Mache Rosette Nicoise Salad

IMG_8643

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!

IMG_8644

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

IMG_8626

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.

IMG_8625

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

IMG_8628

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.

IMG_8627

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.

IMG_8629

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.

IMG_8630

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.

IMG_8631

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!

IMG_8632

Beautiful AND Delicious! Another win!

Nom Nom

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailby feather

Grilled Greens With Shrimp And Grilled Pineapple Salsa

IMG_8071

Grilled Shrimp, Romaine and Pineapple Salsa Salad

Summer Summer Summertime…….time to kick back and……well I will let you insert your favorite activity. When I was growing up in the Northeast, summer was my favorite season which may explain why I moved to Southern California the first chance I got!  Summer in my childhood meant two things.

1. Downthashore.  Translation for those not from New Jersey or Philadelphia… it means: Going to the beach. If you are from the garden or keystone state, this must be said as if it is one word: Downthashore. It’s a rule.

2. The foods of summer!  Jersey tomatoes and corn, crabs and lobsters, salt water taffy and ice cream, and of course cooking on the grill…. 

Read More »

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailby feather

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…. 

Read More »

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailby feather

Drink Your Greens Contest

Organic Smoothie Ingredients

Organic Smoothie Ingredients

It’s June ALREADY?!?!?!  Wow, I can’t believe how fast this year is flying. Summer is here and that means…..Smoothie’s! (Well if you live in Florida it’s also synonymous with living on the outskirts of hell…weather wise). Wherever you live, you probably drink more smoothies in the summer than you do in any other season, so it makes sense that this month Organic Girl Greens are promoting smoothies with the “Drink Your Greens” Contest!

To enter the Organic Girl Drink Your Greens Contest, snap a photo of a smoothie (or juice) that you have created with one of their good clean greens, include the photo of the clamshell of greens and hashtag #drinkurgreens.  You can do this on Instagram @iloveorganicgirl.  I would post it on Facebook and Tweet it as well…but thats just me!

The winner will receive a new Vitamix® blender and ….are you ready?   FREE Organic Girl Greens for a YEAR!!!!  Sweeeeeeet!  As I am lucky enough to be a recipe creator/blogger for Organic Girl, I can’t win….but YOU CAN! … 

Read More »

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailby feather

Ratatouille by Julia Child

Honeybrook Farms, NJ

Honeybrook Farms, NJ

For someone who loves to cook, I don’t often follow recipes exactly.  I mean I use them all the time, but I tend to have a rather loose manner with them, altering them to my tastes or using my own experiences with a dish.  Except of course with baking.  Baking is a science and experimenting with it can have disastrous results. But in cooking I feel a bit more confident, and use recipes more to educate myself on a technique, or flavor ideas. There are exceptions to this rule of course, and one of them is trying to cook a specific dish from “Mastering The Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child.  You don’t mess with Julia’s way of doing things…. 

Read More »

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailby feather

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!… 

Read More »

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailby feather

SuperGreen Eggplant Parmesan

IMG_6291

Being 1/2 Italian 1/2 Irish can be conflicting for me when it comes to cuisine, but I was raised in the Italian house which means it’s Italian food that dominates in my culinary skills. As a Gluten Free cook some Italian food does present problems I am working on getting around.  I have yet to tackle my homemade pasta gluten free yet, but some dishes are far easier to convert then you think.  Take for example Eggplant Parmesan, even fried you can use gluten free breadcrumbs and you are good to go.

Sometimes I like the eggplant fried, but other times, like when I get some beautiful sweet “Sicilian” Eggplants from the farmers market such as these beauties below, I like to keep it clean…. 

Read More »

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailby feather

SuperGreen Hotpockets

IMG_6286

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!… 

Read More »

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailby feather

It’s All About The Corn Flakes

IMG_5036

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!… 

Read More »

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailby feather

Kale. It’s What’s For Breakfast.

IMG_5044

Or brunch……or breakfast for dinner, you get the idea.  Generally when you think of Kale, you may not think of it as a breakfast element unless you are juicing it or using it in a smoothie.  That’s how I used to think of Kale in the morning, then I put it in scrambled eggs and realized it’s far more versatile and goes REALLY well with eggs.

Organic Girl 100% Baby Kale is very sweet and tender as I have mentioned before, munching on it straight out of the package is delicious, so I decided to experiment with it for breakfast dishes beyond scrambled eggs and the results were very yummy.  I actually served both as “breakfast for dinner” a big favorite of mine but I think both or versatile enough to be served at any time of day you like, it all depends on how much you like breakfast.

I like it a LOT…. 

Read More »

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailby feather