Nasturtium Leaf, Juicy Fig and Manchego Salad

My nasturtiums haven’t bloomed in a while now. They are a big pot of greenery, which I’m grateful for. I have to come to terms that summer is shining the last of its’ deep sunshine. And today was true gift with the temperatures in the nineties. But just because my nasturtiums haven’t come to flower with their bright orange bursts of beauty, doesn’t mean I can’t still enjoy them. The leaves are a nice change from usual salad lettuces and if you like arugula, you will enjoy nasturtiums’ bite. And this salad is just beautiful and is nice to enjoy on a day such as today, a day of remembrance where slowing down and being grateful for the simple things in life takes precedence. Get a beautiful plate and enjoy this salad with someone special. Enjoy!

  • nasturtiums leaves
  • 2 figs, halved
  • honey
  • fresh walnuts
  • a few thin slices of Manchego cheese
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • roasted walnut oil
  • a fruity balsamic vinegar

There really is no right or wrong way to arrange this salad, just drizzle a little honey over the figs and arrange however you like, top with fresh walnuts and fresh ground pepper. Pass around the roasted walnut oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt so you can top it as you like. Serves 2.

DSC03516/fig salad

Rib Eye Steak with Roquefort Cheese

I feel a little guilty expressing how much I like a grilled rib eye steak especially because I was a vegetarian for three years. It was a great experience because it taught me discipline. I stuck to it 100%, no matter what.  And as far as cooking goes, it teaches you to be open and creative. I have an appreciation for eggplant that I may have not had if I wasn’t a vegetarian for some time. It enabled me to create new dishes out of old inspirations. Portabella mushrooms became steaks. Grilled eggplant sandwiches with hummus became a staple and beans were glorified and made delicious. So I don’t mind meatless Mondays or Fridays. But nevertheless, I ended my vegetarian days. And enjoy a steak now and then especially when it’s paired up with buttery avocado, tart fig sauce and pungent blue cheese. Serve with a mixed greens salad tossed with an olive oil vinaigrette and it’s a perfect dinner to share with someone special.

  • 1 or 2 bone-in rib eye steak
  • 1 ripe room temperature avocado, cut into sections
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • 1/3 cup fig marmalade
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Roquefort cheese, room temperature

In a sauce pan combine the fig marmalade and the balsamic vinegar, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring often. It will begin to thicken and once done, set aside. Heat the grill until it is 500 degrees. Make sure your steak is seasoned with sea salt and pepper and allowed to rest at room temperature. Spread a little olive oil on your steak before you throw it on the grill. Cook your steak however you like it, rare, medium or well-done. This came out medium-rare, about 5 minutes each side. While your steak is resting, assemble your plate. Drizzle olive oil on your avocado and season with salt and pepper. Add your cheese, fig sauce, steak and enjoy! Have a happy weekend everyone! :)

Cheese Platter Yumminess

Let’s say we went to a party together, and I was missing, the first place to look is where the cheese platter is sitting. I love cheese! The buttery cubes of goodness, combined with something sweet. There was a time, I hated cheese. Like the time in kindergarten when I was forced to eat my grilled cheese sandwich, before I went back to class. Tears streamed down my face. I laugh at the memory now, but that day made me a little unhappy. Many years later, the love affair with cheese started. And then whenever there was a holiday or special day, a cheese platter was made, this one was one of my favorites!

On the plate, going clockwise starting at the green apple slices, we have brie, cooked bacon pieces, smoked Gouda, peanut brittle, blue cheese, Jarlsberg, a little bit of  walnuts followed by the center of raw pistachios nuts and fig marmalade. All served with a big loaf of your favorite crusty bread and quick and easy homemade butter (April 16ths’ post) There are so many possibilities of flavor combinations here…All creamy, sometimes salty and sweet…

  • apple slice + brie + bacon
  • bread + brie + pistachios + fig marmalade
  • Jarlsberg + bacon
  • bread + butter + fig marmalade
  • bacon + blue cheese + walnuts
  • apple slice + blue cheese + peanut brittle
  • bread + butter + smoked Gouda
  • apple slice + brie + pistachios

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! :)