Beet and Roquefort Salad with a Honey Dressing

 

Beet and Roquefort Salad with a Honey Dressing

Summers in Ticino are becoming increasingly warmer, and my diet lately has been made of salads, spare ribs (the only meat I still truly enjoy), and more salads. Continue reading

I’ve been consuming loads of vegetables with chickpeas, beans, and lentils, but for once I wanted something with a stronger taste, and this beet and Roquefort salad with a honey dressing is the result. The sweetness of the honey dressing, and the beetroot contrast the powerful taste of Roquefort. For the texture I dry roasted a few buckwheat grains, with the arugula they make up the crunchy side of the recipe, while for the softness there’s the cooked root and the cheese. This is something I would easily serve during a dinner with friends, either as a starter, or as a side.

Beet and Roquefort Salad with a Honey Dressing

Beet and Roquefort Salad with a Honey Dressing

 

Beet and Roquefort Salad with a Honey Dressing

 

Recipe for 3-4

Prep time: 15 min

 

Ingredients:

4 tbsp. buckwheat

200 g peeled cooked beetroots

50 g arugula

60 g Roquefort

 

Dressing:

1.5 tbsp. runny honey

1.5 tbsp. white wine vinegar

1.5 tbsp. rapeseed oil

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

In a pan toast the buckwheat on a medium fire for 4-5 min, shake pan regularly. Remove from pan once they’re crunchy and fragrant.

Cut the beetroot into chunks of about 2 cm. On a serving plate, alternate the arugula leaves, the beetroot pieces, the buckwheat grains, and crumble the Roquefort on top.

In a bowl, mix the ingredients for the dressing, and drizzle on top of the salad.

Quinoa Kale and Edamame Salad with an Avocado Dressing

Quinoa Kale and Edamame SaladSummer time and cooking is easy… with the hot weather and the wide range of fresh produce, we don’t want to spend too long over a hot stove so cold and healthy meals are always welcome during the summer months. Continue reading

Whether you’re making a barbecue, a picnic or a usual lunch, this recipe will fill you up with valuable nutrients such as fibres (from kale, avocados and edamame) and proteins (from the quinoa).

Some components of this salad can be made ahead so when the time to assemble it comes, it will only take a moment to put together; for instance you can cook the quinoa and the kale a day ahead. On Sunday I’ll enjoy a day of relax and I plan to make a last healthy meal before my thirty-… birthday and I’ve decided to make this salad again and serve it either with some tofu or a couple of eggs. Afterwards I’ll dive into a one of the books I’m reading, under the sun, looking like a glazed doughnut, smothered in 30spf sun cream… I’ll need the relax as the following day I’ll be in contact with my inner child in an acrobatic park. 🙂

Quinoa Kale and Edamame Salad

 

Quinoa Kale and Edamame Salad with an Avocado Dressing

 

Recipe for 4 as a side 

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 15 min

 

Ingredients:

120 g steamed edamame

120 g wilted kale

120 g quinoa

1 spring onion

1 not too large avocado

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. sherry vinegar

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Bring to a boil the quinoa in two times its volume of salted water. Simmer for a about 15 min. or until the grain will have softened. Once done set aside.

Slice the kale into about 1 cm strips and finely slice the spring onion.

Remove the flesh of the avocado, place it in a salad bowl and mash it with a fork. Add the olive oil and the sherry vinegar, season with salt and pepper and mix.

To the bowl add the quinoa, edamame, kale, spring onion and mix.

Avocado and Roasted Tomato Grain Salad

Avocado Roasted Tomato Grain SaladNow, this is a dish I would never have thought my dog would taste. As a pup and for years she has been so difficult with food but either my cooking has improved or she has become more of a glutton. Hopefully both theories are right. Continue reading

I love the colour of vegetables and find they always manage to make any dish livelier. In addition to the avocado and the cherry tomatoes, I added some grains to this Avocado & Roasted Tomato Grain Salad to bulk it up a little and make it more nutritious. Although the recipe portions are for four people as a starter or as a side dish, one can easily make a nice meal for two out of it.

Avocado and Roasted Tomato Grain Salad

Recipe for 4
Prep time: 15 min.
Cook time: 25-30 min.

