The Unconventional Naturally “Spicy” Salad

My need for lightness + veggies + balsamic vinegar + SPICE (PUT SPICE IN ALL THINGS!) lead to….

 

Spicey Salad of the Gods
Unconventional Naturally Spicy Salad of Wonder!


This salad was invented by my husband and actually only has one conventionally “spicy” thing in it (can you spot it?).  The rest are veggies that just naturally have that zing.  Not only is this salad intellectually and thematically interesting.. but its tasty too!

 

Ingredients/Steps for One Serving

 

Basically cut up and add to a bowl in this order… AS PER USUAL: I no good at this measurement thing… so best judgement is need.

  • Two handfuls of Roquette (Argula) – (WOW, the english wiki has nothing on roquette… So here is the french one, look at the pretty pictures) Mixed greens can be substituted if necessary.  But roquette has a zing that completes the salad.  Edit: Thanks, Cliff!  It’s called Argula in the states.
  • Cubed half of a tomato
  • 1/8 of an onion sliced – Three slices about
  • Handful of julienned radish – Small red ones or large white one
  • 1/4 julienned zuchinni (optional) – Not sure if this adds anything but it was in my fridgerater and hence in the picture above. Just more greenery! Sliced cap mushrooms are also a nice neutral complement.
  • 1/3 cup cubed feta (optional) – Optional only if you want to save some calories.  OTHERWISE ROCK THAT FETA! I like the basil, olive oil soaked type… but any will do!
  • 1/4 cup Hot wasabi fried peas (optional) – Okay, not really optional. Because they are awesome. But I suppose you can save some calories again by cutting them out.   I prefer the spicy wasabi ones but you can get them non-wasabi’d.
  • Dress with 1 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsps of balsamic vinegar – I actually like to use the olive oil from the jar feta. 🙂
  • A couple dashes of ground pepper on top – Do not even bother if its not fresh ground pepper.
So voila!  The radish, onion and roquette are “spicy” or zingy naturally.  And with the crunchy spicy wasabi peas, balsalmic and ground pepper on top, they are perfectly complimented.  It is a simple but very satisfying salad!
To be fair though, I find celery spicy. – S

NOM-wegian Shocker Salad of Nom – Fried Potatoes A Top

Austin calls it the Shocker (don’t sue us Dane Cook) because it’s shockingly good.  I call it the Nom-wegian.  But here is Austin and I’s take on the popular Norwegian Salad served in a lot of restaurants in Paris.  Norwegian Salads are usually denoted by a plethora of seafood on top of the salad, where our version just has succulent smoked salmon atop (one of the principles of frenching it up.)

Sorry I need to take better pics…  Trust me it looks as good as it tastes.  Also, this picture is pre-dressing.

This salad was one of our first attempts to make a Parisian salad.  I encouraged Austin to put potatoes on it and he said IT CANNOT BE DONE.  And I told him I DON’T TAKE “IT CANNOT BE DONE” FOR AN ANSWER.  Result = NOM and Austin being wrong (SEO that).

Ingredients for One

Gonna try to make these measurable but I am one of the type of cooks that cooks by the heart and with no scientific reasoning.

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup of cubed potato (Half one of those brown ones?)
  • Half cup of diced onion (Quarter of a big yellow onion?)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper (This best be ground pepper!)
  • Diced half of one dried chili peper (Best thing in my arsenal! You MUST get a bag down at the asian marke. So cheap and lasts for ages and can/should be put it in EVERYTHING!)
  • 1 tbsp aioli sauce 
  • 3 tbsps Balsalmic Vinegar
  • 2 cups roquette or preferred lettuce/mixed green
  • Half of an avocado cubed
  • Half of a tomato cubed
  • Strip of smoked salmon (even better if its the kind with herbs on the outside)
  • Quarter cup of small cube feta cheese
  • Optional but delicious: Poached egg

The Nitty Gritty

  1. Heat up a pan and when hot put in the olive oil.
  2. Add the potatoes and onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook slowly on low for 20-30 minutes (longer for bigger chunks, done when a fork easily pierces the potatoes).  Mix often. This is the majority of/the only cook time. PRO TIP: Add Srircha sauce and diced garlic.  
  3. While this cooks cut up the rest of your veggies.  
  4. Have a beer.  
  5. Ten minutes before your done cooking you can start building your mega salad.  
  6. Dressing: Add in a small bowl your dried pepper, balsalmic and aioli and mix well.  It will be clumpy… so may have to whisk that baby.
  7. In a large bowl (make it big!) add your washed roquette or preferred greenery.
  8. Add your tomatoes and avocado.
  9. Slap your fried potato onions on there.
  10. Salmon on top of that.
  11. EGG
  12. Sprinkle with feta.
  13. Drizzle on the dressing.  Start with a little because you may not need much.
  14. NOM
Voíla! – S

Put an Egg on It & Other Ways to French it Up

You might be eating French food if….

