Goodness, is it Wednesday already? With Easter just around the corner, I’ve been busy getting things together (i.e., vacuuming the house — for once and doing *gasp* laundry) and have become rather delinquent with these weekly salads. Here’s a salad that is full of bright, seasonal flavors. It’s not exactly a diet salad, but in these parts, fried goodness is allowed and encouraged every once in a while.
Recently, Jim M. commented on my post on Moules Marinière and mentioned having tried Meyer lemons as part of a seafood tempura dish at Highlands in Birmingham, Michigan. I have yet to make it out to Birmingham to try out the restaurant but I’ve been itchin’ to try that meyer lemon tempura. So, I made them recently and added them to a salad of red leaf and pan-seared baby octopus. After thinly slicing the meyer lemons, I coated them with cornstarch (and lightly shook them to remove excess cornstarch) before dipping them into the tempura batter. The recipe for that can be found here. I served the salad with a quick dressing of [1 part meyer lemon juice + 3 parts olive oil + S&P]. The meyer lemon tempura added a nice, crispy and refreshing contrast to the salad. I would suggest serving one lemon tempura for each salad.
I know people who dislike green beans but love sugar snap peas. I don’t associate with such misguided people normally, but I’m willing to extend a branch of friendship with this salad. Sugar snap peas are finally coming into season and this is a simple salad with quickly-sauteéd peas, sliced minneola tangelos and toasted almonds. Serve with a dijon vinaigrette [dijon + 3 parts olive oil + 1 part red wine vinegar+ S&P].
Check out these other posts/articles:
Fava Beans: A Little Spring on Your Plate from NPR’s Kitchen Window
Fava Bean Bruschetta at Vegalicious
I discovered Ya Li pears (aka Yali pears) a few years ago and I always look forward to their season. I purchased some fresh arugula from the Huntington Beach Farmers Market and made a salad combining it with the pears. Ya Li pears are exremely sweet and juicy, much like the round, flatter and slightly brown skinned Asian pears. What I like about these pears is that I don’t feel I have to peel its delicate and thin skin. Pear and blue cheese are a great combination and the arugula adds a nice peppery contrast.
The arugula I bought tasted quite agressive as it is not as young and tender as I would have liked to use for a raw salad so slightly wilting it in a hot pan with oil (for about 30 seconds) helped to take the edge off of. Any good blue cheese will do. However, I am partial to the one made by Maytag. Add some toasted pecans or walnuts for extra oomph.
There are a lot of fantastic versions for this dish. At restaurants, they will sometimes serve this with crispy fried potatoes or rice. I often make this just as a salad with no rice or potatoes. It’s quick and easy dish that I can put together for a weeknight meal. Sometimes, I’ll quickly pickle the shallots in vinegar and sugar before topping the final dish. Here, I’ve added them to the stir-fry. I use tomatoes whenever they’re in season. Watercress is great this time of year, so I find myself making this dish quite often.
INGREDIENTS: (4 servings)
For the beef marinade:
For the salad:
I love the flavor of celery and I thought it would be nice to make a salad that was similar to one I had recently which featured raw, shaved fennel. I add a few leaves of Chinese celery for a contrast in color as well as flavor. Chinese celery’s sharp, assertive flavor is a nice contrast to the delicate celery and the gruyère adds a nice richness and nuttiness to the entire dish. I think flat-leaf parsley would also be good here. I might try it with some sliced kumquats next time.
The celery is first peeled using a vegetable peeler (this helps to keep it from being too stringy when eating) before it is cut into paper-thin slices . Serve with a simple dressing of red wine vinegar/lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil [ + S&P].
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I make roast chicken EVERY week. This is because Pierre thinks if he doesn’t eat his poulet rôti regularly He. Will. Die. I’m not complaining because I do love making it and eating it as well. Although Pierre will not agree, I find it’s rather boring after a while. I always have left over chicken in the fridge and I try my best to find good, different ways to use the left over meat. I mean, a little *diversity* once in a while can’t hurt, right? Speaking of which, will Hillary prevail tomorrow?
Anyway, this is a simple salad that I make with leftover chicken. It has Bibb/butter lettuce with grated carrots and a poached egg . It’s great color-wise, texture-wise and it takes little time to prepare. Serve with a vinaigrette of [1 part wine vinegar + 3 parts olive oil + finely minced shallot + dijon mustard + S&P].