My Best Summer Salad

July 29, 2011 § 1 Comment

Its one of those ordinary lazy hot days here in Dubai, nothing out of the ordinary… same old story, its hot, the sun is too strong, the traffic is bad, crazy drivers all over the road….. I’m really starting to hate the way my day passes by routinely, don’t get me wrong I love my family to bits and I never regret giving up my career to raise my daughter, but I feel that I have more to give to the world!

Starting this blog was one of the reasons that I didn’t know what to do with my energy.

So it was an ordinary day, I’m at my parents house lying on the couch in front of the TV most probably watching the food network (nothing better to watch), my daughter fed and in her cot napping, my father walks in the house with bags of groceries and a big grin on his face, “hey girl! where’s the little one?” of coarse since I had my daughter my existence to my family is not as important as their first grandchild.. “napping” I answered, still walking to the kitchen “I’m making a salad” he yells back at me “would you like to help?” I jump straight away and join him! I love spending time in the kitchen with my father, he is just amazing. He taught me a lot about food, cooking, flavors and the chemistry behind it (we are both majored in scientific fields, and he has a theory that people who love and understand chemistry are great cooks). He awakened our palates at a very young age, growing up eating lobster, blue cheese and caviar we knew we were different from other kids who frowned in disgust at the sight of those things!

I walk into the kitchen as he lays out the groceries on the counter, a bag of mixed salad leaves, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts (ordinary so far) he puts a pan on the stove turns the heat on and throws some sugar in it… I watched with wide eyes ” Dad? what are you doing exactly??” “caramel” he answered calmly (and the unordinary started!)

This salad was by far the best salad I had in a long time. It was crunchy, fresh and sweet, it was the perfect summer salad.

Try it and I hope you like it as much as I did.

My best Summer salad: (my dad’s recipe)

  • 1 bag of mixed lettuce leaves
  • 10-12 baby asparagus stalks
  • 1 hanful of alfalfa sprouts
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cup of strawberries, cut up in half
  • 1/2 cup shelled walnuts
  • 1 small wheel of plain brie cheese, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup sugar, for caramel
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

First of all you need to make a caramel, lay your asparagus neatly next to each other in a row on a nonstick baking paper and clear the area around you, make sure no children are around. dip ur spoon in the hot caramel and drizzle the asparagus with it, going across it back and forth, dipping the spoon again in the caramel till you are satisfied with the amount on it.

While the caramel is still hot, you might need to put it back on the heat, throw your walnuts in and coat them with it. Lay them separately on the baking paper next to the asparagus and let it cool completely.

In a salad bowl throw in your salad leaves and toss in the cherry tomatoes and starwberries. scatter with alfalfa on top.

In a hot pan drizzle some olive oil and fry your Brie wedges on both sides till golden, not too much or the cheese will melt away.

Lay the asparagus, the seared brie cheese over the salad leaves and scatter with caramelized walnuts, drizzle with the dressing and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Fatma

organic bruschetta

June 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

(previously posted on Fatmazkitchen)

