Category Archives: Salads

Purslane salad with a creamy dressing and crushed potatoes

In the supermarket I noticed this little package of purslane. Time and time again I held the package in my hands but placed it back in the rack. Because I kept wondering what I could do wit purslane. Obviously it was mend to eat… but how did you eat it. Did it need steaming, bowling, mixing or mincing? I had absolutely no idea. At my recent trip to the supermarket I noticed that the purslane was very cheap so I finally bought a package and told myself “I would figure out a way to serve it later”. The internet suggest 101 different types of recipes, going from purslanesoup over baked purslane to purslane gratin. I also learned that in the US purslane not considered a vegetable and that in Indian it’s a very popular ingredient.
In Belgium it’s a little bit of a forgotten vegetable. Very popular with my grandparents, but the next generations forgot about it totally. Its hard to come by in the stores even. I silently chuckled when I saw the girl at the counter twist and turn my package like seven times to figure out what I actually was buying.
Eventually I gave the purslane my own twist and neglected all the very well meant internet advices. I served it in a lovely creamy salad dressing. And ow boy, did we love it! The leaves are thick and very meaty for a vegetable. They have a lovely light sour flavour that makes me think of a mixture between spinach, chard and endive.
I wont doubt a minute on my next grocery hunt to bring another package!
I served the salad with “Crashed hot potatoes” which is a recipe I got from Ree, the Pioneer woman. She is a wonderful cook and I am always enchanted by the lovely recipes and the way she writes.
The lovely, hot potatoes have crusty skin and a soft, fluffy filling. My kitchen smelled wonderful with all the fresh herbs I used from my herb garden.

INGREDIENTS PURSLANE SALAD1 package of purslane
cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
fresh parsley
fresh chives
2 tablespoons of mayonaise
3 tablespoons of sour cream
1 tablespoon of heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon of harissa (can easely be replaced by tabasco)
1 teaspoon paprikapowder
pepper and salt
Lets start with assembling the dressing for our purslanesalad.
Minced the garlic really fine with a good knife. Do the same with the fresh herbs.
To make life easier on myself I use the following method: take a large glass (type long drink) and place the herbs in the glass.
Now use a scissor the cut the herbs into really small pieces. Very easy and no flying pieces of herb in your kitchen!
Now add the mayonnaise and the sour cream to a small bowl and mix them together.
Then add the garlic, the fresh herbs, the harissa and the paprika powder.
Mix this all very well.
If the dressing is not runny enough you add a tablespoon of cream. (If you like runny salad dressings you can even add a little more.)
Now season this with salt an pepper.

INGREDIENTS POTATOES6 potatoes
3 tablespoons of olive oil
pepper and salt
2 stalks of rosemary
2 stalks of thyme

Purslanesalad 


Potatoes 

These potatoes are so simple and still so very delicious.
And there must be a million ways to combine them. I can imagine that they ll taste wonderful with some bacon or slice of cheddar cheese on top of them.
boil the potatoes (with their skins!) in some salted water. They don’t need to be cooked thoroughly. You just need to be able to prick them with your knife.
Drain them and let them rest for a couple of minutes.
In the mean time get an oven tray ready and drizzle it with some olive oil. (To make this even more delicious I used garlic infused olive oil.)
Now toss in the potatoes, just make sure they have plenty of space around them. Although it is cosy so close to each other, they need the room to go nice and crispy.
Now take your potato masher and press it very carefully down until each potato slightly mashes, now rotate the masher 90 degrees and mash it again.
You will see the potatoes burst open and from the little cracks in their skin the soft, fluffy interior will poor out.
Now brush the potatoes with some olive oil. Sprinkle some black pepper and sea salt on top of the potatoes en plunch in the fresh herbs.
Pop the tray in the oven for about 20 minutes on 175 degrees.

The recipe for the potatoes is from The Pioneer Woman.

classic goat cheese salad

On my dutch blog I posted this wonderful recipe for Italian style goat cheese salad. I already mentioned there that the hubby and I simply adore goat cheese. For this diner with the In laws I decided to go the classic tour with goat cheese and serve it up with some wonderful raspberry dressing.
My husband had been warnings me that he never had goat cheese while he lived at home and that his parents would be very surprised to find this on their plates. I could only hope it would be pleasantly surprised. It felt like a giant leap into the dark. Because goat cheese is something you have to like. It’s not a somewhere in the middle product. Or you love its delicate robust flavour or you detest it.
Apparently my in laws thought they were missing out on a big treat for all those years, because the goat cheese was a big hit! They were very enthusiastic about it and there plates were sparkling clean when I put them in the dishwasher. My mother in law phoned me a couple days later to ask where she could by goat cheese.

