Gourmet Food Blog http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog The Gourmet Food Blog Mon, 03 Oct 2011 16:15:57 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 My 3 Favorite Dishes http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/my-3-favorite-dishes/ http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/my-3-favorite-dishes/#comments Wed, 07 Sep 2011 12:50:48 +0000 admin http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/?p=966 I was super excited when Stevie from Weird Combinations (which I love for its eclectic topics ranging from restaurant reviews to wine tastings, and wonderfully exotic Brazilian recipes courtesy of Heguiberto) recently asked me to pick some of my posts and do a little game of reminiscing. While combing through my blog archive, I was reminded that one of my favorite things about cooking is to always try new recipes and dishes. I like being tempted and challenged by new ingredients and flavors, and would easily get bored if I had to cook the same few dishes over and over. So I thought it would be fun to change things up a bit outside of the kitchen as well, find out a little more about everyone’s favorite recipes, and give this game a new spin. I’d like to present to you

My 3 Favorite Dishes

Follow these simple steps:
- If you are a nominated blogger, pick your 3 Favorite Dishes from your blog
- Share them with us by linking to them on your blog
- Nominate as many bloggers as you want to do the same

Let’s see how many favorite dishes we can compile!

So without further ado, here are My 3 Favorite Dishes:

Risotto With Soybeans And Caramelized Lemon - because risotto is one of the most divine inventions.

Risotto With Soybean And Caramelized Lemon


Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry, Coconut Sambol, and Dahl – because I love spicy food.

Sri Lankan Curry And Dahl


Truffle Torte - because this is classic Austrian pastry at its most indulgent. Hazelnuts and chocolate, and lots of it!

I am nominating the following blogger to share their 3 Favorite Dishes with us:

- Lazaro from Lazaro Cooks, whose blog is brimming with the most creative and fearless dishes, and incredibly cool presentation.

Happy sharing and cooking!

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Ricotta Pie With Summer Vegetables http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/ricotta-pie-with-summer-vegetables/ http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/ricotta-pie-with-summer-vegetables/#comments Tue, 23 Aug 2011 15:41:07 +0000 admin http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/?p=957 Ricotta Pie With Summer Vegetables

The dog days of summer are here! A bit late in the season, but better late than never. Believe it or not, I like it hot, so I’m not complaining. However, when the mercury rises, my desire to stand over a hot stove and stir around in pots goes down drastically. Which is where this delicious ricotta pie comes in. It relies on the freshest and ripest green beans, tomatoes, and basil of the season, and shows them off beautifully against the backdrop of cool ricotta cheese and fruity olive oil. With the help of a food processor, the pie crust is made in a snap. This pie is a great dish to serve at a party, especially with a glass of crisp white wine. I know I keep repeating myself, but if summer only lasted forever…

Ricotta Pie With Summer Vegetables
For the crust (24cm round springform pan):
200g flour
28g corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
80g butter, very cold and cut into cubes
1 egg yolk
80ml cold water
4 basil leaves, finely chopped

1. Put flour, corn starch, and salt in a food processor. Process for 5 seconds.
2. Add butter and egg yolk and process until crumbs form.
3. Add water and basil leaves and process until a smooth dough forms. Add more water if the dough does not come together.
4. Press dough into a disc, wrap in plastic foil and let rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
5. Using a rolling pin, roll dough to about 0.5cm thickness and transfer to springform pan. Press into pan, shaping a low border up the sides of the pan.
6. Prick dough all over with fork, cover with baking paper and baking weights or beans, and bake in preheated oven at 200C for 15 minutes.
7. Remove weights and paper, and continue baking for another 10 minutes or until slightly golden.
8. Remove from oven and let cool completely on rack.

For the topping:
400g ricotta
6 San Marzano tomatoes, cut into thick rounds
150g green beans, cut into 2 to 3cm long pieces, blanched in boiling water for about 3 minutes
30g grated parmigiano
fresh basil leaves
extra virgin olive oil
salt, pepper

1. In a bowl, mix ricotta with 10 finely chopped basil leaves, the parmigiano, and season with salt and pepper.
2. Spread 3/4 of the ricotta mix into the pie crust.
3. Top with green beans and tomatoes.
4. Top with spoonfuls of the remaining ricotta mix, and season with salt and pepper.
5. Top with basil leaves, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.



