Well, Yesterday I wrote the start of my dinner menu if I had time to cook a 3 course dinner. Today I share the soup and salad portion that I had for dinner last night and it was so good that I had it for lunch today!
Bosc Pear Salad with Goat Cheese Dressing
1 clove of garlic, crushed
Extra virgin olive oil
1 4oz package of goat cheese
1 tomato, small for a serving of 2 and a medium for 4
12 whole almonds, toasted if you like
Mix together the goat cheese, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and about 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of olive oil. You may add about 1/4 teaspoon of oregano if you would like and the crushed garlic. Blend the mixture till it is smooth and creamy. if you like your dressing thick you can use less oil, thinner obviously use more. Again this is all to your liking so fiddle with the recipe if you like.
Since I have rabbits that LOVE lettuce, I cut the stem part of the lettuce out and save the greens for my salad. Rinse and chop the lettuce into bite size pieces and place on a plate. If you are making this salad for 4 you can plate on a large plate or make individual ones.
Peel and slice the Bosc pear and arrange the slices along the top of the lettuce. Dice the tomato and onion and sprinkle over the pear.
Take your toasted or un-toasted almonds, place them in a bag and crush with the flat side of your meat hammer. Sprinkle the almonds down the middle of the plates if they are oval like mine or in a "X" if it is round/square.
You can either dollop the dressing across the salad or if you have a fancy squeeze bottle you can drizzle it over the top of the salad. As you can see, I could not find my fancy bottle so I dolloped it across the top over the almonds. Now it is ready to serve.
Creamed Broccoli Soup
2 big bunches of broccoli
Water (or chicken stock)
Chicken base for soup (not the cubes and only if you are using water)
Fresh ground pepper
For the soup it was rather easy and cam be cooked a day in advance. I used 2 large heads of broccoli with the stem. Take the broccoli and rinse it off. Trim off the bottom of the stem and cut it from the head, place the head aside for trimming later. Peel the tough skin where you see the greens have been peels from the stalk as well as any browning areas. Be careful, if the stalk is hallow you will need to cut the bad parts out. My bunnies love broccoli too so they had a big meal last night. Once you have peeled and cut away any woody and browning parts, dice it up into chunks and place into a pot with enough chicken stock or water to cover.
Take the head of the broccoli and trim off the areas you notice do not look right, like it is turning black, brown or might be too soft. Rough chop the head into chunks about the same size as the stem so they cook evenly, add to the pot and add water as needed. You do not want too much water as this should be a thick soup, but we can fix this later in the recipe. Add a tablespoon of the soup base if you are using water and mix, turn the stove on high and bring to a boil. Once the broccoli is tender remove from heat and let cool enough to run in the blender.
Do not use the chicken base cubs as those are packed full of sodium and do not have the right chicken soup flavor. I currently use the Knorr Chicken Soup Base that comes in a container. It is a chicken base paste that you can keep in the fridge after opening for a few months. It is great for making the rice pilaf, chicken stock or anything that needs a bit of chicken flavor. A little goes a long way!
Place the cooled broccoli into the blender and add about 4 ladles of the broth. If you can fit all of the cooked broccoli into the blender that is great, but do not worry you can do this in stages and just add the blended portions back into the same pot. once you have blended all of the broccoli, add 2 tablespoons of butter return the pot to the stove and heat on medium high. If the soup is a little thin you can add some instant potato flakes to the soup to thicken it. The potato flakes do not change the flavor, but it does add to the texture and will thicken the soup in a pinch. I suggest adding the flakes 1-2 table spoons at a time as you are heating so you do not thicken it too much. heat for about 10 minutes after adding the last bit of potatoes flakes and serve. I served this with a bit of french bread last night to dip in the soup. You can also serve with crostinis brushed with a little garlic butter.
Well, this rounds out the delicious dinner menu with a majority of the items in my Door to Door Organics veggie box, I still have a few items left to cook so look for the next post on monday.
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