Entries Tagged as 'greens'

Two Great Recipes for the Price of One! Homemade Garlic Mayo (alioli) and Baby Watercress Tea Sandwiches

Oooh, and a steep price it is….Free.  LOL  Before moving here to the Canaries it never–and I mean NEVER–would have occurred to me to make my own mayonnaise.  I mean, why?  It’s so easy to buy it at the store, and inexpensive to boot.  Why would anyone even bother?  But then I tried my mother in law’s alioli.  It was like a serious revelation, a turning point in my life.  Homemade mayo?  WAY better than store bought.  Add garlic?  Even *better* than WAY better than store bought.  It only takes about 2 minutes start to finish, too.  You’ll need a food processor or blender with an opening at the top to pour in the oil, but it really is one of the easiest things in the world to make.  So that’s recipe number one of this post.  Keep reading for a super easy spring/summer sandwich recipe…



2 generous pinches of sea salt (the amount that you can pick up between your thumb and fingers)
3 cloves garlic (more or less, to taste)
1 egg
sunflower oil (I prefer sunflower to olive in this recipe…the olive oil makes the alioli bitter imo)…now this will vary, but about a cup?
2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar


Add salt, garlic and egg to your food processor or blender and process until garlic is finely chopped.
In a thin, steady stream (this is really important), add the sunflower oil until the sauce thickens. I have had it happen where the mayo never thickens. Don’t worry, just pour the mixture into another receptacle, add another egg and slowly pour it back in in a steady stream.
When the mayo has thickened, add the vinegar (processing all the while) to mix.
Adjust salt.
How easy was THAT?
Alioli goes very well with just about everything (except dessert), so be sure to have it handy at all times! lol It keeps in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days, tightly covered.

Now, let’s move on to that sandwich recipe I promised. Would you LOOK at this organic baby watercress my veggie vendor had?!

baby watercress

Doesn’t that just look fresh and delicious?! Watercress is a very common ingredient in Canarian cooking. We make stews with it, salads, and the ever popular, “Sandwich de Berros.” (berros=watercress) The watercress sandwich is common for breakfast, for an afternoon snack, and is often served at family gatherings and parties. The sandwiches are great when you first make them, but in my opinion are even better the next day, so they are a perfect make ahead addition to whatever fun gathering you have planned.

watercress tea sandwich


1/4 cup alioli
4 cups baby watercress (or regular watercress, stems removed)
1 loaf sandwich bread


Place alioli and watercress in your food processor and blend until smooth.
Spread mixture on sandwich bread and cut into triangles.
Cover and reserve in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Tried, Tested and True…Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Broccoli and Fusilli

Giz and Psychgrad over at Equal Opportunity Kitchen are hosting a blogging event called Tried, Tested and True

tried, tested and true 

The event is basically a roundup of our favorite recipes, the ones that are always in rotation, that get rave reviews from our families, friends and anyone else that is lucky enough to dine at our tables! ;)   I have quite a few recipes that fit this description, but the one I thought of immediately was Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Broccoli and Fusilli.  Originally, one of my best friends in the whole wide world, Elle at Elle’s New England Kitchen,  shared this recipe with us gals, and I couldn’t WAIT to go out and get the stuff to try it.  I mean, jeez!  It’s got all of my favorite stuff in there!  Chicken, greens, gaaaaahlic, freshly grated Parmiggiano-Reggiano, a delicious lemon pepper vinagrette…and the pasta…holy dear Lords of pasta, this is just amazing….her recipe began with bow-ties, but I’ve since switched to fusilli (the twisty, spiraly lookin stuff).  Broccoli is probably one of my favorite vegetables, throw in some more parm, toasted pine nuts, lemon and garlic–OH and butterrrrr and you have me swooning with delight.  Elle’s recipes *always* rock my world.  And I mean ALWAYS.  What can I say?  The girl can cook, folks. 

parmesan crusted chicken


1/2 pound (200 grams) fresh greens of choice, washed and thinly sliced (I used baby romaines this time)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 pound (100 grams) freshly grated parmiggiano-reggiano
2 pounds (1 kilo) thin chicken fillets
2 large eggs plus 2 tablespoons water
1 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated parmiggiano-reggiano cheese
1/4 cup light olive oil for frying


Prepare your greens first, and set aside.
Whisk together lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and reserve (this is your vinaigrette).
Prepare your chicken “station.”
Beat eggs and water in a deep plate.
In another deep plate, combine seasoned bread crumbs, parm, salt and pepper.
Dip chicken in egg first, then in bread crumb/parm mixture.
Set aside on a plate.
Repeat with remaining chicken fillets.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet.
Cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes on one side, depending on thickness, then turn and do the same (3-4 minutes) on second side until no longer pink and nicely golden brown.
Plate the chicken, then place a a bit of greens over each chicken breast.
Dress with lemon pepper vinaigrette and top with extra freshly grated parm.
You want this, don’t you? I can tell. ;)

Now, the perfect accompaniment to this meal IMNSHO, is the Broccoli and Fusilli. Also Elle‘s recipe. :)

broccoli and fusilli 


1/2 pound (200 grams) fusilli (the original recipe calls for bow-ties)
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1-2 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly grated parmiggiano-reggiano cheese


Cook pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, bring broccoli to a boil in salted water and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Drain and set aside.
While your pasta and broccoli are cooking, heat butter and oil in a small sauce pan and saute garlic until golden.
Add lemon zest and stir.
Remove from heat.
Add the pepper and lemon juice and stir well.
Pour this over the broccoli and pasta.
Add pine nuts and freshly grated parm to taste (I use a generous half cup or so).
Toss well.
**note**it’s a good idea to make the pasta first, then the chicken if making these together. The pasta reheats really well.

