THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
Also visit our main website, TheNibble.com.

Archive for Vegetables-Salads-Herbs

TIP OF THE DAY: Breakfast Salad

Breakfast Salad

Breakfast Salad

Granola Breakfast Salad

[1] Bacon and egg over Caesar Salad. [2] Deconstructed Eggs Benedict: poached egg, julienned Canadian bacon and English muffin crouton atop a mixed green salad. [3] Romaine, apples and grapes with a honey-yogurt dressing, topped with granola (all photos courtesy Food Network; the recipes are below).

 

We first heard of breakfast salad in 2014. Someone sent us a recipe, but it got lost in the shuffle.

In the ensuing two-plus years, the concept has spread. So if you’re ready to move on from the last breakfast trend—overnight oats—here’s a roundup of the latest.

Breakfast salad is a fusion of conventional breakfast items with salad greens or other raw or cooked vegetables. Example: bacon and eggs on a lettuce wedge, or yogurt and fresh fruit salad atop mesclun greens.

For years we have served what we never thought to call “breakfast salad”: an omelet topped with lightly dressed baby arugula and watercress; and for brunch, poached egg on top of a frisée salad with lardons, or on top of a Caesar salad.

So we decided to take a look at what other people were eating. We found:

  • Some were following the breakfast food-and-greens or vegetables concept.
  • Some were serving up fresh fruit atop greens.
  • Some were throwing an egg on top of a grain bowl.
  • Some were featuring luncheon salads (Cobb, spinach-egg-bacon) for breakfast.
  • Some were medleys of cooked vegetables (bell peppers, potatoes, root vegetables) with chickpeas for protein.
  • Some were featuring sandwich ingredients (smoked salmon and avocado) atop greens.
  • Some served what we would call side salads breakfast salads (diced squash and pomegranate arils atop greens, with some almond butter in the dressing).
  • Some tossed greens atop avocado toast.
  • Some even featured a liquid salad, i.e., a green smoothie.
  •  
    BREAKFAST SALAD RECIPES

    We decided to go purist. Here are some recipes that fit our bill of breakfast salad fare:

  • Bacon & Egg Breakfast Caesar Salad, the egg yolk served cooked on top of the salad instead of raw in the traditional Caesar dressing.
  • Egg, Sausage & Avocado Breakfast Salad.
  • Eggs Benedict Breakfast Salad, deconstructed Eggs Benedict.
  • Frisée Salad With Eggs & Bacon (what’s frisée and another recipe).
  • Greens, Grapes & Granola Breakfast Salad, romaine, apples and grapes tossed with a yogurt dressing and garnished with granola.
  • Grilled Wedge Salad With Fried Egg & Cranberry Feta Cheese.
  • Potato Breakfast Salad, an opportunity to eat pan-fried potatoes with some egg white and chickpeas for protein.
  • Quinoa, Ham & Pepper Breakfast Salad, a Western Omelet deconstructed on top of quinoa (or greens, if you prefer).
  •  
    Do you have a favorite breakfast salad recipe? Please share!

    And feel free to eat breakfast salad for lunch or dinner. The concept is no different from an omelet or any luncheon salad.

     
      

    Comments off

    TIP OF THE DAY: Olive Salsa For Fish, Vegetables & Eggs

    Baked Salmon With Salsa Verde

    Cauliflower With Olive Sauce

    Castelvetrano Olives In Bowl

    Cerignola Olives

    [1] and [2] Fish and cauliflower with salsa verde (photos courtesy Good Eggs). [3] Castelvetrano olives (photo courtesy Musco Food) and [4] cerignola olives (photo courtesy Miccio), our favorite green olives..

     

    Many Americans think that salsa is a spicy tomato and chile dip for tortilla chips.

    In fact, salsa is the Spanish word for sauce of any kind. Salsa de chocolate, for example, is chocolate sauce.

    The Spanish word salsa derives from the Latin salsa, meaning salty, which itself derives from the Latin sal, salt (most Spanish salsas are not salty, however, but spicy).

    Not all salsas are Mexican in origin; in fact, each Spanish-heritage country has its own variety of salsa (Mexico has dozens, a different specialty in each state).

