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Wild Shrimp Salad – Italian Style

In Fish & Shellfish, Salads On January 3, 2020 0 Comments

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Wondering why you see the word “wild”? Since Italians have enjoyed wild shrimp for millennia, we realize that wild shrimp are sweeter than the farm-raised variety. In order to taste the ocean, salt and sweetness of these little crustaceans, I literally bite a chunk off (shell and all) while standing at the fish market. It’s okay – the fishmongers know me well and laugh it off. When shrimp are farm-raised, they are literally flavorless.

This Italian style salad has limited ingredients so that the sweet, wild shrimp flavor stands out at every bite.

Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1 to 1-1/2 pounds wild shrimp, peeled and deveined (top and bottom veins)
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 of a yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh, flat leaf Italian parsley, finely minced

Directions:
1. Rinse the shrimp under cold water, drain and transfer to a 6-quart saucepot.

2. Cover shrimp with cold water and place saucepot on burner set on high – uncovered.

3. Stand by to make sure water does not foam up and spill out of saucepot.

4. When shrimp come to a boil, cook until flesh is opaque and pink – about 1 to 2 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK.

5. Taste a shrimp to make sure it is cooked through.

6. When shrimp are cooked, immediately drain them into a colander set over a sink.

7. Transfer shrimp to a large glass or porcelain bowl.

8. Add remaining ingredients; toss and taste.

9. If needed, adjust seasoning levels.

10. Cover salad with aluminum foil and let cool. Serve at room temperature.

11. Alternatively, prepare salad 2 to 3 hours ahead and refrigerate, covered. Wild Shrimp Salad – Italian Style can also be served cold.
Text & Photograph ©2020 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

Israeli Herb Salad

In Salads, Sides On July 4, 2019 0 Comments

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I went to Israel in April -as many of you know – and learned how to make the best herb salad ever! Here it is:

Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6 (as a side dish)

Ingredients:
1 bunch fresh, Italian flat leaf parsley, stems discarded
1 bunch fresh cilantro (coriander), stems discarded
1 bunch fresh mint leaves, stems discarded
1 bunch fresh tarragon
1/2 of a Serrano chili pepper, finely chopped (optional)
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1/3 cup pine nuts or chopped, unsalted almonds
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon agave nectar or pure maple syrup (for a slightly sweet flavor)
2 teaspoons fine-quality dark Balsamic vinegar
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 to 4 cherry tomatoes, for garnish

Directions:
1. Wash and spin dry (in a salad spinner) the parsley, cilantro and mint.

2. Transfer half of the spun-dried herbs to a food processor; process finely (DO NOT OVERPROCESS, AS THE HERBS WILL WILT).

3. Transfer the spun-dried herbs to a glass, porcelain or stainless steel mixing bowl; set aside.

4. Repeat processing remaining herbs and transfer them to the bowl; set aside.

5. Rinse and pat dry the taragon; then chop it finely.

6. Add tarragon, Serrano chili pepper, carrot, pine nuts to herbs in mixing bowl.

7. Stir in the olive oil, agave nectar or maple syrup, Balsamic vinegar, salt and ground black pepper.

8. Taste the herb salad and adjust seasonings, according to taste. Serve immediately.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real

Lentils, Apples & Herbs

In Salads, Vegetables On June 29, 2018 0 Comments

Cook time (lentils): 20 minutes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves: 8 to 12

I got tired of lentil soup and decided to reinvent lentils. This recipe combines lentils with apples, herbs, olive oil and other seasonings. Serve my Lentil, Apples & Herbs on July 4th!

Ingredients:
1 lb (16 ounces) lentils, cooked per package directions; drained & cooled
1 red onion, peeled & finely chopped
4 celery stalks, bottom white tips discarded & stalks finely chopped
1 apple (any variety)
Juice from 1 lemon
extra virgin olive oil, to taste
white or golden Balsamic vinegar, to taste
5 sprigs fresh mint leaves (plus extra, for garnish)
2 sprigs fresh oregano leaves
salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
1. After lentils have cooked, drained & cooled, transfer them to a large serving bowl.

