Judith’s Insalata di Finocchio e Mela

Screen shot 2012-12-09 at 19.18.26

1 bulb finocchio, trimmed and cleaned, save some of the nasty green fronds
1 Granny Smith apple, washed and cored, cut in two

using a very sharp knife or a mandolin, cut these into the thinnest possible slices, paper thin.

Sauce:
1 small clove garlic, finely minced and squashed
2 anchovy fillets
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt and then to taste
2 egg yolks
125 ml plus best extra virgin olive oil

Put the garlic and anchovy into a medium sized bowl and add the lemon juice. With a fork, mash them very vigorously until you can barely see that they were there. Add the egg yolks and salt and whisk briskly to combine. Whisking continuously, slowly add the olive oil, making it into an emulsion. After adding the 125 ml, taste and add more to taste. The dressing should be strong because the juices of the finocchio will dilute it powerfully.

Just before serving, toss the finocchio and apple with most of the dressing. To serve, lightly pile 1/4 of the salad onto a plate and sprinkle a bit of that horrid green frondy stuff on it. You can drizzle or dot a little more dressing on the plate around the salad. Don’t make it up too far ahead as the finocchio wilts very quickly and the apple will brown.

You might like a grind of pepper over it, but of course it won’t photograph so well after it.

Amber’s Fennel Salad with Apple, Orange, Arugula and Pinoli


1 fennel bulb
1 large Granny Smith Apple, peeled and cored
2 large Oranges, Squeeze one, segment the other
70 grams of Arugula

3 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts (toast in a dry pan, but do not burn)
2 small or 1 medium Shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 cup Olive Oil
S and P to taste

Combine chopped shallots, vinegar, oil, juice of one orange salt and pepper in a jar, close tightly and shake vigorously.
Using a mandolin set to quite a thin setting, slice fennel and apple.
Combine everything, mix, let sit for a few minutes, (but not so long that it wilts!!) and eat.

Salade Fava Beans, chicken, pecans & kumquats

Salade Fava Beans, chicken, pecans & kumquats by Maureen Horvath

Light refreshing Saturday lunch, kumquats still available here, Georgia is Pecan capital, and Fava beans from Farmers’ Market:

2 cups of prepared fresh Fava Beans 2 cups cooked chicken breast chunks
1 cup shelled Pecan nuts ½ cup sliced kumquats
1 cup EVOO ½ cup fresh squeezed OJ
salt and pepper to taste 2 drops Tabasco
2 cloves garlic minced ½ cup minced fresh parsley
1 head of Romaine lettuce

Toss together the Fava beans, chicken chunks, pecans and sliced kumquats. Whisk together the EVOO, fresh OJ, salt, pepper, Tabasco, minced garlic and fresh parsley. Pour over the Fava bean mixture and toss to coat well. Spoon onto Romaine lettuce.

Cole Slaw by Kim Vanzi

I make this all the time for BBQs and Picnics. I just love Cole Slaw. It is basic simple and so yummy.

Ingredients

About 6 cups of white & red cabbage
3 large carrots
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoon of white sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper

Shredding the cabbage and carrots. in a bowl mix the remaining ingredients. Pour over the cabbage and carrots. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Some variations: Add crumbled bacon, raisins, cooked farro, rice, or nuts.

Sarah & Mark’s Chicken Caesar Baskets

 

This perfect summers day lunch is so easy to make and so delicious to eat. The parmesan baskets are a fantastically simple idea and are light and chewy but crisp. Wonderful!

Chicken Caesar Baskets (Makes 4)

For the Baskets:
2 cups grated parmesan
1 empty jam jar or glass

For the Filling:
1 large chicken breast
2 strips of bacon or speck
Romaine lettuce
chives

For the Caesar Dressing:
2 cloves garlic
4 anchovy fillets
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

First make your baskets:
1. Take a handful of parmesan and a hot flat griddle
2. Spread the parmesan in the centre of the griddle in a circle, thicker towards the centre and thinner towards the edges (this will make the edges more lacy)
3. Heat, then once bubbling and slightly starting to turn golden, remove from the heat
4. Loosen parmesan disk from the griddle with a spatular and as soon as you can, pick it up and drape over the up-side-down jam jar.
5. Make creases to form the bowl shape.
6. Remove from the jam jar and set aside to cool.

For the dressing:
1. Mash the garlic and anchovies together – if you have a mini blender then this is perfect.
2. Add the salt, pepper, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, egg yolk and then whisk in the olive oil. Blitz or whisk together until thick and creamy.

Now for the filling:
1. Slice chicken breast into small pieces and cook on a hot griddle (with any seasoning you may like)
2. Cook bacon in a similar way and cut into strips
3. Wash lettuce, tear into small pieces and toss in the Caesar dressing
4. Place a handful of the lettuce in the bottom of each basket, top with the chicken, bacon strips and chopped chives and you are done.
5. Yummy!

