Thursday Night Nicoise Salad

Thursday Night Nicoise Salad
Allow all of your salad stars to shine on their own. Dress each component of your salad individually and pile onto a platter. Simple food is just so darn pretty. Make something like this whatever you have on hand!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Stay Fresh My Friends

Leading up to Christmas and throughout the whole season, we're filling up on cookies, fudge, cheesecake, cheeseballs, dips, chips, not to mention a whole lot of imbibing.......which brings me to FRESH! We need it! Salads, fresh fruit and veg and generally, anything of color.... The more colorful your food, chances are, the higher the nutritional value. So, eat your greens and make sure you don't skimp on the simplicity of fresh and colorful food in your diet. Your body will thank you.

Here are a few snacks/treats I prepared during the month of December to keep it delicious and nutritious . . .First, super fresh Guacamole, ala Playa del Carmen. Mark & I had THE best tableside guacamole at a cool open air restaurant in the heart of Playa del Carmen when we visited there in November 2006. It was a memorable preparation and I believe I have nailed it! I've been preparing it this way since then with a few variations. It's shown here with some crunchy tortilla chips and some cubes of queso Chihuahua.

Start with perfectly ripe avocados. I prepare each ingredient first and then combine everything all at the last minute before we dive in. Finely chop some sweet onion (like Vidalia or Oso). Finely chop some grape or cherry tomatoes. Finely chop a nice hot Serrano pepper or a firm jalapeno. Cut a lime in half. Cut the avocados in half lengthwise and remove the pit by "whacking" it with your sharp knife and then turning your knife. It will come out very easily. Mash the avocadoes in a bowl with either a fork or an old fashioned potato masher (assuming you don't have the traditional Mexican mortar and pestle get-up called a molcajete). Add the chopped onion, tomato and pepper. Add kosher salt to taste and a bit of freshly ground pepper. Add a swirl of olive oil (sssshhh.....it's a secret). Blend together with a fork until well combined. Taste for salt. Seriously, peeps, salt is the key. Good salt. Add more salt if needed and then a really generous squeeze of fresh lime.........It will wake up your gwok fo shizzle. Plus, did you know that limes have no seeds? Thus, no hassle with squeezing directly into your dishes. Who knew? One more tip. Lemon works well also! It's excellent. I swear! I love it both ways! OK. Grab your favorite chips and pig out. We actually eat guacamole for a late night dinner sometimes with (you know) a big fruity glass of Sangria. Oh Gee KT, What a surprise! Salute!

K. Here's more fresh for ya . . .










I don't really like humdrum. I do like froo froo though. We love tuna salad and who cares about mercury? Anyway, Foof up your tuna salad so that it looks happier and brighter, plus always try to add some green to your meal. In my mind, it helps cancel out all of the bad stuff. Psychological, you say? Hmmmmmm........ could be. OK. No time to cook? Throw together some tuna salad really quickly. Bumble Bee Albacore is my personal favorite for combining with mayonnaise (Hellmann's)..... A little sweet chopped onion and I'm happy. Pile a scoop of tuna salad on top of a mound of lacy and beautiful frisee', top with fresh carrot shreds (come on, it only takes a second) and sprinkle with paprika. Voila'. It's not humdrum anymore! Note: I'll talk more about tuna in a future post. If you're gonna have it "straight-up", you MUST try canned Italian tuna in olive oil for a moist and delicious treat. Look for Genova "tonno" in the can at most grocery stores or, for the ultimate treat, As do Mar tonno trancio intero.... the "primo tonno".

One more for your repertoire ~

If you have not already tried Burrata cheese, your time has come. Fresh, cream filled mozzarella. OMG. No kidding. I FINALLY found this cheese at Trader Joe's and I was, of course, thrilled! Bring back summer with an incredibly flavorful and fresh salad of Burrata, torn basil leaves, the best tomatoes you can find, kalamata olives, a sweet and dark balsamic vinaigrette and a generous sprinkling of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Don't forget the fresh pane'. Buon Appetito!

Love to all & may your holiday season be brimming with everything that keeps passion in your daily life.

XOXO,

Katie

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MORE 4 U

From here, you can continue scrolling down to check out some of my favorite dishes and KPK highlights.

For more posts (articles), recipes, stories and pictures, you can scroll up (in the right column under "What You Missed") and click on 2008, 2009 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013. As of June, 2013, there are are total of 139 posts in KPK. You can spend more time here when you know where to look, right?! Another way to enjoy my kitchen is to click on any items of interest in the section entitled "Passion Posts", also up above in the right column.

Love, Katie ~ I am so glad you're here! Stay awhile!

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