Garden-greens Salad with Fennel, Roasted Walnuts and Peach Dressing

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My latest invention: Peach dressing. I love to come up with dressings that bring a salad out in a new and interesting way. Well, it is peach season! What is more obvious than adding half a peach to the dressing in my blender? The dressing is wonderfully orange, a bit sweet from the peach, a little spicy from the garlic and has a creamy consistency.

All in all, this is a great, fresh summer salad. You can use any kinds of greens you have in your garden, (or at your local farmer’s market or grocery store…) Arugula would be good as well, or spinach or any kind of lettuce. Just make sure you slice the fennel thinly. The garden greens are delicate in nature and if the fennel is too chunky they get buried but it.

Ingredients:

(For 4 people)

A handful of kale, washed, dried and sliced very thinly
A handful of sorrel, washed, dried and sliced thinly
A handful of beet greens, washed, dried and sliced thinly
½ a head of green leaf lettuce, washed, dried and torn into pieces
½ of a Fennel bulb, washed, dried and sliced very thinly
½ cup of dry roasted walnuts

Dressing:

The dressing will be enough to be used for other salads. Just put it in a jar and store in the refrigerator. If you make on Sunday, you will have your dressing for the whole week!

1 lemon, squeezed
1/2 peach
2 cloves of garlic, squeezed
2 cups of olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
1 1/2 table spoons of honey

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend.

Arrange the different greens on a platter or in a bowl, put the fennel slices and walnuts on top and drizzle the dressing over the salad.

Combine with freshly grilled vegetables and or a slice of grilled fish and you will be good to go!

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Turkish Salad with Dates and Goat Cheese

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One of my favorite cookbooks these days is the book “Plenty”by Yotam Ottolenghi. It has incredible, creative and unusual vegetarian recipes with a middle Eastern touch. I tried most of them and every single one has worked and tasted great. In general, the recipes are not hard, but a bit time consuming, because he is working with lots of different spices and fresh herbs, which often takes more time to prepare. This is a book that will definitely spice up your day and with every recipe you want to try the next one!

I made this Turkish Salad the other day and it was delicious. It is a wonderful combination of flavors. Highly recommended.

The recipe calls for Turkish sheep’s cheese, but since it is a bit hard to find here :), I just substituted it through soft goat cheese, which worked just fine.

For 4 people:

1 1/2 tablespoons of whole almonds (skin on)
6 large Medjool dates
2 1/2 cups of arugula
4 to 5 oz of soft goat cheese
a few leaves of dill
3/4 cup of mixed purple ands green basil leaves and red chard leaves
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
salt and pepper

Dry roast the almonds at medium heat in a skillet until they are brown.

Halve the dates lengthwise and remove and discard the pit. Cut each in half into four to six long slices.

Spread the arugula over the bottom of each serving dish. On top, build up dates, cheese, dill, basil and red chard, making sure you can clearly see all four elements.

Mix together well the olive oil, pomegranate molasses and some salt and pepper, and drizzle over the salad. Roughly chop up the almonds and sprinkle on top and serve.

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Kale Salad with Apple and Crispy Shallots

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I only used to know kale as a vegetable cooked to death in German soup pots with ornaments of sausages. I rediscovered it and I must say, this salad makes my heart sing and hopefully your’s too! It is so fresh and interesting in the combination of textures and flavors – the light bitterness and chewiness of the kale, the sweetness of the apples and the salty crispness of the shallots.

Ingredients: (for 20 people)
4 bunches of kales
5 big double-size shallots or 10 smaller ones
½ cup of safflower oil
3 medium size apples

Dressing:
1 cup of apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups of olive oil
1 cup of safflower oil
1½ tablespoon of honey
1½ tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and squeezed
Salt
Black pepper

I massage the kale with both hands first, while it is sitting in a tub of lightly warm water. The massaging makes it softer, not quite as chewy. Dry the greens well and then cut them in very thin strips. Peel the shallots and slice thinly. Heat the safflower oil in a pan. Once it is hot, add the shallots and fry them until crispy for about twenty minutes at medium to high temperature, scraping and turning the shallots often. Make sure to keep your attention on this to make sure to not burn them. Once golden brown, take the shallots out of the pan and let them dry on a baking sheet covered with paper towel. Wash and dry the apples. Cut the apples in quarters, remove the kernels and cut the apples in about ½ inch size small pieces.

For the dressing:
Whisk the honey and mustard into the apple cider vinegar, add the garlic, salt and pepper. Then slowly whisk in the two different oils until it emulsifies. Pour the dressing over the kale. Dress until well covered. Add the apples and garnish with the shallots.

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