Rice and arugula salad

I have been cooking a lot of rice and grains with my beloved rice cooker.  Putting up a batch when I leave the house makes for happy eating upon returning home with an appetite.

Ingredients:

Brown rice, cooked and cooled, tossed with champagne vinegar and olive oil

Arugula, rinsed and dried somewhat
Carrots, 2, sliced thin with knife or with mandolin
scallions, sliced

Nuts — pepitas are good
Romano, freshly grated

Dressing:
Lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
Olive oil – 3x lemon juice
S&P

Mix up dressing and put in bottom of large, preferably narrow, bowl
Put in: arugula, carrots and scallions, and toss.
Lay greens on top of rice, and sprinkle on pepitas and grated romano

Other options: pine nuts, olives

Source: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/rice-salad-with-arugula-pine-nuts-and-olives-2198

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Grains and greens bowl

Once you get a rice cooker, you may want to not stop exploring the universe of rice varieties (not to mention yummy steel-cut oats for breakfast). For such an exploration, here’s a recipe that combines farro and black forbidden rice, cooked separately and cooled on a sheet pan. Mix in roasted cauliflower, steamed dandelion greens with a champagne vinegar dijon vinaigrette, and it’s stick-to-the-ribs delicious! Gilding the lily with some sweet on-hand cherry tomatoes and pepitas. Roasted butternut squash and/or other winter squash in lieu of cauliflower is Chef Thomas Keller’s recipe.

Ingredients:
Farro, 1 c
Black forbidden rice, 1 c
1/2 onion, chopped
Dandelion greens, 1/2 bunch, rinsed well and cut off tough bottom stems — steam in rice cooker for 10 minutes at end of one grain’s cycle
Cauliflower florets, roasted w/ olive oil, S&P
Vinaigrette made with champagne vinegar & mustard

Optional: cherry tomatoes
Pepitas
roasted butternut squash, sautéed first in butter in sauté pan

Directions:

Cook two separate batches of farro and rice. When each is done, remove to sheet pan, spread out and cool. (Tip: tastier farro if you sauté onion in olive oil, then add in farro to toast for 2 minutes, and then add into rice cooker with water.)
At end of second cycle, lay in cleaned dandelion greens on steamer dish to steam during last 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put sturdy sheet pan in oven to heat up.
Roast cauliflower florets with olive oil, S&P for 10-15 minutes, turning once or twice so they don’t burn.
Prepare vinaigrette: Put 3 T vinegar into Pyrex measuring copy and whisk in 1/2 t Dijon mustard. Add S&P, and whisk in olive oil. Taste with dandelion green and adjust to your taste.

Assemble:
Rice and faro in large bowl.
Mix greens in separate bowl with vinaigrette.
Put cauliflower on rice/farro, top with greens and vinaigrette. Add tomatoes and pepitas.

Serving the greens and cauliflower while still warm is nice. And the room temp rice/farro is a lovely contrast.

source/inspiration: https://www.jamesbeard.org/recipes/farro-and-black-rice-with-roasted-autumn-squash

Mexican summer cabbage slaw

Perfect in hot-hot weather with the first summer cabbages.

Ingredients:

1/2 to 1 whole conehead summer cabbage, cored and sliced thin
1/2 red onion, diced
Cilantro, chopped
Optional: 1 carrot, grated

Dressing:
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t brown sugar
1 t dried Mexican oregano, crumbled
1 hot pepper, chopped and/or 1/2-1t red pepper flakes

Directions:
Prepare dressing
Core, rinse and slice cabbage and place in large bowl. Pour over liquid and mix with hands or utensils. Add onion and cilantro, and mix again. Refrigerate for 2 hours to one day before serving.

 

Source: The kitchn.comIMG_4871

 

 

Impromptu summer lunch salad

Hungry mid-day and don’t want to fuss much? Take what you have that is farm fresh and toss together a casual salad.  Here’s what went into today’s salad chez moi: chopped kale, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, raw summer squash, diced peppers.  If I had a red onion, I would have added that to the mix. But this is a no-stress lunch, so not to worry, I told myself.

I wasn’t in the mood for a sharp vinaigrette, so here’s what I did: I started with leftover extra mayonnaise/sour cream from potato salad. To that I added buttermilk and a bit of olive oil and salt.  Voila!

Canned items:  chickpeas, drained and rinsed, artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed, and soaked in olive oil (the oil I later added to creamy dressing, above)

Farmers market/CSA items:

yellow summer squash, sliced thin on mandoline

assorted sweet peppers, cut into large dice

Several leaves of lacinato kale, soaked, dried and chopped fine

YUM!

Summer lentil salad extravaganza

When you find yourself with lovely local lettuce in early summer, and perhaps some leftover grilled chicken, cook up some Puy lentils and assemble a main course salad, great for a crowd. Pomegranate molasses adds a new flavor element to sherry vinaigrette brightened with lemon zest and juice.