Cooking out of my BumbleBox take#2

Cooking out of my BumbleBox take#2 To whoever is reading my blog, if you do exist… sorry for not posting my promised daily recipes out of my BumbleBox(organic veggies) throughout this week, but I have been extremely busy! Buying this box not knowing nor expecting what comes in it and trying to cook it off, not to waste your money, is extremely fun! My go to source for this week’s recipes is Jamie Oliver’s book “Jamie at Home”. Jamie Oliver is one of the reasons I got more involved and passionate about food. I still remember the first time I met him…. Just got home from uni, tiered and hungry, switch on TV and flip through the channels to see, on BBCFood at that time, a rather interesting quirky young man cooking in such an appealing way that you cant resist smiling while looking at him! It was the “highland fling” episode from the Naked Chef show and love at first sight (hubby if you are reading you are a different deeper love :p) Back to my cooking. Bruschetta is one of my favourite things to eat, get a good loaf of bread grill it, garlic and olive oil and you’ll never be disappointed no matter what you put over it. Last night I made two kinds of bruschetta, tomato chili buffalo mozzarella  and grilled bell peppers. They are both basic and simple, since I got fresh flavorful organic veggies, you can play and add flavours as you feel like that day. My basic bruschetta recipe: good loaf of bread sliced, i got Eric Kayser’s plain baguette clove of garlic, whole olive oil I was told from by italian once that the bruscheta should be grilled then drizzled with oil not vice versa. So since then that’s what I do. I turn my broiler on high and place the oven tray on the upper rack. and grill my slices of bread till brown on both sides. the minute I get them out I rub with garlic and drizzle with olive oil on one side. top with what your heart desires. Tomato Salad: Any selection of tomatoes you fancy, sliced, chopped or just cut up in half in case of small cherry tomato Red chili, finely chopped Fresh Basil Lemon juice Extra virgin olive oil Salt and freshly ground pepper Fresh mozzarella, buffalo or cow Place ur tomatoes on a plate scatter with chili and teared basil all over, drizzle with lemon juice, olive oil and season with salt and pepper. slice or tear your mozzarella over the tomatoes. Grilled Rainbow Bell Pepper: colorful selection of peppers balsamic vinegar extra virgin olive oil salt and freshly ground black pepper Grill your bell peppers on high heat till the skin bubble and get charred. place in a bowl and cover with cling film till it cools. tear the skin off the peppers and slice thinly. drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and season to taste.

To whoever is reading my blog, if you do exist… sorry for not posting my promised daily recipes out of my BumbleBox(organic veggies) throughout this week, but I have been extremely busy!

Buying this box not knowing nor expecting what comes in it and trying to cook it off, not to waste your money, is extremely fun!

My go to source for this week’s recipes is Jamie Oliver’s book “Jamie at Home”. Jamie Oliver is one of the reasons I got more involved and passionate about food. I still remember the first time I met him…. Just got home from uni, tiered and hungry, switch on TV and flip through the channels to see, on BBCFood at that time, a rather interesting quirky young man cooking in such an appealing way that you cant resist smiling while looking at him! It was the “highland fling” episode from the Naked Chef show and love at first sight (hubby if you are reading you are a different deeper love :p)

Back to my cooking.

Bruschetta is one of my favourite things to eat, get a good loaf of bread grill it, garlic and olive oil and you’ll never be disappointed no matter what you put over it.

Last night I made two kinds of bruschetta, tomato chili buffalo mozzarella and grilled bell peppers.

They are both basic and simple, since I got fresh flavorful organic veggies, you can play and add flavours as you feel like that day.

My basic bruschetta recipe:

  • good loaf of bread sliced, i got Eric Kayser’s plain baguette
  • clove of garlic, whole
  • olive oil

I was told from by italian once that the bruscheta should be grilled then drizzled with oil not vice versa. So since then that’s what I do.

I turn my broiler on high and place the oven tray on the upper rack. and grill my slices of bread till brown on both sides. the minute I get them out I rub with garlic and drizzle with olive oil on one side. top with what your heart desires.

Tomato Salad:

  • Any selection of tomatoes you fancy, sliced, chopped or just cut up in half in case of small cherry tomato
  • Red chili, finely chopped
  • Fresh Basil
  • Lemon juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Fresh mozzarella, buffalo or cow

Place ur tomatoes on a plate scatter with chili and teared basil all over, drizzle with lemon juice, olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

slice or tear your mozzarella over the tomatoes. serve over warm bruschetta.

Grilled Rainbow Bell Pepper topping:

  • colorful selection of peppers
  • balsamic vinegar (or pomegranate molasses and a squeeze of lemon juice)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Grill your bell peppers on high heat till the skin bubble and get charred. place in a bowl and cover with cling film till it cools. tear the skin off the peppers and slice thinly.

drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and season to taste. serve over warm bruschetta bread.

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