Mediterranean Summer Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes, Figs and Kasseri

Combining thyme and mint in one dish is common throughout Greece and Turkey. Look for the best summer tomatoes you can find, it will make the salad shine. Pomegranate molasses is found in most supermarkets or any middle eastern grocery store.

mediterranean-summer-salad-1024x682

1½ lbs heirloom tomatoes, chopped into ½ inch dice (2-3 large)

½ pint (about 8) figs, quartered

1 t fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1 T fresh mint leaves, chopped

¼ C red onion, finely chopped

6 C baby arugula or mixed seasonal greens

1½ C crumbled Kasseri cheese (or Feta)

 

Dressing

Juice of 1 lemon

2 t pomegranate molasses (or good quality balsamic vinegar and 1 T honey)

¼ C olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

 

In a large serving bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients except the cheese. Whisk together the dressing and pour it over the salad. Toss well. Add the cheese and toss lightly. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

 

Note: make it a main course by adding chunks of cooked chicken.

 


Mediterranean Lentil Salad with Black Olives & Mint

ed4f653e51df484d0c8501eea180131e

1 C dried French lentils (lePuy) rinsed well and picked over

1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed

2 bay leaves

¼ t dried oregano

1 cinnamon stick or ¼ t. ground cinnamon

 

Combine the lentils, garlic, oregano, bay leaf and cinnamon in a saucepan and cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then cover, lower the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, 20-25 minutes. Drain the lentils well and discard the whole spices.

 

¼ C olive oil

1 T rice vinegar (can substitute apple cider vinegar)

2 T fresh lemon juice, more to taste

1 t lemon zest

½ t ground cumin

Sea salt and pepper to taste

 

In a separate bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, cumin and salt together. Toss the lentils with this vinaigrette and let stand while preparing vegetables.

 

1 red pepper, diced small

1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced small

¼ C pitted black olives, sliced in half or quarters (Kalamata or Moroccan)

3 T fresh mint, chopped

½ C (2 ounces)feta cheese, crumbled

 

Add the chopped vegetables to the lentils, stir gently. Adjust seasoning for salt and pepper or fresh lemon juice.


Melon and Blueberry Salad with Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette

A healthy summer salad that can be amped up with a pinch of cayenne. You can also try it with a bit of Tajin chili-lime powder, available at many supermarkets, including Walmart. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tajin-Fruit-With-Lime-Seasoning-5.3-oz/10849977

 

696d1dc6424857cf24eea97708766ab7

2 C Galia or cantaloupe melon, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 C watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 apple, thinly sliced (a combination of red and green is nice, but choose whatever you like)

1 C blueberries

4 C arugula

¼ lb feta cheese, crumbled

 

Dressing:

4 medium shallots

Zest and juice of 1 lime

¼ C apple cider vinegar

1/3 C olive oil

1 T honey

Pinch of cayenne (optional)

½ t Tajin chili-lime powder OR Sumac (optional)

Sea salt, to taste

 

Roast the shallots: Preheat the oven to 375F. Place the shallots in an oven tray with the skin on, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and roast for 45 minutes. Allow them to cool enough to handle and remove the skins. Transfer the shallots to a food processor, mini-prep or Magic Bullet and add the remaining dressing ingredients. Blend well, taste and adjust for salt and spice.

 

Put the arugula in a large, wide serving bowl and scatter it decoratively with the melons, apple slices and blueberries. Add the crumbled feta and lastly drizzle with the vinaigrette. Extra dressing can be served on the side. Serves 4.


Kabocha Wheatberry Salad

Kabocha-squash-salad-

 

 

An Autumnal combination — you get the sweetness, nuttiness, crunch, and the tahini in the dressing brings it all together. Kabocha is Japan’s pumpkin — slightly flattened and green dappled with white. Its flavor is similar to pumpkin, but sweeter. If you can’t find kabocha squash, substitute acorn or delicata. With its assertive creaminess and mild saltiness, the French feta, made from sheep’s milk, is particularly good in this dish, but you can definitely substitute your favorite feta. This recipe was adapted from the blog honestlyyum.com by Adrienne for a class Brookside November 18 2015. 

