Mache Rosette Nicoise Salad

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Organic Girl Organic Girl, oh how I love Organic Girl! Ok, I SWEAR I don’t secretly work for the company, but I discovered them a few years ago and have been hooked ever since. Luckily for me they seem to love me back and this month along with the brand new Super Spinach blend, I received the all new Mache Rosette blend. Oh My Goodness it’s good! You may not be familiar with this little buttery/nutty flavored green, so let’s learn a bit about it.

First off, you may actually already know about it….but know it by a different name. It has quite a few

Valerianella locusta is a small dicot annual plant of the family Caprifoliaceae that is an edible leaf vegetable with a characteristic nutty flavor, dark green color, and soft texture, popularly served as salad greens.Common names include corn salad, common corn salad,lamb’s lettuce, mâche, fetticus, feldsalat, nut lettuce, field salad, and rapunzel. In restaurants that feature French cooking, it may be called doucette or raiponce, as an alternative to mâche, by which it is best known.

Nutritionally like other formerly foraged greens, corn salad (or mache) has many nutrients, including three times as much vitamin C as lettuce, beta-carotene, B6, iron, and potassium. It is best if gathered before flowers appear

Fun Facts: The common name corn salad refers to the fact that it often grows as a weed in wheat fields. (The European term for staple grain is “corn”.) The Brothers Grimm’s tale Rapunzel may have taken its name from this plant, as the eponymous character is named for the “salad” which her father has come into the sorceress’ garden to steal. ‘Rapunzel’ is one of the German terms for corn salad.

The only trouble with this gorgeous blend that it is SO GOOD straight out of the package I felt it would be a bit sacrilege to cook it up or hide it. I admit that I didn’t go to far off the grid on this one, I mean if you look at the packaging, you will see the word Noisette which seems to me it is suggesting the use of making the classic French Salad Nicoise. So I did. For the very first time actually….and I made a few adjustments and replacements that were quite enjoyable!

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I decided to use the ingredients above and planned to sear the Ahi Tuna with a Wasabi Sesame crust. I replaced haricot verts (green beans) with Asparagus, boiled potatoes with roasted and added heirloom radishes because….well I love them! As this is a Salad, it is less of a “recipe” and more of step-by-step of what I did. I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:
Organic Girl Mache Rosettes Salad Blend
Sesame Wasabi Seared Sashimi Grade Ahi Tuna
Citrus Seasoned Salt Roasted Asparagus and baby potatoes (I used Russian Banana Fingerlings)
Hard Boiled Egg
Heirloom Radishes (I chose the purple and white because it’s pretty)
Heavenly Villagio Marzano Mini Tomatoes (By Village Farms)
Pitted Black Kalamata Olives
Anchovies

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For the Ahi:
Fig Balsamic Vinegar
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (Bragg’s)
Wasabi Powder
White Sesame Seeds

Ok the cooking part went as follows:

Clean then cut up the potatoes, and make sure to let them dry. Wash asparagus and cut off the tough ends. Place on a baking sheet.

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I then drizzled with EVOO and used Borsari Citrus Seasoned Salt. Put in the oven at 425° for 15 minutes.

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Remove and let cool. During the cooking time you can slice the tomatoes, olives and radishes. I like to slice the radishes as paper-thin as I can.

Hard boil a few eggs (depending on how many salads you are making, I used 1 egg per salad)

Boiling Eggs Tips: I add a dash of apple cider vinegar and a dash of sea salt into the water I am boiling the eggs in. Why? Well I read it helps them from cracking and leaking and makes them far easier to peel. Scientifically – NO idea if this is legit but I find it really always works. Place eggs in cool/room temperature water and make sure they are covered by at least half an inch to an inch of water. Place the uncovered pot on burner, turn to high and bring to a rolling boil. As soon as the water begins to boil turn the heat off, cover the pot but let it remain on the burner. Now it is all about timing. I did the eggs you see for exactly 10 mins. Drain the water and fill the pot with cold water to stop them from cooking. After a few moments remove and set aside your perfect hard-boiled eggs and peel just before serving.

Next up is the Tuna. It is really important that you buy “sashimi grade” high quality tuna so it can be served rare.

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I created a marinade on the fly really, I used the apple cider vinegar, a gorgeous Fig Balsamic vinegar from California I just bought and wasabi powder. Mix all together and dunk the fish in it a few times to make sure it is coated. I then poured the sesame seeds onto a plate and coated the fish with them thoroughly on each side.

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Heat your skillet until the oil (for this I use coconut oil to cook the fish) is very hot. You want to sear the fish and cook the crust on each side and warm the fish through without actually cooking the center.

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When you slice it right before serving it should be a beautiful pink inside. Serving this so rare is why it is imperative you use a high quality / sashimi grade tuna. I try to go for sustainable and wild caught if at all possible.