Ingredients:
Stewed puy lentils, chilled
Chicken or vegetable stock for cooking lentils
Sherry shallot vinaigrette with shallots macerated in apple cider vinegar, lemon zest & juice, walnut & olive oil, sugar and pomegranate molasses
Leftover chicken, sliced thick or hard boiled eggs or boiled chilled shrimp (omit cheese)
Canned artichoke hearts and bottled roasted peppers, drained and rinsed.
Toasted walnuts (1 c), broken up when cool.
Little turnips, carrots sliced on mandoline
fresh herbs, minced — parsley and chives, at a minimum

Directions:

Cook lentils: Sauté diced carrots, celery, shallot in large saucepan. Add 1 t cumin, crumbled, ground pepper, and less than 1 t dried thyme, crumbled. When done, stir in chopped garlic and cook for one minute.
Stir in 1-1/2 c puy lentils, picked over and rinsed. Turn up heat and add stock to more than cover. Bring to a simmer and cook at least partially covered 20-30 minutes until barely tender — don’t let get mushy. Drain and chill.
Toast 1 c. walnuts in 350 degree oven for 7-8 minutes until fragrant. Let cool, then break up a bit.
Heat olive oil in small sauce pan, add couple garlic cloves cut in half and cook for a couple minutes until slightly browned and aromatic. Remove from heat and let sit.
Drain and rinse artichoke hearts; put on towel and blot dry. Put in bowl and pour garlic oil over them, adding more oil as needed.
Make vinaigrette: minced shallot and apple cider vinegar to macerate 15+ minutes. Lemon zest, lemon juice, sherry vinegar, walnut oil, olive oil, dash sugar (or honey) and 1-2 t pomegranate molasses, S&P. Taste and adjust acid, salt and sweetness as needed. Using a lettuce leaf is a good method of tasting.
When lentils are cool (or brought to room temp if cooked in advance), toss liberally with vinaigrette. Salt as needed.
Mince fresh herbs such as parsley and chives. Mix into lentils with walnuts.
Wash and spin dry lettuce leaves.
Clean turnips and cut thinly on mandoline with carrots and parmesan, if using. Cover and refrigerate to wait for salad assembly.

Assembly:
Lay lettuce leaves around outside of platter. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Dump dressed lentils in center. Top with chicken, artichokes and peppers. Sprinkle on coarsely broken up turnips, etc.

Winter salad — Watercress, pears and blue cheese

A delicious, elegant dinner party first course.  I served for Thanksgiving.  Pears are in season; watercress is a welcome bright green as Winter is setting in in the Northeast US.

Ingredients:

Watercress

Mesclun

Pears – D’Anjou

Blue cheese

Walnuts – roasted and cooled (375 degree oven for 8 mins until fragrant)

Vinaigrette:

Shallots, minced; soaked in apple cider vinegar to cover

Lemon juice

Walnut oil

Olive oil

S&P

Shake in bottle; refrigerate up to a couple days. Remove before using to come to room temp.

Salad assembly:

Wash and dry lettuce and watercress; remove thick stems if needed

Cut pear in half and core with corer, or cut into quarters and slice to remove core.

Cut quarters into quarters  or thirds lengthwise to make moderate-size wedges.

Toss greens with vinaigrette. Place on individual plates. Lay pears in pretty way grouped together on side of plate. Sprinkle walnuts and blue cheese on top. Drizzle more dressing on pears, etc.

Sweet potato salad

This is a terrific way to serve sweet potatoes at a party. It comes from my long best friend Deb.  It is an unexpected mix of flavors, all delicious and somewhat healthy to boot!  I intend to get around to posting my entire recent New Years day party menu — with recipes.  Since this was requested and the only recipe I have is a text message, it deserves a more secure place, such as here.

Here’s the idea of it:  (1) You roast thickly sliced unpeeled sweet potatoes in olive oil until JUST tender (not mushy) and, if you’re lucky, somewhat caramelized.  Let cool, and cut in half or 1/3’s to make large chunks.  (2) Cut up red peppers and scallions.  (3) Make a honey dijon vinaigrette with tarragon vinegar.  Store separately in the refrigerate and combine with non-HFCS sweet chopped pickles or relish just before serving.

Ingredients:

8 or so good-size sweet potatoes, the best you can find (farmers markets, yes)

1-2 sweet red peppers, washed, and cut into large dice

1-1/2 bunches scallions, sliced

sweet pickles (non HFCS) or Wickles relish

honey dijon vinaigrette made with tarragon vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Wash potatoes and cut without peeling into 1″ or larger slices.
  2. Put olive oil on sheet pan.  Smush potatoes into oil (or oil onto potatoes).  Probably will need a second pan. Roast, checking and turning for about 20 mins, checking more frequently at end, to try to snag them JUST as they turn tender (a fork goes in ’em easily) and before getting mushy.  This will probably mean pulling off individual pieces as done rather than the entire pan.  Let cool.  When cool, cut in half or perhaps thirds to make LARGE chunks.
  3. Wash red peppers and scallions.  Cut peppers into large dice, and slice scallions.  Put into their own container (together) and refrigerate.
  4. Make vinaigrette with tarragon vinegar.  1 t honey, 3/4 t mustard (Dijon, preferably), tarragon vinegar, S&P.  Add olive oil.  I like to do this in a bottle (which allows you to simply shake rather than whisk).  Refrigerate.
  5. Cut up sweet pickles into small pieces, or find that Wickles relish.
  6. To serve:  pour vinaigrette over potatoes, add red peppers, scallions and pickles/relish, toss and serve.