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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Vegetables/Salads/Herbs

RECIPE: Edamame & Corn Salad

SONY DSC

Edamame and corn salad. Photo courtesy
CitronLimette.com.

 

Here’s a fusion recipe: Corn is native to America, soybeans are native to Japan. Here, they marry in a sprightly oregano vinaigrette—oregano being native to the Mediterranean region and the Middle East.

You can make this recipe with frozen or canned corn, but the idea here is to head to the farm stand and buy fresh corn. Save the canned and frozen options for the rest of the year.

Corn is a whole grain, and edamame, fresh green soybeans, are high in protein and fiber. You can find them in the frozen section of supermarkets. Buy them shelled to save time.

Prep time is 20 minutes, cook time is 5 minutes.

RECIPE: EDAMAME & CORN SALAD

Ingredients For 10 2/3 Cup Servings

  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen shelled edamame
  • 3 ears fresh corn, cooked and kernels cut from cob (2 cups)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Optional: diced tomatoes
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  •  

    For The Oregano Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  •  

    Preparation

    1. BRING 2 quarts water to boil in medium saucepan on high heat. Add edamame; cook 4 minutes or until edamame are bright green and tender. Drain and rinse under cold water.

    2. MAKE the vinaigrette. Mix all ingredients in large bowl until well blended.

    3. ADD the edamame, corn, red bell pepper, green onions and parsley; toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors. Toss before serving.
     
    Variations

    Enjoy this recipe as a side dish. We also used it to top burgers and franks. The second time we made it, we added a bit of crushed red pepper heat.

    You can use it as the base of a luncheon salad by adding cubed proteins (chicken, grilled tofu, ham, etc.) We cut up a leftover pork chop.
     
      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Parmesan Zucchini Crisps

    When we look at zucchini prices in the winter months, we think ahead to the summer months and all the zucchini dishes we’re going to make.

    This weekend, we’re serve these zucchini crisps with Prosecco, although they go with any wine, beer or cocktail and make a fine side dish or snack-in-front-of-the-TV.

    They’re baked, not fried; and combine the best aspects of cheese and salty snacks in the form of a serving of green vegetables. Yes, it’s another way to trick the veg-resistant into eating more veggies!

    The zucchini crisps (chips) are also easy to make. Thanks to XBar at the Hyatt Regency, Los Angeles, for the recipe.

    The better the Parmesan cheese you use, the tastier the crisps. If you’re a fan of panko, Japanese bread crumbs, you can use them to amp up the dish.

    RECIPE: PARMESAN ZUCCHINI CRISPS

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  •  

    zucchini-parmesan-crisps-xbarhyattregencyLA-230

    This salty snack includes a serving of vegetables! Photo courtesy Hyatt Regency | LA.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 450°F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

    2. SLICE zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Toss the zucchini with olive oil in a medium bowl.

    3. COMBINE the cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Dip the zucchini rounds into the cheese mixture, coating each side. Place the rounds in a single layer on the baking sheet.

    4. BAKE the rounds until browned, about 25 to 30 minutes. Enjoy them warm or at room temperature.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Veggie Skewers, Veggie Grilling Tips

    We discovered these nifty grill combs from Fusion Brands at Sur La Table. What better way to get everyone to eat more veggies than to skewer and grill them?

    Americans are woefully behind when it comes to eating the recommended 3-5 servings of vegetables a day; and no, spaghetti sauce and ketchup don’t count.

    So make it fun by grilling skewers of veggies while you’re cooking your proteins. Aim to build skewers of 70% veggies, 30% protein; or make all-veggie skewers.

    BEST VEGETABLES FOR GRILLING

    Many different types of vegetables can be grilled, but start with a selection from these:

  • Asparagus: If you loose them between the spokes of the grill, get a grilling basket or a shaker basket.
  • Bell peppers: Grill whole, char and peel, or cut into chunks and grill until just charred around the edges.
  • Corn: Some people leave corn in the husks for grilling. Others like the char that comes from grilling the husked corn. Try both and decide.
  •    

    veggie-skewers-comb-SLT-230

    A fun way to cook and eat veggies. Photo courtesy Sur La Table.

