Tag Archives: salad

Romanesco Mediterranean Salad – Foodie Fun

Romanesco Salad 3Wow, now where did October go, friends?  Is it really November?  I can’t believe that I’ve been at the new job for a month already, or that I just finished my first graduate school mid-terms, or that my birthday twin is about to turn one year old (That would be my niece, Izzy-bear.  Yes, she was born on my birthday!).  What a packed year and how quickly its end approaches.  Alas, that also means the end to my local Farmer’s Market, which is about to shutdown for the winter.

I hate to admit that I ended up throwing away most of the produce I’d pick up each Sunday at the market (Told you it was a packed year!).  With mid-terms overRomanesco Head Close Up and finals not quite here yet, however, I now have a weekend or two to have some foodie fun and get my kitchen creativity on.  Yay!  Of course, as the weather is cooling down so are the in-season selections, but it also means those spring-time cool weather crops that I missed are making their second appearance like this little, difficult to find beauty: Romanesco.

I can’t believe I actually came across this lovely piece of natural art, but there it was: a bright green mound of fractal florets surrounded by colorful orange and purple cauliflower.  How could I resist?  It was like when I found those fiddle-head ferns.  I couldn’t wait to have some fun thinking up something fun and new.

Romanesco Head Close Up 2The first step, of course, was to taste the Romanesco.  From what I had read, I knew to expect some sort of cauliflower/broccoli blend.  Considering that it is also more often called Romanesco Broccoli than Romanesco Cauliflower, I was prepared for my taste buds to meet something along the metallic flavor I tend to get from broccoli.  To my surprise, I found Romanseco to have the sweeter profile of cauliflower, only nuttier, but still with the slight bite of broccoli.  If you are a cruciferous fan, I definitely recommend this veggie!

So what to do with the two heads of Romanesco I had purchased?  Since part of Romanesco Salad 2this vegetable’s appeal is it’s exotic appearance, I knew I wanted to maintain whole florets.  However, I didn’t want to just steam the Romanesco.  I mean, I was supposed to be having FUN.  So of course I turned to Emilie’s and my favorite cooking resource:  the Flavor Bible.

Now Romanesco is a bit too exotic to have its own entry in this tome, however now that I knew what it tasted like I flipped to the cauliflower entry and perused the suggested pairings…and at the top of the list, in bold type nonetheless, was…anchovies.

Huh.

Heck, why not? Time to stretch my kitchen skills after such a long hiatus, right? Right!

Romanesco Salad 1Continuing down the list, I determined  a simple, Mediterranean style dressing would be the perfect solution to show off these pretty florets both visually and flavor-wise.  And if I do say so myself,  this Romanesco salad turned out to be quite versatile. I ate it fresh (well, post photo-op) while it was warm, but throughout the week I found myself nibbling on the refrigerated leftovers.  This recipe is readily a main dish, a side dish, and a tapas and can be served warm, room-temperature, or cold. Not a bad deal, I say.

And it was definitely fun.

Mission accomplished!

Romanesco Mediterranean Salad

Ingredients

Romanesco Salad Ready for Assembly

  • 2 heads Romanesco Broccoli/Cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, about 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 2 tablespoons small capers
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • cooking spray
Directions
  1. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and anchovy paste, whisking together until emulsified.  Set aside.Romanesco Salad Dressing
  2. Fill a saucepan with 3/4 to 1 inch of water and insert steamer basket and bring to a boil.  While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the Romanesco.
  3. With a paring knife, carefully cut florets from the Romanesco to preserve their unique fractal shape.
  4. Once the water comes to a boil, place the Romanesco florets into the steamer basket and cover.  Steam 3-5 minutes depending on desired tenderness. When finished transfer florets to a large bowl filled with cool water to stop the cooking process.  Drain and set aside.Romanesco Salad Steaming
  5. While Romanesco is steaming, spray a pan with cooking spray and heat over medium. Once pan is heated, toast breadcrumbs for about 2-3 minutes until golden. Remove from heat.
  6. In a large bowl, combine steamed florets, capers, and redpepper flakes.  Pour in the anchovy dressing and toss ingredients to coat.  Add toasted breadcrumbs and toss one more time to combine ingredients.Romanesco Salad Dressing Salad
  7. Serve at room temperature as tapas or a side dish.

