Posts Tagged ‘arugula’

Unrecipe of the Week: Arugula, Radicchio + Pear Salad

February 2, 2017

We’re always dreaming up new salads to help our catering clients get their greens. This week, we were inspired by a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis for an arugula, radicchio and pear salad. That’s all we needed to know, to set us off on our own journey towards salad greatness.

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We started with the greens, and built it from there. Adding sliced pears (soaked in lemon juice to keep them from browning), ricotta salata cheese, and a sprinkling of toasted walnuts for a finishing touch, we dressed it in a honey, dijon dressing that was just the right balance of sweet and tart.  This is light enough to be a starter, and interesting enough to be the centerpiece of a meal, with a little sliced chicken or some white beans to up the protein quotient.

Arugula, Radicchio and Pear Salad:

Wash baby arugula and radicchio, cored and sliced thin and place it in a bowl. Slice ricotta salata and pears into thick matchsticks. Toss with Honey Dijon Vinaigette, and sprinkle with toasted walnuts.

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Honey Dijon Vinaigrette:

Whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 1 heaping teaspoon of dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons of honey, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Be sure to taste, and add more vinegar if it seems too sweet.

BONUS: Don’t limit yourself to salad! I used this vinaigrette on a simply broiled piece of salmon and it was delicious! It was just thick enough to coat the fish, and give it a tasty glaze. Yum!

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad

September 8, 2016

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We were in California recently, and had the opportunity to dine at AOC, one of the restaurants from award winning chef, Suzanne Goin. The menu is filled with an amazing array of small plates, meant to be shared. Good thing, since I don’t know how I could have narrowed in on just one or two of the seasonal and flavorful dishes on the list.

One of the first thing to come out of the kitchen was a salad made of grilled peaches and burrata, the soft, runny cousin of mozzarella. Sometimes, the simplest of dishes are the best, when the ingredients are fresh, and skillfully prepared.
The next evening, we were at a wedding, where the meal began with a green salad, topped with burrata, candied walnuts and a grilled peach.

I’ve been dreaming of it since we returned, so this weekend, I made my own version, and I’m pretty sure it will be on heavy rotation around here, until the peaches go out of season.

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Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad:

For the peaches:

Rinse and halve the peaches, and remove the pit. Cut into quarters and brush the flesh with pure maple syrup. Melt butter on a grill pan, and grill each side until you see grill marks. At this point, they will be slightly caramelized. Remove from the pan, and brush them with the maple syrup again.

For the salad:

Toss baby arugula with a little olive oil and a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar. Lay the peaches and chunks of burrata on top. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper and a drizzle of the oil and vinegar, and enjoy!

For a little added crunch, toss some shelled pistachios on top.

*If you don’t have a good, aged balsamic, make a reduction with the kind you have, to create a more mellow flavor, and an almost syrupy consistancy to drizzle. Simply cook a small amount of balsamic vinegar in a pan until it starts to reduce.

Unrecipe of the Week: Arugula and Stone Fruit Salad

September 15, 2014

Battling lunchtime boredom is a real issue with me. I want to eat something that is fresh, healthy, low in calories and low in refined carbs. It needs to be easily transportable, and cant’t take too much prep time in the morning. That often leaves me tied to my desk with a lackluster salad, or a bowl of Greek yogurt. Until now.

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See how it went so beautifully with the pile of books on my desk?

This salad combination awakened all of my senses: It’s rich autumnal colors made it beautiful to behold. The flavors are a unique combination of sweet, salty, and slightly bitter. The textures range from crisp to soft and succulently juicy. It was ready in minutes and fit perfectly into a compact mason jar, dressing and all! In a word, perfection.

