Smoked Duck Salad with Grilled Peaches

Smoked Duck Salad with Grilled Peaches. It’s summer and it’s peach season. Nothing is better than a juicy ripe peach on a hot summer day. Smoked duck is served over a bed of arugula centered by a grilled peach stuffed with herbed Boursin cheese and drizzled with balsamic vinegar syrup. Sweet shallots, dried cherries and toasted pistachios add to the flavor and texture. The whole salad is dressed with a lovely orange blossom honey balsamic vinaigrette perfumed with cinnamon basil from my kitchen herb garden. My Smoked Duck Salad with Grilled Peaches is a light salad that’s perfect on sweltering days when you don’t really want to cook.

Chilled Grilled Peach tops a Smoked Duck Salad  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Chilled Grilled Peach tops a Smoked Duck Salad (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

My husband likes to smoke meats. Earlier this year, he smoked a whole D’Artagnan duck. Normally, as a winter dish, I make crepes with smoked duck, mushrooms and Comte cheese. We also love smoked duck with scrambled eggs for a nice brunch entree. This salad is based upon my Chilled Grilled Peach Salad with Baby Arugula that I first tasted at Patsy’s Restaurant in Bethany Beach, Delaware and has been an inspiration for this Smoked Duck Salad.

Smoked Duck Salad with Grilled Peaches  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Smoked Duck Salad with Grilled Peaches (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Since it’s summer, I’m using seasonal ingredients. The ripe peaches are split in half and grilled and then chilled for a few hours. If you don’t have time to chill the peaches, they can be served warm.

Chilled grilled fresh ripe peaches  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Chilled grilled fresh ripe peaches (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

For the dressing, mix together some orange blossom honey balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, honey, chopped herbs (I use cinnamon basil), and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Alessi's Orange Blossom Honey Balsamic Vinegar (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Alessi’s Orange Blossom Honey Balsamic Vinegar (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Now, toss some arugula (or your favorite mixed greens) with some of the dressing. Add the dressed arugula to your two serving plates.

Fresh Arugula is the base of this salad  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Fresh Arugula is the base of this salad (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Slice a shallot and chop some pistachios.

Smoked duck, dried cherries, sliced shallots, chopped toasted pistachios (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Smoked duck, dried cherries, sliced shallots, chopped toasted pistachios (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Boursin cheese is readily available in most areas (Photo Credit: boursin.com)

Boursin cheese is readily available in most areas (Photo Credit: boursin.com)

Add the sliced shallot to the arugula. Place a chilled grilled peach in the center of the arugula. Put a scoop of Boursin or goat cheese in the center of each peach. Toss the smoked duck meat in some of the dressing. Now add the smoked duck to the arugula, arranging around each peach. Sprinkle some dried cherries on the smoked duck. Drizzle some balsamic vinegar syrup over the peach and the rest of the salad. Finish with a sprinkling of chopped toasted pistachios and an herb garnish.

Add some crackers to the Smoked Duck Salad and serve  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add some crackers to the Smoked Duck Salad and serve (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Enjoy!

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Smoked Duck Salad with Grilled Peaches

Ingredients:

1 fresh peach, halved and pitted
Coconut oil
2 c mixed greens such as arugula, baby lettuces, radicchio
Orange Blossom Honey Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
1 small shallot, sliced thinly
2 T Boursin cheese or goat cheese
6 oz shredded smoked duck meat or 2 smoked duck breasts, cooked, sliced into medallions
2 T dried cherries
Balsamic Vinegar Syrup for drizzling
2 T chopped toasted pistachios (Trader Joe’s sells toasted pistachios)

Orange Blossom Honey Vinaigrette

1/4 c olive oil
1 T Alessi orange blossom honey balsamic vinegar (or use plain balsamic vinegar)
Juice of half a lemon
1 T honey
1 T chopped fresh herbs such as tarragon, dill, basil or my favorite cinnamon basil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

