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 My Very Versatile Salad

Summer Salad 013

It has been a few years ago that we spent a couple of days in Napa, California.  One day we were invited to a private home for dinner where many of their friends gathered on that evening.  The dinner was catered and it was considered   “light fare.”

Well, the buffet was laden with food, all salads, and it was a feast to behold. 

Here are some of the salads that were on the buffet!

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My plate after I took a little of every salad that was offered….

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Having grown up in California I found their produce being always spectacular, not only in the summer but all year round.  However, during the summertime the vegetables and fruit are absolutely the best, and this buffet gave the season credit in abundance.

The recipe for my “Very Versatile Salad!”

This recipe has developed over time. I particularly love all the fruit in it and the lemon vinaigrette makes the salad refreshing and cooling on a hot summer day, or any time during the year.  It is really very versatile, one can change the fruit with the season. It is delicious when made with apricots, peaches, figs, plums and berries…or whatever fruit is available. You can also add some cold pasta, any kind of meat or fish, because the Lemon Vinaigrette is a perfect enhancer to any protein or grain.

Ingredients –

1 head of Butter Lettuce

Some Spring Greens ..  or spinach

1 Apple cut into strips

1 green Pear cut into strips

1 cup of red grapes cut in half

1 cup of fresh strawberries cut into quarters

1 Fennel cut into strips…. optional

1 orange cut into cubes

1 cup of caramelized walnuts

1 handful of fresh Basil Leaves cut into strips

Summer Salad 001

 

Lemon Vinaigrette –

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Zest of 1 lemon

¼ cup of water

1 tsp salt…or less if preferred

2 Tbsp sugar

¼ cup of Light Olive oil

 

Mix all the above ingredients and whisk to combine the sugar and salt. 

Make sure that the sugar and salt are dissolved.

If the salt or sugar do not seem to dissolve…add a Tbsp of water to help these two ingredients go into solution.

 

 

Caramelized Walnuts or Pecans (Filberts)

½ cup of sugar

¼ cup of water

1 cup walnuts

Place both ingredients into a sauce pan and let the water evaporate over high heat…and let the sugar caramelize to a light golden color,  then take the sugar to the side and keep swishing it around in the pan.  The sugar will continue to get darker.  When it is a nice golden brown color toss the  walnuts into the caramelized sugar.   With two fork  mix the walnuts into the caramelized sugar so that the walnuts are coated.  This is a very sticky job.  Take care not to be burned…the sugar is very, very hot.  When somewhat cooled transfer the walnuts onto a sheet of foil to cool, then break the walnut clumps into small pieces to be tossed into the salad.

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After the lettuce, spinach and fruit have been washed and dried, cut them into either strips or cubes and place them into a large bowl.

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Cut the Basil leaves into a” chiffonade”…thin strips…and add them to the other ingredients in the bowl.

Add the caramelized walnuts and lastly add the lemon vinaigrette and toss the salad.

It is best to add the vinaigrette just before the salad is served…

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Hope you find this salad as delightful as I have for so many years.

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Unauthorized use, distribution, and/or duplication of proprietary material without prior approval is prohibited. If you have any questions or would like permission, I can be contacted via email at: maria@majaskitchen.com   Feel free to quote me, just give credit where credit is due, link to the recipe, and please send people to my website, http://www.majaskitchen.com

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Thank you!

Maria Reisz Springer

Maja’s Kitchen LLC

maria@majaskitchen.com

http://www.majaskitchen.com

 

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It has been several years ago that I was invited to an “open house” party….where the lady of the house was an incredible cook and hostess.  The table was laden with beautifully presented food; a feast for the eye as well as one’s palate…

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Among the many dishes there was one bowl that contained something dark and seemed like a meat. I wanted to taste it because it had a fruity aroma wafting around it which heightened my curiosity of how this “meat” was cooked.  My first bite was a surprise which was followed by sheer delight…it was sweet and tasted fresh and extraordinarily delicious.  It was fruit, all kinds of dried fruit that was cooked in a sauce….the sauce was the special delight and I could not decide what it reminded me of.

I quickly caught my friend’s, the hostess’, attention and asked her about this special dish, when she told me it was…..Stewed Fruit! “Stewed in what?, I asked…when with a twinkle in her eyes she said: “In wine’ of course!”  Aha…this was the delightful little ingredient that made all the difference.

As I was saying my “good byes” at the end of the party I whispered to my friend that I would call her soon for the recipe of her “stewed fruit” dish….she whispered back…”Find it in the latest issue of the Southern Living Magazine”

And so it is here that I want you to have this recipe of this delightful dish, and I know you will be making it often…because you can eat it with a sandwich to a beef roast, with yogurt, with ice cream, as a salad, and at breakfast, as a dessert when served with whipped cream or pudding and I could go on and on…..

I changed the recipe in some places, and you will find the changes in red letters.

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1 – 12 oz box pitted prunes

1 – 6 0z pkg dried apricots

1 – 20 oz can  pineapple chunks – undreained

1 – 11 oz Mandarine oranges – well drained

1 – large can Del Monte peaches – sliced and well drained

1 – can cherry pie filling

Manishavitz Cherry wine…..I use a bottle of Port or a Medium Sherry.

I also often substitute or add to the ingredients above, fresh apples cut into chunks, fresh plums, cut into chunks, or fresh Raspberries and/or Blueberries.

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Layer all ingredients  in large  3 quart Pyrex baking dish then pour the Port over the fruit and bake it at 350 F uncovered for 1 hour.

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Serve this Stewed Fruit warm or at room temperature!

2013-05-24 16.47.43 It will be one of the most enjoyed dishes on your buffet table….

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Copyright:

Maria Reisz Springer

Maja’s Kitchen LLC….

http://www.majaskitchen.com

maria@majaskitchen.com

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Unauthorized use, distribution, and/or duplication of proprietary material without prior approval is prohibited. If you have any questions or would like permission, I can be contacted via email at: maria@majaskitchen.com   Feel free to quote me, just give credit where credit is due, link to the recipe, and please send people to my website, http://www.majaskitchen.com

Find me on Face Book and Pinterest

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