RaeDi at Hummingbird Hollow

Thoughts on Food, Words from the Heart, 'The Little Winged Ones'….

Category: Salads

Beet, Chard and Peach Salad

This is a full flavored salad that is perfect with a side dish of wild rice.  The mix of sweet and sour and add the slight smoky taste of grilled peaches and red onions makes it delectable to say the least.  It is a bit of work, but quick to put together in the end and well worth the effort.  It seems that Sawsan Chef in disguise and I had the same thoughts in a salad but put together with different blends of flavors, hers looks delicious… take a peek!

Ingredients:

  •        2 medium red beets, trimmed
  •        ½ cup of red wine vinegar
  •        Pinch of sea salt
  •        Cold water to cover

In a sauce pan combine the beets, vinegar, salt and enough cold water to cover the beets by several inches and bring to boil.  Reduce the heat and cook until tender, around 30 to 40 minutes depending on size of beets.  Once the beets have cooled in the cooking liquid you can peel or slip off the outer skin and then slice into ¼ inch slices.

Wash the chard well in a sink full of cold water, I do this two times.  On the larger leaves that have large ribs, I separate and remove the large rib.  Slice the leaves in thin strips.  Mince a couple of cloves of garlic.  Put olive oil (I fried some pancetta in the pan and am using the oil from that.)  in fry pan and once heated start adding chard as it cooks down some add some more until you have it all in the pan.  Once all the chard is in pan sprinkle the garlic on and stir in, I cook the chard stirring occasionally until it is very tender.  This takes only takes a few minutes.

Peal a red onion and slice into ¼ inch slices and mist each side with olive oil.  (I try to have the onions, beets and peaches about the same size.) Halve the peaches and mist the peach halves with olive oil.  Heat your grill and grill onions on both sides until you have grill marks.  Add additional oil to grill to grill the peaches, be careful when you turn to keep them whole.  I had a problem with this, turning too soon and not having enough oil on the grill.  They were not as pretty but tasted wonderful anyway. 

I had some Dill Havarti Cheese that I made little ½ inch cubes for the salad.  There are many cheeses that can be used for this salad… pick one of your favorites.

Vinaigrette:

  •         2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  •         1 tablespoon kalamata olive brine
  •         1 teaspoon honey
  •         ½ teaspoon crushed dried oregano
  •         Pinch of sea salt
  •         Freshly ground black pepper
  •         ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (I was running low so use just a couple of teaspoons… it seemed fine)

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, brine, honey, oregano, salt and pepper.  Gradually add oil, whisking to a thin, steady stream until blended.

I arranged the chard, onions, and beets, peach and topped with a slice of pancetta and added the Dill Havarti Cheese cubes.  I wish I had started with the wild rice on the bottom… but just topped the salad on top of rice after taking the pictures.

We both loved this salad and will do again.  The mix was full of enjoyment and was a dish we relished with each bite….

My mother gave me this recipe and would love to give credit where credit is due… if anyone knows where this recipe came from let me know.  I did a lot of adapting from the directions my Mom gave me.

Florida Pink Shrimp Salad

We eat a lot of salads for our main course dinners.  I love to make richer dinners and deserts as you all know… but to make up for the caloric highs, fat and such we revert to lots of wholesome salads.   It makes up for the guilty pleasures in life.  Cannot have too much of a good thing all the time.  We also eat a lot of homemade cabbage soup and such for lunch.

Tonight we had a lighter dinner with our Florida Pink Shrimp Salad.  I make my own croutons… they have very little olive oil misted on the bread cubes I have cut from my bread with adding seasoning of garlic powder, onion powder, a little dry sage or oregano (depending on the meal I am mixing with,) parsley, smoked paprika, freshly ground black pepper and a little sea salt.  I put them in the oven and bake to a golden brown… I bag them and then have the extras for many others uses.

The shrimp I marinated for about an hour in olive oil with crushed garlic, pepper flakes, parsley, some fresh ground black pepper and a little sea salt.  I stir fried them in a little olive oil.  Then I placed them on a paper towel to drain some of the oil off before adding them to the salad.

The salad can be any lettuce you like or a mix of lettuce and add anything you like, in ours I added some avocados, red onions, cherry tomatoes and julienne carrots  (basically what I had on hand…) adding the croutons and shrimp.  The dressing can be your choice.

T had been working on the wood pile this afternoon so I made up a small 6” skillet of baked rolls for him to have with his salad.  When I make bread I always take some and make dinner roll size dough and place on baking sheet several inches apart and place in freezer.  When frozen I put into a freezer bag… when I need to have rolls for dinner I take out what I need (they will rise as they thaw) doing this we always have fresh dough dinner rolls ready anytime we should want.   

The Pink Florida Shrimp salad makes for a nice light dinner and fills you up with a very appealing as well as appetizing meal.  It was delicious….   

Parmesan Cheese Nests with Grilled Veggies

We needed to use up the veggie’s in the refrigerator and decided to do some grilled veggies.  I heated up the Panini Grill and misted the veggies with a little olive oil.  We had cherry tomatoes, sweet little peppers, asparagus, and red onions.  To top it off I sliced some garlic and fried it in a little olive oil.  Once the garlic is done place on paper towel to absorb some of the oil. 

