LEBANESE LENTIL SALAD AND A COOKBOOK REVIEW!

Not too long ago I reviewed a cookbook by a fellow member of The Secret Recipe Club, remember? Well, here I am once again to share with you a recipe and a little overview of the beautiful cookbook just published by my friend Susan, Simply Vegetarian Cookbook. She is also a former-secreter, someone I used to have a ton of fun with “behind the curtains.” Good times, good times indeed!  I miss those days, although we are still in touch through our blogs and Facebook. I actually prepared two recipes to feature, so I tossed a coin (literally) to pick this one. The second will go as I often do, as a teaser. No recipe, just a photo. I’ve been called a teaser more than once in my lifetime. There are worse adjectives out there, so I accept the label with a smile.

LEBANESE LENTIL SALAD
(slightly modified from Susan’s Simply Vegetarian Cookbook)

3 cups vegetable broth or water
1 cup French green lentils
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups peeled and diced cucumber
1½ cups halved cherry tomatoes
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring the broth (or water) to a boil in a medium pot. Add the lentils and ½ teaspoon of salt. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and the liquid is absorbed. If there is any liquid remaining, drain it.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sherry vinegar and Dijon mustard. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Add the cooked lentils, cucumber, tomatoes, feta cheese, and mint, and toss to coat. Season to taste with the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and the pepper.

Serve at room temperature.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: There are many types of lentils out there. For this particular recipe (and in fact, anytime you want to make a lentil salad), it is worth searching for French green lentils (such as Puy). They hold their shape after cooking, which is what you want in a salad, nothing worse than a mushy grain mixed with crunchy veggies and dressing. I love Susan’s approach of making the dressing right in the bowl you will serve the dish, one less item to wash. I normally do that even with leafy salads. I just don’t mix everything in advance. Place the more sturdy leaves (like Romaine lettuce) at the bottom, add the other components and toss them all when we are ready to eat.

I served this colorful and flavorful salad with grilled pork tenderloin on day one. Next day leftovers were amazing for lunch, re-visited with the highly fashionable fried egg (I know, many are tired of the fried egg omnipresence, but I happen to love it).


And now it’s time for a virtual tour of Susan’s book… come with me!

and please, make sure to visit Susan’s site too

The book is organized in a very clever, non-traditional way. Chapters are organized by method of cooking instead of course, or type of food.

CHAPTER ONE: Meatless Made Easy, is a great write-up on what to consider if you’d like to either become fully vegetarian or reduce the overall intake of meat in your diet. Susan cooks and eats mostly vegetarian dishes, but her husband is a full-blown carnivore, so she includes in her recipes little final tips she calls “flexitarian tips.” How the same recipe could be served or made to include some animal protein. Pretty clever, and definitely expands the usefulness of the book. I am a full-blown omnivore, and appreciate that aspect of the book.  As I like to do in my reviews, I will pick 2 or 3 top favorite recipes from each chapter, so you can get an idea of what it’s all about.

CHAPTER TWO: NO COOK RECIPES. Tough to pick just a couple of examples. She starts with smoothies, all pretty tempting. But I think the ones that truly called my name are Mediterranean Wrap with Spicy Chickpeas (I cannot have enough chickpea recipes), White Bean Wrap with Jalapeno-Apple Slaw, and her beautiful Lemony Romaine and Avocado Salad (I actually made a departure on it).

CHAPTER THREE: THIRTY MINUTES MAX. Who does not love that type of recipe, when we work all day and come home starving? From this chapter comes the featured recipe, Lebanese Lentil Salad, which is a winner all the way! But I had my eyes set on Middle Eastern Cauliflower Steaks, and Smashed Chickpeas and Kalamata Pasta (I considered making it with zoodles for a low-carb version full of flavor).

CHAPTER FOUR: FIVE INGREDIENTS. Another non-fuss chapter, which makes her book so appealing, you just know it will be an easy culinary project to get the meal ready. My favorites: Baked Sweet Potato Latkes (I know you just drooled), Delicata Squash and Black Bean Quesadillas (my favorite squash that I should bring home more often), Caprese Avocado Grilled Pitas (talk about creativity!).

CHAPTER FIVE: ONE-POT AND SKILLET. I went crazy for the recipes in this chapter, truly difficult to select just a few. I loved the idea of her Spicy Skillet Eggs, Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice, and Crispy Black Bean Burgers. Just to share a few.

