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Grünkern Salad with Asparagus, Peas & Edamame

Freekeh has been waiting a couple of thousand years for its moment in the spotlight, and it’s finally arrived — at least in my home! Yes, I’m currently grooving on this ancient grain as my new go-to healthy carb. Nutty and slightly chewy, this grain have an amazing flavor and texture. L-O-V-E it! So here’s a simple spring freekeh salad with spring’s very own star, asparagus and oh-so-tasty young peas, edamame, mint and sunshiny lemon.

What is exactly is freekeh?

Perhaps we should chat about freekeh for a moment. First off, freekeh has actually been around for centuries. It is ancient. Ancient as in it hasn’t been altered and hybridized by crossing different strains to generate new characteristics over the years like modern wheat and corn. Freekeh is wheat, young wheat, wheat that has been harvested when it’s still green and then it is roasted over an open fire. Because of this, freekeh contains more protein, vitamins and minerals than mature grains. This is a simplified explanation but this video is great for showing how things are really done.

Grünkern Salad with Asparagus, Peas & Edamame

Was ist Grünkern?

Grünkern ist das Korn des Dinkel, das halbreif geerntet wird. Dieses Getreide wird traditionell in Suppe getan. Es gibt aber auch Grünkernküchle. Es ist voll mit guten Nährstoffen wie Eisen, Kalzium und Zink. Mehr über Grünkern erfahrt Ihr hier.
This power-packed grain is high in fiber and other good things like iron, calcium, and zinc, plus it acts like a prebiotic, promoting the growth of good bacteria in your digestive system. Compared to other grains it is also lower on the glycemic index (wholegrain freekeh GI = 43) and can be used similar to how you’d use quinoa, spelt, barley, wheat berries or even brown rice. Freekeh comes in two forms – whole grain and cracked, and has a wonderfully chewy texture, and nutty, earthy taste. To bring out even more of its smoky flavor, just toast it in a pan for a few minutes before cooking it. And guess what? Cooking it is absolutely idiot proof. It cooks with a 2-to-1 water to grain ration in just 30 minutes. This gives you time to prepare the rest of this delicious spring freekeh salad!.

Grünkern Salad with Asparagus, Peas & Edamame

Grünkern Salad with Asparagus, Peas & Edamame
5 from 1 vote
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Spring Grünkern Salad with Asparagus, Peas & Edamame

A simple recipe for a spring Grünkern salad with asparagus, young peas, edamame, mint and lemon. Green wheat is a whole grain healthy alternative to quinoa.
Course Salad
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked Grünkern (green wheat) (200 g)
  • 1 cup frozen peas (120 g)
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame (150 g)
  • 1 bunch green asparagus (500 g), cut at a slight diagonal into 3-5 cm long pieces
  • finely grated zest from 1 organic lemon
  • 2 green onions, finely sliced
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced (plus some leaves for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (plus more, if desired)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Cook freekeh according to package instructions. Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus pieces, peas and edamame and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain and cool under cold running water. Shake out the excess water.
  3. Place the freekeh and asparagus mixture in a serving bowl along with the lemon zest, green onion and mint. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice; toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add more lemon juice if desired. Garnish with extra mint leaves, serve and enjoy!

Notes

Shelled edamame can be found in Asian markets and some larger supermarkets. If only sold in the pod, you will need about 300 g, and will need to shell them after blanching. Otherwise, you can also use frozen fava beans (also called broad beans), which if not already double-peeled, should be skinned after the podded beans have been blanched.

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Smoked Trout Orzo Salad with Artichokes & Fennel

Not everyone is as infatuated with artichokes as I am. I could eat them any possible way imaginable, whether they are fresh, marinated or simply from a can. They are a great addition to, well…as I see it…anything. In this case, their pure sweet and nutty flavor can be enjoyed in this simple orzo dish that is packed with fresh and zesty flavors.

I’m on a little bit of an orzo kick at the moment, and since it indeed resembles rice, it almost fools me into thinking that this is not just another pasta dish. Truth is, it’s no better or less than pasta, but let’s say if you can get your hands on a whole-wheat version, you can consider it a slight upgrade.

If you are keen on something other than “traditional” pasta, then then try using the gluten-free and frequently referred to superfood, quinoa in place of orzo for this dish.

Smoked Trout Orzo Salad

Smoked Trout Orzo Salad — a fantastic tasting pasta salad!

I love the subtle flavors smoked trout gives to this dish. With its fine, delicate and mild flesh, it’s a popular choice in Germany where you can buy it fresh from the fishmonger or farmers market – and of course packaged at the supermarket. It’s as delicious as smoked salmon and just as versatile. Endlessly actually so. Tossed together with orzo, artichokes and fennel in a lemon caper dressing, its seriously the best thing I’ve gotten to eat this week, so much flavor and delicious textures! Plus this dish is a breeze to put together. Simple and delicious!

Looking for more orzo salad inspiration? Try one of these recipes:

Or check out my recipe archive for more pasta salad recipes.

Smoked Trout and Orzo Salad
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Smoked Trout Orzo Salad with Artichokes & Fennel

Smoked trout and orzo tossed together with artichokes and fennel in a lemon caper dressing, is seriously the best thing I’ve gotten to eat this week, so much flavor and delicious textures!
Course Salad
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 360 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1 cup orzo (200 g)
  • 100 g smoked trout, coarsely chopped
  • 4 artichoke hearts (preferably fresh from a delicatessen, alternatively, marinated from a glass), drained, quartered, and coarsely chopped (150 g)
  • 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced with a mandoline
  • 2 handfuls baby arugula leaves

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon rind, finely grated
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Fill a large pot with cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and add the orzo. Cook according to packet instructions, until al dente, drain and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until well combined.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the orzo, smoked trout, artichoke hearts, and fennel with the dressing and toss until well combined. Add the arugula leaves and toss again to coat.
  4. Divide the salad between plates and enjoy!

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Watercress Salad with Persimmon and Rhubarb-Ginger Dressing

I love creative salads like this watercress salad. Inspired by the wonderful assortment of fresh farm produce, abundance of spring herbs, and exotic fruit sold at the farmers market, this salad is a mix of sweet persimmons, peppery watercress, bitter and spicy radicchio, plus a little fresh mint and chives, all tossed together in a tangy, sweet and sour rhubarb dressing and topped with buttery yet crunchy, and delicious toasted cashew nuts.

