Wednesday, March 25, 2009


When I was sick this past month and I felt very nauseous, my neighborhood coffee place came to my rescue.

Outpost makes their own hummus and it's quite delicious. I ate a few orders of this to try to get myself on the mend and it helped tremendously!

Their hummus is spicy and flavorful and a little more dense than most traditional hummus you buy at the grocery store.

Of course, I decided to try and re-create it. This is definately a step in the right direction and is quite good, but might not be exactly like Outpost's hummus, for that, you should probably go to the real thing!


*this makes enough for a week!

2 cans of Garbanzo/Chickpeas (15 oz)
Juice from 1 Lemon
4 to 6 cloves of Garlic, roughly chopped
A few swirls of good EVOO
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Palmful of Cumin
Palmful of Coriander
Half Palmful of Dried Oregano
Half Palmful of Ancho Chilli Powder
A few dashes of Tabasco's Habanero Hot Sauce

*Water: use this to thin down the hummus, adding just a little bit goes a long way

  • Blend everything in the a food processor, you might have to do 2 batches. You have to help along the process by mixing the mixture around in between chops to make sure it is all even.

EASY SALAD SERIES: Frankies Fennel Salad, Take 2

Frankies is one of my favorite restaurants in New York and after more than a year of going there frequently, I still order their Fennel Salad. I tried to make a recreation of this salad when I first started writing this blog (see post: Fennel....Really?)--but now I have a slightly better version that I take to work with me.
*Note: I would love to include Celery Root into this salad, as it is important to the balance of the original Frankies salad--however, I could not find it at my grocery store this time around and, also, be warned, it can be very tough to take apart--there must be a tool out there to help you cut this vegetable, anyone know of one?
K'S "Can't Eat at Frankies Everyday" Salad
Baby Spinach
Small Palmful of Sunflower Seeds (Roasted & Salted)
Palmful of Grated Pecorino Romano
Shredded Carrots
Thinly, thinly sliced Fennel (a quarter of a bulb = 1 serving)
Thinly, thinly sliced Red Onion (a quarter of a small Red Onion = 1 serving)
Palmful of Fresh Italian Parsley
Dressing: Juice from 1/4 to 1/2 lemon + EVOO (use Frankies own EVOO!)
  • Toss Spinach, Carrots, Fennel and Red Onion together with Lemon Juice and EVOO.
  • Top with Cheese and Sunflower Seeds

Thursday, March 5, 2009

EASY SALAD SERIES: "Balthazar" Salad

On my salad kick this week I had a delightful salad from Balthazar, near my workplace. I paid $10 for it, and I thought "I can make this at home." And I did.


Mix of Baby Lettuces & Spinach
Slices of Fennel
Thinly sliced Radish
About a 1/10 of a Pound of Ricotta Salata (palmful amount)
Palmful of Quickly Cooked Green Beans
Sprinkle of Sea Salt
Sprinkle of Black Pepper

Dressing: Juice from a Quarter of a Lemon & EVOO

  • Cook Green Beans for 2 minutes in salted boiling water, shock them in ice-water to stop cooking and retain color. Set aside.
  • Toss Lettuces, Fennell, Radish with Lemon Juice and EVOO
  • Sprinkle Salt & Pepper
  • Top with Green Beans and crumble the Ricotta Salata on top
  • Top with more EVOO

*note, the original salad had some thinly sliced Beet on top (for sweetness) and a different mix of lettuces--but I chose Spinach and dark baby lettuces for some nutritional value (instead of crisp romaine). There was also about 3 pieces of asparagus, which I would have added if I had more time, instead I added more green beans. There was also Avocado, that I didn't like in the mix (which is strange for me as I love Avocado) I think it dampened the crispness of this winter salad and didn't jive well with the other flavors. The dressing, as well, I improvised, but I think the only difference is that Balthazar uses some sort of truffle oil in their original dressing, so if you have some, do add it.


I loooooove pizza, and who doesn't? I wanted to create a salad that reminded me of pizza, so here it is--and it's really not THAT bad for you, as long as you're not too heavy on the Pepperoni.


Fresh Mozzarella Balls
About 5 slices of Good Pepperoni or Sopressata
Toasted Pine Nuts

Dressing: EVOO and a sprinkle of good Balsalmic

  • All in all pretty simple, just slice the Pepperoni Rounds into little "pizza" slices and cut the Mozzarella Balls into 4 pieces each so that you get an even bite each time. Toast the Pine Nuts for added flavor over a dry high heat, constantly moving them until they start to brown.


Salads are a food paradox because they seem simple and mundane--and are hardly alluring to order in a restaurant (at least for people like me!). But when you eat a really great salad, it always delights and reminds you that this little collection of vegetables, cheeses, fruits and nuts can be heavenly and a great meal in itself.
In this spirit, I tried to make some salads that I found pleasing and easy to make. I made up three different combinations that I think are pretty tasty. The first one was my take on "taco salad"--but I tried to make a bit healthier, without meat, adding a nutritious leaf like spinach, and incorporating the toritlla chip.
Shredded Carrots
Half of an Avocado, Diced
Roasted & Salted Sunflower Seeds
Crumbled Multi-Grain Tortilla Chips
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Dressing: mix 1 tsp ranch dressing & 1 tsp hot pureed salsa (not chunky)
  • Put the Spinach, Carrots and Cheddar Cheese in a bowl, toss with dressing. Then top with diced Avocado, Sunflower Seeds and Crumbled Tortilla Chips.