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Beet Salad, Avocado spread & Pumpernickel crostini

Beet-Salad_avocado-spread_pumpernickel-crostini_table-ready

This weekend Ian and I had really good eats. Beets are one of my favorite root vegetables, My mom used to make steamed beets sliced with a squeeze of lime and salt and served as an afternoon snack for my brother and I when we where kids. As a grownup, I love them in all preparations; raw, shredded over salads, ROASTED, steamed, in soups, chips and one of my favorites is to pickle them. Sometimes I don’t have the patience to wait until they are pickled, so I refer to a recipe like this and it works like a charm.
I made this Beet Salad, with avocado spread and pumpernickel crostini last Sunday with the type of beets they had available at the farmers market, beautiful Golden and Chioggia Red beets. I believe some are sweeter than others; to me, golden beets taste less earthy and less sweet compared to Red beets. Every kind of beet is extremely healthful and full of anti-oxidants, phytonutrients, so use any kind you have available. They can lift up any simple green salad, or become a meal as in this instance. This light vinaigrette works like a charm in combination with the following cooking method: I steamed them for a short time until just al dente, with a little crunch. The contrast in textures between the bread and the avocado spread and the sweet-tangy beet salad is what grabs me the most. The vinaigrette is light and tangy with bright fresh herbs…. done! This is a very easy and full-flavored recipe. You can serve this as an appetizer, light lunch, or with the addition of the avocado in slices and some pecans as a great side salad.

Beet-Salad_avocado-spread_pumpernickel-crostini_-Golden-and-Chioggia-Red-beets.

Beet-Salad_avocado-spread_pumpernickel-crostini_sunnny-winter-salad

Beet Salad, Avocado spread & pumpernickel crostini

Serves 2-4

1 Golden Beet
1 Red Beet
1 small sweet potato ( it adds contrast and creamy texture)
¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1-2 Tablespoons of fresh thyme, tarragon and mint.
(you can replace any of these for dry, but at least use one fresh herb if you can.)

Avocado spread:

1 small avocado smashed
1 small clove of garlic grated
Lemon Juice, salt and pepper.
Pumpernickel Bread
Some butter or extra virgin olive oil to grill the crostini.

Beet-Salad_avocado-spread_pumpernickel-crostini_Tosted-with-butter

Directions:

Scrub and rinse really well. In a double boiler steam the beets whole do not cut them, for 15- 18 minutes*
set them aside and allow them to cool. Once cool, peel them and slice them thin. ( a little less than ¼” inch.) Place them in a Bowl, add the herbs, rice vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Gently toss these together and set a side.
Smash the avocado with a fork in a small bowl. Add grated garlic, and a squeeze of lemon, with salt and pepper to taste.
For the Crostinis: on a medium-high heat nonstick skillet, add a dab of butter and toast about 4-6 pieces of bread, both sides. ( I highly recommend the butter , it plays so well with the bred and the tangy notes from the beets!… However, the vegetarian or vegan version using the extra virgin olive oil also tastes terrific. Enjoy!
For service there are two options: assemble to serve or serve everything separately and assemble as you eat.(the second option is more fun, and it prevents your crostini from getting soggy.
* note: if you keep your root vegetables in the refrigerator, allow them to come to room temperature before you start cooking them, to ensure they cook evenly.

Beet-Salad_avocado-spread_pumpernickel-crostini

Beet-Salad_avocado-spread_pumpernickel-crostini_table-ready-to-eat!

Beet-Salad_avocado-spread_pumpernickel-crostini_-Golden-and-Chioggia-Red-beets_under-the-sun

~ Enjoy under the sun ~

Music Pairing: THe las Beat of my heart – DeVotchka

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Beet Salad, Avocado spread & pumpernickel crostini

Serves 2-4
Course Brunch, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine vegetarian, wholesome
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Golden Beet
  • 1 Red Beet
  • 1 small sweet potato it adds contrast and creamy texture
  • ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of fresh thyme tarragon and mint.
  • you can replace any of these for dry, but at least use one fresh herb if you can.

Avocado spread:

  • 1 small avocado smashed
  • 1 small clove of garlic grated
  • Lemon Juice salt and pepper.
  • Pumpernickel Bread
  • Some butter or extra virgin olive oil to grill the crostini.

