Archive for ‘Olives’

May 30, 2011

Holiday Weekend | Greek Mezedes

This started with my current obsession, which is oddly and plainly, roasting potatoes.

From which rose a lovely collection of small plates that we passed and shared over a couple of glasses of wine. Well, Cherub didn’t have any wine.

It was all easily pulled together a Monday night on a long weekend, Memorial Day here in America and Bank Holiday for those across the pond.  It’s a leisurely way to enjoy a meal or entertain.   It’s basically the more familiar tapas only with Mediterranean flair.  In fact many a Greek meal begins and ends entirely with mezedes.

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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).

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