Tagged: fruit

Apple Walnut Rye Salad

Apple Walnut Rye Salad
Happy first day of spring! Even though winter hasn’t been that bad, I am still hoping that a magical switch will get flipped turning on warm sunshine. A better selection of fruits and vegetables would be nice, too. I know I am asking for a bit much, and I should try to be more patient. I just can’t wait for May, when it really feels like spring.

For now, I am alternating between soup and salads depending on what coat I am wearing—puffy or trench—and my mood. With a surplus of my favorite kind of apple, the Pink Lady, I made this apple walnut rye salad. It was snappy, crispy, and I loved the toasty crumbs of rye bread along with scallions, chives and lime juice.
Apple Walnut Rye Salad
Apple Walnut Rye Salad
Adapted from Bon Appetit September 2013

Serves 4

4 slices rye bread, torn into small pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper plus more to taste
1/2 cup walnut halves
2 Pink Lady apples, cored and sliced into rings
1 ounce shaved white cheddar
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon parsley, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon minced chives
juice of 1 lime

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the rye bread on a sheet pan and toss with 1 tablespoon olive, salt and pepper. Bake until light brown and toasted, about 12-15 minutes. In the last 6-8 minutes of cooking, add the walnuts to the sheet pan, baking until golden. Let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the toasted rye bread, walnuts, apples, cheddar, scallions, parsley and chives. Toss in the lime juice and remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Whole-Wheat Cranberry Orange Pistachio Muffins

Whole-Wheat Cranberry Orange Pistachio Muffins
I am feeling the March blues in the kitchen, or maybe I should call it cook’s block. The streak of unusually warm weather has been kind of a tease. I’ve hung up my puffy coat in favor of my light jacket, but everything outside is still brown. All the lush greens of spring veggies have not sprung, so I’m at a bit of a loss about what to make.

Lately I’ve been more inspired to bake. Feeling the need to take a break from dessert, I baked these whole-wheat cranberry orange pistachio muffins. With fall and winter flavors, these muffins were perfectly timed for the current state of seasonal limbo. The brightness of the citrus added just enough zip to keep me going until spring.
Whole-Wheat Cranberry Orange Pistachio Muffins
Whole-Wheat Cranberry Orange Pistachio Muffins

Adapted from Cooking Light March 2017

Makes 12 muffins

1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup oat bran
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium ripe banana mashed (about 1/2 cup)
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped unsalted pistachios

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oat bran, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter until it turns golden, gently swirling the pan, about 90 seconds. In a medium bowl, stir together the butter, yogurt, brown sugar, vanilla extract, banana, egg, orange zest and orange juice. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients followed by the cranberries and pistachios.

Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Moroccan Kale Salad

Moroccan Kale Salad
When people get excited about kale, I think they are either trying to convince themselves it tastes good or just lying because isn’t everyone supposed to embrace dark leafy greens and all their magical health benefits? For me to enjoy kale, it has to be seriously doctored up with different flavors and textures to pretty much tone it down.

Inspired by surprisingly delicious takeout I had a few weeks ago, I made this Moroccan kale salad. With shredded carrots and grapefruit chunks, it was both sweet and tart, but that wasn’t it. I tossed in crispy chickpeas, goat cheese, chopped pistachios, scallions and mint. It all came together in a bright grapefruit cumin vinaigrette.
Moroccan Kale Salad
Moroccan Kale Salad

Serves 4

1-15 ounce can chickpeas
1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 large bunch curly kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 grapefruit
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup grated carrots
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup torn mint leaves
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/3 cup chopped salted roasted pistachios

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Pat them dry with paper towels and remove any loose outer skins. Place the chickpeas on a parchment-lined sheet pan and toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until crisp and browned, gently shaking the pan about halfway through cooking.

Place the kale in a large bowl and massage with 1 teaspoon olive oil.

Cut the peel and white pith from the grapefruit. Slice between the membranes removing the segments while collecting the juice in a bowl. Cut the segments into chunks. Whisk the remaining olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin into the juice.

Add the chickpeas, carrots, scallions, mint, goat cheese and pistachios to the kale and toss in the vinaigrette.

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie
There are certain foods that I associate with specific people. Any chocolate dessert (the chocolaty the better), I immediately think of my brother. For my dad, it is two things. When I was a kid, he loved drinking LaCroix, which is now so popular in the world of carbonated beverages that I say he was 20 years ahead of the trend, and when it comes to dessert, it’s key lime pie.

My dad made the trip from Chicago to Florida to spend a long weekend with us, so I figured it was the perfect reason to make a key lime pie for our special guest, who was also celebrating his birthday. From the graham cracker crust to the citrusy filling, it was a simple, foolproof pie. I did get a little fancy by toasting the meringue topping with my trusty kitchen torch.
Key Lime Pie
Key Lime Pie
Adapted from Food52

Makes one 9-inch pie

12 graham cracker sheets
4 tablespoons melted butter
3 large eggs, separated
1-14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup Key lime juice
2/3 cup granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Use a food processor to pulse the graham crackers into fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand.

Press the graham cracker mixture into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden. Allow the crust to cool a little.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and lime juice. Pour into the crust and bake for 15 minutes until the center of the filling is still a bit wobbly. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they are foamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Spread over the cooled pie.

To toast the topping, use a kitchen torch or place it under the broiler for a minute or less.

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