Archive for the 'Salad' Category

03
May
08

Menu: Dinner for Two

Inspiration: My husband often works late so on nights he arrives early I love to prepare an intimate setting. Dinner for Two is a simple and elegant dinner even for week night dining.

Creation:

  • Arugula & Prosciutto Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

  • Crusty Garlic & Herb Bread

  • Tortellini with Oregano Butter

           

 

What:

Arugula & Prosciutto with Orange Vinaigrette

  • 8 oz Arugula: washed, dried and roughly chopped
  • 4 slices Prosciutto
  • 1 large orange: zest & juice
  • 2TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 2TBSP honey
  • 1 clove garlic: minced
  • 3/4tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 3/4cup extra virgin olive oil

How: Preheat 350 degrees

  • Place prosciutto slices on baking sheet and bake until crisp approx 10 minutes. Let cool and crumble the prosciutto.
  • In blender or food processor combine the orange zest, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, salt & pepper. Blend until smooth.
  • While processor is running slowly pour extra virgin olive oil & blend until fully combined.

Plate Up:

  • Place arugula in large bowl
  • Pour orange vinaigrette over salad and allow to wilt & toss
  • Sprinkle prosciutto crumbles & toss salad again

What:

Crusty Garlic & Herb Bread

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 3 garlic cloves: minced
  • 2TBSP Parmesan: fresh & grated
  • 1tsp rosemary: fresh & chopped
  • 1tsp oregano: fresh & chopped
  • 1 sweet Italian loaf: sliced

How: Preheat 450 degrees

  • Oil the inside of the bowl of a food processor (will help the herb butter from sticking)
  • Add softened butter, garlic, Parmesan, rosemary & oregano
  • Pulse until well combined
  • Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread
  • Lightly toast the bread: approx 5-6 minutes

Plate Up:

  • Place bread on desired serving plate
  • Serve warm

What:

Tortellini with Oregano Butter

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 1/2tsp dried oregano
  • Parmesan: fresh & grated
  • 1 pkg cheese tortellini (find in deli section or freezer section of market)
  • Kosher salt

How:

  • Bring large pot of water to boil: salt generously
  • Boil tortellini until translucent & puffed
  • Melt butter in saute pan over medium heat
  • Reduce heat to low
  • Add oregano and stir 2-3 minutes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Plate Up:

  • Using a pasta strainer or slotted spoon put tortellini into large serving bowl
  • Pour oregano butter over the tortellini
  • Toss & Sprinkle with Parmesan
  • Serve

The ingredient combination of Dinner for Two was superb. Each dish complimented one another with the key ingredient of oregano. Arugula Prosciutto Salad with Orange Vinaigrette cleansed the palate and offered a touch of sweetness which blended beautifully with the salty Tortellini with Oregano Butter & Crusty Garlic Herb Bread.

Ciao’

 

 

25
Apr
08

Pear & Carrot Salad with Curry Vinaigrette

Inspiration: In season pears & craving a different salad. I paired this salad with Pork Chop Milanese with Creamy Lemon Dijon Sauce & Creamy Parmesan Orzo.

Creation: Pear & Carrot Salad with Curry Vinaigrette

 

What:

  • 1 1/2 lbs carrots: trimmed, peeled & cut matchstick thin or shaved (save time & purchase prepackaged carrots: fresh are more tasty)
  • 2 firm pears: recommend D’Anjou
  • 2 TBSP fresh parsley: chopped
  • 2 TBSP White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 TBSP Curry Powder
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

How:

  • Cut carrots into matchsticks or use vegetable peeler to shave into thin slices
  • Quarter, core, stem the pears & cut into thin slices
  • Place carrots, pears & parsley in large bowl
  • Using a blender or food processor: combine white wine, curry powder, honey, salt & pepper
  • While blender or food processor is running pour the olive oil & mix until fully combined

Plate Up:

  • Pour vinaigrette over the salad
  • Toss and place on desired serving dish or platter
  • Optional: Sprinkle with Toasted Walnuts

The sweetness of the pears & carrots blended so well with curry vinaigrette. Pear & Carrot Salad cleansed the pallet while dining on Pork Chop Milanese with Creamy Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette. The pairing of all the courses were splendid.

Ciao’

 

16
Apr
08

Penne & Arugula w/ Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

Inspiration: Side dish for Grilled Ribeye & Parmesan Cheese Straws

Creation: Penne & Arugula with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

 

What:

  • 6-8 oz Penne: Vary amount for number of servings
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Arugula
  • 1 Lemon: Juice
  • 2 TBSP Dijon Mustard: Mild & Creamy w/ White Wine
  • 2 TBSP Honey
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Gorgonzola: Crumbled

How:

  • Bring water to boil & then salt: use fair amount to best season the penne
  • Boil penne 8 minutes: al dente
  • Meanwhile, place Arugula in serving bowl
  • Whisk: Lemon juice, Dijon & Honey
  • Pour & Whisk Extra Virgin Olive Oil until fully combined
  • Remove Pasta with Pasta Strainer directly to the salad from the boiling water
  • Pour over the dressing
  • Sprinkle with Gorganzolla
  • Toss & Serve

The creaminess of the gorganzolla mixed with salty penne & peppery arugula blended beautifully with the fresh sweet & tangy Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette.

Simple & Savory!

Ciao’

09
Apr
08

Artichoke & Tomato Panzanella

Inspriation: Love of artichokes…simply stated – I had a craving.