Brunnenkresse mit Wurzeln von Elle Republic
In season right now, as with rhubarb, watercress can be found fresh in good greengrocers or at the farmers’ markets, sold loose or by the bunch with the roots still attached.

Watercress Salad with exotic persimmons

I broke a little rule of mine here by buying something that’s available in Europe but not exactly in season at the moment — imported Fuyu persimmons. I really try and limit extending my carbon footprint to things like tropical fruit that can only be enjoyed as imports, but being a creature with a curious nature, am seemingly too impatient to wait another half a year, I was geared to give this exotic little orange fruit a try.

Sweet and tasty, persimmons have taken Europe by storm the last couple years and are popping up more and more. In Europe they are available from October until December, thanks to our friends in the South; Spain and Italy. After that we rely on the Israeli exporters to sell us their sharon fruit until end of February. And finally in March, all the way through until July, fresh Brazilian persimmons find their way here to farmers markets and grocery store shelves.

Watercress Salad with Persimmon and Rhubarb-Ginger Dressing

Look for Fuyu persimmons (sometimes called the sharon fruit) as they are sweeter and can be eaten while still firm, whereas Hachiya persimmons are mouth-puckeringly tart until soft and very ripe. Persimmons bruise easily, so take care storing them and avoiding buying ones with soft spots or bruises. The entire fruit is edible, so you can munch on them like an apple (I prefer to peel mine).

Watercress Salad with Persimmon and Rhubarb-Ginger Dressing

TIP: Mango, which I love in salads, would be a great substitute here if you can’t get your hands on persimmons.

5 from 1 vote
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Watercress Salad with Persimmon and Rhubarb-Ginger Dressing

This salad is a mix of sweet persimmons, peppery watercress, bitter and spicy radicchio, plus a little fresh mint and chives, all tossed together in a tangy, sweet and sour rhubarb dressing and topped with buttery yet crunchy, and delicious toasted cashew nuts.
Course Salad
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 153 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the dressing:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup rhubarb, thinly sliced (pink and pinkish green parts only) (120 g)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1-2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the salad:

  • 1 small to medium head radicchio, chopped
  • 1 bunch watercress – stems trimmed, rinsed and spun dry (baby arugula is a good substitute)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sliced mint leaves
  • 2 ripe but firm Fuyu persimmons, peeled and sliced thinly
  • handful roasted unsalted cashews, optional

Method

  1. Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the rhubarb to the pan, give it a toss, and slowly sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and cooked through; about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add the grated ginger, lime juice, maple syrup, olive oil, salt and pepper. Whisk together until the mixture is smooth. Taste and check for seasoning, adjust if desired, then set aside.
  2. Place the radicchio, watercress, chives and mint leaves in a large serving bowl. Add the dressing and toss until the leaves are well coated. Add the persimmons and gently toss to combine. Season with freshly ground pepper and serve garnished with the toasted cashews. Enjoy!

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Couscous Salad with Asparagus and Artichokes

You may have noticed by now that I am a huge salad fan. I eat them every day — not only is this insanely healthy but it also inspires me to come up with new and delicious salads ideas, which by the way, if you are looking for the perfect spring salad, then you are in luck. This delicious bowl of goodness is seriously tasty. It’s packed with bright green and crisp tender asparagus, tangy sliced marinated artichoke hearts, sweet cherry tomatoes and spring green onions, all tossed together with light, fluffy couscous, then infused in fresh basil and lemon flavors.

Grüner Spargel für Couscous-Salat mit Spargel und Artischockenherzen

Couscous Salad with Asparagus and Artichokes

Couscous Salad with Asparagus is great for barbecues and picnics

This is the kind of salad, you can enjoy as a light and healthy meal or bring along as a vibrant Mediterranean-style side salad to your next picnic or barbecue. It has a fantastic array of bright flavors and is perfectly light, but thanks to couscous, it still has enough substance to it to qualify it as a stand-alone meal.

It’s also a great make ahead recipe that doubles as perfect leftovers for a light meal the next day (or better yet, a healthy and delicious packed lunch). So good!

Couscous Salad with Asparagus and Artichokes
5 from 1 vote
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Spring Couscous Salad‏ with Asparagus and Artichokes

Couscous salad packed with bright green and crisp tender asparagus, tangy sliced marinated artichoke hearts, sweet cherry tomatoes and spring green onions, all tossed together with light, fluffy couscous, then infused in fresh basil and lemon flavors.
Serves 8 as side dish - this recipe makes a large salad, however the recipe can easily be cut in half.

Course Salad, Side Dish
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 302 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1 cup couscous (200 g)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, blanched and sliced diagonally (500 g)
  • 6 artichoke hearts (preferably fresh from a delicatessen, alternatively, marinated artichokes from a glass), quartered drained and coarsely chopped (about 250 g)
  • 4 green onions chopped (including green parts)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 15 or more cherry tomatoes, halved
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese, as garnish

For the dressing:

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Prepare the couscous according to package instructions. Cover and let stand for about 10-15 minutes. Once the water is absorbed, fluff with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, snap off the woody ends of the asparagus. Blanch the asparagus in plenty of boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender (depending on thickness). Remove with tongs, or drain in a colander, and immediately transfer to icy cold water to cool. Remove from the cold water and drain well.
  3. Alternatively, (I prefer this method) steam the asparagus using metal basket or steamer. To do so, place a steamer basket in a saucepan. Add water to just below the bottom of the basket. Bring water to a boil, add asparagus, cover and reduce heat. Steam for 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Transfer to icy cold water to cool, then drain well.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. in a large serving bowl, gently toss together the couscous, asparagus, artichokes, green onions, basil, parsley and tomatoes.
  6. Pour the dressing over the couscous salad and toss again until combined. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Garnish with grated parmesan and serve. Enjoy!

Notes

This salad can be made in advance and will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

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Classic Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

This oh sooo good Strawberry Rhubarb Pie recipe is curtesy of my dear friend Magali. It’s based on an adaption of a recipe that was originally published in Saveur magazine and later made famous by Oprah Winfrey when she highlighted it in a feature about supermodel Cindy Crawford. She claimed that it is something she makes often in her Malibu home… and that it’s one of her husband’s favorite things. Besides of course, living with a former supermodel who has landed herself on the list of the world’s sexiest people a multitude of times.

