The season for mango is almost over. I saw my favorite cultivar, called Maya at the market, and took some fruits without even thinking what to do with them. I am not sure if everywhere in the world people actually distinguish between various Mango cultivars, but in our country we have, at least, 4-5 clearly distinguishable cultivars of Mango available during the season. The fruits of this specific cultivar are relatively small (like a large pear), with a very thin skin and very fruity, sweet and juicy pulp. The uniqueness of this cultivar is that the pulp isn’t fibrous like in many others, therefore making it very suitable for salads and desserts.
We bought some steaks today and I was looking for a light side-dish. Mangoes came very handy….
1 medium-sized cucumber
1 small chili pepper (6-7 centimeters-long)
Cilantro and Mint – 2 table spoons of chopped leaves of each
1 branch of Basil
1 tbsp. of vegetable oil, odorless
1/2 tsp. of balsamic vinegar
Juice of half a lemon, or, even better, lime
I have tasted my first Caponata in a nice traditional restaurant in Catania (Sicily). The dish was so good, I ended up literally licking the cup that was used to serve it and asking for some more. As for the restaurant, named I Crociferi (the Crusaders), it was something special. Lets set aside the fact that the food was very good, and the selection of fresh fish and sea food was absolutely out of this world (which is pretty normal for Sicily), the place itself was memorable. Imagine being sent back in time for, say, 40 years or so… Large hall (30-40 tables) with tall arches separating it to a number of areas. The tables, made of dark wood, were covered with flawlessly white cloth. A memorable experience…..
Caponata is a widely prepared salad in Sicily, heavily based on eggplants. We’ve tried many versions of it and all other ingredients could vary (sometimes it would have some local flavors, depending on the are of Sicily you are in). Here’s what I managed to taste in the majority of them: tomatoes (of course), tomato paste, olives (green or black or both), capers, red pepper, chili pepper, vinegar (wine vinegar). Almost in every traditional Sicilian restaurant, you’d get a version of this salad with local bread.
When preparing mine, I was trying to emulate the most memorable one – the one from I Crociferi. It definitely isn’t identical, but quite similar and, regardless to authenticity, very tasty. Every time I am making this dish, I start remembering the vacation and the restaurant, so for me, its always a double pleasure 🙂
(For half-a-liter of salad)
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 medium-sized eggplants
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp of small capers (salted)
7-8 green olives
2 tsp. tomato paste
50 ml. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
I found a nice squid salad recipe at eryv’s journal, some time ago, and remembered it again relatively recently. Since I didn’t look at the original recipe and made the salad from memory, it turned out as a surprise that the result was very similar to the original. (A case of “Great minds think alike? :-)) The salad is very fresh, ideal for summer days. If you have fresh home-baked bread, the go just lovely together.
2 large red bell peppers
3 medium-sized tomatoes
1 medium-sized red (purple) onion
5-10 parsley branches
2 basil branches
1 tbsp. capers (salted)
Juice of half-a-lemon
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 kg calamari (tentacles for this salad)
I saw this idea in a culinary magazine issue dedicated to gluten-free recipes and the technique of preparing a couscous-like dish with cauliflowers has caught my attention. So, the next day I bought some cauliflowers and prepared this salad. It turned out very fresh and original. I did leave the cauliflower “crunchy”, leave its original unmistakable texture. This is the main difference between my version and the original one where the cauliflower was cooked longer and became soft. I use this dish as either a light “dietary” garnish or as a salad in its own right. Preparing it can’t be easier and the taste can be combined with many dishes.
(For a medium-sized salad bowl)
1 head of cauliflower
A handful of dried cranberries
1/2 glass finely chopped coriander leaves
1/2 glass finely chopped mint leaves
Juice of half a lemon
A little olive oil (optional, can be removed due to dietary preferences)
This very simple salad has become one of our favorites at home. It is light, soft and very suitable for hot summer days. Best results are obtained when using hard zucchinis, this way there are less liquids in the vegetable. Also, using green ones adds some attractive color to the resulting salad. Could also be made with mixing green, yellow and white zucchinis, and then the salad will be very colorful. It is better to use small zucchinis, as they have less seeds and keep their structure better under thermal processing.
600 gr. zucchini
1 medium-sized onion
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 bunches of dill
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
The salad is very simple and very tasty, It is just what you need for breakfast when you have no time to prepare it, but you would still like to get something nice. The color combination is very bright and lively projecting the exact energetic state of mind you are looking for in the morning. All the ingredients except the eggs and salsa are in the photo.
For the salad:
30 cherry tomatoes of different colors (red, yellow and chocolate)
1/2 glass small mozzarella “balls”
Leaves from 3 basil branches
6 anchovy fillets
1 boiled egg
For the salsa:
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
Juice of 1/3 lemon
2 anchovy fillets
*No need to add salt, the anchovies and the capers are very salty
Cut cherry tomatoes in halves and tear basil leaves into small pieces. Cut the egg into 6 parts. Mix all the salad ingredients into a salad bowl. Mix all the salsa ingredients in the blender, pour over the salad and serve.
If you liked this breakfast idea, check out these other breakfast meals:
Did you like this recipe? Do you think that you are going to cook it anytime soon? Have you already tried it?
Please leave us comments about your experience…..