Beet and Gherkin Salad

Beet and Gherkin Salad - trust in kim

This beautiful salad comes to us from my new favourite cookbook, Mamushka: A Cookbook by Olia Hercules. The book is a beautiful and delicious-looking collection of recipes from Ukraine and Eastern Europe. The author has a great love for vegetables, so there are many recipes where you can get your fill of them, along with lots of meaty recipes.

This salad is very popular in Russia, although typically made with boiled vegetables rather than roasted. I love roasted vegetables, so a salad made with them was a must-try for me. It is simple, with just some salt, pepper and unrefined sunflower oil for added flavour. I was able to find a bottle of unrefined sunflower oil at Whole Foods; it has a nice nutty flavour. If you can’t find it, or don’t like it, you can substitute with canola oil.

The only change I will made to this recipe is the amount of red onion. Because I found the onion had too strong a bite, I will only add a few tablespoons when I make this again. If you find a milder and sweeter tasting red onion, feel free to add half of it.

What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons refined sunflower oil
  • 1 lb beets, peeled and diced into 6mm cubes (I used mostly golden beets, and a few red ones)
  • 315 grams Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 6mm cubes
  • sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • 1-2 tablespoons red onion
  • 1 large dill pickle (gherkin) diced
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined sunflower oil

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Combine the beets and potatoes with the refined sunflower oil, salt and pepper. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast until they start to caramelize, about 40 minutes.
  3. Allow the beets and potatoes to cool.
  4. Blanch the peas in salted boiling water for about a minute, then drain them.
  5. Combine all the ingredients, and then taste to adjust seasonings.
  6. Serve at room temperature.

Spinach Gomae (Horenso No Gomae)

spinach gomae-ae - trust in kim

I love to order spinach gomae when I eat in a Japanese restaurant. I’ve been making it at home for a while now, and I love how easy and delicious it is.

I’ve tried a few recipes, which were all good, but I’ve lost track of them. So here’s the one I made most recently. It comes from a recipe by chef Takashi Mizukami of the Dirty Apron Cooking School, and was published in the Vancouver Sun newspaper.

My favourite thing to make with Spinach Gomae is Tuna Sashimi. So delicious!

The recipe is for two people.

What you need:

  • 400 grams spinach, washed
  • 6 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons sake
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

What you do:

  1. Toast the sesame seeds and grind them in a mortar and pestle or electric grinder.
  2. Combine the sesame seeds in a bowl with the sake, sugar and soy sauce.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add some salt.
  4. Optional: if you are going to use an ice bath, get that ready first. The rest happens quickly.
  5. Gather a bundle of spinach together and dip the stems in the boiling water for about 15 seconds, then let the whole bunch fall into the water, submerging for 10 more seconds. Remove the spinach with tongs and quickly place it under cold running water or submerge it in an ice bath. The cooling will prevent it from overcooking.
  6. Once the spinach has cooled, arrange the spinach so the stems are aligned, and then squeeze out the excess water.
  7. Arrange on a serving plate and pour the sauce over top.
  8. Enjoy!

Walnut Vinaigrette

walnut vinaigrette - trust in kim

When I was in France last summer I picked up a tube of walnut Dijon mustard. It isn’t something that is easy to find at home; in fact, I’ve never seen it, even in specialty stores, in Vancouver. Soon I will devise a recipe for it, so we won’t have to search for it anymore.

Here I’ve also used a walnut oil, just to bring out the nutty flavour. I love a combination of garlic and walnut, so I put in a clove of garlic. It needs to sit for a while, so you’ll need to make this a few hours in advance or the day before if you want to get that garlicky flavour in there.

What you need:

  • 1 tablespoon walnut Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic

What you do:

  1. In a bowl or jar combine the mustard, sugar, and a little salt and pepper.
  2. Add a little bit of the vinegar to mix into the mustard, then add the rest, beating with a fork until combined.
  3. Add the walnut oil slowly, whisking in with the fork.
  4. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Peel the skin off the garlic clove, cut it in half and place it in the dressing. Let it sit for a few hours to allow the garlic flavour to be released. You can leave the garlic clove in the dressing for a week or two, or as long as it takes you to use it up.

Green Salad with Roasted Beets, Walnuts and Goat Cheese

roasted beet goat cheese and walnut salad - trust in kim

This is a beauty of a salad. You can use red beets, but as you can see, I chose to use golden beets this time. I love the combination of beets, goat cheese and walnuts with the shallot dressing. Roasting the beets ahead of time makes this a quick salad to put together at the last minute.

This recipe comes to us from The Vancouver Sun’s book The Best Salads.

You can buy cooked beets, but I prefer the taste of home-roasted beets. The original recipe asked you to slice and bake the beets. I roasted them whole instead.

I bought a beautiful Okanogan, BC goat cheese from Dussa’s at Granville Island, Vancouver for this salad.

What you need for the salad:

  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

What you need for the salad:

  • 5 beets (1 & 1/4 pounds in total)
  • foil for cooking the beets
  • 4 cups salad greens
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup soft unripened goat cheese
  • salt and pepper

What you do:

  1. Roast the beets ahead of time, or early enough that they have time to cool down before using in the salad. Wash, then cover each beet in foil. Bake at 400F for about 50 minutes. Test with a sharp knife to see if they are soft all the way through. When the beets have cooled, peel the skins off. Refrigerate if you are making them ahead of time. Take them out of the fridge at least an hour before using, so they can come to room temperature.
  2. After the beets come out of the oven, turn the oven off and put the walnuts on a baking sheet in the oven. Check them after about 5 minutes to see how they are doing. Keep them in the oven until they are lightly toasted – beware, though – even with the oven off they can burn easily. Let them cool, then put them in an airtight container if you won’t be using them right away.
  3. Combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette and let it sit for at least an hour. This can be made ahead and refrigerated.
  4. Toss the greens with some of the vinaigrette and arrange on large plates for serving. Slice the room temperature beets and arrange them on top, along with some goat cheese and walnuts. Add a little more vinaigrette to the top if you wish. Salt and pepper to taste if desired.

