Hatch Chile and Lemon Rice Salad

Hatch chile and Lemon Rice Salad

Hatch chile and lemon rice salad 2 Hatch Chile and Lemon Rice SaladI’ve got a little “hatch chile fever” going on at the moment so hang in there. This should be the last hatch recipe for a while.. I think icon smile Hatch Chile and Lemon Rice Salad This Hatch Chile and Lemon Rice salad has been on my mind for a while. Last winter when I had no fresh hatch chiles!!! and my frozen stash had dwindled to almost nothing, I was thinking about this salad. So I  made some notes and filed it away to await my new supply of hatch chiles.  So you see, I kinda had to make this salad – and it was sooo tasty I wanted to share it!!!

Hatch chile and lemon rice salad 3 Hatch Chile and Lemon Rice Salad

I think you are really going to like this one –  it’s sweet, sour, crunchy and well,  punchy… there is a lot going on with this salad – chiles, bell peppers, zucchini, avocado and corn – which is just the way I like it.  If you’ve taken a peek at the recipe, don’t freak out and the long list of ingredients because this Hatch Chile and Lemon Rice Salad is really two different recipes. The first is for a Lemon Relish  – which btw, is terrific on fish and chicken so I’d make a double batch – use it with chicken or fish one night and use the rest in this salad for later in the week.

And since  fall has officially started and we are all returning to “the routine” anything I can “make once, eat twice” goes to the top of my list of things to make –  like this Hatch Chile and Lemon Rice Salad.

Hatch Chile and Lemon Rice Salad 1 Hatch Chile and Lemon Rice Salad

If you haven’t gotten your supply of  roasted Hatch Chiles yet, you still have time to head out to a chile roast in your area – here’s a handy list from Melissa’s Produce to help you find a “chile roast” near you!!!!

Hatch Chile and Lemon Rice Salad
 
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Serves: 6 - 8 servings
Ingredients
  • For the relish:
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh chives
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • For the salad:
  • 1 recipe lemon relish
  • 1 cup long grain rice, cooked
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano (mexican if possible)
  • 1 tsp. Tangin
  • 1 cup roasted hatch chiles, cut into ½ inch dice
  • 1½ cups fresh corn kernels
  • 1 cup diced, seeded yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • ¾ cup minced cilantro
Instructions
  1. For the relish - Remove the zest from the lemon and add to a small mixing bowl. Slice the lemon thinly and then remove the remaining peel. Chop the pulp and add pulp and any remaining juices. Add the remaining ingredienst and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. For the salad: Cook the rice and let cool. In a large mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients except the avocado. Add the rice and the lemon relish. Stir to thoroughly combine. Fold in the cilantro and avocado and serve.

Apricot and Arugula Salad

Pickled Apricot and Arugula Salad

Pickled Apricot and Arugula Salad Apricot and Arugula SaladSchools out for summer!”… Oh, happy day!

I love teaching… and I’m always a little sad to see my students go… but I am also more than excited to have a little more free time to spend here at the Table…  and to make dishes like  this Apricot and Arugula Salad.

Cooking, reading, and a little more time to exercise… the true joys of summer in my book. But really the best thing about summer? Stone fruit.

Yup – apricots, peaches,plums, nectarines, apriplums and pluots – enough variety to keep me happily munching all summer long! And to kick things off, Melissa’s Produce sent me a gorgeous box filled with organic apricots, plum bites (cute little plums that you can eat in 1 or 2 bites) plumcots and … lychees! So I have been cooking and concocting up a storm – starting off with this refreshing and simple Apricot and Arugula Salad.

Pickled Apricot Salad 2 Apricot and Arugula Salad

 

Sweet and succulent apricots are lightly “pickled” along with some sliced shallots and scattered over some lightly dressed arugula and garnished with burrata, some freshly grated pepper and a little fleur de sel.  This is the kind of food I’ll be making all summer long – easy, uncomplicated and yet bursting with flavor.

With fruit this good, you can keep it simple – and isn’t that really what summer is about?

