Grapefruit & Olive Salad with Feta & Tajín

DSCN6306.pngThis is a quick, easy breakfast with a complex and satisfying flavor.

So the first thing I did was supreme a grapefruit. This is simple, cut the ends off the grapefruit and then cut away the peel, with the knife slice along the inside of the segments so the grapefruit so you have as much of the grapefruit flesh as possible.

I took about 8 olives or so and sliced them in half, tossed in a bit of feta. Then I added some salt and pepper and a dash of Tajín, a delicious Mexican spice blend of chiles, dried limes and sea salt.

It makes one serving, takes less than five minutes and is a fresh, lively breakfast dish.

Grapefruit and Pecan Salad

Grapefruit & Pecans Salad

This is a delicious dinner salad. Rinse and chop about half a head of romaine lettuce, making a bed for the rest of your salad. In a dry skillet, lightly toast pecans. Supreme one grapefruit, using a knife, cut the skin off a red grapefruit and segment it. Cut thin slices of red onion and break into circles that you quarter into small strips. Take 8 olives or so and chop them. Toss all on the lettuce. Splash with some walnut oil and balsamic vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste.

It’s kind of amazing how delicious grapefruit and olives are together. Adding toasted pecans just makes it heavenly.

Grapefruit & Watercress Salad

Grapefruit Salad

Watercress was on sale yesterday for only $2.49 for a large bunch, so I picked some up. It was the same price as lettuce, so I could not pass it up.

I used half the bunch for this salad. I rinsed the cress and cut off the long stems and chopped it up a bit. I cut a grapefruit in half, cutting away the peel and pith and sectioning it with a knife. Then I added about 5 castelvetrano olives, slicing them up and removing the pit. I took a very small dried red pepper and chopped it up, sprinkling it over the salad. Drizzing about 1/2 TBSP of olive oil over the top, I then squeezed the juice of half a lime on top added some salt and pepper and voila!

It is tart and spicy and the slight bitterness of the watercress balances it perfectly.

Savory Grapefruit Supreme Salad

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First I cut a few thin slices of yellow onion and put them in a bowl of 2 tbsp regular vinegar and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar. I sliced as much onion as would be fully covered, knowing that even though I will only use a few pieces for this salad, the rest will be great for other salads or on an omelette or potatoes.

I laid down a bed of greens, using the pea shoots. It took 4 shoots, removing the leaves except for at the very top because the tendrils look so pretty. I then peeled and supremed a grapefruit. See below on how to supreme a grapefruit. I spread a few of the slices of onion on top. I cut up 4 Castelvetrano olives and spread them on top as well. I used Castelvetrano because they have such a rich, buttery flavor that will work well with the citrus acidity of the grapefruit. I sprinkled a little bit of feta on top, drizzled a bit of olive oil, some salt and fresh ground black pepper. At the end, I took one small dried red chili pepper and crushed it and sprinkled the flakes on top.

The flavor is delicious with a super fresh spring flavor coming from the pea shoots which taste like peas right out of the garden. The blend of buttery olives, feta, lightly pickled onions and grapefruit is marvelous and the bit of heat from the red pepper flakes is a perfect note to end it on.

How to Supreme a Grapefruit:
Peel the grapefruit. It may seem redundant since you will be cutting off the pith anyway, but it makes it easier to see what you are doing. Cut off one end of the grapefruit so it gives you a flat edge. Using a fine knife (I use a boning knife) cut just inside the pith, removing all of it. You should not throw the pith away, though, but go ahead and eat it. It is not that bitter and strengthens your nails like nobody’s business. Now cut inside the lines of the wedge, removing the segments with no skin for a lovely grapefruit supreme.

Here’s a video: She does not peel first and that may be easier, but I like to eat the pith.

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.

Chickpea & Kale Salad with Tuna Melt

Kale-Chickpea Salad with Tuna Melt

I made the salad in the morning to let the flavors soak into the chickpeas. First I drained a can of chickpeas, rinsing the beans in a strainer and letting it sit to drain while in a bowl, I mixed 2 cloves of garlic (minced) with the juice of 2 limes, 2 TBSP of olive oil, salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp of cayenne. I then tossed in the chickpeas. Then I cleaned 5 pieces of kale, removing stems and mincing finely. I mixed it all together and put a lid on it, shaking it vigorously and put it in the fridge to marinate the flavors. This has a nice bit of heat that is beautifully balanced with the lime.