Erdbeer-Rhabarber-Pie von Elle Republic

Magali made the crust for this pie with grape seed oil as it stays more soft and light and she also used just one cup of raw cane sugar, because the fruit, in season and abundantly available at the market, was already naturally so sweet and flavorful. Fresh spring strawberries and rhubarb definitely bring on a reason to enjoy a delicious pie like this!

TIP: In this recipe, instead of rolling the pastry dough out on a floured counter, it’s rolled out between two sheets of wax paper. No flour required (less mess!).

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
5 from 1 vote
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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

This Strawberry Rhubarb Pie recipe has been adapted by Cindy Crawford's Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie from Oprah. Sweet and delicious with raw cane sugar and market fresh fruit.
Course Dessert
Category Baking
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 1 Pie
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (can substitute with half whole wheat pastry flour) (335 g)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2/3 cup grape seed oil (alternatively extra-virgin olive oil) (160 ml)
  • 6 tablespoons cold milk
  • 1 to 1/4 cups plus 2 teaspoons raw cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (40 g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups strawberries, halved (about 500 g)
  • 2 cups rhubarb, trimmed and thinly sliced (about 200 g)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons milk

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C. Butter and flour the pie dish.
  2. To make the crust, in a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt.
  3. Measure the oil and milk together, without stirring, add to the flour. Mix together until combined. Use your hands to gather the pastry dough together into a large ball. Divide pastry in half; form halves into balls. Sprinkle with a little flour.
  4. Prepare the crust on wax or parchment paper. Place a fresh sheet of wax paper on your working surface. Place one of the balls on it and roll it out a few times. Cover it with another fresh sheet of wax paper and roll the dough until it is large enough to cover your pie plate. Line the pie dish with the sheet of pastry, then roll out the second ball of dough and set aside.
  5. To make the filling, in a large bowl, gently combine the rhubarb and strawberries with the sugar, flour, nutmeg and cinnamon.
  6. Spoon the filling into the pie dish. Scatter with butter and add the top crust. Pinch the edges and cut a few slits in the top for ventilation. Using a pastry brush, brush the surface of the pie with milk. Sprinkle evenly with sugar.
  7. Transfer pie to a sheet tray in the oven and bake for 50 minutes (if you find it is cooking too quickly, you can cover edge with tinfoil).
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature for 1 hour before serving (this will give it time for the juices to thicken). Enjoy!

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Spring Radish Salad with Orange, Mint & Pine Nuts

With the abundance of fresh local spring radishes picked at their height of freshness and flavor, I’ve been trying to think of other ways to use then rather than just have them play second fiddle as a mere garnish in a green salad. Why? Because I love these little root vegetables. Fresh and crunchy, they are a real treat. Especially in this spring radish salad where tasty sweet citrus and honey offset radishes cooling heat.

Beyond the satisfying crunch they provide, radishes have a high water content making them extremely refreshing as well as nutritious. But just in case you’re not convinced here are a few more reasons to “eat your radishes!

Radishes are super healthy!

1 SOOTH SORE THROATS
Their natural spiciness is an anti congestive and can help eliminate excess mucus in the body , which is especially helpful when you are fighting a cold. Plus they can help clear the sinuses and relieve soothe sore throats.

2 AID DIGESTION
Rich in fiber, radishes are a soothing natural cleansing agent for the digestive system. They help break down and eliminate toxins built up over time and help relieve bloating and indigestion.

3 HIGH IN VITAMIN C
Just a 1/2-cup serving contains 14 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C! Because of their high vitamin C content (along with many other important vitamins and minerals), regular consumption can help prevent viral infections, plus it works in the body to rebuild tissues, blood vessels and maintain healthy skin, bones and teeth.

4 ARE A DIETERS FRIEND
Radishes are low in calories and high in nutrients. A 1/2-cup serving of radish slices contains only 9 calories and 2 grams of carbs, meaning they are a great way to add nutrients, fiber and lots of flavor to your meals. Their high fiber and water content also make them filling, thus satisfying hunger.

5 KEEPS YOU HYDRATED
With their high water content (95%) radishes help keep the body cool and hydrated, which not only is that good for your tissues and digestive tract, but it also results in radiant and fresh looking, well-hydrated skin. Plus lots of vitamin C as well as phosphorus and zinc, radishes are a nourishing food for the tissues and can help keep your body hydrated and your skin looking fresh and healthy all summer long!
Radishes for Spring Radish Salad with Orange, Mint & Pine Nuts

Radieschen auf dem Markt von Elle Republic

For this radish salad recipe I used French Breakfast radishes, which are a little milder than the common supermarket variety –Cherry Belle radishes are the bright red-skinned round “table radishes” and French Breakfast radishes are the elongated red-skinned radishes with a white splash at the root end.

Spring Radish Salad with Orange, Mint & Pine Nuts
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Spring Radish Salad with Mint, Orange & Pine Nuts

Fresh and crunchy, French Breakfast and Cherry Belle radishes are a real treat. Especially in this spring radish salad where tasty sweet citrus and honey offset radishes cooling heat. Serves 4, as a small side

Course Side Dish
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 99 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch radishes, use the variety you like best, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 2 small sweet oranges, sectioned and diced
  • 1/2 a small red onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon mint, finely chopped (I think fresh tarragon would work well too)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons good-quality white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • handful toasted pine nuts

Method

  1. In a medium-sized serving bowl, mix together the radishes, orange, red onion and mint.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and honey until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat the salad ingredients.
  3. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and serve. Enjoy!

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Raspberry Rhubarb Maple Crisp

Raspberry Rhubarb Maple Crisp‏ is everything you might think the name implies: perfectly sweet, slightly tart, fruity, nutty, crunchy, delicious.

Rhabarber auf dem Markt

It’s packed with fruit smothered in pure maple sugar and is studded with oats and crunchy pecans. Plus there’s a good measure of bourbon vanilla, a little cinnamon, and mascobado cane sugar to lend it a rich caramel sweetness — let’s not forget just enough butter to give it that “crisp”. Welcome to the essentials of an unforgettable rhubarb crisp — a simply and fuss-free rhubarb dessert that’s healthy enough for brunch or a late night dessert. What’s not to love?!