  • Chimichurri, a spicy vinegar-parsley sauce, is the leading condiment in Argentina and Uruguay.
  • Mojo, in the Caribbean, typically consists of olive oil, garlic and citrus juice, and is used both to marinate meats and as a dipping sauce.
  • Peri peri or piri piri sauce is considered the national condiment of Peru: a base of vinegar and oil, garlic and lemon juice with hot birds eye chiles. As with mojo, it is also used as a cooking sauce.
  •  
    The list goes on. Check out our Salsa Glossary for different types of salsa.

    Today, we’re yet another variety of salsa. This one is a salsa verde* (green sauce) featuring green olives. It can be used over fish, chicken, rice, eggs, and in the recipe below, vegetables.

    RECIPE: SALSA VERDE WITH OLIVES ON FISH & VEGETABLES

    Not your typical salsa verde, this recipe is chunky with olives and almonds. Any leftovers are equally good at room temperature for lunch the next day.

    Ingredients For 2-3 Servings

  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • A handful arugula roughly chopped
  • A handful parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • A handful toasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon capers
  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound fish: char, salmon, trout or anything that looks good
  • 4 lemon or lime wedges
  •  
    OLIVE TIPS

  • Use good olives: the type you would be happy to nibble on from the bowl. Pitted olives are preferred, unless you don’t mind removing the pits from your mouth at the table.
  • Type of olive: You only need one variety of olive, but found a pitted green olive mix from an olive bar, which included castelvetrano, cerignola, gordal, manzanilla and picholine. Since we left the olives whole, we could taste the different flavors.
  • Chopped versus whole: We like olives so much that we left them whole (or were we too lazy to chop them?).
  • Substitute: You can substitute black olives if you don’t like green.
  • Olive Glossary: Check out the different types of olives.
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F. Spread the florets in a single layer on one half of a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

    2. PLACE the fish, skin-side down on the other half of the sheet. Run your fingers over the flesh to check for pin bones and remove them with kitchen tweezers. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

    3. BAKE until the florets just start to brown, about 20 to 25 minutes (longer if you prefer a softer texture or more well-done fish). While the food is baking…

    4. MAKE the salsa verde. In a small mixing bowl, combine the chopped greens, olives, almonds, vinegar and enough olive oil to bind without. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

    5. REMOVE the baking sheet from the oven. Plate and spoon the salsa over the cauliflower and the fish and. Serve with a lemon or lime wedge.
    ________________

    *Salsa verde is typically made with green chiles, tomatillos and cilantro. Used primarily as a garnish rather than a dip, it is much thinner than a tomato-based salsa roja/red sauce (this recipe, laden with olives and almonds, is an exception). A salsa verde can be fresh or cooked.

     
      

    Comments off

    TIP OF THE DAY: Radishes, A Valentine Vegetable

    Have you ever roasted radishes? Few of us do; but like other root veggies, roasted vegetables can taste even more glorious than raw ones.

    We liked this particular recipes for “Valentine veggies.” We adapted the recipe from Duda Fresh, using their Dandy Radishes.

    We adapted this recipe from Duda Farm Fresh Foods of Florida, using their quality produce.

     
    RECIPE: ROASTED RADISHES WITH ORANGE & ROSEMARY

    Ingredients

  • 1 pound radishes, trimmed and halved—but don’t toss the greens!
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely minced
  • Salt
  • 1 orange, peel* and pith removed, cut into slices
  • Garnish: rosemary sprigs
  •  
    ________________
    *Save the peel for drink garnishes. You can cut it into strips and freeze it. Alternatively, you can zest the peel and toss with the radishes and olive oil. You can also freeze extra zest.

     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Line a baking pan with foil and set aside.

    2. TOSS the radishes in a large bowl with the olive oil and rosemary. Place on the baking pan and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 25-30 minutes until tender and lightly browned in spots.

    3. REMOVE from the oven and cool slightly. Serve warm with the orange slices.

     
    MORE WAYS TO COOK RADISHES

    You can cook radishes as you would cook any vegetable, with just about any technique.

  • Here’s how to grill radishes to add smoky flavor.
  • Here’s how to roast radishes for caramelized sweetness.
  • Here’s how to stir-fry radishes.
  • Here’s how to pickle radishes: quick radish pickles.
  •  
    12 MORE WAYS TO SERVE RADISHES

    They’re great at breakfast, lunch and dinner. We haven’t figured out a radish dessert, yet.

    Check ‘em out.

    HOW TO USE RADISH GREENS (RADISH TOPS)

    The green tops of root vegetables are edible—by humans as well as the bunnies and hamsters who love to nibble them.

