Caprese Mixed Green Salad

 

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Here is a twist on a classic caprese salad! You add a couple of handfuls of mixed greens to this

ensemble. It is satisfying as an entire meal or simply as your appetizer salad.

 

I love kitchen alchemy where a box of leafy mixed greens is transformed into simply delicious

fare. This caprese salad utilizes pearl balls of boccocini which are so delicately scattered like little

gems.

 

The components of a classic caprese contain tantalizing flavors such as fragrant basil leaves, soft

pillows of boccocini and juicy robust tomatoes in a light balsamic vinaigrette.  This caprese mixed

green salad is absolutely marvelous for a nice classic meal. It is also a great way to use up remnants

of a mixed green salad.

 

 

 

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Recipe:

 

2 tomatoes, seeded

2 T extra virgin olive oil

1 T balsamic vinegar

3 c mixed greens

1 c pearl balls boccocini

less than 1/4 c basil leaves, sliced thin

sea salt

pepper

 

Instructions:

 

1. Place the cups of mixed greens and the tomatoes in your salad bowl.

2. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

3. Add the pearl balls and basil to the bowl.

4. Toss with the vinaigrette.

 

Serves 2.

Created by Julie

Summer Peach Cake

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It’s peach season in Ontario! Time to buy your baskets fully laden with these luscious

golden peaches for snacking, baking or as additions to your summer salads or meals.

Of course for those of us who are energetic, there could be peach jam or peach

preserves for the winter months.

 

I always look forward to this time of year, when I see the local peaches arrive in

my grocery store. Some days, I will devour one or two peaches in one sitting. You can

never get enough of their sweet goodness especially since peach season is a fairly

short one.

 

This enticing summer peach cake is divine. It is a simple cake that enhances the sweetness

of the lovely peach.  Alternatively, nectarines, plums and mangoes could also work in this

beauty of a cake.

 

 

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Recipe:

 

3 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced thin

3/4 t ground nutmeg

1 c sugar divided

6 T unsalted butter

1 egg

1/2 c buttermilk

1/2 t vanilla extract

1 c flour

1/2 c ground almonds

1 t baking powder

1/4 t baking soda

1/4 t salt

Instructions:

 

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Butter your 9 inch round cake pan.

3. In a bowl, toss the peaches with the nutmeg and 1/2 c sugar

4. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and the remaining sugar together.

5. Next add the egg, buttermilk and vanilla extract, mixing well.

6. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, powder, soda and salt.

7. Mix the dry with the wet ingredients thoroughly.

8. Pour into your cake pan.

9. Bake for 10 min at 350, then lower temperature to 325 and continue to bake for another 40 minutes until cooked.

 

Adapted from http://thegingeredwhisk.blogspot.com

Pistachio Almond Cake

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This sumptuous gluten free cake is made from two of my favorite nuts. Can you guess?

Pistachios and almonds are all ground up into an exquisite nutty flour that is devoid

of gluten.

 

This sensational tasting cake has very few ingredients so it is so easy to whip up.

All you need are eggs, sugar, nuts, butter, zest and vanilla extract.  This recipe has

been lying around until I finally replenished my pistachio supply. I generally have a

multitude of other types, but I preferred to try it with them before deviating with the

recipe.

 

 

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Recipe:

 

less than 3/4 c melted unsalted butter

3/4 c golden caster sugar

1 T grated lime zest

2 t vanilla extract

4 eggs at room temp

1 1/2 c ground almonds

1 c ground pistachios

 

Instructions:

 

1. Preheat to 320. Prepare your loaf pan.

2. Beat the butter, sugar, zest and vanilla in your mixing bowl for 10 min. Now

add your eggs one at a time, beating well.

3. Fold in your ground nuts.

4. Pour into your pan and bake for at least one hour until the centre is cooked.

 

Adapted from milk_honey

 

Field Green Salad with Pistachios in a lemon dressing

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Every time I am grocery shopping, I’m always in awe of the beauty of the red leaf

lettuce tossed in amongst its leafy friends. My favorite salad of choice is the

field greens because of its variety of leafy greens from spinach, green leaf lettuce,

red leaf lettuce and radicchio.

 

Just imagine a field filled with all of these varieties ready for a hand picked salad. Just

a bit of this and a fistful of that and voila, an array of colors and textured leafy

greens for your dining pleasure.

 

This refreshing salad with the tender greens required a lighter type of dressing so this lemon

dressing was the right choice. When I tasted the dressing, it almost reminded me of lemonade

with the lemon juice and honey mixture. I adored the crunch of the pistachio garnish.

