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Salad Niçoise

There’s nothing like a mid-winter picnic, especially if Salad Niçoise is part of the equation. The other day my daughter asked if we could eat dinner outside. It was sunny, the temperature in the mid-sixties. My answer? Most definitely. We bundled up – each in a cozy sweater – and set up our colorful spread on the scraggly winter landscape. For the Salad Niçoise, I took my inspiration from Julia Child and piled on delicately steamed French beans, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, and everything deliciously funky: Tuna, olives, capers and a few anchovies (for salty chew). A handful of crackers with cheese completed dinner (though a hunk of crusty bread would be nice, too). My husband flashed us all back to his “Mr Picky” days as he struggled to down one solitary anchovy. He did the work but remains unconvinced of their merits. My daughter escaped the challenge since she’s a self-proclaimed vegetarian, focusing her efforts instead on the vegetables and cheese (for protein). As for myself, I ate everything. While we enjoyed our meal, the sun sunk behind our neighbors’ rooftop (taking the warmth with …

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Serbian Salad

Although the air still hangs crisp with winter, seed sowing season is nearly upon us – that time of year when the window sills of the industrious are stocked with small, peat lined plastic containers. With careful gifts of water and radiant window light, small seeds will crack open and send vivid green shoots through the black, crumbling soil, into the glow. In a few months time, these brave seedlings will make their way outdoors, into the deep, hot sunshine, where they will mature into edible gardens.  Food for our souls. Today, we’re imagining ourselves in this garden, though winter is still upon us. And we’re doing it by nibbling upon a Serbian Salad. This isn’t a recipe, so much as a guide to freshness. The key to a beautiful Serbian salad is simplicity – cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers, topped with oil and vinegar… and especially cheese. You want to grate the cheese over the top until your salad looks like a snow-capped mountain. Serves 4 Ingredients: 3 vine-ripened tomatoes 1 cucumber 1 bell pepper …

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Arroz con Pollo

Pneumonia make cause my heart to race, my nerves to slacken, and my breathing to rasp, but it will never stop me from making my sweetheart his birthday dinner. To celebrate in style, I cobbled together the most unexpectedly glorious arroz con pollo. Unexpected, because I honestly wondered how great could chicken and rice be? Fantastic, turns out. Put your trust in centuries of Latin American and Spanish history; the next time you have a big dinner party, make arroz con pollo. Under a gracious layer of 100% love, you’ll find a one-pot chicken and rice dish which delights in bright bursts of briny olives and capers, blushing rice (thanks to a sprinkling of ruddy ground annato and a whole lot of chopped tomatoes), and a flurry of vivid green cilantro. Arroz con Pollo is traditionally made in a giant pan – something like a paella pan which can go gracefully from oven to table – although a Dutch oven would work nicely in a pinch. I used that $20 pan I got at the Indian …

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Moldovan Veggie & Feta Stuffed Zucchini

In honor of Moldova, let’s clear out the weeds. Let’s make room for a garden. A springy, happy sort of place where you can go to daydream in the morning sunlight, with a cup of steaming hot tea at the ready. A place where you can feel your connection to the earth and the soil. Where you can think those thoughts you never have time to think. Where you can finally stop being too busy. While you’re there I’d like you to plant a tiny sprout that will one day grow up into one hundred dream boats. One hundred zucchini boats  that will set your mind to sail and carry your heart to Moldova. You’ll be able to bring anyone you like along for the ride. Are you ready? Let’s go on a Moldovan boat ride. NOTE: Most authentic recipes call for tomato juice mixed with a spoonful or two of vinegar on the bottom of you casserole pan. Instead I opted for a plain tomato sauce to add textural oomph, but the choice is yours. Also, …

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Greek Village Salad | Horiatiki

Serves 4 Mr Picky’s eyes bulged when I told him that an authentic Greek salad does not include lettuce. “I thought all salads had to have lettuce,” he said. I went down the list of ingredients, playing up what might be my favorite salad in the world, simply in the hopes of converting him. He hate olives and vinegar, and barely tolerates tomatoes, so it was a tough sell. Still, Greek salads are on my short list. In New England you can get one at almost every restaurant. Here, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I’ve only managed to find them in Greek restaurants, of which there is sadly a short supply. The good news? It’s spectacularly easy to make at home. I find dressing this salad at least thirty minutes ahead of time gives the flavors a chance to mingle. Ingredients: 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges 1 green pepper, sliced thinly 1/2 an English cucumber sliced thinly, or 1 regular cucumber peeled and then sliced 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly 3.5 ounces feta, cubed 1/2 cup kalamata …

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Roasted Eggplant & Bell Pepper Dip | Kyopolou