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Now you just assemble your salad any way you like. Traditionally the ingredients are all grouped together separately as you see I did. I topped with a beautiful little rosette of the Mache and served. Personally I am not a fan of salad dressing, at all really, particularly when you have so many beautiful ingredients, I dislike masking the flavors and well, I really enjoy “dry” lettuce greens, not soggy or coated in dressing. However, Mother added a splash of EVOO and the Fig Balsamic to hers and said it was “divine”, so it’s your call!

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Beautiful AND Delicious! Another win!

Nom Nom

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Sweet and Savory Spinach Crepes

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It’s always so fun to get my monthly box of Organic Girl Greens for recipe creation, but this month was even better!  They sent me two brand new mixes to try, Super Spinach and Mache Rosettes. Both are ahhhhhmazing, but lets start off with the Spinach.

I enjoy the challenge of not ALWAYS making a salad with the greens and occasionally coming up with something unique and “outside of the box”, so my first thought was Pesto.

As you can see from above, the ingredients for a pesto are quite simple.

Ingredients:

2 cups Organic Girl Super Spinach Blend
1/4 cup toasted Pine Nuts
1 cup (1 bunch) of Italian Parsley
1 Clove Garlic
1/3 cup of EVOO
1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan
Dash of each: freshly ground pepper and sea salt

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First off dry toast the Pine Nuts.  Use whatever method you are comfortable with, I just do them for a few minutes over med-high heat on the stove but be cautious, once they start to burn, the flavor is to overpowering and not good.

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Most people use a food processor to make Pesto.  I don’t have one so I use my Nutri-Bullet, which is far more powerful than an ordinary blender. I just layered and packed all the ingredients in and added the EVOO last.

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Voila! Spinach Pesto!  But my idea isn’t finished. I decided to use the Pesto to make Crepes and fill them with some sweet and savory ingredients.

In order to make crepes you need Flour. I realized I have never made Gluten Free Crepes before, so this was going to be a real experiment. I decided to reach for my Cup 4 Cup All Purpose Gluten Free Flour. I have had great success with it a few times in the past, so it was time to put it to the crepe test!

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Ingredients:

2/3 cup Milk
1/2 cup Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour
1/2 cup Spinach Pesto
1 egg

I decided to use the Pesto to replace some of the eggs, regular crepes use more than 1 egg. Mix all ingredients together in a blender (my handy Nutri-Bullet). My Grandmother always taught me to refrigerate the batter for an hour or so before making crepes, a step I actually JUST remembered! Yikes. Man she made the most amazing light and fluffy crepes you can imagine – so I missed this step but you don’t have to.

Now if you have a crepe pan, that is ideal. I of course have 2 (my own and my late gram’s) If not use a shallow skillet. Place on Medium heat and wipe down with some EVOO. You just want to coat the pan in a sheen of it. Now I haven’t made crepes in a LONG time, not once since going Gluten Free in 2008, so I was a bit nervous. They are just as easy to screw up as they are to make. As you can see from my first attempt:

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Whoops!

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That’s ok, unless you regularly make them expect to screw up the first ….well few to be honest! Ha! Afterwards I got the hang of it again.

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My batter was a bit thick….I probably could have used a smidge more milk. (Yes I said smidge…I feel like I channel gram sometimes in the kitchen)

So I poured about 1/4 cup batter in the center and immediately used a silicone spatula to spread it around to cover most of the pan. Let it cook until you see the little bubbles you do in pancakes and the edges are starting to lightly brown then carefully flip over. This also takes practice, when they are thin and perfectly cooked, they flip over like a dream. IF not…well just keep practicing.

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Place crepes on wax paper in layers while cooking the rest until you are finished. Now it is time to fill. This is where you can get creative, but I will tell you the fillings I chose for these. For the Sweet I grabbed these Fruit Pastes at the supermarket by Rutherford & Meyer.

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These tasted GREAT, but they were more of a jell-like consistency,good for a cheese plate, so they didn’t spread very easily. You could choose to use your favorite kind of fresh fruit preserves. However, when I heated up leftovers the next day, the fruit paste turned into an amazing fruit glaze. So the consistency is great for that!

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The combinations I chose were:
Prosciutto, Asiago Cheese and Fig
Ham (sliced thin), Swiss and Apricot

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Then you just layer your ingredients, fold and There you go!

Now I have to say, I was VERY impressed with the crepes in the fact that the Cup 4 Cup GF Flour did an outstanding job. I brought them down to Mom and she whole heartedly agreed! Now, they were not QUITE as light and fluffy as Gram’s, but considering I substituted Pesto for eggs and used GF Flour, they were pretty damn close!

