mint

Ottolenghi’s Salad With Tomatoes

by Anne Maxfield on September 5, 2016

Accidental Locavore Ottlenghi Tomatoes in SaladIt’s Labor Day and I’m not laboring.

Take advantage of some great tomatoes and try this summery salad from an earlier post.

Sometimes, looking at the availability of good ingredients, you wonder about the timing of cookbooks. The Accidental Locavore tried to get a reviewer’s copy of the upcoming Plenty More (due out in October) and was turned down.

Luckily, Bon Appetit ran a few recipes from the book and this tomato salad caught my eye. I roasted the lemons ahead of time (on a cool evening), so they were ready to go and this came together quickly:

  • 1 lemon, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh sage leaves
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ pound mixed cherry tomatoes, or small heirlooms quartered
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, torn if large

Preheat oven to 325°. Cook lemon slices in a medium saucepan of boiling water 2 minutes to remove bitterness. Drain and pat dry.

Accidental Locavore Sliced Lemons for TomatoesToss lemon slices with sage, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium bowl. Spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until lemons are dry and starting to brown about 15–20 minutes. Let cool.

Whisk pomegranate molasses, allspice, and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add lemons, tomatoes, onion, parsley, and mint. Toss gently; season with salt and pepper, serve and enjoy!

My verdict: A great change from tomatoes and mozzarella, it’s light and refreshing, with a nice tang from the lemons and pomegranate molasses and it might be the easiest salad dressing on the planet! My pomegranate molasses will be getting a lot more use from now on – it was great with the tomatoes and mint. I also really liked the roasted lemon slices and saved some to toss in with my usual lunch salad. Next time, I’ll roast a couple of lemons at the same time and keep them in a Ziploc bag in the fridge for future use – they’d be good with a chicken too. Mint would also go well if you didn’t have any sage. My husband thought the lemon slices would be better cut in half, but I liked them as is.

And I’d still love to see a reviewer’s copy of the book…

 

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Potato Salad With Lemon and Mint Recipe

by Anne Maxfield on August 25, 2016

Accidental Locavore Baby PotatoesPotato salad is a summer staple.

As good as potato salad is, the Accidental Locavore is not a huge fan of potato salad with either mayo or hard-boiled eggs. When I saw this from the NY Times, it looked like a nice change from my go-to French potato salad. Serves 4:

Accidental Locavore Potato Salad With Lemon and MintPotato Salad With Lemon and Mint Recipe

  • 2 pounds small waxy white or yellow potatoes, roughly about the same size
  • Juice of 1 lemon, more for serving
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts, more for serving
  • ¼ cup torn mint leaves, more for serving
  • ¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper, more for serving

Cut the potatoes in half, or quarters if they’re large. Put potatoes in a large pot with enough salted water to cover by 1”. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together lemon juice, salt and olive oil.

Transfer hot potatoes to a large bowl and toss with dressing, scallions, mint and Turkish pepper. Let cool to room temperature. Just before serving, top with additional lemon juice, scallions, mint and Aleppo pepper.

My verdict: Easy and good! Will they take the place of the French potato salad? Probably not, but how can you compete with bacon (and bacon fat)???

If you don’t have Aleppo, or ¼ teaspoon of some exotic pepper (because it’s soooo worth it to go out for 1/4 teaspoon of anything), just use freshly ground black pepper.

Other herbs to consider would have to include sage, rosemary and tarragon – essentially anything fresh.

I always cut the potatoes before boiling.  It saves time, both in cooking and in waiting for them to cool enough to cut. However, you must start the potatoes in cool water. Otherwise they’ll never cook evenly all the way through and especially with potato salad, you don’t want them mushy on the outside.

What’s your favorite potato salad?

