pesto

Summer Salad in a Jar

"Summer Salad in a Jar" was a team project I've recently done with Marika Elefante and Giulia Revolo.  This cookout salad will be my best buddy this summer.  It's so easy to make, so delicious to taste, and most of all, so healthy for us.  

Recipe by health food chef- Marika Elefante   

Photo Styling by Giulia Revolo

Linens provided by Society Limonta 

Photos by me

Summer Salad in a Jar 

Summer Salad in a Jar 

Serves: 2 persons

Prep time: 10-15 mins

Cooking time: 10 mins

Ingredients: 

For the salad:

200g watermelon, deseeded and cut into small cubes

100g feta, cut into small cube

200g cooked quinoa, well drained

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp chopped spring onion

1/2 -1 tsp dried oregano

1 handful arugula

extra-virgin olive oil

For the pesto: 

35g arugula

20g pistachio

20g feta

2g spring onion

25g extra-virgin olive oil

1 pinch of black pepper

1 ice-cube

To make the pesto: Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth. 

Instructions for the salad jar:

  1. Season the watermelon cubes that are placed in a kitchen strainer with 1tsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1tsp chopped spring onion and a pinch of salt. Allow the excess watermelon juice drain out of the watermelon cubes.  (tips: this avoids the salad to become too watery)
  2. Season the feta with 1tsp lemon juice, dried oregano, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
  3. Mix the well drained and cooked quinoa with the arugula pesto.  
  4. Get two 500ml glass jar and start assembling from the bottom in such order: watermelon cubes, feta, quinoa, and arugula. This salad is ready to go and best to be eaten within the same day.  Enjoy! 
Summer Salad in a Jar - Recipe by health food chef-  Marika Elefante  ; Photo Styling by  Giulia Revolo  ; Linens provided by  Society Limonta  ; Photo by  me

Summer Salad in a Jar - Recipe by health food chef- Marika Elefante ; Photo Styling by Giulia Revolo ; Linens provided by Society Limonta ; Photo by me

Summer Salad in a Jar - Recipe by health food chef-  Marika Elefante  ; Photo Styling by  Giulia Revolo  ; Linens provided by  Society Limonta  ; Photo by  me

Summer Salad in a Jar - Recipe by health food chef- Marika Elefante ; Photo Styling by Giulia Revolo ; Linens provided by Society Limonta ; Photo by me

Shroom Shroom Shroommm..

This is the sound of Hong Kong.  People think fast, act fast, and talk fast.  Hey, we also eat fast.  To compensate this whole frenzied lifestyle, I choose cooking as a balance.  It is very rare that I would blog twice within the same week.  In any case, I should do it more often because practice is the only way to gain mastery.  So I just have to put myself into practice.

Note: Please don't discard the coriander stalks.  Chop them up finely and add them to make mint pesto and dumpling fillings for the two recipes below.  

Here is the list of key items I got for my 2 shroom recipes: 

1 bunch fresh coriander     HKD4

1 bunch fresh mint     HKD6

1 package baby corn     HKD6

2 bags mixed locally grown mushrooms     HKD6 each bag 

Total Spending:  HKD28

Ingredients for my two wonderful meals

First meal - garlicky mushrooms n’ egg & mozzarella crostini served with fresh mint pesto

Mint pesto recipe: 

1 bunch mint leaves

1 garlic clove

1/3 cup pine nuts

1/2 lemon zest & juice

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup finely chopped coriander stalks

Instruction: Put everything into a blender and season.  

Mushrooms and egg with mozzarella cheese crostini 

Servings: 2 persons

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients: 

250g fresh chinese and button mushrooms, chopped

2 eggs, whisked and seasoned

1/4 cup milk 

1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2-3 sprigs thyme

2 tbsp butter 

1/3 cup white wine

4 toasts with butter

1-2 tbsp pine nuts

2-3 tbsp mint pesto

1-2 tbsp grated parmesan

1/4 fresh lemon juice

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Preheat a frying pan with olive oil on medium-low heat, cook garlic, thyme and mushrooms for 2-3 minutes.  Add white wine.  

2) After the alcohol evaporates, turn to low heat and add butter to the mushrooms.  Cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Season.  Heat off.  Set aside.  

3) To make the scrambled egg, simply mix eggs and milk.  Season.  Preheat a frying pan with oil, cook the egg on medium low heat.  Add mozzarella cheese.  Use a fork to swirl the egg and cheese mixture to create fluffiness.  

4) Layer the toasts with scrambled egg and mixed mushrooms.  Garnish with grated parmesan and pine nuts.  Serve with a dash of mint pesto and a twist of lemon juice.  

