feta cheese

Snow Pea Salad With Feta and Pine Nuts

by Anne Maxfield on August 29, 2013

Accidental Locavore Snow PeasMy friend Denise gave the Accidental Locavore a mess of snow peas last week (along with a ton of stuff from her garden) and since it was the only thing we hadn’t gotten around to eating, I decided to make an easy salad with the peas and brought it to her house for dinner the other night. This generously served 4 and came together in about 20 minutes.

  • 1 pound snow peas, washed and trimmed
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons good olive oil
  • Maldon salt to taste
  • ¼ cup Greek feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely sliced

Accidental Locavore Snow Pea SaladIn a microwave safe container, steam the snow peas with a tablespoon or two of water, covered, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Shock to stop cooking by rinsing in cold water and ice. Drain and pat dry. Cut in half the long way and put in a medium bowl.

While the peas are cooking, toast the pine nuts in a small frying pan over medium heat for 3 minutes, until just fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.

Add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pine nuts, feta and salt to the peas. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. Sprinkle on the mint, serve and enjoy!

My verdict: A good, easy salad to play around with. I tried using goat cheese instead of the feta and it was ok, but a little less assertive than the feta. Basil might easily take the place of mint, or even try substituting lime juice and cilantro for the lemon juice and mint. Green beans, especially haricots vert, would mix well with or replace the snow peas. Let me know what you think.

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Carrot Salad Recipe with Harissa, Feta and Mint

by Anne Maxfield on June 28, 2012

In sorting the recipes the Accidental Locavore had on the cloud, this salad sounded like the perfect accompaniment to steak tartare on a very hot evening.  Added bonus: our friend Jamila gave us a jar of harissa she made from a family recipe. It’s great, a little chunky, nice and spicy! This feeds 4 as a side dish, is quick to make but needs some marinating time for the flavors to really develop.

Carrot Salad with Harissa, Feta and Mint

Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Salad, Side Dish
Misc Serve Cold
The Accidental Locavore shares this recipe for an easy carrot salad with a spicy kick from harissa. A quck side dish or salad recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3/4lb carrots, peeled, trimmed and coarsly grated
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground corriander
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (I used hot smoked paprika just for fun)
  • 3/4 tablespoons harissa (for a solid kick of heat; adjust yours to taste, and to the heat level of your harissa)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions

Step 1
In a small sauté pan over medium low heat, cook the garlic, coriander, cumin, paprika, harissa and sugar in the oil until fragrant, about one to two minutes. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Pour over the carrots, add the herbs and mix well.
Step 2
Leave the salad to marinate for an hour at room temperature. Just before serving, add the crumbled feta. Serve and enjoy!

Notes: You can grate the carrots on a hand-grater on the big holes. It’s slow and carrot bits will be all over the kitchen. I pulled out the food processor with the grater blade and was done in less than a minute, however, cleaning it…The original recipe called for caraway seeds (and cumin seeds) to be ground. I didn’t think I had any caraway seeds so I used ground coriander instead.  If you don’t have friends making harissa for you, this is the Locavore’s recent favorite (and not because it comes from Provence): Domaine de Provence Harissa Paste. It’s expensive for a condiment, but worth it!

Verdict: I’ve always preferred raw carrots to cooked ones, so this along with the harissa kick was a hit in my book! I added a little more cumin and harissa than the recipe calls for and since we didn’t have any parsley, tossed in a little more mint. Frank really liked it, once he got over the initial surprise of seeing a plate with carrot salad on it. I’ll definitely make this again.

Quick update: I made this again, this time trying for more of an Asian inspiration. I used Sriracha instead of the harissa, juice of a lime, about 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar and added some chopped cilantro along with the mint, no cheese. It was good, very spicy, so next time I’ll taste before madly squirting in the sriracha.

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Accidental Locavore Greek Ratatouille

Have you ever gotten a recipe you just had to try, but knew you were going to fiddle with? The Accidental Locavore’s  friend Amie Gartenberg had this Greek version of a ratatouille over the summer and said it was just delicious. I used it with the last of the eggplant and peppers and a few other things (well, a lot of other things). Trust me, it’s forgiving! Her recipe was adapted from allrecipes.com. Takes about a two hours (mostly cooking time) and serves 12.

Briam 
For the sauce:
• 3 tomatoes
• ½ cup olive oil (or less)
• 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
• 2 tbsp sugar (optional)
• 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
• 1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped
• 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
• 2 tbsp fresh oregano (I used 1 tbsp dried)
• ¼ cup capers
• 2-4 cloves garlic
Salt & pepper, to taste

 

For the vegetables:Accdiental Locavore Farm Box September
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 onions, sliced 1/4″ thick
• 1 tomato, cut in 1 ½ “ chunks
• 2 potatoes, cut in 1 ½ “ chunks
• 2 medium eggplants, cut in 1 ½ “ chunks
• 3 zucchini, sliced ½” thick
• 3 red bell peppers, sliced ½” thick
• 1 cup carrots, sliced ½” thick
• 1 cup green beans, cut in half horizontally
Feta cheese and pita bread for serving

 

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Place the tomatoes, olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, parsley, mint, basil, oregano, capers and garlic in the work bowl of a food processor (a blender or stick blender would be fine). Pulse well to form fresh tomato sauce. Add salt and black pepper. Mix well and set aside.
Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in the bottom of a baking dish then add all remaining veggies. Toss to coat all with the oil. Pour the tomato sauce over the top and mix thoroughly. Add a little water, if required, to cover the vegetables with sauce. Bake, uncovered, for about 1 hour until all the vegetables are tender. Serve with feta cheese sprinkled over the top and warm pita bread.

 

My verdict: Delicious, although I really strayed from the recipe. For the sauce: no sugar.  I forgot to get basil and parsley, so just doubled up on the mint and (dried) oregano and added what was left of a bottle of white wine (about ½ cup) to thin it out. Amazingly, I didn’t have any zucchini or green beans left and I’m not a fan of cooked carrots, so they didn’t make the mix. For the peppers: a pimento, several padrón peppers (otherwise known as the Russian roulette of peppers and these were hot) and a pale green one. The Locavore tossed in a handful of mixed, pitted olives in keeping with the Greek theme and a bag of frozen artichoke hearts. I served it as a side dish, however it would be great over orzo. The feta adds a nice creaminess so make sure to sprinkle some on top.

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