Happy citrus summer salad with fennel and figs

When I was in Italy few weeks ago, in the heart of Tuscany (just writing about it makes my soul drool), it was humid and HOT. I refused to eat or walk faster than 2 miles per hour. We went to town’s “Centro” and sat outside a crowded Café for a break. I know its weird but I ordered a cappuccino. hello? don’t ask. While sipping my delicious drink, I looked at the menu and spotted the word Fennel (yup, it was in English). “Salad of fennel and red grapefruit in a house vinaigrette with red whole peppercorns”. Fennel and grapefruit? don’t remember having that combination before so why not.

happy summer citrus salad with fennel and figs
The salad was crisp and delicious. Small pieces red grapefruit, just a few, on top of a very thin sliced fennel, drizzled with shiny yellow dressing and whole red peppercorns add a pop of color. Loved the presentation. I added lots of fresh black pepper then totally went for it. It was delicious, refreshing and wet. The Mr. looked at my salad thinking “I should have ordered that too” (I knew it!). Slowly I moved the plate to the center and rolled my eyes. After a couple of bites he forgot that the salad was supposed to be shared. I ordered another one. This time I made sure the plate was much closer to me.

happy summer citrus salad with fennel and figs

I promised to make it back home and I did, but with some changes of my own. No whole peppercorns because they made me choke twice (really!), when I was there. I used ground mix of peppercorns instead. Juice of red grapefruit instead of cut pieces (only because I didn’t have enough for the salad, so feel free to choose), melon and this season’s star – figs. I even added sliced pear, why not.

happy summer citrus salad with fennel and figs
You can serve this salad as a meal if you like. Your taste buds and your eyes will notice everything in it. It’s big on contrast and way more interesting and festive. Dramatic in presentation, light dressing keeps business fresh with lots of subtle flavors, even the fruit flirt with the fennel. Try to say that five times 😉

It’s pretty sexy salad too don’t you think?

ingredients

1 large fennel head, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 pear, thinly sliced
1 cup of cantaloupe, cut to pieces
2 figs, cut to wedges

vinaigrette:

Juice of half red grapefruit
Kosher salt and ground mixed peppercorns to taste
3 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp honey mustard
1/4 olive oil

Place fennel and pear in a large bowl. Make the vinaigrette: in a bowl combine all the ingredients except for the oil. Using a whisk and a quick motion drizzle the olive oil into the bowl, whisking constantly until emulsion is formed. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette but leave some for later. Serve the salad on a platter. Garnish with figs. Drizzle a little of the vinaigrette on the salad. Sprinkle ground mix pepper (optional).

Crunchy and colorful avocado salad

In the mood for something simple, colorful yet burst with flavor? Are you inspired by fruits and vegetables like me and want to turn a simple salad into a colorful crunchy meal?

This is an easy recipe anyone can make it:

colorful and delicious crunchy vegetable saladCurious about those little brown pieces in the salad? It’s French caviar. That’s an option. I bought it when I was in Paris a couple of months ago and happened to have it. And, I grew up on this thing.

If you still want to elevate your salad and add caviar you don’t have to go to Paris to buy it, although I highly recommend a trip to this magnificent city.

fresh green avocado

I love fresh juicy looking avocado, don’t you? It’s the star of this recipe.

Shall we:

ripe sliced avocado
firm chopped tomato
small chopped onion

fresh chopped handful cilantro
3 tbsp olive oil
juice of one lemon
salt and black pepper to taste

french caviar (optional)

fresh sliced country bread

Preparation: Gently mix vegetables (except the avocado) in a large bowl with the cilantro, olive oil, lemon juice, salt. On a beautiful plate place the fresh salad in the center, top it with sliced avocado, garnish with caviar and fresh black pepper. simple and easy to make beer breadDo not forget fresh country bread, warm or toasted, on the side. Add a soft butter ball on a tinny plate if you wish to go fancy.

Recipe for the home baked beer bread in the image will follow.

Tip For a nutty crunch top salad with roasted pecans, let flavors blend for ten minutes before you enjoy it. Too hungry? don’t wait.

Eat. bon appetit.