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Archive for the ‘Mizuna’ Category

Time to make lunch!

We both had busy days planned, so I made two salads, one to go and one for me to eat at home before heading out with the kids for the afternoon. I’ve been on a citrus kick, so I decided to make a lemon citronette. I added navel orange for a sweet citrus punch, as well as daikon, red onion, and lots of cilantro and mint to give it a little bit of an asian fusion feel. I’ve always loved those fresh vietnamese spring rolls, and cilantro plus mint is an easy winning flavor combo for me. The daikon and red bell bepper added necessary crunch, and leftover roasted chicken provided plenty of protein.

Ingredients for Recipe for Salad with Citrus, Chicken, Daikon, Cilantro, and Mint

A rainbow of ingredients!

Ingredients:
(Serves one as a meal.)
4 cups of mixed greens, including red leaf, mizuna, radicchio, and frisee.
1/2 roasted chicken breast, skin removed, chopped.
1 roasted chicken thigh, skin removed, meat torn into bite sized bits.
1/2 navel orange, peel sliced off, quartered, and sliced.
1 large mushroom.
1/2 red bell pepper.
1/2 persian cucumber, sliced into wheels.
8 thin slices of daikon (use a sharp cheese slicer or a mandoline), halved.
1 thin slice of red onion, quartered.
1 fistful of cilantro.
1 fistful of mint.
Zest of one lemon.

Lemon Citronette:
(Use only what you need. Refrigerate extra for a couple of days.)
3 T extra virgin olive oil.
1 T lemon juice.
1small clove of garlic, smashed and minced.
1/2 tsp maple syrup.
Pinch of salt, to taste.

I doubled all of the ingredients above to make two identical salads.

As usual, I prepared a lush bed of greens and zested my lemon over the top. I mixed up two batches of citronette in small jars, and I added the navel orange to the salad dressing so that it wouldn’t wilt the greens. Then I sliced the veggies, herbs, and chicken, layering it all over the greens. For the daikon, I like peeling it with a vegetable peeler and then using a really good cheese slicer (mine were all brought over from Norway in our suitcases) to get nice thin slices quickly. Once the salads were made, I nestled my husband’s jar of dressing in his bowl and snapped a quick picture.

Salad with Citrus, Chicken, Daikon, Cilantro and Mint Ready to Go

Two salads, one packed to go and one ready to stay home.

The Verdict:
Great meal salad. The chicken works well with the citronette, and the diverse veggies and herbs added color, crunch, and flavor.

Salad with Chicken, Daikon, Cilantro and Mint

Ready to eat!

Straightforward and tasty, but not elegant or refined. This is a fun, hearty meal. Enjoy!

Make it a Meal:
Done.

Pack it to Go:
Done.

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My husband loves spicy food. I can handle it, in small doses. He also recently requested “crazier” salads. I aim to please.

I bought opal basil and young ginger at the Berkeley Bowl recently, as well as daikon and mixed asian greens. I wasn’t sure exactly how the salad would come together, but I knew I wanted to play with some slightly more unusual ingredients. We both had busy days planned, so I made two matching lunch salads, packed to go. This was a perfect opportunity to really spice up his salad, and I did. Mine stayed mild enough for me to enjoy, and I made his salad hot hot HOT.

Recipe for Salad with Spicy Sesame Balsamic Vinaigrette, Candied Walnuts, Daikon, Young Ginger, and Opal Basil

Here are the ingredients, ready to face the blade.

Ingredients:
(Lunch salad, serves one.)
4 cups of mixed asian greens, including mizuna, tatsoi, baby mustard greens, and baby romaine.
1 fistful of opal basil, chopped.
4-5 cherry tomatoes, whole.
2 large mushrooms, sliced.
2 scallions, sliced.
1/2 cup candied walnuts.
1 knob of young ginger, peeled, sliced, and cut into small matchsticks.
9 slices of peeled daikon, halved. (Use a mandoline or a good cheese slicer to get thin slices.)
1/4 leftover roast chicken breast, cubed.
1/2 leftover roast chicken drumstick, shredded.

Spicy Sesame Oil Balsamic Vinaigrette:
(Use only what you need. Refrigerate extra for a couple of days.)
2 T extra virgin olive oil.
1 T dark sesame oil.
1 T balsamic vinegar.
1 small shallot, diced.
1 small clove garlic, smashed and minced.
1-3 hefty pinches of red chili flakes, to taste.
1/2 tsp maple syrup.
Pinch of salt, to taste.

Twin Salads with Spicy Sesame Balsamic Vinaigrette, Candied Walnuts, Daikon, Young Ginger, and Opal Basil

Twin salads ready to go!


