Kale Salade Lyonaisse…

I was recently featured in Edible Reno-Tahoe for their annual “Cooks” issue, where I shared my kale version of the French classique, Salade Lyonaisse.  For the full color, photo’s included version of the article, get the magazine, or click the link above.

I never follow a recipe, I just use them for ideas & rough guidelines on measurements. I am always improvising and substituting, based on what I have on hand. I really want to encourage you to be brave and experiment – take whatever you have in the fridge, and make something up!

This “recipe” was inspired by our travels in France, and one of my all time favorite things – salad with an egg on top. We rarely have eggs for breakfast, I save them for lunch or dinner. We have this for dinner at least once a week.  My husband was raised on the all-American meat & potatoes diet, so salad was never on his list of dinner favorites, until now!

The traditional French Lyonnaise salad, on which this is loosely based, is made with Frisee, lardons and croutons.  For my healthier version, I use kale, spinach, mixed greens, and/or arugula; and chopped peppered turkey lunch meat, leftover grilled chicken, sausage, or salmon, and once in awhile I use some bacon!

For the dressing, you can experiment with bacon grease instead of, or in addition to oil. Other oils work, but a good quality olive oil is the best. It’s typically made with red wine vinegar, but for less acid, use cider or balsamic vinegar, and fresh lemon, lime, or tangerine juice.   Please do add whatever fresh herbs you have around – like tarragon, Italian parsley, or dill (dried are fine too), and chopped shallots or garlic, are also often added.

Sometimes I use grilled asparagus, roasted Broccolini, or Tru Roots “sprouted Bean Trio” instead of meat. And I love potatoes in this salad – you can reheat some leftover roasted potatoes (kinda like croutons if they are crispy), saute diced potatoes, or for a lighter salad, use boiled potatoes. (Add them to the salad warm!)

Top with a poached egg, or if poaching is too much trouble, a fried egg is perfectly acceptable! (Traditionally the yoke should be soft and runny)

To make the dressing:
whisk together with a fork (I never measure, just taste, add more of whatever)
Olive Oil
Red wine vinegar
Dijon mustard
a dash of hot water, S & P,  herbs, shallots or garlic

(As a starting point: roughly 1/4 C oil, to 3+T vinegar & 1T Dijon – it’s best to develop your measurements based on your own taste, size of your salad, and how “wet” you like it)
If using kale, chop it up & sprinkle with some of the dressing (or vinegar & oil) and let it sit for a while to “relax” while you prepare the other stuff.

Add dressing, chopped meat, warm potatoes or beans, and whatever else sounds good, to the greens, toss well, divide onto plates, and top each with an egg.

If you are into presentation, you can decorate with avocado slices, maybe some asparagus spears, with the egg artistically placed on top. I usually opt for serving a delicious, jumbled-up mess with the egg on top. Works for us.

before the egg

before the egg

Have fun experimenting!

Exotic burgers…

Moroccan Meatballs

Moroccan Meatballs

When we drove around Morocco, I fell in love with the bbq’d lamb meatballs, sold at roadside stands, grilled on a hibachi. For dinner tonight I recreated something in between meatballs and burgers, and they were YUMMY! Sorry, can’t give you real recipe – I always wing it – but hopefully this will get your creative juices flowing and encourage you to give it a try.

I used spices that sounded right to me – ground cumin, fennel, coriander, cayenne, turmeric, dried mint, crushed garlic, harissa, and a little plain kefir for moisture (no egg or breadcrumbs). Just google harissa if you are not familiar. I made it myself, but you can buy it.

As a side, I mixed couscous and lentils with harissa and similar spices mentioned above, with a little cinnamon and nutmeg added, then felt it needed a little ‘brightness’, so threw in some fresh chopped tomatoes at the end.  And for veggies, I roasted some broccolini in the oven – 350 for 30 mins, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, (let it get a little crispy!) and grilled eggplant coated with harissa on the bbq with the mini-burgers.

Give it a try, it was YUMMY!

*Yes the “burger” is tiny, by normal standards, but we tend to eat 3/4 veggies and grains, and small portions of meat. I had 3 more burgers which were saved for lunch tomorrow!

*I used Hulsman Ranch (sustainably raised, grass fed) ground lamb, which I think I got at our local health food store “New Moon”.