  • Eggplant: Slice then into 1/4” pieces and briefly marinate in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic and basil.
  • Green beans: Few people think to grill these. All you need is a grilling basket/shaker basket.
  • Mushrooms: Marinate whole portabellas in balsamic vinaigrette for 1 hour; grill over high heat for 10 minutes. Smaller mushrooms can be skewered or grilled in a basket.
  • Onions: Cut crosswise into half-inch slices, skewer and grill over medium heat.
  • Potatoes: Parboil fingerling or new potatoes until they are al dente thread and finish them on the grill.
  • Radicchio or Endive: Quarter, leaving the core in, and serve warm with a vinaigrette.
  • Tomatoes: Cut in half and grill cut-side down; flip halfway through (3-4 minutes), top with pesto and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  • Zucchini And/Or Summer Squash: Use the eggplant marinade above.
  •  
    GENERAL GRILLING

    Karen Schultz and Maren Jahnke note in their book, Vegetarian Grilling, that vegetables contain far less fat than proteins. They thus require added fat so that they don’t dry out.

    This is done both by marinating and by brushing often with olive oil or other oil. “Be heavy on the brush,” they recommend.

    For more on how to grill vegetables, John Kennedy, in an article on SteakBytes, the blog of Omaha Steaks, offers these tips:

     

    grilling-basket-mr-bar-b-q-amz-230r

    How to keep small veggies from slipping
    through the grill: Use a grilling basket. Photo
    courtesy Mr. Bar-B-Q.

     

    VEGGIE GRILLING TIPS

    1. USE skewers. Skewers are the best way to keep vegetables from rolling around on the grill, and to easily flip to ensure that each side is getting equal contact with the heat. If you don’t want to invest in skewers, you can wrap the vegetables in a sheet of foil, then place the packet on the grill. Use nonstick cooking spray on the foil before adding the vegetables to help prevent sticking.

    2. BRUSH the vegetables with olive oil or canola oil to prevent them from sticking to the grill. Avoid the temptation of butter, to keep the cholesterol/saturated fat levels low.

    3. SEASON with dried or fresh herbs instead of salt. You’ll add great flavor without increasing sodium levels.

    4. SLICE the vegetables thickly since they will cook fast (unless you want thin, crisp slices). However, denser vegetables take longer to cook: Potato slices require a lot more time than zucchini slices, for example.

     

    5. COOK vegetables directly on the grill at medium-high heat and turn over halfway through cooking.
     
    Do this often, and you’ll eat better while enjoying the superior flavor of grilled vegetables.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Sea Asparagus & Other Sea Vegetables

    Today’s tip is: Keep your eyes open for new foods. Then, share them with foodie friends.

    Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet Blog discovered sea asparagus—a vegetable that grows in or adjacent to salt water—on a recent trip to Hawaii. Sea asparagus grows in warm salt marshes and on beaches, there for the foraging. It is harvested wild, and also cultivated.

    What Is Sea Asparagus

    Sea asparagus (Salicornia europaea), also known as glasswort, samphire or sea beans, is a tender, green, spindly stalk that resembles tiny land-grown asparagus (although they are not related). It is a member of the Amaranthaceae family, which includes everything from amaranth, a high-protein grain, to ornamental cockscomb and picturesque tumbleweed.

    Sea asparagus can be purchased fresh in areas where it is harvested, and packaged in specialty food markets. You can purchase it fresh, frozen, pickled (this year’s stocking stuffer?) and in other forms (sea pesto, powdered seasoning) from Olakai Hawaii. The season in British Columbia is currently “in full swing,” according to West Coast Seaweed, another e-tailer.

    Fresh sea asparagus can be eaten raw, pickled or steamed (and then tossed in butter or olive oil); in a salad, as a side dish or a garnish (see the sushi photo below). Dried sea vegetables can be added directly to soups or stews and to the cooking liquid of beans or rice.

       

    sea-asparagus-salad-kaminsky-230

    Invite a new vegetable to lunch or dinner. Sea asparagus photo © Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog.

     
    No Extra Salt Required

    “Absorbing the sea salt like a sponge, sea asparagus can be quite salty if not thoroughly rinsed, and should never be salted no matter what else you add to it,” says Hannah. “Slightly crunchy when raw or par-cooked, it’s an exotic delight, and a surprise given my experience with flat, gelatinous, and/or stringy sea vegetables. As long as I can find sea asparagus, you can be sure that this salad will find its way to my table.”

