salad

TUNA GREEK SALAD PLATTER (SPONSORED)

Tuna Greek Salad Platter - A Thought For Food

My pescatarianism comes up often in conversation. This isn’t a huge surprise as I spend my days photographing burgers and steaks and roast chicken. There’s a fascination that individuals have with the dichotomy between my work and diet. When asked to explain, I typically give the same spiel: around the time of my 15th birthday, I stopped eating meat (though I’m quick to clarify that fish is meat). I had spent the previous summer at a film program in Oxford, England, where lunches and dinners consisted mostly of beef covered with cream sauce with big piles of potatoes to go with it. I came back from that trip with the feeling that my body needed to switch things up and quickly realized that I felt better after eating seafood.

During the first few years of this new diet, I consumed quite a bit of tuna, as this was something I could easily pack for lunch or afternoon snack. I still always keep at least a few cans in the pantry.  And while I will use tuna packed in water for creating a mayonnaise-based tuna salad, I always prefer tuna in olive oil. I was very excited to have the opportunity to try Portofino’s Italian-style tuna. This isn’t the kind of canned tuna I wanted to mask the flavors. Instead, I wanted to taste the subtle richness of the extra virgin olive oil and high quality albacore.

I thought a lot about what I could do with Portofino tuna, but kept going back to the Greek salad. Now, if your only experience with one of these is a soggy platter of greens and shriveled, bland olives you had at a diner one time, well, this is not that. When done right, a Greek salad can be a beautiful thing. Fresh ingredients are a must, but also high quality feta and kalamata olives are key. I didn’t really want to mess with perfection, but I felt that the addition of spring asparagus would give it some seasonal flare with a bright dill dressing to lighten everything up.   And, of course, the tuna was an excellent topping to round out this satisfying dish.

Be sure to try Portofino out when planning your next dinner (In the Boston-area, it’s available at Market Basket, Hannaford, and Big Y). For those planning a getaway this summer, their tuna comes in packets as well, making it easier to transport this wonderful ingredient.

Tuna Greek Salad Platter - A Thought For Food
Tuna Greek Salad Platter - A Thought For Food

TUNA GREEK SALAD PLATTER

Yield:
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
For the Salad
1 head Romaine lettuce, leaves washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 English cucumber, partially peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, drained (if there’s liquid)
Feta, cubed
1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, stems removed
1 bunch asparagus spears, trimmed
2 cans Portofino Italian-style canned tuna

For the Dressing
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Directions:
Fill a large pot with an inch of water. Bring water to a boil. Add steamer basket with asparagus to the pot and cook for 5-8 minutes, depending on thickness of asparagus spears.

Meanwhile prepare a large ice bath in a bowl. Transfer asparagus to the ice water to stop the cooking process.

To prepare the dressing, whisk the Dijon mustard, dill, salt, lemon juice, and red wine vinegar in a medium-bowl. While continuing to whisk, slowly drizzle in olive oil until emulsified. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together all of the salad ingredients. Transfer to a serving platter and top with tuna. Serve with the dressing on the side.

Moroccan Carrot and Lentil Salad

Moroccan Carrot and Lentil Salad | A Thought For Food (www.athoughtforfood.net)

Since the beginning of April, our weekends have been consumed by trips to the Cape. We're getting close to the end of the major work. The main bathroom has been gutted, which is probably our biggest obstacle at this point. There are a few exterior elements... an outdoor shower that's being constructed and some painting... that remain. It's both exciting and slightly overwhelming. But that's home ownership, right? I decided to take this past weekend off, opting to stay home and get projects finished up and some cooking done. I've taken a much longer hiatus from the blog than I'd intended, but I have a few things lined up these next couple of weeks. I'm starting off with a bowl of Moroccan spiced carrots and lentils. While it feels very fall, this is a year-round dish... and an excellent side for an outdoor feast.  It's savory and sweet with a hit of acidity from the citrusy dressing. I've eaten plenty of it on its own, but it certainly feels like the perfect pairing for a platter of grilled chicken or fish.