The parmesan cheese nests are so easy.  First make the cheese bowls and then do the veggies.   To make the nests use about a half cup of parmesan cheese per bowl and put in a heated stainless skillet, spread the cheese a little.  When it is melted and a golden brown flip it onto an inverted bowl (I used cereal bowls.)  Then gently press the melted cheese around the bowl put aside until you have your veggies grilled. 

Mound two nice piles of spinach on grill when they are each browned some flip over and brown the same.  I left the cherry tomatoes whole, sliced the red onions and mini sweet peppers around ¼ inches thick.  Grill the asparagus whole, grilled each until you see the grill marks. 

What a nice mix with the drizzled balsamic vinegar.  We had some mushroom soup and bread sticks to finish off the meal….

I wanted to let everyone know that a friend of mine Geraldine, at My Real Life Reviews has some contests going on right now that gives away “free prizes!”  She has invited all of us to visit and to join in on the prize give-aways!  Hope to see you there!

I am still waiting for the face of spring….

Almost!

Nothing kills moss… here is deer moss or deer lichen.

Apple and Peach Salad with Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar

Valentine’s Day was a week ago today.  I always try to make something special for dinner to reflect on all the things that T does for me, to let him know how special he is to me.  This year things were up in the air with my Mom and Valentine’s Day came and went with no acknowledgements, for which I was so very grateful.  Once my head cleared I knew I still wanted to do something special and picked this evening.

I am not one that likes to eat out much and five-star restaurants have their place…  We have eaten at so many great five-star restaurants… example we ate at Napoleons in New Orleans, nice, really nice but to tell you the truth I loved eating at Uglesich’s (in central city New Orleans,) no food could compare and it is sad to say they are no longer in business… or take me back to Franky and Johnny’s what a marvel and what a difference in price from Napoleons.   T holds likes to hold on to a penny until it turns green, so I will let him hold on to his green pennies for a while longer.  Is that true love or not?

I love doing this dinner each year but wanted to tone it down a bit from a year ago… pacing me helped with this decision.  We both love a good salad and with the Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar I made last season I decided to up it a notch with crisp apples and peaches and add a little Feta Cheese and a few other salad regulars… it made an out of this world salad.

T loves pork and I decided to make stuffed pork chops with roasted brussel sprouts.  To end the dinner I went with an Italian pudding dessert… Caramel Budino with Salted Caramel Sauce it was exceptional, like an old world custard and the caramel sauce was just enough different it was such a delight.

Today I am posting the picture of the salad and will post the others courses of the meal in the next few days.  We both enjoyed this meal so much and it was something that lifted our spirits and made us forget reality for at least a while….

Chicken Panini and Spinach Orange Salad

It been a long month so to speak, it is time to try to have a normal day in and day out life again.  As normal as can be at the present time… I have not been eating right and my body is telling me that I need something that is fresh, crunchy, something with a little zing to it… something a little different that we have not had in some time.

T went to the market yesterday and stocked up on all kinds of fresh fruit and veggies.  Produce is something that I have always been very keen on.  As a child and even as an adult I have been known to eat right out of the garden.   I love fresh produce, the fresher the better!  We had a wonderful roasted chicken the other night and then had a nice cob salad but still have a little left.  We need to think of something that can use the last of the left over’s and still be enjoyed… thank goodness T does not mind having the same thing several days in a row.

We neither one felt like cooking and wanted something easy, quick and with little clean up.  But we were both ready for something that would left us up so to speak.  I told him I would do dinner; he has been so good to me the last few weeks.  Not one complaint out of his mouth and making sure I have everything I would need and more.

I decided to make us a Chicken Panini… spinach, sliced chicken, some cranberry relish… nothing fancy just a simple sandwich.

Then I thought a Spinach Orange salad would be really good with… I had everything I needed… everything was so fresh it would be perfect.  The salad I decided to mix some romaine hearts and spinach together and throw in some red onion, cherry tomatoes, orange slices, pistachios, to bad T forgot to get an avocado… it will not be missed.  With the Orange Salad Dressing I make it will be perfect.  It has lots of zing that we need to help left our spirits… it would put it out of the park that is for sure.  Late this evening after dinner I was trying to get caught up on my blogs and commenting and found that someone had the same thing in mind… a different version than mine but it sure looks look too!  Check it our at Chef in disguise, her looks incredible!

Orange Salad Dressing

  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon Lemon Pepper… can use fresh ground black pepper too
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • 1 Heaping Tablespoon French Grain Mustard
  • Shredded Apple Smoked Gruyère Cheese for topping (not mixed in dressing)

Put everything into a jam jar (or such) and put the lid on tight (that is important… I know) and give it a really good shake.

The salad did not let us down and the  panini’s were perfect.  Everything united together to make one spectacular dinner.  We were both pleasingly surprised.  T said I could cook for him anytime….

‘Ninnie being Ninnie’ Things have not been normal around here and animals do pick up on when you are sick or down and such.  She has followed me around like a dog and wants to make me happy, she has even been sleeping at my feet at night, I think she thinks she has done something wrong… we all know better!  Today she got lots of love and was so happy until the high winds started and then rain was added to the mix… she decided to sleep through it all.  She is not a happy camper when the weather does not cooperate and she cannot go in and out a gazillion times!  Look at her wrapped up in her own little goodness!

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