 

Apricot and Arugula Salad
 
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the burrata I used was on the smaller side - each ball was about 2½ inches in diameter. So, depending upon how large the balls are (or how much you love burrata!) cut them into ½ or ¼ sized pieces! Salt - I used Fleur de sel but you could use grey salt as well - for this salad you definitely want the "crunch factor" that a salt like Fleur de sel brings.
Serves: 4 side salads
Ingredients
  • 8 Melissa's Organic Apricots, pitted and sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1½ Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 2 balls burrata cheese, each cut in half or quarters if large.
  • 1 Tbsp. high quality extra virgin olive oil
  • fleur de sel
  • freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine the apricots with the white balsamic vinegar and toss gently to coat. In another small bowl, combine the shallots with the white wine vinegar and toss to coat with a pinch of kosher salt.
  2. Wash and dry the arugula and add to a medium sized salad bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat.
  3. Combine the apricots and the shallots along with any remaining vinegar.
  4. Divide the arugula among 4 plates. Evenly divide the apricots and the shallots, drizzling any remaining vinegar over the arugula.
  5. Place a piece of burrata on each salad.
  6. Sprinkle each salad with the fleur de sel and with the freshly ground pepper.

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Apple Butter Vinaigrette

Melissa's Squash

Roasted Delicata Arugula and Couscous Salad 2002 Edit Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Apple Butter Vinaigrette

Thanksgiving is almost here and it’s all about the pumpkin… pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin bars…. and of course, who could forget “pumpkin juice”?  But there is far more to winter squash than just pumpkin – and I am not just talking about table decorations! Yup, there is a whole world of delicious, nutritious winter squashes … and lots of delicious ways to use them. So, when Melissa’s Produce sent these beautiful squashes I knew exactly what I wanted to make first –  this Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Apple Butter Vinaigrette!

Melissas Squash Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Apple Butter Vinaigrette

I know, I get it … pumpkin is so… well, easy. You grab a can, can opener and viola, you’ve got ready to use pumpkin! But as my mom used to say “if it’s worth having it’s worth working for”. But believe it or not, many of these winter squashes are much easier to prepare than you might think! Like Delicata squash… just wash, slice and bake or roast – takes no more time than slice and bake cookies. Honestly.   Which makes  Roasted Delicata Squash almost as easy to make  as opening a can of pumpkin! It’s delicious on it’s own a a side dish but since I’m a fan of mixing squash with other things,   I love it in this  Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Apple Butter Vinaigrette. I’ve been “noshing” on this for lunch the last few days – but  it would be delicious served alongside a simple roasted chicken or pork tenderloin.. and definitely alongside that Thanksgiving Turkey!

Roasted Delicata Arugula and Couscous Salad 2013 Edit Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Apple Butter Vinaigrette

And speaking of Thanksgiving ….check out these  new, beautiful baskets from Melissa’s Produce! I am a huge fan of these baskets – they make a terrific hostess gift. Going somewhere else for Thanksgiving? Well,  I can pretty much  guarantee that any host/hostess would be thrilled with one of these baskets… and with all the holidays coming up, these baskets are the ideal gift for anyone on your list who doesn’t need or want more “stuff”!! Screen Shot 2013 11 12 at 9.44.48 AM 300x294 Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Apple Butter Vinaigrette  If you are looking for other ways to use Delicata squash, here  are some other great recipes from some of my favorite bloggers!