Yes, this recipe makes me so happy to see fresh rhubarb in the markets this spring — thankfully in Germany the season goes until June 24th. Meaning I can enjoy tart, yummy rhubarb again and again!

Raspberry Rhubarb Maple Crisp

Thankfully the rhubarb party doesn’t need to end — freezing it is a good way to have it hand. It freezes like a dream, but gets a little mushy when defrosted so best to chop it into the size you want to use it for later. Frozen rhubarb can be added directly to whatever it is you are baking while still frozen — but I suggest you look for ways — just like this — to enjoy rhubarb while it’s still in season!

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Raspberry Rhubarb Maple Crisp

This rhubarb maple crisp is packed with fruit, pure maple sugar, oats and crunchy pecans, bourbon vanilla, cinnamon, and mascobado cane sugar to lend it a rich caramel sweetness -- let's not forget just enough butter to give it that "crisp".
Course Dessert
Category American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 84
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 6 cups of rhubarb, ends trimmed, stalks cut crosswise into 1 cm thick pieces (700 g - about 5-6 stalks depending on size)
  • 2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen (thawed) (300 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup (180 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon powdered vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

For the topping:

  • 1 cup rolled oats, regular (old fashioned) (100 g)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (100 g)
  • 1/2 cup soft brown sugar (I recommend GEPA organic raw cane sugar Mascobado) (100 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted (90 g)
  • 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped (alternatively use walnuts, or even slivered almonds) (100 g)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F / 190°C. Generously butter a 30cm x 20cm rectangular baking dish.
  2. Transfer the rhubarb and raspberries into the bottom of the prepared baking dish; sprinkle with salt.
  3. In a measuring cup (or small bowl) mix together the maple syrup, vanilla, and corn starch. Pour the mixture evenly over the fruit.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Pour in the melted butter and use your hands to mix until butter is well-incorporated and mixture is crumbly. Stir in the pecans.
  5. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the fruit.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden and crisp and the fruit is bubbly around the edges. Let cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.

    TIP: I think it’s even better after an hour when it's just slightly warm (or even at room temperature). Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days, that is, if there are any!

  7. Enjoy!

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Spring Parsley and Radish Salad

This quick and easy parsley and radish salad is all about radishes in their wholesome, simple state. Don’t expect to have your socks blown off by a flavor explosion — this one is all about the pure unadulterated mild and sweet taste of French Breakfast radishes. It’s for all of you out there who love to munch on fresh crisp radishes fresh from the market (and if you are lucky, directly out of your own garden) and just maybe after you’ve cleaned them up a little you savor them dipped in a little salt.

That’s how we did it when I was growing up. My mother had a fabulous garden. So fabulous we even had the neighborhood kids stealing out of it. Especially those deliciously sweet spring peas.

Fresh Radishes von Elle Republic
‘French Breakfast’ Radishes

WWell these radishes may not have come from my mother’s garden, but pretty close. I picked these beauties up at the farmers’ market, fresh picked from a local farmer who was selling a small but varied selection of garden-fresh lettuce and crisp, juicy radishes. French Breakfast radishes to be exact.

These are a little different than the spring radishes you generally see at the supermarket. Those bright red-skinned round ones are called Cherry Belle, affectionately known as “table radishes”. French Breakfast radishes on the other hand are elongated red-skinned radishes with a white splash at the root end. Sweet, tender and mild, they are perfect for salads.

Choose the freshest radishes possible for this Spring Parsley and Radish Salad

Since radishes are the starlet here, be sure to choose the freshest radishes possible – they will have lively looking greens and wispy root ends, and be heavy rather than spongy, with a smooth, unblemished skin.

Spring Parsley and Radish Salad

Spring Parsley and Radish Salad
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Spring Parsley and Radish Salad

This quick and easy salad is all about radishes in their wholesome, simple state. Fresh parsley, mild and sweet French Breakfast radishes and a squeeze of lemon make for a simple, wholesome salad. Serves 4, as a small side.

Course Side Dish
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 45 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of French Breakfast or Cherry Belle radishes, finely chopped (choose the type that you like best)
  • 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method

  1. In a small salad bowl, add the finely chopped radishes and parsley. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine. Then add the olive oil and toss again.
  2. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Depending on taste you may like a little more lemon juice or salt. Enjoy!

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Asparagus and Salmon Ceviche

Simplicity itself. Thin slices of raw, ultra-fresh salmon and white asparagus are marinated in a mixture of sweet red onion, lime juice, and chili before being served with avocado and fresh cilantro. Ceviche makes a fabulous starter or light dinner – perfect for a sunny spring or summer evening.

Ceviche is seafood dish popular in the coastal regions of the Americas, especially Central and South America – and regularly served on the beaches of Mexico! Sweet. It’s a dish where bite-sized pieces of fish, seafood or various other types of local shellfish are “cooked” in citrus juices, most commonly lemons and/or limes. Traditionally, the fish or seafood is marinated for about 3 hours, but when the fish is impeccably fresh this dish can be eaten right away, just as you would Japanese sashimi. Keep mind though, since the fish is not cooked using heat, be sure to pick up the best quality, freshest fish possible.

Lachs Ceviche mit Spargel

Asparagus and Salmon Ceviche — with a modern twist

This version is a modern take on the traditional dish; it’s inspiration taken from a sushi roll. I absolutely love fish and when it is impeccably fresh it melts on your tongue like butter, as does perfectly ripe avocado. The asparagus gives it a fresh, spring flavor and added crisp. I chose fresh grade A (class 1) white asparagus, as it’s pure white and deliciously sweet. In the off season, just substitute asparagus with crisp cucumber. Or playfully add a mango to the mix. YUM!

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White Asparagus and Salmon Ceviche

Ultra-fresh salmon ceviche with white asparagus in a mixture of sweet red onion, lime juice, and chili served with avocado and fresh cilantro. A fabulous starter or delicious light dinner.

Course Appetizer
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 335 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 4 stalks of white asparagus, trimmed, peeled, cut into thin diagonal pieces
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method

  1. In a medium bowl, add the salmon, asparagus, onion, and chili. Toss with lime juice until coated. Cover and set aside to marinade for 15 minutes.
  2. Right before serving, add the cilantro, and avocado, add the diced avocado, salt and pepper and olive oil. Toss and serve. Enjoy!