    We especially like beet, celery root, radish and turnip greens; and like the feathery carrot greens as garnish.

     

    Roasted Radishes

    Fresh Radishes

    Radish Hors D'Oeuvre

    [1] Roasted radishes look like edible valentines (photo courtesy Duda Farm Fresh Foods). [2] Look for the freshest radishes, with green tops—and never buy the sad, peeled versions in cellophane (photo courtesy The Chef’s Garden). [3] Great with Bloody Marys and Martinis: radishes dipped in cultured butter and topped with a few flakes of crunchy sea salt (here’s the recipe; photo courtesy Vermont Creamery).

     
    Just like the bottom globes, the radish greens have a peppery in taste. Even older greens, which can grow more bitter, provide a nice bite to a lettuce salad.

  • Make pesto: Blanch the leaves and blend with garlic, pignola (or other) nuts and Parmesan (here’s a recipe template).
  • Sauté them.
  • Stir-fry them.
  • Wilt them and serve as a side, in pasta and grain dishes, soups and stews.
  •  
    Go rad with new approaches to the radish.

      

    Comments off

    TIP OF THE DAY: More Ways To Enjoy Carrots

    What’s up, Doc?

    The humble carrot, dressed to impress.

    Winter, with its paucity of produce choices, is the best time to enjoy root vegetables. The most familiar—and the easiest to convince family members to eat—is the carrot. Here, some ideas from the familiar to the less so. First…

    A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO ROOT VEGETABLES

    Root vegetables most common in the U.S. include the beet, carrot, celery root (celeriac), Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, kohlrabi, onions (use baby onions), parsnips, potato (use small waxy potatoes), radishes, rutabaga, salsify, and turnip.

    Root vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals, which they absorb from the ground. Many are high in vitamin A, B complex and C; plus antioxidants. Root vegetables are an excellent source of fiber.

    Many of these can be eaten raw, steamed, sautéed, baked, roasted, stir fried, or fried.

    In the case of carrots, Whether baby, heirloom or standard, carrots and their root kin are waiting at your nearest market.

    COOKING CARROTS

    Beyond boiled carrots, carrot salad and crudités, consider these preparations:

  • Brochette: Parboil and skewer them, then grill them and serve as a fun brochette.
  • Classic: Steam them and toss in butter with fresh dill or parsley.
  • Gratinée: Roast or steam, top with shredded Gruyere or other cheese and broil until melted.
  • Fancy cut: Cooked the carrots shredded, as you wood a slaw; or use mini vegetable cutters to make small flowers and other shapes.
  • Roasted/Grilled: Roast them in garlic butter and garnish with chopped parsley.
  • Pan-fried: We just tried this for the first time. Here’s a recipe.
  • Pickles: Pickle carrots as you would cucumbers or any vegetables. You can quick-pickle in just an hour.
  • Purée: A terrific way to eat most dense vegetables.
  • Raw: as crudites or grated into a slaw/mixed slaw, or mixed into a salad. Just grate them or slice thinly. Beyond carrots, think beets and radishes. Anything sold fresh with the greens attached—kohlrabi, turnips—will be moist, sweet and of course, crunchy, when raw. While not sold with its greens, rutabaga is mild and often sweet. Although drier than turnips or kohlrabi, it contributes a pale yellow color to the mix.*
  • Soup: When was the last time you made soup? Carrot soup is a perennial favorite. Make it chunky—like a thin purée. Garnish with fresh herbs and, as desired, a slice of bacon or sausage.
  • Sandwich:
  • Different choices here: Roasted carrot or mixed roasted vegetable sandwich, with or without goat cheese; or carrot pickles or carrot slaw on a ham, turkey or other sandwich.

  • Stew: For Meatless Mondays, try this hearty Carrot-Mushroom-Barley Stew from Food Network.
  •  
    WAYS TO TREAT ANY CARROT PREPARATION

  • Blended: Combine with other root vegetables†: beet, celery root (celeriac), Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, kohlrabi, onions (use baby onions), parsnips, potato (use small waxy potatoes), radishes, rutabaga, salsify, turnip, etc.
  • Garnishes: Beyond herbs, consider toasted breadcrumbs, pecans, raisins, seeds or a mix. For color, try dried cranberries, dice red bell pepper or pomegranate arils. Rings of red jalapeño with the seeds and pith remove also work. Those who don’t like heat can set them aside.
  • Heat: Add your choice of heat—cayenne, chile flakes, hot sauce, etc.—to the dish.
  • Herbs: Basil, dill, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary and thyme are naturals with carrots.
  • International: From Indian to Moroccan, French to Japanese, your favorite international flavors work with carrots.
  • Spices: “Fall” spices such as allspice, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg are delicious with carrots. Also try coriander.
  • Sweet: Add a bit of brown sugar, honey or maple syrup.
  •  
    Do you have a favorite carrot preparation?