1. Heat a grill pan over medium heat until hot or use your outdoor grill if you prefer.
2. Spray the grill pan with some non-stick coconut or other cooking spray.
3. Grill the peaches, cut side down, for a few minutes until grill marks appear.
4. Turn the peaches to add an additional grill mark like a grid.
5. Remove the peaches to a container and chill for a few hours or overnight.
6. Mix together the olive oil, orange blossom honey balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, honey, and chopped herbs (I use cinnamon basil). Season with salt and pepper.
7. Toss the arugula with some of the dressing.
8. Add the dressed arugula to your two serving plates.
9. Add the sliced shallot to the arugula.
10. Place a chilled grilled peach in the center of the arugula.
11. Put a scoop of Boursin or goat cheese in the center of each peach.
12. Toss the smoked duck meat in some of the dressing.
13. Now add the smoked duck to the arugula, arranging around each peach.
14. Sprinkle some dried cherries on the smoked duck.
15. Drizzle some balsamic vinegar syrup over the peach and the rest of the salad.
16. Finish with a sprinkling of chopped toasted pistachios and an herb garnish and serve.

Serves 2 as a main course. Offer with crackers or crusty baguette on the side. A nice crisp rose wine or a light red burgundy wine will both pair well with this salad.

Variations: Substitute the shredded smoked duck meat with sliced cooked smoked duck breasts or shredded smoked pork shoulder. Use your favorite greens. Substitute another spreadable herb cheese for the Boursin. Substitute dried cranberries for the dried cherries. Substitute chopped toasted pecans for the pistachios. Use your favorite herbs in the dressing. Alternatively, slice the grilled peach half into smaller portions and arrange on the salad.

Order some Alessi Orange Blossom Honey Balsamic Vinegar from Amazon.com:

Buy your own smoked duck breast from D’Artagnan (click on BUY NOW below and scroll down for smoked duck breast):

Smoked Magret Duck Breast

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Price: $17.99


www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2016)


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Cucumber Peach Mint Smoothie

Cucumber Peach Mint Smoothie. What to do with all those garden cucumbers? My Cucumber Peach Mint Smoothie is the answer. If you like cucumbers as much as I do, you’ll love this smoothie. Even if you just want a refreshing drink to cool down in summer, it’s a great way to use cucumbers and in-season ripe peaches.

Atticus watches from afar, hoping for a taste of Cucumber Peach Mint smoothie (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Atticus watches from afar, hoping for a taste of Cucumber Peach Mint smoothie (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

My neighbor has a large garden. She asked if I’d like some cucumbers. She’d just picked FORTY cucumbers. I said I’d take TEN cucumbers. With those ten cucumbers, I made two kinds of pickles, sweet and sour pickles with tarragon and dill pickles with garlic. Then she brought more cucumbers yesterday. I had to get creative!

Cucumbers from my neighbor's garden (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Cucumbers from my neighbor’s garden (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

My husband is a vegetable lover. As we embarked on our Eating Healthier trek a few years ago, we started adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to our diet. Yet a daily diet of even my Simple Cucumber Salad as a side dish to use this abundance of cucumbers wasn’t going to work for him. I came up with this smoothie so that I can use cucumbers in a different way. Of course, our dog Atticus loves cucumbers, too. There are few vegetables and fruits that he won’t eat. While I was testing this recipe, Atticus was whining and fussing because he wanted a taste. He loves both cucumbers AND peaches and was certainly letting me know. Follow his Facebook page and you’ll see the “Atticus Wants A Smoothie” video.

Atticus loves bananas (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Atticus loves bananas (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Recently, I’d purchased some ripe white peaches. I did not peel the peaches, just halved and pitted, and put them into my trusty Vitamix blender. Then, I added a peeled and quartered cucumber and half a peeled banana. My chocolate mint is very happy in my herb garden, so I added a few sprigs to my Vitamix.

Add the fruit and cucumber to the blender (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add the fruit and cucumber to the blender (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Unsweetened almond milk, fresh mint leaves, honey, optional protein powder, and a few ice cubes completed the ingredient list. Blend the ingredients until smooth.

Use a Vitamix for a spectacularly smooth smoothie (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Use a Vitamix for a spectacularly smooth smoothie (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Puree the ingredients for a tasty smoothie (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Puree the ingredients for a tasty smoothie (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Pour into a tall glass and serve immediately.