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Caponata http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/caponata/ http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/caponata/#comments Mon, 15 Aug 2011 16:03:08 +0000 admin http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/?p=944 Caponata, the iconic Sicilian eggplant dish

The deep purple and maroon hues of eggplants and their different shapes and sizes have always fascinated me. But for the longest time, I had a big aversion to them. Until I sampled eggplant dishes in Italy and Turkey. That’s when it hit me: I had simply never had eggplant this delicious before! My aversion had nothing to do with this beautiful vegetable, but everything with the way it was prepared.

I discovered my latest eggplant love during my recent trip to Sicily. Caponata, one of the most iconic dishes of the island’s wonderful cuisine is served there as an appetizer, sometimes at room temperature, sometimes cold. There are as many recipes as there are cooks, but all of them share one common trait – a delicious contrast of textures and aromas. Caponata is at once earthy and elegant, sweet and salty, comforting and very easy on the palate.

Make sure to use dark purple eggplants, preferably capers conserved in salt (vs. capers in vinegar), and a good quality red wine vinegar. Enjoy it with some crusty Italian bread and a glass of red wine, and you’ll wish summer would never end!

Caponata (serves 4 as an appetizer)
1 large eggplant (500 to 600g), cut into small cubes
300g pelati (canned peeled tomatoes)
50g green olives, cut into rounds
1 tablespoon capers in salt, rinsed
20g pine nuts
20g raisins
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
handful of fresh basil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
extra virgin olive oil
salt, pepper
sea salt

1. Put eggplant cubes in a bowl and mix with a few tablespoons of sea salt (this will extract the bitterness of the eggplant).
2. Let stand for 10 minutes, then rinse well under lukewarm water. Pat dry.
3. Deep fry eggplant in olive oil for a few minutes.
4. Transfer to a plate lined with absorbent paper towels.
5. Deep fry celery in the same oil used for deep frying the eggplants.
6. Fry until golden and crispy, then transfer to a plate lined with absorbent paper towels.
7. Pour off excess oil from pan except for 3-4 tablespoons.
8. In remaining oil, sautee onion for a few minutes, then add tomatoes and their juices.
9. Crush tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon. Mix well and simmer for 10 minutes.
10. Add sugar and vinegar, and cook until almost all liquid has evaporated and the sauce is relatively dry.
11. Add pine nuts, raisins, capers, and olives.
12. Add eggplant, celery, and whole basil leaves.
13. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for a couple of minutes.
14. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
15. Serve cold or at room temperature.


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Sicily – Island Of Light http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/sicily-island-of-light/ http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/sicily-island-of-light/#comments Sun, 07 Aug 2011 18:21:17 +0000 admin http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/?p=898 Zingaro Nature Reserve

We had landed in Palermo on a late flight from Rome, and were greeted by the balmy air of a summer night filled with humidity and a faint smell of the ocean. Cab drivers lazily hung around their cars, smoking cigarettes and motioning us to get into a taxi that belonged to an old man whose face was wrinkled up from too much sun and cigarettes. He was polite and spoke no English, and drove a stubborn 50k/h on the fast highway that leads into the city, at times slowing down to a mere 30k/h, which prompted other drivers to honk at us violently. We drove past endless rows of houses in various states of disrepair, with laundry hanging from the windows and balconies, and giant oleander trees in full bloom. When we got to our hotel, the old man took our luggage out of the car and with an inviting gesture asked us in slurry Italian if we wanted to have some “vino” from his trunk. I knew I was going to like it there.

Sicilian Food and Sights

Palermo is like the cacti that grow in abundance all over the island. Rough and prickly, but not without its charm. Most of the historic sites are shamefully decrepit, and yet alluring in their baroque opulence. Blight, trash, and graffiti make for a crazy chaotic scene, but we never felt unwelcome, in danger, or repulsed. It was all far too fascinating, partly because Palermo’s inhabitants seem incredibly proud of their city, despite its very obvious shortcomings.

