Most Saturday mornings I make breakfast (this past week I made these five ingredient pancakes again) & then I get sucked into the Food Network vortex. It starts with just one show & then before I know it it’s noon & The Kitchen is on - a show I’m still deciding if I like but since I watch it every weekend I guess I do. Geoffrey Zakarian is one of the hosts of the show. He intimidates me. He has iron chef status & I’m pretty sure if we met in real life he’d have a difficult time taking me seriously. But this is why he lives in my TV & I can live vicariously via his cooking tips he dishes out on Saturday mornings & then blog about them here. This weekend he made this salad that just screamed spring to me. It had cucumber, green apples, mint & lemon. So I had to make it given Saturday was the first day we’ve had where there was a break in this polar vortex & the sun shined through & the temps peaked in the high 50s!
This time of year always makes me want to eat a little cleaner & feel a little lighter in the process so salads are always on the menu. What’s your go-to spring food?
- 1 seedless cucumber (the one they wrap in plastic at the super market)
- 1 green apple
- juice 1 lemon
- 1 handful of mint leaves (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- extra virgin olive oil
- Peel (or don’t) the cucumber.
- Wrap the cucumber in a clean kitchen towel or just a paper towel (like I did).
- Punch the cucumber with the bottom of your fist - no really - it’s kinda fun!
- Slowly unroll the crushed cucumber & roughly chop it.
- Add cucumber to your salad bowl.
- Cut up the apple (I left the skin on) into even bite-sized chunks - about a 1/4 inch cubes.
- Add apple to bowl.
- Mince the mint & add to the apple & cucumber mixture.
- In a small frying pan add the pine nuts (no oil needed the nuts will release their own oils).
- Pay attention to the pine nuts they will start to brown in about 2-3 minutes & then they’ll burn. Don’t let them burn they’re expensive! That would be like burning money ;)
- When they lightly golden remove from heat & add to the salad.
- Add the juice of one lemon to the salad ingredients & season with salt & pepper.
- Then drizzle some olive oil over the top & give it one more toss. (You don’t need a lot of oil just a little bit other wise things will get too soggy & oily - & very unsalad-like).
- Serve at room temperature or chilled.