Instructions

  1. Scrub and rinse really well. In a double boiler steam, the beets whole do not cut them, for 15- 18 minutes* set them aside and allow them to cool. Once cool, peel them and slice them thin. ( a little less than ¼” inch.) Place them in a Bowl, add the herbs, rice vinegar, oil, salt and fresh ground black pepper. Gently toss these together and set aside.
  2. Smash the avocado with a fork in a small bowl. Add grated garlic, and a squeeze of lemon, salt, and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

For the Crostinis:

  1. In a medium-high heat nonstick skillet, add a dab of butter and toast about 4-6 pieces of bread, both sides. ( I highly recommend the butter, it plays so well with the bred and the tangy notes from the beets!… However, the vegetarian or vegan version using the extra virgin olive oil also tastes terrific. Enjoy!
  2. For service there are two options: assemble to serve or serve everything separately and assemble as you eat.(the second option is more fun, and it prevents your crostini from getting soggy.

Recipe Notes

* note: if you keep your root vegetables in the refrigerator, allow them to come to room temperature before you start cooking them, to ensure they cook evenly.

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Seared Rainbow Trout + Citrus-fennel-potato salad + Cilantro pesto

Seared Rainbow Trout : Citrus-fennel-potato salad & Cilantro pesto_Yes,more please!

This summer my basil plants have not done really well. I think my mistake was not being able to see that I had 3 plants in the same pot. Oh well! I separated them, but they are a bit annoyed with me at this time. If just they knew I love them. The reason I planted them is because I love pesto and without basil my next favorite herb for pesto is cilantro.
Cilantro is really hard to grow but easy to find fresh at the store or market so I decided to give it a shot and it seems I came up with a pretty exciting recipe. It is like a cross between pesto and the Argentinean chimichurri; not too creamy not too oily, right in the middle. I’m loving it. I used fresh cilantro, peanuts, and chilies. A hint of lemon zest and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I skipped the Parmigiano cheese and still  It’s creamy and light at the same time.

With this premise, I went to the seafood market and run into this gorgeous Rainbow Trout Fillets. Done deal! the perfect pairing for my pesto. Rainbow trout is a delicate fish but with enough character to old up the herb and zesty flavors. Trouts belong to the family of Salmon, so it has a firm flesh and good fatty acids, Therefore lots of flavors.
Fish intimidates a lot of people, and oh my God, “Fishskin” forget it!. Well, it is time for you to get out of your comfort zone and just do it.  Get resources, talk to your vendor, fisherman, fish aficionado, how to choose fish, where to get it in your city, how to choose a good one. For me, there are two clues to go by smell and texture. I do not buy fish that smell like fish and the flesh to the touch needs to be firm. The next intimidating factor comes from the not knowing how to cook it or which method works better. My friends, if you follow these simple instructions you are on your way to have a feast of kings!

Seared Rainbow Trout : Citrus-fennel-potato salad & Cilantro pesto_Rainbow Trout fillets

Seared Rainbow Trout : Citrus-fennel-potato salad & Cilantro pesto_Fresh Rainbow Trout Fillets

Seared Rainbow Trout + Citrus-fennel-potato salad + Cilantro Pesto

Serves 4

For the Cilantro Pesto:

4 cups  about 2 bunches of Cilantro include stems
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
3-4 chilies  2 serranos, 2 red sweet peppers (you can interchange chilies, like habanero, jalapeño, shishito, just add one at a time so you can control the spice level)
3-4  garlic cloves
1/2 – 3/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper

Preparation:
Add everything to the blender or food processor, blending and pulsing to desired consistency. You can live it more chunky or smooth is up to you.*

For the Left Over Pesto:
I’ve been using it in avocado sandwiches, pasta, and cucumber salad is a hit!. This recipe makes about 2-1 1/2 cups and stays good for about a week. Keep it in an airtight container and cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the pesto. This will prevent air from oxidizing it and turn it dark gray.

Seared-Rainbow-Trout_Cilantro-pesto_-ingredients_Yes,more-please!Seared Rainbow Trout : Citrus-fennel-potato salad & Cilantro pesto_Cilantro pesto

For the Potato Fennel Salad:

4-6 medium-small New red potatoes cook al dente.
1/2 a large bulb of fennel finely sliced
1/2 small red onion finely sliced.
1-2 handfuls of frisse (or arugula)
The juice of one medium orange.
A splash of Rice Vinegar
A splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Salt & Black pepper to taste

Preparation:
Place all salad ingredients in a bowl. Toss well a few minutes before serving so the potatoes can absorb some of the vinaigrette.

Potato-Fennel-Salad_Yes,-more-please!