    Hannah’s recipe was inspired by the serving suggestion printed on the label for Olakai sea asparagus, purchased in Hawaii. Hannah combined them with other local pleasures: tiny currant tomatoes, a local product even smaller than grape tomatoes, and sweet Maui onions.

    You can add a protein to turn the recipe into a luncheon salad. Consider grilled or smoked salmon (which makes the Hawaiian recipe lomi lomi), tofu, canned tuna, grilled fish or seafood. We used raw scallops: delicious!

    RECIPE: SEA ASPARAGUS SALAD

    Ingredients For 2-3 Side Dish Servings

  • 4 ounces fresh sea asparagus
  • 1 ounce sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 ounces currant tomatoes (substitute halved cherry or grape tomatoes)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SNIP off any brown ends on the sea asparagus before rinsing them thoroughly under hot water. Toss them in a bowl along with the diced onion, oil and lemon juice.

    2. MASSAGE the vegetables with your fingers for a minute or two, just to tenderize the stalks slightly. Add the tomatoes and mix to distribute throughout the salad.

    3. SERVE immediately or chill. The salad will keep for up to two days. Don’t be tempted to add any salt, since sea asparagus is already infused with sodium from the sea.

     

    sea_asparagus_inari-tastyislandhawaii-230

    Sea vegetables as a garnish, here on inari
    sushi. Photo courtesy TastyIslandHawaii.com.

     

    WHAT ARE SEA VEGETABLES

    Vegetables don’t grow only on land. If you’re a fan of Japanese food, you’ve probably had one or more types of seaweed—a salad of hijiki or wakame, the nori wrapper of sushi rolls or a bowl of dashi (clear soup) made from kombu (kelp).

    Sea vegetables are loaded with of chlorophyll, dietary fiber and vitamins and minerals from the ocean, including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, vitamins A and C and trace minerals such as iodine and vanadium. Many health food advocates eat them for the nutrition (details).

    Sea asparagus, in particular, is an excellent source of calcium, iron and vitamins A, B2, B9 (folic acid), plus dietary fiber, amino acids and minerals.

    Look for sea vegetables in natural food stores in dried form. Just soak them in water for 10 minutes and they’re ready to use.

    If you like seaweed salad, you’ll like a mixed sea vegetable salad—say, arame/hijiki, dulse, sea palm and wakame. Try a mirin-tamari-ginger juice-soy sauce marinade, or a simple rice vinegar, olive oil and sesame oil vinaigrette.

     
    POPULAR SEA VEGETABLES

  • Agar Agar. Also called kanten or Japanese gelatin, agar agar is a clear, tasteless alternative to animal or chemical-based gelatin. It is sold in opaque flakes and dissolves in hot liquid. It thickens at room temperature and is used to firm up confections, jellies, pies and puddings.
  • Arame. These thin, wiry black shreds of seaweed have a sweet, mild flavor. In Western cuisine, they can be added to green salads, omelets, pasta salads, quiches and stir-fries.
  • Dulse. This reddish brown sea veggie is sold as dried whole stringy leaves or a powdered condiment. The leaves have a chewy texture and can be eaten like jerky; or, they can be pan-fried in sesame oil and added to salads or sandwiches. It is not reconstituted, but used as is.
  • Kombu. Thick, dark purple kombu is sold in strips or sheets. It’s the principal ingredient of the Japanese broth, dashi; and can be added to Western recipes in the liquid for beans, rice or soup.
  • Nori. Nori can be dark purple to blackish green in color. It is best known as the thin, flat sheets of toasted seaweed used to make sushi rolls (the sheets are not reconstituted, but used as is). It’s also available untoasted, and plain or flavored snack strips have become quite popular. We use julienned nori as a garnish for rice, soups, salads, casseroles or grains either crushed into flakes or cut into strips. Nori is also available in a flakes with a seasoning mix of sesame seeds, salt and sugar, called nori komi furikake. If you like nori, get some: You’ll enjoy it.
  • Sea Palm. This vegetable, brownish-green in color, looks just like a miniature palm tree. It’s also called American arame and is harvested from America’s Pacific Coast. Sweet and salty, it can be enjoyed it raw or sautéed, in soups or in salads.
  • Wakame. We always look forward to a bowl of silky, tender wakame-su, wakame seaweed marinated in rice vinegar. It is also a popular addition to Japanese soups.
  •  
    Ready, set: Enjoy discovering the world of sea vegetables.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Cucumber Drink Garnish & Types Of Cucumbers

    cucumber-lemonade-hendricks-230

    Cool as a cucumber lemonade. Photo
    courtesy Hendricks Gin.