Moroccan Carrot and Lentil Salad | A Thought For Food (www.athoughtforfood.net)

Moroccan Carrot and Lentil Salad

Servings:
6-8, as a side dish

Ingredients:
1 cup dry green lentils, rinsed and drained
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut at a bias into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Juice of 1 lemon
Olive oil
Salt
Black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup currants
Chopped parsley, for garnish

Directions
Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the lentils and turn the heat down to medium, letting it simmer for 20-25 minutes, until cooked (but not mushy). Drain of any remaining liquid. Transfer lentils to a serving bowl to let cool.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the cumin, cinnamon, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the carrots to a separate bowl and toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil, followed by the spice mix. Spread carrots over the prepared baking pan and transfer to the oven. Cook for 30 minutes, giving the carrots a stir halfway through. 

While the carrots are cooking, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a pan set over medium-high heat. Cook the onion for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer onion to the serving bowl with the lentils.

Prepare the dressing by whisking together the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, chopped dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a large mixing bowl. Pour over the lentils and onion and carefully stir to combine, making sure not to mash up the lentils. 

Once the carrots have finished cooking, carefully toss them with the lentils, along with the currants. Season with salt, to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve warm or at room temp.

Roasted Salmon Burrito Bowl + Cookbook Giveaway

Roasted Salmon Burrito Bowl - A Thought For Food

Over a month has gone by since my last blog post. In nine years, I can't recall another instance where this much time has elapsed between entries. When I saw my calendar filling up with projects, I quickly resigned to the fact that the blog would be moved to the back burner for a bit. In some ways, it was refreshing to take a step away from it; when something has such a strong presence in your life, a break can be healthy. But I missed this space; it remains a creative outlet that I relish, and it feels good to be here. 

I have Jessica to thank for this resurgence. The other week, I received a copy of her second cookbook, The Pretty Dish: More Than 150 Everyday Recipes & 50 Beauty DIYs to Nourish Your Body Inside and Out. When it arrived, I quickly glanced through the photos (all of which are lovely) and set it aside. I'd dig into it when I had a free moment, which didn't occur until a few days ago. I sat down with my morning cup of coffee and flipped through the pages, searching for a recipe to dig into (there were a lot of excellent candidates). I found the colors and flavors of her carnitas burrito bowl striking, and I realized simply swapping in roasted salmon would make it pescatarian. 

Now, I have the honor of hosting a giveaway of The Pretty Dish!  One lucky winner will get a copy of Jessica's book!

Giveaway Details: 
To enter, leave a comment on this post. Eligible to US residents only (sorry international friends)! Giveaway ends at 12PM EST on Friday, April 6, 2018. The winner will be contacted via e-mail. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another name will be drawn. (Note: Be sure to fill out the e-mail field in the comment form) 

ROASTED SALMON BURRITO BOWL-0465.jpg
Roasted Salmon Burrito Bowl - A Thought For Food

ROASTED SALMON BURRITO BOWL

Source: Adapted from Jessica Merchant's The Pretty Dish

Notes: To make Jessica's recipe pescatarian, I swapped out the carnitas she included for spice roasted salmon fillets. All the other components came from her book

Servings: 4

Ingredients:
For the salmon
4 skin-on salmon fillets, 6 ounces each
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Zest of 1 organic lime
Olive oil

For the pickled onions
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt

For the corn salsa
1 1/2 cups corn kernels
1/2 red onion, diced
1 jalapeno chile pepper, diced
Juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

For the pico de gallo
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, diced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and ground black pepper

The Basic Bowl Setup
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 avocados, thinly sliced
A few spoonfuls pickled onions
3 tablespoons cotija cheese

Additional toppings (optional)
Sliced scallions
Chopped fresh cilantro
Lime wedges

Directions
To make the roasted salmon
Preheat the oven to 485 degrees F. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Lightly grease the pan with olive oil or cooking spray. In a bowl, combine all the spices, lime zest, salt and black pepper and whisk together. Place salmon fillets, skin-side down, on the prepared baking pan. Cover the flesh of the fillets with the spice mix. Transfer to oven and cook for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let salmon rest on the pan for another 10 minutes before serving. 

To make the pickled onions
Place the onions in a jar or cup. In a bowl, whisk together the water, vinegar, sugar and salt until the sugar and salt dissolve. Pour over the sliced onions. Let sit at room temperature for an hour. You can make this ahead of time and once made, store it in the fridge in a sealed container or jar.

To make the corn salsa
In a bowl, combine the corn, onion, jalapeno pepper, lime juice, cilantro. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Mix well. 

To make the pico de gallo
In a bowl, mix together the tomatoes, onion, cilantro and lime juiced, stirring well. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Roasted Salmon Burrito Bowl - A Thought For Food