CHAPTER SIX: SHEET PAN AND BAKING DISH. Chapter opens with a huge contender, I almost made it to feature today: Kofta-Style Chickpea “Meatball” Pitas. Curried Cauliflower Tetrazzini, and Baked Cheesy Broccoli with Quinoa make my top list too.

CHAPTER SEVEN: SLOW-COOKER and PRESSURE COOKER. Well, those are dear to my heart. I love using both cooking gadgets, and have a huge collection of recipes waiting to be made. My top choices from this chapter include: Tomato-Mushroom Ragu, Butternut Squash and Barley Risotto (these two are made in a slow-cooker). For the pressure cooker, I will go with Chickpea and Coconut-Curry Soup and Tomato Biryani.

CHAPTER EIGHT: KITCHEN STAPLES. Now that’s an interesting chapter. I confess that in every single cookbook that includes this type of chapter, I don’t look twice. I am never that interested in making a bunch of sauces or dressings and saving them in the fridge. Just not my style of cooking. What ends up happening is that I forget all about them and next thing I know, they get moldy, and into the trash they go. Now that I confessed my capital sin, let me say that I was pleasantly surprised by my reaction to Susan’s Kitchen Staples. Lemony Breadcrumbs, Miso Butter, Smooth and Creamy Hummus, Tahini Miso Dressing? I want them all… Go figure.

She ends the book with a big reference guide to cooking all things veggie. Quite useful if you are considering venturing more and more into this type of nutrition. A very comprehensive list, with all the details for optimal preparation.

Before I leave you, let me offer the teaser recipe. This was soooo delicious! Another colorful salad, a Lebanese Chopped Salad (from Chapter Two) with torn pita bread. The dressing involves buttermilk… I say no more. Amazing! You need the book, and you know it (wink, wink).

Susan, thanks for allowing me to publish one recipe from your beautiful book, and I wish you the best of luck with it… I can imagine the amount of work involved from the conception to the publishing of a cookbook, so congratulations are in order!

ONE YEAR AGO: Cottage Loaf

TWO YEARS AGO: Sourdough Loaf with Cranberries and Walnuts

THREE YEAR AGO: Sichuan Pork Stir-Fry in Garlic Sauce

FOUR YEARS AGO: Our Green Trip to Colorado

FIVE YEARS AGO: Ditalini Pasta Salad

SIX YEARS AGO: Celebrate Wednesday with a Thai Seafood Curry

SEVEN YEARS AGO:  Post-workout Breakfast

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Semolina Barbecue Buns

NINE YEARS AGO: Lavash Crackers

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

GREEN OLIVE SALAD

Sometimes you see a recipe and you just know it will please you. I’ve blogged about a similar version years ago, but this one is more substantial and even if you are a celery hater, you might enjoy it. My little tip: peel the celery before slicing it. It’s not that hard, just pull the strings that sit on top of the ridges, they come off easily and that unpleasant (for some) texture of stringy celery will be history.  Another twist that makes this salad special is adding the Parmigiano cheese in small chunks. Use a fork and go at it. I found this recipe over at Cookie & Kate’s blog, and made it almost on that same day.  They added garlic, I did not. Other than that, no changes.

GREEN OLIVE SALAD WITH ALMONDS, CELERY, AND PARMIGIANO
(from Cookie & Kate)

2 cups large pitted green olives, drained and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup sliced celery (from 2 to 3 medium ribs)
½ cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped
2 ounces Parmigiano cheese, crumbled with a fork or knife point
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I added one extra tablespoon before serving)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Kosher salt and red pepper flakes, to taste
Leaves from celery ribs, roughly chopped, for garnish

In a medium bowl, toss all of the ingredients except the celery leaves together. Taste, and adjust the seasonings to your preference.

Garnish with the chopped celery leaves. Refrigerate until needed. Leftovers are even better after a couple of days in the fridge. 

