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Mediterranean Bean Salad

Fresh Mediterranean Bean Salad

The Original Dish is one of my favorite food bloggers. My recipe is based on her version of the traditional 3 Bean Salad. I will definitely make this again!

I substituted dried oregano for her fresh parsley, mint and basil. I also substituted black eyed peas for her chickpeas and added feta cheese and fresh tomato! My recipe here is like Village Greek Salad meets 3 Bean Salad!

This recipe has some flexibility. Try any combination of 3 varieties of canned beans. Suzy and I both agree that there are better options than canned green and yellow wax beans.

Ingredients

  • 1 15 oz can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 green pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 red pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 1 tomato, cut in large chunks, optional
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup capers
  • 4-8 ounces block style feta cheese, cut into cubes, optional
  • 1/2-1 tablespoon dried oregano

GarlicDijon Vinaigrette

  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper

Directions

  1. In a large bowl or on a large platter place beans, peppers, cucumber, onion, capers, tomato and feta. Decide to either keep all items separate on a platter for serving or mixing them all up in a bowl.
  2. Sprinkle oregano over all
  3. In a small bowl whisk together vinaigrette ingredients till combined and thick.
  4. Pour vinaigrette over platter of beans or mix into bowl of these same ingredients. Cover and refrigerate an hour or so before serving so beans absorb the vinaigrette.
Village Greek 3 Bean Salad Ingredients Seperated
Sprinkle Salad with Oregano
Whisk Together Vinaigrette and Pour Over Salad
Omit the Feta for a More Traditional 3 Bean Salad

Thank you Suzy from The Mediterranean Dish for your inspiration!

Voila!

Focaccia from Genoa

Focaccia with Olive Oil

This focaccia combines olive oil, wine and water to make a haunting flavor, light porous texture and crispy crust. Carol Field published the cookbook Focaccia in 1994 which includes this recipe and it’s a classic!

Ingredients

SPONGE

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
  • 2/3 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

DOUGH

  • 1/2 cup water, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine or sherry
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Sponge, above
  • 2 1/2 cups plus 2 teaspoons unbleached all- purpose flour, plus 1-2 tablespoons as needed
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

TOPPING

  • About 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4-1 teaspoon sea salt or flaked salt
  • 1 cup ice and water for a separate pan in the oven

Instructions

  1. Sponge: In a large heavy duty mixer bowl sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, whisk it in and let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour and beat until smooth. Cover and let rise until puffy and bubbling, about 30 minutes.
  2. Dough: Place sponge bowl and mixer paddle in place in the mixer. Add the water, wine and olive oil to the sponge. Add the flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together. Change to the dough hook and knead for 3 minutes at medium speed, stopping to press the dough into a ball. Use the 1-2 tablespoons extra flour to finish kneading by hand briefly on a smooth surface.
  3. FIRST RISE: Place the dough in a large lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  4. SHAPING AND SECOND RISE: The dough will be soft, full of air bubbles and stretch easily. Press into a lightly oiled 10 1/2 x 15 1/2 inch pan. Dimple it well with your fingertips or knuckles, cover with a towel, and let rise until puffy and doubled, about 45 minutes.
  5. BAKING: Preheat oven to 425 F. On the bottom rack place a large shallow baking pan. Also place a baking stone if you have one on the middle rack. When all are hot, again dimple the dough. Drizzle olive oil so it pools in the indentations and sprinkle with sea or flaked salt. Place the focaccia on the stone. Pour 1 cup cold water and ice into the bottom rack pan. Quickly shut the oven door and turn temperature down to 400 F. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden. Immediately remove from the pan and cool on a rack. Cut into large squares or rectangles. Serve warm or room temperature.
Finish kneading by hand briefly on a smooth work surface
Place dough in a large oiled bowl
Cover and let rise
Dough rises to double in size
Spread dough into pan with your fingers and dimple too!
Cover with a towel and let rise until puffy and doubled
Dimple again and drizzle with olive oil
Hot out of the oven!
So delicious!

Voila!

