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

salad 2

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!

greens salad 1

Polenta Slices with Spicy Tomatoes

Polenta 1

I love Italian food and I love the idea of polenta, but the texture is often too smooth for my taste, too much like a breakfast cereal. A different way to eat polenta is to cook it first, spread it on a baking sheet and then bake it. In this version I made a spicy and thick tomato sauce with red chile and garlic that goes on top of the polenta. It actually reminds a bit of pizza. You can add fresh basil or oregano if you like, and of course whatever kind of cheese you like.

Also, as I promised, I didn’t wear my mouthguard in the kitchen…, so I could taste the tomato sauce to make sure it wasn’t too sour. A bit of honey takes the edge of the acidity of the tomatoes and it’s all good.

Ingredients:
Serves 4 people
Total preparation time: 1 1/2 hours

For the polenta:

1 cup polenta
4 cups water
1 1⁄2 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon organic butter or olive oil

Add the salt and the butter or the olive oil to the water and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling stir in the polenta. Boil at medium to high temperature for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Then turn to low/medium heat, cover the pot partly, stir occasionally to keep from burning and cook for about 30 minutes until the polenta has a smooth consistency.

While the polenta is cooking prepare the tomato sauce.

Also preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

You need for the chunky tomatoes:

6 roma tomatoes
1 red chile
2 teaspoons of olive oil
2 garlic cloves, squeezed
½ tablespoon of honey
½ teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon of black pepper

Wash the tomatoes, cut them in half and then chop in 1/2 inch size pieces.

Wash the red chile, half it and seed it. Then chop finely.

Heat a cast iron skillet or frying pan with the olive oil. Once hot, add the tomatoes, garlic ad chili. Sauté at medium/high temperature for about 20 minuets, until the water of the tomatoes has cooked off. It should be thick and chunky at this point, not a runny tomato sauce. Add the salt, pepper and honey.

When the polenta is done, lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil. Pour the polenta onto the baking sheet and spread evenly with a rubber spatula.

Divide the tomatoes into 8 or more portions on top of the polenta, according to how many slices you would like to have at the end.

Stick the baking sheet into the oven and bake for about 40 minutes. You can add grated parmesan cheese, which is nice, but not necessary.