Tag Archives: grapefruit

French potato salad from http://www.oneishungry.com

Salad days

Last Friday night we went to a friend’s house for a bbq with our small group from church and about eight Chinese students attending George Washington University.  It was great!  Despite the rain, despite the headache-cum-migraine I’ve been carrying around for weeks, despite everyone’s individual worries and concerns, those few hours were lovely.  I got to play with one of the cutest babies ever, catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a while, and meet new people.  The students were divided up between accountants and hospitality services studies and the topics under discussion were diverse to say the least.  At one time I heard meningitis, George Washington, electric bikes, home-stay, and DSLR camera specs floating up from the different knots of people around the house.

Of course, being a bbq there was also food!  Our small group pitched in for pot luck; Jason and I took enormous bowls of potato salad, fragrant with herbs, and fruit salad with a twist.

 

French potato salad

French potato salad

(adapted from the Barefoot Contessa)

ingredients (serves 4-6). . .we tripled it!

2 pounds small red potatoes

4 Tbs. chicken stock

3 Tbs. champagne vinegar

3/4 tsp. dijon mustard

2 tsp. kosher salt

3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

8-10 Tbs. good extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup chopped scallions (white and green parts)

2 Tbs. minced fresh dill

2 Tbs. minced flat-leaf parsley

2 Tbs. chiffonade of fresh basil leaves

Boil potatoes in salted water until they are just cooked through.  Remove potatoes to bowl and cover with a towel to steam for 10 more minutes.  Halve or quarter potatoes and toss gently with chicken stock.  Allow liquid to be absorbed into potatoes before proceeding.

Combine vinegar, mustard, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and oil in mason jar and shake it! (or slowly whisk oil into other ingredients to emulsify.)  Add vinaigrette to potatoes and gently toss with herbs and remaining salt and pepper.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Fruit Salad a la Oyamel

Fruit Salad a la Oyamel

ingredients (serves 4-6)

2 grapefruits

2 pink or green apples (or pears)

1 mango

1 banana

1/2 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped

2 tsp cayenne powder

1-2 limes quartered

Segment grapefruit and break segments into medium chunks.  Cut apples (peel off or on) in large dice.  Peel mango and cut likewise.  Peel and cut banana in rounds.  Squeeze 1 lime quarter and gently toss together.

Decision time:  if everyone to whom you are feeding this salad likes a little spice, then toast your pecans in a dry pan over medium heat with the cayenne pepper.  If you are uncertain of you fellow diner’s pepper tolerance, just toast nuts plain, and provide limes dipped in cayenne for squeezing over individual portions.

 

 

Feast

Feast.  To me that word is redolent of picnicking Pickwickians, the overflowing hampers and larders of Ratty and Mole, and Hobbits (classic British authors have a way of describing food with a most wonderfully sympathetic, gleeful greediness).  One of the favorite meals in our house is something we call Feast.  Feast has many forms around a basic formula.  Meat, cheese, fruit, vegetables, bread and/or crackers.  Nuts, chocolate, and jams, pastes and pickles are optional.  It is roughly akin to the classic cheese board, but so much better!  Feast is the base for the perfect, quick picnic, an elegant,yet casual dinner with friends or a cozy tête-à-tête with the one you love.

After a solid week and a half of eating out here in Canberra, we were ready for a quiet meal at home (don’t get me wrong, the food here in Canberra has been outstanding, but it is nice to have a break from going out).  One of Jason’s co-workers was flying in Sunday and we found a wonderful market during the week, so out we ran to get feast for three.

Rockmellon (American English: Cantalope)

Sweet Slices

Forbes Nectarine

The Pink Lady

Crudités

Feast

Our Basic Feast

Herbes de Provence Roasted chicken

fresh goat cheese

sharp cheddar

apple slices (tart in our house)

“carrots in sauce”  that is a Jason term for carrots and other crudite style vegetables tossed with a champagne vinegarette

Wasa crackers and brown rice crackers

Amazing Additions/Substitutions

smoked salmon

deli meats (ham, turkey, etc)

hard salami

boiled eggs

any and all of the vast world of cheeses (though we have yet to find a place for blue cheese in Feast. . .or much of anything)

grapes

grapefruit

mango

any fruit!

crudité style veggies

cornichons

quince paste

honey

nuts

dark chocolate

whole grain mustard

Have a feast of your own?  Write or send pictures and share!