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Arugula

Appetizers Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Salad vegetarian

Roasted Fig and Arugula Salad



Roasted Fig and Arugula Salad

I’m in salad mode these days and this gorgeous Roasted Fig and Arugula Salad is my obsession as of late.

I’m harvesting a plethora of produce from my garden and what I didn’t grow or can’t grow, I’m finding at our local farmer’s market and farms around the valley.  I feel like a kid in a candy store!

My arugula grew beyond my expectations and my Swiss Chard is still going strong, which makes me super happy.  Swiss Chard is my favorite leafy green; I adore it for it’s peppery bite and it’s a bit more hearty when sautéed.  It makes the loveliest fillings for morning omelets or frittatas and works well in my simple weeknight one dish meal of white rice, sliced green onions, sliced fresh mushrooms, diced roasted poblanos (optional) and ground Italian sausage for the Bennett Crew and a poached egg for me. 🙂

Due to my exploding arugula, I’ve created more recipes to include arugula this year than ever before.  However, with the heat recently, I try not to turn on the oven, so this Roasted Fig and Arugula salad plus a grilled entrée is often served for dinner.  Actually, I can eat this salad without anything else, that’s how much I love it.

Roasted Fig and Arugula Salad

I roast the figs early in the day and then refrigerate them.  Or I’ll grill the figs if I get busy and forget to roast them.

I dress the arugula with a honey balsamic vinaigrette, a pinch of salt and pepper and then layer with the roasted figs and crumbled goat cheese for the yummiest and most indulgent Roasted Fig and Arugula salad.

Although it’s been a hot summer, it’s been a lovely summer.  Quick day trips to the coast and dining at my absolute favorite coastal seafood restaurant, Local Ocean Seafood in Newport, hikes in the mountains with Tank and a visit with my sweet family.  The best part of this summer?  No moves! I’ve moved the last two summers and it feels so nice to be settled and enjoying the season.  Even if it’s been brutally hot.

I hope you’re enjoying your summer, staying cool and spending lots of time gathered around the table with family and friends.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

Roasted Fig and Arugula Salad with Crumbled Goat Cheese

Serving Size: 4-6

Roasted Fig and Arugula Salad with Crumbled Goat Cheese

Ingredients

  • 4-6 cups of baby arugula leaves
  • 1-2 pints fresh figs
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1-2 tablespoons
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
  • Slice the figs in half and then toss with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
  • Place the figs in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until they are soft and a little caramelized.
  • Remove the figs from the oven and let them cool.
  • Whisk together the 3/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and honey. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Drizzle a bit of the vinaigrette over the arugula and toss. Plate the arugula and then layer with the roasted figs, drizzling a bit more vinaigrette over the figs if desired, and then sprinkle with the crumbled goat cheese.
  • Serve immediately.
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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Arugula and White Bean Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

    Arugula and White Bean Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

    Oh to be sitting on a Tuscan veranda, sipping Chianti and dining on Italian cuisine with friends…. Ahhh the memories.

    As you can see, I’m still re-living my visit to Tuscany and pining away for a return visit.  But alas, I’ll have to settle for this lovely little Tuscan salad and a bottle of my favorite Sangiovese from Tuscany, the DaVinci Brunello.  Which isn’t so bad, right?

    While traveling the Tuscan countryside last Fall, I sampled a few enchanting versions of this salad.  However, I’ve been preparing this particular salad for my family and clients at least ten years now.  Hands down, this is one of my favorite salads to whip together for an impromptu dinner party or pair with grilled meats, poultry or fish on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

    Arugula and White Bean Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

    Although my family adores this salad with arugula, I sometimes use baby spinach with a mixture of spring greens and throw in all the little extras from the produce bin.  Like the three remaining mini sweet peppers, the lone green onion that didn’t make it into the morning eggs or extra kale or Swiss chard that’s not looking so lively.  Then I ladle the beans on top and then sprinkle with the sliced red onion.  Last, drizzle with my best balsamic vinegar and my favorite extra virgin olive oil.