I doubled all of the ingredients above and made two matching salads, complete with vinaigrette. I began by mixing up the vinaigrettes in little jars, giving him three big pinches of red chili flakes to my one very small pinch. I tasted my dressing, and just hoped for the best for him. Then I created a lush bed of greens for each of us, and layered all of my other ingredients in two glass bowls. I chopped and sliced and sliced and chopped, putting my knife down only to use a spoon to peel the ginger and to use a fine Norwegian cheese slicer to quickly slice the daikon into perfect, thin circles. Finally, both glass bowls were full of a colorful, hearty salad. I nestled the salad dressing jars in the larger containers, popped the lids on, and we each went off for the day.

Recipe for Salad with Spicy Sesame Balsamic Vinaigrette, Candied Walnuts, Daikon, Young Ginger, and Opal Basil Ready to Eat

Quick snapshot taken with my phone of the glossy beauty before I devoured it.


The Verdict:
This was really amazing. Like nothing I’ve tried before, at home or in a restaurant. Full of strong, punchy flavors that worked very well together. I liked the balsamic vinegar with the sesame oil, and the bits of ginger really sparkled. The walnuts and the daikon added crunchy joy, and the sweetness of the nuts and the tomatoes worked well with the spicy dressing and the peppery greens. It was crazy, in a good way. My husband loved the chili heat, and the explosive flavor. This is one that I’m sure I’ll revisit.

Recipe for Salad with Spicy Sesame Balsamic Vinaigrette, Candied Walnuts, Daikon, Young Ginger, and Opal Basil, To Go!

Notice the dressing jar nestled cozily in with the salad.


Make it a Meal:
Done.

Pack it to Go:
Done.

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We were all starving. Quick dinner time. I tossed a pot of rice on the stove, and pulled out what I needed for stir fried sesame chicken with shitake mushrooms and celery. I wanted a salad that would work with the stir fry, and a jar of hoisin sauce sitting in the door of the fridge caught my eye. I grabbed mint, daikon, scallions, mushrooms, and my hand picked mixed greens, which included a hefty amount of mizuna.

Recipe: Ingredients for Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette, Mizuna, Daikon, and Mint

The ingredients, ready to be transformed.

Ingredients:
(Side salad, serves four.)
6 cups of mixed greens, including mizuna, red leaf lettuce, radicchio, and frisee.
4 inch piece of daikon, sliced.
3-4 scallions, sliced.
2 large mushrooms, halved and sliced.
1 generous fistful of fresh mint, chopped.

Recipe: Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette, Mizuna, Daikon, and Mint, tossed

Up close look at all the beautiful colors.

Hoisin Rice Wine Vinaigrette with Ginger:
(Use only what you need. Refrigerate extra for a couple of days.)
1 T hoisin sauce.
1 T rice wine vinegar.
2 T extra virgin olive oil.
2 inch knob of young ginger, chopped.
1 clove of garlic, smashed and minced.
1/4 tsp maple syrup.
1 pinch of salt.

I mixed up the vinaigrette right away, tasting it as I went to make sure the flavors were working together. Then I prepared a bed of greens. I chopped all the vegetables and added them to the bowl. When the rice and stir fry were done cooking, my salad was ready to be dressed and tossed.

Recipe: Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette, Mizuna, Daikon, and Mint, plated

On the plate and ready to eat!

The Verdict:
This was incredible. It helps that I absolutely adore hoisin sauce with mint. The daikon added perfect crunch and that yummy peppery flavor, and the mushrooms soaked up the vinaigrette like the tasty little sponges that they are. It was a little too weird for the kids, but my husband and I ate every bit of it. Absolutely perfect.

Make it a Meal:
Add your protein of choice — I highly recommend leftover steak, sliced over the top of the salad. Beef and hoisin and mint together are mouth wateringly delicious. Simple chicken or grilled shrimp will also work well. For vegetarian options, I think tofu would be a great addition, or shelled edamame, or green beans, or snow peas.

Pack it to Go:
This one is easy. Salad in a large glass or stainless steel container with a tupperware-style lid, vinaigrette in a small jar. Shake vinaigrette, drizzle only as much as you need on the salad, and then fork toss or put the lid back on the large container and give it a few good shakes to combine. Eat and enjoy.

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Sometimes I want my salad simple, clean, maybe even elegant. Sometimes I want a hearty, filling salad. And sometimes? Sometimes, I just want a rioting mosh pit of flavors and textures. I was definitely in the mood for some crazy flavors to explode against each other in my mouth when I made this salad.

I was inspired by a bag of lime & chile mixed nuts from Trader Joe’s, and I wanted to play with that amazing hami melon again, and I had a perfectly ripe avocado sitting on the counter… I just kept adding vegetables and ginger and herbs and garlic and more and more to the cutting board, until I was satisfied. And then I got to work.

Ingredients for Salad with Chili Lime Nuts, Winter Melon, and Avocado Citronette

Bold, colorful, and soon to be delicious.