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This concoction not only works well as a side-dish for many types of protein, but you could slice some sourdough or simple baguette and use it as a topping, serving as appetizer before a dinner party, for instance. The flavors get more intense in a couple of days, and the almonds mellow down in texture a bit. Amazing what braces can do, I now have to worry (a lot) about texture. In fact, if you are cooking for someone wearing braces, opt for slivered almonds. They are a bit more “predictable” in terms of their crunch. When you chop whole almonds coarsely, some bits end up with incredibly sharp edges. Of course, I am aware that 99.99% of my readers don’t have to worry about it. Still, it doesn’t hurt to mention. Just in case. When I make this salad again, slivered almond will be playing…  Side note, I am almost reaching the 6 month mark of braces on a 2 year voyage, and I am so ready to be done (sigh).

ONE YEAR AGO: Coffee Macarons Dressed up to Party

TWO YEARS AGO: Blogging Hiatus

THREE YEARS AGO: Tomato Tatin

FOUR YEARS AGO: Headed to Colorado!   

FIVE YEARS AGO: Farofa Brasileira

SIX  YEARS AGO: Thai-Inspired Pork Tenderloin

SEVEN YEARS AGO: A yummy Brazilian cake: Bolo de Fuba’

EIGHT YEARS AGO:  Summer’s Tomatoes

NINE YEARS AGO: Leaving on a jet plane… 

 

 

A SPINACH SALAD TO WRITE HOME ABOUT

I know, spinach salad is not the most exciting item in the culinary world. I admit it. But this one got two very enthusiastic thumbs up from the husband, who prefers to reserve his excitement for things like a juicy T-bone steak, or falling-off-the-bone barbecue ribs. Every component helps the other one shine. Give it a try.

SPINACH SALAD WITH PEARS AND WALNUTS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

for the salad:
a bunch of spinach leaves, preferably baby spinach
a handful of walnuts, lightly toasted with a touch of salt
one or two Bartlett pears, peeled and thinly sliced
feta cheese, crumbled, amount to taste
pomegranate seeds, sprinkled with abandon

for the dressing:
3 tablespoons grape seed oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
a touch of mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together. I actually prefer to add everything but the oil, so that the salt dissolves well into the vinegar. Whisk the oil, make a nice emulsion and reserve.

Add the spinach leaves to a platter, place all other components on top. Add the dressing, toss the leaves very gently to coat.  Serve right away.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I confess to having a problem with pomegranate seeds. I cannot stop grabbing the cups full of them, sold at Dillon’s.  I know, who needs to buy that when you can get the fruit and whack it yourself? I can tell you one thing, if you could watch me performing the maneuver of getting seeds off the fruit, you would understand why I avoid doing it. Yes, I’ve tried every single “easy and efficient” method published in magazines, books, and websites. Even the one describe as “The Ultimate Trick for Pomegranate Seeds Removal.” Thanks, but no thanks.  But, whatever your method of choice, try this salad, it is really delicious, and elegant enough for company. The juicy pears, the salty feta, the nutty nuts, well… you get the picture.

ONE YEAR AGO: Karen’s Four Hour French Country Bread

TWO YEARS AGO: The Siren’s Song of the Royal Icing

THREE YEARS AGO: Blog-worthy Roasted Butternut Squash

FOUR YEARS AGO: Chocolate Currant Sourdough Loaf & Roasted Beet Hummus

FIVE YEARS AGO: Sesame and Flax Seed Sourdough

SIX YEARS AGO: Spanakopita Meatballs

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Saturday Morning Scones

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Pain de Mie au Levain

 

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

AIR-FRIED TOMATOES WITH HAZELNUT PESTO AND HALLOUMI CHEESE

No, no need to run away, you can make this in your oven if you do not have one of Lolita‘s sisters in your kitchen. But I am constantly finding reasons to use our air-fryer, and in this recipe it performed way beyond my expectations. The halloumi cheese turned out exactly the way we like it, with zero risk of burning as it often happens on the grill or even on a non-stick pan. You might be surprised that I would still handle hazelnuts without going into a hysterical fit, but it so happens that I had quite a bit leftover from  my 8th blog-anniversary cake.  I definitely need to use them up before they go rancid.  Come to think of it, I see a macaron blog post on the horizon… (wink, wink).