Creation: Artichoke & Tomato Panzanella

 

 

What: (Serving for one)

  • 1/2 can artichoke hearts – quartered & drained
  • 2 Roma tomatoes – sliced or chopped
  • 2 slices Whole Wheat Bread
  • 1/4 cup Basil – fresh & chopped
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup White Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Fresh Black Pepper

How:

  • Preheat grill pan on medium-high heat
  • Slice Whole Wheat into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • Place Whole Wheat & Artichoke hearts on grill
  • Drizzle with olive oil
  • Allow to grill about 6 minutes on each side – bread should be toasted & artichokes golden at tips
  • Remove & place in bowl
  • Add chopped tomatoes, basil, dash of salt and dash of pepper

Dressing:

  • Whisk: 1/3 olive oil & 1/3 white wine vinegar
  • Add 1 tsp. salt & 1 tsp. pepper

Plate Up:

  • Bowl: Bread, artichokes, tomatoes & basil
  • Pour dressing over
  • Toss & Serve

Sweetness of the whole wheat & bite from white wine vinegar & artichokes made this Panzanella another lunch favorite!

Ciao’

 

04
Apr
08

Spring Salad: Vinaigrettes

Inspiration: Salads are a Springtime favorite & I am always creating & searching for new flavors to toss with salads.

Creations: Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette & Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Author’s note: I love using honey to sweeten vinaigrette, fruit, yogurt, tea or breads rather than a syrup or sugar.  I love the taste & it is so healthy!

What:

Honey Balsamic Viniagrette  (vary measurements based on salad size)

  • 2 TBSP Honey
  • 2 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper

How:

  • Whisk: Honey & Balsamic Vinegar
  • Whisk while pouring Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Dash of Salt & 3 turn of Pepper Mill

Plate Up: Toss Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • Spinach, toasted walnuts, chopped Fuji or Gala apple, & goat cheese.
  • Mixed Greens, toasted walnuts, dried cranberries & feta cheese.

What: 

Honey Lemon Vinaigrette (vary measurement based on salad size)

  • 2 TBSP Honey
  • 1 Lemon – juice & zest
  • 1 TBSP Dijon Mustard – Mild & Creamy w/ White Wine variety
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper

How:

  • Whisk: Honey, Lemon Juice & Zest & Dijon
  • Pour & Whisk: Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Dash of Salt & 3 turns of pepper mill

Plate Up: Toss Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Spinach & arugula, mandarin oranges, toasted almonds, & feta cheese.
  • Mixed Greens, sundried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts & goat cheese.
  • Serve as a side dressing for roasted potatoes or pork.

Serve up spring salads with these vinaigrettes for a lite lunch or side salad. Fantastic!

Ciao’

24
Mar
08

Parmesan Pork Chops & Mixed Greens w/ Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Inspiration: Love Pork Chops….don’t love fried food.

Creation: Parmesan Pork Chops

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What:

Parmesan Pork Chops

  • 4 Center Cut Pork Chops
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 cup Parmesan – freshly grated
  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • 1 cup Italian Style Bread Crumbs
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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How:

  • Trim fat from pork chops
  • Salt & Pepper each side – very important to season the meat before dredging in coating
  • Create 3 plates: Parmesan – Egg – Bread Crumbs
  • Dredge each pork chop in each mixture: Parmesan, Egg then Bread Crumbs
  • Coat skillet with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fry pork chops 8 minutes each side
  • Personal Preference: Place in 350 oven to further cook and brown

What:

Mixed Greens w/ Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Mixed Greens – bag mix of any variety
  • 1 Lemon – juice & zest
  • 2 TBSP Dijon Mustard – Creamy made w/ White Wine
  • 2 TBSP Honey
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Toasted Almond Slivers

How:

  • Whisk: Lemon juice, Lemon zest, Dijon & Honey
  • Pinch: Salt & Pepper (approx. 1/4 tsp)
  • Whisk: Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Taste for Flavor – sometimes mine taste a bit tart so I will add just a bit more honey to sweeten
  • Pour over salad & sprinkle with almonds

The Honey Lemon Vinaigrette gives the Parmesan Pork a bit of tangy sweetness against the salty & nutty flavor of the Parmesan.

Ciao’

15
Mar
08

Lite Lunch – Halibut

Inspiration: Fresh Harry & David Pink Grapefruit…they need to be eaten & I want a quick, delicious easy lunch.

Creation: Halibut atop Arugula & Grapefruit Vinaigrette

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What:

  • 1 3-4oz Halibut fillet
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 lemon – juiced
  • 1 Pink Grapefruit – zest & juice
  • Arugula
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon Creamy Mustard w/ White Wine
  • 1 tsp Honey

How:

Halibut Fillet

  • Pour Extra Virgin Olive Oil to grill pan (just a little so Halibut won’t stick) – heat up 
  • Season both sides with salt & pepper
  • Squeeze 1/2 lemon juice over
  • Grill halibut 4-5 minutes each side
  • Halibut should flake with a fork – spring back when touched

Grapefruit Vinaigrette

  • Zest grapefruit into bowl 
  • Cut grapefruit from pith, use paring knife to cut wedges from membrane – set aside
  • Squeeze juice from remaining fruit – into bowl that contains zest
  • Add 1 tsp Dijon Creamy Mustard w/ White Wine
  • Add 1 tsp Honey
  • Whisk all ingredients
  • Whisk in small amount of Extra Virgin Olive Oil – approx. 1TBSP

Dish It Up:

  • Large handful of Arugula
  • Place grapefruit wedges atop
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Pour Vinaigrette over salad
  • Lay Halibut Fillet atop salad

Sweetness of the vinaigrette combined with tang from the grapefruit giving the salty Halibut balance.

Satisfying & Simple!

Ciao’