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New project: Mediterranean Fresh

SallyBR1's picture

Ok, folks

I cannot promise anything major. BUT, this book had me hooked (Joyce Goldstein)

I am making it tonight for the second time in 72 hours the "Insalata Capricciosa" (too bad you cannot hear me saying it, I do a pretty exaggerated representation of spoken Italian... :-)

I intend to cook recipes from this book regularly and report back here.

so there - yet another project.

"Her green thumb was so black, she couldn't even grow zucchini"



(Glenys, August 2008).
Jean's picture

(post #67247, reply #1 of 203)

Oh good. My book just came yesterday. The dressing recipes alone look very interesting.



A merry heart does good like a medicine: Prov. 22:17



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SallyBR1's picture

(post #67247, reply #2 of 203)

Ok, there we go

Insalata Capricciosa

delicious indeed - made exactly as written, except that I halved the amounts.

I served as a side dish for a fetuccini Bolognese (with home made Bolognese sauce I had in the freezer) - this was a great dinner, even if I say so myself.

pictures don t make justice to the meal, but still.... since it's my first post in the project, I might as well document it

bread is also homemade, the "white levain bread", from Handmade Loaf

"Her green thumb was so black, she couldn't even grow zucchini"



(Glenys, August 2008).
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SallyBR1's picture

(post #67247, reply #3 of 203)

forgot to mention

the salad takes - garbanzo beans (that are "marinated" in the dressing for half an hour)

lettuce, cucumbers, grated carrots (she made a point to use large holes in the grater)

but the name "insalata capricciosa" means "salad on a whim" - anything you happen to have available, will be a good addition.

"Her green thumb was so black, she couldn't even grow zucchini"



(Glenys, August 2008).
Marcia's picture

(post #67247, reply #6 of 203)

Beautiful pictures -- you've become nicely artistic in your presentations, or is it your pictures? I'm quite serious about how attractively your food is presented, and it looks delicious.

Lee's picture

(post #67247, reply #4 of 203)

A neighbor who became a dear friend taught me to make this salad, although she never called it insalata capriccciosa. At the time, chickpeas were an exotic addition.  Sadly, she moved back to California years ago and we eventually lost touch, but I still make "Beth's salad."  I add more garlic to the dressing and put it through a press.  Shaved parm, feta or blue cheese are good garnishes.


I've made more recipes from this book in the few months I've had it than I did with my actual "project book" last year.  This week I'm going to make the seafood salad with potatoes, green beans and pesto vinaigrette and the cracked wheat salad with vegetables to serve with grilled chicken breasts.  

SallyBR1's picture

(post #67247, reply #5 of 203)

You are more than welcome to post in this thread!

the book is full of "must-make-it-soon" recipes....

"Her green thumb was so black, she couldn't even grow zucchini"



(Glenys, August 2008).
Lee's picture

(post #67247, reply #7 of 203)

Nice photos!  I'd be happy to have your dinner served to me.  


I have a set of "salad hands" similar to yours, which I love, but I've never thought to use them for serving pasta.  Great idea.

Heather's picture

(post #67247, reply #8 of 203)

I'm so glad you are doing this. Can we all horn in and post our favorites? I can't do anything right now because I gave my copy to a friend and I'm waiting for a replacement from Zooba. It's such a good book!

SallyBR1's picture

(post #67247, reply #9 of 203)

Don t bogart the recipes! Post away here, you are more than welcome!

"Her green thumb was so black, she couldn't even grow zucchini"



(Glenys, August 2008).

Heather's picture

(post #67247, reply #10 of 203)

LOL! It's a flashback!

Great, when I get my new copy I'll start cooking and posting.

Carole4's picture

(post #67247, reply #11 of 203)

Sounds wonderful. I bought two book at B&N, Fresh Indian and Fresh Mexican. Not well known books, but the recipes are great. I have been on an Indian kick, lately.

I will definitely look into that one.

Marie Louise's picture

(post #67247, reply #12 of 203)

I made the best dinner tonight!!!

Yogurt Dressing: so simple, so delicious-yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, mint and garlic.

Served over grilled Japanese eggplant from the Farmer's Market and tomatoes from my dear pal Heather, w/ some red wine and pita.

She's got about 20 salads using this dressing, and although I'll have to leave out the garlic for work, it is going to be a lunchtime standard.

whatscooking's picture

(post #67247, reply #40 of 203)

I made the greek country salad or peasant salad, something like that from the book.  It turned out really well.  We grilled a whole yellowtail snapper and I made the corn zucchini saute from FC and the greek salad.  Yummy dinner with meditteranean flavors!

Keep a green tree in your heart and
perhaps a singing bird will come
- Chinese proverb

Chicago-style deep-dish:  "Pizza for people who just aren't fat enough"
Anthony Bourdain
http://theoutdatedkitchen.blogspot.com/

avak123's picture

(post #67247, reply #41 of 203)

Sounds divine!


You may also want to give the charmoula a try the next time you prepare a whole fish. It is lovely made as a slather versus a dressing.

whatscooking's picture

(post #67247, reply #43 of 203)

I had a charmoula recipe that I almost made.  It is one from CI that I'm especially fond of.  But in the end, I just decided it would be too much/too stressful to make that too.  I do love a good charmoula.  I'll need to try the one from the book.