Roasted Squash Blossom Casserole from My Man’s Belly

Autumn Apple, Quinoa and Butternut Squash Salad from She’s Cookin

Stuffed Delicata Squash from Make Mine Lemon

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Apple Butter Vinaigrette
 
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The couscous I used has orzo, baby garbanzo beans and quinoa in it - if you don't have access to a Trader Joes, you can easily use plain Israeli couscous for this salad. For the pecans, I used the sweet and spicy pecans from Trader Joe's - but toasted pecans or candied pecans would be delicious!
Serves: 4 - 6 servings
Ingredients
  • Vinaigrette:
  • 2 Tbsp. apple butter
  • 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. curry powder
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Salad:
  • 2 medium delicata squash
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 cups arugula
  • ½ cup Trader Joe's Harvest Blend couscous OR Israeli couscous, cooked and drained.
  • ½ dried cherries
  • ½ cup spicy or candied pecans
Instructions
  1. Directions for the Vinaigrette: Combine the apple butter, vinegar and curry powder and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Pre heat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray. Cut the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Flip the squash over (cut side down) and slice into ½ inch thick slices. Place slices on the sheet pan and brush with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast squash in the oven for 8 - 10 minutes. Using a spatula, turn squash slices over and roast for another 7 - 8 minutes or until the squash is browned and tender. Remove pan from the oven and cool.
  4. In a large salad bowl, combine the couscous and the arugula. Pour the vinaigrette over and toss. Divide salad among 4 plates and garnish with the squash, cherries and pecans.

 

Fried Egg and Frisee Salad

Poached-Egg-and-Frisee-Salad

Poached Egg and Frisee Salad 4 Fried Egg and Frisee Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Are you feeling lucky?”

For years, I’d always think about this quote from Dirty Harry when thinking about serving some of my favorite egg based dishes like this Poached Egg and Frisee salad to friends and family. Although I love the oozy goodness of poached, fried eggs I didn’t love the risk involved– and as someone who works in the food industry I am all too aware of the risks of salmonella – and as we have seen recently in the news, Salmonella is still a concern.  Organic, free range, conventional, etc., etc. it doesn’t matter – undercooked eggs have the potential of carrying Salmonella. Is a bummer – and meant that I pretty much scrapped poached, fried, eggs and raw meringues from my “friends and family” menus.

Poached Egg and Frisee Salad 2 Fried Egg and Frisee Salad

 

But I no longer have to … and neither do you thanks to safest choice eggs. A few years ago I came across  “Safest Choice Eggs”, the first pasteurized in shell egg on the market. To say that I was ecstatic is a wee bit of an understatement.  All those wonderful dishes that I’d scrapped from my menus – like this Fried Egg and Frisee Salad, Baked Alaska, Chocolate Mousse, and Shirred Eggs could now be back on the menu!!!

So what exactly are Safest Choice Eggs? They are regular eggs that, through Safest Choice’s patented process, are pasteurized within their shells – which effectively kills all the bacteria without cooking the egg.

 

As my inner geek says “is that cool, or what?”

Poached Egg and Frisee Salad 3 Fried Egg and Frisee Salad

 

I’ve been using Safest Choice eggs for several years now and I absolutely love them – they cook up beautifully and are perfect for any dish that uses eggs and especially those dishes where the eggs aren’t fully  cooked – like this Fried Egg and Frisee Salad.

Speaking of salad, I’ve been enjoying this one as of late – fall hasn’t quite arrived here in So Cal but my craving for heartier foods has and this Fried Egg and Frisee salad definitely  satisfies my hunger for heartier foods!

This is sponsored post by Safest Choice Eggs – however, as always all opinions are entirely my own!

 

 

Fried Egg and Frisee Salad
 
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Ingredients
  • Fried Egg and Frisee Salad
  • 1 head frisee
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce
  • 1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup diced pancetta
  • 4 Safest Choice Eggs
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • Dressing:
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp. anchovy paste
  • 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. herbs de provence
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. For the dressing: Combine the lemon juice and vinegar in a small bowl. Add the Dijon mustard,anchovy paste and herbs de provence. Whisk. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking the mixture. Add the pepper and whisk to incorporate. Taste and add additional salt if desired. Set dressing aside.
  2. For the Salad: Wash and dry the greens and tear into bite sized pieces and place in a large salad bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a small, non- stick skillet, cook the pancetta until it is brown and crispy, about 4 minutes. Place on a paper towel to drain and set aside.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, crack each Safest choice egg into a small bowl. When the water is boiling, stir the water with a long handled spoon rapidly. Slide an egg from the bowl into the water and reduce the heat so that the water is simmering. Cook until the white solidifies – this should take about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the egg from the water and drain on a paper towel. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
  5. To assemble the salad: Toss the greens with the dressing and divide among four plates. Sprinkle the reserved pancetta on top and top each salad with an egg. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
  6. Notes: Both the dressing and the eggs can be made a day ahead. To serve, heat a shallow pan of water until the water is simmering. Gently lower the eggs into the water to re heat – about 2 minutes total. Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs and drain on a paper towel and proceed with the recipe.

Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese VinaigretteYesterday was the “official” start of the grilling season (ok, maybe nobody else thinks so, but in my book THAT is when it starts!). In my house, that means 3 or 4 nights a week dinner will be something off the grill… with the appropriate sides, of course… which for me generally means salad – like this  Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette.  Winter, spring, summer, fall… it doesn’t matter there is almost always salad somewhere in the day – and many times more than once. I freely admit it, I am a “salad junky”!

But during the summer, I like my salads to be a little lighter… just some  greens, a nice “accent” vegetable and a zippy vinaigrette. Tossed altogether in a bowl and I am a happy camper. This Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette hits all those points – crisp romaine, some lightly pickled red onions (even if you don’t like onions on your salad, trust me, you will like these!!) and a zesty blue cheese vinaigrette. All I need is a nice piece of grilled fish or a steak…  and dinner is served  at Chez Buchanan! (Ok, a potato or some grilled bread wouldn’t be amiss here either… not to mention, ahem a nice glass of wine!).

Now, you might not have noticed it, but “I’s got some new props” in my photo!! I recently participated in  the Food Blogger Prop Swap, hosted by Alyssa of www.EverydayMaven.com and Faith of www.AnEdibleMosaic.com, I sent a box of props to a food blogger and received a box in return!” Seriously, how cool is that???

Romaine salad with Blue Cheese vinaigrette BC2 Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

It was a blast… not only picking out some props to send but getting a fabulous collection of new props like this gorgeous pink plate and napkin  from Anne of “From my sweet heart” a drool worthy dessert blog ( her Snickerdoodle Cheesecake is on my “must make” list!!).

And wait till you see what other “goodies” I got…. my food has never looked this  good… Thanks Anne!!!

Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
 
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Yes, I know, you don't "like" anchovy paste. But trust me, you won't taste it ! The anchovy paste is critical in this vinaigrette - it adds a depth of flavor that is what makes this dressing so good. The onions need to marinate for about 15 minutes so if you've made the vinaigrette ahead of time (which you absolutely can!) just start on the onions and let them marinate while you get the rest of your meal organized!
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp. anchovy paste
  • 1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced into a paste
  • 2 tsp. blue cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • ½ red onion,peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, washed with leaves separated
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
Instructions
  1. In a large salad bowl, combine the sliced red onion and 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar. Season with salt and toss. Set aside. While onions are marinating, make the vinaigrette. In a medium sized bowl, combine the 3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar, anchovy paste, worcestershire sauce, garlic and 2 tsp. blue cheese. Whisk together until cheese is incorporated (you may have some small lumps remaining and that's ok!). Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and season to taste with fresh ground pepper and salt.
  2. In a large salad bowl, combine the romaine with the marinated onion slices. Drizzle ½ of the dressing on and toss to combine. Taste and add more dressing if desired. Sprinkle crumbled blue cheese on top. Serve!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Beets and Siracha Dressing

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Roasted Sweet Potato and Beet Salad with Siracha Dressing Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Beets and Siracha DressingJust when I thought it couldn’t get any better… Melissas Produce went and introduced NEW produce collections. The newest additions are – Organic Purification Boxes! Melissas graciously sent me the Organic Purification Box B to play with… and play I did!  Overflowing with grape tomatoes, leaf lettuce, spinach, romaine, beets, sweet potato, cucumber, ginger, garlic, apple, kiwi and orange, these  boxes  are a  bonanza for juicing – or  in my  case,  for making salads – like this Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Beets and Siracha dressing.

Screen Shot 2013 05 07 at 11.07.10 AM Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Beets and Siracha Dressing

 

If you are like  me, you can’t always make it to your weekly farmer’s market,. Well, Melissas has solved that problem –  the “market” can come to you!!! Filled with beautiful, fresh and nutritious vegetables these Organic Purification boxes area a terrific and easy way to add more vegetables to your diet. So what can you do with Melissa’s Organic Purification Boxes? The possibilities are almost endless as I discovered when I started making a list of everything I could make with all the ingredients in the box!