Potato-Fennel-Salad_-tossing-the-salad

For the Seared Rainbow Trout:

4  Rainbow trout fillets skin on.
Kosher Salt &  fresh cracked Black Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

There are five rules to leave by when you are searing skin on trout fillets:

1- HOT skillet, I mean sizzling hot; water droplets dance in the skillet at this temperature.

2- Room temperature fish. Pull the fish out of the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before you gonna start cooking.

3- Pad dry the fish before seasoning.

4-Proper seasoning salt & pepper both sides of the fillet.

5- Skin side hits the pan first. One flip. That’s it! yes, one flip you read it well. So let’s start cooking…

Preparation:
Heat up a non-stick skillet. Place seasoned trout fillets skin side down into the very hot skillet. Do not crowd the pan, so you can ensure the skin of the trout is seared and crispy. Now, avoid the temptation, do not Look at it, don’t flip it, do not move it around. Don’t please!. Wait 1 and a half to 2 minutes, as soon as you start to see that the edges of the fillet are turning white (like a halo all around the perimeter) then carefully flip it with all your conviction in the knowing that ONE flip is enough.
The skin should be golden brown and crispy edges. Once you flip it is over. Give your fillets an extra 1 to 2 minutes tops.
Remove from heat let it rest a bit 40-60 seconds. And your fillets are Ready to serve.

Serve trout skin side up so stays crispy, top it with a generous spoonful of the pesto, roasted chopped peanuts and drizzle some lemon juice to finish it.
Top the trout with the red new potato and fennel salad. You can also serve this dish family style all arranged on a serving platter, take it to the table and A Comer! Serve immediately accompanied by a good glass of Vinho Verdhe like Casal Garcia from Portugal, or an Albarino 2009 La Cana, from Galicia Spain.
Enjoy!

Seared-Rainbow-Trout-with-Cilantro-pesto_How-to-sear-a-trout_filet_Yes,more-please!Seared-Rainbow-Trout-with-Cilantro-pesto_How-to-sear-a-trout_Yes,more-please!

Seared-Rainbow-Trout-with-Cilantro-pesto-ready-to-serve_Yes,more-please!

Seared-Rainbow-Trout-with-Citrus-fennel-potato-salad-&-Cilantro-pesto_Yes,more-please!

Enjoy!

Music Pairing: Ibrahim Ferrer- Buena Vista Social Club

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Seared Rainbow Trout + Citrus-fennel-potato salad + Cilantro pesto

Serves 4 There are five rules to leave by when you are searing skin on trout fillets: 1- HOT skillet, I mean sizzling hot; water droplets dance in the skillet at this temperature. 2- Room temperature fish. Pull the fish out of the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before you gonna start cooking. 3- Pad dry the fish fillets before seasoning. 4-Proper seasoning salt & pepper both sides of the fillet. 5- Skin side hits the pan first. One flip. That’s it! yes one flip you read it well.
Course dinner
Cuisine FUSION
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Author Mariana McEnroe

Ingredients

For the Cilantro Pesto:

  • 4 cups about 2 bunches of Cilantro
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 3-4 chilies 2 Serrano peppers 2 red sweet peppers (you can interchange chilies, like habanero, jalapeño, shishito, just add one at a time so you can control the spice level.)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • The juice and zest of 1 lemon.
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper.

For the Potato Fennel Salad:

  • 4-6 medium-small New red potatoes cook al dente.
  • 1/2 a large bulb of fennel finely sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion finely sliced.
  • 1-2 handfuls of frisse or arugula
  • The juice of one medium orange.
  • A splash of Rice Vinegar
  • A splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Salt & Black pepper to taste

For the Seared Rainbow Trout:

  • 4 Rainbow trout fillets skin on.
  • Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Instructions

  1. Make the pesto: Add every pesto ingredient to the blender or food processor, blending and pulsing until a rough paste. Pulse it more times for a smoother consistency. I like it a bit more chunky, small pieces of peanuts still show and the herbs are roughly chopped, but not completely pureed.

  2. For the Left Over Pesto: I’ve been using it on avocado sandwiches, pasta, and cucumber salad is a hit!. This recipe makes about 2-1 1/2 cups and stays good for about a week. Keep it in an airtight container and cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the pesto. This will prevent air from oxidizing it and turn it dark gray.

  3. Make the potato salad: place all salad ingredients in a bowl and gently toss well a few minutes before serving so the potatoes can absorb some of the vinaigrette.

