Search

RSS Feed Facebook Flickr Twitter

Salads & Dressings

Recipe

Latin food can be local too! This recipe is for a very simple salad using black beans from Cayuga Pure Organics near Ithaca, New York. Thanks to them, we have access to a great vegetarian source of protein from a regional organic farm. The dish was inspired by a wonderful dish made for us by Autumn Stoscheck of Eve's Cidery , who used as many fresh vegetables she could tossed with cooked black beans. The result was a juicy salad of September bliss.

This is a simplified version with just a few ingredients. There are no exact quantities for this recipe, because it is up to you to judge the amounts you want to use. The idea is to have the same proportions of onions, tomato, and peaches, and just make the dish as colorful and diverse as possible. Who needs mango when we have ripe, juicy peaches?!

Cooked black beans (see below)
Red onion
Heirloom tomatoes(of any color and shape)
Peaches
Small red or green Chile peppers
Herbs: mint, cilantro, parsley
Vinegar (and lime if not on a local diet)
Salt
Collard greens or kale (about 3 cups chopped)

Dice the red onions, tomatoes, and peaches to about a medium size, not much bigger than the beans. For 1 cup of cooked beans you will need about 1/2 a peach, 1 medium tomato, 1/4 of a red onion, and about 1" of the chile pepper.
Mince the chiles finely and toss them in along with the herbs for extra flavor. Dress with vinegar, season with salt, and toss thoroughly.
Steam the collard greens and kale, and place them on the bottom of two dishes. Spoon the bean salad on top of the greens and serve.
Buen Provecho!
Makes enough for 2 healthy portions.

How To Cook Dried Black Beans:

Take 1 cup dried beans, place in a bowl, and cover with about double their amount in water. Soak for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Drain the beans of their soaking liquid and transfer to a pot. Cover again with at least 2-4 inches of water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer covered on very low heat until the beans are cooked through and soft (about 1 hour). You can add cumin, ginger, or garlic to the cooking liquid to add flavor. Ginger and cumin both help with the digestibility of the beans, reducing gas.

Who says that Latin food can't be Local too? This past week we went upstate and got our hands on some dried black beans from Cayuga Pure Organics. Now with the addition of the abundant fresh herbs and juicy fruits, we can have local Latin flavors sourced locally.
Tasty Tip

Slow roasted plums add a great tang to salads, replacing the need for vinegar. Damson plums are especially sour and great for this use. Simply slow roast the plums on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil at 250ºF for one hour, until they are soft and have released a nice puddle of juice. Use the juice as vinegar, and toss the plums into the salad. Plums go great in salads combined with goat cheeses (both hard and soft).

September 7, 2008   |   1 comments
Tags: Appetizers, Healthy, Local, Salads & Dressings, Summer
Blog entry

Boy do I feel healthy today! I woke up and went to my yoga class, and then headed down to the Union Square Greenmarket. I was planning on stocking up on tons of produce, chicken, and bacon for the week, but my plans were put to a halt when I tried to take out money and found my account empty. All I had on me was $20, enough to get a few basics and enough for lunch. I found this to be a blessing in disguise, because I had to be very careful with what I selected. I ended up buying some green beans, fresh dill, half a dozen eggs, bread (made with local wheat), grape tomatoes, and goats milk yogurt. For lunch I hardboiled two of the eggs and cooked the green beans. I sliced the grape tomatoes (sooo sweet and delicious) in half. I took a third egg and separated the yolk from the white, and saved the white for a later use. I might make a scrambled egg white or something. I mix the egg yolk with mustard and some olive oil to make a mayonnaise. I seasoned it with some vinegar and threw in some chopped dill. My plate was absolutely beautiful- green beans, chopped up hardboiled eggs, sliced tomatoes, all covered with a silky dill mayonnaise sauce. That meal did not add up to more than $5, and it was all from the market. And the best part about it is that I feel so healthy and good about my body afterwards. I attached a photo of my lunch here so that you can see how simple it is to prepare a healthy, inexpensive market lunch.

