Archive for Side dishes

Moroccan Style Spicy Orange Salad — Two Versions

Orange salads are a fixture of the Mediterranean table and Moroccan orange salad is one of the best salads in the world — sweet citrus juices countered with pungent onion and dueling kicks of spices and acidity.

Eat it with bread and cheese and call it lunch, or serve the salad as a cooling antidote to a spicy fish, lamb or chicken dish. Variations: Substitute red onion for the garlic. Add mint. Use other citrus, such as tangerines, mandarins or blood oranges. Sprinkle in a little orange-flower water.

Paula Wolfert seasons orange slices with the spice mixture ras el hanout, orange-flower water, lime and lemon zest, dates and mint. Wolfert devotes an entire section to orange salads in her book “Couscous and Other Good Food From Morocco,” one with radishes and cinnamon, another with grated carrots and orange-flower water and one with olives and paprika. She wrote, “Olives and oranges are one of those miracle combinations, like lamb and garlic, before which I sometimes feel I should bow in gratitude.”

1980: Spicy Orange Salad, Moroccan Style
This recipe appeared in an article in The Times by Craig Claiborne.

3 large seedless oranges
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon paprika (or use Ras El Hanout — available from Kalustayan’s — instead of paprika & cayennne)
1/2 teaspoon garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red-wine or sherry vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup chopped parsley
12 pitted black olives, preferably imported Greek or Italian.

1. Peel the oranges, paring away all the exterior white pulp. Cut each orange into 8 wedges. Cut each wedge into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
2. Place the cayenne, paprika, garlic, olive oil and vinegar in a salad bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste and whisk to combine. Add the oranges, parsley and olives. Toss gently to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature. Serves 4.

Recipe: 2010: Mom’s Florida Avocado and Orange Salad
By Andrew Carmellini, the chef and an owner of Locanda Verde in Manhattan.

2 Valencia or navel oranges
1 Florida avocado or 2 regular avocados
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 scant tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce
Handful cilantro leaves.

1. Segment the oranges by slicing off the ends with a sharp knife. Put the orange on one end and, with a small, sharp knife, cut off the peel and white pith. Segment the orange by slicing between the membranes. Remove the segments and drop into a bowl. Squeeze the juice out of the remaining membranes into the bowl with the segments. Reserve the juice.
2. With a dinner knife (not the sharpest knife in your kitchen), cut each halved avocado half lengthwise into segments, cutting through the meat to (not into) the skin. Then cut around the outside of the avocado meat and, using the knife, push the pieces out of the skin and into the bowl with the oranges.
3. Add the lime juice, red onion, oregano, olive oil, salt, hot sauce and the reserved orange juice. Using a large spoon, mix all the ingredients together so that everything is coated and well combined.
4. Remove to a serving bowl. Garnish with cilantro leaves and drizzle with more olive oil. Serves 4 as an appetizer or antipasto.


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Tomatoes in Spicy Yogurt Sauce

The tomatoes are warmed, not fully cooked, in the sauce, leaving their softly solid texture intact. Serve them alongside broiled, grilled, or steamed fish and rice. Notes: For this recipe, use tomatoes that are still firm when ripe, such as Early Girl.

8 ripe but firm tomatoes (about 2 lbs. total)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

1. Core tomatoes (leave them whole). Set aside.
2. In a large frying pan, heat oil over high heat. When hot, add cumin seeds and mustard seeds and reduce heat to medium-high. Cover and cook until seeds start to pop, about 2 minutes.
3. Remove cover and add turmeric and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add garlic and salt. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden.
4. Reduce heat to low. Add tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes are warm and slightly softened.
5. Add yogurt and stir in one direction until smooth. Do not let the yogurt boil. Cook over low heat about 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro if you like and serve warm, with plenty of sauce.

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Cold Stirred Lima Beans

2 tablespoons salad oil
1 package (10 oz.) frozen baby lima beans, thawed
1/2 cup diced bamboo shoots
1/2 cup chicken broth or canned
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Heat a wok or wide frying pan over high heat. When pan is hot, add oil. When oil is hot, add lima beans and bamboo shoots. Stir-fry for 1 minute.

Add chicken broth, sugar, and salt. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are crisp-tender (about 5 minutes).

Remove cover and continue cooking until all liquid evaporates. Stir in sesame oil. Cool, cover, and chill.

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Mango, Avocado & Black Bean Salad

Variations: Add some papaya, orange segments or jalapeno. Serve over salad greens, coconut rice, grilled chicken or fish. Or, use this salad as a salsa.

1 ripe mango
1 ripe avocado
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 red onion, diced or thinly sliced
2 – 4 T olive oil
1 lemon (juice)
1 lime (juice)
salt & pepper to taste
Cumin (optional)
Salad greens

In a bowl, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice and lime juice. Adding pinch of cumin at this point couldn’t hurt, either. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Chop or slice the onion and add to the bowl with the oil and juice. Add the beans and toss.

Cut mango and avocado into slices or large dice that are approximately the same size. Add to the bowl and toss very gently so the fruit doesn’t get smushed.

Add more salt & pepper if necessary. Serve on a bed of greens with additional lime to squeeze over the top. This makes enough for two hungry people.

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Summer squash, basil, and goat cheese

Even right off their prolific vines, summer squash can be watery and sometimes bitter. Cook them slowly in plenty of olive oil and they turn sweet but stay moist and summery, so you can take advantage of the beautiful golden color. As you cook the sliced squash, mash the rounds against the sides of the skillet to break them up. Then toss the squash wit leaves of fresh basil, and crumbled goat cheese.

3 tablespoons olive oil
7 small summer squash, thinly sliced
About 20 fresh basil leaves, torn in half
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh goat cheese, crumbled

In a large skillet over low heat, heat the olive oil. Add the squash and cook, stirring often, for 30 minutes or until the squash soaks up the oil and is not at all watery. As the squash cooks, use a wooden spoon to mash it against the side of the pan. Stir in half of the basil leaves. Top with the goat cheese and remaining basil leaves.

Boston Globe

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The New York Times’ Marinated Raw Zucchini Salad

Raw zucchini very thinly sliced it marinates beautifully, especially in lemon juice. I like to use a mixture of green and yellow squash here. Assemble this dish at least four hours before you wish to serve it, so that the squash has time to soften and soak up the lemony marinade.

1 pound medium or small zucchini, preferably a mix of green and yellow
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, mint, chives, dill or a combination

1. Slice the squash as thinly as you can. Sprinkle with salt, preferably kosher salt, and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse and drain on paper towels.
2. Mix together the lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Toss with the zucchini. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for four to six hours.
3. Remove from the refrigerator, and remove the garlic clove. Add the fresh herbs, and toss together. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve. Yield: Serves four.

Advance preparation: This dish will keep for a day or two, but it is best served just after the herbs are added. The lemony zucchini will lose its flavor over time.

Nutritional information per serving: 113 calories; 2 grams saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 7 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 5 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 11 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste), 2 grams protein

New York Times:

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Easy Cheddar Wafers

Chef Martha McGinnis learned to make these cheesy wafers from her mother, who served them every Christmas.

1/2 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt

In a standing mixer or food processor, beat the cheese, butter, celery seeds, Worcestershire, dry mustard, Tabasco and cayenne on medium speed or process until smooth. Add the flour and beat on low speed or process until combined. Gather the dough into a ball and knead a few times on a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into a 12-inch log, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle 2 baking sheets with the salt. Slice the log 1/4 inch thick and arrange the slices 1 inch apart on the baking sheets. Bake the wafers for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom and around the edges. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool before serving. Yield: About 48 Wafers.

Food & Wine

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