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Nom Nom

 

Sweet and Savory Spinach Crepes
Author: 
Recipe type: Organic Girl
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Easy Sweet and Savory Gluten Free Crepes
Ingredients
  • For the Pesto:
  • 2 cups Organic Girl Super Spinach Blend
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 cup Italian Parsley
  • 1 clove Garlic (2 if you prefer stronger flavor)
  • ⅓ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • ⅓ cup fresh grated Parmesan
  • S & P - dash of each
  • For the Crepes:
  • ⅔ cup Milk
  • ½ cup GF Flour - I use Cup 4 Cup
  • ½ cup Spinach Pesto
  • 1 egg
  • For Fillings:
  • Thinly Sliced Prosciutto
  • Thinly Sliced Asiago Cheese
  • Thinly Sliced Ham
  • Thinly Sliced Swiss
  • Fruit paste (or jelly) Fig and Apricot
Instructions
  1. For Pesto:
  2. After toasting Pine Nuts, add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until Pesto. Add more EVOO if it is far to thick.
  3. For Crepes:
  4. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate batter for an hour.
  5. Wipe oil on a crepe pan set over medium heat.
  6. Pour about ¼ cup batter into center of pan and spread out thinly until almost size of pan itself, act quickly it starts to cook immediately.
  7. When bubbles have all popped (like pancakes) and edges start to brown, (2 - 3 min) flip over and cook for additional minute or two.
  8. Fill with ingredients of choice or use mine (very delicious)
  9. Prosciutto, Asiago & Fig
  10. Ham, Swiss & Apricot

 

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Naked Burrito Bowl

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Regular Burritos are not Gluten Free I am sad to say. Those lovely large tortillas they use to wrap all the yumminess up all snug and then warm, are made with flour.  I have found a nice Gluten Free wrap I use to make quesadillas, but they are to small and not pliable enough to achieve an authentic burrito, hence my burrito bowl…or “Naked Burrito”.  Frankly I love this even more and hardly ever miss burritos anymore.

Hardly.  … 

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The Heart of Romaine

 

Smoked Salmon Lettuce Wraps

Smoked Salmon Lettuce Wraps

(Originally Published Memorial Day Weekend May 27 2014)

So this month when Organic Girl sent me their wonderful Hearts of Romaine to play with, I honestly didn’t even take the kids into consideration.  I knew I didn’t want to hide the sweet crunchy tender hearts, I wanted them to be front and center….but they are of course, GREEN in color….so the monkey’s were out of the tasting equation.

These lovely greens come in their brand new “Protect Pack” with a easy to “re-seal” top and a wide bottom.  Perfect!!  I decided I wanted to use them in other ways then just a salad (but I did make several yummy salads as well).  So here are just a few of the ways I enjoyed them…. 

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Salad Pizza

Zia's Kitchen Salad Pizza

Zia’s Kitchen Salad Pizza

So my love affair with pizza continues and I do believe it will never end now that I have found Cup 4 Cup Pizza Crust Mix! It continues to deliver every time! This time around I even used leftover dough to make cheesy bread sticks as you can see on Zia’s Kitchen Facebook page.  The entire family, Mama Sis, Nonna, Ladybug AND our resident picky eater Littledude loved them so much I have a feeling they will be requested in the future.

I do wish that gluten-free items and mixes were not so pricey, the Cup 4 Cup Pizza Crust Mix is a bit expensive so we can’t really afford to have it that often,  however I must say it really is worth the splurge when we do!

This month the great people at Organic Girl Greens sent me something I have never seen at my local Publix, a Fresh Herbs and Greens mix. After munching on a bit of it raw I have to tell you this is one of the tastiest salad mixes I have ever had!… 

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SuperGreen Hotpockets

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I have to say I am thrilled that I have hooked up with the great people at Organic Girl.  Getting boxes of healthy greens sent to me monthly to cook with is great!  Having their support and trust to create recipes on Zia’s Kitchen for them is so exciting!  It’s funny, I was a huge fan and buying their greens long before they reached out to me through my blog.  In fact I was a fan even before I met them on the set of All Mixed Up well over a year ago. ~Interesting note, when they reached out to me via my blog they had no idea I was the same person who worked on the set of All Mixed Up doing the PR and taking all of the publicity shots for them ~ What do you call that? Kismet? Serendipity? Fate?

Whatever you call it my family and I have been eating healthy delicious baby greens of all different varieties and enjoying every minute!… 

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It’s All About The Corn Flakes

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When you are Gluten Free you don’t get to enjoy very many fried or “crispy” foods you once did.  Which is probably a good thing.  However for those times you want to make things like breaded eggplant, chicken fingers, zucchini fries or more, most gluten free breadcrumbs just don’t cut it.  Panko is out of course.  So what do you do?  I recently found the answer in Publix completely by accident.  While searching to see if they had any new gluten free breadcrumb options I found it.

Corn Flake Crumbs!… 

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Organic Girl Baby Kale Giveaway and Recipes – Snacks

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I have to admit, 10 years or so ago I had probably never even tasted Kale.  Now, it’s one of the most talked about leafy greens out there.  I find myself eating some practically every day lately.

The fact that the lovely people over at Organic Girl sent me a bunch of their newest product, 100% Baby Kale to experiment with, probably has something to do with it!  While trying to come up with new inventive recipes, incorporating Baby Kale in things I hadn’t before, I also found that I used it in a bunch of ways the past few weeks.  I put it in my homemade Mac & Cheese, scrambled eggs, juiced it you name it. While I was working with it I would just snack on it raw, it really is sweet and tasty all on it’s own!… 

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