1 kabocha squash
½# shiitake mushrooms
1/4 C olive oil
1 C of wheatberries, cooked
1/3 C hazelnuts
2 large handfuls of baby arugula or kale
French feta

Dressing:
1 T tahini
1 T honey
juice of 1 large lemon
1 T apple cider vinegar
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil (more as needed)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven 400 degrees. Halve kabocha across its equator and scoop out seeds; using a large chef’s knife, cut squash into wedges. Toss wedges with half the olive oil and lightly season with sea salt and black pepper. Roast squash 25-30 minutes until tender. Remove and discard stems from shiitake; slice tops into strips. Toss in extra virgin olive oil and lightly season with sea salt and black pepper. Roast in the 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until they begin to get dark and crispy around the edges. (You can also roast the shiitake and squash together, just remember to remove the shiitake before the squash).Toast the hazelnuts in a small pan over medium heat. Keep the hazelnuts moving to prevent them from burning. When you begin to smell their fragrance, remove them from the pan. Cool and chop roughly.

Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk tahini and honey; add lemon juice and vinegar and incorporate well; slowly add olive oil and continue whisking until the ingredients are emulsified and the dressing is smooth; if the dressing is too thick, add more olive oil to achieve the right consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble the salad, arrange the squash wedges on a plate. Combine the arugula, hazelnuts, shiitake mushrooms, and wheatberries in a bowl and toss with dressing. Place the salad between the wedges and top with several cubes of French feta; drizzle with additional olive oil.


Mediterranean Lentil Salad

lentilAdapted from Rebecca Katz, The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen

1 C dried lentils
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced small
¼ C pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
3 T fresh mint, chopped
3 T fresh parsley, chopped
2 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

Dressing:
1 T brown rice vinegar
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 t lemon zest
1 t cumin
½ t sea salt
¼ C olive oil

Begin by cooking the lentils: rinse them well, put them in a saucepan and cover in water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower the heat, and simmer until tender, 20-25 minutes. While the lentils are simmering, whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Drain the lentils thoroughly and toss with the dressing, then refrigerate for 20 minutes to cool and allow the dressing to soak into the lentils.

Chop the pepper, cucumber, olives, mint and parsley and add to the lentils. Adjust for salt and pepper. Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve. Store in an airtight container 3-5 days. Serves 6.

(Note: cooked lentils can be found in the produce section of many grocery stores. If you choose to use them, warm them in the microwave before tossing with the dressing. The warm lentils will absorb the dressing better and soften the lentils. You will need 2 cups cooked.)


Mexican Green Bean Salad

mexican-green-bean-salad-vertical-600-600x816

 

1 lb fresh green beans, strings removed, ends snapped off, cut in half into about 1 ½ inch length pieces
¼ C onion, finely chopped
2 T lime juice
2 T olive oil
½ t sea salt
½ t dried oregano (Mexican oregano if you can get it)
¾ C packed, chopped cilantro
1/3 C pickled jalapeño chili peppers, sliced
1/3 C chopped red onion
¾ C cooked corn kernels, from one large ear
½ C crumbled feta cheese
½ avocado, sliced or cut into inch long pieces
1 medium tomato, cut into 8 wedges, or a cup of halved cherry tomatoes

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and simmer until just crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the beans and run cold water over them to cool them quickly. Drain completely; dry on paper towels and place in a large plastic bag. Combine lime juice, olive oil, 1/4 cup onion, sliced pickled jalapeños, sea salt, oregano and cilantro. Pour over beans and toss. Let sit for half an hour. When ready to serve, gently mix in the chopped red onion, corn and cheese. Serve the avocado slices and tomato wedges on the side or mixed into the salad. Serves 6.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Spinach Soup with Sumac and Feta

spinach soup

Sumac’s name comes from the Arabic word for red, which is the color of the spice, sumac, widely used in Middle Eastern cuisine.  It has a tangy flavor not unlike lemon but distinct.  You can find sumac at any good spice shop, such as Penzey’s, or markets that sell Middle Eastern or Indian ingredients.  You can also find it on line — there’s a link below in the ingredients list.  The spice comes from the sumac bush, which grows all over the world.  The type that is made into a spice is sweet sumac, or aromatic sumac.  The fruits are dried and ground into a powder. Poison sumac (there are more than 250 species of sumac)  is distinguished by white fruits rather than red or orange.  Poison sumac can cause an allergic reaction like poison ivy.  If you don’t have sumac for this recipe, substitute lemon juice and/or lemon zest.  This was part of our demo with a large class on a beautiful Wednesday at Brookside Gardens February 19, 2014. Read More