About 30 minutes before dinner, I diced 1/4 yellow onion and opened up a small can of sliced black salad olives and drained it. I tossed half the olives in with the onions, saving the rest for another day. Then I opened 1 can of tuna in water and drained the water off and rinsed the tuna lightly under water before adding to the onions and olives. I added salt, pepper, 2 tsp of Old Bay and a few TBSP of of mayo and a generous dollop of mustard. I mixed together, spread on a ciabatta buns cut in half to make 4 pieces. I added a thin slice of cheese on top and baked at 350 for about 20 minutes. The Old Bay really gives this a savory flavor. This makes 2 open-face sandwiches.. If you make a single serving, you can use half the olives and save the rest for a salad.

Tuna Melt & Salad

Tuna Melt

Use a small can of white albacore tuna in water and drain the water off. I rinse in a colander and squeeze the water out of the tuna before putting it in a bowl. You will want to use a storage bowl for mixing this up because it makes two sandwiches, not one. Add 2 TBSP of diced yellow onion and 8 chopped up olives with pimento (or 2 TBSP of sliced black salad olives if you prefer) and 2 ounces of pepper jack cheese sliced into 1/4 inch bits. Season with some salt, pepper and Old Bay seasoning. Add 2 tsp of mustard and 2 tbsp of mayo and juice of half a lemon. Stir all together and spread on both sides of a ciabatta bun or a Kaiser roll and bake at 350° F for 15 minutes or so – until lightly browned on top.

Put the lid on the remainder for a second meal.

I served with a simple salad of romaine, red grapes, feta, pecans and a bit of oil & vinegar dressing.

Veggie Couscous

This is my clean out the fridge cous-cous casserole as basically it’s a quick cook up of everything that was left in the vegetable drawer before going shopping.

couscous & veggies

I heated 1 TBSP of olive oil and tossed in 1/2 of a small onion, diced and 1 jalapeño pepper, diced. I  chopped up some zucchini and red peppers and tossed them in. I added some salt, pepper and cumin ad let them cook. I tossed in some Israeli couscous and water to cook it in, turning up the heat so it simmered. I chopped up some black olives and tossed them in right before it was done. I served with some fresh cilantro on top.

 

Greek Salad with Spiced Beef

Beef Greek Salad

Whenever I finish frying up some meat, I add just enough water to deglaze the pan. Sometimes that goes into what I am making, but if not, I save it for the next meal and use it instead of oil to cook in. For this, I used the deglazed jus from the night before. I tossed in 3 oz of chopped roast beef and a mix of aromatic spices, just a pinch of them as this was such a small serving. I added some cardamom, sumac and oregano along with salt and pepper. Then I squeezed juice from half a lemon over it and stirred until the meat was cooked and most of the fluid was absorbed or evaporated.

While it cooked, I chopped up some romaine and spread it on a plate. I spread a couple tablespoons of feta on top of that and chopped up about 8 olives and tossed that on it. I added the hot cooked beef that had acquired a savory Middle Eastern flavor from the spices and then dressed the salad with Girard’s Greek Feta Vinaigrette.

Beef & Mushroom Tortellini with Salad

Beef Mushroom Tortellini and Salad

I love to cook up a beef roast since I can cut it up for lots of quick little meals such as this Beef & Mushroom Tortellini. My best friend brought me a huge roast from her stockpile. She and her husband buy a whole cow each year directly from the farm and have it butchered for them, guaranteeing that they get grass-fed BGH-free beef at a reasonable price. I am an occasional benefactor and have to say, it’s much tastier than from the supermarket.

I started by sauteing onions and garlic. I think I start everything this way. I used about two 1/4 slices of onion and 1 clove of garlic. I then chopped up 1 large crimini mushroom and 3 ounces of roast beef which gave me roughly equivalent amounts of beef and mushroom. I tossed them in and added 2 TBSP of mustard and about 1 TBSP of water and put the lid on.

Meanwhile I started water boiling and added 1 cup of tortellini. When it was done, I strained it and tossed it in with the beef and folded it in. It was ready to serve.

While the tortellini cooked, I cut up a few romaine leaves, chopped up some olives and added about an ounce of feta with some of Girard’s Greek Feta Vinaigrette. I swear by that dressing. It is so delicious and tangy. I don’t use it just for salad. Sometimes I will dress cooked veggies or pasta with it.