Leslie is a new friend I run with in Boca Ratón… She is a salad lover like me.
I always end up talking food with everyone I meet and this is one of Leslie’s favorite salads to make. I hope you enjoy it as much as Leslie and I enjoy it.
SPINACH AND GOAT CHEESE SALAD
Baby Spinach leaves
Goat Cheese crumbles
Spiced Nuts – like almonds or pecans
Dress with Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
- Mix all the ingredients in a large salad bowl and dress with Balsamic Vinaigrette. Toss well to combine.
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Mix all the ingredients in a small glass jar and shake well.
I firmly believe that God or the Universe, however you prefer to say it, puts the right people in our path for us to learn and grow… And Annie Mariel has been a real blessing in my life. It’s as if God, in his all-knowingness, understands and knows exactly the type of person you need in your life at a certain time in your life.
We got along almost immediately since we met each other about 5 yrs ago in a conversational French class. We have lots of things in common – we’re both consultants, we both enjoy anything French, we both enjoy to travel, we follow yoga and spiritual practices, we are both vegetarians… bueno, almost vegetarians because Annie Mariel still eats seafood and shellfish on occasion. But she gets my idiosyncrasies of being vegetarian. She has passed on to me her love of running and we even applied to run the Amazing Race together… (oh boy!!!)
Annie Mariel is a great supporter and fan of KarmaFree Cooking… and for my last supper of 2012 she wanted to contribute by bringing a salad. She knew I was going to cook pasta. She asked me to make it as light as possible, so I pleased her by making the sauce all tomato, instead of mixing it with some cream or half and half, like I like to do on other recipes. She told me she would surprise me with the salad… and that she did.
This salad had a little bit of everything… and it was delicious! I asked Annie Mariel if I could feature her salad in KarmaFree Cooking and she agreed. I hope I make her proud. Try it for yourself…
ANNIE MARIEL’S COMPOSED SALAD
Sliced Red Onions
Crumbled Blue Cheese
Toasted Almond Slices
Crispy Fried Onions
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
- In a large bowl add all the ingredients. Toss lightly to combine
- Dress the salad with vinaigrette.
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup extra virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Sal and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Place all the ingredients in a empty glass or mason jar. Shake well to combine. Let rest for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to combine well.
- Serve on top of your favorite salad.
To be honest… I was not going to blog about this. This was just the salad I had for lunch yesterday.
This was the order of events…
I am proud to say, I am friends in FaceBook with Top Chef Master Suvir Saran. We have friends in common and once I confused him with someone else because his face was familiar to me. Hello!!!! The mutual friend made me come to my senses and instead of him taking offense with my confussion, he friended me. And we’ve been “FaceBook Friends” ever since.
Suvir shared a picture of a delectable Caprese Salad yesterday in his page and I was inspired to have a Caprese Salad for lunch too. I had some avocado I do not want to go to waste and I added some to my salad. That’s it… that’s how this dish came to be.
Photo Courtesy of Chef Suvir Saran
Today, I shared my pic in Facebook, emulating Suvir’s move and there are so many Likes and compliments that I was urged to share here with you all. People want to learn to make this salad… so, here’s the non-recipe:
CARIBBEAN CAPRESE SALAD
Romaine Lettuce – 3 leaves, cut thinly into strips
About 10 GrapeTomatoes, halved
3 slices of Fresh Mozzarella – ripped into smaller pieces
2 wedges of avocado, cut small
Balsamic Vinegar – the best aged one you can find
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Just assemble the veggies in a plate.
- Drizzle olive oil, balsamic vinegar over the veggies. Sprinkle with salt and pepper over salad.
- Toss to combine as you eat it.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. This was fresh, filling yet left me space to eat some mashed potatoes with broccoli. I know the combination sounds weird, but that’s my lunch menu for you.
Thanks Adela for encouraging me to share this… please, now PIN AWAY!!!!
It’s the holidays… as you know, Puerto Rico has the longest holidays in the world, because they last until the Fiestas de San Sebastián, which is until the middle of January. And if you judge instead by the time people take off their Xmas lights, it could be until the beginning of February even.
I’ve been hosting a few get-togethers and been invited to some others and you never want to arrive with your hands empty. Especially qhen you’re vegetarian… because that “something” you bring with you can be your insurance policy to having something safe to eat that evening. My friends are already familiar with my veggie, red pepper or hummus dips, but every year I want to surprise them with something different. This was this year’s star appetizer…
1 8oz packet of white button mushrooms, sliced
2 tbs of butter
1 tbs of olive oil
Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
1 small sprig of thyme, just strip out the leaves
3 tbs of balsamic vinegar
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat up the butter and oil. When the butter/oil is very hot, add the sliced mushrooms. Toss a bit so the mushrooms are coated with the oil mixture on most sides. But don’t toss them continually; allow them to get brownish on one side for a few minutes before moving them again. Add the thyme.
- After about 10 minutes of cooking, the mushrooms will have shrunk in size and are golden brown. Now, add the salt and pepper and toss to combine.
- After another minute, add the balsamic vinegar. Be careful because it splatters a bit and the pungency of the smell can “hit you in the face”. Toss the mushrooms to combine and allow the balsamic to be absorbed by the mushrooms and evaporated a bit from the heat of the pan.
- Turn off the stove and allow continuing to cook with the residual heat that’s there.
I thoroughly enjoy these with peppered goat cheese balls on whole wheat crackers. It’s serves as a great appetizer for a small get-together dinner party or to serve at a night of wine and cheese.
With the plethora of tomatoes I’ve been receiving from my CSA box, I needed a way to use them up in quantities before they went bad – because in a week’s time I would be receiving another huge batch.
I have been a fan of sun-dried tomatoes for a while now… it was my first “foodie” grocery purchase about 10 yrs ago. I remember we went to this gourmet store called Domenico’s, which is no longer in operation. I went to buy sun-dried tomatoes, but left with my first piece of Gruyere cheese too. It was a good day.
So I decided how it would be if I made my very own version of sun-dried tomatoes… they’ll not completely dry, but the flavor is definitely intensified by roasting them low and slow.
As many tomatoes as you can fit in a baking sheet – halved and seeded
A drizzle of olive oil – about 1 tbs for the whole thing
A sprinkling of Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste
About ½ tbs of balsamic vinegar
A few leaves of thyme – optional
- Place the halved and seeded tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and thyme leaves if using. Drizzle a very small amount of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.
- Mix all the tomatoes to make sure they’re evenly coated with all the ingredients we added. Make sure they’re all cut side up before placing them in the oven.
- Roast slowly in a 250F oven for about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Don’t let the tomatoes burn too much or they’ll taste bitter.
Use them in your favorite tomato application… they’ll impart an intense tomato flavor to pastas, salads and sandwiches.