Ingredients:
200 g amaranth (alternatively use quinoa, bulgur or cuscus)
300 g cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp. olive oil (+ 1.5 tbsp. to drizzle on the tomatoes)
2 tbsp. Sherry vinegar
1 small red onion
1 avocado
1 small bunch coriander leaves
Salt and pepper

Recipe:
Heat oven at 200°C.
In a pan bring to a boil the amaranth with two times its volume in water. Let simmer for 15-20 min or until water has all been absorbed. Once done, set aside.
Meanwhile cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place them cut side up on an oven paper lined baking tray. Drizzle the olive oil on the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15.20 min. Once they are done remove from the oven and leave to cool a little.
Prepare the dressing by mixing the sherry vinegar, the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Finely chop the red onion and the coriander leaves. Cut the avocado in two, remove the pit, scrape out the inside with the help of a tablespoon and cut it into pieces of about 2 cm per side.
In a bowl combine the amaranth, chopped onion, coriander leaves, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and dressing and gently toss. Alternatively save a little dressing to drizzle over the salad at serving moment.

Cauliflower Chickpea Salad

Cauliflower Chickpea Salad
I don’t know about you but I go through periods where I love eating healthy food and other times when I have a passionate attraction towards anything greasy, chocolaty or very cheesy. Continue reading

As you can see from this recipe, I am now in the first phase. Since the days are not as warm as before, when I make a salad I like to have something warm in it so in this recipe I baked some cauliflower florets. To make this salad I used flavours that pair well with the cauliflower: lemon juice, almonds and parsley. This salad can be easily made ahead and the ingredients are easy to find all year round.

 

 

Cauliflower Chickpea Salad

 

Recipe for 3-4 as a side dish

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 18-20 min.

 

Ingredients:

280 g cauliflower florets

250 g cooked chickpeas

2 tbsp. finely chopped onion

2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley

3 tbsp. olive oil

1.5 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. almonds

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 230°C.

If the cauliflower florets are too large cut them into smaller pieces and place them in a baking tin. Drizzle a tbsp. olive oil on top and season the florets with salt and pepper, toss to coat evenly. Bake the cauliflower for 18-20 min tossing once or twice during the process.

Meanwhile prepare the dressing by mixing the lemon juice with 2 tbsp. olive oil, a few drops of water, salt and pepper to taste.

Roughly chop the almonds.

Finely chop the onion.

Once the cauliflower is ready, remove it from the oven and let it cool a moment before roughly chopping it.

Place the chickpeas in a bowl with the cauliflower, onions, almonds, and parsley, drizzle the dressing on top, toss and rectify taste with salt and pepper if needed. Serve.

Peach, Blue Cheese and Arugula Salad with Caramelised Walnuts

Peach, Blue Cheese and Arugula Salad with Caramelised Walnuts So after a week in the very hot southern Spain I’m back and filled with motivation and excitement: – 1 month and 15 days to the wedding! Continue reading

The good thing about being back is that even if it’s too hot for Switzerland standards, it’s still cooler than in Marbella. Nevertheless the temperatures call for fresh recipes where you don’t have to stand too long in front of the kitchen plates. In this recipe I combined blue cheese and peaches because the work really well when paired. In addition I decided to add some caramelised walnuts for the sweet crunch effect. I found a really easy and quick recipe on natashaskitchen.com. Since I didn’t want to over do it with the sugar, I changed a little the proportions and it turned out just fine.

 

Peach, Blue Cheese and Arugula Salad with Caramelised Walnuts

 

Peach, Blue Cheese and Arugula Salad with Caramelized Walnuts

 

Recipe for 4 as a starter or a side dish or 2 as a main

Prep time 10 min

Cook time 5 min

 

Ingredients:

2 white peaches

50 g walnuts

50 g sugar

½ tbsp. sugar

100 g arugula

140 g Gorgonzola

3 tbsp. olive oil

1.5 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat a non-stick pan on a medium fire and add the butter, sugar and walnuts. Cook for five minutes stirring often. Once the sugar has caramelised and is a nice brown colour, transfer the walnuts to a piece of parchment paper, spread them around and let them cool. Once they will have cooled roughly chop them with a large knife.

Cut the peaches in half and then into quarters before de-pitting them. Cut each quarter into three segments.

Cut the Gorgonzola into 1.5-2 cm pieces.

Prepare the dressing by mixing the olive oil with the balsamic vinegar then add salt and pepper to taste.

In a bowl place the arugula and pour in about ¾ of the balsamic dressing. Toss until evenly coated and place in a serving dish. On top distribute the peach sections and the Gorgonzola. Drizzle the remaining dressing and sprinkle the caramelised walnuts. Serve asap.

