Strawberries at last! Strawberry panzanella, inspired by eat in my kitchen

IMG_0711

Walking through the market, looking for some supper inspiration after a long day, my eyes fell upon the first of the strawberries. My heart skipped. I think I started missing fresh strawberries from the moment they went out of season last summer! I was feeling too lazy to bake a pie and I can’t say strawberries inspire a proper supper. Then I remembered the last eat in my kitchen post, which was a strawberry-berry panzanella salad. I’d never made panzanella and as usual, love a challenge discovering new recipes. So, without following Meike Peters recipe, I imagined what my salad could look like. I have arugula growing, I could stop by the cheese chop and buy some mozzarella di buffala, grill my sourdough bread cut up into croutons and top it with a balsamic reduction. And by George, it was lovely! A light summer supper for a hot summer evening, bursting with berry flavour 🙂 I am one happy camper!!!

IMG_0708IMG_0709IMG_0712IMG_0719IMG_0721

RECIPE

1 small pint strawberries, hulled and quartered

1 small bunch arugula, roughly chopped in halves

1/2 muzzarella di buffala

Balsamic reduction

4-5 leaves, thinly sliced + more to garnish

2 cups cubed stale bread, lightly oiled, salted and grilled

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

To make the balsamic reduction, place 1 cup balsamic vinegar in small saucepan and simmer on low heat until reduced to a thick syrup. Place lettuce and strawberries in bowl with sliced basil and mix. Top with slices of mozzarella and drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Top with basil to garnish and serve. Serves one. Enjoy!

IMG_0735

A quick and easy dinner – Salmon, mango & avocado salad

IMG_0706Sometimes there are just too many things to do. Too much work, too many errands, too many projects. That’s when imagination is key, because despite being busy, I still want to eat well. And I still want it to be good. I am always amazed at the last-minute, 15 minutes or less dinners I come up with. When friends or colleagues say that they’re just too busy to cook, I have to scratch my head. Build up a repertoire of easy go-to recipes and from time to time, improvise. You’ll be surprised at what you come up with! The weather isn’t quite what it usually is at this time of year, however I really crave fresh fruits and veggies. Although these are not local, avocado, mango with tomato and basil really work well together and as a side to salmon, well it’s just really delicious!

RECIPE

120 gr. salmon filet,

1/2 avocado, thinly sliced

1/2 mango, peeled and thinly sliced

5-6 cherry tomatoes, cut in halves

Thinly sliced red onion

Basil, cilantro and mint, minced

1 green onion, thinly sliced, for garnishing

1/2 lime

Mexican chili

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Salt & pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat skillet on medium and add sesame oil to coat. Salt salmon fillet and place skin side up and cook until browned (3-4 minutes). Turn on other and cook a further 2-3 minutes or until salmon is cooked but just pink in center. Remove from heat. In a serving bowl, add avocado, mango, tomatoes and herbs. Season with salt, pepper and mexican chili. Toss to mix and top with salmon. Garnish with green onion slices and a squeeze of lime juice. Serves 1. Bon appétit!

IMG_0698IMG_0704IMG_0705

 

Rhubarb compote for some spring inspiration!

IMG_0658I truly wish this weather would clear up. Montreal is such a sunny beautiful city and spring is spectacular. This spring however has been so grey and rainy… I want to feel sun on my skin, have a picnic in the park, cocktails on a terrasse, eat supper on my terrasse. I’m sure you get the picture! And I guess I should be grateful that I’m not affected like some in the area have been with flooding. Still, don’t we all deserve some summer weather after going through a long winter? Plus, I’m concerned how this affects local farming 😦 Here’s to hoping summer hits us with its sunny skies and steamy heat!

RECIPE

1 bunch rhubarb, pink parts of the stalk sliced 1 inch thick

1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

IMG_0629

INSTRUCTIONS

Place rhubarb, sugar and vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan and cover. Let sit for 1 hour or so until rhubarb is soft. Turn on stove to medium and heat rhubarb mixture until simmering. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir occasionally until mixture resembles a compote. Remove from heat and let cool. Store in airtight container in fridge up t 1 month. Serve on ice cream, yogurt or alone. Enjoy!

IMG_0659IMG_0653IMG_0660

Quick comfort food – Spanish Tortilla

IMG_0588

If nothing else, I always have eggs in the fridge, garlic, onions and potatoes in the pantry. So when I’m having a hectic day or week with no time to go to the market or to cook and am just too tired to have any kind of imagination, but I still want to eat well (i.e. not take away or frozen dinners) a tortilla is one of my go to’s. In less than 15 minutes, I’ve got a delicious omelet and to boot my hunger & palate are satisfied!

RECIPE

2-3 eggs, beaten

1 small potato, thinly sliced

1 small shallot or 1/2 of a small onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

Olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat enough olive oil to sauté potatoes in a skillet. Add potatoes and cook, occasionally stirring until browned. Add garlic and onion and continue cooking until onion becomes glassy, season with salt and pepper. Beat eggs in a mixing bowl and season with salt. Add potato mixture just to blend and return to well oiled skillet and lower heat to medium-low. Carefully lift sides with a silicon spatula and lift pan so that runny eggs go underneath. Continue doing so until top of omelet has no more runny egg. Cover and allow to set for 3-4 minutes. Carefully slide omelet on a plate and invert back into skillet to cook other side. Cover and cook for a further 5 minutes.  Plate omelet and allow to cool before serving. Serves 1, enjoy!

IMG_0681IMG_0675

Rhubarb galette for a weekday treat!

And now begins the season of simple desserts, made from beautiful fruit 🙂 I can hear myself justifying my sweet tooth with the excuse that’s it’s a portion of fruit, after all!!! Thank God for that 🙂 So walking through the market, seeing the beautiful stalks of rhubarb, I knew what I’d be making immediately. A simple, rustic galette. Galette’s are just an unfussy pie, all you need to do is roll out the pie dough, place it in your pie dish, place filling in the center and roughly fold over the dough. You also use less dough than in a classic pie, 1/2 less that is, which if you’re trying not to eat in excess, is fantastic. A reasonable portion is less than 150 cals, so no reason to deny yourself a little pleasure  (I’m pretty sure pleasure counts towards satisfaction which equals to less crap consumed!) 🙂

RECIPE

DOUGH, Pie dough

FILLING

1 small bunch rhubarb, cut in 1/2 inch pieces

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon flour

Juice of half a lemon

IMG_0627IMG_0628IMG_0629

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix rhubarb with maple syrup and flour. Roll out dough into a rough circle and place in pie dish or cast iron pan. Place rhubarb filling in center of dough and roughly fold over dough. Brush dough with milk or egg wash, sprinkle sugar on crust. Bake in oven for 45 minutes or until golden. Makes 6-8 portions. Can be refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for up to one month. Enjoy!

IMG_0639

IMG_0649IMG_0648