Romanesco Salad 5

Tomatillo Watermelon and Cherry Tomato Salad

tomatillo watermelon salad 1As I said to my friends yesterday, “End of summer my patootie!” Seriously.  On the last day of August, after weeks of pretty delightful weather, the temperature soared to 90 by 10 A.M. By the way, I am not taking into account the humidity and how hot it got later on.  Needless to say, my Sunday morning run went pretty miserably.  Happily, earlier that morning I had visited the farmers market and waiting for me at home was a big ol’, thirst quenching watermelon.

Wishing I had a pool to jump into, but settling for a glass of cold water instead, I started thinking about what to do with my watermelon as I tomatillo watermelon salad 6allowed my body to cool down.  Of course I did not want to repeat something my friends or I had already done, but I also wanted something that could serve as a last minute dish for a Labor Day picnic or barbecue (I, myself, am I poor planning procrastinator).  That’s when my eyes landed on the cardboard container of tomatillos. Hmmmmm.

Now I had originally planned enchiladas verde for my tomatillos. However, as I peeled back the papery husk of one fruit I remembered one of the market vendors last year telling me they were like green tomatoes, only not has hard. Pondering the fruit in my hand, I thought of how pretty the green and pink would look together. First things first, though.  Would I like the taste of a raw tomatillo?

Cutting myself a little wedge, my first bite met a firm, pleasantly textured flesh…followed by quite a tartness!  Thought not as pucker inducing as a tomatillo watermelon salad 4lemon it was still pretty acidic. I don’t think I’ll ever eat a raw tomatillo on its own again, but its sour crunch was just the thing to juxtapose my sweet, melt in your mouth watermelon.

Now that I had my stars, I decided to add some beautiful little cherry tomatoes, which had a flavor and texture right in the middle of the tomatillos and watermelon. To round out the flavors, I drizzled on some of the honey mint syrup I use for my mint-juleps (I also used it last year on the watermelon wedges I brought over to Emilie and Tom’s for the 4th of July).  For the final flourish, I cut some fresh mint leaves from my garden and sprinkled it over the vibrantly colored salad.  Then I placed the salad in the fridge and went to clean my post-run self up.

With the afternoon sun shifted to the front of the house, for lunch I tomatillo watermelon salad 5parked myself on the now shaded back deck. Though still warm, a gentle breeze (a hint of the coming storm) helped keep things pleasant enough to enjoy myself outside.  It was time to dig in! I took a tooth pick and speared me some salad.

Ooohh, yeeessss…crisp, cool deliciousness.  I had tamed the tomatillo.  Though still sharp, its contrast livened up the watermelon. In return, the watermelon and mint helped mellow out the tartness of the tomatillo. I love it when a plan comes together, don’t you?

Have a relaxing “last day” of summer.  Happy Labor Day!

tomatillo watermelon salad 2

 

~Ruth

 Tomatillo Watermelon and Cherry Tomato Salad

 Ingredients

tomatillo watermelon salad ingredients

  • Tomatillo(s), sliced into thin wedges
  • Watermelon, diced medium to small
  • Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • Mint leaves, chiffonade
  • Honey mint syrup*
Directions

1. In a bowl, add tomatillos, watermelon, and cherry tomatoes in the following portions: 1:2:1.

2. Add honey mint syrup and mint as desired. The amount used will depend on your tastes as well as the size of the salad you are making. (See Note).tomatillo watermelon salad mixing

3. Toss ingredients and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for about an hour to allow the flavors to blend.

4. When ready to serve, toss one more time to re-distribute the watermelon juices.

*Honey mint syrup

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup wildflower honey
  • 4-6 large mint leaves, hand torn
Directions

1. Heat water in a microwave safe bowl. Approximately 1 minute on high.

2. Add honey to hot water and stir until dissolved into a simple syrup.Blueberry Honey Mint Julep Dissolving Honey

3. Muddle torn mint leaves in the honey simple syrup. Let mint steep at east 8-10 minutes. When finished steeping, strain mint leaves from the syrup.Blueberry Honey Mint Julep Muddle Mint

 

Note:
I made 1 cup of salad. My ingredients came out as follows:
1/4 cup tomatillos
2/4 cup watermelon
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon mint
1 tablespoon honey mint syrup

 

Dill and Green Apple Chicken Salad

Is it safe? Can it be true? Spring, is that you?

