Fruit & Chevre Salad with Sumac Dressing

Fruit with Chevre Salad with Sumac dressing

 

This is made with a super simple fruit dressing that adds just a bit of depth to the sweetness of the fruit. I stirred 1/2 teaspoon of buckwheat honey into the juice of 1 fresh squeezed lemon. I heated it in the microwave just a bit to help it dissolve. Buckwheat honey is earthier and significantly less sweet that most honey. It has a malty flavor and is very thick and dark. After dissolving all the honey in the lemon juice, I added 1/3 tsp of sumac, a tart Middle Eastern spice that adds some pungency to the dressing.

I then cut up some figs, half a nectarine and about 1 oz of chevre, mixed them together with the dressing and served. Out of this world! The fruit alone is delicious, with the cheese, it fabulous and with the cheese, fruit and dressing, it’s amazing.

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Pear, Bresaloa and Chevre with Onion Vinaigrette and Garlic Spears

Salad with Pears, Dried Beef (Bresaola) and Garlic Spears

This was an easy layered salad that took just 5 minutes to make. This is a recipe for two salads as I had company.

I took one pear and sliced thin wedges and layered them in the bottom of a small bowl. On top of that I placed a layer of sliced air-dried beef (Bresaloa). This is from Roget’s Meats in Hubbard, Oregon, and a gift from a friend of mine, but any large city should have it on sale somewhere or you can order it online. It’s more common on the east coast than on the West Coast. On top of that I crumbled a bit of chevre. I cut the tops off two garlic spears. I then cut the spears in half lengthwise and chopped the long stem into 1/4 long pieces and sprinkled on top.

I had some onion vinaigrette that I made a few weeks ago and dressed the salad with that. I took the tops of the garlic shoots, cut them in half and removed the inside and used the outside for garnish.

The sweet pear, garlic and onion vinaigrette were great balances to the rich, heady taste of the dried beef and the chevre. It was an easy, delicious salad that took very little time to make and made a strong visual and flavor impression

Salad with Pears, Dried Beef (Bresaola) and Garlic Spears

Springtime Strawberry Asparagus Salad with Pea Shoots

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This is insanely delicious. When I finished lunch I was tempted to make another right away. It’s super easy taking less than 10 minutes from start to finish.

I already had some toasted almonds from a salad I made yesterday, but if you don’t have any, just chop about 5 or 6 almonds and toast in a dry skillet for a few minutes until they brown. You can toast the almonds while preparing the rest of the salad.

Using a vegetable peeler, I cut thin strips from 3 asparagus spears and layered half in the bottom of my salad bowl. I then cut two strawberries in thin slices and layered half of them. I took 4 pea shoots and pulled the leaves from the stems except for the tendrils at the top which I left whole. I chopped the leaves and layered on top of the strawberries. Then I put the rest of the asparagus and strawberries on top in layers. I cut thin slices from the top of a green onion, about 2 tbsps or so. I added about 1/2 ounce or so of chevre (goat cheese), crumbling it over the top. I sprinkled the almonds on top, squeezed a quarter lemon over the top and added some salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

The strawberries and the toasted almonds complement each other as does the chevre. Meanwhile the pea shoots and asparagus love the bit of lemon and oil and the sweetness of the chevre brings them together beautifully. It’s a fabulous mix of flavors and tastes like springtime in a bowl.

Olive Stuffed Chicken Breast

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I took a chicken breast and pounded it flat with the side of a coffee cup since I don’t have a wooden mallet for pounding meat. It works okay. I started my iron skillet to heat at one notch below medium. I then spread i/2 tablespoon of Bruschetta Olivara from a jar. (I have had this for ages trying to think of a way to use it.) and a tablespoon of goat cheese. I rolled it up. I then laid three pieces of bacon down next to each other and rolled the breast up in the bacon. I placed the package in the pan with the finishing end of the bacon down so it cooked first. I let it cook slowly and turned it to cook on all four sides, balancing it against the edge of the pan to get the sides to brown. I served it with the Southwestern Bean Salad, but it would work great with just about anything.

It’s delicious and finally a way to use up that olive paste. Normally I would make my own olive tapenade. My favorite recipe incorporates olives, capers and fresh anchovies, but that’s for another day.