Thank you Carol Field, author of Focaccia Simple Breads from the Italian Oven!

Colorful Slaw with Apple Cider Vinaigrette 


Purple, green, red, orange, and white make a colorful alternative to the typical white cole slaw! The Whole30 Cookbook is my source!  I used an organic apple cider from Aldi’s that has the “Mother” in it. It’s a milder flavor.

I added more red pepper, carrot, apple and almonds here than the Whole30 recipe described. 

Here is the colorful display. All the kale needed is not pictured here


Lacinato kale is a traditional Italian variety


For the slaw:

1/2 head red cabbage, sliced thin and cut in 2 inch lengths 

1/2 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, leaves sliced in thin ribbons

1 bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, thinly sliced

1 cup shredded or matchstick sliced carrot 

1 large apple, julienned

1-4 oz package or 1/2 cup slivered almonds

For the Vinaigrette:

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

1 large clove garlic, minced with 1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • In a large bowl combine ingredients for the slaw
  • In a small bowl or jar whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients.
  • Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables and toss well
  • Add more salt, pepper or vinegar to your taste!
  • Serve right away. The slaw keeps in the frig a couple days
  • Voila!

Beet Soup

Above is a beet soup made with grated beets and no greens and below it a beet soup with julienne sliced beets and greens. Same recipe, but different beet prep. The recipe makes about 4 1/2 quarts.

I have made many variations of beet soup, also known as borsht. Borsht is a Russian soup that’s a mixture of vegetables including beets, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes and possibly other veggies. The bright color of beets gets muted when cooked with other vegetables, so I like to make this beet soup with only beets, tomatoes and some onion in a vegetable broth with added spices. It’s really so simple. 

And the big surprise is that this beet soup tastes delish hot or cold! Cold soup in the summer is so refreshing! 

We had dinner in Chicago at the Russian Tea Time. It’s much more than a tea room. Their menu is full of hearty Eastern European fare! Their borsht was a beautiful red of grated beets and carrots which inspired me to develop this recipe for Beet Soup! 

Ingredients

8 medium to large beets

8-16 cups vegetable or chicken stock, low salt if possible if using store bought stock. Stock is better than broth! Better Than Bouillon is good too. Use 8 cups water to make a thicker heartier soup. Use 16 cups water makes a lighter soup, my preference

2 – 28 oz cans diced tomatoes in juice, not sauce!

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

5 large bay leaves

8 large cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed

10 whole allspice or more

10 whole coriander seeds or more

1/4-1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes. This adds a fair amount of heat. Use less if you don’t want it hot.

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1 small bunch fresh dill or 1 tablespoon dried dill, but fresh is much better

Salt if desired

Instructions

  • Trim off stems and leaves from beets. Reserve the stems. Use the leaves to make a Beet Salad. Look up my recipe. Or cut the greens in julienne strips and add to the soup at the very end.
  • Wash the stems and cut them into 1/2 –  1 inch lengths. Set aside.

  • Soak beets in water and scrub clean.
  • Peel beets with a vegetable peeler. Grate them with a food processor or Kitchen Aid attachment or slice and then cut into julienne strips. Set aside in a bowl.
  • Meanwhile, in a large 12 quart stock pot, heat the stock. 
  • Add onion and tomatoes to the stock.
  • Add bay leaves, garlic, allspice, coriander, and hot pepper flakes. Cover and bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes. 
  • Add the beets and stems to the soup. Bring to a boil and simmer on low for 10 minutes.

Here is the beet soup made with julienne strips of beets and the greens

  • Add sugar, red wine vinegar, and dill. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. 
  • Add greens if you like. 
  • Cool and store in the frig for a full 24 hours so the flavors meld. 
  • Float sour cream or plain yogurt on each bowl if you like. But you’ll lose some of the bright red color! This is traditional, but not necessarily always used.
  • Or serve it ice cold in the summer!
  • Voila!

This beet soup is made with julienne strips of beets and the greens.



Empty bowls of beet soup offer a beautiful color that’s even pleasing to look at!

