January in the Southern Hemisphere is always the same deal: it’s too hot, “this year I’ll eat healthier, I swear,” “did I mention it’s hot in here?,” etc. So, nothing better than starting the year with Summer Tertulias – a series of light recipes that go hand in hand with the hot weather! 😀
Today’s recipe is a very very tasty LETTUCE-FREE salad (I don’t really care for lettuce). The coolest thing is that you only get the cutting boards and the plates dirty, no need for a salad bowl! Deb’s original recipe called for feta, but I’ve never found it here in Uruguay – I used hard ricotta and it worked great. You can also use goat cheese, it’s excellent!
For two people, you’ll need:
1/2 green bell pepper
1 cup of cherry/grape tomatoes
1/4 cup of black olives – you can skip it, if you want. I won’t understand it, but you can do it, it’s your salad after all!
1/2 medium-size red onion – mine was big, so I used 1/4.
Thick slices of feta, ricotta, goat cheese, or grilled tofu for a vegan version
juice of 1 lemon – I got carried away and used 2, but the original recipe calls for just one 😀
olive oil, salt, black pepper, oregano (fresh oregano would be the ideal thing here, but I only had dried leaves, so that’s what I used)
Assembling this salad is super easy.
If you think that raw onions are too strong, you can slice it thinly and let it soak in the lemon juice while you chop the rest of the ingredients. I love raw onions (mom will tell you all about how I used to steal raw onions from the fridge when I was five), so all I did was slice it thin! 😀
Cut the cucumber into medium-size bits, the bell pepper in small cubes, and the cherry tomatoes in half. I placed the ingredients on the plates as I chopped them, to spare one dish! #lazypeoplehack
Place the olives and the cheese slices on the salad, and dress it with the lemon juice (even if you’ve soaked your onions in it), olive oil, salt, pepper, and the oregano leaves.
Eat and feel virtuous that you are sticking to your new year’s resolution (for now…) 😀
Salt cod is a big deal in my family. We eat it for Christmas, Easter, special occasions, not-so-special occasions… Here in Uruguay, we can only find it around Easter. The worst thing is that it’s almost impossible to find nice thick pieces! Although it’s a bit of a pain to deal with thin salt cod, I buy it whenever I see it – did you say salt cod cakes? Bacalhoada? Basically anything with salt cod?
Looking for a different way of preparing it, I found this recipe on Receitas de Minuto. It was great – a much lighter way of eating salt cod!
For a 9-inch quiche, you’ll need:
1 cup flour
80 g cold butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
Pinch of salt
For the filling:
½ cup chopped onions or leeks
10 olives, give it or take
200 g salt cod, de-salted and shredded
1 cup heavy cream
Pepper, nutmeg, and paprika
Start by making the dough, which is basically the same as in the cheese empada. In a bowl, place the flour, salt, and butter. Mix the ingredients using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, crushing the chunks of butter until the texture resembles wet sand. Add the yolk and shape the dough into a ball. If you live in a dry area, you may need to add a couple Tbsp of water to be able to bring the dough together.
Roll the dough over a 9-inch round pan, pressing well on the bottom and sides of the pan. With a fork, unleash your inner murderer and prick the entire crust. Bake on a pre-heated oven for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and set aside.
While the crust cools, prepare the filling: in pan that fits all the ingredients for the filling, sautée the leeks/onions and olives with a bit of olive oil until they soften a bit. Add the shredded salt cod and season with pepper, nutmeg, and paprika. Taste for salt – you usually don’t have to add any!
Remove the pan from the stove, mix in the heavy cream, and let it cool a bit before adding the eggs – you want a quiche, not scrambled eggs! 😀
After mixing in the eggs, pour the filling over the crust and bake in a pre-heated oven for approximately 40 minutes, or until the filling is set and golden-brown. Wait a few minutes before slicing the quiche and serve with a nice green salad!