 

Roasted Bell Pepper Caprese Salad

Roasted Bell Pepper Caprese SaladLately I’m in a mood for coloured food: red, yellow, bright green. Just by looking at dishes with fresh and vibrant ingredients I feel energised. Continue reading

So in case I continue in a colourful vibe, you’ll know why… Generally I don’t ear caprese salad when I go out because I’m quite difficult with it. First I hate it when you feel pain in your teeth because the tomatoes come straight out of the fridge. Second, I like my tomatoes very thinly sliced for a caprese. To give this classic a twist I used bell peppers, they have a sweet taste I like to pair with mozzarella. This simple recipe is great for occasions such as summer dinners and barbecues and you can also prepare it a few hours in advance to save you time for other things.

Roasted Bell Pepper Caprese Salad Roasted Bell Pepper Caprese Salad

 

Roasted Bell Pepper Caprese Salad

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15-20 min

Cook time: 40 min

 

Ingredients:

2 red bell peppers

2 yellow bell peppers

300 g mozzarella

2 tbsp. sherry vinegar

4 tbsp. olive oil

1.5 tbsp. chopped basil leaves

1.5 tbsp. roughly chopped almonds (preferably dry roasted)

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Preheat oven at 200°C.

Place the bell peppers (stem on the side) in a baking tray lined with aluminium foil. Bake in the oven for 40 min, turning them on opposite side after 20 min. Once the bell peppers are charred and seem to collapse remove them from the oven. Wait until you can handle them before peeling the skin (I actually like if there’s a little skin left so I didn’t bother peeling everything off). To do this cut the bell peppers from top to bottom and lay them out flat, remove the stem and the seeds. With a knife or your hands remove the skin from each pepper. Then cut them along where the membrane is and slice horizontally into 2-3 pieces.

Slice the mozzarella into ½ cm thick pieces.

On a single serving, or on four small plates, overlap a piece of red bell pepper, then the yellow bell pepper then the mozzarella. Continue until the ingredients are finished.

In a bowl mix the olive oil, the sherry vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Stir the dressing and drizzle it on top of the salad. Finally sprinkle over the almonds and basil.

Aubergine Wedges with a Rich Wheat Salad

Aubergine Wedges with a Rich Wheat Salad 2.2 These Aubergine Wedges with a Rich Wheat Salad are the kind of dish I love making, eating and sharing. Continue reading

The more I cook the more I notice my love for making veggie filled dishes. On the other hand I also notice that my sweet baking skills have room for improvement… Anyway, since I haven’t seen much sun lately I wanted to encourage warm days by making something with an eye towards summer. Aubergines and salad to me scream warm and sunny days. With the wedges I made the wheat salad by adding ingredients that pair well with aubergines: tomatoes, walnuts, chilli and a little garlic. Easy and healthy, I hope you’ll like it as much as I did.

 

Aubergine Wedges with a Rich Wheat Salad Aubergine Wedges with a Rich Wheat Salad

 

Aubergine Wedges with a Rich Wheat Salad

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15-20 min

Cook time: 25-30 min

 

Ingredients

2 small aubergines (stem trimmed) – about 500 g

160 g tomatoes – the meatier the better

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

1-2 cloves garlic

Chilli powder

2 tbsp. dry roasted coarsely chopped walnuts

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

1.5 tbsp. lemon juice

160 g wheat (I used the precooked kind)

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 200°C.

Cut the aubergines in half lengthways, and then cut each half into four equal sized wedges. Brush each piece with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place the wedges (skin side down) on a parchment lined baking tray and cook for 25-30 min in the oven. If the top gets too dark turn the wedges on one side and flip them after a few minutes.

Meanwhile cook the wheat according to package instructions (about 10 min.) in salted water. Drain if needed once done.

Chop the tomato into about ½ cm pieces and using a garlic crusher crush the cloves (alternatively finely chop it)

Prepare the dressing by mixing the lemon juice with 3 tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper.

In a bowl combine the cooked wheat, chopped tomatoes, garlic, parsley, walnuts and dressing.

