chiffonade kale in large salad bowl, drizzle on a little olive oil and massage the kale really well, I worked on it for about 10 minutes. Add some of the dressing and massage another 5 minutes. Cut the apple into bite size pieces and toss into the kale, add the squash, nuts and seeds, toss to combine, add the grated cheese, season with salt and pepper, add more dressing if you like (I did). You can serve immediately but this salad keeps really well in the refrigerator for hours so it can be made ahead of time.

Dressing- Apple Vinaigrette

Recipe by Susan Pridmore- The Wimpy Vegetarian

1/2 apple peeled, seeded and diced

3 tbs apple cider vinegar

1 tbs maple syrup

3-4 tbs olive oil

1/4 tsp kosher salt

Mash the apple in a small food processor, if you don’t have a small processor heat in the microwave for about a minute and mash using a mortar and pestle. Whisk mashed apple into the vinegar, salt, maple syrup and olive oil.

Mediterranean Cold Cous Cous Salad

Cous Cous salad

Cous Cous salad

No recipe required here, all you need is some Israeli Cous Cous and whatever vegetables you might like to add, make as much or as little as you want and adjust to your own personal preference, I am sure you know that there are two kinds of cous cous readily available there is a finer grain semolina and the Israeli which is much larger and when cooked al dente is nicely toothsome, it is my favorite and I use it all the time. It actually reminds me of Pastene which is almost identical in size and texture. I did not add onion or garlic although I think it would be good. For a milder onion flavor I used some chives. NOTE: Don’t skip the toasted pine nuts, they add so much to this salad.

Israeli cous cous

Israeli cous cous

I throw this salad together almost weekly, the ingredients vary depending on what I have that needs to be used. As shown, here is the list of ingredients:

Israeli Cous Cous

Fresh tomatoes

cucumber

Olives

Feta Cheese

Fresh herbs, basil, parsley and chives

dried mint

toasted pine nuts

lemon juice

olive oil

salt and pepper

IMG_5790Make the cous cous first, bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil, add the cous cous and cook for 8-10 minutes. Remove from stove and pour into a strainer, run cold water over it to stop the cooking process, it’s ok if they are slightly hard. They will soften in the dressing and I recommend letting this sit for a few hours or even over night. I chop the tomatoes, add the herbs and olives and toss in the cous cous, toast the pine nuts and crumble the feta into the salad, squeeze some lemon and drizzle on the olive oil, do this according to however you like it. Season with salt and pepper. There is no right or wrong way to make this salad,  really!!!  Have fun with it.

Asking For Your Vote…..

 

Salad e Olivieh,flat bread

Salad e Olivieh,flat bread

Things have been tough here, I am overwhelmed with everything and have not cooked or posted anything. I am sorry. This brightened my day, I am really shocked but my recipe for Persian Potato Salad, Salad e Oliveh is a finalist at Food 52. Honestly, I have been so pre occupied with both work and caring for Nando I forgot I entered it and when I saw an email today congratulating me my jaw literally dropped., well maybe not literally but I was genuinely surprised.

I posted the recipe here on the blog a few months ago, it remains one of my all time favorite Persian recipes. so simple and delicious. It’s potato salad with a twist, this is a meal. I like to servie with Naan or pita that is warm, and lots of lemon and olive oil for extra flavor.

I am sorry I have been so absent, the update is that I am over whelmed. tired and sad. Work is very busy and Nando is a full time responsibility it is like having an infant in the house. I have to have someone stay with him when I leave to go to an appointment, he cannot be alone for more than a few minutes.

I again ask for your vote, I hope you all stick with me through this tough time and forgive me for my absence. Thank you so much.