Ingredients:
(Serves one for lunch.)
3-4 cups of arugula and asian greens.
3 mushrooms, quartered.
5 radishes, quartered.
2 scallions, sliced.
2 T dried cranberries.
2 T lime & chile mixed nuts (from Trader Joe’s).
1 fistful cilantro, chopped.
1 fistful basil, chopped.
1/2 cup hami melon, cut into bite sized pieces.
Zest of one lemon.

Avocado Citronette:
(Use only what you need. Extra can be refrigerated for a day.)
1 T lemon juice.
3 T extra virgin olive oil.
1/2 avocado, spooned into the jar.
2 tsp fresh grated ginger.
1 small clove of garlic, smashed and minced.
1/2 tsp maple syrup.
Pinch of salt, to taste.

I was making two salads, so I doubled all of the ingredients listed above. I started by creating my beds of greens, and I zested a lemon over each container of greens. Then I juiced the lemon and made two batches of the citronette. I chopped and sliced and chopped some more, divvying the fruit, veggies, and herbs up between the two salads. Finally, I packed both up and looked forward to the wild party my mouth would have at lunch time.

Salad with Chile Lime Nuts, Winter Melon, and Avocado Citronette

Yummy crazy flavor explosion.

The Verdict:
This worked. Completely intense, and incredibly tasty. I loved the spicy nuts with the creamy avocado citronette. And I loved the crunchy radishes with the crisp melon. The mushrooms did what they always do — soaked up the dressing and exploded. It was good. Crazy good. My anticipation and excitement were so great, I completely forgot to take a picture of it before devouring it. You’ll just have to imagine it in all it’s glossily dressed splendor.

Make it a Meal:
Done.

Salad with Chile Lime Nuts, Winter Melon, and Avocado Citronette, Packed.

Packed to go.

Pack it to Go:
Done. As usual, pack your dressing in a small jar (large enough to hold the avocado) and make your salad in a large glass or stainless steel container with a good rubber lid. Add the citronette right before eating, fork-toss or put the lid back on your salad container and give it a few good shakes to help combine everything.

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Officially, it was lunchtime. We had just gotten back from the Berkeley Bowl, and while I unloaded bag after bag of produce, I set aside a few things that really appealed to me. I’d already nibbled on the thuringer salami with the kids in the checkout line, and I’d helped them polish off some sushi in the car on the way home, so I wasn’t wanting to make a whole meal for myself. Just a really fun, tasty side salad to fill me up with vegetable goodness. The cantaloupe-looking melon with an unusual name was my star, and the kids were happy to help me sample it. Really fresh greens, mint, a shallot, and a gorgeous lime, and I was ready to start chopping.

Winter Melon with Arugula and Mint

Ingredients, ready to go.

Ingredients:
3 cups arugula and mixed asian greens.
1/8 hami melon, sliced into bite sized pieces (substitute with cantaloupe).
1 fistful of mint, chopped.
Zest of one lime.

Citronette:
(Use only what you need. Refrigerate extra for several days.)
1 T lime.
3 T extra virgin olive oil.
1/2 tsp maple syrup.
1/2 shallot, finely diced.
1 pinch of salt, to taste.

I filled a glass bowl with the arugula and the mixed asian greens, then zested a lime over the greens. Once the zest was removed, I juiced the lime and measured a bit into a jar. I added the diced shallot and salt to the lime juice, and let that sit while I cut up the hami melon and chopped the mint. Then I added extra virgin olive oil and a touch of maple syrup to my citronette, shook it up, drizzled it over the salad, fork tossed, and enjoyed.

Winter Melon with Arugula and Mint

Here it is, crisp melon and tasty mint, ready to eat!

The Verdict:
This was really different. The bitter greens were perfect with the hami melon, which was incredibly light and crisp. It had a really unique texture — imagine an apple and a cantaloupe mating, and you’ll have an idea of what the hami has going for it. Perfect salad fruit. The lime and mint brought everything together, reminding me a bit of the fresh flavors of Vietnamese food. I think it would be fun to push this salad further, with some chili flakes, and to serve it with Pho.

Make it a Meal:
I liked how clean the flavors were, so I’d recommend keeping it a side salad, but if you really want to toss some protein in, I can see grilled chicken or steak working pretty well. Quinoa or shelled edamame might also work, if you need a veggie version.

Pack it to Go:
I think the hami is crisp enough to go in with the lettuce, though if it’ll be sitting in the fridge for a long time, the citronette jar might be a better place for it. As always, dressing gets its own little jar, salad ingredients go in a large glass or stainless steel container, and combine it all when you’re ready to eat. Toss it with your fork to help mix the dressing in, or do what my husband does and put the lid back on the salad container and give it a few good shakes.

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