Monday, September 11, 2006

Salad Inspirations

Over the weekend I picked up the latest Bon Appetit issue. It celebrates 50 years - wow! There's always something magical for me about coming home with an armful of magazines (this time only 2 - the other being Real Simple Food). Sometimes I follow a recipe to the letter, but more often than not the flipping just inspires me and that's what happened here. There were two recipes really - well no, there were many that I earmarked for future reference, but two that inspired this salad




One was pretty little endive leaves stuffed with chopped fennel and parmigiani cheese which were part of a cocktail party menu. The other was a mixed green salad with a honey champagne vinaigrette. I love endives and fennel and the thought of them together in a salad with some other pale green additions - cucumber, herbs....would be wonderful with grated Asiago cheese and although my intention was to stay green, the beautiful baby Roma tomatoes I had just purchased were calling to me, so they got added to the mix along with the champagne vinaigrette. I served it with a wonderful NY Strip loin that my Honey grilled to perfection on the BBQ.



And yesterday I was visiting Heidi's fantastic blog 101 Cookbooks, which is always inspirational, and she had an absolutely awesome looking quinoa salad with a tahini dressing. So today for lunch, I used the tahini dressing on some chickpeas and tuna (from a can - don't hurt me), and served it over a bed of arugula.



I also tried it in a multigrain pita pocket with some extra dressing (which is very thick) spread on the inside of the pocket before adding the arugula - very tasty and very South Beach Diet friendly.

I've mentioned before that we need to focus on SBD, Phase One for a while. Jewish Holidays are coming up, and I don't want to have to stint. So that's why the focus on salads, sometimes all by themselves and sometimes with some grilled steaks, fish or chicken.

And because there's wonderful arugula (really a mustard green) and lots of cilantro in the one salad and basil, endives and fennel in the other, how could I NOT submit it to Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging which is being hosted over in Italy this weekend at Piperita's Kitchen Pantry.

Recipes

So what inspires you - gorgeous food in the market, books, magazines, TV shows, or chatting over some delicious meal with with someone else? I'd love to know.

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6 comments:

Kalyn said...

I thought that was a great issue of Bon Appetit. I spend much more time reading blogs now than I do magazines, but Bon Appetit is a magazine I still never miss. I just ordered their new cookbook too.

The salads and stuffed pita all look great. I'm have to laugh, because I'm doing kind of a modified phase one right now too, preparing to go on a trip!!

Mahek said...

hi
ruth
how you you manage all the cook books i have such a problem as i cannot resist the temptation of buying new cook books which i rarely use as i usually make my own innovations.
but not i will take your example and cook from cookbooks right?

peabody said...

Yeah, they have some really good recipes in that issue.
Your salad looks excellent.

Ruth said...

Kalyn, it is a great issue! And isn't SBD great for "regrouping" either in advance of special occasions or after? I love it - and I've NEVER said that about any other diet!

Mahek, most of the time my cookbooks sit on the shelf, but when I find myself getting into a rut (cooking the same things over and over), I look to books and magazines to inspire a new "favorite" combo.

Peabody, thanks for visiting, it's given me a chance to "find" your blog which is awesome.

Mahek said...

hi
what a yummy salad spread i especially feel like eating the chickpea salad

sher said...

Great recipes! There's so much in them that appeals to me. And canned tuna can be great. I love it.