We had our first introduction to caponata in Palermo – a wonderfully aromatic dish made with deep fried eggplants, tomatoes, celery, raisins, pine nuts, and red vine vinegar. And we ate copious amounts of arancini, deep fried breaded rice balls that come in two versions. “Al ragu” with meat sauce and peas, and “al burro” with mozzarella and prosciutto cotto. One was never enough, no matter how big.

What we really had come for though were cannoli and cassata – only to find out that both were way too sweet for our taste. So instead, we turned our attention to the wonderfully refreshing granita that are served on every corner. The trick was to get the old fashioned version consisting of shaved ice and freshly squeezed fruit juice, rather than the machine churned slushy mess. Soon enough we gave in to another Palermitan culinary institution- gelato served in a brioche bun. It might sound weird, but it tasted incredibly delicious, especially with watermelon or almond ice cream. Watermelon made another appearance in pastry shops all over Palermo in the form of a jello (gelo di anguria) that is flavored with clove and either eaten by itself or used as a filling in little pies. The jello is usually sprinkled with chocolate chips, symbolizing watermelon seeds. But our favorite sweet treat (aside from ice cream) hands down was latte di mandorla, which is made from locally produced marzipan (made from almonds grown on the island) and served chilled.

Palermo Food and Sights

Once we had our fill of baroque churches and crumbling neighborhoods, we drove west to Marsala, from where we explored the surrounding sites, including trips to the magnificent ruins of the ancient Greek town of Selinunte, picturesque Erice, Lo Zingaro, Sicily’s oldest nature reserve, and the very Tunisian town of Mazara del Vallo with its Kasba. The whole area has a vague northern African look to it, with Tunisia being closer than mainland Italy. It’s all decidedly Italian, but seems very, very far from Rome.

The landscape is dotted with olive trees, vineyards, cacti, oleander, aloe vera, and bougainvillea, and everything is bathed in the most magnificent light, against the backdrop of a deep blue sky. People are proud of the land and its products – capers, salt from the salt flats between Marsala and Trapani, tuna, sword fish, Bronte pistachios, almonds, couscous (reflecting the proximity to northern Africa), an array of cheeses and cured hams, and of course, lemons. We sampled melt-in-your-mouth smoked sword fish, tuna, Busiate (a local pasta) with Pesto alla Trapanese (made with tomatoes, almonds, and basil), fantastically lively Grillo (a local white wine) and fruity Malvasia, and we went on a hunt to chase down the best sweet wine I have ever tasted, Donnafugata’s Passito di Pantelleria . It is made from Zibibbo grapes that are grown on the tiny island of Pantelleria (south of Sicily) and are left on the vine to dry in the sun. The resulting wine is beyond description. One night at a well stocked and cool Enoteca in Marsala, our waiter brought us his favorite Marsala with a small bowl of local almond cookies, and the intense taste of the dry wine was the perfect way to end yet another beautiful day.

Marsala Food and Sights

When our last day on the island came all too soon, we felt like we were not quite ready yet to give up la dolce vita, but parting was made a little bit easier knowing that several bottles of wine, olive oil, salted capers, orange flower honey, and other goodies were coming home with us in our suitcases. And we’ll be back for more, hopefully next spring when the wildflowers are in bloom.

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Blackberry Almond Cake http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/blackberry-almond-cake/ http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/blackberry-almond-cake/#comments Wed, 27 Jul 2011 16:13:36 +0000 admin http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/?p=886 Blackberry Almond Cake

Hi everyone, I’m back from my trip to Sicily! First off, thanks to everyone for leaving such kind wishes for a fun vacation – and fun it was indeed. I’m still daydreaming about the beautiful light, colors, smells, and of course flavors of the island, but before I share pictures and impressions from Sicily, I wanted to put up a quick post. I still have mountains of laundry and other enchanting tasks to take care off. Just so I don’t forget I’m back in reality!

My parents have two giant blackberry bushes in their yard, which produce the most magnificent fruit every year. They are best eaten right off the vine when they are still warm from the sun. The day we returned, my parents dropped off a container of freshly picked blackberries – the perfect excuse to bake a cake! I made a simple cake base with ground almonds and vanilla, and topped it off with fresh berries and chopped almonds. If you don’t have blackberries at hand, you can use apricots, blueberries (they go great together!), nectarines, or raspberries instead. The batter is enough for a 26cm round cake pan.