    If you’re serving the salad immediately season the greens and veggies and dress with the vinaigrette.  If it’ll be a while before serving the salad, drizzle the vinaigrette over the top so the greens don’t wilt – and then you’re left with a very sad-looking salad.  I speak from experience.

    Fresh, fast, flavorful …and beautiful on the table.  Perfect for spring and the approaching grilling season!  I love this salad as a light lunch or dinner, but I also love it paired with grilled steaks, burgers, chicken, ribs, salmon and shrimp.  Grilled lobster might be nice too 🙂

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    Arugula and White Bean Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

    Serves 4 but can easily be doubled

    Ingredients

    1 cup (or more if you like) cannellini beans, cooked and drained.  I usually cook my own beans but I always keep a few spare cans of organic white beans in the pantry so I can make this salad in a pinch.

    4 cups (packed) fresh arugula, either large leaf or baby arugula

    1/2 red onion, peeled and sliced thin

    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

    2 tablespoons quality aged balsamic vinegar – pull out your good stuff for this salad

    2 teaspoons honey

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Directions

    If you are using full grown arugula, wash the arugula in a large bowl of water to remove all the sand and grit. Dry the arugula well, preferably in a salad spinner, and transfer it to a large mixing bowl.  My farmer’s market stocks baby arugula, which I love, so I often use this instead of the larger full grown arugula.  The taste and texture are slightly more delicate.

    Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, oil, honey and taste for seasoning.

    If you’re serving the salad immediately, go ahead and dress the greens by tossing them with the vinaigrette.  Ladle the salad onto a platter and top with the white beans.  Season with fresh cracked black pepper and a pinch of salt and then top the beans with the thin sliced red onion.  Serve immediately.

    If you’d like to prepare the salad but won’t serve it immediately, place the greens on a platter, top with the beans, season and then top with the sliced red onion.  Before serving drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and serve.

    This salad is delicious with grilled steak, chicken, ribs, fish and additional grilled veggies.  It’s also great on it’s own for a light meal paired with crusty Italian bread, bruschetta or your favorite crostini.  Oh, and a glass of Chianti!

     

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Risotto Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Fresh Spinach, Arugula and Lemon Risotto

    spinach, arugula and lemon risotto

    Fresh Spinach, Arugula and Lemon Risotto

    One of my chicken gals laid an egg today!  Yes, I splattered the good news all over facebook, instagram, and twitter.

    After my little social media blitz, I joyously announced the good news to my two sassy gals.  To which the reply was less than enthusiastic.

    One of my sassy gals gets a pass on enthusiasm as she’s still recovering from surgery, but I thought my youngest gal would be a little more thrilled about the good news.  I was on the receiving end of “that’s nice Mom”.

    chicken egg

    Our first egg

    I did however get a resounding “hurrah” for this lovely little spring green dish of risotto.  One of my youngest gals favorite comfort foods.

    Risotto can be simply flavored with just a hint of spiciness from sautéed shallots, layered with the subtle saltiness of fresh grated parmesan, or exquisitely prepared with earthy porcini’s and lightly drizzled with the distinct pungent flavor of truffle oil.

    This risotto however is most beautifully in between.  Hmmm… I’m sounding a bit like Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  This risotto is just right. 🙂

    spinach, arugula and lemon risotto

    Fresh Spinach, Arugula and Lemon Risotto

    Beautifully green with the distinct peppery taste of fresh arugula and the subtle grassiness of fresh spinach.  Then combined with a spritz of fresh lemon, garlic cloves and olive oil, this risotto seems to complete the spring season of risottos.

    Bright in color and happy on the palate.  What every spring risotto aspires to be.

