Warm Quinoa, Spinach and Shiitake Salad

Ingredients

1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
2 pounds fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps halved
1-1/2 cups quinoa
1 pound baby spinach
1-1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese (8 ounces)

Method

  1. Heat the broiler. Set a rack 4 inches from the heat.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  3. On a large rimmed broiler-proof baking sheet, toss the mushrooms with half the dressing (reserve the rest). Broil, tossing occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa, 3 cups water, and 1-1/2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Cover, and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Place the spinach in a large bowl. Add the hot mushrooms, quinoa, and reserved dressing. Toss to combine (the spinach will wilt slightly). Top with the crumbled feta, and serve immediately.

Tip

Do not soak shiitakes in water to clean, because they will become spongy. Instead, wipe the caps clean with a damp paper towel after trimming away the stems.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Great Food Fast


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Calamari Salad

Ingredients

1-1/2 pounds cleaned squid
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
salt and black pepper
1 small red onion, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise (1 cup)
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes (3/4 pound), halved or quartered if large
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Method

  1. Rinse squid under cold running water, then lightly pat dry between paper towels. Halve tentacles lengthwise and cut bodies (including flaps, if attached) crosswise into 1/3-inch-wide rings.
  2. Have ready a bowl of ice and cold water. Cook squid in a 5- to 6-quart pot of well-salted boiling water, uncovered, until just opaque, 40 to 60 seconds. Drain in a colander and immediately transfer to ice bath to stop cooking. When squid is cool, drain and pat dry.
  3. Whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl, then stir in onion and let stand for 5 minutes.
  4. Add squid, olives, tomatoes, celery, and parsley to dressing and toss well. Season with salt and pepper, then let stand for at least 15 minutes to allow flavors to develop.

Cook’s Tip:

Although delicious when eaten right away, this salad tastes even better if you chill it, covered, for 8 hours, and then bring it to room temperature (about 1 hour), stirring occasionally.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Gourmet Italian


Today’s Comic

Snapper with Citrus and Fennel Salad

Ingredients

4 small radishes, sliced paper-thin
1/2 small fennel bulb—halved, cored and shaved paper-thin
1/2 small red or yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon snipped chives
1 tablespoon finely shredded mint
1 grapefruit
1 navel orange
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive
oil, plus more for brushing
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 (6-ounce) skinless red snapper fillets

Method

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the radishes, fennel, bell pepper, jalapeno, cilantro, chives and mint.
  3. Using a sharp knife, peel the grapefruit and orange, removing all of the bitter white pith.
  4. Working over the bowl, cut between the membranes and release the sections into the bowl. Squeeze the membranes over the bowl.
  5. Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the lemon juice to the bowl and season the salad with salt and pepper.
  6. Set the fish on a well-oiled, sturdy baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Broil 6 inches from the heat for 4 minutes, on one side only, just until white throughout.
  8. Using a spatula, transfer the fish to plates and serve with the salad.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Chef Daniel Boulud


Today’s Comic

Char-grilled Steak Sandwiches

Ingredients

4 (80 g each) 1 cm-thick beef rump or topside steaks
4 thick slices bread
olive oil, for brushing sea salt
salad leaves, to serve
cracked black pepper
1/4 cup store-bought caramelised onion relish

Garlic Mayonnaise

1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 cup store-bought whole-egg mayonnaise

Method

  1. Preheat a barbecue or char-grill pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Make the garlic mayonnaise, combine the garlic and mayonnaise and set aside.
  3. Brush the steaks and bread with a little oil and sprinkle the steaks with salt. Place on the barbecue or char-grill and cook for 1 minute each side or until the bread is toasted and the steak is cooked to your liking.
  4. Place 2 slices of the bread on serving plates and spread with the garlic mayonnaise. Top with the salad leaves, steak, pepper, caramelised onion and remaining bread slices and serve.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: Fast, Fresh, Simple


Today’s Comic

Seared Salmon Oriental Salad with Sweet Chili Dressing

Ingredients

4 (4 oz) salmon escalopes
freshly ground sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a squeeze of lemon juice

Oriental Salad

1 mango, peeled, pitted and diced
3/4 cup fresh beansprouts
1 carrot, finely shredded into ribbons (use a potato peeler)
1 big juicy red chili, finely shredded
2 oz mizuna or watercress
1 oz fresh coriander
2 tablespoons roughly chopped cashew nuts
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Sweet Chili Dressing

4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
4 tablespoons sesame oil
4 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

Method

  1. Mix the salad ingredients together, season and set aside.
  2. Mix the dressing ingredients together and set aside.
  3. Fry the salmon escalopes for 1-2 minutes over a searing heat, turn out on to a plate cooked-side up and season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
  4. Dress the salad leaves with a tablespoon of the sweet chili dressing. Ensure that the leaves are simply coated rather than left in a pool of dressing.
  5. Divide the salad between the serving plates, gently place the seared salmon on top, spoon around the remainder of the sweet chili dressing and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Nick Nairn’s Salmon


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