It is gorgeous out this week. Sunny, warm (not unbearably hot), with flowers blooming, and the first whiff of cut grass in the air. Oh spring, you have come with all your glory and I beg you to stay a couple of weeks – a month or 2 even! Don’t let summer overwhelm you with her oppressive heavy humidity.

Every year when spring rolls around I loudly declare that this – THIS – is my favorite season of all. I may also say the same thing come autumn, but that’s just lust for cooler temps and desperation speak, spring is the one I truly love. And this year has been especially wonderful because I have the space to actually celebrate spring with a little gardening of my own.

Fresh spinach and arugula anyone?

#green_thumb

A post shared by Emilie (@gingerlicious07) on

Come spring I find myself craving the ease and portability of a simple chicken salad or tuna salad. Delicious over lettuce and veggies for a light lunch after working in the yard, great with crackers as a low-mess shareable dish on a picnic, and a perfect portable pita pocket* sandwich enjoyed outside during your lunch break. This recipe makes a lot of food and would be really wonderful at an outdoor potluck or BBQ (maybe this Memorial Day weekend even!), but even with just Tom and I eating it, it’s stayed good for over a week, and was great to have on hand for last minute lunches for both of us. The dill brings a great light freshness to the salad that is complimented well by the sour bite of the apple, which also adds a satisfying crunch along with the celery.

Dill and Green Apple Chicken Salad 1

*We definitely need more alliteration in our lives.

Dill & Green Apple Chicken Salad
4 chicken breasts
1½ dry white wine
Poaching liquid aromatics (1 large clove, 3-4 cloves of garlic, 2 bay leaves)
4  stalks of celery
2 large shallots
1 x-large green apple
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
juice of 2 large lemons
¾ chopped dill
salt & pepper

1)     Combine white wine, bay leaves, 1 shallot cut in half, and 3-4 crushed garlic cloves with enough water to cover all 4 chicken breasts. Bring water to a boil and reduce to a low simmer. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts you are using. Remove from poaching liquid and let cool completely.

Dill and Green Apple Chicken Salad - cooking the chicken

Dill and Green Apple Chicken Salad - poach chicken

2)    Once cool dice the chicken in cubes about a quarter inch in size and place in a large bowl.

Dill and Green Apple Chicken Salad - dice the chicken

3)     Next chop up your celery, shallots, and green apple in a size well matched with the diced chicken. Toss chicken and chopped veggies/apple together.

Dill and Green Apple Chicken Salad - prep the veggies

4)     In a large measuring cup or medium sized bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, chopped dill, and salt & pepper to taste. Add to the chicken mixture, stirring well to coat. Cover and let rest overnight to really let the flavors meld.

Dill and Green Apple Chicken Salad - chop the dill
Dill and Green Apple Chicken Salad - dressing
Dill and Green Apple Chicken Salad - mix the ingredients

5)     Eat. Eat as a sandwich. Eat on crackers (Tom’s preferred method). Eat on top of spinach. Or, like me, eat it right out of the bowl… sooooo good!

Dill and Green Apple Chicken Salad 2

Radish and Apple Slaw

Early May marks the beginning of real variety at local farmers’ markets in the mid-Atlantic region, including crunchy radishes which I recently picked up while wandering through Eastern Market on a recent Sunday. It was a big bunch of bright red radishes with their leaf greens already removed, which was too bad since I’m a big fan of trying to find the best way to prepare and serve random greens like radish and carrot greens. As I walked home I bit into one of the spicy crunchy delicacies, savoring this underrated taste of sprin.

Radish APple Slaw 2

One of my favorite ways to eat radishes is raw and undressed, either as a snack with lunch or dinner or sliced into a simple green salad. However, raw and undressed radishes, with their peppery bite, are not for everyone so I set about researching delicious ways to use radishes that would compliment the spicy taste without letting it overpower folks’ taste-buds. The first thing I tried was peas with red onions and sauteed radishes, which cut the bite of the radishes and made them a bit sweeter, but also made them soft and almost mushy which is not how a radish should be eaten. After some more research, including finding a Rachel Ray recipe for an apple and radish salad, I decided to do a radish and apple coleslaw recipe with a creamy dressing.