  • Is there an egg on it?
  • Is there salmon on it?
  • Is there cheese in/on/under/smothering it?
  • Is it on a baguette?
  • Is it using Creme Fraiche? (creamy sauce)
  • Is it MEAT? (extra french points if it is raw)
  • Are there potatoes on the side?  Or on top?
  • Is it in no way spicy? 🙁
These points include fast food as well.  There are other core fundamentals I’m sure I have not experienced.  Slow cooked fowl also seems pretty darn popular.  And snails are common to find but not as stereotypically so as you might think.
But most importantly…

Is there an egg on it? 

We have found eggs:

  • In soup
  • On sandwichs
  • On burgers
  • On raw meat
  • On a pizza
  • On a salad
  • In a calzone
  • On top of pasta
And it is damn delicious.  Usually these are over easy eggs.

Pour example:

Beef Tartar – Potatoes on the side not pictured.

Austin ate this a week or so ago. Raw Beef, with an egg on top, potatoes on the side not pictured.  With a French rating of 4 out of 8 points.  Verdict: PRETTY DARN FRENCH

A Very French Lox & Bagel Twist = Lox & Baguette

 

So taking 5 of the 8 points I give you my recipe for an awesome breakfast/lunch/dinner sandwich.  Add some potatoes on the side and you got 6 French points!

Voila! Lox & Baguette

For One Sandwich You Need…

  • Third of a Baguette (We used a poppy seed one.  Best if you get a wider one as our was a little awkward to eat, being we just put two baguettes next to each other to make it wide)
  • Two slices of onion
  • Boursin – Or any herby cheese spread or soft cheese (might be good with goat cheese)
  • One Egg
  • A palm size amount of Smoked Salmon Lox

Delivery

  • Cut an amount of Baguette that fits your tummy size and split it in half to create your open face sandwich surface.
  • Cook an overeasy egg.  Sunny side up egg if you like more yolk.  OPTIONAL: I prefer to pepper and salt the egg while cooking.
  • Towards the end of cooking the egg, toast your baguette in a toaster or hot skillet.
  • OPTIONAL: In the last 30 seconds or so of cooking your egg place your salmon on top.  I personally prefer my salmon to not be cold with the hot egg.  But be careful not to cook it too much.  You can also place a lid over the skillet to expedite this (only 15 seconds though).  
  • When done, be sure to take the egg/salmon off the heat so it does not overcook.
  • Spread boursin on the baguette.
  • Onion layer comes next.
  • Egg & Salmon on top.
Voila!  You might also enjoy Capers on top.

Required Viewing:

 

Now eat while watching this:

Basically what I think of when I see an egg on EVERYTHING in France.

Put an Egg on it! – S

Frommage Chaud on that Salade!

One thing I didn’t know about the French until I moved here.. is they do salads right.  Big, meaty, cheesy and not for your thin, bird-like blind dates to order!

Behold Chevre Chaud:

Chevre Chaud
Chevre Chaud from Le Bon Pêcheur

I assume this consists of:

  • Garden Greens
  • Tomatoes
  • TOASTED pine nuts (gotta be toasted)
  • Poached egg
  • Some sort of dijon vinegarette dressing
  • crusty bread toasted with goat cheese on top (THIS is the chevre chaud)
  • Parsley on top!

Awesome when served with honey to drizzle on the goat cheese.

BoBo Hot Cheese (Frommage Chaud) Salade

Chevre Chaud Salade is awesome for one main reason: Hot Cheese + Bread. Way better then just plain ole croutons.

So I figured I could recreate this at home! Too bad I forgot I didn’t have Goat cheese at home… Introducing an improvisation:

Spicy Breaded Chicken (recipe not given, sorry) with Hot Cheese Salad

Ingredients for one portion:

  • quarter of an Avocado – cut up in chunks (Awesome way to do it)
  • half a Tomato – cut up in chunks
  • quarter of a cucumber – cut up in chunks
  • 2 cups Roquette
  • a tinge Olive Oil
  • a tinge Balsamic Vinegar
  • Soft Boiled Egg (As Austin likes it) – Optional
  • 2 tbsps soft cheese: In this picture I used Laughing Cow cream cheese because that’s all I had.  I half recommend it.  A herb cheese, a boursin or of course a goat cheese would have been better
  • 4-5 leaves of fresh cut up basil (I grow this because I like the feeling of ripping the arms off of something I nurture and eating it.  TMI?)
  • 2-3 toasted points (I got these in a box… but I’m sure you could toast a baguette for the same effect)

Delivery:

  1. Add to a large bowl, washed Roquette, Avocado, Cucumber & Tomato
  2. Spread the soft cheese on the toasted points and sprinkle the basil on top.
  3. Toast the soft cheese points on a rack in a toaster oven for about 3-5 minutes (or until the cheese is a little bubbly)
  4. Dress the salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  5. Put the soft boiled egg on top (after peeling) – Optional
  6. Put the toasted points on top and… Voíla!

Next time we put a potato on that thing! – S