    If it’s not listed here, please let us know!

    CARROT HISTORY

    The original wild carrots were white, like parsnips. According to Colorful Harvest, marketer of rainbow carrots, the cultivated purple and yellow carrots—mutations—were eaten more than 1,000 years ago in what is now Afghanistan.

    Other colors are the product of generations of traditional plant breeding. Orange carrots were first successfully bred in Holland from an orange mutation by Dutch farmers. Here’s the history of carrots.

    FROM WHERE DO CARROTS GET THEIR COLOR?

     

    Shredded Cooked Carrots

    Grilled Carrots & Radishes

    Pan-Fried Carrots

    Glazed Carrots With Pomegranate

    Grilled Carrot Sandwich

    Colored Carrots

    [1] “Cooked” carrot salad. Here’s the recipe from Walnut Frog. [2] Carrots with other root vegetables (here, radishes and baby onions). Here’s the recipe, with a maple-honey glaze, from Kalamazoo Gourmet. [3] Pan-fried carrots with parsley. Not the red skin: It’s an heirloom variety. Here’s the recipe from The Nourishing Gourmet. [4]. These glazed carrots are accented with sesame seeds and pomegranate arils for more color. Here’s the recipe from The Café Sucre Farine. [5] Grilled carrot sandwich on crusty bread with goat cheese, apricot jam and toasted pine nuts, at The Wayfarer | NYC. [6] This picture is not Photoshopped: These are natural mutations. See how it happens, below (photo courtesy The Wayfarer).

     
    Deeply colored produce are rich in nutrients, including antioxidants. Different antioxidants produce the different colors or carrots:

  • Red carrots get their color from lycopene, an antioxidant that may promote healthy eyes and a healthy prostate.
  • Orange and tangerine carrots get their color comes from beta-carotene, an antioxidant and precursor of vitamin A.
  • Purple carrots get their color from anthocyanins, the same potent phytonutrients (antioxidants) that makes blueberries blue,. Anthocyanins are flavonoids that may help increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood and may help maintain good brain function.
  • Yellow and white carrots get their color from lutein, which studies suggest may promote good eye health.
  •  
    ________________
    *Tenderness, moistness and delicacy depend in part on how and where a vegetable is grown. Those grown in a hot, dry climate without sufficient irrigation can turn out to be pretty hot and spicy. If you end up with that character, you can reduce the spiciness by blanching the cut pieces in salted, boiling water. (Source)

    †Other common root vegetables, that don’t necessarily lend themselves to these preparations, include include daikon, ginger, horseradish, jicama and turmeric.

      

    Comments off

    TIP OF THE DAY: Citrus Salads

    Beet & Citrus Salad

    Citrus Onion Salad

    Pear Gorgonzola Salad

    [1] Citrus with beets and greens have eye appeal and taste great (here’s the recipe from Southern Living). [2] Pretty as a picture (here’s the recipe from Today). [3] An elegant take on ambrosia (recipe at right, from Fosters Market).

     

    When cold weather limits the choices of both fruits and vegetables, a sprightly citrus salad can be a treat for the eyes and the palate.

    It can be served for lunch or dinner:

  • As the salad course
  • As the main course with a protein—poached salmon, scallops, shrimp or other shellfish a salad course, as a main with seafood
  • As dessert, with burrata, goat or other soft cheese
  •  
    When you mix colors, the results are truly glorious. They’re pretty, taste and good for you!

    You can have a base of greens:

  • Baby arugula and/or spinach
  • Endive and/or radicchio
  • Mesclun
  •  
    The dressings can be:

  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  • Blue cheese (add a pinch of brown sugar)
  • Fruit yogurt
  • Vinaigrette with a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup
  •  
    Garnishes can add:

  • Crunch (grated carrots, sliced or julienned celery or radish, nuts)
  • Color (carrots, dried cranberries or cherries, green sprouts or cress, pomegranate arils, red bell pepper, red chili flakes or jalapeño)
  •  
    You can also add another colorful winter favorite, beets, to the salad.

