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Greek Salad

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Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 8

Inspired by: I’ve always loved the ingredients in a Greek salad – in any way, shape or form as long as there is not raw onion (which is fairly common). I especially love it with a lot of crunch (romaine, cucumber, bell peppers),  large chunks of tomato, feta. I also often simplify the dressing to just olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Salad Ingredients:

  • Romaine lettuce chopped into easier to eat strips (6-8 large handfuls)
  • 1/2 bunch Italian flat leafed parsley – de-stemmed – just keep the leaves
  • Additional greens (optional – I prefer to add more green)
  • Organic on the vine or cherry tomatoes – chopped into chunks and lightly salted and peppered
  • 1/2 English cucumber, or Persian cucumber, sliced lengthwise and then sliced and lightly salted
  • A few slices of petite bell peppers (optional)
  • 4 oz of feta cheese in 1/2 inch chunks

Dressing Ingredients:

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon tarragon (optional)

Preparation:

  • Mix the salad dressing ingredients in a shaker.
  • Toss the romaine and parsley in a large salad bowl with about half of the dressing – enough to coat the leaves well.
  • Add the rest of the salad ingredients and toss lightly/carefully – adding additional dressing if needed.

Notes: I love this with curry chicken kabobs or with grilled or blackened salmonblackened chicken, or spicy grilled shrimp.

Wine Suggestions: the vinegar in the dressing often makes wine pairing difficult for salads. Champagne is a great way to go as a first course with a salad, or go with another high-acid white wine such as a White Burgundy. If you serve this as a side dish with spicy chicken or fish, check out those recipes for additional pairing suggestions.


Cranberry Relish

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Time: 20-30 minutes

Serves: 8-10 as a side dish

Inspired by: My good friend Sue who is amazing with both food preparations and wine and champagne selections! This was one of the several dishes she brought to a gourmet thanksgiving dinner party this year. Even those who don’t normally like cranberry sauce really enjoyed this refreshing side dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag cranberries
  • 12-15 kumquats
  • Approximately 1/4 cup sugar (taste for desired sweetness)
  • Approximately 1/2 cup fresh, strong crystallized ginger (quantity can very according to your taste)

Preparation:

  • Chop cranberries with sugar in a food processor and then dump into a large bowl.
  • Pull the stems off of the Kumquats and cut into halves.
  • In the same food processor (no need to clean), chop the kumquats with the ginger.
  • Dump the kumquat-ginger mixture into the bowl with the berries and mix well.
  • Refrigerate and serve the next day.

Notes: This is more of a light fruity salad than a relish/condiment, so I categorized it in both places.


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