Archive for ‘Lunch’

September 22, 2011

Farewell, Summer Garden | Gazpacho

Every so often you run across a recipe that begs to be made just as is, such as Spanish maestro José Andrés’s recipe for gazpacho.  Not a more perfect dish than this can be found to send summer off into its nine month hiatus.  Celebrate all that we are losing before the clock strikes 5:05 a.m. tomorrow.  Well, perhaps this post is a bit late for that, but rustle up some of these ingredients this weekend for a quick, albeit belated, goodbye.

I used some gorgeous, juicy yellow tomatoes from a Green B.E.A.N. Delivery box along with peppers and cucumbers from my back yard.  All gone now.

Don’t cry because it’s over.  Smile because it happened.

Playlist included Quiet Town, by Josh Rouse.

July 11, 2011

Summer Salad | Pickled Cherries and Serrano Ham

I adore the big pots of mesclun that have been moved to the shadier spots in my backyard now summer is in full swing.  A few snips and I have the base for a fabulous summer lunch.

There’s no real dressing to make, just assembling a couple of ingredients, including a few slices of Serrano ham, shavings of Parmesan and a handful of yellow cherries pickled with Chinese Five Spice.  Somehow these three things paired with just picked lettuces and tender herbs result in a taste greater than the sum of their parts.

The cherries were the result of about an hour in the kitchen over the weekend.  Now preserved for the dark days of winter, I couldn’t help but crack into one of the jars for this salad.  And I’m glad I did.  I have to make more of these while cherries are still in season.  I did not make enough.  These cherries are not only wonderful in this salad, but perfection with a cheese plate.  I want to have plenty on hand to dish out with nibbles of cheese when friends pop in for a cocktail.

For the salad, combine

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June 20, 2011

Strawberry Week | Panzanella Salad

This past weekend, Cherub and I, along with some Slow Food Columbus members and friends descended upon Schacht Farm Market for the last weekend of you-pick strawberries.  I left with ten pounds.  Ten pounds.

I knew there would be jam, cobblers and desserts in store, but I wanted some for lunch.  And it wasn’t like I had to worry if there would be enough.  There were obviously plenty.

I quickly cobbled together a strawberry panzanella salad that just hit the spot after a morning’s work of picking.  It didn’t hurt that we had a bit of past its prime ciabatta that made the base. And growing the in back yard is plenty of basil, parsley and mint.  I sliced up some green onions I’d picked up at the farmer’s market, although I do prefer and adore red onion in this salad.  As for a dressing, a generous drizzling of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, few twists of pepper and a pinch of salt are all you need, lemon if you have it.  And of course the berries.  Lots of those.

Strawberry Panzanella Salad, Serves two (plus a little four year old)

2 c slightly stale bread, cut into large cubes (I used ciabatta)

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April 20, 2011

Backyard Foraging | Violet Salad with Goat Cheese in Phyllo

It’s early Spring, and there is an abundance of all sorts of young herbs, lettuces, and edible flowers.  They are tender, beautiful and delicious.  This is clearly the beginning of salad season.  Just pick, tear, and drizzle with the best possible olive oil.  Tonight I used dill, mint, picked thyme, parsley, baby lettuces and, as the pièce de résistance, purple and white violet flowers.

No need to source them, if you live in central Ohio and aren’t obsessive about weeding your lawn, you’ve probably got them snuggling in shady spots.  They are a most remarkable addition to a salad.  The ones in my backyard

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April 5, 2011

Moroccan Mystique | Orange and Olive Salad

This is one of those things I just wasn’t sure how it would all work.  Oranges and olives?  My goodness, yes.

I will always be impressed that onions, cumin and chili powder lend a North African vibe to this orange salad, but combine the same three flavors with pinto beans and you’ve got yourself the makings of some good beans for a Texas barbecue.  The cooking world is smaller than you think.

This late winter, early spring salad is a blissful marriage of briny, fatty olives with sweet oranges, spicy red onion and crisp mint.  It’s a cinch to put together and uses spices (chili powder, cumin, paprika) that lots of folks already have in the pantry.   It’s a fantastic side for falafels, or spicy chicken and it makes a great lunch on its own.

(Ooo!) Orange, Olive and Onion Salad, serves 6

Inspired by Claudia Rosen’s Arabesque cookbook

4 oranges, supremed or cut into chunks

20 olives, black, green, or a mix, sliced in half or left whole

1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced and then chopped a bit

Juice from 1/2 lemon

3 T olive oil

1/2 t ground cumin

1/2 t paprika

Pinch of ground chili powder

2 T chopped mint, parsley or coriander, or some combination thereof

Salt to taste

Combine the orange, olives and onion in a medium bowl.  Combine the lemon, olive oil and spices in a smaller bowl, whisk to combine.  Pour over the orange mixture, taste for seasoning.  Sprinkle with the chopped herbs and serve.

Playlist included There is a Light That Never Goes Out, covered by Noel Gallagher.

 

 

March 29, 2011

A Classic Revisited | Sea Bass Salad

The birth of this post comes from a piece of bony fish.

I had a lovely piece of sea bass that would have made a gorgeous steak all seared off and pretty, ready for it’s close up.  But darn it if I couldn’t pry loose some stubborn pin bones.  Many people wouldn’t bother with such a thing,  but as it turns out, I have a thing.  I really can’t stand bones in a fish.  I know.  Hush.

So, I poached it instead.

And after its warm bath, the fish easily gave up all those bones just with a bit of light flaking into a bowl.  This salad is wonderful in its traditional forms: on a croissant (from Pistacia Vera?), over a salad of spring greens, on toast (from Omega Bakery?) or, as I did, in lettuce leaves that rolled up into little roulades.  Add in a few strong, non-traditional ingredients (olives, capers, a brunoise of red bell pepper) and you’ve got something that a lady who lunches or a fish phobic person (I’m not fish phobic, I’m bone phobic) will really enjoy.

Sea Bass Salad Roulades, serves 2

2/3 pound sea bass (although salmon would also be just marvelous in this, come to think of it)

6 olives, sliced

1 T red bell pepper, minced

1 T capers, drained

1 green onion, thinly sliced

1 T parsley, finely chopped

2 T olive oil, plus more to taste

1/2 lime, juice and zest

Salt, pepper

4 large lettuce leaves, washed and dried

In a small pot of simmering water add in the fish and cook at a gentle bubble for 10 to 12 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.  Drain and let rest on a paper towel.  While the fish is cooking, combine all other ingredients in a small bowl, except for the lettuce leaves.  Flake in the fish with the dressing, gently stir to incorporate.  Taste for seasoning and add additional salt and pepper or olive oil to taste.  Divide the salad amongst the four lettuce leaves.

Playlist included Second Chance, by PB&J (Peter, Bjorn and John).

March 16, 2011

Irish Cooking | Poached Salmon on Brown Bread

It’s a marvelous, make ahead kind of a lunch.

Poach a bit of salmon the night before, bring along a slice of leftover pint bread, a tiny cup of homemade crème fraîche and add a few thin slices of onion, some fresh dill if you have it, a caper or two if you want.  It is perhaps one of the healthiest things you could take for lunch, plus it’s simple, and tastes luxurious.

PK tip: this assembles in moments.  Pack the salmon along with the dill and onion, but pack separately the crème fraîche and the bread.  Yet another thought: wouldn’t this also make fabulous little quick appetizers?

Your cube mates will be jealous.

 

 

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