Second Meal - Mushroom Dumplings

These delicious dumplings were made with the freshest ingredients that cost less than HKD30.  

Servings: 2 persons - around 12 pieces

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 8 - 10 minutes

Ingredients: 

 250g fresh chinese and button mushrooms, chopped into smaller bits

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped spring onion

50-80g baby corn, chopped into small bits

1 package bean curd sheets, chopped into bits

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 egg, whisked

2 tbsp soy sauce

1/4 cup rice wine

1 bunch chopped coriander stalks

12 pre-made dumpling skins

extra-virgin olive oil

 

Instructions: 

1) Preheat a frying pan with oil on medium low heat, cook garlic, spring onion, chopped coriander stalks, mushrooms, baby corn, and fresh ginger for 3-5 minutes.  

2) Add rice wine.  After the alcohol evaporates, add sesame oil, bean curd, soy sauce, and season.  Cook the vegetables for about 3 minutes on low heat.,  Heat off and set aside.  

3) Transfer the filling to a large bowl for wrapping the dumplings.  To make the dumplings, spoon 1 tbsp filling to the center of the dumpling skin, use a knife to dip into the egg mixture and spread evenly around the edge of each dumpling, then start folding the dumpling from one corner to the other.  

4) Once the dumplings are all wrapped, fry the dumplings in a preheated frying pan with oil on medium heat.  Add 1/2 cup of water and lid on to allow the dumplings to be cooked fully.  Let them cook with the lid on for about 5 minutes. 

5) Transfer the dumplings to a plate and garnish with some chopped mint leaves and coriander.  Serve with dumpling sauce and mint pesto.  

mushroom dumplings with mint pesto 

Asparagus 2 ways

Ciao!  Hope you had an awesome New Year!  To give a quick and fresh start of 2015, I'd like to introduce more of my no-brainer meals.  My intention is simple --  I want to share more different ways of utilizing our ingredients and minimizing food wastage in today's bustling Hong Kong.  

Pardon me this blog is not eloquently written.  It's been awhile since I started blogging but til' this day, I'm still struggling to pour words out of myself.  I know it's due to the fact that English is nonetheless my second language (yet my Chinese is even worse) and I still give too much of a damn what people might think.  I certainly regret my negligence of reading and writing when I was young.  So now, I am going back to what I should've studied ages ago and start from the basic.  I've got a few books in hand to learn how to write better sentences in English.  Let's just hope that there'll be some improvements along the way.  Ugh.  

Enough rambling.  Sooooooo, I got some fresh asparagus the other day.  I turned them into two simple meals.  Check them out! ;)

Have a lovely day!

Love, 

Cindy xx

A pound of asparagus can turn into two simple and delicious meals.  

Roasted asparagus with 2 eggs and pistachio (served with a drizzle of honey mustard vinaigrette)

Servings: 1-2 persons

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients: 

1/2 lb fresh asparagus

1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 eggs

1-2 tbsp chopped pistachio

1-2 tbsp grated parmesan 

extra-virgin olive oil

For Honey Mustard Vinaigrette:

1 tbsp mustard 

1 tbsp honey

1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

3-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Preheat the oven at 180ºC.  Place the fresh asparagus on a baking tray or an oven-proof dish/pan.  Roast for 5 minutes.  

2) Add garlic and oil to the asparagus.  Season.  Roast for another 5 minutes.  

3) Add 2 eggs to the asparagus.  Season the eggs a bit if you want.  Roast for 3-5 minutes depending how you want your eggs.  

4) Sprinkle some chopped pistachio and fresh parsley as garnishing.

5) Serve with a drizzle of honey mustard vinaigrette.  Voila! 

Asparagus and mushrooms in light cream sauce fusilli

Servings: 2 persons

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients: 

1/2 lb asparagus, slivered

1 cup mixed mushrooms (I used white buttoned and oyster mushroom)

1/3 cup light cream 

1/3 cup dry white wine

1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 handful pistachio, finely chopped

1-2 tbsp grated parmesan

150-200g fusilli

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Bring a pot of salted water to boil, cook pasta according to its package label. 

2) Preheat a saucepan with oil on medium heat, cook garlic, mushrooms and asparagus for 2-3 minutes.  Add white wine.  Let the alcohol evaporates.  

3) Add light cream.  Season.  Lower the heat to medium low.  Let the vegetables to cook for about 5 minutes.  Heat off. 

4) Add the cooked pasta and a little pasta water to the saucepan.  Stir and coat the pasta with the light cream sauce.  Garnish with some chopped parsley, pistachio, and grated parmesan before serving.  .