    Fresh Spinach, Arugula and Lemon Risotto

    Serves 4 to 6

    Ingredients

    1 cup fresh spinach, packed (I used baby spinach leaves)

    1 cup fresh arugula, packed (I used baby arugula leaves)

    1-2 cloves garlic, crushed

    Zest of one lemon

    2-3 tablespoons lemon juice

    ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

    Salt and pepper to taste

    3 tablespoons butter

    1 shallot, chopped

    2 cups Arborio rice

    ½ cup dry white wine

    6 cups vegetable broth, warmed

    ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

    Directions

    Combine the arugula and spinach leaves, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil in a food processor.  Blend until coarsely chopped.  Fold in the lemon zest.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    In a large saucepan bring the broth to a simmer.  Cover and keep warm over low heat.

    Melt the butter in a heavy large pot over medium heat.  Add the chopped shallot and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.

    Add the rice and stir for about 2 minutes. Add the white wine and stir until absorbed, about 1 minute.

    Stir in 1 cup of the warm broth and simmer until it is absorbed, stirring frequently. Cook until the rice is almost tender, adding broth ½ cup at a time and stirring often, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next, about 20 minutes.

    Stir in the spinach arugula mixture. Continue cooking, adding more broth ¼ cup at a time, until rice is creamy and tender, about 10 minutes longer.

    Season the risotto with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately.

     

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pasta Seafood Shrimp

    Shrimp Linguine with Fresh Arugula Lemon Pesto

    www.karistaskitchen.com

    www.karistaskitchen.com

    From the time my two sassy gals were little, I’ve given them this tidbit of advice.  Be aware of your surroundings. Keep alert, watch where you’re going, and watch your step.  Excellent Motherly advice.  Right?

    Why you ask? Because I am notorious for ending up sprawled out on a parking lot, grassy hills,  rocky slopes, sidewalks, and several times down the stairs of my back deck.  Yep, if there is a fall waiting to happen, I usually oblige.

    Winery Tours with my most amazing cousins John and Shelby. John is a Wine Master with Rocca Vineyards.

    Winery Tours with my most amazing cousins John and Shelby. John is the Sales Director for Rocca Vineyards.

    I do heed my own advice.  Really I do.  But sometimes I’m mentally multitasking and probably not paying close attention (ya think?) to where my feet are going.  I’m not the only one with this affliction.  My twin sister.  Yep, she’s got it too.

    My sister, Kristin, and I recently discussed our unintentional inability to stay firmly planted on our feet.  It’s been too long since we’ve seen each other and we met in Napa for a little fun, wine, and film at the Napa Wine and Film Festival.

    Touring Napa with Ranger Craig, Kristin and Kevin (my Sis and Brother in law)

    Touring Napa with Ranger Craig, Kristin and Kevin (my Sis and Brother in law)

    Between wine tastings, divine food and film, Ranger Craig and my handsome Brother in law, Kevin, decided we should all go hiking.  K and I love to hike, so we were eagerly on board with the idea.

    Just as I got out of the car what does my hunk of burnin’ love say to me? Smiling and trying oh so hard not to laugh… “Babe, watch your step. I don’t want to have to carry you back down the mountain”.

    A beautiful day to hike Napa

    A beautiful day to hike Napa

    Yep.  This has happened.  Probably on more than one occasion, but I think I’ve repressed those memories.  The last time Ranger Craig and I hiked, I did a “slide into home base” down Mt. Si.  Ranger Craig and I had hiked up the mountain (without so much as a trip!) but when we were on our way down, we were deep in glorious conversation (or rather I was) when all of a sudden the mountain moved right out from under me.  And thus sending me into a forward pitch down the hill to claim home plate.

    Thankfully, hiking in Napa proved painless and crashless. My sister and I laughed and reminisced through the hike about our variety of mishaps, sidewalks moving, and wide holes opening in the ground for us to step in and perform unladylike face plants.

