Tuesday, April 27, 2010

reader request

Photo courtesy of Real Simple

Look, when you talk (via comments, emails, facebook messages, texts, bbm's, passed notes, whatever), I'm not only eagerly listening but genuinely excited to hear what you say. Especially when it's a request. It gives me the opportunity to explore an area I might not have initially ventured towards and for me, that's thrilling. Call me a loser (actually, don't you dare) but I get my adrenaline fix from a recipe or meal planning challenge. I mean, it is what it is.

My friend, Katie, has been looking for more salad ideas that don't involve…cucumbers. Hey, to each his or her own. And I suppose my constant push for making tzatziki on a semi-weekly basis had finally just gotten to Katie. And Katie? I understand. I need to be reminded of my own redundancies.

Once again, this month's Real Simple to the rescue. A watercress salad with beets and feta sounds pretty nice to me. As does an arugula salad with green beans and radishes. And a minty bulgar salad with salmon and…cucumbers (the latter part can most definitely be omitted) is obviously my favorite pick of the bunch. I swear I didn't add this last one in to shove cucumbers in your face, Katie. I just couldn't not include it! If anything, I added it to prove that even if one of the ingredients listed doesn't float your boat, don't let that scare you away. Don't put it in or subsitute it with something else. But try one or all of them and let me know how you like 'em. Here are the recipes:

Watercress Salad with Beets and Feta
Serves 4
Recipe Courtesy of Real Simple

2 bunches of watercress, thick stems removed (6 cups)
1 15-ounce can whole beets, drained and thinly sliced
4 to 5 tablespoons Lemon and Shallot Vinaigrette (recipe follows) or my White Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 cup crumbled Feta (about 2 ounces)
In a large bowl, toss the watercress and beets with the vinaigrette. Sprinkle with the Feta.

Lemon and Shallot Vinaigrette
Recipe Courtesy of Real Simple

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
1 shallot finely chopped
Kosher slat and black pepper

In a small bowl or jar, whisk or shake together the oil, lemon juice, honey, shallot, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Arugula Salad with Green Beans and Radishes
Serves 4
Recipe Courtesy of Real Simple

1 large bunch arugula (6 cups)
1 small fennel bulb, cored and very thinly sliced
4 ounces raw green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1-1/4 cups)
6 radishes cut into wedges
6 to 8 tablespoons Creamy Parmesan Dressing (recipe follows)

In a large bowl, toss the arugula, fennel, green beans, and radishes with the dressing.

Creamy Parmesan Dressing
Recipe Courtesy Real Simple

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Kosher salt and black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, parmesan, sour cream, vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Minty Bulgar Salad with Salmon and Cucumbers
Serves 4
Recipe Courtesy of Real Simple

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 pond skinless salmon fillet
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup bulgar
2 Kirby cucumbers, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (Katie, you could substitute anything green in here, really. Spinach, avocado, celery, whatever you'd like)
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Season the salmon with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook until opaque throughout, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate until cool, about 15 minutes. Using a fork, flake the salmon into large pieces.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the bulgar with 2 cups boiling water. Let stand until tender, about 25 minutes.

Drain the bulgar and return it to the bowl. Toss with the cucumbers, parsley, mint, onion, lemon juice, the remaining tablespoon of oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Gently fold in the salmon.

Let this be a reminder to any of you lurkers (Gary V owns that term) that read but don't like or want to comment for whatever reason. If you want something, I'm more than happy to deliver. Always. Because if you guys are game, I'd love to do a weekly reader request post. So hit me with your requests! I'm ready for ya. I think.

1 comment:

katie said...

Thank you a million times over! These look amazing. I've actually never tried beets—I know, I know, the horror! Everyone tells me I would love them. You may have just inspired me to get out my can opener and experiment!


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