To complete this recipe you will need either a very steady hand and a sharp knife or a mandolin slicer with julienne capability (I received this one a few years ago from my step-sister Lindsey and am in love with it) to create the small matchstick-like pieces of radish and granny smith apple that make the recipe a coleslaw.

Radish & Apple Slaw with Cream Dill-Lemon Dressing
Serves 4

1 large granny smith apple
10 medium/large radishes
half a medium red onion
1 cup light sour cream
juice of 1 medium lemon, about ¼ cup
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
salt & pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon poppyseeds, optional

1)      Using a mandolin or a sharp knife, cut the apple and radishes into equally sized small matchstick shaped pieces. Drizzle with about a tablespoon of the lemon juice to prevent apples from turning brown.

2)    Cut the onion in half so you have 2 quarters of the onion and slice those thinly, so the sliced layers of the onion are similar in size and shape to the julienne apples and radishes. Add to bowl and toss to evenly incorporate.

3)     Whisk together sour cream,  remaining lemon juice, dill, salt & pepper. Add to apple, radish, and onion mixture.

slaw and dressing

4)     Toss the fruit and veggies well to coat with the dressing.

Coat the veggies with the dressing

5)     Dish can be served immediately or stored in the fridge for several days. Do not be surprised in the dressing turns a slightly garish pink color, as the red skin of the radish does have that effect on the sour cream dressing.

Radish Apple Slaw 1

Bursting With Mediterranean Flavors – Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Salad

Roasted Vegetable Chickpea Salad 6

I  am hands down a carnivorous omnivore.  Maybe it is a result of how I was raised, but a meal other than dessert feels incomplete without some form of animal protein on my plate.  As you can imagine, this makes Fridays during Lent my not so favorite day of the week. After so many fish fiascos last Lent (mahi mahi poached in gin…not such a great idea lol), I decided to say a prayer (or two) and give vegetarian dishes a go. Enter this uber satisfying and full flavor pasta salad!

There is nothing like a full flavored dish with layers of texture to distract you from what you might be missing, like, say, some grilled chicken.  Toothsome Roasted Vegetable Chickpea Salad 2pasta, creamy eggplant and goat cheese, and crunchy chickpeas all keep your mouth guessing what might come next. However, the flavor and aroma are truly the stars here.  As I was building the salad and the warm ingredients hit the raw ingredients I  thought, “Oh wow, this is going to be awesome!!!” I was right! I loved how intense the roasted vegetables and raw garlic tasted and how the melted goat cheese melded all the flavors together.  However, it ultimately boiled down to whether this vegetarian dish could overcome my desire for a big ol’ juicy burger.  Verdict? Oh, definitely!

Roasted Vegetable Chickpea Salad 5

Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Salad

serves 4 as  main course, 6-8 as an appetizer course
Ingredients
  • 2 baby eggplants
  • 1/2 cup diced roasted red bell pepper
  • 1/2 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed clean
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 ounces uncooked mini farfalle
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves torn
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (use the good stuff for this recipe!)
  • kosher salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
  2. Slice off tops from cleaned eggplants and slice eggplants in half lengthwise.
  3. Score each eggplant half by cutting shallow diagonal lines about an inch apart. Turn each piece around and cut again to create a diamond pattern.Eggplant Scored Criss Cross for Roasting
  4. Brush each egg plant half with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Lay each half face down on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.Roasted Vegetable Chickpea Salad Roasting Eggplants
  5. When finished roasting, dice eggplant into bite size chunks.Roasted Vegetable Chickpea Salad Dicing Roasted Eggplant
  6. While eggplant is roasting, prepare pasta according to package directions.  You will want to have both the eggplant and pasta warm (preferably hot) for when you build the salad.
  7. To build salad, take a large bowl and add chickpeas, diced bell pepper, shallots, garlic, lemon zest, and goat cheese. Toss to combine.Roasted Vegetable Chickpea Combining Non Warm Ingredients in Bowl
  8. Now add warm egg plant and pasta to bowl.  Toss salad again. Goat cheese should begin melting and coating all the ingredients.
  9. For the finishing touches, pour lemon vinaigrette over salad along with the hand torn basil leaves. Season with kosher salt and pepper and give salad one final toss.Roasted Vegetable Chickpea Salad Tossing In Cooked Ingredients
  10. Serve garnished with fresh basil leaves.

