Lost my mojo. In fact, the campaign and election were disturbing enough to convert me from a “woman who yells” to one who cries. I still feel off, but miss my blog peeps, so here I am with a modest offering of food. This delicious winter salad has four ingredients: romaine, slivered radicchio, thin-sliced red onion, and pomegranate seeds. Topped with a mustard/garlic vinaigrette on the tangy side. The red bits look festive, don’t you think?
Good thing it was tasty because for some reason the frittata bombed. Came out like a rubber mat with inclusions of goat cheese. Seriously.
C acted the good sport and came to Salem with me today. Removed a cruddy rug. Got the AC unit down to the basement. Moved the bed and the exercise machine. We shopped for food and wine. Pictures were hung, curtains put up, and a few decorations fetched from storage.
This was AFTER C. bagged up another five bags of leaves for the neighbor who hired him, making a total of 28. Whew! It was the last leaf pick up in our town. On our side of the fence, it went pretty painlessly. The guy I thought I hired never showed and I’m glad because being outside and raking was one of the sanest and most grounding activities of the last few weeks.
How could I have forgotten about barley?! Having chef-extraordinaire, Elizabeth Germain, visiting for two weeks upped my game in the kitchen some. I learned that my burners don’t get quite hot enough (who knew?). That I wasn’t cooking my chicken thighs quite long enough (sorry, guys!). And that barley is terrific for cold weather eating. This salad is an adaptation from an America’s Test Kitchen recipe. Their’s featured oat berries and feta cheese. I used barley and pomegranate seeds instead. I think pine nuts would be good here, too. Here’s the recipe.
Two handfuls arugula
1 c. cooked barley
2 roasted peppers, skinned & chopped
14 oz. can of chic peas
seeds of 1/2 pomegranate
2 scallions, chopped
1 lemon, squeezed
splash of rice vinegar
about 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic
1/8 t paprika
1/8 – 1/4 t cumin
This salad is terrific the next day, which leads me to think the arugula should be added in by plate. Barley is not gluten free but may be less aggravating to some with sensitivities.
From my plate to yours – Chicken with Wild Rice and Walnuts. I am eating some right now and it is out of this world!
When I make chicken stock with a whole bird, I like to use about half of the meat for something other than soup… in this case a salad that is richly flavored and full of protein — perfect for a cold New England day!!If you make this salad while preparing the soup, there is a nice economy of effort, since you’ll be chopping onions, parsley, and celery for both dishes.
Chicken with Wild Rice and Walnuts
Chicken — roughly 1/2 of a small bird (5-ish lbs) — chopped
Be sure to use half of the bird’s tender breast meat
1 cup cooked rice — I used mostly brown, with some grains of wild
3 stalks celery — chopped
3-4 tablespoons white onion — diced
1/4 c walnuts — chopped
1/2 cup parsley — chopped
olive oil and salt and pepper
There is so much flavor here, that a generous sprinkling of a fruity, extra virgin olive oil, plus a little S&P, is all the dressing needed.
You can skip the inclusion of wild rice (though I love the color!), but you will sacrifice too much taste and toothsome texture if you substitute white rice (I have some wonderful white rice salads for the summer).
Variation: If you are in the mood for a richer, creamier salad, you could use a more classic mayonnaise-based dressing.
You probably didn’t know this about me, but I’m somewhat of a salad genius. I know it’s not that unique a thing — I can name at least two OTHER geniuses off the top of my head, without even thinking that hard. Nevertheless, I’ve decided to start sharing some of these combos. Today seemed like a good day to start, if for no other reason than I am craving the color green (need I write? it’s snowing again . . .) Cabbage and Parsley Salad
Serves four as a side; two as a main course I like to use parsley as a green in the winter. In addition to being a good source of Vitamin C, it’s pretty. Cabbage adds a tangy contrast to the lettuce and if you use a mandolin to slice it, you’ll get an especially thin ribbon. Most of my celery tops go straight into the freezer for eventual use in stock production, but here they are chopped in with the parsley.
Bowlful of iceberg lettuce
Handful of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
Handful of black olives
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped parsley and celery tops, mixed
Wedge of cabbage, sliced thin
Vinaigrette (1/4 c olive oil; 1/4 c white vinegar; 1 T mustard, chopped garlic and salt and pepper) Celery tops add a refreshing piquancy. When paired with red quinoa and a batch of sauteed peppers, onions, and zucchini — a very satisfying winter meal!