Tag Archives: salad

The Starving Artist: Savory Nectarine Salad

3 Aug
SavoryNectarineSalad 
I am so mad! It was raining on Sunday, and I desperately wanted to avoid having to lug my grocery bags home in the rain. Ah, the perils of a fabulous Manhattan lifestyle! So, the starving artist, though trying to be better about pinching pennies, caved and bought lunch out on Monday. (Dos Toros, if you want to know.) So, I wrap up work later than intended (it’s ALWAYS later than intended), walked across town (my exercise plan), and went to the grocery store.
My neighbor, E, had left fresh basil on my doorknob so I knew I wanted to make something with that. But what? I remembered seeing a peach caprese appetizer on Pinterest (the recipe was from Say Yes and re-blogged on Bloglovin’), and it occurred to me I could riff off that. I decide, what if I make something like that but with nectarines instead and turn it into a more savory and filling salad by adding tomatoes?
So, I get all the ingredients, go home, wash everything, and make the salad. I’m feeling very proud of myself for adulting so successfully—brown-bagging it instead of eating out? Check! Salad instead of pasta? Check! Adding a new recipe to my repertoire? Check! Tuesday morning arrives, and I take the pre-made salad out of the fridge and place it in my bag … and then I get distracted, AND LEAVE THE SALAD BEHIND. I of course don’t realize this til I’ve already gotten on the train. There’s not enough time on my lunch break to go back for it, I won’t be home til late in the evening, and my apartment is a summer sweatbox so I don’t trust eating anything left out of the fridge for twelve+ hours. I ended up at Pret and will have to throw out the salad I put all that time and money and effort into. Sigh.
 
My saving grace is that I had enough to make two salads! So guess what I’ll be eating tomorrow? The salad—unless, of course, I forget it too. In that case, I might need to have my brain checked out.
 
Here is a salad recipe for those of us who hate lettuce.
Savory Nectarine Salad
 
  • Wash nectarines and cut into slices
  • Wash Campari tomatoes and cut into slices
  • Cut fresh mozzarella into slices
  • Wash the basil and use only the leaves
  • Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl and enjoy!
 
I know, I know, for all my moaning about the work that went into it, it’s super easy to make! 
 
I’ve thought up some alternatives:
 
  • Add some slices of red onion
  • Add a light vinaigrette or flavored olive oil
  • Try peaches instead of nectarines
  • Try haloumi cheese instead of mozzarella 
  • Try grilling the tomatoes and the nectarines
  • Put the ingredients between a baguette and enjoy as a sandwich 
 
I’m getting hungry just thinking about all the possibilities!
Want more possibilities? Check out my other recipes:
 
 
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Feisty Blood Orange and Supergreens Salad

29 Mar

Nikolopoulos Blood Orange

Stephanie Blood Orange

red onions

supergreens blood orange salad

Years ago, when my mother still lived in the States, she used to purchase sparkling Italian blood orange juice. It was tangy and just a little bit spicy. I felt glamorous whenever I drank it.

The Arancia Rossa di Sicilia (Red Orange of Sicily) has protected geographical status in Europe, much like champagne can only be called such if it is actually from the Champagne region of France and how feta is a protected designation of origin (PDO) product of Greece. Needless to say, my father has just about every citrus fruit imaginable in his garden in Greece, he does not have the vibrant-colored blood orange.

It’s currently citrus season in New York, and when I saw blood oranges at the supermarket I scooped them up without hesitation. They bring such exoticism to the table. I decided to make a blood orange with super-greens salad, perfect for revitalizing energy.

Here’s the recipe:::

Wash your favorite greens or a mixture of favorites. I used Organic Girl’s Super Greens, which is a zesty mixture of five different greens:

tangy red & green chard, hearty bok choy, and spicy arugula accented with mild sweet spinach.

Peel as many firm blood oranges as your heart desires. (I used three blood oranges for one 5 ounce container of greens.) With the peel removed, leave the fruit in its ball shape. It’s okay to leave the white pith on it–in fact, it’s actually healthier to do so. Take a sharp knife and cut the blood orange ball into slices.

Next, peel a red onion and cut it into thin slices. Then, gently push the insides of each slice so that it separates into rings.

Toss the blood-slices and the red-onion rings into the super greens. Drizzle with blood-orange olive oil. I used The Filling Station’s Blood Orange Olive Oil, which a friend gave me as a housewarming gift. The oil is warm and soothing, a great complement to the tangy-er and zestier ingredients.

Enjoy! The blood oranges are a delicious source of vitamin C and the greens are excellent sources of vitamin K and vitamin A. The red onion is high in flavonoids. It’s a healthy salad with a beautiful presentation that is sure to impress guests. Invite a starving artist over for dinner!