Place the aubergine wedges on a serving plate(s) and add the wheat salad on top. Serve

 

Bacon & Radish Salad

Bacon Radish Salad Yesterday was my weekly lunch with my mother and since we were out doing groceries till later than usual I wanted to make something quick for the two of us, so I prepared this recipe while we sipped some wine and enjoyed a little smoked salmon on the kitchen counter. Continue reading

The glass of wine and salmon has over the last couple of years become a mother daughter ritual, and I love it. Usually I cook very little with bacon but for a quick a tasty dish, it’s always a great addition. While we were grocery shopping, I found locally produced organic radishes and they just went great with this salad as it added colour, texture and a slightly spicy taste to the recipe.

Bacon Radish Salad

 

 

Bacon & Radish Salad

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 7-9 min

Cook time: 5 min

 

Ingredients

200 g bacon

200 g radishes

100 g salad leaves

1-2 spring onion (white part only)

2-3 tbsp. pumpkin seeds

1.5 tbsp. white wine vinegar

3 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Cook the bacon until crispy and nicely browned. Remove from heat and place on some kitchen paper. Cut the bacon into 2-3 cm pieces.

Finely slice the spring onion(s) and the radishes.

In a bowl make the dressing by mixing the vinegar and olive oil with salt and pepper to taste. Add the radishes and spring onions, mix and add the salad leaves and the pumpkin seeds. Toss all together and if using a serving plate transfer the salad. Top with the bacon and serve with some crusty bread.

Chicken & Blue Cheese Salad

Chicken & Blue Cheese SaladI don’t know about you but the transition from winter to spring is always a challenge for me. Between mood and energy swings, I never know how the day will turn out. One solution I found to help me was to simplify everything, even my cooking. This is why I made this straightforward chicken and blue cheese salad with celery. Using leftover chicken, I found this recipe to be versatile as I can spread it on a sandwich for a quick lunch or serve it on toasts for an aperitif or eat it the way it is with some green salad. It’s a refreshing recipe, which is ready in no time; it’s creamy but with a crunch coming from the celery.

Chicken & Blue Cheese Salad

 

Chicken & Blue Cheese Salad

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10-15 min

 

Ingredients:

280 g cooked chicken

140 g celery stalks

100 g mascarpone

100 g Gorgonzola

80 g sour cream

3-4 tbsp. chopped chives

1 tbsp. walnut oil

Pepper

Either 4 buns or some sliced bread

 

Recipe:

Cut the chicken into thin strips and finely slice the celery.

In a bowl mix together the mascarpone, Gorgonzola and sour cream. To it, add the chicken celery, walnuts, chives pepper. Mix all together and either use it for an aperitif on some bread or as a flavourful sandwich filling.

Orange Arugula and Pistachio Wheat Salad

Orange Arugula and Pistachio Wheat Salad 1.1 Since the beginning of the year I have been eating more or less lightly. I feel encouraged to continue and that’s why I have come up with this Orange Arugula and Pistachio Wheat Salad. Continue reading

After a milestone birthday party this last Saturday, I had not energy on Sunday to stand for too long in the kitchen but I wanted something light and fresh in taste. Unfortunately this year seem like the fondue and other Swiss melted cheese meals are not present. I know I have already talked about the weather in my last post but our environment is so important, and I am worried about such high temperatures and crazy weather. Last year, despite not really having summer weather, it was recorded as one the warmest (if not the warmest) years. At least the warm weather continues for the next few weeks, being outside celebrating carnival time will be more enjoyable… especially when, like some of my friends, it’s almost a celebration marathon: each weekend, from Friday to Sunday plus the week of the carnival of Bellinzona.

 

 

Orange Arugula and Pistachio Wheat Salad

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 10 min

 

Ingredients:

300 g precooked wheat

3 organic blood oranges

2 generous tbsp. chopped parsley

2 handfuls arugula

3 tbsp. olive oil

1.5 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

4 tbsp. roughly chopped pistachios

Boiling water

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Trim the extremities of the blood orange. With a knife peel the skin of the orange following the contour with the blade of your knife. Cut the orange segments by slicing along the membrane of the fruit. Cut each segment in half. Repeat with the other oranges.

Bring two times the volume of wheat in salted water to a boil. Add the wheat along with the orange peel of 1 orange. After 10 minutes remove the pan from the fire, drain if necessary and remove the orange peels.

While the wheat is boiling make the dressing by mixing the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Add the dressing to the wheat while it’s still warm. If you want you can either let the wheat cool or serve it straight away (with the rest of the ingredients of course).

In a bowl mix the wheat with the parsley, the oranges and the arugula. Sprinkle the pistachios on top and serve.