AIR-FRIED TOMATOES WITH HAZELNUT PESTO AND HALLOUMI CHEESE
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

for the hazelnut pesto:
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste
squeeze of lemon juice
olive oil to desired consistency

2 Roma tomatoes, sliced (about 4 slices per tomato)
Halloumi cheese, cut into thin slices
basil (I used some from grocery store, processed in a little oil)
Spring mix greens
olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to dress salad

Make the pesto by mixing the cheese, hazelnuts, parsley, salt and pepper in t a food processor. Process until smooth, then drizzle olive oil slowly until you reach the consistency you like, probably a little less than 1/3 cup should do it.

Lay the tomatoes on a baking dish, season lightly with salt, place a couple of teaspoons of the pesto on top, then lay a slice of halloumi cheese over the pesto.  Dab with a small amount of basil in oil. You can also use fresh basil if you prefer. Transfer the slices to the basket of the air-fryer, making sure to spray the basket with a little oil. Spray the tomato slices very lightly with olive oil, and cook at 390F for 10 to 12 minutes, until the halloumi cheese gets golden brown.  Carefully remove the slices and serve them over  Top with onion slices. Sprinkle with basil, red pepper, and sea salt. Transfer the assembled bites to the Air Fryer cooking basket. Drizzle with a nonstick cooking spray and cook for approximately 13 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the spring mix on a large serving platter, dress with olive oil and lemon juice, season to taste with salt and pepper. When the tomatoes are ready, carefully place them on top of the greens.  Serve right away.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: These would work great by themselves as an appetizer, I suppose. Now, as you can see from the composite photo above, the air-fryer does not make a huge batch of food. I could have fitted maybe two more tomato slices inside, but that would be maximum capacity. The air-fryer is really perfect for a couple, or a couple with a young kid. Teenagers could present a challenge, they tend to eat impressive amounts of food, if I remember correctly… Better enjoy the advantages of a very high metabolic rate, right?  But coming back to these cute little babies, they were delicious indeed. I think the combination of any  type of pesto with tomato and cheese is a classic, but it’s nice to have a change of pace with the halloumi instead of mozzarella. Halloumi is so assertive, it has a grown-up feel. I love it. Wish it was a bit cheaper, though.

I’ve seen recipes that use the air-fryer to “fry” a bunch of tomatoes cut in half, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper, and then blend them in a food processor and use as a basis for a chunky tomato sauce. Sounds pretty tasty to me, I intend to try that in the near future, but decided it was worth getting the thought out. If you try it, please let me know…

With this post, I give my first step into the 9th year of food blogging. Wow! Just wow!  Make sure to enter my giveaway in case  you missed the announcement in the previous post..

 

Grab a pin….

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

ONE YEAR AGO: Red Velvet Layered Cake

TWO YEARS AGO: Lemon-Lavender Bars

THREE YEARS AGO: Quinoa Fried Rice

FOUR YEARS AGO: Carrot Flan with Greens and Lemon Vinaigrette

FIVE YEARS AGO: The Secret Recipe Club: Granola Bars

SIX YEARS AGO:  Awesome Broccolini

SEVEN YEARS AGO:  A Twist on Pesto

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Ciabatta: Judging a bread by its holes

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SPRING MIX SALAD WITH ROASTED YAMS AND FETA CHEESE

One of our favorite salads matched two unlikely entities together: roasted carrots and avocados. I cannot praise that combination enough. I’ve made it so many times now I can pull it together it in my sleep. Now I bring you another winner, a recipe I know it will be part of our regular rotation. It is hearty without being too heavy, it could be your full meal if you add a good amount of roasted yams, but we enjoyed it with flatiron steak. Prepared sous-vide. Medium-rare, juicy, delicious. Of course, any other protein of your choice would work great. Grilled shrimp? Oh, yeah…

SPRING MIX SALAD WITH ROASTED YAMS AND FETA  CHEESE
(adapted from The Dude Diet)

