INCREDIBLY SIMPLE APPLE CARPACCIO

I love to bake but we rarely have dessert at home. Only dinner parties will find us enjoying sweets after a meal. Still, when it is your perfect match’s Birthday, it is nice to close the meal with some sweetness. We wanted something light, no heavy laminated dough, no cake, no pie. I stumbled on this recipe by accident, simplified it quite a bit and we absolutely loved it! At the end of the post, I will give you a suggestion to turn it into a verrine, in case you do not want to go through the trouble of slicing the apples so thin.

APPLE CARPACCIO
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

1 apple (I used honey crisp)
1/3 cup pistachios, toasted
1/2 cup full-fat yogurt
honey to taste
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
lemon juice

Cut the pistachios in small pieces, mix half with the yogurt, add honey to taste. Reserve the remaining pistachios.

Quarter the apple, core it, but do not peel it. Slice it super thin, ideally using a mandolin. Spread the slices over a plate, squirt lemon juice all over.

Place a dollop of yogurt in the center of the slices, top with pomegranate seeds and reserved pistachios. Drizzle with a little bit of honey and serve.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This was delicious, refreshing and light. I highly recommend it if you want to serve dessert but keep it on the light side. If you don’t own a mandolin and don’t want to go through the effort of cutting the apples by hand, dice the fruit and layer on a little glass. A layer of apple, some lemon juice, yogurt-pistachio layer, more apple, and top with the yogurt mix, finishing with pistachios, pomegranate seeds and a drizzle of honey. It will be a different serving style, but equally delicious.

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BROCCOLI SLAW SALAD WITH POPPY SEED DRESSING

Do you buy packaged broccoli slaw for a stir-fry and then find yourself with bag of leftovers sitting in the fridge and getting less and less gorgeous each day? I do. This salad came to the rescue big time. I added it to mixed baby greens, but you could use kale or Romaine lettuce instead.


BROCCOLI SLAW SALAD WITH POPPY SEED DRESSING
(from The Bewitching Kitchen)

for the salad:
3 cups greens of your choice
1 cup broccoli slaw
toasted slivered almonds
dried cranberries

for the dressing:
1/3 cup yogurt, full fat
water to thin yogurt (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp whole grain mustard
1 tsp poppy seeds
salt to taste

Start by making the dressing, mixing all ingredients, and whisking well

Add the greens and broccoli slaw to a large serving bowl. Drizzle the dressing all over and gently mix to combine.

Top with almonds and dried cranberries, and serve, adjusting seasoning if needed.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here


Comments: I made this salad twice so far. What I love about the broccoli slaw is the texture it gives, you “almost” don’t need the almonds, but then again, they do a great job intensifying the crunch factor. The amount of water is going to vary with the thickness of your yogurt. Start by thinning it until it is almost pourable, but not too liquid, as you will still add some liquid in the form of vinegar and syrup. If you use a sturdy green such as kale, the salad will stand in the fridge quite well for a day.

I enjoyed the salad with air-fried chicken parmigiana, a recipe I shared not too long ago, and you can find here.

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FENNEL-RUBBED SHRIMP IN LIGHT COCONUT SAUCE

Nothing comes together faster than a meal involving shrimp. Or sea scallops, for that matter. But in this neck of the woods it is a rare, very rare event to find dry scallops, whereas good quality shrimp is always available. For this preparation, instead of using a full can of coconut milk (so common in recipes everywhere), I opted for full-fat yogurt with a touch of light coconut milk. Worked wonderfully well. Tasty but considerably lighter.

FENNEL-RUBBED SHRIMP IN LIGHT COCONUT SAUCE
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

1 + 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp ground fennel
1 teaspoon ground Kashmiri chiles
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 to 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1/3 cup cashews, toasted
1/2 cup full-fat yogurt
1/4 cup light coconut milk
drizzle of honey
dried mint, to taste (optional)

Combine the ground spices and salt in a bowl, add the shrimp and mix to cover it with spices. Refrigerate for 30 min to 1 hour, if possible, but you can start cooking right away. Mix the yogurt with coconut milk and honey, reserve.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp, cook, stirring them for a couple of minutes. Add the yogurt-coconut mixture, and cook in low-heat until shrimp is fully cooked and the sauce reduces a bit. Add the cashew nuts, dried mint (if using), and serve..