Hearty Minestrone with Tortellini

Minestrone is such a great soup for winter, isn’t it?  It has a little bit of everything in it, and is so versatile.  The ingredients can be changed up to fit anyone’s tastes, whether you like it with bits of ham or bacon, with cheesy tortellini (as I’ve done here), or easily made vegan as well.  This is a great recipe if you have a bunch of odds and ends in the refrigerator that  you’re looking for ways to use, too.  Don’t be frightened by the long list of ingredients, this is one of the easiest things in the world to make, and not only that, it’s hearty, delicious, and warming for those icky cold winter blahs.



2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper of choice, chopped
1 16 ounce (400 grams) can plum tomatoes, crushed
1/2 head cabbage, roughly chopped
2-3 ribs celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
a generous handful of green beans, trimmed and cut
a generous handful of pinto beans, shucked
2-3 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 small acorn (or other) squash, peeled and diced
2-3 zucchini, washed and chopped
1 large bunch spinach, washed and chopped
1 cup peas
1 cup corn
3 quarts vegetable broth (or more to generously cover vegetables)
oregano, basil and thyme to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
2 cups tortellini


Using a large stockpot, saute garlic in olive oil until golden, then add onions and stir around a bit.
Add remaining ingredients except tortellini and bring to a boil.
Cover and reduce heat to low.
Cook about an hour then add tortellini.
Bring back to a boil, then cover and remove from heat.
Allow to stand about 30 minutes (to cook tortellini).
Serve with freshly grated parmigiana if desired.

Tuna, Tomato and Chevre Salad

Deliciously fresh and light, yet still packed with all kinds of good stuff.  I came up with this salad to accompany our steaks for lunch today…I think this one is going to be making a regular appearance around here…It would be good on its own, even, as a light lunch or dinner.



lettuce of choice
3 ripe tomatoes, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 spring onion, sliced
1 can white tuna packed in olive oil, shredded
4 ounces (100 grams) chevre, crumbled
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or balsamic
freshly grated pepper and salt


First, lay a bed of lettuce on your plates.
Layer tomatoes, tuna, onions, cheese and pepper/salt on each plate.
Whisk together oil, vinegar and pepper.
Just before serving, dress salad.

Strawberry Salad

Strawberries are at the their season’s peak…juicy, sweet…a sure sign that summer is on it’s way!  This salad can be a meal in itself…it’s got a little bit of everything…crunchy almonds, salty bacon, sweet juicy strawberries and just a hint of a bite from the red onions.  The bacon can easily be omitted to make this salad both vegetarian and gluten free.

strawberry salad


1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 pound (200 grams) bacon, sliced and browned
2 tablespoons sugar (about)
3 tablespoons water (about)
lettuce greens (this time I used red leaf, but spinach or romaine work well, too)
10 large strawberries, washed and sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onions
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2-3 tablespoons poppy seeds
salt and freshly cracked pepper


Heat oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
Spread almonds on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Sprinkle with sugar and spritz with water.
Toast almonds in oven until golden (about 10 minutes or so).
Remove and cool.
Meanwhile brown bacon and drain on paper towels.
Toss together spinach, strawberries and onion.
Whisk together sugar, vinegar, olive oil, mayo, poppy seeds, salt and pepper.
Just before serving, drizzle salad with raspberry dressing and sprinkle with caramelized almonds and bacon.

Sesame and Ginger Chicken Noodle Bowl

A great, quick stirfry when you’re pressed for time.  This is based on a Rachel Ray recipe, though I did alter the ingredients and method a bit to suit our tastes.  The ginger and sesame flavors really go nicely together, and the combination of spicy, sweet and salty was just awesome.  Next time I would ask the butcher to slice the meat into smaller strips, though…the way it was cut this time was a bit overbearing for the dish, but even so, we were thoroughly impressed with the taste and the lovely contrast in textures and flavors.

sesame ginger chicken


1 pound spaghetti (I used 500 grams, which is actually 1 1/4 pounds)
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, sliced into thin strips
a spritz of oil for sauteeing
4-6 cloves garlic, minced (depending on size and potency…about 3-4 tablespoons after mincing)
a generous piece of ginger (about 3 tablespoons after mincing)
3 cups green onions, roughly chopped
2-3 cups napa cabbage, sliced chiffonade
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup sweet soy sauce (I like “Twin Boy” brand), divided
fiery pepper oil to taste (and/or ground cayenne)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


In a large stockpot bring salted water to a boil.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
Meanwhile, chop veggies, and reserve.
Whisk soy sauce, sesame oil and 2 tablespoons sweet soy in a small bowl and reserve.
Heat a small amount of oil over fairly high heat (I only used a spritz of sunflower oil in a large nonstick pan).
Toss in garlic first, stirring constantly until just golden, then add ginger and continue to stir for about another minute, until fragrant.
Add chicken and season with salt and pepper, stirring well, and tossing around to brown evenly on all sides.  This should take about 10 minutes.
When pasta is cooked to al dente, drain and place back into the stock pot.
Mix with soy/sesame mixture, tossing to coat well. 
Season with salt, pepper and pepper oil/cayenne…maybe a little garlic powder too, if you’re so inclined.
Mix it up, cover and reserve.
When chicken is looking about done, toss in green onions and napa (reserve a little napa for garnish), tossing around, stirring, just until colors pop, about a minute or two. 
Add remaining 2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce, stirring to combine.
Adjust seasonings to taste.
Serve sesame noodles in bowls, topped with ginger chicken stirfry and garnished with extra napa cabbage.


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