Note: I prefer this dish warm, but it can be served cold as well.

Endive and Shaved Asparagus Salad

I recently decided that I need to pay as much attention to creating awesome side dishes as I do to creating great main dish and single dish recipes. While there is definitely something wonderful about a side of spring greens simply dressed in balsamic vinegar and oil or steamed fresh broccoli seasoned with salt and pepper,  a little creativity can help elevate the entire meal by pairing something unique with that already tasty main dish. Take, for example, the crab souffle Ruth and I made  a few weeks ago. Sure a quick spring green salad with shallots and balsamic vinegar would have been nice with the dish. But, Ruth and I aren’t the type of people who just want nice; especially  not when we are actually trying our first souffle – no we want spectacular.** So we tried our hand at endive and shaved asparagus salad with a homemade grapefruit dressing. The light tangy salad was the perfect compliment to the richness of a crab souffle and would also be a nice alternative to traditional coleslaw during the spring and summer barbecuing season.

asparagus and endive salad up close

** Even our dessert that evening was a little more special than usual, since Ruth made homemade lava cakes. Yea, we ate like queens that night.

Endive & Shaved Asparagus Salad
Serves 2 as a side

1 head of endive
12 medium/large stalks of asparagus (approximate)
1 large shallot
1 large white grapefruit
¼ -½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
salt & pepper

1)    Cut endive in quarters and then thinly slice it so the ribbons of endive are between ¼ -½ in width.

Thinly sliced endive

2)     Remove the tough bottoms and tasty tops from the asparagus stalks, reserving the tops for another dish, such as an omelet. Using a vegetable peeler, create ribbons of asparagus. You will want enough asparagus so that the salad is roughly half endive and half asparagus. Place in a medium sized bowl with a lid with the endive.

use a veggie peeler to prep asparagus

3)     Thinly slice and separate the rings of the shallot. Toss with the asparagus and endive.

4)     In a medium to large measuring cup squeeze the grapefruit so you have about 1 ½ cups of juice. Whisk in Dijon mustard, olive oil, and salt & pepper. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to coat.

juice a grapfruit

5)     Place covered bowl in the refrigerator for at least one hour, stirring once or twice to make sure all of the vegetables get a chance to marinate in the dressing.

6)     Serve as a light, tasty side dish at a party or with a rich dish like the souffle.

dish side salad

Watermelon Salad with Goat Cheese, a Savory Summer Treat

Here it is! August is upon us. One last month to get in all the summer stuff you had planned while you can..and still hotter than Hades! Speaking of hot, have you noticed how the heat seems to make you less hungry? After sweating buckets helping Emilie move this past, humid weekend, I surprisingly couldn’t find my appetite, despite our rumbly bellies. Apparently, I’m not imagining things. When the summer heat wave hits, our bodies work to stay cool and not overheat. Since digesting food creates heat, there’s no wonder our appetites seem suppressed. That’s when something cool and hydrating can save the day!

What I really love about this watermelon salad is how filling it is, which we can thank the high water content of the fruit for (bonus hydration = cooling power!). Of course, watermelon is sweet due to lots of natural sugar. To help make this salad less dessert like and more meal like, I added some lovely savory elements. Raw red onion sliced ever so thinly, brings in just a little bite while the tangy goat cheese gives it some nice body and a bit of creaminess. Add in a touch of crushed pistachios and you have a lovely savory, cool treat to counter those hot, hot days.

Watermelon Salad

serves 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 small seedless watermelon, cube
  • ¼ red cup onion, sliced really thin
  • 3 ounces plain goat cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup pistachios, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly chopped herbs (suggestions: mint, lemon balm, basil, Italian parsley)
  • kosher or sea salt (optional)
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, combine watermelon, onions, and pistachios. Toss to mix. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Portion watermelon salad onto plates or into bowls. Sprinkle in crumbled goat cheese and add a pinch of salt if using. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve.

~Ruth

Spinach Salad with Tuna Cakes

For such a simple dish, salads are incredibly difficult to get right. I am not a fan of the standard garden salad, I just don’t think it really lets any of the ingredients shine they way they should. As for Ceasar salads, they are such simple fare that each and every ingredient must be the absolute freshest and carefully crafted. Dressing from a bottle and croutons from a box just don’t cut it.

