Category Archives: Salads

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Pan Seared Salmon on Grapefruit Salad

Salmon-gfruitServes 4

Ingredients

2 Ruby grapefruit
4 cups mixed salad greens
2 cups snow peas tipped and cut into three
1 cup micro-greens of choice
2 ripe avocados, pitted and sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tbsp sweet balsamic reduction
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
Olive oil for cooking salmon
3 150g (5-ounce) salmon fillets (skin off)
1/2 cup honey toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

Method

 Peel and segment grapefruit with a sharp knife on a cutting board; reserve juice in a bowl.

In a bowl mix lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and balsamic so its combined.

In a large bowl add salad greens and pour the dressing and turn to combine.

Divide salad among 4 serving plates. In a small bowl.

 Sprinkle remaining salt and pepper over both sides of salmon. Coat a large nonstick skillet with oil; heat over medium-high heat. Add fish to skillet, and cook until skin is golden and fish releases easily from pan (about 4 minutes). Using a spatula, gently flip fish and cook about 3 minutes more. Once salmon is cooked rest for 2 minutes and then break each fillet into 8 pieces .

While the salmon is cooking place slices of avocado on top of each salad and then place equal amounts of grapefruit pieces on the avocado to form a bed for the salmon to rest on.

Place the salmon pieces on the grapefruit  and dress with honey walnuts and micro-greens.

Scallops and Mushrooms with Passion Fruit Vinaigrette

scallops-mushrooms-2-webScallops and Mushrooms with Passion Fruit Vinaigrette served on Parsnip Purée.

Combined recipes serves 4 as a starter.

This is a wonderful time of the year, harvest season and New Zealand grown passion fruit are one of my loved produce.

The first thing we have to make is the passion fruit vinaigrette as it develops while its resting.

If you like you can use pulp from whole passion fruits with the pips in for added crunch and texture. I like the vinaigrette this way. If you don’t them, the seeds then place the pulp from the fruit in a fine sieve over a bowl and with the back of  teaspoon pass the pulp through the sieve into the bowl.

Passion Fruit Vinaigrette

Ingredients

3/4 cup passion fruit juice, strained, no seeds or with seeds as above.
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Zest from one lime
1/3 runny honey
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme. Lemon thyme is great
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil

Method

Mix passion fruit juice, mustard, honey, zest, vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper in a blender or whisk briskly. If you are including the seeds whisk only. Do not combine in a blender.

Slowly drizzle in the olive oil whisking until all of the oil has been added and the ingredients have emulsified, come together.

Taste for seasoning and adjust as required. 

Parsnip Puree

This can be made just before the scallops. Its a classic and well worth the energy to prepare as a bed for the final dish.

Ingredients 

200 g parsnip, finely sliced
300 ml full cream milk
1 bay leaf
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Method 

In a medium sized pot over a medium heat add the milk, parsnip and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. When the parsnip is cooked, about ten minutes transfer parsnip and half the milk into a blender, pulse a few time, season with sea salt & freshly ground pepper, then add extra virgin olive oil and pulse. Leave to rest in warm place. 

Scallops with Mushrooms 

12 large or 16 small scallops
160 g chanterelle  or small brown button mushrooms
3 tsp olive oil
1 tsp butter
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup Passion Fruit Vinaigrette 

Rinse the scallops and dry them thoroughly. Place them between two layers of paper towels, pat dry, and repeat with fresh towels. It’s very important to make sure the scallops are completly dry so when they hit the heat they will caramelise and develop great colour. If they are too damp they will poach in the oil and butter. Set aside. 

Brush the mushrooms with a pastry brush to remove any earthy bits that may be clinging to them. This is the best way to clean them, for they will retain all of their earthy flavour.  

Delicately trim off the earthy bottoms off the mushroom stems, retaining as much of each mushroom as possible. Slice the largest mushrooms in half. 

Heat 1 tsp of olive oil on a medium high heat in a large,  heavy-bottomed skillet or frypan. Add the mushrooms and sauté over high heat, stirring very gently. Cook for about 3 minutes until they begin to release their juices. Add a pinch of salt and grind in some black pepper, stir and set aside in a warm bowl with all the juices from the skillet. Give the skillet a quick wipe, no need to wash. 

Assemble the minced garlic and chopped parsley on a small plate next to the stove.

Heat the remaining 2 tsp of olive oil in the heavy-bottomed frying pan. When it;s hot but not smoking add the butter. Let it melt, combine with the oil and then add the scallops.  

Allow the scallops to sear over high heat for one minute, not much longer. Do not disturb them while they are cooking as we want them to develop wonderful colour.

Flip them over after 1 minute, they should have a nice golden brown colour on the side tat was on the heat. Cook the same was for one minute. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds to allow the garlic to release a sweet flavour. We don’t want to cook the garlic on heat for too long.

Add the cooked mushrooms and allow them to heat through for another minute. Turn off the heat and.

