Saturday, June 27, 2015

Mango Salad with Lobster and Lime Vinaigrette

(recipe clipped from a newspaper, unknown)

For the lime vinaigrette:
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 scallions, minced
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
About 1/3 cup canola oil (I used olive oil)

For the salad:
1 (12-oz.) cooked lobster tail or 12 oz. cooked shrimp or crabmeat (I used shrimp)
1 ripe mango
8 oz. mixed baby greens
1/2 yellow or red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced

Prepare the vinaigrette:  In a small bowl, whisk together the cilantro, scallions, lime juice and zest, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper until smooth.  Whisk in 1/3 cup oil until smooth.  Taste, whisking in more oil if dressing is too tart.

Make the salad:  After lobster/shrimp/crabmeat is prepared according to package directions, let cool.  Remove from the shells and cut into pieces.

Holding the mango upright, carefully cut the two rounded sides away from the large seed.  Score the fruit into cubes without cutting through the peel.  Push the peel side to turn it inside out.  Cut the mango cubes away from the peel.

Divide the greens among dinner plates.  Top each salad with the mango cubes, bell pepper, and lobster pieces.  Drizzle with the lime vinaigrette.

(A bright, interesting salad.  Can mix peppers, shrimp, mango and keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about a day.)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar

(recipe from The Philadelphia Inquirer)

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
3 pints fresh strawberries, hulled, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
Ground black pepper, to taste

Bring the vinegar, sugar, and lemon juice to a simmer in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.  Simmer, reducing syrup by half (about 3 Tbsp.), about 3 minutes.  Transfer syrup to a small bowl; let cool.

With a spoon, lightly toss the berries and brown sugar in a large bowl.  Let stand until the sugar dissolves and the berries exude some juice, 10 to 15 minutes.  Pour the cooled vinegar syrup over the berries.  Add pepper; toss to combine.

Divide berries among dessert bowls or goblets.  Serve.

("The strawberries can stand alone, but other possibilities abound:  Ladle them over mascarpone cheese, spoon them over ice cream, or use them to jazz up a shortcake.  You can even move from the dessert line and toss them with spinach leaves and toasted pecans as a very different salad course."  I ate them alone, and they were delightful!)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Bean Salad with Fresh Salmon and Dill

(recipe from Food & Wine magazine)

1 1/2 cups dried cannellini beans (10 ounces), soaked overnight and drained
1 small onion, halved
1 carrot, halved
4 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
2 bay leaves
1 medium fennel bulb, finely diced, stalks, core and fronds reserved
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup good fruity olive oil
Two 8-oz. skinless salmon fillets

Place the beans in a large pot.  Add 2 quarts of water and the onion, carrot, garlic, bay leaves and the reserved fennel stalks and core.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to very low, cover and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 hour.  Season the beans with salt and pepper during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Drain the beans and discard all the cooked vegetables.  Coarsely chop the fennel fronds.  Transfer the beans to a large serving platter and, while still warm, add the dill, diced fennel bulb, fennel fronds and all but 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine.

In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. of olive oil.  Season the salmon on both sides with salt and pepper, add the fish to the skillet and cook over moderate heat on 1 side until brown and crusty, about 3 minutes.  Gently flip the salmon and cook on the other side until just cooked through, about 4 minutes.  Transfer the salmon to a plate to cool slightly.  Break the salmon into large flakes and toss gently with the beans.  Serve the salad warm or at room temperature.

(A nice hearty salad with great flavor.  Beware of overcooking the beans - check that they're not turning too mushy.  I cooked mine an hour and they were a bit overdone.  Also, I'm not a fan of throwing out the onions and carrots and garlic - perhaps may be nice to chop them a bit and keep them in the salad?  Might give it a try next time...  I did not use so much olive oil - can add to your liking.  Also, instead of fresh salmon, I added the thick smoked salmon to mine, which tasted nice.)