Ni├žoise Inspired Salad

 

My mom got me these sardines as a little treat. Because those are the kinds of gifts we give each other ­čÖé . So I made this ni├žoise inspired salad. It’s not really a ni├žoise because it doesn’t have olives, green beans or tuna but I replaced those with capers, cornichons, beets and sardines.

{serves 1}

  • 2 handfuls of greens
  • 1 soft boiled egg
  • 4 cornichons
  • spoonful of capers
  • 3 sardines packed in olive oil (we love matiz)
  • 4 small tomatoes
  • a couple of slices of leftover beet terrine (or just roasted beets and goat cheese)
  1. soft boil the egg (or a couple to have on hand); my theory is to boil a small pot of water then turn it down to a simmer, add the eggs gently and cook for 7 minutes then remove w/ a slotted spoon and put in an ice bath for a few minutes
  2. in a bowl put washed greens, sardines, sliced beet terrine (or simply slices of beets and crumbles of goat cheese)
  3. top with capers, cornichons and tomatoes and dig in!

© 2017, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Farro with Crispy Prosciutto, Toasted Walnuts and Feta

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Farro is one of my favorite grains. It’s good for you, goes a long way and has a great texture. Crisping up prosciutto is also a great way to add texture and lots of flavor. The apricots, feta and walnuts balance out this ‘salad’ with sweet-salty-earthy flavors.

  • 2 cups pearled farro (dry)
  • 8 oz (1/2 lb) prosciutto
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup feta
  • 1/2 cup scallions
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • dash of nutmeg
  • glug of champagne vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a couple of handfuls of spinach
  1. pre-heat oven to 350┬║ F and spread walnuts on a small baking tray and toast for 8 minutes
  2. cook farro according to instructions (2 cups farro, 4 cups salted water)
  3. in a skillet heat one tablespoon olive oil and lay prosciutto in one flat layer, cook for 15 minutes on low or until brown on the bottom then flip each piece and continue cooking until crispy, remove from pan and let cool
  4. move farro to a large bowl when finished cooking and season to taste with remaining tablespoon olive oil, champagne vinegar and nutmeg
  5. dice dried apricots into small pieces, slice green onions, tear prosciutto and break walnuts into smaller pieces and crumble feta into the farro bowl
  6. when you’re almost ready to serve, roughly chop or tear spinach and stir into the salad

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Tomato, Nectarine, Feta and Basil Summer Salad

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We have tons of super-ripe tomatoes and can’t stop buying stone fruit at the farmer’s market so we started playing around with this salad idea. We’ve made it at least five times this summer and it’s seriously the perfect combination of summer flavors, in my honest opinion.

{serves 4}

  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 3 firm but ripe nectarines (mix of yellow and white)
  • 6 sprigs basil
  • 1/2 cup sheep’s milk feta
  • 1 splash good quality olive oil
  • 1 dash balsamic
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • a bed of arugula
  1. on a large plate lay a bed of arugula
  2. with your sharpest knife, slice tomatoes and nectarines
  3. arrange them on top of the arugula and crumble feta over the top of that
  4. then julienne the basil and arrange that
  5. then (right before you’re about to serve, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic and grind pepper over

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Smoked Salmon Spring Salad w/ Dill-Garlic Yogurt Sauce

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I went to my cousins’ wedding in Seattle and got kind of obsessed with smoked salmon. I literally ate it in at least one meal a day for two weeks, which was possible on my college budget thanks to Costco. They have this two pack of black pepper covered smoked salmon that is definitely, probably not sustainably raised or caught but it is delicious and is justifiable in my little budget. One day I will buy only sustainably caught fish but…you gotta do what you gotta do. So anyways here’s a smoked salmon salad recipe with a kick-ass yogurt sauce.