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Arugula and Stone Fruit Salad:

In the bottom of a mason jar, drizzle a little bit of olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar. The balsamic vinegar that has been aged 10 years or more has an almost syrup-like consistency, and tends to be much sweeter than regular balsamic. If you don’t have it, no worries, just use the regular kind, and adjust the quantity accordingly. ( You will want a bit more.) Next add a few big handfuls of baby arugula, and pack it in tightly. Core and chop the stone fruit of your choice ( I have been using nectarines and plums) and put it on top of the arugula. Lastly, add some diced ricotta salata cheese and seal the jar. You can substitute feta, goat or even mozzarella cheese if you prefer. For a little more crunch, add a sprinkling of chopped nuts.

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When you are ready to eat the salad, shake the jar to mix the dressing in, pour it into a bowl and enjoy!

photos: indigojonesnyc instagram

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Thanksgiving Menu

November 25, 2013

We are on the home stretch of Thanksgiving planning, and after a whirlwind month of working, I finally got around to taking my own advice and made my Thanksgiving game plan. Using mostly tried and true recipes, which are contemporary twists on traditional fare, here is my menu:Many of these recipes have been posted before, so just click on the link to take you there!

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Thanksgiving Dinner 2013:

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Creme Fraiche

Cheddar Corn Muffins with Jalapeno Butter

Arugula, Radicchio and Fennel Salad with Toasted Pecans and Cranberry Vinaigrette

Garlic and Herb Roasted Turkey with Mushroom Gravy

Bread and Vegetable Stuffing, Cooked 2 Ways

Hot Cranberry and Apple Compote ( we call it Cranberry Jones!)

Roasted Sweet Potato and Banana Puree with Pecan Crumble

Green Beans with Lemon and Garlic

Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream

Chocolate Marscapone Cheesecake

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie

For a tutorial on making the perfect pie crust, click here.

Stay tuned this week, as we countdown the days until Thanksgiving, with cooking tips and recipes for the big day.

Photo: Glasshouse Images ( that’s actually our turkey made last Thanksgiving!)

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Unrecipe of the Week: Parmesan Cups

September 4, 2013

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These tasty little parmesan cups are real show-stoppers. Sometimes referred to as frico, these savory, yet delicate crisps are the perfect edible bowl for all kinds of mini salads. We filled ours with diced heirloom tomatoes tossed in a little olive oil and lemon, and arugula and cherry tomato salad another night,but the possibilities are endless. Chunks of avocado? How about artichokes in truffle oil? Chicken salad? Prosciutto and melon? Isn’t it fig season? All this food talk is making me so hungry, I might just run downstairs and whip up some more, because, they are that easy to make.They contain exactly one ingredient: Grated Parmesan cheese. Really, that’s all. It is all in the technique, and once you get the hang of it, it’s quite simple.

Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees. Make a circle of parmesan cheese on a flat cookie sheet. It only takes a spoonful or two. Use a biscuit cutter, a bowl or a measuring cup to make them consistent.  I used a 2 cup metal measuring cup as my guide. They do not spread much so you can get 4 on one sheet.

Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes until lightly browned. Remove the pan from the oven, and allow them to cool for a few seconds. Use a long thin spatula to gently loosen the rounds from the pan. Quickly, (and without burning your fingers!!!) place each round into a muffin tin to create the freeform bowl shape. For a broader, shallower cup, use the back of the muffin tin. For a tighter, deeper cup, use the inside. Make sure you get a flat bottom so they will stand on the plate. The trick is to work quickly. If they cool too long, they will not be malleable and will break. You can always put them back in the oven for 20 or 30 seconds to soften again. If a few break, no worries. They are delicious sprinkled in soups and salads. Allow them to cool before removing and filling with whatever suits your fancy.

Enjoy!

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Unrecipe of the Week: Cod in Spicy Tomato Broth with Calamari

May 13, 2013

I haven’t been posting many (un) recipes lately. I have been busy with work and other commitments, and  I have been falling back on my old standbys rather than creating new ones. This weekend, I was committed to trying something different.

We had a violent storm rip through the city on Saturday afternoon, and when the thunder, lightening and torrential rains subsided, I headed out pick up some ingredients for dinner. I ran into a friend along the way, who decided to accompany me on a trip through Chelsea Market, making the journey much more fun.