Beet Burgers with Corn Salsa and Red Cabbage Cole Slaw

  
   

   

 

Beet Burgers have a real meaty taste and look! I love them! The secret is roasting the beets!

Served here with Elote/Corn Salsa, you don’t need ketchup or mustard. I used fresh corn and Parmesan shavings in the salsa. For the cole slaw recipe I substituted red cabbage for the green.

I found these fantastic sites on Instagram!

Go to Chocolate for Basil.com   Look for Beet Burger with Elote Salsa

Here is the link:

http://chocolateforbasil.com/recipe/beet-burgers-with-elote-salsa/

 CravingsinAmsterdam has a recipe for Tamarind Roasted Chickpea Tacos with Apple & Cabbage Slaw. I used the slaw recipe and substituted red cabbage for the green.

Here is the link:

http://cravingsinamsterdam.com/?s=tamarind+roasted+chickpea+tacos&submit=Search

 

Cold Beet Soup

This is a soup my Russian grandmother used to make. It’s all vegetables, no meat and served ice cold! It’s the Russian version of Spanish gazpacho and salamorejo!

You can add more of the ingredients you prefer. It’s slightly sweet sour, but you can add more of the vinegar and sugar if you want. Garlic, green onion and dill are other strong flavors you can increase. If you want a chunkier soup, add more beets and cukes!

No sour cream in this recipe!

 

The cold borsht above has the leaves and stems. The borsht below does not have them.  


  

6 beets with stems and greens (you can omit the greens and stems and use 8 beets)

3 cucumbers, not too thick because those are seedy

8 green onions

1 bunch dill fronds, left whole

2 very large cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons white wine or rice vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

Trim the beet stems and leaves from the beet root. Wash all thoroughly in a sink of cold water. Scrub the beet roots with a brush. 

In a very large pot, place the whole scrubbed beet roots and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer until a fork can just slightly be inserted. Don’t over cook. They should be slightly crisp.

  
Lift the beets out of the beet water with a large spoon and place in a colander to cool. 

Place a mesh strainer lined with a paper towel or coffee filter over a large bowl. Pour the beet water over the filter into the bowl.  Reserve strained beet water and cool.  This is the broth. There should be about 8 cups or so.

To make a filter, fold a paper towel in half crosswise and in half again.

   
   
Cut up the beet stems into 3 inch lengths. Cut the larger greens in 1/2 or 1/4s. Place stems and greens in a medium pot. Add 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Simmer only a minute or so. Strain the liquid through the paper toweling and reserve the greens and stems in a bowl to cool.

  
  
Peel the beets with a paring knife. Cut in 1/2, then slice and then cut into julienne strips or small cubes. Reserve in a bowl.

   
    
   
Wash and peel the cukes. Slice and julienne or cut into lengthwise quarters or eights and then slice into small bites. Reserve in a bowl.

  
Wash and slice the green onion. Reserve in a bowl.

Mince the very large clove of garlic. Add 1/2 tablespoon of the 2 tablespoons of salt and mince to a paste. Reserve.

  

In a very large bowl with a lid or a pot combine all the ingredients with a spoon. Add more salt, sugar, vinegar, garlic, green onion to taste. Cover and chill overnight and serve ice cold with a whole grain European style bread. Leave the dill in the container. Don’t add it to the serving bowl.

  
This is so colorful and nice to look at I like to store it in clear glass quart size canning jars in the frig. Enjoy!

Fennel, Celery & Pomegranate Salad

Thank you to Steve and Mary Kin for hosting our Dinner Club this week and especially for assigning me this recipe! I have made it 3 times this week! I hope to make it for Thanksgiving or Christmas too. The red and green colors are so festive!

Fennel, Celery & Pomegranate Salad

Fennel, Celery & Pomegranate Salad

This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit, October 2014. I only increased the quantities because I could not find small fennel bulbs and I wanted a larger quantity to take to a party. You can easily cut this recipe into thirds, but we ate dinner size portions of this with a small piece of meat on the side. It does not keep well, so use it within 1 day for best appearance. It gets a little wilted.