  • 1/4 cup marcona almonds
  • a couple chunks smoked salmon
  • 1/2 avocado
  • bed of lettuce
  • 1/2 cup thawed frozen peas, corn, green beans (or whatever veggies you’ve got on hand)

dill yogurt sauce*

  • 2 cups plain yogurt (on the runny side preferably)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp capers w/ 1 tbsp caper water
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tbsp tahini
  • 10 sprigs of dill
  1. mince garlic and juice lemon
  2. in a bowl combine yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, mustard, capers and caper waters
  3. pick dill of stems and incorporate into sauce
  4. add a dash of water if it’s too thick and continue to stir

*this sauce is better the longer it sits, I’d recommend making it the night before for the ultimate flavor

  1. then assemble the salad and dig in

for more recipes to use any leftover yogurt and smoked salmon check out this savory spring oatmeal or this exciting risotto

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Potato Salad w/ Lots of Garlic, Dill and Mustard

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I love all kinds of potato salad. This is a vinegar-y, herby one that I let marinate overnight. I was planning on having it as a cold salad but I had some lemon-infused cheese that was calling out to be used and melted cheese makes everything more exciting so I ended up sauteing it with the cheese.

{3 servings}

  • 1/2 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 5 sprigs dill
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • salt/pepper (lemon pepper preferably)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp dijon
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 15 tiny potatoes or 9 normal small fingerlings
  • 1/4 cup hard salty cheese (pecorino or something similar)- optional

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  1. boil potatoes until easily stabbed with a fork
  2. mince garlic
  3. in a bowl whisk together olive oil, red wine vin, mustard and garlic. season to taste with salt and pepper
  4. when potatoes are cooled, quarter them or chop (depending on the size of the potatoes you’re using)
  5. pour the vinaigrette over the potatoes and gently stir to cover all potatoes without breaking them up too much
  6. add the capers and chopped dill
  7. marinate overnight
  8. serve cold OR
  9. in a medium sized sauce pan saute the whole concoction over medium high heat and shave cheese over the top
  10. stir occasionally until cheese is melted and potatoes are starting to crisp
  11. serve with fresh dill and lemon zest

(pictured with a spinach salad, lentils and a soft boiled egg)

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Cabbage with Dates, Capers and Salami

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I got this huge head of cabbage at the farmers market last week because it was $1 (basically free). Cabbage is pretty awesome, especially for college students with sporadic schedules and limited funds because it lasts and it’s very cheap. While it’s not the most exciting vegetable out there, it’s versatile and can be quite tasty if you get creative.

  • 1 medium sized head of green cabbage
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pat butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 medjool dates
  • 2 tbsp capers (w/ juice)
  • generous squirts mustard
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped salami
  1. boil a pot of water and quarter the cabbage
  2. blanch the cabbage for 3 minutes then dunk in an ice bath and drain with paper towels
  3. slice onion kind of thinly and mince garlic and salami (roughly)
  4. in a large skillet add olive oil and butter over medium high heat
  5. when butter melts add the garlic then the onions, let cook down, stirring occasionally, until onions are opaque
  6. slice cabbage roughly
  7. add the salami to the skillet and stir to incorporate
  8. add the cabbage, season with salt, pepper and mustard and cover
  9. let cook down, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes until cabbage is soft and it’s becoming soupy
  10. pit and dice dates then add them and the capers and stir to incorporate and take off heat

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Mediterranean Grain Bowl

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Humble grain bowls seem to be all the rage right now. They’re on menus at all sorts of hip restaurants and not so hip ones. But they’re also incredibly easy to make at home and seriously affordable, a college student’s dream. You can basically throw in whatever veggies you have, cooked or raw (or a combination) and any protein with any grain and any seasoning. If this isn’t your idea of an easy recipe, here is a combo I made last night with all my random groceries.

{serves 1}

  • 1/2 cup farro (uncooked)
  • 1 cup broth (optional)
  • 5 mini portobello mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 mini bell peppers
  • 3 cherry heirloom tomatoes
  • 3 artichoke hearts
  • 1 spoonful capers
  • 1 pinch basil
  • 1 pinch thyme
  • 1 pinch oregano
  • some canned tuna
  • grainy mustard
  • salt n pepper
  1. cook farro according to recipe*. use broth for more flavor
  2. clean mushrooms with a wet paper towel and slice
  3. mince garlic and heat olive oil in a medium sized pan then cook that garlic in the pan
  4. add the mushrooms and saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally for a few minutes
  5. when farro is finished, stir in the herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste
  6. slice bell peppers (deseed if necessary) and quarter tomatoes and artichoke hearts
  7. put farro in a bowl and top with sauteed mushrooms, the other veggies, capers and tuna and a dollop of your favorite mustard