     

    Hendrick’s Gin sent us a cocktail recipe called Cucumber Lemonade. We enjoyed both the drink and the garnish and thought: Why don’t we use more cucumber garnishes?

    The Cucumber Lemonade recipe is below, but you can also use a cucumber garnish with:

  • Club soda
  • Citrus sodas: Fresca, 7-Up, Sprite
  • Savory cocktails: Bloody Mary, Martini
  • Fruit or vegetable juices and ades
  • Tonic Water
  •  
    Try adding a cucumber spear to these drinks, and you’ll have a crunchy snack to enjoy with the drink.

    RECIPE: HENDRICK’S CUCUMBER LEMONADE

    Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • 3 parts Hendrick’s Gin
  • 2 parts fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 parts simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Sparkling water
  • Garnish: cucumber spear
  • Preparation

    1. COMBINE the first three ingredients in a tall glass. Add ice.

    2. TOP with sparkling water, stir gently and garnish with a cucumber spear or wedge.

     

    CUCUMBER TYPES

    You can garnish with any supermarket cucumber, but why not have fun and look for specialty varieties?

    Growers define cucumbers in five categories: slicing, pickling, burpless, space savers and specialty.

  • Slicing cucumbers include the typical supermarket variety: long and straight with thin, non-bitter skins and seeds. They are bred for slicing and eating. The skin of younger cucumbers is tender enough to be eaten. As the fruit* grows, the skins thicken and more seeds develop. If left on the vine too long, the flesh may become bitter.
  • Pickling cucumbers are shorter and stouter. They are bred to have drier flesh, which allows them to soak up more of the pickling brine.
  • Burpless cucumbers are slicing cucumbers that have been bred to produce less of the bitter chemical that releases gas in the stomach. They were developed because enough Americans had this sensitivity.
  • Space saver cucumbers, also called container cucumbers, are bred to create compact vines that fit into small gardens and deck planters.
  •  

    armenian-cucumber-burpee-230

    You know what conventional cucumbers look like. Check farmers markets for specialty varieties like crystal apple cucumbers, lemon cucumbers and the Armenian cucumber, shown here. Photo courtesy Burpee.

  • Specialty cucumbers are heirloom cucumbers that have less developed disease resistance than modern hybrids, but are appreciated for their different flavors, shapes and/or colors. Long, light green Armenian cucumbers (see photo above) are heavily ribbed—decorative and ornamental—and taste like a melon without the sweetness. Their ribbed shape makes interesting cross-sections when sliced. Lemon cucumbers look like round lemons. White cucumbers Look for them in farmers markets. Crystal Apple cucumbers, heirlooms from New Zealand, have pale green, roundish fruits resembling Granny Smith apples. Suyo Long is a traditional variety from China that delivers burpless, sweet ribbed fruits that can be used for slicing or pickling. Hybrids like Palace King have a ripples of yellow on emerald green skins.
  •  
    Your homework: Go to the farmers market and look for specialty cucumbers. If you have a garden, check out the options and plan to plant at least one variety next year.

     
    *Yes, cucumbers, C. sativus, are fruits. They are members of the same binomial genus as cantaloupe, honeydew, Persian and other melons.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Summer Salad With Berries & Mandarins

    A salad so fruity, you could have it for
    dessert. Photo courtesy
    PeachValleyCafe.com.

     

    Doesn’t this salad from Florida-based Peach Valley Café burst with summer?

    Blueberries, mandarin segments, strawberries, frisée and baby greens are garnished with shaved Parmesan cheese, toasted almonds and homemade peach ginger dressing.

    You can add or substitute any other seasonal fruits: bananas, peaches, kiwi or other favorites.

