“Literally Everything” Salad!

 

Insalata Ricca

Recipe n. 44

Here is a delicious salad I often make when I want to eat a nutritious meal,
which will also satisfy my appetite.

It’s a celebration of colors and food at the same time.
You can follow my recipes as it is, or getting creative and add more (or less) of your favorite vegetables.
I like a good mix of roasted and raw veggies.
Even young kids will not resist this dish as the sweetness coming from the apple and the butternut squash will conquer their palates…don’t’ be surprised if they will ask for more!

Ingredients:

  • A mix of greens as a base for the salad (I like a nice mix of arugula and lettuce and tiny sliced kale)

  • 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa

  • Roasted butternut squash or sweet potatoes

  • Roasted shallots

  • Roasted white cauliflower florets

  • Sauteed Shitake mushrooms

  • 1 apple  peeled, seeded and cut in small cubes

  • 1 small shaved watermelon radish

  • 2 Tbsp of toasted white and black sesame seeds

Dressing:

  • 1tbs of liquid honey

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • pinch of salt and black pepper

 You can roast the vegetables ahead of time and then let them cool down before assembling the salad with all the other ingredients. I like to start with the raw greens as a base, then the quinoa, then the roasted vegetables and then the apple. Prepare the dressing, shake it well. Pour it on top of the salad and mix well. Garnish with shaved watermelon radish and toasted sesame seeds.

Insalata Caprese

Recipe n. 42

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It’s a classic. Mostly a Summer dish, served as an appetizer or as a salad to accompany another dish.  Even if the ingredients are not in season yet, I decided to publish it now because I was asked by one of my sons’s teachers to visit their classroom to do a ‘cooking’ demonstration about a traditional Italian food.

I picked this dish because it is easy to assemble and it doesn’t require any cooking. It’s also delicious and resembles the colors of the italian flag!

There are many legends around the origins of the Caprese salad. One of the most accreditated stories goes back to after world war II, when a laborer, who was very patriotic liked to include the colors of the italian flag in his ‘panino’ for his lunch break. Legend also has it that this dish appeared during dinner around 1920 in a hotel in Capri (the famous island off the coast of Naples) to please Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the poet and founder of the futuristic cultural movement.

One more story includes the Egyptian Sovereign Farouk.  In 1951, he went to visit the island of Capri with his family. It was a very sunny afternoon and he requested to have a quick meal prepared to satisfy his hunger. On that occasion he had the chance to taste a crunchy sandwich with pomodoro, mozzarella e basilico.  He fell in love when tasting these three fresh local ingredients together!

The dish was improved when the traditional mozzarella  from cows started to be replaced with bufala (buffalo) mozzarella, a dairy product typical to Campania.No matter where and when it was exactly created, this dish has become a signature Italian dish around the world.

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Reference:
http://www.italyheritage.com/traditions/food/insalata-caprese.htm

RAW CABBAGE SALAD with peanuts and poppy seeds –

Insalata di cavolo cappuccio con arachidi e semi di papavero

 Recipe n. 37

It’s finally Summer and it’s time to eat more raw and refreshing food. You might have noticed already  that your body is not craving for earthy soups or stews and needs to eat less fat in general, while instead  you are now craving for juicy and raw food, especially on those very hot days. Your body knows what is right for it and when to ask for a specific food.

For me this is the time of year I eat more salads. I like both simple salads dressed with a nice vinaigrette or more elaborate ones with many different ingredients in them. The salad I’m going to present to you today is definitely one of my favorite salads and it’s definitely  NOT a nut-free  salad, so watch out for those who have a nut allergy! 

You can eat it alone:  your hunger will be satisfied  with no need to add extra calories from other food.  It is a perfect meal for vegetarians and for all salad lovers!

 

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Ingredients

  • 1/4  of white cabbage head and a 1/4  of red cabbage head, shredded (I used only the white cabbage, but it looks more colorful when you add the 2 cabbages together)

  • 2 to 3 tbsp of sesame oil  (toasted or plain)

  • 1 or 2 handfuls of peanuts

  • cilantro

  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds

  • salt and pepper

 

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Place the shredded cabbage in a large bowl, pour the sesame oil on top and be sure to coat the cabbage well, add the peanuts, poppy seeds, sea salt and pepper and finish up with cilantro leaves on top ( I like to add a generous amount of cilantro leaves to this salad as they are not just supposed to garnish, but they are one of the main ingredients of the salad itself ).