Our dog Atticus is letting me know that he would like a taste of this delicious smoothie (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Our dog Atticus is letting me know that he would like a taste of this delicious smoothie (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Enjoy!

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Cucumber Peach Mint Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 large cucumber, peeled and seeded
2 ripe peaches, pitted but not peeled
1/2 banana, peeled
1 c unsweetened almond milk
handful of fresh mint leaves
1 T honey or agave syrup
1 T plain or vanilla protein powder (optional)
3 – 4 ice cubes

Method:

Place all ingredients in Vitamix or regular blender and blend on high until smooth. Serve right away.

Variations: Use sweetened almond milk and reduce the amount of sweetener. Add a tablespoon of almond butter for a nutty taste. Use your favorite sweetener if you don’t like honey or agave syrup.

Buy your own Vitamix at Amazon.com:

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2016)

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Italian Potato Salad

Italian Potato Salad. Summer picnics and barbecues are upcoming. Everyone wants to enjoy the warmer summer weather. What to take? Guests will bring their favorite side dish while the host usually provides the meats. The usual pasta salads, deviled eggs, baked beans, and mayo-based potato salads will grace the buffet tables. My Italian Potato Salad with Sundried Tomato Dressing is a more unique version of the usual potato salad.

Chilled Italian Potato Salad served with Warm Italian Sausage (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Chilled Italian Potato Salad served with Warm Italian Sausage (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Potato salad has its origins in Europe. German potato salad usually has a clear vinegar-based dressing. Potato salad made in other countries tends to have mayonnaise-based dressing.

My Italian Potato Salad is simple to make with a vinegar-based dressing. Just cook some potatoes in a pot filled with enough water to cover them.

Boil some potatoes in water in a pot (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Boil some potatoes in water in a pot (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Drain and cool the potatoes. Then peel and dice them.

Peel the potatoes when they are cool (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Peel the potatoes when they are cool (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Toss the diced potatoes in a bowl with some red wine vinegar.

Sprinkle red vinegar onto the potatoes and stir to mix (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Sprinkle red vinegar onto the potatoes and stir to mix (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add some diced red bell pepper, finely chopped shallot, and quartered black olives.

Add the red bell pepper, black olives and shallots (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add the red bell pepper, black olives and shallots (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add some chopped basil, chopped parsley, and chopped oregano.

Add the herbs (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add the herbs (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Toss with my Sundried Tomato Dressing and shredded parmesan, let sit in the fridge for a few hours.

Add the sundried tomato dressing (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add the sundried tomato dressing (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Stir the ingredients together (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Stir the ingredients together (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Garnish with a sprig of parsley and serve!

Add a little more parmesan and a sprig of parsley (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add a little more parmesan and a sprig of parsley (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Serve my Italian Potato Salad with a grilled sausage (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Serve my Italian Potato Salad with a grilled sausage (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Enjoy!

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Italian Potato Salad

Ingredients:

5 lbs red or yellow potatoes, unpeeled
1 T red wine vinegar
pinch of salt
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely diced
20 pitted black olives, quartered lengthwise
1 T finely chopped fresh basil or 1 t dried basil
2 T finely chopped fresh parsley or 1 t dried parsley
1/2 T finely chopped fresh Italian oregano or 1/2 t dried oregano
1 c Sundried Tomato Dressing
1/4 c shredded Parmesan
Salt and pepper, to taste

Parsley sprigs and additional shredded Parmesan cheese to garnish

Method:

1. Wash and scrub the potatoes and put them into a pot.
2. Fill the pot with water to cover the potatoes by an inch or more.
3. Add a pinch of salt.
4. Over high heat, bring the potatoes to a boil.
5. Cook the potatoes until they are fork tender.
6. Drain the potatoes and cool them on a cutting board.
7. Carefully peel the potatoes and then dice them into 1/2 inch cubes and place in a non-metallic bowl.
8. Sprinkle the potatoes with the red wine vinegar and pinch of salt and stir to combine.
9. Add the chopped shallot, diced bell pepper, quartered black olives, basil, parsley, oregano, sundried tomato dressing, and parmesan. Stir to combine.
10. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
11. Garnish with parsley sprigs and additional shredded Parmesan cheese and serve!

