Archive for ‘Salad’

May 25, 2011

Wheat Berry and Lobster Salad

This is another recipe that was on my Must Try List and that I had been really looking forward to trying. I guess I was waiting for the perfect opportunity to arise. An opportunity such as having some beautiful leftover lobster meat to use it in.

You see, the other night when we had our “summer kick-off” steaks, there was also lobster, but there was no way I could eat mine: it was wayyyyy too much food!!  So I ended up cleaning it and putting it away, knowing EXACTLY what I was going to do with it! I thought it would work perfectly with this salad

AND I THOUGHT RIGHT!!

This salad was just plain insane. In fact, I think I would buy lobster just to do it again! Of course, I guess, if lobster was  not available, shrimp would probably work fine too, but I am telling you, the chewiness of the lobster matched that of the wheat berries just beautifully! And the flavor combination was also superb.

Heidi’s recipe called for carrots but I decided to use orange bell peppers instead. Same color, different texture and taste. It turned out to be an excellent choice. It too, matched the lobster quite well.

The best thing about this salad is that if you have all the ingredients ready, it really comes together in no time. 10 minutes and you’re done. Sure, wheat berries do take a long time to cook, but the trick is to do them ahead of time, then you’re all set!

I guess the best way to go about it is to cook your wheat berries the previous day. Put them to soak in the morning before you leave for work, then cook them in the evening while you are making supper (they require no attention whatsoever, so they won’t even disrupt your schedule) and leave them in the fridge to cool until the next day (or until you are ready to use them… just don’t wait a month, you know!).

And if you have never tried wheat berries before, this, right here, is the perfect excuse for you to give them a go!

INGREDIENTS
(serves 1)

Salad

  • The meat of one lobster, cooked and cooled
  • ½ cup wheat berries, cooked and cooled
  • ½ orange bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 large stalk of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Dressing

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp za’atar (or dried oregano)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Pinch black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. [The previous day] Soak wheat berries for 8 to 12 hours, then drain, rinse and cook in salted water (at least 4 parts water to 1 part berries) in a pot for an hour to an hour and a half, until chewy but tender and all water is absorbed.  Cool completely before adding to the salad.
  2. Chop veggies and lobster meat in small bite sized pieces and mix all together in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Mix together dressing and pour over the salad.
  4. You can serve this immediately or refrigerate for a half hour to an hour to allow flavors to fully develop.

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May 18, 2011

Tributerre Inspired Zucchini and Goat Cheese Salad

I got the inspiration for this salad at this cozy little bistro that I sometimes go to with my mom and daughter. The food that they serve is quite healthy and they have a rather wide selection of very interesting and unique pizzas, sandwiches and salads.

They serve a lot of organic food and they have quite a few options that are vegetarian and vegan friendly. Also, they regularly hold special events for which their chef (who happens to have the voice of an angel) will create elaborate menus that are specifically tailored to fit the occasion (although judging by the amount of butter and Parmesan cheese that go in that spinach & ricotta ravioli, I think I’d better stick with the regular menu, however amazingly good this may look!)

Back to the salad… My daughter and I were at the bistro last Friday for “La Fête au Village”, a phenomenal performance by true African artists who danced, sang, played music (A-M-A-Z-I-N-G percussions) and told stories while we were eating and drinking our hearts content.

I chose to have a light grilled vegetable and pesto panino and shared a beautiful warm goat cheese and zucchini salad with my daughter. It was absolutely delicious and I immediately decided that I would try to replicate it at home, while making a few minor modifications. I didn’t wait too long either, for this already happened tonight!

Now my daughter will be soooo jealous when she sees those pictures. She happens to be pretty passionate about zucchinis. And I am extremely sorry to report, my dear sweet daughter, that this salad I just made was heavenly good, even more so than the one we had at the Tributerre the other night! (sorry Davide, yours was really good too, you know!)

It was unbelievably tasty, fresh and light, yet incredibly satisfying and filling, probably because of the chickpeas. This one WILL definitely become a regular for me. I want to eat that again tomorrow, and the day after…

Seriously, if I was served a salad that good at a restaurant, I would kiss thank the chef personally!

Oh, and Tasha, next time you are here, I will make you one, I promise! Or, maybe I could make one when I come visit this week-end?     


 

Ingredients
(Serves 1)

  • 1 zucchini, sliced paper thin, lengthwise
  • 10 kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  •  ½ cup chickpeas, cooked and cooled (or canned)
  • 20g goat cheese, crumbled
  • A handful of mesclun
  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread, toasted and cut into 5 strips

Dressing

  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp fleurs d’ail
  • ½ tsp capers
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Pinch pepper
  • Squeeze lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients of the dressing to a medium mixing bowl and whisk with a fork until combined. Add zucchini and stir delicately until all the slices are evenly coated.
  2. Lay the mesclun on the perimeter of your serving plate and mound zucchini in the center.
  3. Sprinkle chickpeas, kalamata olives and goat cheese crumbles. Place your toast strips around the salad and serve immediately.

May 10, 2011

Summer Is Almost Here Lobster Salad

I had bought an extra lobster, just in case… I wasn’t sure whether my son would be home for dinner or not, so I decided to play it safe. Turns out he didn’t, so I ended up with one leftover lobster.

Great!!! I was gonna get to make lobster something. But lobster what? I never made lobster anything before. I always had lobster lobster, period.

I thought about it for a long time, came up with many ideas, but I don’t know, for some reason, none of them seemed to really inspire me.

Creamy Lobster Pasta? Naaah, way too similar to the creamy salmon pasta I just had…

Lobster crêpes? Nope. Way too fancy. Not in the mood for fancy.

Lobster pizza? Yeeaaah, maybe… that could be an option, but on a weeknight? I don’t know… Plus, I really have my heart set on that chicken, sundried tomatoes and goatcheese pizza and having lobster pizza now would mean I’d have to push the chicken one back another month or so. Not good.

Lobster sandwich? Han han, I think that would be a waste… You don’t make a sandwich out of something you only get to eat once a year.

I needed to find something that would be visually pleasing, (I really wanted to eat that lobster with my eyes first), and that wouldn’t completely overpower the delicate flavour of the lobster flesh. Something light, something fresh… something that would celebrate that little bit of sunshine we’re finally getting…

A SALAD! What else? And there you have it…

Summer is almost here Lobster Salad.

It fit the bill, perfectly!

Ingredients
(serves 1)

  • 175g cooked lobster meat (the meat of one lobster)
  • ½ avocado, diced
  • ½ tomato, diced
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • ¼ cup black olives, sliced
  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1tsp fresh oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • A handful of arugula

Instructions

  1. Cook the corn according to directions on package (use your preferred method) then rinse it under cold running water to cool it down. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add lemon juice, mustard, thyme, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix with a fork or whisk until well incorporated.
  3. Add all other ingredients except arugula. Toss lightly until well combined
  4. Lay arugula on a serving plate and mound lobster salad in the middle.
  5. Serve with whole grain tortilla or bread.