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Frisée Salad with Roquefort, Candied Walnuts and Oranges

Frisée Salad with Roquefort, Candied Walnuts and Oranges. I am 120% sure that this is what salad dreams are made of – a salad featuring frisée, radicchio, bright winter citrus, sweet, anise-like tarragon, outstandingly complex and creamy Roquefort AND crunchy candied walnuts. SO delicious!! Just give me a second to catch my breath!

This wonderfully tasty salad is sure to brighten your mood almost as much as experiencing a month of fabulous March weather – like we did! A big change from two years ago when we still had snow falling this time of year. Which by the way made me all together question why I left Canada for Germany. Being a “West Coast” girl I am not accustomed to a snowy winter by any means. Cold and wet, yes, but snow, not really. Okay, I admit I spent the first 10 years of my life in the North West Territories and Yukon, so I was (key word “was”) accustomed to snow – enough for a lifetime. I am still dreaming of California weather, all-the-time.

Frisée Salad with Roquefort, Candied Walnuts and Oranges

Salads remind me of summer and I love being reminded of summer all-year-round.

Not only is this one super tasty but it’s also packed with goodness. On the tip-top of the healthy nut list, you’ll find walnuts. Just a handful is loaded with Omega-3 essential fatty acids. Good for your brain. And they resemble your brain. Go figure. They are also full up on unique antioxidants and vitamin E — vital for beautiful, glowing skin. Plus a whole lot more good things for keeping you healthy and happy.

And believe it or not, Roquefort cheese may actually be favorable to cardiovascular health and have healthy, anti-inflammatory properties. So moldy cheese, together with a glass of red wine may actually explain the occurrence of the “French paradox”.

The legend behind Roquefort is that a shepherd left his lunch in a cave when he spied a beautiful maiden in the distance. When he returned to his baguette, his cheese had gone bleu.

Frisée Salad with Roquefort, Candied Walnuts and Oranges
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Frisée and Radicchio Salad with Candied Walnuts and Oranges

A salad featuring frisée, radicchio, bright winter citrus, sweet, anise-like tarragon, outstandingly complex and creamy Roquefort AND crunchy candied walnuts.
Course Salad
Category American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the candied walnuts:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup walnuts, left whole or chopped coarsely (100 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon natural cane sugar

For the salad:

  • 1/2 head frisée (enough so that when the leaves are separated, washed, and torn into bite-sized pieces, about 4 handfuls)
  • 1 small head radicchio, chopped
  • 2 navel oranges (blood oranges or Cara Cara pink navels are also a nice alternative), segmented
  • 1/2 cup Roquefort cheese, crumbled (about 50 g)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

  1. In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and add walnuts and sugar. Cook, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes, and transfer to a plate to cool.
  2. Whisk together the vinegars, walnut oil and Dijon mustard until emulsified. Add the shallot, season with salt and pepper; stir to combine.
  3. In a large serving bowl combine the frisée, radicchio, orange segments, tarragon, and walnut. Toss gently with the vinaigrette, season with pepper, and garnish with crumbled cheese. Serve and enjoy!

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Shaved Viola Asparagus in a Lemon Vinaigrette

Full of flavor and color, fresh asparagus, whether it be green, white or purple, is a celebration of spring! I love it when asparagus starts flooding the farmer’s markets, especially when I get my hands on fresh purple asparagus. The fabulous thing about it is that it’s tender enough to be eaten raw. Just use a vegetable peeler to transform it into raw silky strips then toss it together with a few simple ingredients –voila!– a tasty and refreshing side! Fresh, sweet Italian viola (also called purple passion) asparagus is the star of this dish, though raw strips of fresh, crisp and juicy green asparagus work just as well.

Shaved Viola Asparagus – has the perfect natural sweetness for a raw asparagus salad

Viola asparagus is similar in appearance and flavor to the white and green varieties, though is differentiated by its violet hue, tender, less fibrous texture and fragrant flavor, offering a preferred sweetness – it has a twenty percent higher sugar content than other asparagus varieties and like I said, tastes great raw! And since it turns green when it’s cooked (the heat destroys the purple pigment), thus losing all novelty, why else would you want to enjoy any other way?

Shaved Viola Asparagus in a Lemon Vinaigrette

When I see all sorts of asparagus start to appear at the farmers market each spring, I really can’t resist buying some (every other day!) and so starts my short stinted asparagus binge. Asparagus plants produce their “spears” for only about six weeks each spring, so the season is indeed short. It runs from late February (late April in Germany!) and peaks through May and June depending upon where you live. By mid-late June, when the season is over, I have definitely had my fill of green, white and purple and look forward to next year when I can enjoy it again.

Shaved Viola Asparagus in a Lemon Vinaigrette
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Shaved Viola Asparagus in a Lemon Vinaigrette

Shaved asparagus in a lemon vinaigrette makes a perfect dish for an elegant dinner. I use fresh, sweet Italian viola asparagus (also called purple passion), but green asparagus works just as well.
Course Side Dish
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 172 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 500 g purple passion viola asparagus, trimmed
  • juice of 1 large organic lemon
  • 1 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives (or more)
  • fresh grated parmesan, garnish

Method

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus spears into long, thin shavings. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  2. Combine lemon juice, grainy mustard, olive oil, lemon zest in a small bowl. Whisk together until well blended. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle dressing over shaved asparagus; add the chives and toss to coat. Divide among plates and garnish with parmesan. Enjoy!

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Baked Rhubarb and Oats

I recently read that rhubarb is in fact a vegetable. But apparently, at some point, the United States Customs Court ruled that rhubarb was a fruit. Really? A government decision to decide whether rhubarb should be labeled a fruit? And what about the laws of nature? Without plenty of sugar, brace yourself! Bamm, it’s bracingly sour. With its poisonous leaves and crisp, juicy stalks, rhubarb is an odd fruit. It’s amazing that we ever came to eating it at all. Nonetheless it’s got to be one of most delicious foods of the spring season. That is for us rhubarb fans.

Did you know that the leaves contain high levels of a natural toxin called oxalyic acid? Thankfully our gut is stimulated to reject it — just imagine, this the stuff that is used in ink, stain remover and metal polish. Nasty stuff. Best focus on its gorgeous stalk and the sugar that transforms it into something spectacular and delicious!

