Monday, July 26, 2010

Chef's Salad with Turkey, Avocado, and Jack Cheese

  • 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 large head Boston lettuce
  • 1 pound sliced roasted turkey breast, torn into pieces
  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced
  • 1 cup alfalfa sprouts or pea shoots
  • 6 radishes, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into strips (1 cup)

In a small bowl, combine buttermilk, sour cream, vinegar, and honey; season with salt and pepper. Set dressing aside.

Divide lettuce among four serving plates; top with turkey, avocado, sprouts, radishes, carrots, and cheese. Drizzle with dressing, and serve.

Makes 4 servings

From Everyday Food, May 2008

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Toasted Bulgur, Tomato, and Feta Salad with Three Herbs and Toasted Pine Nuts

A twist on tabbouleh. Serve with grilled lamb and Warm Green Bean Salad or Fattoush.

  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup chopped loosely packed Italian parsley, including tender stems
  • 2 firm ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into ½ inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup cubed (1/2 inch) cucumber
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 4 ounces (about 1 cup) crumbled feta cheese
  • Toasted pine nuts

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spread the bulgur in a 13x9 inch baking pan and bake until lightly toasted, stirring once, 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add 1½ cups boiling water, 1 tablespoon oil and ½ teaspoon salt and stir to blend. Let stand, covered tightly, until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

2. Dressing: In a large bowl whisk 1/3 cup oil, the lemon juice, garlic and ½ teaspoon salt until blended.

3. Finely chop the mint and parsley. Combine the bulgur, dressing, herbs, tomatoes, cucumber and onion and toss to blend. Spoon into a deep platter and garnish with feta and toasted pine nuts. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings

Adapted from Marie Simmons, Fresh & Fast Vegetarian

Corn Tortillas Stacked with Sautéed Mushrooms, Spinach and Manchego Cheese

  • 8 6-inch corn tortillas
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes with the juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced jalapeño or Serrano chilies, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 10 to 12 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms (about 4 cups)
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bag (5-6 ounces) baby spinach (about 6 cups packed), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup shredded Manchego or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup Mexican crema, light or regular sour cream
  • 2 scallions, trimmed, cut into thin diagonal slices

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush one side of each of the tortillas with the oil and arrange, slightly overlapping, on a rimmed sheet pan or baking sheet. Bake until warmed and slightly crisp, about 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-low heat in deep skillet or sauté pan until hot enough to sizzle a piece of onion. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and heat to a boil. Cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the chiles and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro.

3. While the sauce is cooking heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet until hot enough to sizzle a slice of mushroom. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, over medium heat, until golden and tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the spinach all at once and cook, covered, over medium- low heat, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Uncover and if there is moisture in pan, cook on high heat, to evaporate, about 30 seconds.

4. Remove all but 4 of the tortillas from the baking sheet and set aside. Ladle about ¼ cup of the thickened sauce in the center of each tortilla and spread to the edges with the underside of the ladle. Using half of the mushroom and spinach mixture place a portion on top of each sauced tortilla. Top with the remaining 4 tortillas. Add remaining sauce to each, and top with remaining mushroom and spinach mixture, dividing evenly. Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons of the shredded cheese.

5. Return to the oven and bake until the tortilla stacks are heated through and the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

6. To serve slide each tortillas stack onto a dinner plate. Top with a spoonful of sour cream, a sprinkling of scallions and a pinch of chopped cilantro. Serve at once.

Makes 4 servings

Adapted from Marie Simmons, Fresh & Fast Vegetarian

Curried Egg and Feta Breakfast Quesadillas

  • 3 8-inch flour tortillas
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 3/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 5 large eggs, beaten until frothy
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup tomato salsa
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush a large baking sheet lightly with oil.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until hot enough to sizzle a piece of onion. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the curry powder. Add the eggs and cook, stirring with the flat edge of a rubber spatula, adjusting the heat as needed, until the eggs begin to set, about 2 minutes. Turn the eggs out of the skillet onto a plate.

3. Place the tortillas on a baking sheet and sprinkle half of each tortilla with 2 tablespoons of the feta. Spoon the scrambled egg mixture on top of the cheese distributing evenly. Top with a spoonful of salsa if using and a generous sprinkling of cilantro. Fold the tortillas over to make half circles. Press down lightly.

4. Bake until the tortillas are warm and beginning to color, about 3 minutes. Turn each with a wide spatula and bake 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into wedges.

Makes 3 servings

Adapted from Marie Simmons, Fresh & Fast Vegetarian

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Middle-Eastern Grill Night

Asian Night

Omelette Night

  • Eggs, cherry tomatoes, feta, arugula; serve with tater tots, orange juice

Lunches: Bittman Salads

  • Sort-of-Cobb salad: hard-cooked eggs, cooked chicken, crumbled Gorgonzola, chopped tomatoes, chickpeas or white beans, sliced red onion, vinaigrette, romaine
  • Plums, balsamic vinaigrette, red onion, grilled chicken, fresh oregano, almonds, greens
  • Cook a pot of short-grain rice. While it’s still hot, toss with raw grated zucchini, fermented black beans, sriracha, sesame oil, sake and a touch of rice vinegar. Add bits of leftover roast chicken or pork if you have it, and pass soy sauce at the table.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Smoked Salmon on Black Bread with Sweet Butter

Serve these festive canapes with sparkling wine.

  • 4 slices firm, dark Westphalian black bread or warm thin-sliced toast
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces thin-sliced smoked salmon
  • Fresh dill sprigs, watercress leaves, or other small fresh herb or salad leaf

1. Spread the bread with a thin layer of the softened butter. Arrange the salmon over the buttered bread in a single layer, cutting the salmon to fit.

2. Cut the bread into four small squares. Garnish each with a leaf of your chosen garnish.

Serves 4

From Fresh & Fast by Marie Simmons