Blackberry Almond Cake
125g soft butter
100g sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
grated peel of 1/2 lemon
3 eggs
150 g flour
40g ground almonds
40g whole blanched almonds, roughly chopped
pinch of salt

1. Cream butter, sugar, vanilla sugar, lemon peel and pinch of salt.
2. Separate eggs and mix yolks into batter one at a time. Mix until well incorporated.
3. Add flour and ground almonds.
4. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
5. Gently fold egg whites into batter.
6. Pour batter into pan and spread evenly.
7. Sprinkle blackberries on top of batter.
8. Sprinkle with chopped almonds.
9. Bake in preheated oven at 180C/350F for about 30 minutes or until golden.
10. Let cool on cake rack before unmolding.


I’m looking forward to checking out what everyone has been cooking while I was gone! Stay tuned for a post on Sicily coming up next.

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The Kitchen Is Closed http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/the-kitchen-is-closed-2/ http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/the-kitchen-is-closed-2/#comments Mon, 11 Jul 2011 11:50:23 +0000 admin http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/?p=880

…for the next two weeks as I will be on a quest to find the best cannoli and cassata. I’m looking forward to catching up with all of you when I get back. In the meantime, enjoy the beautiful summer days and happy cooking!

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Wachauer Marillenknödel http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/wachauer-marillenknodel/ http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/wachauer-marillenknodel/#comments Fri, 08 Jul 2011 12:29:46 +0000 admin http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/?p=864 Marillenknödel

Austria is not only home to more cows than people (and that’s a good thing, because those cows are responsible for incredible dairy products), but also to a legendary variety of Knödel, which come in both savory and sweet form and are a beloved culinary treasure. The word Knödel alone refers to their ball shape, but gives no indication of taste, ingredients, or filling. Knödel are as much of an integral part of Austrian cuisine as rice is in Asian countries, with different parts of Austria producing their own local versions of these delights. Some are quite hearty, such as Tiroler Speckknödel, while others are fluffy pillows of dough filled with the summer’s ripest fruits.

Like in many Austrian families, the production of Knödel filled with fruit has a long tradition in my own family, including my great-grandmother (who was the queen of Knödel, Strudel, and other Austrian pastries), my grandmothers, and my mom. However, there are two different ways to prepare the dough – one is made with potatoes, the other with Topfen. Called Quark in Germany, Topfen is a creamy cheese not unlike ricotta, but drier and with a different taste. My mom usually makes her dough with potatoes, because that’s how my dad likes it, while I am partial to the dough made with Topfen. I find that the Topfen gives it a lighter texture that is a better match with the fruit. I also like to stuff my apricots with a sugar cube, which not only intensifies the aroma of the fruit, but results in a wonderful pool of apricot juice at the center of the Knödel.

The most popular fruit for Knödel are apricots (called Marillen in Austria) and plums (Zwetschken), with the most fragrant and sweetest apricots growing in the Wachau, a scenic stretch along the river Danube not far from Vienna (Richard the Lionheart spent a few months in captivity there at the end of the 12th century – it’s fair to assume though that he wasn’t served anything as fancy as Marillenknödel, and not just because his captivity fell during the cold winter months).

The following recipe can be easily replicated as long as you have access to Topfen (Quark). Unfortunately, there is no substitute for it. A word on the bread crumbs: these are traditionally made from Semmeln, a small white bread extremely popular in Austria, and are called Semmelbrösel (Brösel = crumbs). You can substitute with regular bread crumbs (make sure they are not salty though). Marillen- or Zwetschkenknödel are either eaten as a main course, or for dessert. They are usually preceded by a light soup if eaten as a main course.