 

 

 

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Turkish Spiced Chicken With Green Sauce

by Anne Maxfield on August 13, 2015

Accidental Locavore Turkish Chicken With Green SauceBeing a lover of all foods Middle Eastern (okay, maybe just all foods), the Accidental Locavore made this chicken recipe for dinner recently. Give it some time to marinate but don’t worry, the marinade comes together really quickly, so you can do it in the morning before you take off. The ingredients for the sauce are going in a food processor, so you can just coarsely chop them. Serves 4:

Accidental Locavore Marinade for Turkish ChickenFor the chicken:

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 skinless boneless chicken thighs

Accidental Locavore Sauce for Turkish ChickenFor the sauce:

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 chiles, jalapeno or Serrano (more or less to taste), seeded and chopped
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Leaves from 8 sprigs of mint
  • ½ cup pitted green olives, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Lemon wedges to serve

Mix the olive oil, cinnamon, cayenne, cumin, garlic and salt and pepper in a small bowl to make a marinade. Make little slits all over the underside of the pieces of chicken with the point of a knife. Put the chicken in a Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over, turning to coat. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Bring the chicken to room temperature before cooking.

Make the sauce just before you cook the chicken. Put the garlic, chiles, cilantro, mint and olives and vinegar in the workbowl of a food processor and pulse until well combined. Gradually add the olive oil and process until you have a rough paste (it should be chunky). Add lemon juice and salt to taste and set aside in a small bowl.

Accidental Locavore Grilled Turkish ChickenHeat a grill or grill pan on medium heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade, and shake off the excess. Cook the chicken for about two minutes on each side, then reduce the heat to low and cook for another four minutes per side. The chicken should be cooked through and singed, but not burnt.

Serve the chicken with the sauce and lemon wedges and enjoy!

My verdict: Great! I did the chicken thighs on the grill and they were delicious! If you can’t grill, a grill pan, or even a hot (400°) oven with a sheet pan would work fine. The sauce is really good with them and you can adjust the spice and salt to suit your personal taste (so mine was nice and spicy). The sauce would go well with a firm fish or even some lamb chops. I served the chicken with couscous and some green beans, but eggplant would be a good side dish too. If you have any Greek yogurt or labneh, you could add that too.

 

 

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Grilled Eggplant and Lemon

by Anne Maxfield on July 30, 2015

Accidental Locavore Grilled Eggplant and LemonIf you’re part of a CSA, you know that there are always a couple of veggies that appear once too often to really inspire you. For the Accidental Locavore, that vegetable is eggplant. It’s not that I don’t like eggplant, I actually love the stuff; it’s just that my husband doesn’t. This, from bon appétit, looked interesting (to me anyway) and serves 4:

  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 small eggplants, sliced into ½-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar 
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon, very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Sherry or white wine vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • 1 cup labneh (Lebanese strained yogurt), or Greek yogurt

 

Accidental Locavore Soaking Red OnionPrepare a grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil grate. Soak onion in ice water 10 minutes to mellow its flavor. Drain, pat dry with paper towels, and transfer to a medium bowl.

Meanwhile, toss eggplant, za’atar, 3 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper in another medium bowl. Grill eggplant, turning often, until tender and charred in spots, 5–8 minutes; transfer to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Halve any large rounds; set aside.

Accidental Locavore Grilled Lemon SlicesIn a small bowl, toss lemon with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt and pepper. Grill lemon, turning often, until lightly charred in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer to cutting board and let cool slightly. Cut lemon slices in half and add to bowl with onion. Stir in mint, Sherry vinegar, and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil; season with salt and pepper. In another small bowl mix garlic and labneh. Spoon labneh mixture onto a platter and arrange eggplant and onion mixture over it. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: A huge hit! This was so good that Frank, the eggplant avoider, had seconds, declaring that it was the best thing I’d made in a long time. It was delicious! The grilled eggplant was a nice contrast to the creamy labneh and the crunch of the onions. We were also lucky because the eggplant, mint and onions were all from the farm, so fresh and local. I need to remember how good grilled lemons or limes are and use them more often! I used labneh which I got at Murray’s in the city, you can often find it in better grocery stores, but if you can’t, a thick Greek yogurt would be fine. If you don’t have access to a grill, either a grill pan or roasting everything on sheet pans in about a 400° oven would probably work fine. Give this a try and see if it’s as big a hit at your house.

 

 

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