Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Warm mushroom and zucchini salad

Warm mushroom salad

I was always skeptical of warm salads, but I really, really enjoyed this one.
It has distinct flavor, but be careful not to overcook it! It's supposed to be warm, not boiled. When you prepare it right, a warm salad is a nice companion to a glass of red wine and a pleasant start to an even better evening. :-)

You will need:

1 red onion
3 green bell peppers ( not hot!)
3 small size zucchini( the smaller, the better)
2 cups baby bella mushrooms
3/4 cup pine nuts
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 lemon
Salt, black pepper

Time schedule:
10 min to wash and prepare vegetables
10 min to stir fry the salad
Total 20 min

1. Wash and prepare all the vegetables. Cut the zucchini in circles, the bell peppers and onion in large squares and the bella mushrooms in large chunks.

2. Preheat a nonstick pan with the 2 tbsp sesame oil. Sautee the onion until golden in color, then add the bell peppers and and mushrooms.

3. When the mushrooms release their juices add the zucchini and stir fry with the lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Remember that when you serve the salad the zucchini have to be still crunchy, not boiled and mushy! Set aside.

4. In a dry pan roast the pine nuts until they release their flavor. You can add them to the salad immediately, because it's a warm salad.
* If you make fresh salad with pine nuts, you have to let them cool completely after roasting before adding them to the salad.

5. Serve the salad and sprinkle the pine nuts on top. You can garnish with dill and lemon dressing, and if not on a diet, you can add a little butter to it too :-)


Warm mushroom salad

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Albacore salad

AlbacoreSalad (2)
There are many ways to prepare Albacore but I mostly prefer it in a salad. It is great if you can find fresh one, steam it, let it cool down and then add it to the salad, but if you can't find one, you can just use canned. Since finding fresh is more difficult and sometimes people prefer to buy one that they know the source of, I will write the recipe with the canned one.

You would need:

For the salad
1 can of albacore
1 cup of pine nuts
1 lettuce ( you can use arugula and spinach if you like them as well)
2 avocado
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 cup scallions

For the dressing

3 tbsp extra virgin olive
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper
2 limes

Time schedule:
5 min to wash and prepare
10 min to assemble the salad
Total 15 min

1. Wash all vegetables. Slice the cherry tomatoes, chop the salad and scallions.
2. Cut the Albacore and avocado in chunks. Add them to the mix.
3. In a dry saute pan brown the pine nuts just so you can release the nutty flavor. Let them cool completely and then sprinkle them on top of the salad.
4. Mix the olive oil, the salt, the juice from one lime and black pepper to make the dressing.
5. Garnish the salad with the dressing and a slice of lime, then serve.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

The 30 min Ratatouille


I've promised to continue the tradition with the movie food, and while I am still making more cards and boxes for my next show ( 13 and 14th of Nov), I decided to catch up in the food corner, since I haven't published a lot of new things lately.

What can I publish, I was thinking? What would be a good " come back"? Something delicious, inspirational and easy?
Ratatouille is all times favorite food in our household, but the kids got hooked up even more, since we've seen the movie Ratatouille. What a better occasion to have something as inspired as Remy's Ratatouille- warm and homey, delicious, with great nutritional value, not expensive and last but not least- very easy and fast to prepare!
You can have an amazing meal in 30 minutes! And of course for a complete experience play the movie Ratatouille for your family!
I hope you enjoy the recipe!

For the Ratatouille you will need:

2 zucchini
1 large eggplant
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 large white onion
2 cups baby Bella mushrooms
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
fresh basil
black pepper

Time schedule:
10 min preparation of vegetables
20 min cooking
Total: 30 min

1. Wash and dice the eggplant, cut the zucchini in circles, dice the onion and cut in half the cherry tomatoes. Wash and dice the mushrooms.


Ratatouille7 Ratatouille3

2. In a large nonstick pan preheat 4 tbsp of olive oil. Saute the eggplant then add the onions. Sprinkle some black pepper and stir well.

Ratatouille9 Ratatouille11

3. When the eggplant looks soft add the zucchini, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle some salt to taste and some more black pepper.

Ratatouille13 Ratatouille14

4.Add the 2 tbsp of tomato paste and 1 tsp of sugar. Stir well, but be careful not to squish the ingredients! You don't want your Ratatouille a mush of vegetables! You want it to have character, to be able to see some circle of zucchini here, a half of tomato there. Be respectful to the food you prepare and be gentle!
As a final touch sprinkle some chopped fresh basil and stir again.


As I side dish I recommend steamed rice.
Time schedule:
5 min preparation
20 min cooking
Total 25 min

* Note: if you work both dishes simultaneously, you can have both of them in 30 min.

For the steamed rice you will need:

1 cup white rice
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp butter
2 1/2 cups water

1. In a medium sauce pan with lid bring to a boil 2 1/2 cups of water.
2. Add the previously rinsed rice to the water, add the butter, salt and black pepper. Close the lid and simmer on LOW for 20 min without stirring!
3. Take the lid of and fluff with a fork. Serve warm.
Voila- you have the perfect steamed rice.

Arrange your rice and Ratatouille in a plate and serve garnished with fresh basil.




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