Friday, April 25, 2008

Only two more days to go (stop staring at that bagel!)

Hey, this isn't so tough. It's six days into Passover and I'm not even thinking of bread...much.

If you're observing the holiday, I would love to hear how you're "breaking" Passover on Sunday. For us, it's almost always pizza. But this year I'm craving some risotto. Mmmmm. Risotto.

(Looking at watch) Only 50 plus hours to go!

For now, we've got salads. Not a crouton in sight. Sorry.

Ina Garten's Tomato & Feta Salad

3 pints (6 cups) cherry tomatoes
3/4 pound good feta cheese
1 small red onion, chopped
3 tablespoons white wine or Champagne vinegar
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place them in a large bowl. Dice the feta in 1/4-inch dice, crumbling it as little as possible. Add the feta to the tomatoes and then add the onion, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley. Toss carefully and salt, to taste, depending on the saltiness of the feta. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

  • I skipped the cherry tomatoes because the tomatoes on the vine at Whole Foods have truly been perfect recently. And I'm not a huge fan of raw tomatoes, but honestly I could have bitten into these like they were apples.
  • I skipped the onions and added a diced yellow pepper and cucumber instead. I also used Champagne vinegar instead of wine. I find that salads like this need to marinate at least an hour in the fridge before serving.
  • Add some cooked quinoa with this for a meal or spread some on a piece of matzah for a snack.

Mollie Katzen-inspired Pear, Walnut & Goat Cheese Salad

2 cups of romaine lettuce

1/4 cup of crumbled goat cheese

2 T lemon juice (fresh!)

1 pear, sliced

1/4 walnuts, chopped

2 T walnut oil

2 t Champagne vinegar

First I combined the pear, lettuce, walnuts and goat cheese in a bowl and set aside. I whisked the walnut oil, champagne vinegar and lemon juice together for the dressing and drizzled it on the salad.

Mollie Katzen's recipe substitutes feta for the goat cheese, but I've had a lot of feta lately. Also, she suggests marinating the pears in lemon juice first then finishing off the dish with a freshly ground black pepper.

  • You must try this. I think it's the lemon juice that puts this salad on another level. Or maybe it's the walnut oil? I don't know. Just try it and let me know what you think.

Passover memory for today:

It's April 1983 and my parents are taking us to Disney World for spring break! Epcot Center is unveiling the big silver earth thingy and we're truly excited. However, nobody told sis and I that the week my parents chose to go was (drumroll please) Passover! Yes, we visited Epcot Center's France, Italy and Greece. No pastries, pasta or spanakopita for us! We existed on potato chips. Lots and lots of potato chips.

After a few days in the Magic Kingdom, Mickey Mouse's ears started to look like bagels to me.

I'm not still bitter or anything. But I haven't been to Disney World since.

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