Sunday, March 29, 2009

Two Delicious Summer Salads

These are my two favorite summer salads. I dont like lettuce or leaves as much because I dont think they have much taste but I love fresh tomatoes (especially this time of year when they are super fresh) so I prefer to have a salad that I can bite into -- something wholesome but still fresh. You get me?

1) Fresh Italian Caprese Salad aka Insalata Caprese (Salad in the style of Capri). It comes from the Italian region of Campania.

Tomato 2 (Vine ripe or beefsteak tomatoes only; best from a farmers market): cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
Mozzarella (1 pound; fresh if possible): cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
Olive oil (2 tblsp)
basil leaves (6)

Place tomato discs on a plate. Place mozzzarella slices on top of the tomatoes. Top with a basil leaf. Drizzle olive oil (extra virgin olive oil). Sprinkle salt (fresh ground coarse salt if possible) and whole bkack pepper (fresh ground). Enjoy!
Variation is a Chopped Caprese Salad: For this, I chop the tomates and mozzarealla into squares instead and add cubed cucumber. To this I also drizzle balsamic vinegar and add chopped basil. This will stain the mozzarella so the dish wont be as pretty but the taste of the balsamic makes it pretty yummy.

2) Easy Feta Greek Salad
Feta cheese crumbled
Tomato (beefsteak or grape tomato cubed)
Cucumber 1
Fresh lemon 1/2
Olive oil (2 tblsp)
White wine vinegar (to taste)
Olives (greek kalamata or black pitted)
Green bell pepper or small red onion chopped (optional)

Mix all vegetables (tomato, cucumber, olives). Add olive oil, salt and fresh ground whole pepper, juice of half fresh lemon. Mix and add wine vinegar to taste. Gently fold feta cheese into the salad. Enjoy - its the best.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Carla's English Peas (From Top Chef Season 5)

If you are a fan of Top Chef Season 5 you know what i'm talking about. The real recipe is unknown but this is what I guaged from reading food blogs. Some recipes call for tarragon which I didnt have so I didnt use.

Here's the best ways to make "english peas"!

Pack of English peas (i got them at whole foods this weekend)
Lemon zest (made by grating the rind of a lemon really fine)
1/4 stick or 3 -4 tblsp butter
Salt and

1) Create a mixture of lemon zest and thyme (1tsp) in a bowl. Place cold butter.
2) Blanch the peas (until dark green). I just put them in a saucepan with water. Heat for about 5 minutes. Strain.
3) Add hot peas to bowl with cold butter. Toss. Add salt to taste (1/4 tsp).

That's it. It's the best.