Inspired by a recipe from Andrew Carmellini, I began foraging through the market.

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First stop, the newly renovated Lobster Place. Oh how I missed my fabulous seafood market during the several months they were closed! It has finally reopened, with an expanded space, immense selection and an attached restaurant.

It was there that I picked up fresh cod filets, cleaned squid and a small bottle of clam juice.

Next stop: The Manhattan Fruit Exchange for fresh produce. I added a red bell pepper, a bunch of basil and some baby arugula to my stash, and moved on.

My final stop was Rana, where I bought some homemade fettuccini to use as a base for my concoction.

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The result?

Oven Braised Cod in Spicy Tomato Broth with Calamari

In a large sauté pan, (with a lid) sauté some thinly sliced garlic in olive oil. Add a red bell pepper sliced into thin strips. Toss in some hot red pepper flakes, and add about a ½ cup of dry white wine. Bring it to a boil and add about a cup of clam juice and 2 cups of marinara sauce. At this point, it’s ok to use a simple marinara sauce from a jar if you don’t want to take the time to prepare your own.

Simmer on the stove for about 15 minutes, until the red pepper softens. If the sauce starts to get too thick, add a little more wine or clam juice. Pour it into the blender, and puree until smooth. *

Season the cod filets with salt and pepper and place them in the sauté pan. Pour the tomato broth over the fish, cover it, and cook it in a 375-degree oven for about 12 minutes or so.

When the fish is done, carefully remove it from the pan, and set aside, covering it to keep warm.

Return the pan to the stove, and add the calamari (squid) cut into rings.. Simmer lightly for 2 or 3 minutes until they are fully cooked. Avoid boiling them, as they will get rubbery. Add some chopped basil and arugula to the pan and mix thoroughly.

To serve: Place the cooked fettuccini into pasta bowls. Place a fish filet on top of the pasta, and pour a generous amount of the sauce and calamari over the fish.

Make sure you have a spoon, or a big piece of crusty bread on hand, because you will want to lap up every last bit of that rich, spicy sauce!

Remember, this is an unrecipe. If you can’t find fresh calamari, try rock shrimp, bay scallops or clams instead. Or be adventurous, and use a little of each!
Even simpler, just cook the fish and use the flavorful sauce on it’s own, without the added seafood. It will still be delicious! If you choose to use a bottled sauce, you may need to adjust your seasonings a bit. If the sauce already has a lot of garlic, you may not want to add anymore at all.

Enjoy!

* Be careful when blending hot liquids! Place a kitchen towel over the top of the blender, and use a few cautious pulses to get started. You only need to experience the explosion of scalding hot liquids when the top blows off the blender once, to learn to practice caution.

photos: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Grapefruit + Avocado Salad With Seared Tuna + Scallops

April 15, 2013

My favorite fish market is finally open again after a long remodel, so seafood is definitely on the menu tonight. As the weather tries to turn springlike in New York City, I am craving bright, citrusy flavors. A quick trip to Chelsea Market provided the inspiration needed to create this light meal.

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Seared fresh tuna and scallops are set on a bed of arugula, shaved radish, grapefruit sections and avocado, all drizzled in a grapefruit vinaigrette. The spiciness of the arugula and heat of the radish, balance out the sweetness of the grapefruit. While I chose to cube and sear the tuna, this could be done with a filet of any type of broiled fish, and served along side of the salad.

For the salad:

Peel the grapefruit, removing all of the white pith, and cut the sections over a bowl. I cut the grapefruit into large wedges, trimmed the inner white membrane, and used a small paring knife to remove the rind. I did this over a bowl in order to catch the juice. Remove the fruit and reserve the juice for the dressing.

Coarsely chop one head of arugula.

Finely slice a large radish or two. I happen to hate raw onion, but for those of you not adverse, a little finely diced red onion could be a nice addition.

Peel and cut an avocado into chunks. Mix the arugula, radish, avocado and grapefruit sections in a bowl. Toss lightly with the dressing and mound on plates.

