When life gives you onions, no need to cry

Karen Makowski wrote in a few months ago, looking for salad recipes to use up a bumper crop of onions from the garden. Clearly, it’s not gardening season right now, but we can dream. In the meantime, these recipes also work as refreshing winter salads.
Thanks to Linda Snider for her recipe for onion and orange salad. I also found a version that combines onions with tomatoes, cucumbers and olives.

Onion and Orange Salad

onion16 large oranges
45 ml (3 tbsp) red wine vinegar
90 ml (6 tbsp) olive oil
5 ml (1 tsp) dried oregano
Salad greens
1 red onion, thinly sliced in rings
250 ml (1 cup) black olives (see note)
Black pepper, to taste
60 ml (1/4 cup) chopped fresh chives
Peel oranges and then cut each into 4 or 5 crosswise slices. Transfer to shallow dish and drizzle with vinegar and oil and sprinkle with oregano. Toss gently, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Arrange salad greens in a shallow serving dish. Toss oranges again, arrange on greens. Arrange onion and black olives on top. Add pepper to taste and garnish with chives.

Tester’s notes: I like the crunch and the combination of intense flavours in this easy salad. Linda continues the fruit theme by replacing the olives with blueberries. I did use olives — I like the mix of hot, sweet and salty tastes — but I cut the amount to about 60 ml (1/4 cup), using them as an accent rather than a main ingredient.

Onion, Tomato and Cucumber Salad

onion24 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
1/4 red onion, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
15 ml (1 tbsp) red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Place tomatoes, onions and cucumbers in a serving bowl. Drizzle with oil and vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste. Let flavours blend for 30 minutes, then serve.

Tester’s notes: Another easy chopped salad. Some crumbled feta cheese would be a good addition.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 4, 2015 C5

(Source: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com)

Roast Cod with Artichokes and Olives

fnm_120113-roast-cod-with-artichokes-recipe_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscape1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced
1 9 -ounce box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 6 -ounce cod fillets
Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus wedges for serving
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Combine the potato slices, artichokes, olives, rosemary, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl. Spread the mixture evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet; bake until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
Brush the fish with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set the fish on top of the vegetables. Return to the oven and continue baking until the fish is opaque and the vegetables are golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Drizzle the fish with the lemon juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
Per serving: Calories 373; Fat 17 g (Saturated 2 g); Cholesterol 52 mg; Sodium 1,219 mg; Carbohydrate 24 g; Fiber 5 g; Protein 30 g
Photograph by Justin Walker
Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine

(Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com)

A fresh take on traditional paella


Paella is a flavoured rice dish that originated in Valencia, Spain. It’s named after the wide and fairly shallow pan it’s cooked in. If you don’t have a paella pan, you can buy one at a well-stocked kitchenware store. You could also simply use a large skillet to make paella.

Short- and medium-grain types of Spanish rice, such as Bomba, are the best choice for paella, as they absorb moisture well and have a nice bite when cooked. You’ll find them at some Mediterranean-style food stores. If you can’t, in my recipe I give the option to use risotto rice or long-grain white rice.

This vegetarian paella recipe is loaded with vegetables and tastily flavoured. Add some good bread and wine and say “Olé!”


Grilled Vegetable Paella with Artichokes, Olives and Peas

There’s a rainbow of colour in this vegetable-rich dish. (Prep. time: 40 minutes – Cooking time: About 40 minutes)

For the grilled vegetables

8 slices zucchini, 1/2 in. (1.3 cm) thick | 8 onion wedges, 1 in. (2.5 cm) thick | 6 medium mushrooms, each halved | 8 wedges red or yellow bell pepper, or a mix of both, 1 in. (2.5 cm) thick | 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat your grill to medium-high. Place the vegetables and mushrooms in a bowl and toss with the oil, salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables and mushrooms one to two minutes per side, or until lightly charred and just tender. Set on a platter and set aside until needed.

For the paella

1 tsp (5 mL) saffron threads | 2 tbsp (30 mL) boiling water | 3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil | 1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped onion | 1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped green bell pepper | 2 ripe on-the-vine tomatoes, finely chopped | 1 large garlic clove, minced | 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) paprika | 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) oregano | 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) cumin | 4 cups (1 L) vegetable stock, plus more if needed | 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) Spanish rice (such as Bomba), Italian-style risotto rice (such as Arborio), or long-grain white rice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1, 14-oz (398-mL) can artichoke hearts, each quartered | 16 to 20 black or green olives | 1/4 cup (60 mL) frozen peas, thawed | 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh parsley

Crumble the saffron into a small bowl, pour in the boiling water and let steep 5 minutes.

Place the oil in a paella pan or large (12 in, or 30.5 cm, wide) skillet and set over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, paprika, oregano and cumin and cook 3 to 4 minutes more, or until the mixture is very tender and almost sticky. Add the rice and cook and stir 2 minutes more.

Mix in the 4 cups (1 L) of stock, steeped saffron, salt and pepper, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the rice is firm-tender and still slightly wet (add a little more stock if it is not).

Nestle the artichokes, olives and grilled vegetables into the rice. Cover and cook 5 minutes more, or until the vegetables are heated through. Sprinkle on the peas, cover and let the paella rest a few minutes off the heat before serving, sprinkled with parsley.

Makes 4 servings Eric Akis is the author of the book Everyone Can Cook Everything.

Easy dinner recipes: Chicken three ways in an hour or less

When you’re looking for easy dinner ideas, you can’t go wrong with chicken. It pairs well with almost any flavorings and can be cooked in so many ways. These great ideas come together in an hour or less:

Chicken and orzo with lemon and olives: This dish is one-pot perfection. Chicken drumsticks cook with a simple medley of orzo pasta, lemon wedges, olives, oregano, garlic and bay leaves in a richly flavored dish that comes together in only 45 minutes.


Cayenne Cafe chicken with pomegranate-walnut sauce: A great way to showcase fresh pomegranates in season, this simple grilled chicken dish highlights the fruit in a rich garlic-walnut sauce that plays the tartness of the pomegranate against the sweetness of dark brown sugar.

Roast chicken with fried artichokes and lemons: Tender roast chicken is served with crisp fried artichoke and lemon “chips.” The whole meal comes together in only an hour. You can find the recipe below.

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