Seafood

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.

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

Shrimp and Israeli Couscous Salad with Mango and Avocado

Shrimp and Israeli Couscous Salad with Mango and Avocado - A Thought For Food

Being the primary cook in our house, I have a lot of control over what's on the table. I prepare what I crave, and lately it's been salads. Often this is a green salad with vegetables and roasted salmon. However, when I'm in the mood for something heartier, I bust out the rice or couscous (I love my carbs). For this bowl, I pulled together a bunch of ingredients that make me sublimely happy: shrimp, mango, herbs, and avocado. It may not be the healthiest "salad," but its fresh and vibrant flavors are what I need to get me through these last weeks of winter.

Shrimp and Israeli Couscous Salad with Mango and Avocado - A Thought For Food

Shrimp and Israeli Couscous Salad with Mango and Avocado

Servings: 4-6, as a side

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
3 cups vegetable broth
3/4 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 mango, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup torn mint leaves
1/8 cup torn parsley leaves, stems removed
1 red pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons minced ginger
Juice of 1 lime
Olive oil
Vegetable oil
Paprika
Salt
Black pepper

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add couscous and stir continuously until the couscous gets a little color and smells toasted, 4 to 5 minutes. Add water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. If there is any remaining liquid, drain through a colander. 

In a mixing bowl, toss shrimp with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 teaspoon paprika. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes on each side.

Transfer the couscous and shrimp to a large serving bowl and toss with the red pepper, mango, lime juice, parsley, mint, garlic, and ginger. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Shrimp and Israeli Couscous Salad with Mango and Avocado - A Thought For Food