Looking for some ideas? Well, here are some delicious ways to use those veggies! The tomatoes and Romaine would be perfect in this Romaine Salad with Hatch Chiles (making use of those Melissa’s Hatch chiles you roasted and froze from last season). The kiwi would be terrific in this Strawberry and Kiwifruit Pavlova and the beets and sweet potatoes? This  Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Beets and Siracha dressing is just the thing. Tender roasted sweet potatoes and beets combined with an orange siracha dressing, the salad is sweet, spicy and  chock full of vitamin A and C, fiber, iron and calcium.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Beet Salad with Siracha DressingBC2 Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Beets and Siracha Dressing

Like Melissa’s other fabulous produce boxes, these Organic Purification boxes are available for $25.00 and include delivery within Southern California (if you live outside So Cal you can still order the boxes however the delivery cost will be higher due to shipping). I think this would make a terrific Mother’s Day gift, or a gift for a recent graduate… or even better,  order these for yourself – truly one of the  best “gifts”  you can give yourself and your family – fresh, delicious and nutritious produce!

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Beets and Siracha Dressing
 
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The beet and sweet potato can be roasted 1 day ahead. For the best flavor, make the dressing shortly before serving.
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 Melissas Organic Beet
  • 1 Melissas Organic Sweet Potato
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided use
  • 1 Melissas Organic Orange, juiced
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 2 Tsp. Siracha sauce
  • ¼ cup fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the stems from the beets and wrap in aluminum foil and place on a sheet pan. Roast the beets in the oven for approximately 40 - 50 minutes or until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife. Cool.. When cool, peel and cut into slices.
  2. Spray a sheet pan lightly with cooking spray. Peel the sweet potato and cut into 1 inch chunks. Place on the sheet pan and toss with 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil. Roast the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes or until tender and lightly caramelized. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl combine the orange juice and the siracha sauce. Whisk to combine. Drizzle in the siracha sauce and whisk. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the beets and sweet potatoes between 2 salad plates. Drizzle with the siracha dressing and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the goat cheese and cilantro. Serve

 

Farro Salad with Tangerines and Dried Blueberries

Shasta-Gold-Tangerines-#3
Farro Salad with Tangerines and Dried Blueberries Farro Salad with Tangerines and Dried Blueberries

Farro Salad with Tangerines and Dried Blueberries

Welcome to Citruspalooza – my own little celebration of all things citrus! As you know, citrus is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. Given my love affair not only with citrus but with citrus based cocktails, I started things off with an  Orange Blossom Cocktail  – the perfect antidote to this  cold and wintry weather. In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, I decided to get you off to a good start with this  Farro Salad with Tangerines and Dried Blueberries. Speaking of starting, last week at this time I was on the road to the Central Valley of California with Melissa’s Produce to visit some of the growers that work with Melissas .These folks are growing some seriously gorgeous citrus… especially tangerines… and although  these tangerines are cute, these aren’t the “cuties” you find in the market!

Shasta Gold Tangerines 3 Farro Salad with Tangerines and Dried Blueberries

No, these tangerines are something entirely different… in fact, Melissa’s is carrying a  new variety that is just hitting the markets now.. but you’ll have to wait until Wednesday for that one.. and trust me it is not only worth waiting for, but finding in your local market… but more on that on Wednesday!

And now, on with the citrus tour!

Bright and early on Tuesday morning,  we headed out  for the  Phillips Ranch, home of Melissa’s Shasta Gold Tangerines. As we walked among the trees, Doug Phillips, owner of Phillips Ranch tutored us on tangerines and what makes Melissa’s Shasta Gold Tangerines so special. Larger than most tangerines, the Shasta is prized  not only  for it’s gorgeous color and fragrance, but for it’s perfect balance of sweet and tart. Walking among the trees, we got down to the hard work of “research” – picking and peeling a few (ahem) tangerines. They were, in a word, extraordinary… with a  clean, deep tangerine flavor that is beautifully  balanced  between sweet and tart. Melissa’s Shasta Gold tangerines are, as Doug Phillips puts it “good eating fruit”.. but don’t stop there! That clean, bright tangerine flavor pairs wonderfully with all kinds of food – like this   Farro Salad with Tangerines and Blueberries.. or in a Tangerine Gimlet… or paired with some sliced Melissa’s Steamed Beets and a light vinaigrette.. the possibilities are truly endless. The only challenge is making sure that you buy enough!!!