Keep a green tree in your heart and
perhaps a singing bird will come
- Chinese proverb

Chicago-style deep-dish:  "Pizza for people who just aren't fat enough"
Anthony Bourdain
http://theoutdatedkitchen.blogspot.com/

avak123's picture

(post #67247, reply #44 of 203)

I agree, it would have been too much going on with your other flavors, but it is wonderful with a whole fish. So much flavor without the guilt!


 

Marie Louise's picture

(post #67247, reply #45 of 203)

Another fabulous meal...

Shrimp w/ Tarator Dressing.

The Tahini Dressing (tahini, lemon juice, garlic, water, cumin and cayenne) converts to Tarator Dressing by adding pureed toasted walnuts and olive oil to it.

The salad itself sounds very weird, but it really worked:

You mix shredded romaine, cucumber, mint and a lot of parsley together and toss w/ some dressing. Top that w/ poached shrimp mixed w/ a little more dressing. Garnish w/ Feta and more toasted walnuts.

It was incredible. Really rich-but good.

avak123's picture

(post #67247, reply #46 of 203)

I am so glad you reported on that one. I definitely don't think of shrimp and nuts and cheese--TOGETHER.


Granted, I love shrimp with a tomato and melted feta sauce, but the walnuts threw me for a loop.


I have had this book since it was released and have loved everything prepared from it. Honestly, I had put it on the "shelf-of-no-return" until you, Heather and Sally started the discussion again. Thank you, thank you.


I have a good friend coming over for dinner on Monday and am trying to decide what to prepare from the book. I SO heavily touted the book that my friend checked it out of the librarry today and will undoubtedly have loads of suggestions. :-)

Marie Louise's picture

(post #67247, reply #47 of 203)

Shrimp and Feta sounded weird to me. Walnut Prawns is a Chinese classic, so I knew those two together. I really thought this could go either way, but it was great.

avak123's picture

(post #67247, reply #48 of 203)

Funny, I love the Greek combo of feta and shrimp, and I have definitely had Chinese shrimp and nut dishes, but I NEVER thought of putting the two together. Go figure!


Always learning something new.

Marie Louise's picture

(post #67247, reply #51 of 203)

The above delete is mine, I am having trouble attaching a picture.


Edited 8/31/2008 10:13 am by Marie Louise

SallyBR1's picture

(post #67247, reply #13 of 203)

Second recipe tried - sorry, no photos - I guess salads are not very photogenic, but maybe some will be better than others

I made the "Crunchy Garden Salad with Yogurt Dressing"

this was fabulous - I am so glad I was enabled to get this book, because I love salads but always end up with Caesar's

this salad takes lettuce, paper-thin cut radishes, and cucumbers, diced

I used a mandolin for the radishes, but regretted doing so - it was just a little too thin. Next time I will cut a little thicker

the yogurt dressing, which I made with dill as suggested, was so good I wanted to lick the bowl - if you don t like dill, omit it of course, but we happen to love it (sorry, MC)

I had extra dressing leftover and added it to a wedge of iceberg lettuce - what a great simple side dish it was.....

"Her green thumb was so black, she couldn't even grow zucchini"



(Glenys, August 2008).
Marie Louise's picture

(post #67247, reply #14 of 203)

That's the same dressing I made for my eggplant (only I used mint, the other suggested herb. I'm guessing any herb would be good, even lots of parsley.) I made a half recipe (with 1 cup of yogurt) assuming we'd have leftovers. Once I tasted it I just served the rest on the side, with some pitas. (She suggests that the dressing can be used as a component of a mezze.) We scooped up every molecule of the dressing.

"I am so glad I was enabled to get this book." Remember, Heather started it!

SallyBR1's picture

(post #67247, reply #15 of 203)

By the way, I used that greek style yogurt she recommends - helps quite a bit, because regular yogurt needs to be drained for a few hours before using

I find that one small container makes enough dressing for a salad with a little leftover - I think it is a 7 ounce container

"Her green thumb was so black, she couldn't even grow zucchini"



(Glenys, August 2008).
Marie Louise's picture

(post #67247, reply #16 of 203)

That's what I used, too (from Trader Joes.)

SallyBR1's picture

(post #67247, reply #17 of 203)

Of course... Trader Joe's

(slight pout....)

"Her green thumb was so black, she couldn't even grow zucchini"



(Glenys, August 2008).
FL.Cook's picture

(post #67247, reply #111 of 203)

I made a dessert with it too.  Slice a nectarine, put it in the middle of a piece of foil, drizzle some honey over it, fold it up, pop it into a 375 oven for 10 min.  Take it out, plate it and top it with some Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey.  Very good!

Carole
roz's picture

(post #67247, reply #18 of 203)

I can't wait to read this book! I won't get it for a few days at least, so ML, could you post this dressing? I have some drained yogurt, ready to go for dinner tonight. Fresh whole wheat bread in the oven. And some eight inch arugula waiting to be picked! This is dinner.

Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Do your best. Don Miguel Ruiz
SallyBR1's picture

(post #67247, reply #19 of 203)

2 cups thick yogurt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Sea salt
2-3 T minced garlic (optional, I omitted)
2 T chopped fresh mint or dill (optional, I used dill)

in a bowl, whisk the yogurt with the oil and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt. Fold in the garlic or herbs if desired

"Her green thumb was so black, she couldn't even grow zucchini"



(Glenys, August 2008).
roz's picture

(post #67247, reply #21 of 203)

Thank you, Sally. That is what I wanted. I have only 1 cup thick yogurt, so I'll half the rest of the ingredients. Olive oil and yogurt, yum!

Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Do your best. Don Miguel Ruiz