Fact is, I love this “pie plant”. As a kid, we spent most of the spring devouring rhubarb in the garden; mostly raw dipped in sugar, or stewed with plenty of sugar and served with vanilla ice cream. Sadly deprived of enjoying it in a pie. Or is my memory simply selective? Nonetheless, we ate loads of it!

Rhabarber-Crumble mit Haferflocken von Elle Republic

For those of you that like rhubarb with sugar, and LOTS of it, then just add 1-2 tablespoons more sugar to the rhubarb base. My version is sweet (in my opinion, sweet enough) but perhaps not as sweet as some of us may be accustomed to.

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Baked Rhubarb and Oats

A deliciously sweet recipe for baked rhubarb and oats with fresh squeezed orange and rich and malty Mascobado brown sugar. An easy and quick dessert. Vanilla ice cream pairs perfectly with it.
Course Dessert
Category Baking
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 400 g rhubarb, trimmed and cut it into 1–2cm pieces (about 5-6 stalks)
  • finely grated zest of 1 organic orange, plus freshly squeezed juice of half the orange
  • 1 cup fine-cut oats (100 g)
  • 5 tablespoons cream
  • 6 tablespoons soft brown sugar (I recommend GEPA organic raw cane sugar Mascobado)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F / 180°C.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the rhubarb with 4 tablespoons sugar, the orange zest and juice of half the orange. Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized (ca. 28 x 22 cm) ovenproof dish. Spread evenly.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the oats with the remaining sugar, add the cream and mix until combined. Drop spoonfuls of the topping over the rhubarb.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes until the top is brown and rhubarb is tender. Serve and enjoy!

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Lemon-Dill Asparagus with Belgium Endive

For me, asparagus signals the start of spring! The first signs are the purple and white varieties popping up at the farmers markets everywhere. I absolutely love viola asparagus. Combined with Belgium endive in a tangy lemon-dill dressing, it makes a perfect side dish or salad.

Viola asparagus is similar in appearance and flavor to the white and green varieties, though is differentiated by its violet hue, tender, less fibrous texture and fragrant flavor, offering a preferred sweetness – it has a twenty percent higher sugar content than other asparagus varieties.

Lemon-Dill Asparagus with Belgium Endive

If you are looking to dress this lemon-dill asparagus salad up a little differently, it also combines wonderfully with the addition of fresh peas or crisp slices of tangy apples.

Sadly viola asparagus loses its beautiful color after being blanched, but at least its delicate sweetness remains.

Lemon-Dill Asparagus with Belgium Endive
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Lemon-Dill Viola Asparagus with Belgium Endive

Lemon-Dill Asparagus: a simple, quicky and delicious recipe with viola asparagus and Begium endive in a lemon-dill dressing with a sprinkling of parmesan.
Course Salad, Side Dish
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 302 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 500 g fresh purple passion viola asparagus, trimmed (alternatively use green or white asparagus)
  • 2 Belgium endive, chopped
  • 6 green onions, white/light green parts only, sliced thinly
  • 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • zest of 1/2 organic lemon
  • juice of 1 large organic lemon, or 2 small lemons
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • freshly grated parmesan, garnish

Method

  1. Snap the woody stem from the asparagus and blanch in a pot of boiling water for about 45 seconds to one minute (depending on size); asparagus should remain crisp. Immediately transfer the asparagus to a bowl of ice water. Once cool, drain.
  2. Whisk together the olive, oil, lemon juice, zest, and dill. Season with salt and pepper and combine thoroughly.
  3. In a serving bowl, toss the asparagus, endive and green onions with the dressing until coated. Garnish with parmesan and serve. Enjoy!

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Prosciutto Wrapped White Asparagus with Zesty Lemon

I adore simple, healthy recipes that pack a ton of flavor. And this one, prosciutto wrapped white asparagus with the alluring scent and flavors of bright and zingy lemon has got to be the easiest thing ever to make. You could even skim this one down to the very basics – prosciutto and asparagus – plus a dash of olive oil, salt and pepper and simply bake it or toss it on the grill. It’s that simple. Though, since I love salty prosciutto with a little tang of lemon, I like to drizzle my asparagus with fresh lemon juice and a little zest — the lemon juice soaks of the salty flavor of the prosciutto, making a delicious sauce. You decide. Both ways are super tasty.

Peeled white asparagus

Spargelzeit – spring time with asparagus in Germany

For this recipe you can use either green or white asparagus. I choose white since it’s still rather a novelty for me, even after all my years in Germany. I am simply fascinated by Spargelzeit (literally translating to “asparagus time”) and Germany’s spring Spargel fever. First the sheer volume — some 81,000-tons annually, of which, more than half is consumed domestically, then there’s the business sorting it all by the different types. And yes, there is a very precise system — close attention is payed to the diameter (bigger is better), tightly closed tips (indicating freshness), whether they are straight or crooked, and if there is any purple coloring, which is considered a flaw. Impressive.
Prosciutto Wrapped White Asparagus with Zesty Lemon

You can either use a full slice of prosciutto to wrap the asparagus or slice it lengthwise in half and wrap the spears with a thinner layer. Which by the way, also has its advantages – the thinner the prosciutto is, the crispier it will get! So slice it into two strips, wrap it so it just barely overlaps around the spear. Otherwise, go to town and enjoy ever little bit by wrapping the stalks in a full blanket of deliciously salty prosciutto.

Prosciutto Wrapped White Asparagus with Zesty Lemon

Prosciutto Wrapped White Asparagus with Zesty Lemon
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Prosciutto Wrapped White Asparagus with Zesty Lemon

This recipe for prosciutto wrapped white asparagus with the juice and zest of lemon has got to be the easiest thing ever to make. Whether grilled or baked it the perfect side dish to celebrate spring.
Course Side Dish
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 119 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 500 g white asparagus
  • sliced prosciutto di Parma, enough for 1/2 a paper-thin slice per asparagus spear, each slice cut in half lengthwise
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 large organic lemon
  • fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley, garnish (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Trim off the woody ends of each asparagus and gently peel the outermost layer of the asparagus stalk with a vegetable peeler.
  4. Wrap the asparagus stalks in 1/2 a slice of prosciutto, leaving the tips exposed.
  5. Place the asparagus onto the prepared baking sheet, drizzle with a little olive oil and and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake for about 15-20 minutes (cooking time depends on the thickness of the spears, and if you like your white asparagus quite tender then bake for an additional 5 minutes) until the prosciutto is a crispy golden brown and the asparagus tender. Be sure to give the baking sheet a good shake halfway through cooking, so the prosciutto has a chance to get crispy all around.
  7. Transfer the asparagus to a serving plate, garnish with the lemon juice, zest and parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Notes

  • If you have sumac in your pantry, then you can replace the lemon juice and lemon zest with about a teaspoon of ground sumac. This gives the asparagus a deep and rich lemony flavour.
  • If substituting green asparagus for white, then the stalks do not need to peeled and the cooking time will be less, depending on how tender or crisp you prefer the stalks.