    I’m so thankful I’m not alone in the world of stumbling, falling, slipping out of my jeep onto the pavement, and those beautiful and graceful face plants. I couldn’t be more thankful for my beautiful sis. A brilliant woman who amazes me with her determination, leadership, cleverness and hilarious sense of humor.  She has a big heart and a generous spirit. I love her.

    Friends and family are constant reminders of true love, joy and the spirit of Christmas.  Wishing you all a joyous and delicious holiday season.  And be sure to keep alert, watch where you’re going and watch your step. 😉

    Shrimp Linguine with Fresh Arugula Lemon Pesto

    I love fresh.  I love delicious.  I love simple.  Especially this time of year when it’s tempting to get take out instead of cook.  This is one of my fave pasta dishes.  It can easily be vegetarian with roasted veggies subbed for the shrimp.  It’s a great way to use leftover roasted chicken,  and sometimes I sub the shrimp for pan seared or grilled scallops.  Delicious!

    Shrimp Linguine with Fresh Arugula Lemon Pesto

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients

    1 package good quality dried or fresh linguine, cooked according to package directions (my fave pasta is Jovial Brand Pastas, delicious every time!)

    1½ lbs fresh shrimp (I like larger shrimp), deveined and peeled just to the tail.  Keep the tail on as it’s easier to prepare.

    2 tablespoons butter

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Pinch of cayenne

    For the Pesto

    2 heaping cups fresh arugula (I used baby arugula) about 3-4 ounces

    ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley

    2 cloves garlic (or more if you love garlic)

    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    ¼ cup toasted pine nuts

    ¼ cup grated fresh parmesan

    ½ cup good quality extra virgin California Ranch Olive Oil (I love the Arbequina in this dish)

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Zest of one lemon

    Fresh grated parmesan for garnish

    Directions 

    Prepare the Pasta.

    Prepare the pesto.  While pasta is boiling, place the pesto ingredients, except the olive oil, lemon zest, salt and pepper, in a blender, vitamix or food processor.  Pulse the ingredients just until nicely incorporated.  Then drizzle in the olive oil until the ingredients are a smooth puree.  Fold in the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Prepare the Shrimp.  In a large skillet over medium high heat add the butter.  Season the shrimp with salt and pepper.  When the butter is frothy, place each shrimp one at a time in the bottom of the pan.  You may need to pan sear the shrimp in batches.  Sear the shrimp on both sides, about 1-2 minutes per side.  You will want the shrimp to be golden brown on the outside and opaque to the eye.   Transfer the shrimp to a bowl and sprinkle with just a pinch of cayenne. This may seem tedious but shrimp cook quickly and pan seared shrimp will add a lot more flavor to the dish.

    Toss the warm pasta with the pesto.  Pour the pasta in a large serving bowl and layer the shrimp on top.  Garnish with additional chopped Italian parsley and grated parmesan.

    This dish can be prepared in about 30 minutes.  🙂

    Appetizers Kid Friendly Pork

    Proscuitto, Arugula and Parmesan Party Starters

    Prosciutto, Arugula and Parmesan Rolls

    I popped into my local fish market (Gemini) the other day and was greeted by one of my favorite fishmongers, Chef Dave Gibson.

    Fresh Organic Arugula

    I love chatting with Chef Dave.  I love listening to the adventurous food stories from his days as a private chef for several northwest cruise lines.  And he’s always got a great recipe or two in his back pocket, especially when it comes to seafood.

    Parmigiano-Reggiano

    So while I was selecting my fresh seafood for dinner, I asked Chef Dave if he had any great ideas for a chilled starter.  And snap!  There it was.  Chef Dave gave me this yummy idea of rolling up beautiful, slightly salty prosciutto with fresh aromatic arugula leaves a little shaved parmesan. Ok, what a great idea!

    Ready to roll

    So I tried it.  It’s so yummy I’m preparing this for my friends holiday party.  Then I thought, I have to share!  A simple, delicious, fresh and vibrant tasting appetizer to get the holiday parties started.