    GINGER PEACH DRESSING

    Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons flaked coconut
  •  

    OPTIONAL SALAD INGREDIENTS

  • Lettuce: bibb/Boston, endive/radicchio, frisée, mesclun, romaine
  • Fruit: bananas, berries, kiwi, mandarin or orange, nectarines, peaches, pineapple
  • Onion: chive, green onion, red onion, sweet onion
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, chia, flaxseed, pecans, pepitas
  •  
    Mix, match and enjoy.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Blue Salad ~ Blue Cheese, Blueberries

    blue-blueberry-summer-salad-driscolls-230

    Shoo the blues: a summer salad with
    blueberries and blue cheese. Photo courtesy
    Driscoll’s.

     

    You’ll shoo the blues away with this “blue salad”: blue cheese, fresh blueberries and homemade blueberry vinaigrette. The recipe is from Driscoll’s Berries.

    The homemade blueberry vinegar will stay fresh for six months and can be gifted to your favorite cook(s).

    Prep time is 10 minutes for the salad, 35 minutes for the vinegar.

    RECIPE: BLUE SALAD WITH BLUE CHEESE & BLUEBERRIES

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1/4 cups blueberry vinegar (recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons walnut or olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 4 cups mixed lettuces (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 package fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cups walnut halves, toasted
  • 1/4 cup (about 1 ounce) Stilton or other blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives or thinly sliced green onion
  •  

    Homemade Blueberry Vinegar

  • 2 packages (6 ounces each) fresh blueberries
  • 3 cups white vinegar (we used the less harsh cider vinegar and halved the sugar)
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  •  

    Preparation

    1. MAKE the blueberry vinegar. Place blueberries and vinegar in a non-reactive saucepan. (Note that when heating vinegar or acidic foods, it’s important to use a non-reactive saucepan such as stainless steel, non-stick or enamel. Aluminum or cast-iron pans react with acid and can cause a metallic taste.)

    2. ADD the sugar and orange zest; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Strain though a mesh sieve, pressing out as much liquid as possible. Pour into glass container. Refrigerate for up to 6 months.

    3. MAKE the vinaigrette. Combine the blueberry vinegar, oil, salt and pepper in a screw-top jar or medium bowl. Shake or whisk well to blend.

    4. TOSS the lettuces, blueberries, walnuts, cheese and chives in a large bowl with the desired amount of blueberry vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

     

    blueberries-basket-balduccis-230sq

    Summer is blueberry season. Make blueberry vinaigrette as gifts for friends. Photo courtesy Balducci’s.

     

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Smoked Salmon Potato Salad

    Summer means potato salad, and you can never have too many good potato salad recipes.

    This one, from Tiffany Ludwig of Zabar’s, uses the stores famous smoked salmon to excellent effect. “With capers, dill and smoked salmon,” says Tiffany, “this simple summer dish transforms brunch or lunch into a spectacular meal.”

    Tiffany urges that the key to a great-tasting potato salad is to eat it right away, before refrigerating. Yes, refrigerate any leftovers, but enjoy it first as a fresh dish. You’ll appreciate it even more after you compare the refrigerated version.

    RECIPE: SMOKED SALMON POTATO SALAD

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 2 pounds red potatoes
  • ¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup capers
  • ½ cup smoked salmon, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill
  • ¼ cup quality mayonnaise
  • Coarse salt for the water (about 1 tablespoon)
  •  

    smoked-salmon-potato-salad-zabars-230r

    Smoked salmon potato salad. Photo courtesy Zabar’s.

     

    Preparation

    1. BOIL a large pot of well salted water. While the water is boiling, wash and dice the potatoes. You can leave the skins on, since they add color and nutrition. Dice into ½ inch cubes, add to the boiling water and cook for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are fully cooked through and are a little “fluffy” on the outside.

    2. DRAIN the potatoes in a colander. Don’t rinse, or you’ll remove the starch coating that lets other ingredients adhere. Cool to room temperature; don’t refrigerate.