 

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Mediterranean Orzo with Tuna, Artichokes, Parsley and Mint

Spring is here, and it’s the perfect time to infuse your table with the tastes of the Mediterranean. There is nothing more Mediterranean, than fresh, sunny, coastal flavors. Simplicity paired with quality ingredients is the centerpiece of this tasty combination of orzo tossed with tuna, artichokes, sweet pointed red pepper, capers and herbs in a lemon and anchovy dressing. This is a SUPER delicious dish brimming with flavor! It makes for a perfectly, light mid-week dinner, an even more perfect impromptu lunch from the tasty leftovers, or as a delightful side for serving at your next barbecue.

I rediscovered orzo last year during our escape to Greece. In Greek supermarkets this treasured pasta, which resembles a large grain of rice (called “kritharaki”), can be found in a number of different forms – just as we find rice here — long cut, short cut, thick cut, whole wheat, the list goes on – and half a supermarket aisle long.

Mediterranean Orzo with Tuna, Artichokes, Parsley and Mint

I love it for its versatility and compatibility, it’s definitely something I should use more often as it’s a terrific counterpart to the fluffy rice, plus its…well…simply said: cute and delicious. Whether used to make a “faux” risotto, in a salad, soup or casserole, it’s perfect served hot and or at room temperature and works wonderfully with bold flavors. It enhances anything it’s are paired with and yet it is strong enough to stand alone as a perfect side dish, making the options endless.

Germany you can find these “Reisnudeln” under the name risona if not orzo.

Mediterranean Orzo with Tuna, Artichokes, Parsley and Mint
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Mediterranean Orzo with Tuna, Artichokes, Parsley and Mint

Quality ingredients is key to this tasty salad recipe comprising orzo with tuna, artichokes, sweet red pepper, capers and herbs in a lemon and anchovy dressing.
Course Salad
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 2 cups orzo (340 g)
  • 1 x jar or can sustainable albacore tuna packed in olive oil, (190-200 g) drained and flaked
  • 150 g marinated artichoke hearts (preferably fresh from a delicatessen, roasted or marinated in herbs -- alternatively, marinaded from a glass) drained and chopped
  • 1 sweet pointed red pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium-sized red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoon fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoon fresh finely chopped mint
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • large handful roughly chopped arugula, to serve

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 4 anchovies, chopped

Method

  1. Fill a large pot with cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and add pasta. Cook according to packet instructions, until al dente, drain and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until well combined.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the orzo, tuna, artichoke hearts, red pepper, capers, onion, parsley and mint.
  4. Add the dressing and toss until well combined. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Garnish with fresh arugula. Enjoy!

Notes

For a portable snack, pack into a small serving container and refrigerate.

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Spring Salad with Strawberries, Asparagus & Avocado

Champagne vinegar is considered the “king of vinegars” in France as it is incomparably smooth, subtle, and light. It makes a great choice for dressing up delicately flavored salads using ingredients that are fresh, ripe and in season. In the early spring, blanched asparagus and spring strawberries make a perfect match. A buttery avocado also makes a nice addition! In summer months, this salad dressing is wonderful with baby greens, blueberries and raspberries, topped with toasted almonds.

I’m a firm believer that a salad is only as good as its ingredients and that what really separates a good salad and from a superb salad is the dressing. Creating your own fresh and healthy dressing is much easier than you possibly imagined. First and foremost, the key to any great dressing is good quality ingredients. Since most dressings only contain a handful of ingredients, it pays to invest in a quality olive oil and vinegar. I am quite far from being an aficionado, but I there is definitely a difference!

Spring Salad with Strawberries, Asparagus & Avocado

Champagne vinegar is also a great accompaniment to almond or truffle oil – if you want to create a simple, yet elegant vinaigrette! Just add enough dressing to lightly coat the leaves. A general rule of thumb is a 3:1 ratio of oil to vinegar.

Spring Salad with Strawberries, Asparagus & Avocado
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Tender Greens in a Champagne Vinaigrette

In the early spring, blanched asparagus and spring strawberries make a perfect match with tender greens in a champagne vinaigrette. A buttery avocado also makes a nice addition!
Course Salad
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 446 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 6 handfuls of baby mesclun greens (125 g)
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, blanched and cut into 2 cm pieces (500 g)
  • strawberries, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced (optional)

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (165 ml)
  • 3 tablespoons  of French Champagne vinegar
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Combine egg yolk, mustard and vinegar in a small bowl and whisk together until well blended and smooth.
  2. Add the oil, season with salt and pepper and whisk together until completely blended.
  3. In a large bowl, add the mixed greens, asparagus, strawberries and avocado (if using). Toss with the dressing to gently to coat the leaves. Divide among four small plates and serve immediately.

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Sicilian Roasted Eggplant & Cherry Tomatoes with Basil

Italian “perlina” eggplants (aubergine) are very similar to the Chinese eggplant. They have a thinner skin and a sweeter, more delicate flavor. They also have fewer seeds, which tend to make eggplants taste bitter. The great thing about these delicate beauties is that they do not need to be “purged” of any bitterness before cooking. This Sicilian Roasted Eggplant might just be the recipe to turn on non-eggplant fans to this delicious nightshade vegetable.

Italienische Perlina Auberginen von Elle Republic
Italienische Perlina Auberginen
Japanische Aubergine, Feine Welt von REWE
Japanische Aubergine aus Spanien

Selecting the best eggplant for this recipe

This variety can be found at your local farmer’s market or a green grocer selling specialty foods. When buying eggplants, pay attention that the stem is still attached and does not have withered parts and that the skin of is smooth and taut – this is the best indication of its freshness. If overripe, they their flesh becomes stringy and bitter. Eggplants can be stored whole in the refrigerator for about 4 days. Alternatively, they can also be frozen, however before doing so, they should be primed, sliced and then blanched in boiling water for a couple minutes.