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I am calling this dish “Fennel” shrimp because it was the flavor that came through more obviously, at least for me. If you like more heat, add more pepper, or add a touch of cayenne. I love the flavor of Kashmiri pepper, so that’s what I used. If you are like me, and twist the nose at dried mint, I suggest you give it a try. I lost my dried mint snobbism after reading about it in Middle Eastern cookbooks. It has a permanent spot in my pantry now.

Shrimp in light coconut sauce over white rice. So simple, and so satisfying! My kind of dinner!

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ROASTED SWEET POTATO WITH CORN AND SUNFLOWER SEEDS

A few things make this recipe a bit unusual. First, the sweet potato is roasted at a low temperature, 300F. Second, it is served either barely warm or at room temperature over fridge-cold lemony yogurt. And finally, it gets crowned with a hot and spicy mixture of sauteed sunflower seeds and corn. I know it all sounds a bit crazy, but when the husband praised this side dish more than he did the bison chili that went with it, I knew I had hit gold.

ROASTED SWEET POTATO WITH CORN AND SUNFLOWER SEEDS
(adapted from Start Simple)

3 medium sweet potatoes
olive oil and salt to season potatoes
1/2 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tsp harissa paste
Urfa pepper (or another ground chile pepper you like)
salt to taste
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
kernels of 1 ear of corn (raw or cooked)
1/4 cup sunflowers seeds, raw
drizzle of toasted sesame oil

Turn the oven to 300F. Rub the sweet potatoes with a little olive oil, season with salt. Roast for 60 to 75 minutes, until soft (it depends on the size of the potatoes). Let the potatoes cool to room temperature, the flesh will sink and the skin will peel off super easily.  Cube the flesh in the size you like. Reserve.

Mix the yogurt with lemon juice and harissa, season lightly with salt. Place in the dish you will use to serve the potatoes.  Add the cubed potatoes on top. Just before your meal, add grape seed oil to a non-stick skillet, when it gets nice and hot add the corn kernels, season with Urfa pepper and salt. Sautee until fragrant, add the sunflower seeds and cook until they start to get golden.  Immediately add the hot mixture over the sweet potatoes, and take to the table.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: There are two ways to make sweet potatoes truly special, sous-vide and low-temperature roasting. The latter is the easiest, and if you’ve never tried them prepared this way, you are in for a treat. It is really a lot better than the more common method of blasting it at higher temperatures, either whole or cut in pieces. Roasted, they can sit in the fridge waiting for you, perfect texture, to be used in all sorts of preparations.

We enjoyed it over bison chili (made with this recipe, but using ground bison instead of ground turkey). The yogurt tames that heat from the chili, acts as a refreshing breeze on a warm summer night. A delicious dinner, that will be on our menu for sure in the near future.  The husband already requested it…

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CUCUMBER SALAD WITH HARISSA-YOGURT DRESSING

Simplicity hit again the Bewitching Kitchen. I used rose harissa because it is one of those ingredients I fell in love with a couple of years ago and now I cannot live without. If you don’t have it, use regular harissa and it will be wonderful too, it’s all about the delicate heat coupled with the soothing yogurt.  Perfect side dish for those hot days of Kansas summer. Have I ever mentioned I cannot get enough of summer?

CUCUMBER SALAD WITH HARISSA-YOGURT DRESSING
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

¼ cup full-fat yogurt
1 to 2 tsp rose harissa paste
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Persian cucumbers, cut in rounds, then quarters
yellow or red grape tomatoes, cut in half
black sesame seeds

Mix the yogurt, oil, salt and pepper, add the harissa paste and mix gently. Add the cucumbers and tomatoes to a bowl, mix with the yogurt dressing. Let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes (if you have the extra time), sprinkle with sesame seeds right before serving.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I’ve shared quite a few recipes with rose harissa, one of my favorites involved chicken thighs. If you like to see the recipe, go back in time with a click here. I had never tried it in a salad dressing or any preparation in which it goes uncooked, so I am glad to report that it works well. You can adjust the amount according to your tolerance to heat. I find harissa quite pleasant, but you should play with it and see how it works best for you.

Surprisingly, leftovers were still quite good next day, I refreshed it with some additional black sesame seeds, and the flavors seemed to be even better. Cucumbers tend to release a bit of liquid, but not to the point of ruining the salad.   I hope you’ll give this recipe a try, it pairs well with salmon, chicken, pork, and if you have a nice bread, it can even stand alone as a light lunch.

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