Tag Archives: Olive oil

Nicoise Salad (my way)

I’ve been doing all I can to drag myself away from my all new favourite salad obsession,  the Kale, Chickpea, Marinated Artichoke Hearts with Feta Salad so this was a bit of a leap for me. But I was encouraged by my sister-in-law’s pronouncements of its greatness and I do trust her taste buds so  I decided to make this my way – which is to say with anchovies and without tuna.

And wow, what a good decision that was. So long Kale!  I’ve definitely made this before but it’s almost in the same category as cheese fondue and has been relegated to the category of ‘recipe of the past’. Not anymore. I loved this! This isn’t a recipe per se as much as an exhortation to prepare a Nicoise salad for a nice summer evening meal.

This is what I did:

  • Organicy- lettuce – you know the kind that isn’t iceburg or romaine – artfully display on an individual plate
  • sliced sweet baby tomatoes
  • grilled salmon or tuna ( I prefer salmon)
  • cooked baby new potatoes
  • anchovies
  • boiled eggs
  • a handful of steamed (grilled) asparagus
  • a handful of steamed green beans
  • a handful of Nicoise olives
  • thinly sliced Spanish onion
  • vinaigrette (I used garlic, dijon, olive oil, honey, fresh lemon and salt and pepper.)

I made this for two people. It was super easy and very tasty. Thanks to the French for this awesome salad.

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Hardcore French Fry Lovers, There is an Oven Fry That Will Rock Your World

Who doesn’t love French Fries? One year for Dave’s birthday I bought a ten lb bag of Russet potatoes and set upon the task of perfecting the deep-fried French Fry.  Dave,  on the other hand, in the interests of longevity,  set himself the equal task of perfecting the oven-baked French Fry. Admittedly, I was sceptical. What self-respecting French Fry lover wouldn’t be?

And yet, the other night, my sweetie came up with a break-through recipe that gives any self-respecting deep-fried potato a run for its money. “What’s your secret?” I asked? “Pre-cooking, my little love biscuit.”  he answered.  “And for how long?” I ventured, still sceptical.

“Until they’re soft on the outside but still hard on the inside, approximately 10 minutes of boiling.”

So forthwith my French Fry loving friends, is an oven-baked French Fry  recipe that will give the ordinary deep-fried street fry a run for its money.

Oven-Fries for two people with mayonnaise, lemon, garlic sauce. Continue reading

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Easy Pasta and Scallops

You can whip this dish up in about 35 minutes total and it’s amazingly flavourful. This can be also converted very easily into a gluten-free and dairy-free entrée which is the version that I made.

The recipe comes from allrecipes.com which provides all the nutritional specs on the meal and which also has a very handy calculator that adjusts the recipe for however many people you are cooking for. Thanks allrecipes, this one is a keeper.

I based my ingredients on dinner for 2. Make sure to adapt the recipe using the ingredient calculator. The instructions are based on the original recipe which serves 8 (don’t worry, you do all the same things!).

Ingredients

1/4 (16 ounce) package farfalle (bow tie) pasta (I used Tinkyada brown rice spirals pasta)
6 scallops, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic (I used 2 cloves fresh garlic)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil (I used 2 tbsp freshly minced basil)
2 tablespoons and 3/4 teaspoon whipped butter (non-butter eaters can use Earth Balance Margarine….trust me it still tastes great!)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain, rinse, and transfer to a large serving bowl.

Place scallops in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the black pepper. Pour mixture over scallops. Arrange scallops in a single layer in a large baking dish or plate. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon basil over scallops so that only one side is sparsely coated with basil.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high, and melt one tablespoon of butter/Earth Balance in the pan. Place scallops basil-side down, and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until dark golden brown. Turn scallops, and cook the other side.
In a small saucepan, melt remaining butter with 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon basil, 1/2 teaspoon garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Toss pasta with butter and olive oil mixture. Divide pasta onto plates, and top with scallops.

Serve with a green salad and warm, fresh baguette! Now relax and enjoy:)

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Easy Pasta with Toasted Pecans, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Goat Cheese

I usually make a version of this recipe every few weeks. It’s one of those last minute meals you can make when you don’t think you have anything in your house and then you scout around and before you know it you have instant, easy delicious pasta dinner!

Have fun with this recipe because you can adjust qty’s and substitutions to suit your taste.

Serves 2

boil 2 cups penne (Tinkyada pasta for gluten-free diners..they’re the best!)

1/4 cup roughly chopped toasted pecans (I’ve also used pine nuts)
1/4 cup chevre (or feta if you have it)
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes roughly chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped basil
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Drizzle with a little olive oil

Optional: I frequently add cooked prawns to this dish. Chicken eaters could probably add pieces of boneless chicken breast as well. I’m also a bit of a crazy garlic lady so I often throw in two cloves of finely minced garlic but raw garlic isn’t for everybody.

Method:
Boil pasta and set aside. Finely chop sun dried tomatoes, toasted pecans, parsley and basil. Add to pasta. Break up the chevre and add to pasta. Pan fry prawns and/or chicken and add to pasta. Mix it all up and serve with a yummy salad and some crusty bread.

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Three Course Vegetarian Dinner including Jamie Oliver’s Lemon Linguine

Due to dietary restrictions and laziness Dave and I frequently serve the same dish over and over again when we have people for dinner. Well enough already. Recently we opted for something a little different and in the spirit of adventure we decided on a three course vegetarian dinner.

We started off with Warm Goat Cheese and Brie Salad Drizzled with Honey Lavender Dressing. This was followed by several sips of wine after which we served up Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. We repeated step number two (the wine bit) and finished with Jamie Oliver’s Lemon Linguine with Olive Oil and Parmesan. We repeated step number two again until warm glow was achieved.

Dessert was a delicious gluten-free, dairy free chocolate cake with heaps of icing from the fabulous gluten-free bakery on Lonsdale and 11th.

For those of you who are interested here is the recipe for Jamie’s Linguine:

500g dried linguine pasta (for myself I used Tinkyada gluten-free spaghetti pasta)
juice of 3 Sicilian lemons and zest of 1 (I didn’t know where to find Sicilian lemons so I used regular organic lemons)
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
125g Parmesan cheese, grated
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
large bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked and finely chopped
handful of arugula

PS that is Jamie’s picture by the way, not mine.

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