Mini-Auberginen mit Cherry-Tomaten

Mini-Auberginen mit Cherry-Tomaten, Parmesan & Peterselie, Japanische Aubergine gebacken

Unlike many other vegetables, eggplants can only be consumed after being cooked. Raw, they contains solanine which if eaten can cause headaches, nausea and vomiting – so perhaps their bitter raw unpleasantness is not without reason!

5 from 1 vote
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Roasted Sicilian Eggplant & Cherry Tomatoes with Basil

The Italian perlina eggplants (aubergine) have a thinner skin and a sweeter, more delicate flavor. Roasted Sicilian eggplant with cherry tomatoes and basil makes for a perfect side dish.
Course Side Dish
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 236 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 10-12 Perlina eggplants, stems removed and halved lengthwise (300 g)
  • 10 vine-ripened Roma cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; more for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves removed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • freshly grated parmesan

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.
  2. Brush eggplants all over with oil, transfer to a large casserole dish or roasting tin.
  3. Add tomatoes halves and thyme. Toss gently to combine.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until golden and tender. Transfer to a serving plate.

  6. Garnish with parmesan and top with the fresh basil. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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Asparagus and Mango Salad

Here is a delicious green asparagus recipe — an asparagus and mango salad. Green asparagus is tossed together with sweet mango, red chili, fresh cilantro in a light honey-lim dressing. What a way to enjoy this spring vegetable! This dish is anything but boring!

Spargelsalat mit Mango von Elle Republic

Asparagus is so delicious with its wonderfully subtle flavor that seems to work well with almost anything. It’s a great addition to any summer salad and makes for a tasty side dish with almost any meal.

Asparagus and Mango Salad
5 from 1 vote
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Asparagus and Mango Salad

This Asparagus and Mango Salad is a healthy, easy side dishes for any occasion. Made with fresh cilantro, fresh red chili and freshly squeezed lime juice.
Course Side Dish
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 256 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 500 g green asparagus
  • 2 small or 1 large firm but ripe mangos, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, leaves removed

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 5 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 fresh red chili, seeded and chopped

Method

  1. Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus. Blanch the asparagus in plenty of boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes (depending on thickness). Remove with tongs, or drain in a colander, and immediately transfer to icy cold water to cool. Remove from the cold water and drain well.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients.
  3. Toss the asparagus, mango slices, red onion and cilantro with the dressing and serve.

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Wild Salad Greens & Herbs in a Lemon Dressing

A good salad dressing makes even the simplest plate of greens memorable.

Go wild and load up on a combination of wild greens, baby greens and herbs this spring! With a lemon dressing this is a tangy, sharp, and refreshing salad. You can take a mix of any wild greens that are available this time of year at your local farmer’s market – or take a mix of baby greens such as kale, mizuna, tatsoi, mustard, arugula, and spinach. Whatever catches your fancy. Sprinkling a little freshly grated parmesan on top also works well in combination with the lemony tang of the dressing.

Wild Greens

Look for a mix of baby and wild greens at the market. Greens like Mizuna adds a lot of texture to salads and are typically sold as part of a pre-made salad mix, such as mesclun. It can also be purchased loose at the farmers’ market or specialty food markets. Mizuna has a fairly earthy, nutty flavor when compared to other salad greens.

Beet leaves are also a great addition. They are best-tasting when they are young and tender, with a slightly spicy flavor. Not only do they taste great, the greens with their thin purplish-red “veins” are visually striking and are great for dressing up any salad. When wilted, the “veins” become brighter in color and sweeter. Another reason to eat them: beet greens are a powerhouse of nutrients.

Wild Salad Greens & Herbs in a Lemon Dressing
5 from 1 vote
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Wild Salad Greens & Herbs in a Lemon Dressing

A good salad dressing makes even the simplest plate of greens memorable. Go wild and load up on a combination of wild salad greens and herbs!!
Course Salad
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1 handful wild salad greens (such as Mizuna)
  • 1 handful baby bok choy
  • 1 handful baby beet leaves
  • 1 bunch mint, leaves removed and chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley, leaved removed
  • 1 bunch cilantro, leaves removed

For the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons cooking cream (15 % fat)
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Combine lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl. Slowly whisk olive oil into the lemon juice mixture until thickened. Whisk cream into the mixture.
  2. Place the mixed greens and fresh herbs in a bowl. Drizzle with dressing. Toss gently to combine. Serve.

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White Radish Salad with Apple, Fresh Dill & Pine Nuts

Italian white radishes are a cool-season crop which grows best in spring and fall. They are a great addition to salads or, as in this recipe, as the basis for a salad. When buying radishes, make sure that they are very fresh, with smooth skins and firm roots (wrinkles and cracks are a sign of old age), otherwise your salad will not be a crisp as it should be. Together with apples, this radish salad has a really fresh, crisp texture — dill and pine nuts turning it into something unique. TIP: These radishes are also delicious sliced thinly and eaten raw on their own!

Mairübchen
Mairübchen

With this recipe you can use either of the following types of radishes:

WHITE RADISH (Snowball/Ping Pong/White Hailstone)
These white snowball-like radishes are actually spring radishes. They are round root vegetables ranging in size, from from 2 to 6 cm and have a tender, crispy texture and a peppery flavor.
DAIKON
As the name indicates (daikon translates to “large root” in Japanese), this large Asian radish can grow close to 60 cm long. The taste is more sweet than spicy but the finish is peppery.

5 from 1 vote
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White Radish Salad with Apple, Fresh Dill & Pine Nuts

Together with apples, this white radish salad has a really fresh, crisp texture - - dill and pine nuts turning it into something unique. There are also delicious sliced thinly and eaten raw on their own!
Course Salad, Side Dish
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 278 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 2 snowball radishes (or 1/2 a daikon), peeled and thinly sliced using a mandoline
  • 1 Braeburn apple (or other crisp, tart apple), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, roasted (more if desired) (25 g)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives, garnish (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons good-quality white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, dill, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  2. Toss the radish and apple with the dressing and sprinkle with the roasted pine nuts. Garnish with chives and serve.

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