Makes about 8 cups of potato salad. Serve as a side dish with some grilled Italian sausages or my Hearty Meatball Sandwich. This salad travels well for picnics.

Variations: Add some mini mozzarella balls. Serve this potato salad as a warm main course with hot sliced cooked Italian sausages mixed in. Serve over a bed of salad greens for a vegetarian main course. You could add some diced salami, pepperoni, or cooked bacon bits for a different flavor.

Take along this pretty potato salad serving bowl with lid and serving utensils from Amazon.com:

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2016)

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Rockfish with Apricot Almond Couscous

Rockfish with Apricot Almond Couscous. Living near the water-surrounded Delmarva Peninsula area, we have access to some wonderful Maryland rockfish. Also known as striped bass, the fresh local rockfish is very tasty and popular around here. One of my favorite ways to prepare rockfish is to slowly roast it in the oven and serve with a salad of apricot almond couscous. The couscous salad can be warm or cold. It’s delicious either way.

Rockfish with Apricot Almond Couscous (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Rockfish with Apricot Almond Couscous (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

You can prepare the couscous salad a day ahead and serve it cold, or you can prepare it while the rockfish is roasting and serve it warm. The couscous salad ingredients include cooked couscous, canned chickpeas, chopped dried apricots, toasted slivered almonds, sliced scallion, raisins and chopped cilantro with a lemon juice, olive oil, and cardamom dressing.

Organic Dried Apricots from Whole Foods Market (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Organic Dried Apricots from Whole Foods Market (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Just cook the couscous according to the package directions. Add the chickpeas and dried apricots and warm through. Stir in the almonds, scallion, raisins, and cilantro. Whisk together the lemon juice, honey, olive oil, and powdered cardamom and add to the couscous mixture. At this point, you can keep the couscous warm to serve with the fish, or you can chill it for a few hours or overnight and serve it cold with the warm roasted fish the next day.

Maryland Rockfish (Photo Credit: bowhuntingmaryland.com)

Maryland Rockfish (Photo Credit: bowhuntingmaryland.com)

Prepare two rockfish fillets by seasoning the flesh with salt and pepper. Then roast it in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit on a parchment-lined baking pan for 10 – 15 minutes or until it is done to your liking. You can also sear the rockfish in a pan over medium heat with some butter, flesh side down first for 2 – 3 minutes and then flip over.

Serve the rockfish with the warm or chilled couscous salad. Garnish with lemon slices and a few lemon wedges for squeezing.

Maryland Rockfish served with savory Apricot Almond Couscous Salad (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Maryland Rockfish served with savory Apricot Almond Couscous Salad (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Enjoy!

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Rockfish with Apricot Almond Couscous

Ingredients:

2 fresh rockfish fillets, skin on, scales removed

2 c cooked couscous (follow package directions)
1 c canned or cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1/4 c chopped dried apricots
2 T toasted slivered almonds (Trader Joe’s sells toasted slivered almonds)
1 whole scallion, thinly sliced
1/4 c raisins or currants
2 T chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley)
3 T lemon juice
1 T honey
1/4 c olive oil
2 t powdered cardamom
Salt and pepper, to taste
Lemon slices and wedges, for garnish

Method:

1. Season the rockfish fillets with salt and pepper and set aside.
2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. In a pan, over low heat, mix together the cooked couscous with the chickpeas, dried apricots, almonds, scallion, raisins, and cilantro and heat through.
4. In a small non-metallic bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, olive oil, and cardamom.
5. Stir the cardamom dressing into the couscous mixture and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm or chill at this point.
6. Roast the rockfish for 10 – 15 minutes or until it is cooked to your liking.
7. Plate each rockfish fillet with the couscous salad, garnish with lemon slices and a lemon wedge each for squeezing, and serve!

Serves 2 diners as a main course. Offer with my Simple Cucumber Salad as a starter and my Garlicky White Bean Dip as a spread for some pita bread.