The key is to use a mandolin slicer to thinly slice the fennel, celery and shallots. Be careful of your fingers. Always use the protective handle.

Fennel, Parsley, Celery, Shallots, Pomegranate, Lime Juice, Olive Oil

Fennel, Parsley, Celery, Shallots, Pomegranate, Lime Juice, Olive Oil


A Mandolin Slicer set on the thinnest blade

A Mandolin Slicer set on the thinnest blade


Slicing the fennel with the protective handle in place on the fennel bulb

Slicing the fennel with the protective handle in place on the fennel bulb


Slicing the celery 3 half stalks at a time

Slicing the celery 3 half stalks at a time

 

Coarsely Chopped Celery Leaves

Coarsely Chopped Celery Leaves


Coarsely Chopped Parsley

Coarsely Chopped Parsley


Pomegranate Sliced in Half and Then Broken into Quarters

Pomegranate Sliced in Half and Then Broken into Quarters

 

Sliced and Chopped Vegetables Ready for the Marinade

Sliced and Chopped Vegetables Ready for the Marinade


Completed Fennel, Celery & Pomegranate Salad

Completed Fennel, Celery & Pomegranate Salad

3 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced

9 celery stalks, thinly sliced

3 shallots, thinly sliced

1 cup flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup celery leaves, coarsely chopped (most of the leaves are on the inner celery stalks or the celery hearts)

Seeds from 1 whole pomegranate (slice in half and then break into quarters to easily pop out the seeds)

1/2 cup FRESH lime juice

1/2 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • Place the mandolin slicer over a large mixing bowl and thinly slice the fennel, celery and shallots directly into the bowl.
  • Add the coarsely chopped parsley and celery leaves, and the pomegranate seeds
  • In a small bowl combine the lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix lightly and pour over the vegetables. Toss with large mixing spoons.
  • Serve as a side dish or as the main course for a light salad lunch.

Corn Frittata with Romano Cheese

Corn Frittata

Corn Frittata

This is nice for breakfast, brunch or lunch. The size of the skillet determines how high the frittata is when served. If you want larger serving pieces, use a smaller skillet. I used a 10 inch stainless skillet. I would use an 8 inch skillet for a thicker serving wedge, but I would not use a larger skillet than 10 inch.

As long as your skillet is HOT before you add the oil or butter, it will not stick too much. If you want to be sure, use a nonstick skillet.

Corn Frittata in a 10 inch Stainless Sautepan

Corn Frittata in a 10 inch Stainless Sautepan

This recipe is taken from Cooking Light 2014. I have changed very little to this recipe. Although I did not add the parsley.

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (2 ears)

1/3 cup diced shallots or onion

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided

1/4-1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (a delish addition)

1/4 cup lowfat milk

6 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons butter

1 ounce pecorino Romano cheese grated (1/4 cup)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, optional

  • Preheat broiler.
  • Heat an 8 or 10 inch ovenproof skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add oil and swirl to coat.
  • Add corn and shallots; stir and sauté 3 minutes.
  • Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and smoked paprika.
  • Saute 1 minute and remove from heat.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, remaining salt and pepper and milk.
  • Add corn mixture to eggs and stir.
  • Wipe out skillet with paper towel.
  • Return pan to medium heat and add butter and swirl to melt.
  • Add egg mixture to pan. Cook 1 minute without stirring.
  • Gently slide pan back and forth to keep eggs from sticking.
  • Cover, reduce heat to low and cook 4 minutes.
  • Sprinkle cheese over eggs.
  • Place under the broiler to finish cooking 1-2 minutes until eggs are just set and cheese melts.
  • Sprinkle with parsley.

 

 

 

Roasted Asparagus and Lettuce Salad with Poached Egg

Roasted Asparagus and Romaine Salad with Poached Egg

Roasted Asparagus and Romaine Salad with Poached Egg

Tonight I made a light dinner in honor of the first days of Spring. The temperature this morning was 5 degrees F, but I am trying to think WARM weather. The longer days and sunshine helps.

