Tag Archives: sides

Kale Salad with Shaved Apple, Candied Almonds and Romano

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This kale salad has become a legend among my friends after a self-described non-foodie made it during a girls getaway trip. We all should have known that any gal who can whip up a Spam/Kraft Mac ‘n cheese dinner can also deliver a delicate and elegant salad made of only unprocessed ingredients.

Kale is all the rage these days, so you may be able to find shredded kale pre packaged at your local Food Lion equivalent. But it’s so much easier and cheaper, honestly, to do it yourself. Slice off the thick rib, roll the leaf into a cigar and then slice as thinly as you can.

Kale is a hearty, toothsome green that only works raw if shredded into ribbons and tossed with a tenderizing vinaigrette.

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Kale Salad With Apple and Candied Almonds

Ingredients
– 2 T extra virgin olive oil
– Zest and juice of 1 lemon
– 2 c. Thinly sliced kale, ribs removed
– 1/4 c shredded Pecorino Romano cheese
Р1/4 c chopped candied almonds (sauté whole almonds in a pat of butter and couple spoonfuls of brown sugar over medium heat until coated. Cool on wax paper)
– 1 crisp apple, thinly sliced
– pinch cayenne
– salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together oil, zest and juice in your salad bowl. Add seasonings to taste. Add apple slices and coat. Add kale, almonds and cheese. Toss to combine.

The almonds offer a crunch and candied sweetness to the tart apple and lemon mixture. The Pecorino Romano adds a nuttiness and thickens the dressing so it nicely coats the leaves. I like to shave big shards of cheese over the top for garnish.

I have made this for numerous dinner parties and thanks to the robust kale, it does well as a leftover, too.

Cheers, friends!

Truffled Israeli Couscous with Bacon

Seasoned to Taste - Truffled Israeli Couscous with Bacon and Mushrooms

Israeli couscous is like a better orzo – pearls of chewy starch that mix deliciously with both rich and light flavors – from citrus and herbs to bacon, mushrooms and leeks.

I have to admit that the only recipe I used was the liquid-to-couscous measurements on the back of the package, adding in my cooked mushrooms, bacon and onion at the end. What I’ve written below is my best recollection – please adjust to your pleasing.

And of course, truffle oil is optional. I received some as a birthday gift, so I’ve been drizzling it on everything. A simple olive oil or infused oil would be tasty, too. Just a little drizzle to make the couscous sparkle when serving.

Truffled Israeli Couscous with Bacon

Ingredients:

  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 package or about 2 c. Israeli couscous
  • 4 c. chicken stock
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 2 c. sliced mushrooms (I usually use cremini or shiitake)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Truffle oil, to taste, or olive oil

In medium sauce pan, heat 2 T olive oil over medium, then add shallot. When it starts to brown, add couscous and stir to coat in oil. When couscous begins to toast, 2-3 min, add chicken stock and pinch salt and pepper. Stir, bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for 10-12 min, until water is absorbed and couscous is tender but not mushy.

Meanwhile, heat medium skillet over medium-high and saute bacon until crispy. Remove bacon to paper towels to drain and add sliced mushrooms to bacon fat in skillet. Saute until nicely browned (they will release a lot of moisture), 7-8 min.

When couscous is done, fluff it with a fork, then add mushrooms, bacon, scallions and salt/pepper to taste. Transfer to serving platter and drizzle with truffle oil.

Seasoned to Taste - Truffled Israeli Couscous with Bacon and Mushrooms

Yum! It’s almost hearty enough for it’s own meal and the leftovers were my lunch the following day.

To actually make this a meal, I would serve the couscous over a bed of your favorite greens and place a soft-cooked egg on top, so you can break the yolk and let it spill over, creating a creamy sauce. Oh man, that sounds good!

When I made this, it was a side dish for some grilled sausages on toasted baguette with a chimichurri sauce:

Seasoned to Taste - Truffled Israeli Couscous with Bacon and Mushrooms

What a delightful way to spend a weekend day – just cooking and eating with friends who live within walking distance. I can’t tell you how important it is to live in a close-knit neighborhood, for these kind of spontaneous lunch or dinner parties.

Enjoy, friends, xoxo