Go-To Arugula salad

Simple Restaurant Quality Arugula Salad.This is by far the easiest salad to make on a whim for lunch, dinner or even a dinner party or picnic. It is my go to for dinners with company and as good as anything you’d get in any top restaurant. It’s hard to believe it’s so easy to make. The shaved cheese MAKES it so should not be omitted. It’s also a great salad to serve under a simple breaded or roasted chicken breast. (If you are bringing to a picnic, pack the dressing and cheese separately and toss in the salad container before serving.)

 

  • 1/3 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • Arugula Leaves
  • Shaved Parmesan Cheese (not grated).
  • Salt and Pepper

 

Dijon, Lemon and Olive Oil Dressing.Make the dressing by adding the mustard into the lemon juice and then add the oil in slowly while whisking it with a whisk or even just a fork. The mustard not only adds to the flavor of the dressing but it will help the dressing blend together (emulsify) without too much fuss (a little trick a chef taught me). There may be dressing left over depending upon how much salad you use. You can also add a touch of honey to the dressing for a nice, sweet twist. 

 

Toss the arugula with the as much dressing as you’d like (a little goes a long way) and then sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on top. Then, add some of the shaved slices of Parmesan. The cheese makes it. I just introduced this salad to my boys during a family vacation to Zions National Park. We always rent a place with a kitchen to save money on eating out and it’s so much fun to cook together and mingle until 1 AM afterwards. Enjoy!

 

 

Mango Lassi – Indian Yogurt Drink

One of my eldest’s son’s favorite restaurants is near the forum in Inglewood. Last time, we ate there my daughter discovered their Sweet Traditional Mango Lassisweet, mango lassi. It is such a simple recipe, that now we make it at home the way the restaurant does. Plus, it is a great breakfast alternative because of the fruit and yogurt – that and you can put it in a cup and take it in the car for a breakfast or snack on the go.

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 Cups Plain Yogurt
  • 2 Cans Sweetened Mango (like Dole) or Sweetened Mango Pulp (available in Indian Markets).
  • Additional Honey or Sugar to sweeten (optional).
  • Milk to thin (if desired).

 

Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Serve over ice. 

Grilled Artichoke Hearts with Lemon Aioli

I rarely shop at Gelson’s market because it’s a little out of my budget. But sometimes, I splurge and swing by the one close to my Mom’s and buy some food to take to eat at her house when I visit. I am so impressed by their deli case. They have so many options and Grilled Artichoke Hearts with Lemon Aiolitheir side salad recipes are inspiring. Last time I was there, they had a huge platter of grilled artichokes in lemon aioli. I love that word, “aioli”. But let’s face it – basically it’s mayo. But “aioli” does sound so much more exotic. After tasting them, I realized it would be really easy to recreate the recipe – so I did. Now I make these frequently. Lately, I’ve been on a diet and artichoke hearts (as long as they aren’t stored in oil) are on my limited ‘free’ foods list – so I keep these in the fridge to snack on.  

 

Lemon Aioli Recipe:

  • 1/2 Cup Mayo
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey or Agave or Brown Sugar
  • (Optional) Fresh Thyme Leaves, chopped

Lemon Aioli Recipe

I use the canned artichokes in water from Trader Joe’s. Drain, grill, cool and mix with the aioli. Chill until ready to eat. 

Italian Sliced Fennel Salad

Sometimes when I’m posting something ridiculously easy to make here, I think – does this even constitute a real recipe? But this is a classic Italian side dish and I had never tried it. Now, I cannot get enough of it. It is so simple and yet so delicious and healthy. No wonder Italians make it all the time.  So it makes me happy to share it with my family. While this recipe just uses fennel, I’ve been told from one of my Italian friends that her mother used to add raw mushrooms sliced extra thin to the dish – and I’ve read that others add sliced onions. It’s a great side dish and now a staple on my table or when we bring a side dish to a barbecue or other outdoor Summer event.

Traditional Italian Sliced Fennel

Ingredients:

 

  • 1-2 Fennel Bulbs
  • Fruity Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • Fresh shaved parmesan cheese 
  • Salt and Pepper

 

1. Cut the green stalks and the hard bottom off of the fennel bulbs. 

2. Rinse the fennel bulbs well to remove any dirt or sand.

3. Slice thin.

4. Spread out onto a large plate.

5. Drizzle olive oil , lemon juice and salt and pepper on top. 

6. Then, shave the parmesan cheese on top. Done.