I love poached and soft boiled eggs. The French seem to use them often as a topping on their foods. I’ve eaten them on salads, toasted breads, cooked vegetables and on quickly cooked stews at home and in Paris and Corsica! Pretend you are in France enjoying the warmth and ambiance and give this recipe a try! It’s a very quick lunch or dinner that is special enough for company! It only takes 30 minutes 🙂

The original recipe is from Cooking Light May 2013. You can find the recipe there also. Today I used romaine because I could not find arugula at the grocery store. Choose your favorite lettuce variety. The arugula is more French. I also substituted cilantro for the tarragon because I had cilantro in the house. I did not add the toasted bread. If I had not eaten two pieces of bread at lunch, I would have added the bread to this salad tonight 🙂

Serves 4

1 pound asparagus, trimmed

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

3 tablespoons minced shallots

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or other fresh herb ( I used cilantro today)

5-ounces baby arugula or other lettuce variety

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

4 large eggs

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Place asparagus on a jelly-roll pan. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Toss gently to coat. Arrange in a single layer. Bake at 450 degrees for 5 minutes or until tender-crisp.
  • Place in a large bowl: remaining 7 teaspoons oil,1/8 teaspoon pepper, 1/8 teaspoon salt, shallots, lemon juice and tarragon. Whisk together.
  • Add arugula and toss. Divide salad onto 4 dinner plates.
  • Top salad with roasted asparagus.
  • Add water to a large skillet, filling 2/3 full. Bring to a boil. Add vinegar.
  • Break each egg into a custard cup and pour gently into water. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 3 minutes or to desired degree of doneness. The yolk should be runny, but the egg white should be white, not clear.
  • With a slotted spoon remove each egg and place one on each salad. Sprinkle with black pepper.
  • Voila!

Warm White Bean and Spinach Salad

Spinach Salad Ready to Serve

Spinach Salad Topped With Parmesan Crumble


Spinach Salad Before Adding the Baked Crumble

Spinach Salad Before Adding the Amazing Crumble

Dave and I have been enjoying delicious food and friendship with our Dinner Club for many years. The four couples meet every 2 to 4 months for a dinner which the host plans. They then assign the other 3 couples one recipe to make. This past weekend our assigned recipe was one the host experienced at a cooking class in Bay City, Michigan at Fusion 1 Café.

This spinach salad is reminiscent of the 1970s version which includes red onion, chopped egg, bacon pieces and a red wine vinaigrette. The Fusion 1 Café recipe goes beyond this, adding northern beans to the dressing. Bacon is substituted with a crumbly mix of toasted whole grain bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. I used a very hearty whole grain bread which is my favorite choice Kroger Private Selections Artisian Multi- Grain Boule.

This is a hearty salad which can be a nice lunch or light dinner.

2 slices multi-grain bread (the larger middle slices of a round boule)(dry overnight on a rack on the counter)

1 cup grated parmesan cheese, high quality such as Parmigiano-Reggiano

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

10 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped (use generous size cloves)

Salt and pepper

3/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary

1 pound great northern beans, (I used 1-15 ounce can, slightly drained.)

4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped

6 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 pound baby spinach (I used 10 ounces for 8 people)

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced and soaked in ice water for 5 minutes

1 yellow bell pepper, thin julienned sliced

Shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese as needed

2 hard boiled eggs

  • In a food processor place the dried bread, parmesan, 2 tablespoons oil, salt and pepper. Pulse until ground and combined.
  • Toast the mixture in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside.
  • Place a skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the 3/4 cup olive oil and heat. Add the garlic and rosemary.
  • Cook only 1 minute or less. Do not brown.
  • Add beans and cook on low for 7 minutes.
  • Stir in tomatoes, vinegar and Dijon. Remove from heat.
  • In a large salad bowl place spinach, onion and sliced pepper.
  • Pour bean mixture over all. Add the cheese and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Shred the eggs over all and top with bread crumb mixture.
  • Present at the table and toss slightly to serve.