    3. MIX in the mayonnaise to thoroughly coat the potatoes.

    4. ADD the red onion, capers, smoked salmon and dill and stir until evenly mixed. Plate and enjoy.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Asian Cobb Salad

    asian-cobb-east&westYotelNYC-230-1

    This delicious salad is dramatically plated on
    an oval platter, but we had to cut the photo
    in half. Photo courtesy Yotel New York.

     

    We love East-West fusion food, and there’s no better source for it than East & West at Club Lounge in the Yotel New York.

    RECIPE: ASIAN COBB SALAD

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

    For The Salad

  • 1 bag Asian blend mixed greens bags
  • 4 large spicy grilled chicken breasts (marinade recipe below), diced
  • 1 package firm tofu, diced
  • 2 large avocados, diced
  • 2 large red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, quartered
  • 1 small golden pineapple, diced large
  • 1 cup sliced toasted almonds
  • Soy Ginger Dressing, recipe below
  •  
    For The Soy Ginger Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, diced
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seed, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup cup mirin
  • 1 cup salad oil (we blended 3/4 cup olive oil with 1/4 cup sesame oil)
  •  
    For The Chicken Marinade

  • 1 cups soy sauce
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon peeled ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup chili paste (sambal oelek)
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  •  

    Ingredients For The Candied Nuts

  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon Japanese tograshi pepper
  •  
    †The main ingredient in togarashi red pepper seasoning is red pepper flakes. If you want to create a substitute, use cayenne pepper or dried, crushed chiles; sesame seeds; dried, crushed seaweed and dried citrus peel.
     
    Preparation

    1. MARINATE the chicken for 2 hours. In a sauté pan or grill, cook the chicken on a medium heat until the skin gets crispy on one side; flip it and cook the rest of the way (this should take about 10 minutes). Cool and then dice for the salad.

    2. MAKE the candied nuts. Preheat a convection oven to 300°F. While the oven is heating, combine all ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly until the honey coats all of the almonds. Spread them evenly on a large baking sheet (ideally on a silpat) and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool before chopping for the salad.

     

    asian-cobb-east&westYotelNYC-230-2

    The other half of the salad. Photo courtesy Yotel | NYC.

     

    3. MAKE the vinaigrette: Place all ingredients in a blender and process. Strain and reserve for salad.

    4. PLACE mesclun mix in a large salad bowl. Arrange the topping in rows across the salad, keeping like colors separated. This is the most dramatic way of presenting a Cobb Salad. If you prefer, you can pre-toss the salad instead.

    5. SERVE with the vinaigrette on the side.

     
    THE HISTORY OF THE COBB SALAD

    Here’s how the Cobb Salad came to be, plus a recipe for a Cobb Salad Sandwich.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Watermelon Cucumbers

    watermelon-cucumbers-melissas-230a

    Mini watermelon cucumbers: fun food. Photo
    courtesy Melissas.com.

     

    Cucumbers and watermelons are first cousins. Both are from the binomial order Cucurbitales and family Cucurbitaceae, differing only at the genus level: Cucumis for cucumber (the common cucumber genus/species is C. sativus) and Citrullus for watermelon (C. lanatus).

    That’s why you can eat the white portion of watermelon rind—it tastes just like cucumber—or turn it into pickled watermelon rind, a.k.a. watermelon pickles.

    And how about these tiny watermelon cucumbers (in photo), an heirloom cucumber variety native to Mexico and South America? They look like miniature watermelons, but taste like cucumbers.

    They’re available now at Melissas.com.

    The small fruits are often marketed as Mexican sour gherkin cucumbers, although they are not sour. Rather, they have a slightly sweet, refreshing flavor with a hint of lemon. They are cute, crunchy and perfect for pickling.

     
    To pickle, use the same recipe as for pickled watermelon rind. The pickles will taste like sweet gherkins.
     
    HOW TO USE WATERMELON CUCUMBERS

  • As novelty crudités
  • On skewers with ham and cheese cubes or marinated mozzarella balls
  • Grilled on skewers with vegetables and/or meats
  • Pickled as a condiment with sandwiches, burgers, grilled meat and fish
  •  
    TIP: Always store whole cucumbers in the vegetable crisper section of your fridge.
     
    MORE EXOTIC CUCUMBERS

    Take a look at the lemon cucumber and the crystal apple cucumber which look, respectively, like lemons and apples.

     
      

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