  4. Sear the fish: 

    Heat up a non-stick skillet. Place trout fillets into the very hot skillet remember the fish enters the pan skin side down. Do not crowd the pan, so you can ensure the skin of the trout is seared and crispy. Now, avoid the temptation, do not Look at it, don’t flip it, do not move it around. Don’t please!. Wait 1 and a half to 2 minutes,  as soon as you start to see that the edges of the fillet are turning white (like a halo all around the perimeter) then carefully flip it with all your conviction in the knowing that ONE flip is enough. 

    The skin should be golden brown and crispy edges. Once you flip it is over. Give your fillets an extra 1 to 2 minutes tops. 

    Remove from heat let it rest a bit 40-60 seconds. And your fillets are Ready to serve.

  5. Serve trout skin side up so stays crispy, top it with a generous spoonful of the pesto, roasted chopped peanuts and drizzle some lemon juice to finish it.

    Top the trout with the red new potato and fennel salad. You can also serve this dish family style all arranged on a serving platter, take it to the table and A Comer!

  6. Serve immediately accompanied by a good glass of Vinho Verdhe like Casal Garcia from Portugal, or an Albarino 2009 La Cana, from Galicia Spain.

    Enjoy!

 

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Tomato Salad and Honey Jalapeño Corn Bread

Tomatoe-Salad-and-Honey-Jalapeño-Corn-Bread_heirloom-tomatoes

So I’ve being counting the days to tomato season, since is one of my favorite times of the year I’m in heaven. I live in Austin Texas and my mainly source of vegetables is a small urban farm call Boggy Creek, they open Wednesdays and Saturdays 8am-1pm two of the happiest days of my week. This year they have harvested: Heirlooms Cherokee Purple, Prudent Purple, Azoyscka, Oaxacan Jewel, Green Zebra, Regular Tomatoes ; Big read super fantastic, lemon boy, cherry and cherry gold tomatoes!!!…. This Farm resembles me a bit of my Mexico. The camaraderie, the beautiful freshly cut vegetables, and also and most important “seasonal produce”. Waiting for the seasons creates a momentum between the ingredient and me I crave them. I imagine new dishes and the expectation grows momentum. Cooking with ingredients at their peak of the season is just about the best you can hope for when you are creating a dish. Little preparation is required to enjoy them. I compare them to a string quartet, where everybody is supporting the first violin.This recipe is one of the many examples of this string quartet ensemble, where the Tomatoe has the solo part and its accompaniments make it shine… lets start cooking!

Tomatoe-Salad~-Yes-more-please

Tomato Salad and Honey Jalapeño Corn Bread

Serves 4 – Prep time 10 min.

Use at least 3 different kinds of tomatoes, choose what ever look best to you at your farmer market.
For the salad I made I used:

1 Heirloom Oaxacan Jewels
1 Heirloom Cherokee purple
1 Big Red super fantastic
2 Green Zebra
10-12 Cherry tomatoes
Arugula
Fresh Goat cheese
Fresh sprig of Thyme
Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle
about ½ teaspoon per plate of Rice Vinegar
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Directions:

Slice the  tomatoes a little less than ½ inch. Quarter the smaller tomatoes like the green zebras, half the cherry tomatoes. On a Large platter (or in 4 plates) place a light bed of arugula, and approximately one big slice of the heirloom, one slice of the Cherokee Purple, some quarters and halves of the little ones. Theres no rules, you can balance the plate as you like. Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil and ½ teaspoon of rice vinegar per plate, goat cheese crumbs, sea salt pepper and fresh thyme. Serve.

Tomatoe-Salad-and-Honey-Jalapeño-Corn-Bread_ingredients-for-baking

Honey Jalapeno Corn Bread

Adapted from : “Boggy Creek Farm recipe”

1 cup of Corn Meal (use the best kind you can find, organic and non-GMO is always preferable)
I used our local, Larry’s Fresh-ground Corn Meal
(Organic, non-GMO fresh Texas Dent Corn from Coyote Creek Organic Mill)
1 Tablespoon of Aluminum- free Baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 or 2 pinches of paprika
1 cup Milk (you can substitute almond, soy or rice milk)
1 egg
1 teaspoon of Honey (I used Local Texas Honey off course!)
2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.( you also can use Butter, Canola, Coconut Oil)
½ -1/3 of a cup fresh corn kernels
Thin slices of fresh Jalapeno Pepper.
– 2 extra teaspoons of Oil for Pan-

Directions:

Preheat the oven at 400* F degrees.