2 yams, peeled and cut into cubes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8  teaspoon ground cinnamon
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces baby spring mix
¼ cup pepitas, dry toasted on a skillet until fragrant
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
for the dressing:
4 tablespoons avocado oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Heat the oven to 375 ° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place the yams in a bowl large enough to toss them around, add the 2 teaspoons of olive oil, salt, and cinnamon. Mix well, transfer them to the baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, until starting to get brown at the edges, and is cooked through, when you test with a fork.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Make the dressing inside a serving bowl, by whisking together all ingredients. Add the spring mix, roasted yams, and toasted pepitas. Mix well, and add the crumbled feta on top, right before serving.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I had never visited Serena’s blog , Domesticate Me, and fell in love with it upon my first contact. Must thank Mimi for the heads up about that site. I ended up ordering her book, The Dude Diet, and I absolutely love it. She is hilarious, but what’s even better, her recipes are great. I’ve tried a few already, and must say that her lightened up version of Chicken Parmigiana is a serious winner. It pleased my beloved, who is an expert on the subject. It is one of his favorite dishes, one he requests all the time. The whole gist of the book is making recipes that awe her guy – think cheeseburgers, mac and cheese, lasagna, enchiladas – but with a lot more restraint in terms of fat and calories. I gotta use a word I don’t care for: healthier versions. There, I said it. Without compromising flavor.  I highly recommend her book and her blog. Just keep in mind she uses very “colorful” language… If you don’t have a problem with that, get ready for a great time.

This salad is so delicious, and not at all hard to make on a weeknight. I would probably cut the yams in the morning and keep the pieces in the fridge, just to speed preparation up. Then, it’s all a matter of heating the small electric oven, roasting the yams and moving on to showtime.  I think that adding pieces of avocado will make it even better, and perhaps some hard-boiled eggs instead of cheese could work well too. The pepitas are fantastic, by the way. They kind of disappeared in the photo, but their popcorny taste and crunch is superb! Try this salad, with or without the steak. At the risk of sounding repetitive, it is a winner. Winner, winner, salad dinner!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

ONE YEAR AGO: Aloha!

TWO YEARS AGO: Fab Choc Chip Cookies

THREE YEARS AGO: Pumpkin-Chipotle and Kale Pizza

FOUR YEARS AGO: Enchiladas Suizas a la Marcela Valladolid

FIVE YEARS AGO: The Little Apple

SIX YEARS AGO: Majestic Sedona

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Watermelon-induced Daze

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

TWO DELICIOUSLY SIMPLE SALADS

With winter behind our backs (insert effervescent happy dance here), it’s time to get those big platters of salad joining us at the kitchen table. Two examples of our recent past were particularly tasty, so I share them with you today.  The first one is all about the dressing. The second brings two interesting twists. Well, at least I think they are interesting… let’s see if you agree!

BOSTON LETTUCE SALAD WITH AVOCADO DRESSING
(inspired by Pati’s Mexican Table)

2  ripe avocados halved, pitted and meat scooped out
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or more to taste
2 heads boston lettuce leaves separated, washed, dried, and torn into pieces
grape tomatoes, halved (as many as you’d like)
1/3 cup cashew nuts, lightly toasted
freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste

Combine the avocado, milk, cream, lime juice and salt in a blender and puree until smooth.  

Place the lettuce and tomatoes in a generous-sized serving bowl, and toss with the dressing until everything is lightly coated. Sprinkle with the toasted cashews, adjust seasoning with salt, add a good amount of freshly ground black pepper all over, and serve. 

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Am I the only one who finds Boston lettuce the most gorgeous green ever? I don’t think it gets the love it deserves. The leaves are smooth, delicate, and each bundle is perfect for a single serving. Nature-made portion control.

Pati’s original version is a bit more elaborate than  mine, but, even on a more austere version with only tomatoes and cashews, this dressing leaves a bright note. Creamy, almost herbal, refreshing but luscious. I had dressing leftover and next day enjoyed drizzled over… roasted carrots!  Talk about a big twist… After I polished it off, regretted not snapping a picture. But, you can use your imagination. Looked pretty nice, tasted even better!

Now, moving on to the second salad. I was watching The Kitchen on FoodTV the other day, and Sunny Anderson said that she often uses the seasoned oil left behind from grocery store marinated olives to incorporate in pesto type sauces.  I registered that idea, and then decided to use it as part of salad dressing. I had purchased a small container with olives and cubed feta, and not much was left. Olives and feta pieces became part of the salad, and the seasoned oil got whisked with some sherry vinegar. See the outcome below:

SPINACH SALAD WITH FETA, OLIVES & PROSCIUTTO CRISPS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

big bunch of baby spinach leaves
thick slices of mozzarella cheese
yellow tomatoes, cut any way you like
mixture of kalamata and feta from grocery store
seasoned oil, drained from olive mix
sherry vinegar (eye-ball, 1/3 volume of oil)
salt and pepper to taste
4 prosciutto slices

Make prosciutto crisps by laying the slices over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place in 425 F oven for a few minutes, until moisture evaporates and it gets crisp.  Flip the slices to crisp both sides.  Remove and let them cool over paper to absorb excess oil.   Reserve.