    Prosciutto, Arugula and Parmesan Rolls

    Now that my sample platter is gone, I think I’ll have to prepare a few more.  I might even have them for lunch.  🙂

    Prosciutto, Arugula and Parmesan Party Starters

    Recipe compliments of Chef Dave Gibson

    Serves 8

    Ingredients

    1/2 lb sliced prosciutto (or two 5 oz packages)

    1 bunch arugula (larger leaves)

    4-5 oz wedge of parmesan (parmigiano-reggiano is the preferred)

    Party picks (optional)

    Drizzle of high quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar (optional)

    Directions

    Place a slice of prosciutto on a flat surface, cutting board or parchment.  Layer with an arugula leaf and then top with a shaved piece (or pieces) of parmesan.  I’ve included a photo above.

    Roll tightly. The prosciutto should stick to itself but you can always toothpick with festive party picks.  Place on a platter.

    For a little extra zing, when finished rolling, lightly drizzle with high quality extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Serve and enjoy!

    Grilling Salmon Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood

    Grilled Salmon with Arugula and Lemon Mayonnaise

    It was one of those days… again.  You know, the kind of day that’s filled with lots of running errands, returning phone calls, scheduling meetings, school activities, and let’s not forget the dreaded laundry.  Yes, my least favorite chore… in the whole wide world!  Sometimes I just ignore it hoping the laundry fairy will magically appear and finish it for me.  But alas, the laundry fairy didn’t appear and I still had dinner to prepare.

    Of course it was a busy weekend and I didn’t get my menu planned on Sunday.  Monday afternoon arrived quickly and I found myself scrambling for a great dinner idea only to find myself power walking through the grocery store once again.  I might as well terminate my gym membership as I’m forever power walking my local market in 30 minutes or less, which is also how much time I had to get dinner on the table. Yes, even a Chef has an occasional “I don’t know what I’m going to make for dinner” day.

    Fish always seems like a good idea especially when I’m short on time.  King salmon is in season in my neck of the woods and it’s one of those immensely versatile fish that can be topped with as little as fresh lemon, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, or as fussy as a white wine beurre blanc.  However, I decided to try something a little different, a bit retro if you will. 

    When I was young, eating fish and veggies with mayonnaise was all the rage.  In fact, as I was perusing my Mom’s old cookbooks I found several of these delicious little mayonnaise recipes.  Many of the recipes sounded more like an aioli than a true mayonnaise.  Aioli is much like a mayonnaise, although, it can be prepared with or without eggs, mustard and garlic.   

    Why not use mayonnaise as a base and create a delicious herbed dipping sauce for fish? So the experiment began.  Ranger Craig grilled the fresh salmon with a bit of lemon, sea salt and pepper and I prepared the sauce.  Using fresh arugula, lemon and shallots I blended the sauce with additional milk, sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper; fresh, basic ingredients that beautifully complimented the grilled salmon and made for a quick and exquisite meal. Add a salad of baby greens tossed in a light vinaigrette and your tasty meal is complete.

    If you are a purist at heart and would love to prepare your own mayonnaise I’ve included some information and a recipe below.  I like using an olive oil or safflower oil based mayo whenever possible, but feel free to use your favorite brand.  As well, these divine little sauces can be used on any fish you might have on hand.  

    Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life!

    Serves 4

    Ingredients

    For the Arugula Mayonnaise:

    1/3 cup mayonnaise

    ¼ cup milk (or more for a thinner dipping sauce)

    ¼  cup fresh arugula, packed

    1 tablespoon chopped shallots

    Zest of one lemon (about 1 teaspoon)

    2 tablespoons lemon juice

    Kosher or sea salt to taste

    Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

    Directions

    Place all ingredients in a food processor, blender or if using an emulsion blender place the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. 

    Blend ingredients until the arugula is nicely incorporated into the sauce.  Taste for seasoning and serve with your favorite grilled, roasted or pan seared fish.