Measure all your Ingredients and Place a small 8” Cast Iron skillet in the oven to heat. Add the 2 teaspoon of Oil.
Combine all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients mixture into Dry mix. Stir until combined small lumps are allowed. Add fresh corn Kernels to the Mix.
Carefully using an oven mitt at all times, remove the pan from the oven and pour the batter into the hot skillet, quickly top the batter with the thin jalapeno slices,drizzle a little more honey, bake for about 20-25 minutes until a light golden top. Take the skillet to the table to serve warm with the salad.

Tomatoe-Salad-and-Honey-Jalapeño-Corn-Bread_steps for making corn bread

Tomatoe-Salad-and-Honey-Jalapeño-Corn-Bread_warm-and-delicious-corn-bread

Tomatoe-Salad-and-Honey-Jalapeño-Corn-Bread_yes-more-pleaseTomatoe-Salad-and-Honey-Jalapeño-Corn-Bread_the-table-is-served!

*Note: For the summer if you are grilling you can bake this on top of the grill just cover the pan with a lid, it will be fantastic and smokey. This meal will go so well with any light or amber beer. Take into consideration that you can substitute any herbs, I’m just in love with Tomatoes and Thyme, I think the aromatic lemony taste of the thyme goes perfect with tomatoes…. is my new fav! Enjoy.

Music Pairing: https://youtu.be/CIYS9EQWkXg

 

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Tomato Salad and Honey Jalapeño Corn Bread

Serves 4 Use at least 3 different kinds of tomatoes, choose whatever looks best to you at your farmer market. For the salad I made I used: Honey Jalapeno Corn Bread Adapted from: “Boggy Creek Farm recipe”
Course bakegoods, Brunch, dinner, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine wholesome
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Author Mariana McEnroe

Ingredients

FOR THE SALAD:

  • 1 Heirloom Oaxacan Jewels
  • 1 Heirloom Cherokee purple
  • 1 Big Red super fantastic
  • 2 Green Zebra
  • 10-12 Cherry tomatoes
  • Arugula
  • Fresh Goat cheese
  • Fresh sprig of Thyme
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle
  • about ½ teaspoon per plate of Rice Vinegar
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

FOR THE HONEY JALAPENO CORNBREAD:

  • 1 cup of Corn Meal use the best kind you can find, organic and non-GMO is always preferable
  • I used our local Larry’s Fresh-ground Corn Meal
  • Organic, non-GMO fresh Texas Dent Corn from Coyote Creek Organic Mill
  • 1 Tablespoon of Aluminum-free Baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 or 2 pinches of paprika
  • 1 cup Milk you can substitute almond, soy or rice milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of Honey I used Local Texas Honey off course!
  • 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. you also can use Butter, Canola, Coconut Oil
  • ½ -1/3 of a cup fresh corn kernels
  • Thin slices of fresh Jalapeno Pepper.
  • – 2 extra teaspoons of Oil for Pan-

Instructions

  1. Slice the tomatoes a little less than ½ inch. Quarter the smaller tomatoes like the green zebras, half the cherry tomatoes. On a Large platter (or in 4 plates) place a light bed of arugula, and approximately one big slice of the heirloom, one slice of the Cherokee Purple, some quarters and halves of the little ones. There are no rules, you can balance the plate as you like. Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil and ½ teaspoon of rice vinegar per plate, goat cheese crumbs, sea salt pepper, and fresh thyme. Serve.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400* F degrees.
  3. Measure all your Ingredients and Place a small 8” Cast Iron skillet in the oven to heat. Add the 2 teaspoons of Oil.
Combine all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients mixture into the Dry mix. Stir until combined small lumps are allowed. Add fresh corn Kernels to the Mix.
Carefully using an oven mitt at all times, remove the pan from the oven and pour the batter into the hot skillet, quickly top the batter with the thin jalapeno slices, drizzle a little more honey, bake for about 20-25 minutes until a lightly golden top. Take the skillet to the table to serve warm with the salad.

Recipe Notes

*Note: For the summer if you are grilling you can bake this on top of the grill just cover the pan with a lid, it will be fantastic and smokey. This meal will go so well with any light or amber beer. Take into consideration that you can substitute any herbs, I’m just in love with Tomatoes and Thyme, I think the aromatic lemony taste of the thyme goes perfect with tomatoes…. is my new fav! Enjoy.

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