For the vinaigrette:

Whisk a few tablespoons of the grapefruit juice with a olive oil, a little honey, and some balsamic vinegar together in a bowl. Taste to achieve the desired level of tartness.

For the seafood:

Season the tuna cubes and scallops with sea salt, black pepper and a little olive oil. Sear at very high heat until browned on one side, flip and sear the other side. Remove the tuna while it is still a rare.

Arrange the fish on top of the salad, and drizzle with a little of the warmed vinaigrette. Enjoy!

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Unrecipe of the Week: Socca Pizza

March 25, 2013
The finished product

The finished product

I have already posted our recipe for Socca, a chickpea flour flatbread that is gluten free, high in protein and delicious. Tonight, I was looking for something low in carbs, crispy and full of vegetables. After a little thinking, I decided to use the Socca as a pizza crust, and top it with a hearty blend of tomatoes, artichokes and mushrooms. The result was a beautiful flatbread, brimming with flavor and surprisingly filling. As with any unrecipe, top it with whatever you are craving. Consider adding goat cheese, parmesan or a little shredded mozzarella. Toss on some finely sliced pepperoni or bacon if you are a meat lover. Use zucchini instead of artichokes, or even both. The possibilities are endless!

For the crust:

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Whisk together 1 cup of garbanzo flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 cups water. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes or up to a few hours.

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Coat the bottom of a 12″ skillet with olive oil. Add a chopped shallot, and place in the hot oven until sizzling. You can also add the herbs of your choice at this stage.

Pour the batter over the shallots, and bake until the flatbread is crisp and brown, about 40 minutes. The flatbread will easily lift out of the pan when it is fully baked.

For the topping:

The topping

The topping

Saute 1 clove of garlic and about 6-8 sliced mushrooms until brown. Add a few chopped artichoke hearts ( canned or frozen) and lightly saute them. Season with salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Add 2 chopped plum tomatoes (or some crushed canned tomatoes) and cook until the tomatoes start to soften. If the mixture gets too dry, drizzle in a little more olive oil.

When the crust is done, spread the the mixture over it, leaving a rim all around. Sprinkle with chopped arugula, and enjoy!

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CSA Tuesday

October 17, 2012

After last week’s bitter greens extravaganza, it was nice to see a more balanced assortment of produce from my CSA.

We got 2 butternut squash, an eggplant, a carnival squash, arugula, celery, radishes and collard greens.

There is easily the makings of a salad for the uncreative nights, and perhaps some butternut squash ravioli if the weekend is not too crazy.

I have been taking whatever is leftover at the end of the week and making “CSA Soup.” So far, they have been interesting, filling and very low calorie.

CSA Soup:

Dice a small onion and saute it in a little olive oil. Add chopped up “whatever is left” and add it to the pot. Add enough broth ( chicken or vegetable) to the pot to fully cover the vegetables.  Cover the pot and allow it to simmer until the vegetables soften. Puree the soup until it is smooth. Season according to taste.

I have used roasted butternut squash and kale, and spinach and  tat soi so far. You really can’t go wrong.

I have frozen the soup in individual containers, and taken them out for an easy, nourishing lunch.

Enjoy!

Unrecipe of the Week

August 22, 2012

Last night I got home from work totally exhausted and not in the mood for spending much time preparing dinner. I had a few things laying around the kitchen from the night before that I whipped into a great hearty dinner salad.

I love when everything comes together in a way that is worth replicating in the future!

On a bed of baby arugula, I diced leftover chicken breasts, several heirloom tomatoes, and an avocado. I drizzled it with a quick pesto made of a handful of cilantro*, a garlic clove, a little olive oil, the juice of ½ a lime, and some sea salt.

I tossed it with the other ½ of the lime juice and added a crumble of soft goat cheese, and grind of black pepper.

It doesn’t get much easier, or tastier than this!

*I had cilantro on hand, but any hearty green would work just as well: parsley, arugula, basil, spinach, kale…you name it!

Instagram Photos: Indigo Jones


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