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Road Trip: The Salad Bowl of the World

15 Nov

One of the reasons I was excited to travel the California coast from San Francisco to Monterey was because we’d pass Salinas.  John Steinbeck and Jack Kerouac wrote about Salinas Valley.  Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men was set in Salinas.  In 1960, Kerouac published a piece called “The Vanishing American Hobo” in Holiday magazine, which in part said:

I myself was a hobo but only of sorts, as you see, because I knew some day my literary efforts would be rewarded by social protection — I was not a real hobo with no hope ever except that secret eternal hope you get sleeping in empty boxcars flying up the Salinas Valley in hot January sunshine full of Golden Eternity towards San Jose where mean-looking old bo’s ‘ll look at you from surly lips and offer you something to eat and a drink too — down by the tracks or in the Guadaloupe Creek bottom.  

Kerouac also wrote about Salinas in Big Sur.  Even though it was in Selma, California (called Sabinal in the novel) — the Raisin Capital of the World — that Kerouac wrote about picking crops with “the Mexican girl,” Terry, in On the Road, I imagine it to be very much like Salinas.

The Salinas Valley, which begins south of San Ardo, and runs all the way to Monterey Bay, is known as “the Salad Bowl of the World.”  Most of the green salad produce you eat in the US comes from the Salinas Valley.  Named during California’s Spanish colonial period, Salinas means a salty lake or marsh.  The climate and growing conditions make the valley particularly fertile.

I saw signs promising 7 avocados for $1.  Do you know how much I pay for an avocado here in New York City?  $2 for a single avocado!  I was super excited — “stoked” to use the lingo I picked up while living in Cali (yes, people really talk like that there).  However, in keeping with the everything-going-awry theme of the trip, we did not get to make the stop because our bus had broken down earlier on the trip and we were already two hours behind schedule.  I took these photos from the window of the bus.

Tasty Tuesday: Mango Salad with Sophia’s Pomegranate Dressing

26 Jul

I’m not a salad person.  Like a good Greek, my dad ate a huuuuuuge bowl of salad every night at dinner.  Salad seemed like a whole lot of chewing for not a lot of flavor payoff to me, though.  I’ve taste-tasted plenty of dressings at all-you-can-eat buffets, and while blue cheese or Italian might make lettuce a little more palatable it usually ends up making my salad taste rather generic.  “Hi, I’m American, and I like ranch dressing!”  That’s why I was surprised when I found myself tempted by the salad dressings at the grocery store.

Shelved between plastic bottles of gooey dressings was Sophia’s Gourmet Foods Greek Island Dressing.  The tall glass bottle looked sophisticated and down-to-earth at the same time, as if Sophia’s is the shabby chic of salad dressings.  The labels are white with beautiful line illustrations that call to mind late afternoons on the Greek islands.  The contents of the bottles looked thick, textured, and vibrant.  The dressing looked natural and homemade.

I picked up a bottle and read the label.  I’m really into reading labels these days.  It’s crazy the amount of junk (read: preservatives, sugar, coloring) that goes into packaged foods.  Here’s what’s in the Tahini: “Lemon Juice, Tahini, Water, Garlic, Salt, Sesame Seeds, Citric Acid.”  That’s it.  All of the other flavors do contain xantham gum, which helps the dressing achieve the thickness I’d noticed.  Some have various types of sugars added, but a serving size (2 tablespoons) only has 2 grams of sugar.  I wish the natural ingredients themselves did all the thickening and sweetening, but still Sophia’s seems more natural than a lot of other brands on the market.

I selected the “with Pomegranate” dressing.  The ingredients are:

Water, Pomegranate Juice (from Concentrate) Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Soybean Oil, Honey, Vinegar, Garlic, Spices, Cultured Dextrose, Salt, Xanthan Gum, Natural Color, Natural Flavor.

Pomegranates, which originated in Iran, are central to the Greek myth of Persephone.  In Greek Orthodox Christianity it is the pomegranate, not the apple, that was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.  At very traditional Greek weddings, pomegranates are broken on the ground.

Pomegrantes are believed to reduce risk of heart disease.  They’re a good source of vitamin B5 and C.

Sophia’s Greek Island dressing just has pomegranate juice from concentrate so it’s not quite as beneficial as eating a fresh pomegranate on its own, but all the Sophia’s dressings are all natural, gluten free, cholesterol free, and low in sodium.  They also made from extra-virgin olive oil, which is also good for preventing heart disease, according to the research I’ve done previously.

Okay, so it’s pretty healthy but how does it taste??

I loved it!  It tastes fresh and tangy.  The texture isn’t syrupy, goopey, or runny.  It pours out nicely and has a bit of a pomegranate-seed texture which I liked.

I poured it over fresh romaine lettuce and fresh slices of mango.  The tang of the pomegranate and the sweetness of the mango paired really well together.  Delicious!