Marillenknödel (makes about 7-8 Knödel)
For the dough:
250g Topfen (10% fat)
finely ground peel of 1/2 lemon
50g butter at room temperature
pinch of salt
1 egg
60g flour
60g wheat semolina

7 or 8 ripe apricots
sugar cubes

For the bread crumbs:
100g butter
120g Semmelbrösel (substitute with bread crumbs)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar

powdered sugar for dusting

1. In a bowl, mix 1/4 of the Topfen with butter, lemon peel, and a pinch of salt until creamy.
2. Add egg, remaining Topfen, flour, and semolina and mix well.
3. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
4. Cut a slit into each apricot wide enough to take the pit out. Be careful not to cut them in half!
5. Stuff each apricot with a sugar cube.
6. Using your hands, roll dough into a thick log on a floured surface.
7. Cut off equal slices and flatten with your hands.
8. Put an apricot in the center of each flatten piece of dough, and enclose fruit with dough.
9. Roll in the palm of your hand to achieve a uniform ball shape.
10. Bring water to a boil in a wide pot. Add 1 teaspoon salt.
11. Add Knödel and turn down heat so water barely simmers.
12. Simmer Knödel for about 7 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare bread crumbs:
1. Heat butter in pan until melted. Add both sugars and bread crumbs.
2. Add cinnamon and stir until bread crumbs turn golden.
3. When Knödel are done, lift out of water with a slotted spoon and let drain.
4. Transfer to pan with breadcrumbs and cover evenly.
5. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.


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Pizza Tricolore http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/pizza-tricolore/ http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/pizza-tricolore/#comments Sun, 03 Jul 2011 14:59:47 +0000 admin http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/?p=855 Pizza Tricolore

Pizza is one of my favorite Italian dishes, as long as it resembles the real deal, and not some bizarre concoction from a fast food chain. I know everyone likes their food differently, so no offense to anyone, but pizza crust stuffed with fake cheese and topped with clumps of mystery meat is not pizza. That’s about as far removed from pizza as instant coffee is from cappuccino made with an espresso machine. The ultimate affront though are those awful garlic sticks on the side, especially when they are pimped with one of those slimy sauces that come in little plastic containers.

Whether you like your pizza crust thin or thick, one thing is for sure – making pizza at home is fun and tastes so much better than the frozen or delivered stuff. In fact, there’s no comparison. While I am partial to tomato sauce on my pizza, I don’t always feel like making it, especially in the summer when I like dishes to be light and easy. Representing the three colors of Italy’s national flag, this is probably the easiest pizza you can make at home. With the aid of a food processor, making the dough is a snap, and once the dough has risen you’ll be eating home made pizza fresh from the oven in no time. It’s a real treat in the summer when ripe tomatoes and fresh basil add their intense flavor to this dish. Buon appetito!

Pizza Tricolore (serves 2)
For the dough:
1 tablespoon dry yeast
pinch of sugar
2/3 cup warm (not hot!) water
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, depending on the flour

your favorite ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
a few tablespoons of ricotta
some grated parmesan cheese for sprinkling
chopped garlic
salt, pepper
fresh basil leaves

1. Put the water, yeast, and pinch of sugar in a small bowl or cup.
2. Let stand for a few minutes until foam and bubbles appear on the surface.
3. Put flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the dough hook.
4. Add olive oil and water and yeast mix, and process until a smooth dough forms.
5. The dough should be elastic but not too dry or too sticky.
6. Knead dough a few times on a floured surface. Form into a ball.
7. Put dough in a bowl lightly brushed with oil, and cover.
8. Let rest for about 20 – 30 min. or until doubled in size.
9. With a rolling pin, roll out dough on floured surface to desired thickness.
10. Transfer dough to baking sheet.
11. Spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese onto dough.
12. Sprinkle with chopped garlic
12. Distribute tomato slices evenly, and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.
13. Season with salt and pepper.
14. Bake in a preheated oven at 220C/425F for about 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
15. Let pizza cool, sprinkle with basil leaves, and drizzle with some olive oil.


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Spaghetti With A Sweet Pepper Cream, Arugula, And Speck http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/spaghetti-with-a-sweet-pepper-cream-arugula-and-speck/ http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/spaghetti-with-a-sweet-pepper-cream-arugula-and-speck/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2011 11:43:04 +0000 admin http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/?p=834 Spaghetti With A Sweet Pepper Cream, Arugula, And Speck

I’m usually a bit suspicious of sauces made with bell peppers, because they tend to have a rather bitter and unpleasant taste. Roasting the peppers is a good way to avoid this problem and add a layer of smokiness, but I have to admit I avoid the process of roasting peppers myself like the plague. For some reason, it always ends up such a mess – the peppers first come out of the oven in all their roasted glory, but when I set out to peel them, it goes downhill from there. What I am left with is a battlefield of shriveled up peel that sticks to my fingers like glue, and pieces of bell pepper that are smashed beyond recognition. Not a good idea. I don’t like store bought roasted peppers either though, because they just don’t taste that good and have a strange “preserved” texture to them.

