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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Cook It Real Slow

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First off, a very Happy New Year to all my readers.  All 17 of you! :-)  I hope your holiday season was filled with fun, friends, family and of course…copious amounts of delicious FOOD! The past month was a whirlwind of activity both in and out of the kitchen for me here at Zia’s Kitchen, not just due to special holiday meals, but also because my birthday falls smack in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was difficult to get out of the kitchen and to my computer, but I am back now to ring in the New Year and share some of my culinary adventures from the 2013 Holiday Season and my new adventures in 2014. To begin with……….. 

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Zucchini Polenta Lasagna

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Always start out with a larger pot than what you think you need.”
― Julia Child

Or pan. Or baking dish. Or mixing bowl…..

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Mini Meatloaf Monday

Mini MEatloaf

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Pan Pizza

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Tuesday Tips # 1

North Yorkshire, England

North Yorkshire, England

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Polenta Pizza Please

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