Shaved Cauliflower and Radicchio Salad with Ginger-Lemongrass Dressing

Shaved Cauliflower and Radicchio Salad with Ginger-Lemongrass Dressing from A Thought For Food www.athoughtforfood.net

I know what my strengths and weaknesses are as a cook and I'd say that one thing I'm consistent with are salads and slaws. Like soups, I love the countless possibilities, the endless flavor combinations. You can go sweet, spicy, creamy, zesty. Whichever way you want it. You can make them during any season, using any produce that's available. I guess I'm kind of geeking over this, but I think they're a wonderful addition to meals. Especially epic dinners like a Thanksgiving feast, where the table tends to be overloaded with cream and butter and cheese (you know, all the good stuff). A bright, crunchy salad can lighten it all up.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, this next week we have a lot going on. On Saturday, we're hosting our annual Friendsgiving and have 18 guests joining us. Usually, I'm pretty stressed over the whole thing, but this year I'm really not worried. I guess I know it'll all come together. There'll be food and drinks and people will have a great time. That's really all that matters.  We're staying local for the actual Thanksgiving festivities, doing brunch with Eric's father and then heading over to do dinner with his mom. 

I may or may not pop in next week to post something else. If I don't, I hope everyone has a happy and delicious holiday.

Shaved Cauliflower and Radicchio Salad with Ginger-Lemongrass Dressing from A Thought For Food www.athoughtforfood.net
Shaved Cauliflower and Radicchio Salad with Ginger-Lemongrass Dressing from A Thought For Food www.athoughtforfood.net
Shaved Cauliflower and Radicchio Salad with Ginger-Lemongrass Dressing from A Thought For Food www.athoughtforfood.net

SHAVED CAULIFLOWER AND RADICCHIO SALAD WITH GINGER-LEMONGRASS DRESSING
Yield: 6-8 servings, as a side

Ingredients:
1 small cauliflower
4-5 radish
1 head radicchio
3 scallion, light and dark green parts only, sliced on the bias
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon chopped lemongrass
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt

Directions:
Using a large chef's knife, remove the green leaves, as well as the stem, from the cauliflower. Quarter the cauliflower and then cut the pieces into thin (approximately 1/4-inch thick) slices. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Thinly slice radish and radicchio and add that, along with the scallion, to the bowl with the cauliflower.

In a separate bowl, add the ingredients for the dressing and whisk until blended. Taste for seasoning and add salt. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to combine. Let sit for at least 20 minutes before serving.  Taste for seasoning and, if necessary, add more salt.

Silent Sunday: Murals of St. Pete, Florida (A Tour with Artist Derek Donnelly)

6T4A0283.jpg
6T4A0217-2.jpg
6T4A0210-2.jpg
6T4A0227.jpg
6T4A0236.jpg
6T4A0381.jpg
6T4A0281.jpg
6T4A0261.jpg
6T4A0267.jpg
6T4A0277.jpg
6T4A0319.jpg
6T4A0335.jpg
6T4A0435.jpg
IMG_0942.jpeg

The mural project started just a few years ago, but now there are 70-plus pieces of all shapes and sizes sprinkled across Downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. St. Pete is now the home of an annual mural festival. I had the pleasure of checking out a handful of pieces in a guided tour with Derek Donnelly, one of the founders of the mural project and the artist of several of the works shown above. Click here for more information.

Hazelnut-Crusted Salmon with Roasted Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

CRUSTED SALMON-0338-2.jpg

Are there things in your pantry you struggle to use up? For me, it's nuts. I'll buy a bag of almonds for a recipe and then neglect them for months. Next to the almonds are five walnuts lingering in a bag . One day I'll get frustrated and either eat them or chuck them in the garbage. I'm not even sure why I initially bought a container of hazelnuts... but they've been hanging in our cabinet for a while.  Occasionally, I'll be looking for something to snack on and will reach for a handful, but it never seems to do much to deplete our supply. I finally decided to take action and, the other day, I ground up the remaining nuts, mixed them with panko and parsley, and spread it on top of some salmon. The whole dinner came together quickly and has an air of elegance (just saying "encrusted salmon" feels sophisticated). You can serve it with any of your favorite vegetables. A lightly-dressed green salad would really round out the meal. For me, I went with what we had in the fridge, some baby potatoes and Brussels sprouts.  

CRUSTED SALMON-0259.jpg
CRUSTED SALMON-0352.jpg

Hazelnut-Crusted Salmon with Roasted Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Servings
4 servings

Ingredients
4 skin-on salmon fillets (approximately 6 oz each)
1 lb baby potatoes, cut in half
1 lb Brussels sprouts, cut in half
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
Lemon zest
Salt
Black pepper
Vegetable oil
Olive oil
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Directions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 8-10 minutes to par cook them (they're done when a knife slides easily into the potato, but there should be some resistance). Strain potato in a colander. 

Preheat oven to 385 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a bowl, toss potatoes and Brussels sprouts with 1-tablespoon olive oil and season generously with salt. Spread them onto the prepared baking sheet in an even layer with the cut sides down. Transfer to the oven and cook for 30 minutes, giving them a stir halfway through to prevent sticking.

Raise the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. 

Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix together chopped hazelnuts, panko, parsley, and 1 ½ teaspoons salt. In another bowl, stir together Dijon mustard and honey. Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Spread Dijon mustard-honey mixture on top of fillets, this will allow the chopped hazelnuts and panko to adhere to the salmon. Spread hazelnuts and panko on top of the mustard.

Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to a large, oven-safe skillet and set over medium-high heat. Once the oil starts to shimmer, carefully place the salmon fillets, skin-side down, into the pan. Cook for 5 minutes and then transfer the pan to the oven. Cook for another 7 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve salmon with lemon wedges, roasted Brussels sprouts and potatoes.