Assemble the salad with spinach leaves at the bottom of the platter, add all ingredients on top, drizzle with dressing. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Crumble pieces of cool prosciutto crisps.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  If your grocery store doesn’t sell those containers with marinated olives, move.  Just kidding. You can make the dressing yourself, just add some herbs to olive oil, such as oregano, thyme, to give it more flavor.  The prosciutto crisps are so delicious, they are actually the second interesting twist I mentioned. They offer a very nice crunch to the salad, much like nuts would do. Or those incredibly addictive crispy chow-mein goodies that are not allowed in our home. I have zero power against those. Once the can is open, it all goes downhill. Fast. Anyway, as far as indulgences go, prosciutto crisps are not that bad.  Four slices are more than enough for a salad made for two, with some bits to keep you happy while getting the salad ready.  And, by the way, speaking of indulgences, if you’d like to take this salad over the top, use burrata instead of mozzarella…

 

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

ONE YEAR AGO: In My Kitchen, April 2016

TWO YEARS AGO: Spring has Sprung with Suzanne Goin

THREE YEARS AGO: Chai Brownies

FOUR YEARS AGO: Pomegranate-Molasses Glazed Carrots

FIVE YEARS AGO: Braised Brisket with Bourbon-Peach Glaze

SIX YEARS AGO: The Real Vodka Sauce

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Spring Rolls on a Spring Day

 

 

 

 

THE JOYS OF GRATING SQUASH

Have you ever thought of eating raw butternut squash? Probably not. Well, I am here to tell you it is surprisingly good, but I cannot take credit for this mind-blowing gastronomic twist. I saw this recipe years ago watching Southern at Heart, hosted by Damaris Phillips. Made a note to try, in fact I went as far as printing the recipe and filing it in my gigantic folder entitled “To Make Soon” ideas. Forgot about it until last month, when our friend Cindy visited us and mentioned that she makes it often, it is now one of her favorite salads. That nudged me in the right direction. Now, I will not lie to you, grating butternut squash is not fun. But once you try this simple, but super flavorful salad, you will grate it wearing a smile of anticipation. Ok, that might be a bit of a stretch…

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SLAW
(adapted from Damaris Phillips)

2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 pound butternut squash, peeled, grated on a box grater
1/4 cup dried green raisins (or substitute regular raisins)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
salt and black pepper to taste

Whisk together the maple syrup, vegetable oil and sherry vinegar in a large bowl. Add the squash, green raisins, and sunflower seeds; toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature or 1 hour in the refrigerator before serving.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: For this salad, I used a new (to me) ingredient, green raisins. I first learned about them in a cookbook called Bowls of Plenty, by Carolynn Carreno. She confessed being addicted. I was lucky enough to find a bag in our special Oriental grocer in town, and brought it home. They look exactly the way a green raisin should look. Green. Not yellow, not brown. They are delicious indeed. I would say less sweet, almost lemony. Perfect for this salad, in place of dried cherries used by Damaris.  Feel free to substitute any dried fruit of your choice. All it matters in the salad is some bits of sweetness.  The raw butternut squash considerably mellows down by sitting with the dressing.  Leftovers were still very good next day, actually. And a tiny bit that was left on day three was incorporated in a stir-fry with ground turkey. I felt virtuous, even if the resulting dish was not exactly eye-candy. But, it all looked pretty nice on the first time around, as you can see below…

Dinner served: Butternut Slaw, Asparagus, and Grilled Pork Tenderloin.
Life is pretty good.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

ONE YEAR AGO: Auberge-Pecan Walnut Bread

TWO YEARS AGO: Gluten-free and Vegan Raspberry Bars

THREE YEARS AGO: Lasserre, a French Classic

FOUR YEARS AGO: Sourdough Bread with Walnuts and Dates

FIVE YEARS AGO: Braised Brisket with Bourbon-Apricot Glaze

SIX YEARS AGO: The Real Vodka Sauce

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Pork Tenderloin and Blue Cheese