Variations: Use your favorite fish instead of the rockfish. Salmon, halibut, and swordfish are all tasty with this couscous salad. Sear the fish in a pan with butter rather than roasting it. Omit the nuts if you have a nut allergy. Substitute cannellini beans for the chickpeas. Serve the couscous salad with chicken or pork or by itself.

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2016)

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Pesto Turkey Meatball Sandwich

Pesto Turkey Meatball Sandwich. My neighbor grows oregano, parsley, and basil in her garden. Like me, she’ll have an abundance of herbs at the end of the growing season. We both use the herb surplus to make pesto. I’m always looking for new ways to use pesto and came up with this Pesto Turkey Meatball Sandwich.

Cheesy Pesto Turkey Meatball Sandwich (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Cheesy Pesto Turkey Meatball Sandwich (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

You don’t have to wait until the end of the growing season to try my Pesto Turkey Meatball Sandwich. This sandwich is similar to my Hearty Meatball Sandwich except that pesto is used for the sauce. It doesn’t take much pesto to make a good sauce. I make a variety of pestos depending on my ingredients at the time. My easy Basil Arugula Pesto and Spring Mix Pesto are probably my favorites.

I like to make my own basil pesto (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

I like to make my own basil pesto (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

For this recipe, I use my Easy Turkey Meatballs. You can use my meatball recipe, make your own, or buy premade meatballs.

Pesto Turkey Meatball Sandwich  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Pesto Turkey Meatball Sandwich (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Start by lighly toasting some sandwich rolls under the broiler and then set them aside. Heat some pre-cooked meatballs in a saute pan with some butter.

Easy Turkey Meatballs from my recipe elsewhere on this site! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Easy Turkey Meatballs from my recipe elsewhere on this site! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

When the meatballs are warmed through, stir in some pesto.

Stir the meatballs and the pesto (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Stir the meatballs and the pesto (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add a pinch of red pepper flakes if you like a bit of extra heat. Assemble the sandwiches by placing an equal number of meatballs on each roll. Drizzle the remaining pesto sauce over the meatballs. Cover the meatballs with some shredded mozzarella cheese. Broil the sandwiches until the cheese melts, and serve!

Broil the sandwiches until the cheese melts (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Broil the sandwiches until the cheese melts (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

This is such a gorgeous sandwich that you might not want to eat it. Just kidding.

Fresh from the oven and ready to eat: Pesto Turkey Meatball Sandwich (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Fresh from the oven and ready to eat: Pesto Turkey Meatball Sandwich (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Enjoy!

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Pesto Turkey Meatball Sandwich

Ingredients:

2 sandwich or sub rolls, split
2 T butter
8 – 12 pre-cooked Easy Turkey Meatballs
1/4 c homemade pesto or store-bought pesto
1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
1 c shredded mozzarella cheese

Method:

1. Lighly toast the sandwich rolls under the broiler and then set them aside.
2. Heat the butter in a saute pan over medium-low heat.
3. Add the pre-cooked meatballs and lightly saute in the butter.
4. When the meatballs are warmed through, stir in the pesto and the optional red pepper flakes.
5. Assemble the sandwiches by placing an equal number of meatballs on each roll.
6. Spoon the remaining sauce over the meatballs and spread onto the sandwich rolls.
7. Cover the meatballs with some shredded mozzarella cheese.
8. Broil the sandwiches in the oven until the cheese melts taking care not to burn the edges of the rolls.
9. Place each sandwich on a serving plate, cut in half to reveal that pesto, and serve!

Makes two tasty meatball sandwiches. Offer with a side salad such as my Insalata Caprese or a light Simple Cucumber Salad.

Variations: Use your favorite beef, veal, chicken, or other meatballs. Substitute olive oil for the butter. Omit the cheese if you are watching your dairy intake. Add some sliced fresh tomato and/or some sliced sauteed mushrooms to the sandwiches before you add the cheese.

Ooey Gooey Pesto Turkey Meatball Sandwich (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Ooey Gooey Pesto Turkey Meatball Sandwich (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Buy a large supply of frozen turkey meatballs at Amazon.com:

And order some pesto to keep on hand if you don’t have time to make it yourself.

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2016)

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