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.

Spinach Salad w/ Mashed Sardine Garbanzos

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This is another kitchen-sink kind of salad. Salads don’t have to be boring as long as you have some good ole pantry staples. Avocado doesn’t hurt either. Or a healthy dose of red pepper flakes. You could even throw a fried egg on top for some serious salad snazz.

{this recipe is for 1 salad with a lot of leftover garbanzos}

for the garbanzo-sardine mash:

  • 1 can garbanzos
  • 1 tin sardines in harrissa olive oil (if you can’t find them, you can sub sardines in olive oil and add a bit of harissa*)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • a few generous shakes of red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 lemon

for the salad:

  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1/2 avocado
  1. heat a medium sized skillet and toss in the pine nuts, shaking the pan a few times until the nuts start getting a little brown and smell good, then remove from pan
  2. drain some of the olive oil from the sardines off into the pan
  3. mince garlic and add to the pan
  4. drain the garbanzos and rinse then add to the pan
  5. break sardines into pieces and add to the pan and start mashing garbanzos with a fork, turn down heat, salt to taste
  6. add the pine nuts back in and take the pan off heat, squeeze lemon juice into the pan
  7. serve over spinach and under avocado

*trader joes sells these little suckers for the low price of $1.29, a steal of a tasty protein deal for a college student, or anyone trying to conserve beer/travel money

 

© 2016 – 2017, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Fish Out of Water

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It’s that time of year again; the tail end of the school year when buying groceries is a gamble. Am I really going to use this stock of brussels sprouts or this whole bag of spinach?┬á With the excitement/craziness of finals week it’s hard to plan more than 24 hours ahead. So it’s at times like these when I go into a kind of Chronicles of Narnia mode. Instead of climbing into a wardrobe to reach mystical lands, I stare into my pantry until I find interesting dinner items.

It is also apparently prime time for meyer lemons. My co-worker brought in a huge bag of them from her tree early last week and I’ve been puzzling over what to make with them since then. Luckily I happened to have some homemade ricotta (recipe link below) that my mom and I whipped up during Thanksgiving week and it was calling out to the lemons. I also happened to have some black garlic, which is a great thing and loves to be mashed into cheese.

If you are sardine adverse, leave off the sardines.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pinch truffle salt (or normal salt)
  • 1 tsp crushed peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 5 cloves black garlic
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 2 Meyer lemons
  • 1 cup orzo (dry)
  • truffle marcona almonds (plain old marcona almonds will work too)
  • 1 big handful arugula
  • 7 kumato tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
  • 4 sardines in tomato sauce (or not in tomato sauce)
  1. bring 2 quarts of water to a boil with a pinch of truffle salt or normal salt
  2. slice lemons thinly (remove seeds), saving the butts for the juice, slice 2 cloves of the black garlic
  3. cook the orzo 8-10 minutes or until done and drain
  4. meanwhile heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet and add the sliced black garlic and lemon, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until lemons soften
  5. remove skillet from heat and add capers, stirring to coat
  6. in a shallow bowl crush remaining black garlic cloves into the ricotta, squeeze the lemon butts into the mixture. crush pepper corns with a knife and mix into the ricotta
  7. when orzo is cooked and drained, move to a large bowl or back into the pasta pot and immediately stir in the lemon-caper-black garlic mixture
  8. then stir in the ricotta mixture, mix until fully incorporated
  9. slice arugula and add into the warm orzo mixture
  10. serve in bowls then slice tomatoes and chop marcona almonds and sprinkle over the top
  11. then top with the sardines and you have a fish out of water

© 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Eggplant and Sardine Greek Yogurt Dip

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My friends and I went to the Monterey Bay aquarium last week and got completely transfixed by the schools of sardines that swim in sync. Since then I’ve been craving sardines. Kind of messed up but hey, there are a lot of fish in the sea, especially sardines.

Sardines are not only tasty little guys but swimming in health benefits. According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, they promote heart, bone and cell health leading to “optimal health”. They’re also packed with vitamin D, omega 3s, protein and low in calories AND cheap.

Here’s a fun fact; sardines were the first canned fish and Napoleon Bonaparte was the genius behind this. They were a convenient way to feed his people. Thanks Napoleon

  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 of a large eggplant
  • 2 large sardines packed in oil
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt/pepper
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 medium sized shallot
  • 1/4 of a lemon
  1. in a small pan heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat and chop eggplant roughly
  2. add the eggplant to the pan with 1/4 cup water and generous sprinkles of salt and pepper, cover and let cook until fairly mushy
  3. let cool and add to food processor
  4. slice shallots and heat another tablespoon of olive oil in the pan, add shallots and cook over medium heat until they’re just starting to brown
  5. add them into the food processor, squeeze the lemon in and add the mustard and yogurt then blend until smooth
  6. break the sardines into chunks and add to the mix then blend until incorporated

© 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

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