September 5, 2008   |   0 comments
Tags: Entrees, Healthy, Local, Salads & Dressings
Blog entry

Ever since I can remember, I have loved Salade Niçoise. When I was a little girl and we would go to France, I would always order “une salade nicoise sans anchois, s’il vous plait”. It would make my parents laugh, because that was one of the only phrases of French that I had memorized. Now that I am grown up, I love the anchovies the most.
The Salade Niçoise, is a composed salad (salade composée), which gets its name from the combined ingredients that are associated with the city of Nice: tomatoes, tuna, anchovies, hardboiled eggs, and green beans. I have had so many of these salads over the years, that I have self-appointed myself to be the world expert in the field. In culinary school we learned to make the correct Salade Nicoise, which as a composed salad, means that every element is prepared and dressed separately before being arranged on the plate. My own experience with eating these salads in restaurants and making them for myself at home has taught me a few things: 1) it is always fun to add unconventional ingredients to the salad, as long as you keep the basics there. There have been many occasions in Paris when my salad was served with corn kernels and grated carrots. Even Parisians break the rules. 2) It is also better to put the salad together and then just dress everything as a whole. I hate salads that are over-dressed, and very often, when each element is individually dressed, there can be excess oil on the plate. So to keep it simple at home, dress the salad as a whole.
The other day I made a big Nicoise salad for my mother and my picky boyfriend at the beach in Rhode Island. I had brought some ingredients from the Greenmarket, and my mom had just gone to the Stonington Farmers Market, so we had a lot of local vegetables. We had already roasted the little fingerlings that she had bought the day before, with some olive oil and rosemary. We had also already roasted some avocado squash. I boiled the French green beans as well as two fresh eggs, and I was halfway there. In our cupboard I had found some tuna packed in olive oil and anchovies. I took a large platter, arranged the lettuce and all of the veggies in an even pattern, added the canned tuna and anchovies, some heirloom tomatoes, and then dressed it with a simple vinaigrette of mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, and vinegar. You can see in the photo how delicious everything looked together on the plate, and how simple it ended up being. Summer never tasted so good!

August 24, 2008   |   0 comments
Tags: Salads & Dressings
Recipe

Erin brought this beet salad to get in touch with her LA roots. The recipe can also be found at the Serious Eats website, where it was originally posted.

Ingredients

3 golden beets
3 deep red beets
1/3 cup of olive oil
3 large, fresh rosemary sprigs
Sea salt
Procedure

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Cut raw beets into cubes, then place them on a cookie sheet or roasting pan.

3. Drizzle beets with olive oil, sea salt, and rosemary, which should be spread evenly over beets.

4. Roast beets until tender, or about one hour.

Erin brought this beet salad to get in touch with her LA roots. The recipe can also be found at the <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2008/06/lakers-celtics-basketball-nba-finals-beets-recipe.html">Serious Eats website</a>, where it was originally posted.
Recipe

So fans, we can’t take credit for this salad recipe, because it comes from the man doing the demo at the Union Square Greenmarket last Friday. We just thought that we would document it, because it uses a wonderful combination of seasonal foods that are in farmers markets these days, such as local strawberries, baby fennel, and fresh spinach. The aged Cheddar cheese adds a delicious flavor. The amounts are approximate.

1 handful baby fennel stalks (about 4 or 5)
Fresh spinach leaves (about 3 bunches)
1 handful strawberries
1 small block of local aged cheddar (from Bobolink Farms at the Union Square Greenmarket)
¼ cup balsamic vinegar

Rinse all of the veggies of their dirt and pat dry.
Slice off the root of the baby fennel, and then slice the stalk as thinly as you can. You can reserve the thin stems for broth, and the fronds for garnishing the salad.
Tear up the spinach leafs roughly.
Thinly slice the strawberries horizontally.
Toss the fennel, spinach, and strawberries together in a salad bowl.
Heat up the vinegar in a small saucepan to a bare simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Take off the heat and let cool. Pour over the salad and toss.
Grate the aged cheddar over the salad using the smallest grate possible.
Serve and enjoy!
Serves 4 appetizers, 2 main plates.

So fans, we can’t take credit for this salad recipe, because it comes from the man doing the demo at the Union Square Greenmarket last Friday. We just thought that we would document it, because it uses a wonderful combination of seasonal foods that are in farmers markets these days, such as local strawberries, baby fennel, and fresh spinach. The aged Cheddar cheese adds a delicious flavor. The amounts are approximate.
Recipe

1 fennel bulb
1 T olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
Freshly ground black pepper
Sprinkle of sea salt
1 ruby red grapefruit
1 ripe Hass avocado
1 teaspoon chopped mint
2 T toasted pistachios, coarsely chopped

Slice the fennel bulb in half lengthwise, and then carve out small triangular base at the root.
Thinly slice crosswise into thin pieces, and place in a bowl. Toss with the sprinkle of salt, olive oil, lime juice, and freshly ground black pepper.
Cut the ends off of the grapefruit, and then slice off the skin with a sharp knife, including the outer membrane.
Working over a bowl, slice out the grapefruit sections with a small knife, using the membranes as a guide.
Slice the avocado in half, and remove the stone.
Slice into long, thin pieces.
Arrange the fennel on a rectangular platter, reserving the marinade in the bowl. Place the grapefruit pieces on top of the salad, followed by the thin strips of avocado. Garnish with the mint and the pistachios. Pour over the reserved fennel marinade and grapefruit juice.

