Late Winter Citrus Salad

It’s that time of year when you need a little spark to lighten up your dinner. One of my favorite salads is this Sicilian Citrus Salad utilizing what’s fresh in the market now. It’s based on recipes that have appeared in the New York Times over the years, but truth be told it is something that my Sicilian grandmother would have made.

And there’s another thing. Having grown up with my Italian and French grandparents, we always had our salad after our entree. A proper salad acts as a digestif. The world has changed with regards to this, but my old habits die hard and I truly relish a refreshing salad after my entree. Give it a try and see if you don’t agree.

Late Winter Citrus Salad

Ingredients:

2 handfuls of baby arugula

1 cup radicchio, shredded

1 large Cara Cara orange, peeled, sliced lengthwise and then across, white pith removed

1 blood orange, peeled and sliced crosswise

1 rib of celery, sliced

¼ cup brined cured black olives, pits removed

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

1 TBS red or white wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Place the arugula and radicchio on a platter

Top with the citrus segments, celery and olives.

Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Drizzle over the composed salad.

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Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

The Goodness of a Bowl of Lentils in Pasta Form

I’m always on the lookout to try new ways to incorporate lentils in my diet. I LOVE lentils!

So, when I was grocery shopping last week you can imagine my delight when I came across a pasta made exclusively from 100% organic red lentils.

In thinking what to do with it, I decided to go with a saute of Swiss chard. I often add Swiss chard to lentil soup-  the flavors complement each other nicely.

Cooking this pasta was an experiment and I am very pleased with the results.And as a bonus, it’s a quick, easy meal to put together. Give it a try- I think you’ll be pleased as well.

Red Lentil Pasta with Wilted Chard

Ingredients:

½ pound (8 oz) red lentil pasta

3 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped fine

1 bunch of Swiss chard, woody stems discarded and leaves chopped

Large pinch of red pepper flakes

2 TBS pine nuts, toasted

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Method:

In a large sauté pan, over low heat, cook the garlic in the olive oil for a minute or two.

Add the Swiss chard, the red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and cook over medium heat until the Swiss chard is wilted. Remove the cover.

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Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water cook the red lentil pasta according to the package directions. Do not overcook.

Using a spider or sieve, add the pasta to the wilted chard.IMG_4046.JPG

Cook stirring for a minute or two until the flavors have blended. Add a little pasta water if necessary.

Serve, garnished with the pine nuts.

Makes 4 servings.

 

The Best Kept Secret of Walpole, Massachusetts

Farmer and The Dell

We’re so lucky- all our children live in places that have great foodie options!

Our daughter, Elyse, and her husband, Rob, live in Walpole, Massachusetts . Walpole is a charming and quaint New England village just a hop, skip and a jump from Boston.

However, there’s no need to travel to the city for great food. Walpole has much to offer, but hands down our favorite place to go is Farmer in the Dell.

Farmer in the Dell makes great homemade meals and desserts to either eat in or take out. Offerings include Breakfast sandwiches on biscuits, homemade flatbreads, great salads, soups, the best coffee around and wonderful desserts and baked goods!

One wintry evening we had dinner there- the Sweet Potato Chili with Quinoa was excellent and I kept thinking about it after I returned home to New York.

Here’s my version of it- it’s very easy to make and soul warming on a chilly winter’s eve!

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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili with Quinoa

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

2 tsp chili powder or to taste

1 tsp salt

pepper

2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed (my preference is always the Asian sweet potatoes)

2 cups cooked black beans  (rinsed and drained if using canned)

1/2 cup red quinoa, rinsed well

4 cups vegetable broth

cilantro for garnish

METHOD:

In a large pot, saute the onions for about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, jalapeno and chili powder and continue cooking over low heat for another 5 -10 minutes until the onions are soft. Stir often.

Add the sweet potatoes, 3 cups of broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.

Add the beans and the quinoa and more broth if needed.

Return the chili to a boil and cover the pan but leave the lid ajar.

Cook for another 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the quinoa is cooked.

Serve with fresh cilantro.

And enjoy!

Makes 4 hearty servings

 

 

Roasted Broccoli Tacos

Do I have to wait until Tuesday to make these Tacos?

This simple vegan recipe using  fresh ingredients is a perfect antidote to the

“What am I making for dinner?” blues.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 red onion diced, to yield 1/2 cup

1 large bunch of broccoli

2 cloves garlic, sliced

red pepper flakes to taste

soft corn tortillas

1/2 cup guacamole

1 avocado, sliced

lime

cilantro

METHOD:

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel the woody part of the broccoli stems.

Cut the broccoli into 1 ½ inch pieces, using both the florets and the stems

Toss onion and broccoli with 2 TBS olive oil, salt and pepper.

Roast for 10 minutes.

Add 2 cloves garlic, sliced, and a generous pinch of red pepper flakes.

Add a drizzle more of oil, toss and continue roasting for another 10 minutes.

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When the broccoli is done, cook soft corn tortillas over a gas burner. Flip when the edges turn dark.

This will take only a few seconds.

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Spread guacamole over each tortilla.

Top with roasted broccoli, sliced avocado, cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

Makes enough for 4-6 tacos.

Serve with your favorite rice and beans.

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And enjoy!!