Food 52 photo

Food 52 photo

Spring Forward, A Fresh Salad With Creamy Meyer Lemon Dressing And Some Shopping

Spring salad

Spring salad

Although it won’t officially be spring until Friday, March 20th at 6:46 PM, we have taken one giant leap by changing the clocks, moving them forward one hour which gives us an extra hour of daylight, in my opinion having to wake up an hour earlier is cruel and unecessary, leave the clocks be please (editorial opinions are strictly my own).  I have proclaimed that it is Spring in my house today by opening some of my windows to let in some fresh (cold) air and although there is still snow piled up outside, I made a fresh salad in honor of Spring, This salad was born out of necessity, I needed to use watermelon radish, frisee, beets, spring onion and blood orange before they went bad,  threw some garbanzo beans in and had a small wedge of 2 day old sourdough bread that I cut into cubes and made some pan fried croutons.  The dressing is simple, meyer lemon juice, mayonaise, olive oil, mint and basil (both dried), the flavor is creamy and bright and it went so nicely on the salad, you don’t have to use mayonnaise you can use yogurt for a lighter dressing or simply lemon, oil and herbs for an even lighter one. I hope you all enjoy your extra hour of daylight and we will all soon be enjoying lovely Spring weather and beautiful produce.

Vegetables

Vegetables

Salad for one:

handful of frisee

beet cut into bite size pieces

scallions or spring onion

watermelon radish cut into strips

1 blood orange, or orange supremed used half the orange in the salad and squeezed the juice of the other half on top of the salad

garbanzo beans about 1/4 cup

croutons

Toasted nuts would also be a great option in this salad

Instead of croutons you could add a whole grain like farro, freekeh, barley or whatever you like.

Toss it all in a bowl (pretty easy right)

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Meyer lemon dressing

2 tbs mayonaise

juice of a meyer lemon a (you determine how thick or thin you like your dressing)

drizzle of olive oil

dried mint and basil or whatever herbs you want to use, fresh is best but dried will do nicely.

salt and pepper to taste

Whisk everything together, add the lemon juice little by little until you reach the desiered consistency.

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One of my favorite things to do is go to the local Marshall’s houseware department. They have great stuff for the kitchen an home. I could literally spend hours there and never leave empty handed. Today I got some assorted bowls, a great ceramic pitcher and found this pug mug that I couldn’t resist, I needed a new spoon cradle and I fell in love with a vibrant ceramic eggplant spoon cradle. Last month I decided to re furnish, my guest room, I bought new furniture and rugs, today I found some cool accessories, throw pillows, and some really nice baskets,  it’s so much fun to shop.

Pug mug

Pug mug

spoon cradle

spoon cradle

Inspiring Farro With Beets, Feta And Pecans And For Dessert- Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Farro with beets, pecans and feta

Farro with beets, pecans and feta

Sorry this is a bit late it will be worth the wait, believe me. The inspiring recipe that was chosen at random this time is from Emily, and is posted on her lovely blog Em-i-lis,  it’s a gorgeous healthful dish with my favorite grain, Farro, my favorite cheese feta and favorite nut pecan, win, win.  This recipe is so delicious, a great side dish or a main. I love Emily’s blog, she posts every day like clockwork and it’s what I read every morning with my cup of coffee. The recipe is Farro With Beets, Feta and Pecans. It’s truly inspired, she ties all those gorgeous ingredients together with a dressing of herbs, olive oil and lemon. It’s fantastic and really makes the other ingredients sing but the star of the show for me is the pecans, they are toasted and coated in maple syrup and a pinch of cayenne. Really you have to try this, it’s so good. I didn’t have golden beets so I used red, I don’t think it makes a difference really, also I think this is a genius move on Emily’s part, she gently heats the olive oil and then adds the herbs so they don’t cook really but are warmed and infused in the oil and adding some lemon makes for one of the most delicious dressings I’ve had in a long time. You can play with the herbs, don’t like sage add another herb, I think this would be delicious with any combination.