    Serve with a salad of spring greens and little tomatoes tossed in a little olive oil and seasoned rice wine vinegar. 

    For a simple roasted salmon:

    Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

    Place a piece of foil in the bottom of a shallow baking dish and then set the salmon skin side down on the foil. Season the salmon with a squeeze of fresh lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper and a sprinkling of fresh herbs if you like. 

    Roast the salmon just until the outside is firm and opaque but the inside is still a tiny bit pink.  For an average sized piece of salmon it might take about 8-10 minutes, however the cooking time will vary depending on the size of the fillet or steak.

    Remove the salmon from the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes before serving.  Serve with the arugula mayonnaise and salad of spring greens.

    TIP: This mayonnaise is fabulous for cold cut sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches or cold salmon or fish cakes. 

    Julia’s Homemade Mayonnaise (From www.whatscookingamerica.net)

    Mayonnaise is one of the many foods that is referred to as an emulsion. An emulsion is a combination of two unlike components. According to Julia Child, mayonnaise is also something every cook must confidently and rapidly whip up on command with nary a qualm, because it is one of the elemental cookery procedures.

    The Science of Mayonnaise: Before attempting to make homemade mayonnaise, it is important to understand just how mayonnaise works. Mayonnaise is an emulsion of oil in lemon juice that has been stabilized by the molecule lecithin found in the egg yolks.

    The key to making mayonnaise is to avoid having the components of the emulsion separate back into their individual components. This is called “turned” or “broken” mayonnaise. No matter how long you mix the oil and lemon juice together, it will always separate into a gooey mess unless the egg yolk is added as a stabilizer.

    Why To Make Your Own Mayonnaise: There are two (2) main reasons for making your own mayonnaise – freshness and flavor. Homemade mayonnaise is fast and easy to make in a blender or food processor. It takes less than 5 minutes to make.

    Homemade Mayonnaise Recipe

    2 egg yolks, room temperature*
    1 whole egg, room temperature*
    1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed, plus more if needed
    1 teaspoon Dijon-style prepared mustard
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    Big pinch freshly-ground white pepper
    Up to 2 cups vegetable oil or pure olive oil (all one or a mixture)**

    * Since raw eggs are being use, only use the freshest eggs you can buy (the fresher, the better). As an egg ages, lecithin, a protein that acts as the central emulsifying agent, breaks down and the power of the egg yolk to stabilize the mayonnaise weakens. You may also use pasteurized eggs.

    ** For a basic mayonnaise, use an oil with a mild flavor that won’t overpower the other ingredients. If you plan to refrigerate your mayonnaise, then choose a refined oil such as pure olive oil or sunflower oil. An unrefined oil, such as extra virgin olive oil, will solidify when chilled and cause separation later as it returns to room temperature.

    Put the egg yolks, egg, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and white pepper in the work bowl of the food processor; process for 10 seconds or more, until creamy.

    With the food processor running continuously, pour in the oil very slowly in driblets at first, to start the emulsion process. NOTE: Add 10 to 15% of the oil at this time. The first addition should be small and gradual. Wait about 30 second between additions.

    When the sauce has definitely thickened, you may add the oil in a thin stream. Do not stop the machine at this point, but cease pouring every few seconds to be sure the oil is being absorbed. NOTE: Add about 50% of the oil at this time.

    Then continue until the remaining 1 1/2 cups of oil are incorporated. NOTE: You may not need to use all the remaining oil at this time.

    Stop the machine and check the mayonnaise for taste and consistency. Adjust the seasonings and, if the mayonnaise is very thick, process in drops of lemon juice or warm water to thin. The mayonnaise may be used at this point, or you can process in some of the remaining oil for a thicker sauce.

    Transfer the finished mayonnaise to a bowl. If not using right away, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The sauce will keep for a good week.

    Makes approximately 2 to 2 1/4 cups.

