Off The Counter: Petite Peas and Meyer Lemon Salad

IMG_4613 My mother in-law prepared this salad for us a little while back and it was so good that I felt the need to recreate it and blog about it.  The combination of the crunchy iceberg lettuce, the fresh sweet peas and the juice of a Meyer lemon makes for a refreshing end to a hearty winter meal.  Yes, she served this salad after an Italian sausage ravioli and Chateaubriand roast (with a brandied mushroom sauce) dinner.  Did I mention hearty?!

Salad ingredients and instructions below:peasIMG_4625IMG_4634

 

Ingredients:

Firm avocado, iceberg lettuce, fresh peas, parsley, Meyer lemon, olive oil and sea salt

Instructions:

Cook the peas for a minute and rinse with cold water.  Chop up the iceberg lettuce and place in a bowl.  Add a diced avocado and the cooked peas and toss.  Sprinkle with fresh, finely chopped parsley.  Drizzle the salad with olive oil and the juice of one Meyer lemon.  Salt and pepper to your liking (preferably with sea salt).

I keep lemon slices (and sea salt) on the side so one can season it to his/her liking.

Enjoy!

 

Off The Counter: Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad

IMG_3957 We've had a plethora of persimmons this season thanks to friends who must be farming them.  My usual approach to consuming these beauties is simple:  cut, peel and eat.  I haven't experimented mixing them with other fruits or vegetables until now.  Inspired by a salad I ate at Pizzaiolo, I combined bitter greens, roasted hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds with this divine fruit.  The combination creates a dish that's bitter-sweet, a little crunchy and seriously pretty.  A list of ingredients and instructions is provided below.  Take a look:

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IMG_3941Ingredients:

2 Persimmons, 1 pomegranate, endive, radicchio, chicory, hazelnuts, olive oil, seasoned rice vinegar, honey and sea salt.

Instructions:

Spread a cup or so of hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.  Peel and thinly slice the persimmons.  Halve a pomegranate and knock out the seeds with a wooden hammer.  Place torn greens in a bowl and top with the fruits and nuts.  For the dressing, combine olive oil and rice vinegar  and then slowly whisk in honey to your liking.  Drizzle it on the salad and sprinkle sea salt on top.

Enjoy!

For those who may be new to Cocoon Home's Blog Off The Counter feature,  I would like to warn you that I'm not one for measuring, especially when comes to a salad and its dressing.  I enjoy adjusting the ingredients to my own taste buds.  So to you I say:  go for it!

 

 

Off The Counter: The ABC Salad

IMG_1992 Before the last long weekend of the summer comes to an end,  I'd like to share with you the avocado, beet and cucumber salad I've been obsessed with lately.  Combining salty cucumbers, boiled golden beets and firm avocados with a bit of fresh mint, this salad transitions perfectly from this season to the next.  Ingredients and instructions below.

salt

IMG_1986Ingredients:

Golden beets, California avocados, Persian cucumbers, mint, salt, pepper, olive oil and seasoned rice vinegar.

Instructions:

Chop the cucumbers (peeled or not), salt and let stand while you prepare the remaining ingredients.  Trim the stems and leaves off the beets and boil till they're just slightly soft.  Run the beets under cool water and peel.  Once the beets are completely cooled, dice them and put in a salad bowl.  Add cucumbers and diced avocados.  Sprinkle in some fresh mint leaves.  Season with olive oil, rice vinegar, salt and pepper.

Enjoy!!

 

Off The Counter: A Gourmet Camping Meal

While camping in Mendocino's  Russian Gulch a few weeks ago, we prepared a meal loosely based on Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa, a Portuguese salt cod dish.   Combining some of my favorite ingredients: olives, eggs and potatoes, this dish brings together the substantial savory flavors one craves while out in the fresh forest air.  By preparing a few of the key elements beforehand, one can enjoy this delicious recipe campside.  Ingredients and instructions below:

Ingredients:

Halibut, kalamata olives, capers, fingerling potatoes, hard boiled eggs, olive oil, parsley, lemon, salt and pepper.

Instructions:

Before leaving for your camping trip hard boil 3-5 eggs and 5-6 potatoes (do not overcook).  In a cast iron skillet,  season the fish with olive oil, salt, pepper and a bit of lemon.  Add the kalamata olives, capers and diced potatoes.  Cook over the fire until the fish becomes flaky and remove the pan from the heat.  Peel the hardboiled eggs, dice and add to the skillet.  Garnish with lots of parsley and drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Enjoy!