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Now for dessert, oh this is beyond delicious folks the recipe comes from Michelle@Giraffes Can Bake, I was given a choice of two recipes and since I am a big big fan of ice cream, any time of year I chose the Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream. This ice cream is so simple, no churning, it’s a semi freddo, no cooking, and it’s so creamy and totally dreamy. It’s perfect for this time of year, it doesn’t have to be hot or warm outside to enjoy ice cream right? I followed the recipe except for the spice I added the Vanilla Autumn Spice Mix I made last time from Strictly Delicious. This ice cream tastes just like pumpkin Pie, I think it would be AMAZING sandwiched in between two oatmeal or ginger cookies. That would be a phenomenal ice cream sandwich.

Fall Farro Salad For Fiesta Friday #35

Warm Farro Salad

Warm Fall Farro Salad

Wow, that’s a lot of F’s Fall Farro Salad For Fiesta Friday. I tested this recipe as a community pick on Food52 and it’s so delicious I wanted to make more and share with all my friends at Fiesta Friday. This warm or room temperature salad is so good for you and the flavor is amazing. I am a big Farro fan, love it in salads and think about it with roasted cauliflower and brussells sprouts, pancetta, feta cheese and other vegetatables toss it in a simple lemon,herb and olive oil dressing, The combination is absolutely heavenly. It’s from one of the very talented cooks on Food52 Wendy@healthier kitchen. This can be made vegetarian or vegan by simply omitting the pancetta and using vegetable stock or water instead of chicken stock also if vegan of course omit the feta cheese, but you know that. I opted for the vegetarian version and omitted the pancetta and cooked the farro in salted water, the only reason was that I didn’t have any pancetta and honestly, the salad is so good as it was I didn’t miss it at all. Note: Don’t skimp on the lemon I halved the recipe and still used the whole lemon, it adds such a bright delicious flavor also I used dried marjoram in place of the oregano.

This Friday Angie@the novice gardener has enlisted the help of two very talented ladies. Prudy@butter basil and breadcrumbs and Naina@spiceinthecity. With these two talented and lovely co hosts this promises to be one heck of a party, you must check out the food, what an array of delicious dishes. Join in, it’s fun!!

Fall Farro Salad

Serves 8 – 10
1 large head cauliflower, cut up into small florets (I sometimes do this with brussels sprouts in addition – they cook more quickly so only roast them about 15 or so minutes)
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch salt
4 cups low or no sodium added chicken (or vegetable if you want to keep it vegetarian) stock
4 cups water
about 1 pounds farro, rinsed
4 ounces pancetta, diced (omit if you’re keeping this vegetarian)
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 large stalk celery, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (or even marjoram if you’ve got it)
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
juice of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup best quality olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
about 1 cups crumbled feta, spread over top
Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Toss the cut up cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Ziploc bag or large bowl. Make sure all pieces are lightly coated with olive oil. Spread cauliflower in a single layer in a shallow baking dish or half sheet pan. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over cauliflower.
Let cauliflower roast, stirring and turning pieces occasionally, until tender and golden brown, about 25 – 35 minutes.
While cauliflower roasts, bring the stock and water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Once the stock boils, add the rinsed farro and stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until tender, about 20 – 25 minutes. Drain farro, and set aside in a large serving bowl.
Meanwhile, in a large saute pan over medium heat, saute the diced pancetta unitl it darkens and gets a little crispy. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and carrot has softened, about 10 minutes. You might have to lower the burner to medium-low if the onion is starting to crispen. Season vegetables with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Once cooked, add onion mixture to the farro in the serving bowl.
Add the cooked cauliflower to the serving bowl.
Add parsley, oregano and half the chives to the serving bowl.
Add lemon juice and olive oil to serving bowl and mix contents gently, but thoroughly. Taste for salt and pepper and add if necessary.
Garnish with remaining chives and feta.
Can be served warm or room temperature.

