Most of the event-related dinners for our programs at TMTC are hosted at the Taj Blue Diamond and going there always reminds me of our courtship days, when Shri and I ate their several times at their coffee shop. The place had a very cosy feel, with the highlight of the decor being these pretty lamp posts whose style I recognized as European only a very long time later, when we moved to France two years after we got married and I began to come across the same kind of lamp posts on European streets in cities
like Cannes !
But I digress. What I meant to write about here, lest I forget the ingredients or the idea in all the multitude of things that happen every day, was the idea for a salad I ate when I was the hotel earlier this month.
The chef(s) had basically tossed together chunks of pineapple with paneer and pomegranate and added some salt and red chilli flakes to season it.
For some reason, the salad had acquired a bitter taste by the time I took some on my plate. But I think if one were to make it carefully, ideally this combination would make for a great and very different kind of salad, a pretty and colorful addition to the table. In fact I intend to make this one of these days and will probably leave out the chilli flakes and add some roughly chopped mint leaves for an extra dash of color.
Yesterday, when I realized suddenly that I did not have as much time to cook dinner as I had initially thought, I decided to make this salad on a whim, to go with grilled pesto and onion toast.
I kept the broccoli florets quite small and since the salad also had the girls’ favorite tomate marzounette (a type of small-sized tomatoes that have an oblong shape and are grown from a variety native to San Marzano in Italy) they ate it without comment.
I haven’t combined them before, but potatoes and broccoli do seem to go well together. I can even see this salad as part of a more formal meal, with baby potatoes in place of the regular sort for a nice touch.
Broccoli, Potato and Tomato Salad
steamed broccoli florets
boiled, peeled and diced potatoes (the potatoes should be firm, not overcooked) OR boiled and peeled baby potatoes
cherry tomatoes, sliced in to halves (or quartered lengthwise if the tomatoes are the marzounette variety)
Put the tomatoes, the broccoli and the potatoes in to a large salad bowl. Add some olive oil, toss the vegetables lightly in it, and leave aside for an hour.
Just before serving, sprinkle some sea-salt and lime juice and mix the salad.
Light, colorful, GOOD ! Definitely one to make again.
One of things that is so special, , in my opinion, about the carrot koshimbir that I make very often, is the tangy taste created by the combination of sugar and lime juice.
Inspired by that, I sometimes make this simpler carrot salad which is so much lighter to eat, quicker to make and yet very tasty too.
peeled and grated carrots
lime juice, salt and sugar to taste
Toss the carrots with the seasoning and serve.
That surely qualifies for the “world’s shortest recipe” competition !
At the buffet served after the OIB graduation ceremony held at the CIV tonight – I was there to help with the aperitif and the buffet – there was a delicious rice salad which was contributed by the mum of a student in the Italian section.
Here’s the recipe, as I remember it, which she told me as we served the crowd so I hope I’ve got the details right !
Italian Rice Salad
Cooked and cooled rice (from a region in Italy, if I understood her right, near the one that arborio rice come from) tossed with canned tuna (with the oil), olives, capers, very finely sliced raw carrots(or they may have been very lightly steamed), tomatoes (optional) and small pieces of provolone cheese. Though I forgot to ask if she had used any herbs, I don’t think there was any seasoning in the salad other than salt.
I am going to try this soon as it would make such a simple, fresh and delicious summer meal though I’ll have to figure out first what the rice variety she’d used might be. I wonder if it is Carnaroli? The name she used sounded sort of like that from what I remember and when I google Arborio, I find many references to the Carnaroli rice variety as a great base for risottos and salads – indeed for the former it appears to be a better choice than Arborio.
At the same hotel – the Sophia Country Club – where I had the avocado and orange salad, I also had a dish for lunch one afternoon which had a very new and unlikely – to me – combination of finely sliced fennel and spinach leaves.
The vegetables seemed to make up a sort of warm salad that included some kind of seafood.
I had only the vegetables from this dish, however, and the combination was surprisingly good.
I need to figure out now how they’d been cooked together.
This very simple but very nice salad was part of the buffet lunch one afternoon during the conference last week.
It consisted only of alternating, thin slices of avocado and orange, with a very slight drizzle of olive oil, if I remember right, or perhaps not even that.
Light, delicious and perfect for a summer afternoon.
We eat this so often – it is my favorite mix of salad greens – that I thought it merits a mention here.
According to sources such as wikipedia and wisegeek, mesclun (“to mix” in the Provencal language of the south of France) is a mixture of young greens (i.e. harvested while they are young, for a great flavor) and can include dandelion leaves, sorrel, rocket or arugula, mache or lamb’s lettuce, other leafy lettuces, spinach, mustard, swiss chard, chicory, frisee and sometimes edible flowers such as rose petals and nasturtiums. The original mix apparently consisted of chervil,rocket, types of lettuce and endive mixed in equal amounts.
A delicate olive oil and lime juice dressing is all a mesclun-based salad needs, I feel, so that the fresh flavors of the leaves are not subdued.