Disclaimer: Melissa’s Produce provided transportation, lodging and meals for this trip. However, all opinions are strictly my own!!

Melissas Shasta Gold Tangerines 2 Farro Salad with Tangerines and Dried Blueberries

Melissas Shasta Gold Tangerines Farro Salad with Tangerines and Dried Blueberries

Farro Salad with Tangerines and Dried Blueberries
 
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This salad can be made a day ahead. Keep refrigerated and bring to room temperature before serving.
Serves: 4 - 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Melissas dried farro
  • 4 Melissas Shasta Gold Tangerines
  • ½ cup Melissas Dried Blueberries
  • ½ cup minced fresh parsley
  • ½ cup sliced fresh mint
  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • 12 mint leaves for garnish (optional)
  • Dressing:
  • ¾ cup fresh squeezed Melissas Shasta Gold Tangerines ( about 2 tangerines)
  • 2 tsp. orange blossom honey
  • ¾ tsp. garam masala
  • ¼ tsp. white pepper
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. For Dressing: Place tangerine juice in a small saucepan and boil until juice is reduced by half. Cool.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cooled tangerine juice and honey. Whisk to combine. Add the garam masala, pepper and salt. Whisk until salt has dissolved. Whisk in the olive oil. Set dressing aside. (Dressing can be made 1 day ahead - cover and refrigerate and bring to room temperature before using).
  3. For Salad:
  4. Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a medium sized saucepan. Season water with salt. Add the farro and continue to boil for 16 - 18 minutes or until farro is cooked through (farro should be chewy but not hard). Drain farro and rinse with cold water. Drain and set aside.
  5. Over a small bowl, peel and section two of the tangerines. Set aside.
  6. In a large bowl combine the farro, tangerine sections, dried blueberries, parsley and mint. Drizzle the dressing over and toss to combine. Divide salad among bowls and garnish with pistachios and mint leaves if using.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

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A few months ago you might remember I was invited by Dole Salads to tour the Dole salad fields up in Monterrey, CA. I love these trips not only because I have the opportunity to learn more about food, but also because of all the amazing people I meet – and the Dole trip was no different! On the trip I had the pleasure of  getting to know  to Sharon Palmer, RD and we got to talking about… what else, food!!! During our conversation, Sharon mentioned that  she would soon have a new book coming out “The Plant Powered Diet” and I said I would love to review it! True to her word, Sharon graciously sent me a copy when it was released. As I was reading the book, I was inspired to re create this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad  from True Food Kitchen – and I knew I wanted to share both the salad and the book with you!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad BC2 Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

It’s no secret that nutrition is now a hot topic and like any popular topic the web is full of all kinds of information – it seems these days “everyone” has something to say on the topic whether they are a trained professional or not. If you are  looking for reliable advice on how to change your  diet to a more healthful one this presents a problem – where do you go for reliable information?  A recent google search turned up 110 MILLION hits under “advice for healthy eating” alone. So where in the world do you start?

Start with this book.

Screen Shot 2012 10 08 at 3.54.57 PM1 Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

The “Plant Powered Diet” isn’t just another book about the benefits of eating a more “healthy diet”. What sets this book apart  is that Sharon presents the basics of human nutrition in an easy to understand way and backs up her recommendations  with scientifically based research.  More importantly, the book is filled with strategies on how exactly to do that in a way that is “doable” whether you are a vegan, vegetarian or an omnivore like me!  What I loved most about the book  though is Sharon’s approach – reading it, you feel that you are having a conversation with Sharon. Reading it,  you can’t help but get excited about eating a more plant based diet and Sharon includes 75 delicious recipes to help you get started!