Enjoy!

 

I Love Lunch – New Category for Leftovers

lunchbag - trust in kim

One of my weekly routines takes place on Sundays in the afternoon or evening. I choose a recipe that I think will be great for leftovers, and I prepare it and store individual portions in my fridge. I’ve been doing this for years so that I can have healthy and delicious lunches, and not have to worry about preparing meals during a busy work week.

Today I went through all my previous recipe posts and created a category called ‘Makes Great Leftovers’ so you that you can easily find recipes that you can use for leftovers. There are a lot of soups, stews, salads and other one-dish meals. Quite a few are vegetarian or vegan, but there are also a lot of recipes with meat.

Hope it’s helpful!

Kim

Seared Sea Scallops on Greens

seared scallops on greens - trust in kim

This

is

my

favourite

food

in the world.

Awesome! So delicious. I can die happy now. Hopefully I will live to eat these again, though.

Yes, I love papaya, blueberries, duck confit, lemon tarts and chocolate croissants. But this, the sea scallop, is my all-time favourite. And because of that I never cook them. They are so precious that I fear I will ruin them, and a ruined, over-cooked scallop is an atrocity.

So when I set out to cook this I did my research, found the very best scallops I could lay my hands on, and carefully crafted this dish. I got some beautiful fresh large sea scallops at Seafood City on Granville Island, for those of you in Vancouver. Fresh, not frozen scallops are a must here. If you want an awesome meal, that is.

Simple is the key – the scallops speak for themselves, so you have to do very little with them, except season and cook them carefully.

What you need:

  • the freshest sea scallops you can find, 2-3 per person depending on their size
  • good quality olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • salad greens
  • 1 lemon

What you do:

  1. Make the salad dressing before cooking the scallops. Grate a little lemon zest, then combine some lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the amounts of the ingredients to your liking.
  2. Salt and pepper one side of the scallops, using a little more salt than you think you should, as some will come off in the cooking process.
  3. Get your salad greens ready on the plates. You want to be able to plate the scallops and eat them immediately.
  4. Heat a frying pan on high, but not a non-stick one. Add some olive oil to the pan and wait until it gets very hot – if the pan isn’t hot enough the scallops will stick to it. Add the scallops with the seasoned side facing down. You should hear quite a sizzle; if not the pan isn’t hot enough. Season the top side of the scallops. Let them sear for about 1 & 1/2 minutes (less time if they are smaller) ; it’s better to undercook them than overcook them. Turn the scallops over and sear the other side; the cooked side should be nicely browned. You will see they are no longer translucent, meaning they are now cooked.
  5. Place the cooked scallops on top of the salad greens and serve as soon as possible. You could add a little squirt of lemon to the scallops if you want, but I didn’t because the dressing was lemony enough.

Enjoy the best food ever. Hope you love it!

 

Fresh from the Cupboard Salad

canned vegetable salad - trust in kim

This is my new favourite quick salad for bringing leftovers to work or a picnic (when we’re back in picnic season, that is). Everything you need can be found in the cupboard (if you stocked up ahead of time) except the spinach, which you can easily do without. Plus it is healthy and so tasty.

It’s really as easy as adding  a vinaigrette to cans of veggies and adding some greens. If you leave the spinach out it keeps great for leftovers, and you can just add the greens when you eat it.

I found the recipe in a terrific cookbook that has a lot of great information about which vegetables to eat for different needs, like improved energy, stronger bones, stress relief, cardiovascular care, and so much more. The recipe is called ‘Veggie Yard Dash Salad’ in the cookbook; I’m not sure my title is any better, but I wanted to call it something that would let people know that it didn’t have a lot of ingredients that you might not have on hand. The book is The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure by Tammy Lakatos Shames and Lyssie Lakatos. The only thing I did differently from the original recipe, aside from adding the spinach as I served it instead of mixing it in, was to use home-roasted red peppers instead of jarred. I think they taste way better, and I make them ahead of time and keep them in the freezer. But jarred work well too!

Feel free to use more or less of whatever you like; I made my recipe a lot bigger so I’d have more leftovers, and I love red peppers and artichokes, so I used more of them. This recipe serves four people, more or less.

What you need:

  • 1/4 cup jarred or homemade roasted red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained
  • 1 cup peaches and cream (or whatever kind you like) canned corn
  • 1 – 227mL can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/4 cup canned sliced artichokes, drained
  • 2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup vinaigrette of your choice (herbed vinaigrette recipe below)
  • a bunch of baby spinach

What you do:

  1. Pour the canned goods into a bowl, chopping the artichokes up a bit if they aren’t already. I used the juice from the canned corn, but the original recipe says to drain it – up to you!
  2. Add the sunflower seeds.
  3. Add the vinaigrette and combine all the ingredients.
  4. Chop up some spinach and add it to the portion you will be serving, or add a whole bunch of you think you’ll eat the whole thing in one go.

Enjoy!

Here’s the vinaigrette recipe:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • a bit of chopped fresh or frozen basil (recipe say dried but I think this is 100x better!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

What you do:

  1. Crush the garlic and let it sit for 5 minutes, which is supposed to release more health-promoting properties.
  2. Combine the ingredients.

Voila, done!