For me a good salad is simple and contains a few key ingredients:

1) Homemade salad dressing – always homemade salad dressing. A basic vinaigrette is about 3 parts oil to 2 parts vinegar and requires just a few fresh herbs to take it to the next level.

Champagne Mustard Vinaigrette

2) Dark leafy greens – I really dislike iceberg lettuce and will never actually buy it. Generally all of my salads are made with spinach, but sometimes I’ll mix in a mesclun mix, arugula, or butter lettuce.

3) Textures – Whether its croutons, crunchy garbanzo beans (like I use here), or a crunchy veggie like carrots or radishes, I always make sure to add a bit of crunch to my salad.

This basic spinach salad topped with warm tuna cakes includes all three of these vital components plus a little cheese for added flavor. While I love this with the tuna cakes warm and fresh, if you don’t eat it all, the tuna cakes are still delicious cold on the salad for lunch the next day.

SPINACH SALAD WITH TUNA CAKES

Mustard Vinaigrette

1/2 cup champagne (or white wine) vinegar
1/4 cup good quality olive oil
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard or horseradish mustard
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

Crunch Garbanzo Beans

1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans
olive oil
salt and pepper

Tuna Cakes

2 10-ounce cans water packed tuna, drained
2 slices bread
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1 shallot
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1-2 teaspoons horseradish

Fresh baby spinach
Shredded Parmesan cheese

1)      Combine dressing ingredients in Tupperware container or mason jar that seals tightly. Turn on good dance music, and shake vigorously. Okay, the music is optional, but it makes it so much more fun. If you need suggestions, I’ve find it impossible to stay still when this playing:

Place dressing in fridge until you need it again.

2)      Preheat oven to 400°F. Drain garbanzo beans and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Careful pour beans on to a clean towel and rub gently with another towel until the beans are completely dry. You will notice that a thin skin comes of the beans, remove as many of these as you can. Toss the beans with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes until the beans are crispy.

3)      Begin making the tuna cakes by place 2 slices of roughly torn bread, one small shallot, and 1/4 cup parsley leaves in a small food processor. Process until you have seasoned bread crumbs.

4)      In a large bowl, flake drained tuna and mix with bread crumbs. Stir in mayonnaise and horseradish as well as additional salt and pepper.

5)     Divide mixture into 4 equal portions and shape into patties about half and inch thick.

6)      Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Carefully place tuna patties in the pan and cook on the first side for 4-5 minutes.

7)      Carefully flip the patties and cover with a lid. Cook for another 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels.

8)      Place a heaping portion of fresh babe spinach on a serving plate and sprinkle with garbanzo beans and shredded cheese. Place 1 (for small salad course) or 2 (for a main course) tuna cakes on top. Drizzle with mustard vinaigrette and serve.

Steak and Strawberry Salad

Say it isn’t so! Summer is almost over. Labor Day will be here before we know it…but I will cling to strawberries for as long as they are full of sweet, summer juiciness!  Yeah, I’ve been going a little nuts over these signature summer fruits lately because I know they will soon be gone.

This recipe came to me almost by accident a few days ago. I needed to put together something fast for lunch so I grabbed my Fit & Fresh container and filled the bottom portion with field green salad and topped it with sliced leftover steak I had broiled for dinner the night before. In the “side” containers I put strawberries and watermelon to snack on for the day.

Around 2:00 I remembered to have lunch and when I bit into a strawberry just after a forkful of greens and steak, I thought “Oooo!”  I suddenly had a delicious idea growing in my head. The idea was very distracting as I attempted to trace the Performance Specifications I was reviewing to our program’s requirements documentation (I know, riveting!). I’d been working 10 and 12 hour days all week, so the second it turned 4:00 I was G-O-N-E and when I got home I whipped up this quick and easy salad and homemade dressing. Heavenly!

Steak and Strawberry Salad

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup field greens or baby spinach
  • ¼ cup sliced strawberries
  • 2 oz leftover sliced steak from the summer weekend cookout
  • 1 tbsp crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  •  1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch each salt, pepper, herbs de Provence
Directions:
  1. Pour balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs de Provence together in a small bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
  2. Fill a bowl or a salad plate with the field greens or baby spinach.
  3. Top greens with the steak, strawberries, and gorgonzola
  4. Pour dressing over salad and toss.
~Ruth~