Simple Spring Salad for Four (with 4 special ingredients)

We had some people over for dinner and a movie. We started with icy chardonnay and the garden-fresh salad above. We also served warm mini corn tortillas, salsa and sour cream, if anyone wanted to make a taco. Next, a new recipe for chicken casserole, that I’m working on. Cake and dates for dessert. The movie was, Phantom Thread, recently nominated for an Oscar and starring the great actor, Daniel Day-Lewis. We all recommend the movie. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Ingredients

 

Mini Corn tortillas, warm just before serving

3 hard-boiled eggs, use the white only

2 avocados

2 large ripe tomato

2 Tablespoons black beans, from can

2, 3 or 4 Tablespoons yellow corn kernels

1 orange Bell pepper, seeds removed, chopped

4 Tablespoons, extra virgin olive oil

Zest of 1 fresh lemon

2 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 fresh garlic cloves, mashed with 3 anchovies

2 pinches chili flakes (optional)

2 pinches black pepper

A few leaves of kale, baby spinach, or arugula, for crisp texture. Wash, dry and break into small pieces.

1/2 to 1 sheet of Nori, crushed in your fist, then sprinkled over the salad.

 

If you don’t have fresh corn in your neighborhood, use frozen corn kernels instead. Let them thaw, squeeze them a little in paper towel, so they don’t add water to the salad. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Chef’s note: As you are aware, the CDC has put out a strong warning not to buy romaine lettuce wrapped in plastic, (and raised in Arizona) because quite a few people have become very sick after eating romaine tainted with E. coli. Although, we’ve made this salad many times, the first time using romaine, we did take care to use romaine from Whole Foods, with fresh leaves and not contained in plastic. We also checked with the veggie manager re the CDC warning. However, since that first time, we have only used fresh arugula and baby spinach in this salad recipe. The recipe is equally delicious with a few leaves of other greens, as well as Nori seaweed, which is loaded with umami, our fifth flavor sense. In case you haven’t tried it, Nori is a wonderful topping for many recipes, as well as being extremely healthy. This wrapping of delicious sushi rolls can be bought in flat sheets. The way we use it at home is beyond easy. Just take as much as you need, then crunch up in your fist and sprinkle the Nori over practically everything. I use it over salads, over casseroles, over cauliflower mashed “potatoes,“ and much more. Now, that you’ve read today’s Quiz and know how healthy (low-cal) Nori is, go for it. Nori is very tasty (umami) as well as healthy for your biome.

 

Chef update: As of Thursday 17 May 2018, FDA has given the “okay“ to dine on romaine lettuce; joyful news for everyone who loves Caesar salad.

 

Directions

1. Have a salad bowl ready.

2. Take eggs out of fridge and let them reach room temperature before you boil them for 8 minutes, then put immediately into ice water. Remove and shell. Then remove yolks and use for another recipe. Chop the white part and set aside. This is one of the special ingredients, not usually found in a salad.

3. Scrape the kernels off the corn cob.

 

Lucky to have a neighborhood store that purchases from local farmers. New York City is known for its many locations where local farmers come into the city and sell their produce directly to the consumer and/or restaurant chef. One such location is Union Square in Manhattan. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

4. Get out a mortar and pestle and mash the garlic and anchovies until you get a paste. Set aside. These are two of the special ingredients, not usually found in a salad. This is the umami part, the anchovies, that is. I have started to use anchovy fillets, in place of salt, in my recipes, when possible. When a few anchovy fillets are mashed and used in a recipe, the result is that umami deeper flavor. There is no fishy taste, in any recipe, after using mashed anchovy fillets; plus there is omega 3.

 

I used to think that anyone with a mortar & pestle, was a highly sophisticated chef. But now I know that it makes sense for anyone in the kitchen to have this item, simply because it makes mashing something like the garlic and anchovies (above) easier. Its small size makes it a cinch to break up things like fennel seeds (not in this recipe). I got mine at Amazon where the price is right, and the choices are many. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Draining the black beans, after rinsing them. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

5. Add the zest and the fresh lemon juice, olive oil and the mashed garlic with anchovy and mix the dressing together until it becomes smooth.

6. Remove yolk from hard-boiled egg, chop the white and put in salad bowl.

 

Chopping egg whites and tomatoes at the same time. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

  

7. Cut up the avocado and put in salad bowl

8. Chop the tomato and put in salad bowl

9. Add the black beans and corn

10. Add the orange chopped pepper

 

Chopping the orange pepper. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

11.  Add the green leaf pieces

12. Toss everything together and enjoy

13. For variation, you can spoon the salad onto a corn tortilla and eat it that way.

14. Sprinkle with crushed Nori (this is the 4th special umami ingredient)

 

Warm corn taco, good any time, but especially good in hot summer months when you don’t want meals too complicated. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Although, we did manage to serve Pouilly-Fuisse when relatives came over for dinner, we’re still enjoying our recent discovery of The Vice, a delicious chardonnay, brought to us by a dinner guest. Did I say, the price is astoundingly, right? ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

This weekend, we raise our glasses in a toast to the FDA and the CDC, for keeping our food safe! Funded by tax payer dollars, these agencies are a part of our historically rich Democracy and we salute them!

 

 

Have a great week everyone!

 

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!

 

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