 

Recipe:

 

6 cups mixed salad greens

1/4 c fresh cilantro

1/4 c chopped parsley

1/4 minced sweet onion

1/4 c coarsely chopped pistachios

 

Dressing:

 

1 T grated lemon zest

1 T fresh lemon juice

1/4 t honey

1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

1/4 t sea salt

pinch pepper

 

Instructions:

 

1.  In a small bowl, whisk the lemon zest, juice and honey together. Slowly add the oil.

Season with salt and pepper.

2. In a salad bowl, mix the salad greens, cilantro, parsley and onions together. Toss

with your dressing.

3. Garnish with the pistachios.

 

Serves 4.

Adapted from Fridaynightdinners with Bonnie Stern.

Mahogany Rice Salad with Peaches

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Through out the year, my family consumes infinite grains of rice. Sometimes it is

jasmine, arborio, basmati, wild, sushi rice or a combination. Each type is appetizing

in their own way.

 

This striking mahogany red rice salad has a richness of both color and taste.

The nutty flavored grains are so satisfying to chew on as part of your summer time

meals. Another great picnic idea, if you need one. Colored rice such as brown, black,

purple and red are known as unmilled. This means that these are whole grain (only the husk

removed) and will provide an excellent source of dietary fiber.

 

Rice salads are versatile enough to be combined with vegetables or fruits; therefore

you can create plenty of satisfying ones.

 

 

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Recipe:

1/4 c fresh orange juice

1/4 c fresh lime juice

2 T veg oil

1 T fish sauce

2 c black rice

2 ripe peaches, peeled, diced

1 c fresh cilantro

1 c minced sweet onion

1/2 c peanuts

dash chili flakes

 

Instructions:

 

1. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, orange juice, oil, fish sauce and whisk together.

2. Prepare the rice according to the instructions.  Remove from heat and let it stand with the

cover on for 15 minutes.

3. Spread the rice out on a baking sheet and drizzle with the dressing. Season with a bit of salt.

4. In a large bowl, place the peaches, cilantro and sweet onions, toss the rice and adjust the

seasonings. Add more lime juice if desired.

5. Garnish with the nuts.

 

Serves 2.

Adapted from http://www.bonappetit.com

Salad with Radish and Fennel

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Since I have an abundance of fennel in my fridge, here is a delectable

tossed salad with crunchy slivers of fennel,  soft tender field greens, crispy

slices of radishes and red onions. The sunflower seed garnish is an excellent choice

to complement this group with the subtle orange vinaigrette.

 

Every day I look forward to creating yet another incredible salad with vegetables

that provide crunchiness, color, texture and balance to each other. It is enjoyable

to also determine what type of dressing is involved from creamy, fruity or vinegary.

With all the diverse flavored oils and vinegars available in the marketplace, you will

never eat the same salad combination twice unless you want to.

 

 

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Recipe:

 

2 cups field greens

small bunches of radishes, cleaned and sliced thin

1 small fennel bulb, sliced thin

1 red onion, sliced thin

juice from one orange

1 T olive oil

1/2 T fresh dill

salt and pepper

Garnish: sunflower seeds optional

 

Instructions:

 

1. Place the field greens in a large salad bowl.

2. Add the radishes, fennel slices and red onion.

3. In a small bowl, whisk the juice, dill, oil and seasonings.

4. Toss and serve.

5. Garnish with sunflower seeds.

 

Serves 4.

Adapted from the martha stewart cookbook.

Fennel Salad with Red Onions and Sundried Tomatoes

 

 

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Today I was searching for a robust flavored salad for my dinner tonight.  The sundried tomatoes

are racy enough to provide the right kick to balance the crunchy licorice flavored fennel and the red

onions.

 

My first encounter with fennel was when a family member cut up crudites including this marvelous

tasting vegetable. The appearance of fennel is a bloated looking bulb like stem with fronds similar to

carrots. It is related to dill, parsley, carrots and  coriander.

 

The italian word for fennel is “finocchio. Characteristics are a distinct licorice flavor and fragrance.

The texture is crunchy and slightly sweet tasting. I enjoy it raw in salads, roasted and braised in stews

during the winter months.

 

In this season of salads, you must try this unbelievably crunchy and delightful tasting fennel tossed into

your favorites or on its own.

 

 

 

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Recipe:

 

l large bulb of fennel

1/2 red onion, chopped

3 sun dried tomatoes in oil, cut into thin strips

1/4 c parsley

3 T olive oil

1 1/2 T sherry vinegar

coarse kosher salt and black pepper

 

Instructions:

 

1. Use a sharp knife to trim the fennel and the stalk. Slice into thin strips.

2. In a serving bowl, combine the fennel, onion, sun dried tomatoes and parsley.

3. In a smaller bowl, mix the oil, vinegar and 1 T oil from the sun dried tomatoes.

4. Season with salt and pepper and pour over the salad.

 

Serves 2.

Adapted from the martha stewart cookbook.