Mezze & Dolce

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

Mezze: Lentil, Mozzarella and Nectarine Salad

Good final

By now you’ve probably noticed that Jacque and I have a thing about fava beans (no, they are not in this salad…read on!). We consider it one of the more elusive Mediterranean ingredients, and by elusive I mean, it’s given us a whoooole lot of trouble. You can find the back story here. This recipe came out of another challenging attempt to make a fava bean dish. Tim and I were hosting friends for Friday night dinner, and I was dead-set on making Yotam Ottolenghi’s Fava Bean Kuku, an Iraqi fava bean and barberry fritatta. After work, I hopped in the car and drove back and forth across Oakland looking for one bag – just ONE bag – of fresh or frozen favas. I couldn’t find anything, and I needed to improvise fast.

I decided to grab some local stone fruit and make a hearty summer salad to accompany our other mezze. The salad incorporates a special technique I learned from my friend Raena that enhances the flavor of any basic salad – pickle some of the vegetables in some vinegar, sugar, and herbs for 10-15 minutes before throwing them in. I only had about an hour to pull together 3 dishes that night (granted, with some significant help from Tim), so save this for a night when you don’t want to put too much effort into your meal, but still want something spectacular. Try it with some Olive Focaccia, Herbed Chickpea Soup, or Spinach Borek.  –jaime

Ingredients

~Salad~

1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 Persian or 1/3 large English cucumber, cut into half moons
2 large or 5 small radishes, cut into half moons
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
1 1/4 cup cooked and cooled lentils (french lentils preferred but not required)
5 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 nectarines, pitted and cubed
2 cups mixed greens

~Dressing~

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/8 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon dijon or whole grain mustard

Directions

1.  Mix vinegar and sugar in a small bowl.  Add cucumbers, radishes, and dill and toss to coat all of the vegetables in the vinegar mixture.  Let stand 10-15 minutes.

2.  Combine all of the dressing ingredients and set aside.

3.  Place the lentils, cheese, nectarines, and a couple sprinkles of salt in a large bowl and toss to combine.

4.  Drain the pickled vegetables and add them to the large bowl.  Toss.  Add greens and toss again.

5.  Pour in half of the dressing and toss to coat.  Pour in the rest slowly, tossing and tasting as you go, to make sure you get the dressing to your liking (in other words, you may not want all of the dressing called for here, so ease in).  Taste and adjust for seasoning.


Good final with plate

Good pickling

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Information

This entry was posted on August 29, 2013 by in Appetizers/Dips, Legumes, Legumes, Mezze, Salads, Side Dishes and tagged , , , , .

About Jacque & Jaime

Jaime and Jacque are two gals who discovered a mutual passion for Mediterranean flavors and ingredients and never turned back. They started Mezze & Dolce to share this love, their recipes, and their inspirations with the world. Follow them at www.mezzeanddolce.com.

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