So good and good for you

So good and good for you

2 Recipes Eating Clean And Special Walnuts For Fiesta Friday #33

Fiesta Friday

Fiesta Friday

Eating clean, I’ve heard the term but never really grasped what it means, it’s quite simple really, read about it here in an article on Cooking Light, in a nutshell you eat unprocessed whole foods, nothing new really we should all eat like that, the term is new but not the concept.  I receive emails from Martha Stewart living and really love some of the recipes from her site, I always have admired Martha’s business acumen and respect how she has built her empire and she also has some amazing recipes. This particular email had recipes that focus on eating clean, the recipes are always simple and are prepared on video by Shira Bocar.  The salad contains Tuscan Kale (use tuscan its more tender when eaten raw), apples, beets and walnuts with a dressing made from avocado, white wine vinegar,  dijon mustard and oil. I don’t have a mandolin which is what you are supposed to use to cut the beets paper thin, so as a result my beets were a bit too thick and raw beets really need to be thin, next time I will roast my beets for a little while and then slice,or get over my mandolin phobia and get one of those.

In the same email there was a recipe (I guess you can call it that) for broiling broccoli rabe and chick peas. This was a revelation for me, I always steamed it and the florets become overcooked while the stems are still hard and stringy, I wanted to give this a try, the key is for the broccoli rabe and chickpeas to be dry so plan in advance and let your vegetables and chickpeas drain and dry completely. I must say I love Martha’s clean eating video’s here is the one with the broccoli rabe. Shira serves with some fresh ricotta drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.

The walnuts in the salad were a gift from Patty Nguyen, I love her blog, she is a photographer and a great cook, she also has the most adorable little dog. She came to NYC to visit her brother and we met at the Brooklyn Flea, These walnuts (Chandler walnuts)  were hand cracked and are amazing, fresh and delicious.  I told Patty I would use them in a recipe and post it, so Patty,  here it is. Thank you for the delicious walnuts and I so enjoyed meeting you.

Chandler walnuts

Chandler walnuts

I am bringing both of these healthful vegetable dishes to the party, Angie@The Novice Gardener is hosting this gathering of friends and great cooks, imagine the line up with so many great and talented cooks preparing the food, The co hosts this week are Andrea @Cooking with a Wallflower and Sylvia @Superfoodista enjoy the clean food my dear friends.

Creamy kale salad

Creamy kale salad

Creamy Kale Salad

Ingredients
1 ripe avocado, halved, seed removed
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (You could also use lemon juice) I added an extra tbs of vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons walnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil (I used walnut oil)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 bunch kale (8 oz.), stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 small red beet, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a golden beet also)
1 sweet, crisp apple, cored and cut into thin wedges
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
Directions
Combine avocado, vinegar, mustard, and oil in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. (It will be thick.) Season with salt and pepper.
Combine kale, beets, apple, and walnuts in a large bowl. Toss with avocado dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Suggestion: Add Farro, freekeh or some whole grain to the salad, it will be filling and delicious.

salad

salad

ready for the broiler

ready for the broiler

Broccoli Rabe and chickpeas

1 bunch broccoli rabe cleaned and trimmed (Be sure to keep the leaves, they crisp beautifully in the broiler)

1 can chick peas drained and dried

6 tbs olive oil (If you use 2 small sheet pans 3 tbs per tray)

thinly sliced garlic 2 cloves

salt

Really important to make sure your broccoli rabe and chick peas are dry, moisture is the enemy for this dish Place dry broccoli rabe on sheet pan, don’t over crowd. Add the chickpeas and garlic. Spoon or drizzle oil and massage into the broccoli rabe and chick peas, sprinkle with salt and place in heated broiler for 2 minutes, take out of the oven and turn the broccoli and place back in the oven for another 2 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.NOTE: I washed and dried my broccoli rabe and chickpeas the day before I made the dish, just bagged and refrigerated and they were perfectly dry. I think it depend on your oven how long you leave in to broil. I found that after the prescribed 4 minutes in the broiler the broccoli rabe was still quite raw a bit too crunchy, it is probably my oven, I’m sure in the Martha Stewart test kitchen they have commercial grade ovens that have more BTU’s than mine. So I put it in an extra 6 minutes. It was done perfectly, a little toothsome but still tender. So the cooking time will vary.

ready to eat

ready to eat