Just popping in to say Hi as it’s been two weeks since we last talked! I am feeling unbelievably lazy and don’t want to write much so I’ll leave you guys with this quick recipe. I hope you guys’ll understand.
Salads are usually underrated but this one right here is a total stunner. Perfect for spring! It was my first time using fennel in my home kitchen so I was quite excited in terms of what to make with it. I’m a salad person so that is what I wanted to experiment first. The combination of leek, fennel, apple and walnuts works so beautifully and sounds quite exotic but mostly they are all simple, earthy ingredients bound together by a simple dressing. I can’t wait to turn these ingredients in to a soup once the rainy days arrive in full swing(which I hope will be soon!).
Leeks, Fennel, Apple + Walnut Warm Salad
Serves: as a side for 2/a hearty meal for 1 | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Total: 20 minutes
- 1 apple, cored & sliced (peeling is optional, I didn’t)
- 1 + 1 tsp lemon juice, divided
- 10-12 walnuts
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 leeks
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed
- 1 fennel, small bulb, sliced
- 3-4 lettuce leaves
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 and 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp honey
- freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- salt, to taste
*Preparing Leek : Cut the ends off the leek and discard. Quarter the leek lengthwise, wash under running water to remove all the grit and cut them into slices.
*Preparing Fennel : Check this easy tutorial on The Kitchn
- Wash, core and slice an apple. Toss with 1 tsp of lemon juice to prevent discoloration and set aside.
- In a fry pan, add the walnuts and toast them on a medium-low heat until fragrant. Set aside.
- In the same fry pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add garlic, leeks and thyme leaves to the pan and sauté for about 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally. Add sliced fennel, cook for another minute or so and remove it from the heat. Immediately stir in sliced apples and splash remaining 1 tsp lemon juice.
- In a small jar, add all the ingredients for the salad dressing. Close the lid tightly and shake the jar vigorously until completely combined. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss.
- In a serving plate, make a bed of lettuce leaves and top with salad. Garnish with toasted walnuts. Serve immediately.
After hogging lots and lots of sweets and fried stuff during 5 days of festivities in the past week, believe it or not, but my digestive system needed a break. So I am doing a cleanse/detox for few days.
I made this skinny salad for lunch one day and have fallen in love with it since then. It is so versatile, protein-packed and healthy even for people with diet restrictions. Yes! It is suitable for all the vegetarians and vegans out there! A complete meal in itself.
Add any or all of the ingredients mentioned below or whatever you have in your refrigerator. Don’t like uncooked Paneer/tofu? Don’t worry! You can grill it with a bit of olive oil and some seasoning before adding it to your salad or skip it. I once made this with just apple, pear, pomegranate and it was still lip-smacking!
So do your body a favor, give yourself a break from cooking and make this hearty salad! 🙂
Skinny Zesty Salad
Serves: 2 as a side and 1 as a main-course
- 1/2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 200 gm Paneer/extra-firm tofu, cut into 2 inch-long thin strips
- 1 small red bell pepper, chopped into thin strips
- 1 small yellow zucchini, cut into semicircles
- 1 small apple, thin slices
- 4 Tbsp black olives
- Bunch of lettuce
- few sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- Juice from 1 lemon, or more to taste
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat a small pan on stove and add 1/2 Tbsp oil to it. Add garlic and broccoli florets. Stir fry till cooked, approximately for 4-5 minutes. Be careful not to burn garlic. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients for dressing.
- In a medium bowl, add stir-fried garlic and broccoli florets. To this, add prepared paneer/tofu, bell pepper, zucchini, apple and black olives. Pour dressing over it and toss nicely.
- In a salad serving bowl, arrange lettuce at the bottom. Add salad on top. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately*.
*If serving later, refrigerate the salad and add apple just before serving.
It’s my Mother’s Birthday today! She is the most special woman in my life. She is my first best friend and I have had heaps of special moments with her. She handed down so many traits of hers to me… We both love bags, shoes, clothes and FOOD! She is such an awesome cook!
As already confessed in my intro page, I never learnt to cook before I got married and being such a great cook that she is, my mom was quite concerned about that part. She sincerely wrote down all her recipes in a diary for my convenience and gifted it to me on my D-day. That is my most prized possession and a lovely gesture on my mom’s part! I should soon get down to posting few of her special recipes!
Among many things my mother and I share, we both LOVE pasta! So aptly, I am posting a very simple pasta salad which is very refreshing and flavorful. I’m sure my mom would have enjoyed this thoroughly if I could make this for her at home for tonight’s celebration. But we are distanced by miles hence a virtual birthday dish will have to suffice! 🙁
I love Caprese in any and every form!
You must remember I once created this unusual ice-cream with it and these skewers served with pesto!
This time I brought together 2 of my favorites and created this dee-lish caprese pasta salad. Of course with a twist… I added capers for a little tang! And it really did wonders. This salad is so beautiful, adorned with pear tomatoes and bursting with basil! Hope you enjoy this as much as we did!
Happiest of Birthday Mother! Cheers!!!
Caprese Pasta Salad
Servings: 4-5 as a side and 2-3 as a light lunch/dinner
- 2 heaping cups bow-tie pasta
- Around 20-25 pear tomatoes, sliced
- 25-30 small cubes of Mozzarella
- 2 Tbsp capers, drained & washed
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- A pinch of red chili flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta in generously salted boiling water according to package directions till al-dante. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- In a large bowl, add pasta, sliced tomatoes, Mozzarella cheese cubes, capers and toss.
- In a small bowl, take all the ingredients mentioned under dressing and whisk.
- Add the dressing to the large bowl of salad ingredients and toss well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Let it chill in refrigerator for half an hour. Top with sliced basil leaves just before serving.
So I made some Caprese skewers.. They are so dang cute! Of course there is absolutely no need of a recipe to make them. It’s just cherry tomatoes, basil leaves and Mozzarella cheese on thrown together on a stick seasoned with salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. That simple! Making these is a child’s play and they’ll rock any party! It can be served as an appetizer or as a last course with favorite cocktail or wine! 😉
I served these skewers with spinach walnut pesto.. Hmm… seems interesting?! Require a recipe for another quick pesto? Then read on.. I have told time and again that pesto is my fave. It is so versatile. I made a big enough batch for only 2 of us in the house and served it with these skewers, made dinner with some spaghetti, threw some in my breakfast omelet and made some grilled cheese for lunch. Phew!
So let’s get down to the recipe business!
- cherry tomatoes, halved
- fresh Mozzarella balls
- basil leaves
- extra-virgin olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper, as per taste
Skewer the cherry tomatoes alternating with basil leaves and Mozzarella balls. Once they are all skewered, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and serve alongside spinach walnut pesto.
Spinach Walnut Pesto
- 3 cups spinach leaves
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted or untoasted (I’m lazy & used untoasted)
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3/4 cup olive oil to begin with, add more as and if required
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor till smooth puree is formed. Add more olive oil as and if required. Store in an air-tight container and refrigerate up to 4-5 days.