So if you are looking to learn a little bit more about nutrition and how to develop a more plant centered eating plan, I strongly recommend you get a copy of “The Plant Powered Diet” – it is one that you will refer to over and over again.

Although this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad  isn’t in Sharon’s book, I thought it was a perfect example of what the plant based diet is all about. As you probably know by now, I LOVE  main course salads and frequently eat them for lunch and dinner. Lately, I’ve been making a lot of salads like this Quinoa Mediterranean Salad – paired with a side of fruit it’s the perfect lunch that I can eat at my desk or pack up and take with me on the road!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa (I used red)
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 cups english or persian cucumbers, chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes ( I used an heirloom mix)
  • 2 cups green beans (I used a mix of green and yellow wax beans)
  • 4 cups arugula
  • ½ cup marcona almonds
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¾ cup kalamata olives
  • Vinaigrette
  • 6 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh oregano, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, white wine vinegar and a large pinch of salt. Whisk in the honey and dijon mustard, lemon zest and organo. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk until the dressing is smooth. Taste. Add additional salt and/or pepper to taste.
  2. Set aside - dressing can be made 4 hours ahead - cover and refrigerate. Let come to room temperature before using.
  3. For salad: Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Place the quinoa in a sieve and rinse under running water (if your quinoa is already pre rinsed you can skip this step). Add the quinoa to the boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 - 8 minutes until the quinoa is still firm to the bite. Drain quinoa and rinse with cold water.
  4. NOTE: This is NOT the usual method for making quinoa and results in a slightly chewier, firmer grain which I prefer in my salads. If you prefer a lighter, fluffier quinoa, reduce the amount of water by 1 cup and simmer for approximately 14 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.
  5. Bring another pot of water to a boil and add a teaspoon of salt. Cook the beans for 3 - 4 minutes until tender but still firm to the bite. Remove the pot from the heat and drain the beans. Rinse the beans with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain on paper towels while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, arugula, almonds and olives and toss to combine. Sprinkle the quinoa over and toss again. Drizzle salad with ½ of the vinaigrette. Taste, adding more vinaigrette if needed. Sprinkle with the feta cheese and serve!!

 

Starkrimson Pear and Fennel Salad

Starkrimson-pear-and-Endive-Salade

Happy Fall Everyone!!!

Or at least that is what the calendar says… my thermometer however is saying something different … low eighties for the foreseeable future… (sigh)

So, I guess I won’t be pulling out my dutch oven anytime soon …..

But even though the temperature feels more like summer than fall, that doesn’t mean I can’t start enjoying fall flavors.. like this Starkrimson Pear and Fennel Salad. I know, I know for most people “fall” means squashes.. or pumpkins to be exact. But for me… it’s all about the pears and the apples. So when these gorgeous pears from Melissa’s Produce showed up on my doorstep I knew that, despite the temps outside, fall was indeed on its way!

If you’ve never had a Starkrimson pear they are worth seeking out. Sweet, juicy with a creamy texture they are a perfect “eating” pear – by themselves or as part of a cheese or charcuterie board…. or in this salad.  Pears, endive and fennel are  not only a classic combination but one of my favorites …and the perfect canvas for a sweetly spiced vinaigrette.

Although I am still craving chowders, chilis and all things braised, I think I can wait a little longer…. especially if I have a plate of this salad handy!!!

Starkrimson Pear and Fennel Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
If your orange is sweet you will probably only need 1 tsp. of the maple syrup. I generally start with 1 tsp. and add more if needed.
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 Starkrimson pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 head endive, leaves separated
  • 2 cups arugula leaves
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • Vinaigrette
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1 - 2 tsp. maple syrup
  • ½ tsp. dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch ground allspice
  • 3 Tbsp. walnut oil
  • salt to taste
  • white pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. For the vinaigrette: Combine the orange juice, zest, maple syrup, mustard, cinnamon, allspice and a large pinch of salt in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in the walnut oil and season to taste with additional salt and pepper if desired.
  2. For the salad arrange the arugula on four plates. Divide the remaining ingredients between the four plates and drizzle with the vinaigrette.