Add the chopped parsley and Passion Fruit Vinaigrette and stir to combine, gently. We want to ensure the vinaigrette coats all of the ingredients but not stiring it to a point where the mushrooms break apart.
On warmed plates spread a heaped tbsp of the still warm parsnip purée. Arrange portions of the scallops on top of the parsnip purée. When all of the plates are prepared spread and drizzle the rest of the mushrooms and juices over the plates.

Serve immediately, accompanied by a side salad of diced fresh tomatoes and mixed salad greens that have been seasoned with some fresh chopped basil and olive oil.

Mixed Seafood Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing

Seafood-Salad-Avocado-webIngredients 

Serves 2 

4 raw scallops, patted very dry

4 large cooked shrimps, tail on

4 cooked mussels

Salt and fresh ground pepper

1-2 tbsp oil, I use olive oil 

1 tomato sliced in quarters with pulp/seeds removed and sliced into small cubes, divided

1 small cucumber sliced and diced into small cubes, divided 

Dressing 

Makes 2 serves 

1 ripe avocado
2 tbsp fresh lime juice

2 – 3 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil

1/2 tsp minced garlic

½ tsp ground cumin.

 

Method 

Make the dressing/base by mashing up 1 ripe avocado and then add the rest of the dressing ingredients and whisk till smooth. You don’t want it too runny. 

Heat some oil in a skillet over medium high heat and add the scallops, cook for 1 minute then turn. Add the cooked shrimps and mussels, cook for 1 minute, turning once. Remove from the heat and lightly season with salt and pepper. 

On two warm plates place 1 tbsp of the avocado dressing in the centre of each and with the back of the teaspoon flatten it out into a small circle.

On one side of the circle place the divided cucumber and tomato then arrange the seafood over the place dressing and serve straight away.

Pea and Red Bell Pepper Salad

Pea-Pepper-Salad-webThe core recipe is very yummy and can be added to with what’s in season. I serve this super fresh salad with cold cuts of roasted chicken, lamb or fried salmon fillets.  

Its also you can crumble some feta cheese right before serving.

Ingredients 

600g (¾ lb.) snow peas

400g (½ lb.) mushrooms, sliced

2 small sweet red bell pepper, cut in half, de-seeded and sliced into strips

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds 

Walnut orange dressing 

1 small clove of garlic, pressed

½ cup orange juice

2 tsp raw or runny honey

3 tbsp cider vinegar or white wine vinegar

2 tbsp walnut oil (or olive oil)

Pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper

 Method

Top and string peas and then blanch peas in boiling water for 1 to 1 ½ minutes. Drain and put into cold water to shock (stop the cooking) and dry thoroughly. 

Combine dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake until well combined (or whisk together in a bowl) 

Toss vegetables with dressing and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. 

Serve immediately. 

Optional additions 

1 cup sliced cheery tomatoes

½ cup sweet corn kernels

Grilled Salmon With Mixed Green Salad

Grilled-Salmon-Salad-webI love this salad on a warm, sunny day. I also add sliced avocado as an extra when they are in season. 

Ingredients 

1kg (2.2lb) salmon fillets

500g (1.1lb) baby red potatoes or sweet potatoes, roasted or boiled. Rested and cooled

4-6 cups mixed salad greens

1 cup steamed green beans, cut into 50mm (2inch) pieces

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered

1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives

2 tbsp capers, optional 

Dressing 

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp pure maple syrup

1 small shallot, cut into small chunks

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste 

Method 

Preheat your oven grill (broiler) on high. Place the salmon fillets on a rimmed baking sheet and season with salt and pepper or your favourite seasoning. Grill for 7-9 minutes or until the fat has rendered. 

Remove from the oven and tent with foil. 

Prepare the dressing. In a food processor, add the vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, shallot, and garlic. Pulse until smooth. Turn the food processor on, and add the olive oil in a steady stream until it has all been added. Add salt and pepper, to taste, then pulse once or twice more. 

Place the mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, olives, and capers in a large bowl. Add just enough dressing to coat the salad lightly and toss gently. Place the salad on serving plates. Place a salmon fillet, roasted potatoes, and egg on each plate. Drizzle with more dressing, if desire, and serve!

Leftover Seafood Salad Brunch

Seafood-Salad-webThere are times when we have been entertaining and the fridge is stocked with leftovers. This recipe uses cold seafood leftover and can also include cold chicken (smoked is great) and turkey meat. 

You can use salad greens of choice for the base and also wilted asian greens for a difference. 

This recipe is per serve 

Ingredients 

Dressing

1/4 cup virgin olive oil
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp blue cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

Salad

1 head fancy lettuce, chopped or asian greens that have been wilted (steamed for 1-2 minutes)
1 small bunch watercress, some of the stems trimmed, chopped
200g (6 oz) cooked lobster or prawn meat, chopped (mix of both is good)

100g (3 oz) smoked chicken, shreaded
100g (3 oz) blue cheese, crumbled
2 medium tomatoes, seeded, and diced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into 6 slices
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

Optional additions – Sliced hard boiled eggs, cooked bacon (crumbed)

Method 

Make the dressing by combining the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, blue cheese, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender. This can also be done with a whisk, blending until creamy. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. This can be done a few days in advance, and the flavours do improve with time. Be sure to whisk before using. 

