24 April 2012

Spring Salad with Chive Blossoms & Squash Seeds


Weekday lunch at home is usually slow.  There are just me and my 2-year old daughter, Sofia, to cook for. On rare moments, my husband joins us. My first-grader son stays in school the whole day and only comes back late in the afternoon.  His lunch menu though, is posted in front of our fridge.  He's in very good hands. He and his classmates have three course meals every day with perfectly balanced meals. It's the food pyramid to perfection chosen by the state's dieticians and nutritionists. Jamie Oliver would be delirious with joy! After watching his school cafeteria series, my child's school menu makes me one satisfied parent. 

Sofia usually gets pasta, rice, meat or fish cooked the more conventional way, not to mention the dependence on extra virgin olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano. Make sure you put them in her food in front of her because if not, she will demand for them. 


My lunch is usually light or sometimes peculiar since I am the only one eating the dish.  Nothing pungent though because my little lunch companion has the habit of abandoning her lunch midway when she smells something undesirable like spices and vinegar.   

"Che puzza Mommy!" (It's smelly Mommy!) is what she told me before leaving her half-eaten food and me gaping at her back.  I was cooking the Tomato and Chorizo Salad quickly and just doused the saucepan with vinegar that suddenly permeated the whole kitchen. 


I found half a bunch of asparagus spears in the vegetable bin and I decided to grill them on the griddle.  I found a bottle of sun-dried tomatoes that I preserved in oil sometime ago. Searching, searching, searching. My foraging yielded some squash seeds, Parmigiano Reggiano, mosto cotto and lemon.  When I was finishing the salad, I glanced outside my kitchen window and saw the beautiful chive blossoms nodding with the wind.  I pulled out the florets and sprinkled them on my salad.  My lunch was served.  

This did not exude a strong vinegary or spicy smell so I was able to enjoy lunch with my daughter with her extremely sensitive nose.  


 
Spring Salad with Chive Blossoms & Squash Seeds

Ingredients:
Serves 2
  • 200 grams asparagus, weighed after hard parts have been taken away
  • handful of sun-dried tomatoes 
  • chive blossoms, florets pulled from the flower, (leave 1 - 2 flowers whole for garnish)
  • salted squash seeds, shelled
  • 1/2 lemon, zest
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon
  • Parmigiano Reggiano, shaved
  • salt 
  • pepper
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • a few drops of mosto cotto or aged balsamic vinegar
Directions:
  1. Grill the asparagus on a griddle until they color.  
  2. Chop the asparagus and the sun-dried tomatoes to uniform bite sizes. 
  3. Put them in a bowl.  Add the lemon zest, squash seeds, chive florets and parmigiano reggiano. 
  4. Mix the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, a few drops of mosto cotto, salt & pepper.  Adjust amounts according to your taste.
  5. Mix the salad and dressing well.



12 comments:

  1. What a creative and textured salad! I love your table linens and the chive blossoms are gorgeous.

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    1. Thanks Laura. The blossoms gave a light oniony taste which was wonderful. I got the table linen from a shop in Rome specializing in products from Abruzzo.

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  2. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL !!! I love Your photos ♥

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    1. Thank you Martina! Oh how I love your photos too!

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  3. The addition of chive blossoms & squash seeds makes this entire lunch seem so exotic but in the same vain so easy!

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    1. The chive blossoms were definitely good with the salad and the squash seeds were good too which adds something different.

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  4. Oh Rowena, your salad is so pretty! Those chive blossoms are just gorgeous!!! I'm so jealous of your school meal system in Italy! I watched the Jamie Oliver show where he interviewed Italian pre-schoolers - and they know their fruits and veggies. As for Americans, none of the kids recognized the veggies in front of them! What a sad state!

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    1. I have to say that I salute the way the Italian kids are guided with their diets. The state is very strict with their school menus. All fresh and balanced. Better than my house sometimes. Haha! I have an abundance of chive blossoms at the moment and I have been putting them in the salads before they all disappear. Thanks Jen!

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  5. Such a gorgeous salad! I have everything here including the chive blossoms...perhaps I have found my dinner :)

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  6. This is a beauty and coming to my table - squash seeds? What fun! Love using the chive blossoms which are starting to grace my garden. Plus this is just so pretty! Yay for Italian lunches - we made lunch for the kids here - the school lunches are woefully lacking in nutrition.

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    1. The squash seeds was a trial and them came out well with the salad. For a change, it was a good choice. I'm glad you make your kids' lunch. We need to be aware of what they eat nowadays. Thanks for dropping by Claudia!

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