    Precautions for Preparing Mayonnaise:

    IMPORTANT:  All the ingredients must be at room temperature. If necessary, eggs may be immersed in warm water for 10 minutes to bring them up to temperature before breaking them into the blender jar.

    Since raw eggs are being use, only use the freshest eggs you can buy (the fresher, the better). As an egg ages, lecithin, a protein that acts as the central emulsifying agent, breaks down and the power of the egg yolk to stabilize the mayonnaise weakens. You may also use pasteurized eggs.

    Eggs keep the fat (oil) and the liquid (vinegar or lemon juice) of the mayonnaise evenly blended together. If egg yolks weren’t used to emulsify the mayonnaise, the heavier liquid would sink and the lighter fat would float just as they do in vinegar and oil dressing.

    Never use aluminum bowls or saucepans to prepare mayonnaise, as they will turn the mayonnaise gray. Stainless steel, enameled, plastic (food processor) or glass may be used.

    Add the oil very slowly, especially at the beginning.

    Since homemade mayonnaise has fresh eggs in it, the mayonnaise should not be left at room temperature for more than a couple hours, as food poisoning is always a concern.

    Grilling Salad Seafood

    Pan Seared Mahi Mahi with Arugula and White Bean Salad

    Mahi Mahi is a versitile fish that can be pan seared and served with fresh greens and a spicy vinaigrette, or grilled for delicious and mouthwatering tacos.  Mahi Mahi has a firm white flesh with a sweet flavor, and less “fishy” tasting than other types of white fish.  Be sure to purchase Atlantic troll and pole line caught Mahi Mahi, and not the longline caught fish that is referred to as Dolphinfish.  As with all fish, make sure you know where it’s coming from and how it was caught. 

    Many fish are “seasonal” just like produce.  Be sure to purchase your fish when it’s truly “in season”.  Check out your local fish market websites to find out what’s in season in your neck of the woods.   

    Enjoy a healthy and delicious fish dinner tonight!

    Pan Seared Mahi Mahi with Arugula and White Bean Salad

    Serves 4

    Ingredients

    1 ¾ – 2 lbs fresh Mahi Mahi

    Extra Virgin Olive oil

    1 lemon, halved

    Kosher Salt

    Fresh cracked black pepper

    Arugula and White Bean Salad recipe to follow

    Directions

    Pre-heat the oven to 375F.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on the fish.  In a large oven proof sauté pan, place 2-3 tablespoons olive oil and heat on medium high.

    When the oil is hot, but not smoking, place the flesh side down on the hot pan and let it sear for several minutes. 

    Once the fish has formed a “crust”, it will loosen enough to be flipped over to the skin side.  Let the skin side cook for a 2-3 minutes more and then put the sauté pan into the pre-heated oven and let the fish cook for another 5-6 minutes depending on thickness, careful not to overcook. As with most fish, it will be done when the fish is easily flaked.  

    When the fish is done, plate it and then squeeze a little lemon over the top.  Serve with the Arugula and White Bean Salad as a side or topping. 

    Options:  The Mahi Mahi can be grilled as well, or if you don’t like pan searing fish, just place it in the oven at 375F for about 10-15 minutes or until it’s flaky. 

    Arugula and White Bean Salad

    (Recipe can be doubled)

    3/4 cup canned (and gently rinsed) or braised Cannellini Beans (chickpeas are also yummy in this salad)

    2 large bunches arugula (about 1 pound)

    1 small red onion, sliced thin

    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, or to taste

    1 ½ tablespoons Balsamic vinegar, or to taste

    2 teaspoons honey

    Salt and freshly ground pepper

    Wash the arugula in a large bowl of water to remove all sand and grit. Dry the arugula well, preferably in a salad spinner, and transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Scatter the beans and onion over the greens and season everything with salt and pepper. Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, oil, honey and taste for seasoning.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Check the seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, oil or vinegar as you like. Serve immediately.