Tabbouleh

I am making cold salads to eat all week since it is hot, humid, and hazy. First was the standard and ever popular tuna noodle salad, and now Mediterranean Tabbouleh. This is an adaptation from the recipe on the back of the grains package.

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What you do not see in the picture above are the fresh herbs I added: 3-4 sprigs parsley and leaves from two large Greek oregano sprig.

The package recipe was for Bulgur but I only had enough for 1/2 cup so I used 1/2 cup of the barley mix as well. Cook the grains as directed on the package. I doubled the vegetables and added the feta and olives.

  • 1 cup Bulgur wheat or mixed grains, cook as per package; these quick cooking grains from Aldi cook in 10 minutes.
  • 1/2 English cucumber, sliced and diced
  • 1 large plum tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 large green onion, greens and white parts, chopped
  • 8-12 roughly chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup crumbles feta cheese
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • fresh herbs, about 1/4 cup minced, I used parsley and oregano.
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

After the grains are cooked, stir in the chopped vegetables, herbs, zest and juice. Add the olives and feta cheese and drizzle with the olive oil. Stir together and serve. I served this over a bowl of torn romaine leaves.

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The whole grains make this nice and filling. I was going to serve sliced avocado with it as well, but we saved that for dessert and mixed it with a bit of sour cream, more diced tomato, garlic powder, lime juice and ate it with tortilla chips!

 

Millionaire’s Shortbread and Citrus Salad

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For this weekend’s dessert bake I made Millionaire’s Shortbread from the Cook’s Illustrated magazine. I had never really heard of these. They are apparently a rich British cookie.

I selected this recipe because I actually had all the ingredients called for exactly. This is a rare thing for Cook’s recipes and my pantry. I also followed the recipe verbatim. This is very unusual for me. When cutting the bars I did get cracked chocolate so I am not sure what happened there.

This recipe is from the November & December 2016 magazine. I tried to get the link but one has to subscribe to get this recipe. I have the magazine and it is on page 14-15. It’s a possibility that I can subscribe on-line because I have a subscription to the magazine but I have no clue as to how. Oh well! That being said, I don’t know if I should actually share the recipe? It’s not really mine to share!

A tray of these will go with Hubby to work to share with his co-workers, and I will take a plate as well to share with mine. The rest we will keep to nibble on for a bit of sweet during our week.

Speaking of Cook’s Illustrated, I did make their Citrus Salad with Arugula, Golden Raisins and Walnuts. The link is here, Citrus Salad. This was labor intensive to prepare the 2 grapefruits and 3 oranges. One had to peel, take all the pith off, remove seeds and slice. I used regular raisins because that is what I had on hand. It looks really nice.

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I used green onions in the dressing instead of scallions. I dressed the fruit and then spooned it on the greens. I thought then that I could have a nice citrus fruit salad to serve with cottage cheese for lunch or breakfast on the following day. But noooo…

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • several green onions, white and green parts
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
  • a pinch of salt

The dressing was very nice. The salad was refreshing the evening I served it.But the next day the fruit tasted odd. Not good. Odd, as in maybe it went bad, odd? Next time I will keep all three parts separate and mix together only when ready to serve and only what will be eaten at that particular meal. I will make the dressing alone and use that for salads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

French Carrot Salad from an American kitchen

In my everlasting love of cooking and reading I have the charter edition of Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Magazine. You will recognize him from America’s Test Kitchen. There are some interesting recipes in here, one of which was grated carrot salad. I have several recipes for this and have made it, adding Craisins in the past and sometimes crushed pineapple. Having matured in my food tastes I can now understand the addition of olive oil. Before I would only add the fruit juice, lemon or orange or combination of both.

Having carrots in the house I thought I would try this. I, naturally, did not have all of the necessary ingredients. I don’t have white balsamic vinegar, nor fresh tarragon. I never let any of these problems stop me, do you? I use a fresh lemon and dried tarragon. So this is not really the recipe from the magazine, but is definitely inspired by it.

  • juice from one lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • handful of fresh parsley

Using my food processor with the shredder blade, I shred the carrots. I mix the first five ingredients to make a dressing. Mix that into the shredded carrots. Then chop the parsley, leaves only, and stir that into the salad. Voila!

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Hubby describes it as “hmmm, what did you season it with? Oil and herbs?” Yes! And they like it. And it’s probably good for us, too!

 

Lunch

Sometimes good food is not about recipes and cooking but about eating.

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Hubby found a store that stocks Daisy Cottage Cheese. Yay! Real ingredients: cultured skim milk, cream, and salt. No guar gum, carageenan, sodium dioxide, etc. Happy us!

My neighbor gave us some little heirloom tomatoes that he is growing. The string beans are also of his crop. A friend of mine gave me some cucumbers from a friend’s garden. Fresh vegetables and I did not have to grow them. Yay!

A simple lunch for a weekday at work: slice the cucumber; quarter the tomatoes; trim the green beans; pile onto a dish of cottage cheese; sprinkle with black pepper; eat.

Absolutely delicious!

Fried Chickpea and Fresh Vegetable Salad

I’ve been busy becoming a grandmother of two! Grandson was born July 2nd and everyone is healthy and happy. Hubby and I took Granddaughter camping over the holiday weekend so the expectant parents could go to the hospital to deliver. I will be writing a section in my memoirs about that weekend: Camping with a Toddler or Whatever Happened to Naptime?