Amber’s Asparagus, Arugula and Parmesan Salad

250 grams of asparagus
Half a red onion, sliced thin
Two handfuls of arugula
Shaved Parmesan (use your vegetable peeler!), About 10 slices
2 strips of cooked (crunchy) bacon or pancetta
Olive Oil for sautéing

For the vinaigrette:
6 tablespoons of Olive Oil
2-3 tablespoons of champagne or white wine vinegar
1 tsp of Dijon mustard
1.5 tsp of honey
1 small shallot, chopped very fine
Salt and Pepper Q.B.

Wash and remove the woody stems from the asparagus. Cut tips of asparagus off and using a vegetable peeler, “slice” the asparagus into long strips. Heat oil in a pan large enough to hold onions and asparagus. Add onions first and let them cook for a few minutes over a medium low heat. Add asparagus strips and tips and continue cooking until desired tenderness. Don’t forget to season with S and P.
Let cool until warm but not cold.
While cooling, add all the ingredients for the vinaigrette to a shaker or glass jar with a lid and shake vigorously until completely emulsified.
To make salad, toss arugula, asparagus, red onions and a desired amount of dressing. (Hey, some people like it lightly dressed while others heavily dressed!) Add cheese and toss again gently. Sprinkle crumbled bacon on top.

Serve alone or accompany with a nice big steak!

Tomato Mozarella with Quinoa Salad by Ingrid Christensen

Tomato Mozarella with Quinoa Salad by Ingrid Christensen

This is easily adapted for any number of guests so I’ll give approximate per person measures.

1 large Tomato (big enough to fit your mozarella inside)
1 Mozarella di Buffola (approx 80-125g)
1 medium sized Capsicum/Red Bell Pepper (cut in 1 cm dice)
1/2 medium sized Eggplant/Aubergine (cut in 1cm dice)
15grams uncooked Quinoa
Salad leaves & Lemon for garnish, Oil for cooking

Step 1: Boil 1 litre of water to be used to skin the tomato and cook the quinoa

Step 2: Add Quinoa and 300ml boiling water to a pot and boil for approximately 15 minutes until cooked. Remove from heat and drain in a sieve.

Step 3: Core Tomato and cut a small cross in the top and cover with boiling water for 10-15 seconds. Drain and cover with cold water.

Step 4: Heat a fry pan (medium-high heat) big enough to hold your Capsicum & Eggplant. Add your oil or choice and any spices or herbs you may like – I used olive oil with a dash of sesame oil to accentuate the nuttiness of the quinoa. Once heated add Capsicum and Eggplant. Cook until done – stirring gently occasionally – don’t overcook your vegetables should keep their shape! Allow to cool.

Step 5: Peel & discard the skin from your tomato, then hollow out the interior keeping the trimmings. You may need to trim the base to do this. Cut a design from your tomato – I used a simple triangular design – don’t cut away too much or it will lose the shape! Insert the mozarella.

Step 6: To make the salad chop up the tomato trimmings and add to the cooled veges along with the quinoa and mix gently.

Step 7: Dress your serving plate with salad leaves, put your quinoa salad in the middle and top with the tomato mozarella. Garnish with lemon.

Step 8: Serve with a squeeze of lemon and your favourite salad oil – I used olive oil but a nutty flavoured oil might be rather nice too.

Buon apetito!

Warm tomato vinaigrette by Temple Perrotta

Warm tomato vinaigrette by Temple Perrotta

Sammarzano tomatoes
½ cup EVO
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
garlic
salt and pepper q.b.
Preparation:
peel and seed the tomatoes, dicing the filets; finely chop the garlic; in a small saucepan, heat the oil with the garlic until the garlic starts to change color; remove from heat and add the chopped tomatoes, the vinegar and salt and pepper and whisk. Toss over fresh tender salad leaves and eat while still warm.

Blood Oranges, Avocado, Black Beans and Arugula Salad by Kim Vanzi

Blood Oranges, Avocado, Black Beans and Arugula Salad

I have made this many times in the past and it is a love light salad.  Make me feel like spring is in the air when I am eating it and a reminder to start eating light again.

2 Avocados firm ripe not mushy

2 Sicilian Blood Oranges

½ Medium Red Onion cut into thin crescents

½ cup Black Olives halved

½ cup of cooked Black Beans

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

¼ cup olive oil

2 Limes juiced

Salt & Pepper to taste

Peel and cut the avocados and oranges in chunks. Place the avocado chunks, orange segments, black olives, black beans, and onion slices in a bowl. Pour juice of one lime and mix gently.

Whisk together the second lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, salt and pepper. Pour over the salad ingredients and toss gently. Serve on top of Arugula. Serves 4 as a first course or side dish.