Cuban Rice Salad (Ensalada de Arroz)

Part 2 of my Cuban salad series. Fantastic hearty salad with chicken and rice! Great for outdoor parties or picnics.  I omitted the toasted sesame seeds, for personal taste.  Adapted from Cuba, the cookbook. Recipe invented by Vivian Costa Leal, a Cuban housewife.

 

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 large green peppers
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup finely cooked chicken
  •  3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup or more mayonnaise

 

Directions

  1. Roast the peppers over an open flame or broiler. Place in a bowl fuller ice water. Peel off the skin, and cut into strips. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl combine the onions and vinegar. Let marinate for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3.  In a medium fry pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes till the garlic is fragrant. Stir in salt. Set aside.
  4.   In  a large bowl combine half the peppers and the rest of the ingredients. Salt to taste. Use the remaining peppers to decorate the top. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

 

 

Roasted Chicken with Fregola Salad

With temperature in the high 90’s last week, I searched for some great salads for dinner. This delicious chicken salad is adapted from The Bergdorf Goodman Cookbook. I used a rotisserie   chicken found at a local market and I used Israeli couscous instead of fregola.

 

 

Roasted Chicken with Fregola Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 12 ounces of fregola or Israeli pearl couscous
  • 1 pound roasted chicken breast, shredded
  • 10 ounces grape tomatoes
  • 1 10-ounce jar roasted red peppers
  • 4 cups (packed) baby arugula
  • 1 4-ounce jar grilled artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup Lemon Vinaigrette, plus more for serving (recipe follows)
  • 2 teaspoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • salt and pepper

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil, add slowly

 

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the fregola, chicken, tomatoes, red peppers, arugula, and artichokes. Toss with the vinaigrette, then top with the pine nuts.  Serve chilled or room temperature.

In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of water, the mustard, and the honey, then gradually whisk in the oil until emulsified. Leftover dressing can be covered tightly and store din the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

Lemon Mojo

A very light and refreshing potato salad. The recipe can be easily doubled for summer barbecues. Six lemons seems like an awful lot but it requires that you peel and remove the white pith and then separate it from the membrane. Adapted from Rustic Spanish from Paul Richardson.

 

Lemon Mojo

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 lemons, plus thin slices for garnish
  • 2 green onions, white and pale green parts only, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 sprigs flat leaf parsley, minced
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • up to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

 

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, bring 2 inches of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes, reduce the heat to medium-high, and cook the till tender 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water until cool and set aside.
  2. Peel the lemons, remove the yellow skin and white pith. Slice along each segment to free it from the surrounding membrane. Coarsely chop the lemon flesh and put into salad bowl. Add the potatoes, bell pepper, green onions, garlic, and parsley.
  3. Cut the eggs in half length-wise. Gently pop out the yolks and put them in a mortar and pestle. Add the olive oil and pound to create a thick sauce. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Finely chop the egg whites and add to the salad bowl. Pour the sauce over and using  wooden servers, toss carefully.  Garnish with thinly sliced lemons.