INGREDIENTS

Mixture of lettuce (I used lollo bionda, red oat leave lettuce and lamb’s lettuce)
1 pink lady apple
200 grams of salted bacon cubes
2 goat cheeses
roasted pumpkinseeds

2 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon of raspberry vinegar
red fruits to decorate the salad with. (On the picture you don’t see any fruits because my hubby was still assembling the plates!)

Place the goat cheeses in an oven (you can use your grill to if you like) for about 10 minutes on 170°.
In the meantime dice the apple and bake the bacon until crispy.
Now mix the honey with the raspberry vinegar and whisk till you get a runny, thick dressing.
Now assemble the plates, a little bit of lettuce, some apple cubes, some bacon, the cheese, sprinkle the pumpkinseeds and the red fruits. Drizzle with the dressing and serve it!

Salad bar!

On my Dutch blog I posted some picture of my New Years Eve menu with the promise I would share some of the recipes in the weeks that followed. I did not keep my promise until recently I was challenged by a Dutch Co-foodblogger (something like the daring cooks but in Dutch) to create some buffet dishes that would suit her birthday buffet.  All of a sudden I remembered my promise and the recipes I did not share with my readers. Shame on me!

New Years Eve we traditionally (I admit) have a gourmet, but I always present it with a large salad bar. I try to make everything as fresh as possible cause I detest the flavour of store bought salads and don’t even get me started on the price of those horrible things that pass for food. I admit, making your own salads takes a little time. I spend about 4 hours on my little salad bar. But the result was wonderful, the flavours intense and the crispness of the veggies was unforgettable.
Like you can see in the picture I served all the salads in aluminium boxes. Not very fancy, I know. But after 2 days of cooking I could not stand the thought of doing the dishes for another 2 days in a row. So to make life easier on myself I used these throw away babies! Very convenient, when a there was no salad left I just threw away the box. It made New Years Day a lot more relaxed for me.
Today I share the top 3 of the salads. The ones my guests loved the most!

INGREDIENTS SWEET AND SOUR COWL CAROTT SALAD

300 grams carrots (finely sliced by the food processor)
300 grams of white cowl (finely sliced by the food processor)
1 finely chopped onion
1 dl vinegar
1 dl sunflower oil
50 grams of sugar
1 teaspoon curcuma powder
 salt and pepper according to taste

INGREDIENTS FOR THE ORIENTAL PINEAPPLE MANGOSALAD

1 pineapple
1 mango
1 tablespoon grounded ginger
1 finely chopped red hot chilli pepper
3 tablespoons of lime juice
3 spring onions
1 tablespoon of finely chopped mint
pepper and salt according to taste

INGREDIENTS GREEK PASTASALAD WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES

100 grams orzo pasta
100 grams roasted and marinated bell pepper
100 grams roasted and marinated zucchini
50 grams roasted and marinated eggplant
1 dl olive oil
5 cl white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon of cumin powder
1 teaspoon of paprika powder
pepper and salt according to taste

SWEET AND SOUR COWL CARROT SALAD

Take a little cooking pot and put it on the fire. Add vinegar, sugar, peper, salt and curcuma to the pot and bring this to the boil. (Look out, don’t look straight into the pot. The vinegar will irritate your eyes.)
When the mixture starts to boil, turn down the fire and let it cool down at room temperature.

Now add the cowl, the carrots, the onions and the sunflower oil together in a big bowl.
Mix this well and dress it with the vinegar mixture.
Mix again and place this for at least 3 hours in the fridge.

ORIENTAL PINEAPPLE MANGO SALAD

Peal the mango and slice the meat into little cubes. (Try to catch as much juice as you can in a little bowl.)
Now skin the pineapple and slice it to in little cubes. (Again try to catch the juice.)
Now mix the pineapple and the mango and dress it with the juices you caught.
Now add some of the finely chopped spring onions to the fruit.
Mix in the finely chopped mint, the lime juice, the ginger and the red hot chilli pepper.
Place this for at least 2 hours in the fridge before serving.

 

 GREEK PASTASALAD WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES

You can if you like grill and marinate your own vegetables. But I took the easy and lazy way and used delicious marinated veggies from the local Italian deli. You can also use the store bought version from sacla, which is also very tasty.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package all dente and drain it with running cold water when cooked.
Mix in a little bowl the olive oil, white wine vinegar, pepper, salt, cumin and paprika powder together into a salad dressing.
Let the marinated vegetables drain a couple of minutes before cutting them into little cubes.
Now add the pasta, the vegetables and the dressing together in a large bowl and pop this into the fridge for at least 2 hours!