July 14, 2016

Middle Eastern Feast

Dear friends of ours are getting married this fall. I have the honor of helping coordinate the wedding feast. Because the bride grew up in Jerusalem, they are choosing a Middle Eastern theme for dinner. 

Here are some recipes from the feast, which are perfect for cooling summer heat. They will tantalize your senses and get your creative juices flowing.

Tabbouleh


You will need:
1 1/2 cups bulghur wheat*
2 cups boiling water
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
3 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups minced scallions
1 1/4 cups chopped fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 cups chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 cucumber, unpeeled and diced
3 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half

*You can substitute cooked quinoa for a gluten-free version of this salad.
Place the bulghur in a large serving bowl, pour in the boiling water, and add the lemon juice, olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir, then allow to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.
Add the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, salt, and pepper.
Mix well. 

Cover and refrigerate. 
The flavor will improve if the tabbouleh marinates for a few hours.

Watermelon Mint Feta Salad


You will need:
One 8 pound (approximately) watermelon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 limes, juiced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup fresh chopped mint leaves
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese (goat or sheep milk feta is best)

Chop the watermelon, remove the seeds, and place in a colander to drain.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, fresh lime juice, salt, and black pepper to create a dressing.
Place watermelon in a large salad bowl. Pour dressing and chopped mint over the watermelon and toss gently to coat.
Crumble the feta over the top ans stir gently to incorporate all ingredients.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Israeli Salad

This salad is delicious served with feta and olives or fresh pita bread.

You will need:
3 cups Roma tomatoes, diced (about 5 tomatoes)
2 cups cucumbers, diced (about 2 cucumbers)
1 cup yellow bell pepper, diced (about 1 pepper)
1 cup Italian parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Toss together all ingredients in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
This salad's flavors improve when given a few hours to marinate. Prepare it mid-day to serve at dinner.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

July 10, 2016

Salad Summer

Summer is a wonderful time to combine fresh ingredients and minimal cooking effort to create a delicious meal. Try these salad recipes to nourish and inspire you.

Arugula, Potato and Green Bean Salad


You will need:
1/3 cup walnuts
2 pounds fingerling potatoes, chopped
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 packed cups arugula

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant, about 8 minutes. Let cool slightly, then coarsely chop and set aside.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to a colander to drain and cool. Set aside.

Return pan of water to a boil. Add green beans, and cook until tender and bright green, about 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the colander with the potatoes.

Whisk together vinegar, mustard and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl; season with pepper. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified. Set dressing aside.

Arrange arugula, potatoes, and green beans on a platter. Season with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with toasted walnuts; toss to coat.


Parsley Cilantro Chickpea Salad


For the salad:
2 cups cooked chick peas OR one 14 ounce can chickpeas. drained
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons each: salt, black pepper, allspice, cumin, and cardamon

5 packed cups of salad greens
2 cups cucumbers, diced (about 1 cucumber)
2 cups tomatoes, diced (about 3 medium tomatoes)
1/3 cup each of fresh cilantro and Italian parsley. chopped

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon each: salt and black pepper

Cook and drain the chickpeas. If cooking dried chickpeas, soak them overnight and boil them in water for 2 hours until tender.
Place them in a skillet with olive oil, salt, pepper, allspice, cumin and cardamom. Saute on medium heat for 5 minutes. 

Chop cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley and cilantro.
Wash and drain salad greens.

Remove chickpeas heat and place them in a serving bowl with all the other salad ingredients.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the salad, toss well, and refrigerate to marinate for at least 1 hour.
Enjoy!

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