    There are endless variations of citrus salads. Here are two classic combinations; elaborate on them as you wish.

    RECIPE #1: AMBROSIA WITH CITRUS & FLAKY COCONUT

    In Greek mythology, the gods ate ambrosia and drank nectar, fragrant foods that were typically reserved for divine beings.

    While no descriptions of either these foods survive (the word ambrosia means delicious or fragrant and nectar indicates a delicious or invigorating drink), scholars have long believed that both ambrosia and nectar were based on honey.

    The elegant recipe that follows (photo #3) is from Fosters Market Cookbook, recipes from a fine market and café in Durham, North Carolina.

    Here’s a recipe for another style of ambrosia from Alton Brown, with a sour cream dressing, pecans, grapes, mini marshmallows and more.

    Ingredients For 8 To 10 Servings

  • 2 navel oranges
  • 2 cara cara oranges
  • 2 blood oranges
  • 2 red grapefruits
  • 2 clementines
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 Meyer lemon (substitute other lemon or lime)
  • Preparation

    1. PEEL the citrus. First cut off the tops and bottoms with so the fruit sits flat. Then place on a cutting board and cut away the skin and pith, working around the circle between the fruit and the pith.

    2. SLICE each fruit into rounds or half rounds, depending on the size. Remove any seeds.

    3. PLACE on a large platter or individual plates, and sprinkle with any juice that has collected on the board. Sprinkle the dried cranberries/cherries and coconut over the top.

    4. ZEST the lemon over the salad; then cut in half and squeeze the juice over the citrus.

    5. SERVE, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

     

    RECIPE #2: AVOCADO GRAPEFRUIT SALAD WITH MACADAMIA NUT DRESSING

    Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet Blog developed this recipe by browsing the produce aisle and picking up what was available.

    “Something about the acidic, subtly sweet citrus, creamy avocado, and crunchy macadamia nuts make this salad utterly unforgettable,” Hannah says. “Don’t just take my word for it, because I’m afraid I can’t do it full justice in a few short sentences. It’s just too good to fully explain in words. This simple, invigorating combination will brighten short winter days.”

    If you don’t like avocado, or can’t find a ripe one, she recommends:

    “Mix citrus segments with any other fruits that are available; or make an all-citrus salad, combining segments from grapefruits, oranges, blood oranges, cara cara oranges, and so forth. The mix of colors is absolutely gorgeous.”

    Ingredients For 2-3 Servings

    For The Macadamia Nut Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup raw macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •  
    For The Salad

  • 8 cups arugula
  • 2 cups thinly sliced fennel
  • 1 small sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 large pink or red grapefruit, sliced into segments
  • 1 large, ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1/3 cup toasted macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  •  
    Preparation

     

    Grapefruit Avocado Salad

    Grapefruit Avocado Salad

    [4] Grapefruit and avocado with macadamia nut dressing (photo courtesy Bittersweet Blog). [5] A pretty preparation: dressed TexaSweet red grapefruit segments in an avocado half (photo courtesy Texasweet).

     
    1. MAKE the dressing. Combine the ingredients in a blender or food processor and purée on high, until creamy and completely smooth.

    2. PLACE the arugula and fennel in a bowl and toss with the dressing; or if you prefer, serve the dressing on the side. Divide the greens between 2 or 3 bowls.

    3. TOP with equal amounts of grapefruit, avocado, and macadamia nuts. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper as needed, or simply place the shakers on the table for self-service.
     
    MORE WAYS TO USE CITRUS

  • As a garnish on everything from vegetables to mains.
  • Recipes from chiles rellenos to sushi.
  •  
    THE HISTORY OF GRAPEFRUIT

    But the grapefruit’s ancestor, the pummelo (also pomelo or shaddock), comes from far away—it’s native to Malaysia and Indonesia. Pummelo seeds were brought from the East Indies to the West Indies in 1693 by an English ship commander. The grapefruit may have been a horticultural accident or a deliberate hybridization between the pummelo and the orange

    Here’s more.
     
    HOW TO SEGMENT CITRUS

      

    Comments off



    © Copyright 2005-2017 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All images are copyrighted to their respective owners.