Enter this wonderful sweet bell pepper cream. No roasting or peeling required at all, and the best part? The sauce is incredibly creamy, yet there’s not a lick of cream in it! And making it couldn’t be any simpler. Just simmer onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers in extra virgin olive oil and water until they are tender and the water has evaporated, give it a few spins in a blender, and voila, you have an exquisite sauce for spaghetti!

The subtle sweetness of the bell pepper sauce forms a lovely background for the sharp arugula and the salty Speck in this dish. It’s great with some crusty Italian bread, and a nice glass of red wine. If you need inspiration for picking a good bottle of red, head on over to Stevie and Heguiberto’s great blog, Weird Combinations where you’ll find lots of fun reviews of (Californian) vineries and their liquid products!

Spaghetti With A Sweet Pepper Cream, Arugula, And Speck (serves 4)
400g spaghetti
200g red bell pepper, cut into small cubes
100g red onion, thinly sliced
100g cherry tomatoes, cut in half
4 slices Tyrolean Speck
extra virgin olive oil

1. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a casserole pan and add onions and peppers.
2. Sautee over high heat for about 2 minutes, stirring.
3. Add tomatoes and 500ml water.
4. Salt to taste and let simmer uncovered until peppers are tender and the water has evaporated.
5. Blend in a blender until creamy.
6. Cook spaghetti al dente in plenty of boiling and salted water.
7. Drain spaghetti. Do not rinse.
8. Mix sauce and pasta in the same pot you cooked the spaghetti in.
9. Divide spaghetti among plates, and top each plate with a slice of Speck and a few stems of arugula.


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Cantaloupe Salad http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/cantaloupe-salad/ http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/cantaloupe-salad/#comments Thu, 16 Jun 2011 13:18:08 +0000 admin http://www.gourmetfood.org/blog/?p=817 Cantaloupe Salad With Parmesan Croutons

Some flavors are a match made in heaven. Think of sticky rice with mango, or cantaloupe and prosciutto. Whenever I have cantaloupe, I always want a slice or two of prosciutto with it. The salty prosciutto perfectly balances the sweetness of the melon, and it’s such a perfect combination of flavors that can hardly be improved upon. Or so I thought.

The classic ham/melon pairing gets seriously dressed up in this wonderfully refreshing salad, which makes an elegant appetizer or a light lunch on a hot summer day. For a new twist, I used Tyrolean Speck instead of prosciutto, which has a more rustic and smoky aroma than its Italian cousin. There’s also the mellow taste of mozzarella, while mint and basil add little bursts of summer flavor throughout the salad. For a nice crunch, the salad is topped with lemon and parmesan croutons and dressed with a lovely olive oil and balsamic vinegar marinade. If you can’t find lamb’s ear lettuce, substitute with arugula. If unavailable, use prosciutto instead of Tyrolean Speck.

Cantaloupe Salad With Parmesan Croutons (serves 4)
For the croutons:
90g baguette, cut into small cubes
30g grated parmesan cheese
20ml extra virgin olive oil
finely grated peel of 1 lemon

1/4 garlic clove, finely chopped
50ml extra virgin olive oil
20ml balsamic vinegar
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt, pepper

1/2 Cantaloupe, cut into thin slices
12 thin slices Tyrolean Speck
250g mozzarella, torn into small pieces
lamb’s ear lettuce or arugula
handful of mint leaves
handful of basil leaves

1. In a bowl, mix bread cubes, parmesan, oil, lemon zest, and salt to taste.
2. Sautee coated bread cubes in a pan over high heat until crunchy and golden.
3. Set aside and let cool.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for the dressing.
5. Cut melon into small wedges.
6. Arrange lettuce on plates, and top with melon, mozzarella, and Speck.
7. Drizzle dressing over salad right before serving.


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