Serves 4-6 Kyopolou melds roasted, sweet peppers, eggplant, and ripe tomatoes to make a dipping sensation. Serve with pita bread or alongside white fish. Be sure to prepare a day ahead (or at least several hours) so that the flavors can properly distribute. Otherwise the garlic will be too sharp and bitter. If you simply must serve this dish right away, use less garlic. Ingredients: 3 eggplants 4 red bell peppers 3 tomatoes (I used roma) 2-5 cloves garlic fresh parsley, to taste 1-2 Tbsp red wine vinegar olive oil, as needed salt pepper Method: 1. Rinse and poke holes in the eggplant. This prevents unsightly explosions. 2. Roast eggplant, bell peppers, and tomatoes on a medium-low grill for about an hour, flipping once. You may also cook them at 350F in a conventional oven. NOTE: For a mellow garlic flavor, you may roast the cloves. Wrap in foil and remove when soft and sweet – about 30 minutes. Everything will get all wrinkly and charred. I know what you’re thinking. Looks like “ew.” I promise …

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Shopska Salad | Shopska Salata

Serves 2-4 Can a salad be seductive? Maybe not. But a salad definitely can be charming and fun, like the boy next door. That’s exactly how I feel about Shopska Salad. Like a school girl, I crushed on this happy combination of crunchy peppers, farmer’s market tomatoes, and red onion. To make the salad even better, I tossed “Barrel-Aged Feta” in the mix. This cheese is just like regular feta with a tad stronger – and a “hair” funkier – flavor. In fact, Barrel-Aged Feta is a great “first” funky cheese for those of you trying to convince a family member to “go funky.” Ingredients 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced 2 tomatoes, chopped 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced olive oil red wine vinegar 2 oz feta cheese (plain or aged), crumbled salt pepper Method: 1. Combine the pepper, tomato, and onion. Sprinkle with oil and vinegar, top with parsley and season. Add the cheese and serve. You could serve this salad unmixed, and let everyone take the pieces they want. As an option, mix in …

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Belgian Beef Stew | Stoofvlees

Serves 2-4 (on a bed of French fries) Stoofvlees is a typical stew in that there are as many variations as there are people making it. Depending where you live in Belgium, Stoofvlees might have more or less vinegar, slightly different spices, and a textural range from soupy to thick and sludgy. My thick, hearty version sits well on fries, but if you want it more “soupy,” feel free to add more beef stock. Ingredients: For the marinade 1 pound stew beef, cubed 1 onion, chopped 3 garlic cloves, crushed 1 rosemary sprig 1/2 tsp paprika 1/2 tsp dried thyme 1/4 tsp pepper 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 1 tbsp coarse mustard 2 tbsp oil For the stew vegetable oil 2 tbsp all-purpose flour 1/2 cup Belgian beer 1 – 1 1/2 cups beef broth 2 bay leaves 1 Tbsp molasses salt pepper Method: 1. Add meat to a small casserole with lid (or plastic bag). Combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over meat and squish around to combine. Refrigerate for at least an …

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Chimichurri Sauce

Serves 4 Chimichurri sauce is traditionally served with Beef Empanadas in Argentina. The bold garlic flavor also goes well with any grilled beef. Ingredients: 3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano 1/2 cup olive oil 1/4 cup chopped red onion 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 2 Tbsp water 5 garlic cloves, crushed 1 tsp salt 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes 1/4 tsp pepper Method: 1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process until a loose salsa consistency is achieved. 2. Let stand at room temperature for flavors to meld, at least 30 minutes. Chimichurri can be refrigerated for a day or two. Serve at room temperature. Chimichurri Sauce Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe Chimichurri sauce is traditionally served with Beef Empanadas in Argentina. The bold garlic flavor also goes well with any grilled beef. CourseAppetizers & Snacks LifestyleGluten-Free, Potluck Friendly, Vegan, Vegetarian Food TypeSauces & Dressings Servings Prep Time 4 people 10 minutes Passive Time 30 minutes Servings Prep Time 4 people 10 minutes Passive Time 30 minutes …

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Roasted Acorn Squash Salad with Arugula and Chevre

Serves 4 I first heard of making a salad inside a hot, roasted pumpkin from the Argentine chef, Francis Mallmann. My version of this unusual salad is streamlined for the home cook. Enjoy this wonderful comfort food on a cold day. Makes enough for a light meal, or use it as an impressive starter in a larger feast. Ingredients: 2 acorn squash (or pumpkin – whatever is in season) olive oil salt pepper For the vinaigrette: 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 1/2 cup olive oil 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper bunch baby arugula 8 ounces Bucheron goat cheese (this is aged goat cheese – regular goat cheese is a fine substitute) Method: 1. Preheat the oven to 400F. 2. Cut pumpkins in half and remove seeds and strings. Brush cut ends liberally with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 3. Roast for 45 min-1 hour, or until a fork pierces the flesh with no resistance. 4. Meanwhile, whisk together ingredients for the vinaigrette in a small bowl. …

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