January 31, 2008   |   3 comments
Tags: Avocado, North America, Nuts, Salads & Dressings, Winter
Recipe

1 egg yolk
1 clove garlic
4-5 anchovies
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ tsp. black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sour cream (Tofutti)
1 cup of bread cut into dice
6 cups Lacinato Kale (about one bunch), rinsed and dried
2 T Parmesan cheese

In a mini blender, start grinding the garlic and anchovies. Add in the egg yolk, mustard, and black pepper, and continue blending. Add in the olive oil.
Once that is fully blended and smooth, add the vinegar and sour cream.

Toast the cubes of bread to make crunchy croutons.

Trim the kale of its stem at the bottom, and then slice the leaves into ribbons.
In a large salad bowl, toss the kale with the Parmesan cheese, and croutons.

Now pour in the dressing and toss well, until the leaves are coated with the dressing. Enjoy!!!
Serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as a main dish.

Recipe

One of the best things about Parisian cafes is that there is always the choice of a well- made salad with fresh ingredients. And almost always you can count on there being a salad of mixed greens with goat cheese topped toast. In this simple recipe we top pain Poilane with slices of a semi-soft goats milk cheese, and toast them until they turn slightly brown.

Pain Poilane is a rustic sourdough bread made with grey flour, of which the wheat bran has not been fully stripped away (so it is not quite whole wheat, yet not fully white). It has a slightly sourdough taste, and delightfully chewy texture. The bread is still baked on the Rue du Cherche-Midi in the Quartier Latin of Paris, where it originated under the skillful hands of Lionel Poilane. If you cannot find this bread, another rustic loaf will do.

For the Salad:
1 head of escarole, rinsed well and dried
¼ head of radicchio, rinsed well and dried
Scant handful of walnuts
4 thin slices of pain Poilane
4 slices of a good quality semi-soft goat cheese
1-2 T of vinaigrette

Vinaigrette:
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T white wine vinegar
Pinch of salt
1 T olive oil

We recommend washing the whole head of escarole at once, and then reserving half of it in a plastic zip-lock bag lined with a moist paper towel. You will have enough for another salad for later.
Chop the escarole and radicchio into small pieces and combine the leaves together in a bowl. Sprinkle on the walnuts.
Place the slices of cheese on top of the bread and toast until the cheese becomes slightly browned on top. You can toast the bread before topping it with the cheese as well.
Meanwhile, combine the mustard, vinegar, and salt in a small bowl, then whisk in the olive oil with a fork. This is a very basic vinaigrette that you can save in the fridge.

Toss the salad with enough of the vinaigrette to lightly coat the leaves (you should have some left over). Serve the salad with the warm goat cheese toasts.

One of the best things about Parisian cafes is that there is always the choice of a well- made salad with fresh ingredients. And almost always you can count on there being a salad of mixed greens with goat cheese topped toast. In this simple recipe we top pain Poilane with slices of a semi-soft goats milk cheese, and toast them until they turn slightly brown. Pain Poilane is a rustic sourdough bread made with grey flour, of which the wheat bran has not been fully stripped away (so it is not quite whole wheat, yet not fully white). It has a slightly sourdough taste, and delightfully chewy texture. The bread is still baked on the Rue du Cherche-Midi in the Quartier Latin of Paris, where it originated under the skillful hands of Lionel Poilane. If you cannot find this bread, another rustic loaf will do.
January 13, 2008   |   2 comments
Tags: Cheese, Europe, Salads & Dressings, Winter
Recipe

1 cup dry farro
½ lb Cerignola olives
3 T Tuscan olive oil from this year's harvest
2 T almonds
1 T capers

In a sieve, rinse the farro well, and let it soak for half an hour.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Boil the farro for about ½ an hour until it is soft.
Meanwhile, slice the olives around the pit, and then into thin strips.
Drain the farro of the cooking water.
Mix it into a bowl with the olive oil, and then stir in the sliced olives, almonds, and capers.