Toss the lettuce or wilted asian greens and watercress in a large bowl. 

In another bowl combine the cold meats with the dressing. 

In a serving bowl arrange a layer of the greens and then place a severing of the seafood mix. Arrange the sliced tomatoes and avocado around the edge. Season with a little salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Fresh Basil Parsley Garlic Pesto

PestoIngredients 

2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves, packed

1 cup tightly packed fresh parsley

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts

3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 

Method 

Combine the basil and parsley in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic and cheese and pulse a few times more. 

Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Lamb Pattie Lettuce Wrap

Lettuce-wrap-webHunting through my fridge and this is what I made. Mix and match ingredients you have to suit your taste. 

Serves 4 

Ingredients 

8 Gluten free lamb sausages, flavour of your choice. Pork or beef are fine.

1/4 onion, sliced

1 roasted bell pepper, sliced

4 tbsp feta cheese, divided

1 avocado, sliced

4 tsp chipotle sauce, (optional)

4 large iceburg lettuce leaves (or cabbage leaves)

1/4 cucumber, sliced (optional) 

Method 

Remove the skins from the sausages and combine the sausage meat into a ball. Dive the ball into 4 and press into pattie shapes. 

Grill or cook burger patties until done. Place one lettuce leaf on plate. Top with one pattie, 1 tbsp feta cheese, a fourth of the bell pepper, onion, avocado and cucumber. 

Turn the lettuce leaf over the top and serve. 

You can also add a fried egg, sliced mushrooms, sliced tomato, the list is endless.

No Bread or Grain Open Sandwich Recipes

Eggplant-open-sandwichEasy Gluten free and paleo options coming during the next month.

Over the next month I will be taking you through many simple but very tasty options for bread/grain free open sandwiches. These recipes will be family friendly and easy to adapt to cater to the differing taste choices that people have in your home and when entertaining. They will include dairy and nut free options and all will be soy free as well.

An open sandwich usually consists of a slice of fresh bread with different spreads and toppings such as butter, pâté, cheese spreads, relishes, cold cuts such as roast beef, turkey, chicken, ham, bacon, salami, cheese slices or sausages like beerwurst and vegetables like bell peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, radish, spring onions (scallion), grated carrot and cucumber to name a few.

When living a Gluten-free life an open sandwich is a great option for a fun snack or meal and you can get the kids making their own. We can use GF breads but I prefer to use other things for the base such as large flat mushrooms, lightly grilled bell peppers (halved), egg plant slices (grilled on both sides), cucumber, large tomato slices to name a few.

ingredients-1As a brunch or an after school snack an open sandwich can be made by each person to their desired choices, this makes it ideal at gatherings of family and friends. It is also a great way to use leftovers from a large meal the day before. I use the grill a lot when I am making open sandwiches to melt in cheeses on the toppings and add some warmth when needed.

Bacon Salad in a Cup

Bacon-Salad-webI have been making bacon cups for years and there are so many ways to fill them with wonderful tasting goodness. 

They make a wonderful brunch and are also perfect to take on a picnic or to a shared meal. 

I have detailed below how to make the cups below and as far as fillings go, add your own ideas or follow my simple filling recipe. I also sometimes add hard boiled egg slices to this recipe before topping with the dressing 

This is how I make my bacon cups. 

Makes 1 (Scale recipe to meet your needs) 

Ingredients

4 Slices of uncooked chemical free bacon
1 large muffin tray (I use a 6 segment muffin tray)
1 cookie sheet or flat oven tray
Aluminum foil

Method

Preheat oven to 200C (400F).

Flip Muffin tin upside down and place on the cookie tray. Line outside of the muffin tin with foil and fold the edges up. (This is to help catch the grease) 

Take 2 slices of your bacon and criss-cross it over the top of the foil lined muffin tin. Take 2 more pieces of bacon and wrap around the sides folding it under in a semi-weave. 

Bake for 15 minutes or until it becomes crispy but not overcooked. Remove from oven and let cool. Once the cups have cooled enough to be handled by hand remove and place on paper towels to cool. 

Salad Ingredients

a handful of chopped Ice burg Lettuce
4-6 Grape Tomatoes

Avocado Dressing 

1/3 cup Gluten free mayo
1/3 cup Greek yoghurt
2 cloves of garlic
4 fresh  basil leaves
1/2 tsp dried parsley
4-5 sprigs fresh dill
1/2 an avocado

Method

Place all of the dressing ingredients into your food processor and process until smooth. 

Fill cooled bacon cup with lettuce and sliced grape tomatoes, top with your Avocado dressing.

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