Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad

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This is is one of my favorites salads; it’s a recipe I got from a dear friend and I make it frequently. The fresh lemon and herbs always taste like summer to me so I especially enjoy this salad in the winter!

Ingredients:

1 bunch green onions, green and white parts sliced thin

1 lb ripe tomatoes diced

1 cucumber peeled, seeded and diced

1/2 cup chopped mint leaves

1/2 cup chopped basil

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1 can garbanzo beans aka chick peas

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup olive oil

1 T minced garlic

salt and pepper to taste

8 oz fresh feta crumbled

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Get out a large salad bowl and start chopping. Slice the green onion.

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Dice the tomatoes and seed and dice the cucumbers.

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I like to put all of my fresh herbs in the salad spinner to wash and dry them well. Then I remove all of the stems and put the herbs in my food processor and give them a few pulses.

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Place the green onions, tomato, cucumber, and herbs in a salad bowl. Rinse and drain the chick peas and add them to the vegetables. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and minced garlic in a small bowl and whisk.

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Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss with a spatula to coat the vegetables. Add the feta cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

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This salad is great on its own served with fresh or toasted pita bread. The cheese and beans provide plenty of protein for a good lunch. I think this salad pairs especially well with fish and pork. I served it for dinner with trout and smashed garlic cauliflower.

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Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Piccata

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Chicken cooked in a sauce of lemon, parsley and butter.  And, in my interpretation, a few other ingredients. Yesterday was a snowy winter day and even though we weren’t snowed in, today was a great stay at home day watching cooking shows and HGTV.  I had taken a chicken breast out of the freezer and was inspired to make the piccata because of a dish I saw prepared on The Chew today. On the Chew the chicken was marinaded in lemon juice, grilled and then topped with a mixture of parsley, garlic, capers, and olive oil. Sounded wonderful.

Ingredients:

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced thin

2 T olive oil

4 T butter, divided

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest

3/4 cup chicken stock

1/4 cup capers rinsed and chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic sliced thin

1/4 cup parsley chopped

salt and pepper to taste

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Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil has heated add 1 T of butter to the skillet. Dredge the chicken in the flour or put in a zip lock bag and shake to coat. Cook the chicken a couple minutes per side and set aside on a platter. Continue until all of the chicken has been lightly browned. You don’t want to over cook the chicken.

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Once the chicken is done add the chicken broth, lemon juice, capers, 1T of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley to the skillet.

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Scrape up any browned bits in the skillet and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken back into the skillet and simmer for 15 minutes.

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Remove the chicken to a platter or casserole dish. Add the remaining 3T of butter to the sauce and pour over the chicken.

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I served the chicken with quinoa cooked in chicken broth with a bit of garlic and kale cooked with dried cherries. Proved to be a great combination of tastes!  It’s what was for dinner tonight.

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NOTE:  It’s easiest to thin slice your chicken breasts if they are still slightly frozen.

Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad

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This is a favorite salad recipe that a good friend shared with me. It has so many flavors that I love…basil, mint, lemon, garlic. How can anything with those components not be good!!  I have increased the “greens” in her recipe but other than that it remains as shared.

Salad Ingredients

10 scallions, white and light green parts thinly sliced

1 cup ripe cherry or grape tomatoes halved

1 cucumber seeded and diced

1 16-oz can of chickpeas rinsed and drained

1 cup fresh parsley

1 cup fresh mint

1 cup fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup olive oil

5-6 cloves of garlic minced

kosher salt and black pepper to taste

8 oz feta cheese in 1/2 inch dice

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Wash all the herbs well. I like to use my salad spinner.

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Remove all of the stems. I use a few pulses of my food processor to chop the herbs.

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Diced the the cucumbers and halve the tomatoes. I used small salad cucumbers so I diced three of them.

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Rinse and drain the chickpeas.

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I had no green onions on hand so I diced some red onion. Either works well in this salad.

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Combine all the minced herbs, vegetables and chickpeas in a large bowl. Mince the garlic, squeeze the lemons for 1/2 cup of juice, and measure out a half cup of olive oil. Whisk the lemon juice, olive oil and garlic together and pour over the salad. Gently toss to coat the vegetables.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Dice the feta cheese and toss in the salad.

This salad is perfect served with warm pita bread or on lettuce leaves. Or just sit down with a fork and a bowl and enjoy. I served it tonight as a side with sweet potatoes and smoked pork chops. It’s what was for dinner tonight.