*10 minute farro from trader joe’s is my best friend on school nights

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Cabbage-Beet Tahini Slaw

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This is my bastardized version of Mission Chinese Food’s beautiful cabbage salad. But hey, sometimes when you’re a college student on a budget you have to pick and choose which exotic pantry items you can afford and which are just going to have to wait. I used peanuts for a crunchy element, although I would love to try it with some sort of grain. I also cut out quite a few ingredients that I couldn’t find at the local market but still thought it came out pretty good.

note: This makes a BIG salad. I wanted to use the whole cabbage in one go so I upped the dressing, the good news is it makes for great leftovers. On the other hand you can always use half a cabbage and dial down the dressing measurements.

  • 1 head red cabbage
  • 1 large yellow beet
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 4 tbsp tahini (you’ll definitely want a runnier tahini for this, the Whole Foods 365 one is my best friend)
  • 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 8 anchovy fillets (preferable ones packed in olive oil)
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 sheets nori (like the big sushi ones)

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  1. slice cabbage and beets (I did matchstick cuts-see photo) and mince garlic
  2. in a bowl or jar add tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, tamari (or soy sauce) and rice vinegar and shake well
  3. slice the anchovy fillets as finely as possible then add them to the dressing and continue shaking until combined
  4. heat a non stick skillet over medium high heat then add the sesame seeds, make sure to keep an eye on them and continue tossing them
  5. once they start to smell nice and turn a little brown remove them from the pan
  6. in the same pan add the peanuts and do the same thing
  7. rip the nori into little pieces and add it to your big bowl of cabbage and beets, add the nuts and seeds as well then pour dressing over
  8. mix thoroughly with tongs or your hands

© 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Chard with Anchovy and Crushed Tomato Dressing

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We get a lot of chard in our CSA and I always tend to steam or saute it with some garlic and vinegar or citrus. And that’s always good but this time I wanted to try something different. Chard is full of vitamins and it’s actually better wilted so it is a great vehicle for warm sauces, unlike other daintier leafy greens. Anchovies and capers give this a salty-umami Mediterranean taste and the warm yellow tomatoes balance it with a little sweetness.

  • 1 bunch chard
  • 4 anchovies in olive oil
  • 15 yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lg garlic clove
  • splash red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp capers
  • red chili flakes
  • pepper
  1. slice chard off of ribs then julienne the leaves (long skinny slices), I like to roll together a few pieces then slice them to save time and make them more uniform, put chard in a mixing bowl
  2. drain olive oil from the anchovies and heat it (the oil) over medium heat in a sauce pan
  3. mince the garlic and add it to the pan, once garlic is opaque add anchovies and mash with the back of a fork, add red chili flakes
  4. add capers, tomatoes and red wine vinegar then cover the pan for a minute
  5. uncover the pan once the tomatoes appear to be deflating a bit then carefully squash them with the back of a fork (angle them away so that you don’t squirt yourself or your kitchen with hot tomato juices)
  6. pour the sauce over the chard and cover for a couple minutes until chard is just starting to wilt, then mix it all together, finish with pepper

© 2015 – 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Savory Porridge with an Egg on top

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This photo doesn’t do this meal justice. It can really be breakfast, lunch or dinner. I am a big fan of slop. Indian slop, Mexican slop, Turkish slop, it seems like every culture has their own version of some mushy grain or bean

  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1 cup cooked steel-cut oats *
  • 1 spoon greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp capers
  • 1/2 tomato
  • cracked black pepper
  • drizzle balsamic vinegar (optional)
  1. cook an egg to your liking (I like sunny side up or poached)
  2. slice spinach and tomato
  3. in a bowl stir together oats, yogurt and mustard (sometimes I sub sriracha)
  4. add spinach and tomatoes (or whatever other vegetable fixings you’d like)
  5. slip the egg on top and top with capers, pepper and balsamic

*For events like this, I like to keep some cooked steel cut oats on hand. I cook them in advance and keep them in the fridge- they keep for about a week. They’re super versatile; use them for sweet or savory mush meals like this or sprinkle them over salads to make them a little more substantial.

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© 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

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