2. Add chopped red onion and celery to bowl with lentils; set aside.

3. Cut apple into fourths; core apple.

4. Cut apple fourths into 1/8-inch thick slices; cut slices into slivers; set aside in a small bowl.

5. Immediately add lemon juice to apple & gently toss; set aside.

6. Add olive oil, Balsamic vinegar to lentils; set aside.

7. Meanwhile, finely chop 5 mint and oregano leaf sprigs (discard stems).

8. Add chopped mint, oregano, salt and ground black pepper to lentils in bowl; toss.

9. Drain lemon juice from apple slivers; toss apple slivers into lentil salad.

10. Taste the salad and, if needed, adjust seasonings.

11. Serve Lentils, Apples & Herbs immediately or prepare up to 4 hours ahead and refrigerate (covered).

12. The salad will keep (refrigerated) up to 3 days.
Text & Photograph ©2018 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

 

 

Cactus Salad (Ensalada de nopales)

In Salads, Vegetables On July 25, 2017 0 Comments

Nopal is from the Nahuatl word nohpalli for the pads of the cactus plant. There are over 100 known species of cactus in Mexico. The nopal pads are eaten raw, cooked and even grilled. They are used in stews, soups, jams and salads.

The best way to start this classic Mexican salad is to buy fresh cactus pads at a Latin American or Mexican supermarket. Here’s what a cactus pad or nopal looks like (don’t forget to buy this with thorns removed!):

Image.NopalWikipediaZoofariAttribution Photograph Attribution: Zoofari at English Wikipedia

Since nopales are abundant in Vitamin C and Manganese, you’ll enjoy a cactus salad that is delicious and good for you. Buen provecho!

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
6 to 8 nopales (cactus leaves), thorns removed
½ of a brown or white onion
3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
½ of a red onion
2 medium, vine-ripened tomatoes
1 Serrano or Jalapeño chile
1 cup loosely-packed cilantro leaves
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt, to taste

Directions:
1. Working on a chopping board, cut the cactus leaves into ¼-inch thick strips.

2. Cut the strips into ¼-inch pieces; set aside in a bowl.

3. In a 4-quart saucepot, bring water to a boil. Add half of the brown or white onion and garlic cloves to water; boil for 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Add chopped nopales to the onion-garlic water; cook on medium, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until the green color has become lighter.

5. After 5 minutes, add ¾ teaspoon salt and taste a few nopal pieces – the texture should be crunchy-tender, not overcooked.

6. Place a colander in sink and drain the nopales. Run cold water through nopales; set aside in colander set over a bowl to drain.

Prepare Remaining Salad Ingredients:
1. Finely chop red onion and place it in a bowl, covered with cold water; set aside.

2. Cut each tomato in half; scoop out and discard the pulp.

3. Cut tomato flesh into ¼-inch strips; cut each strip into 1/4-inch pieces.

4. Place chopped tomatoes in a 2-quart glass or porcelain bowl.

5. Add drained nopales to the tomatoes in bowl.

6. Lift chopped onion out of water; squeeze out the excess water. Add onion to nopales mixture in bowl.

7. Finely chop Serrano or Jalapeño chile; add it to the nopales mixture in bowl.

8. Rinse cilantro in cold water and finely chop it; add cilantro to nopales salad.

9. Stir in the extra virgin olive oil with about ½ teaspoon salt; taste salad and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.
Text & Cactus Salad Photograph ©2017 Nancy DeLucia Real

Tomato Salad with Dill (inspired by IPAA Restaurant)

In Salads On December 16, 2016 0 Comments

Just a few days ago my husband and I went to IPAA Cocina Mexicana Restaurant in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. I loved the private terrace dining style. If you want a romantic dinner, this is the place!

image-ipaaterracetables

The restaurant’s interiors are high-end – no cutting corners here. And, the astounding mural evokes prehistoric themes.
image-ipaa-mural

IPAA’s cuisine represents the natural foods grown in Baja California for thousands of years. It’s classified as fine, Baja-Med cuisine. The menu changes on a daily basis and the six-course dinner with wine-pairing is fantastic!

We loved the Tomato Salad with Dill so much, that I made it at home (with my own guess work on ingredients). Here’s my version:

Prep time: 10 to 15 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
2 large green tomatoes (found at farmers’ markets)
1 large yellow tomato
10 to 12 cherry tomatoes
-OR-
1 large, red, vine-ripened tomato
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
4 to 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh, finely-chopped dill weed

Directions:
1. Using a sharp knife, cut the green tomatoes into fourths and then into eighths.

2. Transfer the green tomato pieces to a 2 to 3-quart glass or porcelain bowl; set aside.

3. Cut the yellow tomato into fourths and then into eighths; add them to the green tomatoes in bowl; set aside.

4. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the tomatoes in bowl.; set aside.

5. Alternatively, if using the large, red tomato, cut it into eighths. Add the red tomato pieces to the other tomatoes in bowl.

6. Add salt and ground black pepper to the tomatoes, followed by the olive oil and fresh dill weed.

7. Toss the salad and serve immediately as a side dish to meat, chicken, fish or as part of a vegetarian meal.

Note: IPAA Cocina Mexican Restaurant website here-https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.ipaa.mx/&prev=search

Text and Photograph ©2016 Nancy DeLucia Real