Goodness Salad

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My simple salad is calling me yet again! This salad has everything I love – fresh produce, colorful ingredients and a sweet zippy dressing. I often end up making salads at home because I am cognizant of the ingredients that go into it, about its freshness and quality. Being allergic to a few cut vegetables, I refrain from ordering salads at restaurants, until I am extremely craving for one (and also ready to face the repercussions).

This quick salad makes you land in a win -win situation because is healthy and amazingly delicious.  Vibrantly flavoured, each element in this dish has immense character. The smokiness from the beets and corn, the creaminess from hung yogurt, the freshness from the microgrees (my new love) and those salted caramel walnuts – enough said! All of this with a honey mustard dressing, it can’t get any better.

Easy and yummy – welcome to my version of healthy eating!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 people)

For the salad:

  • 2 large beet
  • 20 pieces walnuts
  • 1 large corn cob
  • 3 cups microgreens, nicely cleaned
  • 1/3 cup hung curd
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar

For the dressing:

  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp minced shallots
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp chopped basil leaves
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to  taste

METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 220C for atleast 10 minutes. Meanwhile line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Take a beets and wash and scrub it with water to remove all the dirt. Pat dry it using a kitchen towel.
  • Place the beets in a foil, coat the beets generously with olive oil. Sprinkle 1 tsp of salt. Cover it tightly with aluminium foil and put it in the oven to roast for 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • Meanwhile char grill the corn on the flame. Take a sharp knife and remove the corn kernels from the cob and keep aside.
  • Take a saucepan and put the sugar and let it melt. Once it starts to melt add the walnuts and 1/2 tsp salt and using a spatula start coating the walnuts and turn off the heat. Take the walnuts off the pan and keep aside.
  • Add the remaining salt to the hung curd and mix it and keep aside.

For the dressing:

  • Take honey, mustard, lemon juice and

Roasted Figs, Caramelized Onions and Ricotta Cheese Crostini

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Seeing a box of fresh fig at a local grocery shop – my brain is running at million miles a minute to understand how will I use so many figs. But I really want them to make atleast a few dishes. I decide to buy it because I have finally figured out a 3 – 4 dishes where I can use these beautiful fresh figs. I am in love with them.

Today’s recipe is my absolute favorite since it has all the ingredients I love. With the festive season coming, you will fall in love with this recipe since its quick to assemble, its not commonplace, its fresh and not heavy on your palate. The roasted figs are beautiful and tender, adding tartness and sweetness to crostini. The chili caramelised onion is simply gorgeous on your taste buds. The hit of the chili and the flavors of balsamic vinegar and honey  is alluring. Then comes in the ricotta cheese that forms the base of the whole dish and adds the perfect saltiness to the dish. The freshness from these ingredients spruces up the flavors of the dish.

This crostini is a great interplay of sweetness and saltiness in each bite which makes you want to dig in for more. Use a nice baguette, ornate these crostini with mint leaves or basil leaves and you have a stellar dish to celebrate this festive season with your friends and family.

Do share your experience with me! Follow us on Instagram or like us on Facebook – we will get you the best recipes to enjoy your meals!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes around 12 pieces)

  • 6 fresh figs, cut into 4 pieces lengthwise
  • 3 tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 3 tbsp plain Greek yoghurt
  • 1 medium sized onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vineger
  • 1 tbsp chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 20 fresh mint leaves
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly grounded black pepper, to taste
  • basil leaves, for garnishing
  • 1 french baguette loaf

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METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C for atleast 5 – 7 minutes.
  • Trim the stems of the fresh figs and cut it into quarters lengthwise.
  • Arrange the figs, facing upwards on the baking tray and put it into the oven for 10 minutes or until slightly tender.
  • Once done, remove it from the oven and let it rest.
  • Meanwhile take a bowl mix in the ricotta cheese and greek yoghurt until it forms a smooth paste like mixture.
  • Add in salt (don’t add much salt since cheese has its saltiness) and roughly chopped mint leaves and freshly grounded black pepper. Mix the mixture well and set aside.
  • Take a saucepan, add the olive oil and once heated add in half the chili flakes and sauté for 20 – 30 seconds. Add the sliced onions and sauté until its translucent.
  • Add the honey, pinch of salt and balsamic vinegar and sauté for a couple of minutes on medium heat until onion is brownish (not burnt) in color.
  • Add the remaining chili flakes and sauté for 20 – 30 seconds and take it of the heat.
  • Take the baguette and  cut it diagonally into 1/4 inch thick slices. Put it to toast in the oven at 180C for 4 minutes or until lightly brown.
  • Once toasted, generously spread the cheese – yoghurt mixture on the baguette. Place 2 pieces of figs on one side. Take a spoon of caramelized onion and place it on the other side.
  • Garnish with fresh mint or basil leaves and serve with the cheese yoghurt dip.

Bon Appétit!

 

Caramelized Onion, Roasted Pepper, Corn and Olives Crostini


Good ideas strike to me when I am about to go to sleep, ideas hovering through my mind so that when I wake up the next day I have my to do list ready. When its about food good ideas strike when  bits of different ingredients are kept in the fridge and I have a sudden urge to finish it all. The first idea that clicks in my mind when different vegetables are stocked is crostinis. I love them, period!

I love the whole idea of having a crostini station – sweet and savory crostinis, different experimental toppings, a glass of wine and loads of chitter chatter with family and friends. Its easy to eat and then its definitely delicious. So as my in laws came over to celebrate my little one’s first birthday I was planning a long, lingering brunch menu which definitely had crostini in it. The bright and fresh veggies, the toast slathered with cheese and herbs was a complete winner during the brunch. They thoroughly enjoyed it. The sweetness from the caramelized onions with a hint of balsamic vinegar, the bold smokiness form the roasted peppers and the crunch from the baby corn all complimented well to create a wonderful brunch dish. All you need is an extra step to experiment with different ingredients and then something spectacular will be made in your kitchen.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 4 people)

  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 15 pieces baby corn , boiled and halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 large tomato, thinly sliced, lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 2 1/2 tsp dried mint
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly grounded black pepper, to taste
  • 1 french baguette loaf

METHOD:

  • In  saucepan, heat half  butter. Once heated add in the thinly sliced onions and sauté until they turn light golden.
  • Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar and sauté for a couple of minutes on medium heat until sugar is dissolved and onion is brownish (not burnt) in color.
  • Take it off the heat and keep it aside.
  • Take the peppers, brush it with olive oil and put it on a naked flame, medium heat until each side is black.
  • Take it off the heat and dip it in a bowl with cold water.
  • After 5-10 minutes, take off the skin, cut it length wise into thin slices. Remove the seeds.
  • In another saucepan, heat olive oil. Add chili flakes and sauté for 30 seconds. Add garlic and sauté for a minute.
  • Add baby corn, roasted pepper, olives, tomato and caramelised onion and mix well.
  • Add salt, basil, oregano and freshly crushed black pepper and mix well.
  • Take a griddle pan, put some butter on it on medium heat and toast the thin slices of baguette or half bread slices until its golden brown and crisp.
  • Meanwhile take cream cheese in a bowl and mix it with dried mint and keep aside.
  • Once the baguette is done, take it off the heat, slather it with generous amount of cream cheese mixture.
  • Top it with a generous amount of veggie mixture. Garnish with fresh basil leaves or parmesan shaving or fresh boccocini in the side.

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NOTES:

  • You can use multigrain bread in case you dont find a french baguette.
  • You can use ricotta cheese with mint for the base of the crostini.
  • Toast the bread/ baguette slices in a toaster in case you don’t have a griddle pan.
  • Add roasted capsicum for more color.

Enjoy your day!