So I have been cooking and taking pictures but have not had time to write. Here is a recipe I found in Rachael Ray’s Magazine as I was treading upon the treadmill one lunchtime at work. I have also found the on-line version here: Fried Chickpeas & Fresh Vegetable Salad.

I altered the recipe due to not having the exact ingredients. The magazine was  two or three years old. I did not check the on-line version to see if it was exactly like the magazine but a cursory reading seems like it is. The magazine had this in a two page spread of Mediterranean Cooking. There are many and varied countries situated around the Mediterranean Sea so that Cuisine includes many different dishes and flavor combinations. No doubt much like American Cuisine which is a combination of many ethnic and regional foods across this vast country.

As the name of the recipe indicates this is a salad so first make the dressing. Whisk this all together and set aside. I used the following ingredients:

  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (I did not have sherry vinegar)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced fine
  • a touch of salt and pepper, to taste

This recipe calls for fresh vegetables so I used what I had on hand. I did not have any tomatoes so I left them out.

  • 1 English cucumber, sliced and quartered
  • 5 large radishes, trimmed and sliced
  • 6 mini peppers, red, yellow,and orange, sliced into rings
  • 3 green onions, whites and greens, sliced
  • handful of fresh basil leaves, rolled and sliced

The chickpeas, one 15 ounce can, drained, are now to be “fried” in spice. I used 1 tablespoon Baharat (middle eastern spice mix) because who has cardamom? (Well, I was gifted some but after I had made this recipe!). Toss the drained chickpeas with the spice and “fry” in a skillet with a bit of olive oil until warmed through. Be prepared for a most tantalizing aroma to fill your kitchen!

To assemble, toss the fresh vegetables with the dressing in a large bowl.  I added 1 ounce crumbled feta cheese and 1/2 of a 2.2 ounce can of slice black olives. I figured that was very Mediterranean of me. Pile the chickpeas in the center. Dollop with Greek (or plain)yogurt to serve.

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Hubby Makes a Salad

So Hubby had to bring appetizers to a work function so went to Stew Leonard’s and bought ready made dip and their wonderful corn tortilla chips. While there he saw a Mango Salsa and bought that too. He left that behind in the fridge the day of his work function. Why?

He had this brilliant idea for a salad based on something that was made in one of the restaurants where he used to work many years ago. He described it to me and it sounded tasty. He did most of this, I just toasted the coconut.

  • 20160625_221443185_iOSromaine lettuce, torn
  • red pepper slices
  • mandarin oranges, drained
  • toasted coconut
  • mango salsa
  • scallions
  • garlic
  • yogurt

He thinned the salsa with yogurt and added garlic and scallions And this was the dressing.

Now for homemade croutons:

20160625_222229087_iOS  Made with a three day old baguette, olive oil, and oregano (and garlic powder). These get toasted in the oven and then assemble the salad.

This was a nice flavored salad with different textures and nice color.

And we have our dinner.

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battle of the broccoli: sweet or savory?

I bought broccoli and needed to do something with it. Hubby does not like broccoli. But while at the market a woman next to me said she had bought some the week before and it was fabulous. It is locally-ish grown so what more could one ask for? What am I to do? I just saw a blog on broccoli salad with bacon and remembered that I always liked it when it was brought to potlucks by some industrious woman. It is a very tasty salad and when I saw it on https://lynnesrecipetrails.com/2016/04/19/broccoli-salad-with-bacon/ I thought I would try to make it myself. I’ve always thought it was too time consuming and difficult but bacon makes everything better so I went for it. I looked to see if this recipe was in any of my standard cookbooks but it is not. It is, however, in all of the self-published, fund-raiser type collections put together by churches, day cares, and the like. I went internet-ting for the origin but found that there are many variations by different home cooks. Fascinating since there are only five basic ingredients!

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the five basic ingredients

20160425_214711444_iOSThis is the sweet salad since there is a bit of sugar in the dressing and of course the raisins add a natural sweetness as well. My recipe said I could use mayonnaise and/or yogurt. I used yogurt and found I needed to add an extra splash of vinegar. I used golden raisins and spring onions. The salad I remember from church potlucks used red onion. While chopping up my ingredients I decided to make only half of the dressing called for and only half the amount of raisins and seeds because 1 cup each seemed like overdoing it for the one bunch of broccoli.

20160425_212301437_iOSNow for the savory:

I found this broccoli salad recipe in my Soulard Market cookbook. This one has a vinaigrette type dressing. And I had all those ingredients too. Wow, two broccoli salads in one day. I figured that broccoli is a sturdy vegetable and can keep in a salad over a few days so I could have healthy lunches during the week.

Unlike the sweeter salad, this one does not have the broccoli completely raw. It is steamed for about 5 minutes and then plunged into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking and to set the color.

Then everything is tossed together with the dressing which is a garlicky Dijon vinaigrette. Looks savory to me!

Which would you choose? For modifications I think a handful of grated carrots could be an appropriate addition to the savory salad. Hubby tried the first one when I told him it had bacon in it. I think that a handful of grated cheddar cheese would be a fabulous addition to that salad. But even with bacon and cheese I do not believe it will make a broccoli lover out of Hubby. He will eat these to be polite and because he loves me!