Salad Olivieh

I remember having Salad Olivieh in Iran in restaurants when we travelled into the center of the country.  When I asked my husband if he would like me to try making it, he jumped on the idea.  Unbeknownst to me, it is one of his favorites. So, the pressure was on.


As seems to be my approach these days with Persian foods, I looked up a variety of recipes, go a general sense of the commonalities and then created my own recipe, tweaking as I went along.  The result: a really good tasting chicken salad that even I (who normally does not like chicken  salad) really enjoyed! I didn’t exactly get the taste he was thinking of, but that was because I used leftover chicken from Chicken Marbella – which had its own distinct flavor. But it didn’t really matter, he fully enjoyed it.


It was a double treat for me, since it was Kosher for Passover!

Salad Olivieh

1 large potato (about 3/4 lb), peeled and diced

Just over 1/2 lb (9 oz) cooked, skinless chicken breast

1 cup frozen peas, thawed if from the grocery store, lightly cooked if fresh frozen(from Highland Orchards)

2 or 3 Persian (or Israeli) pickles

1 hard-boiled egg, peeled and diced (from Farmer Kim)

5 – 7 Tbs mayonnaise

3 Tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp dijon mustard

3 Tbsp olive oil

Kosher salt & Freshly ground black pepper


Place the potatoes in a microwave safe dish and add a little water (about 1/4 inch deep).  Cover and microwave for til tender, about 2 – 4 minutes, depending upon the size of your dice. Set aside.

Shred the chicken breast, then chop into small pieces. Set aside.

Dice the egg and pickles.

In a large bowl, mix the potatoes, chicken, peas, pickles and egg.

In a small bowl, whisk together the Mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard and olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the mount of mayo to get the flavor and consistency to your taste.

Combine the dressing into the chicken mixture, mixing well. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Cover and place in the refrigerator for several hours to let the flavors come together.

Serve as a sandwich, with bread, a baguette, pita, or matzoh!


Serves 6 – 8.

Categories: Passover, Persian, Recipe, Sandwich | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Roasted Cauliflower Melt

I had 8 cauliflower plants growing in my garden.  The operative word being “had”.  I went out one morning to find the tops eaten off of every one of them.  All that was left were the base leaves.  Incorrectly, I blamed the bunnies and tried to figure out how they were getting into the garden, there were no visible gaps in the fencing. We tightened up the fencing just to be sure. A few days ago, my husband came in and said, “it wasn’t the rabbits, it was the groundhog.”  How?  There were definitely not gaps big enough for a groundhog.  “It didn’t go through or under, it went over!”  He caught it in the act in the garden and it scurried off, up and over the fence.  Who knew? I guess they should be called climbing hogs, not ground hogs. Not sure how to defend agains it, other than to run out yelling at it any time I see it (or sending the dog to chase it back into the woods).


So, instead of making this with cauliflower from my garden, I bought some from the farm market. This sandwich is definitely a meal, a very tasty one. My 6 year old wouldn’t try it, he preferred regular grilled cheese, but my husband and I enjoyed it a lot. Cauliflower, pears, provolone, mustard, smoked paprika….yum! And with the ciabatta bread I was able to turn them into great paninis. Crisp outsides and soft, gooey inside…did I say yum yet?


Roasted Cauliflower Melt

Inspired and adapted from Jeff Mauro

1 head of cauliflower, cut into 1 inch thick steaks.

1/4 cup olive oil

1-2 tsp maple mustard (or dijon)

2 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 cup maple mustard

1 Tbsp stone ground mustard

1 Tbsp honey (local)

Provolone cheese, sliced (2 slices per sandwich, or more if you want)

1 pear, sliced

4 Ciabatta rolls


Heat oven to 450F.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, 1-2 tsp maple mustard, and smoked paprika.  Paint the cauliflower with the sauce, getting the sauce into all the nooks and crannies.  Place the cauliflower on a baking tray.


Roast for 10 minutes, flip and roast for another 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven.


While the cauliflower is roasting, mix together the two remaining mustards and the honey.


Slice the ciabatta rolls and spread the mustard mixture liberally on the bottom of each roll. Cover with one of he provolone slices and then cauliflower.


Top with the sliced pear and remaining provolone.


Melt some butter on a griddle or pan over medium heat.  Cook each sandwich, with a grill press or other weight on it.


Cook until the bottom is browned.  Flip and cook until the cheese is melted and the outside is browned.

Serve and enjoy!


Serves 4.

Categories: Cauliflower, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Sandwich, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Smoked Salmon Salad Sandwich on Challah

I finally accepted that I am fated to not have a dry weekend for my husband to till my garden for me.  I have an irrational fear of the using roto-tiller, so I picked a dry weekday and decided to hand till (yes, using the hoe) the area I needed to get my early plants and seeds in.  I had already set up a trellis for sugar snap peas outside the garden, so they have a few days head-start.  In the garden proper are now parsnips, spinach, kale, cauliflower, bok choy and carrots alongside the garlic and strawberries from last year. It feels good getting the plants and seeds in, but I am not looking forward to all the weeding I will have to do – hand tilling is just not as effective a way to start off.

Of course, after the garden work, I was not in the mood to cook, so it was a simple dinner.  I decided to create my own version of the sandwich I had the night I left for Norway. A salmon salad with tarragon and marinated tomatoes on a brioche roll.


My version used a good smoked salmon, tarragon mayonnaise and marinated tomatoes on challah.


Smoked Salmon Salad Sandwich on Challah

4 roma tomatoes, sliced

1 Tbsp olive oil

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Challah, sliced

1 lb smoked salmon

3/4 cup mayonnaise

3 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar


The night before, slice the tomatoes about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick. In a small bowl, toss with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use (you can take them out a little earlier to come to room temperature).


In another small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, tarragon and vinegar.  Set aside.


Break the salmon into bite sized pieces and place in a medium bowl.


Add enough of the mayonnaise mixture to the salmon to the taste and texture you want.


Spread the salmon on the challah, top with tomatoes and season to taste.


Serve and Enjoy!


Serves 4.



Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Sandwich | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Mediterranean-style Tuna Sandwich

I have returned from the land of Northern Lights but am having a difficult time getting back into the swing of cooking.  So, I will share a simple sandwich recipe with you that I greatly enjoy; and, it continues the fish theme I have had to my eating for the past week or so.  I was greatly inspired by many of the dishes we ate and will hopefully be able to create some dishes that will be worthy of sharing (even if it is just a recreation of the delicious chive butter we had with dinner one night).  Below is a picture of a simple, yet sumptuous sauce we had with smoked cod – leek and egg sauce.


While I work on getting back in the mood to be cooking rather than cross country skiing, I will share one of our Northern Lights pictures – I miss them already.  But for now, check out this tuna sandwich, it really is good!


Every time I eat canned tuna I remember that I love canned tuna.  So, why do I eat it so seldom?  Why is it one of the last things I think of when I am figuring out what I want for lunch? What about tuna casseroles?  Even taking the tuna eating guidelines of no more than 3 servings per month for children my son’s age, we don’t come close, it is more like 3 servings per year. If you want more information on this, you can check out the Environmental Defense Fund EDF Seafood Selector.  There are other sites with more information, but I find this site pretty straightforward and easy to use.

That said, I made some nice tuna sandwiches for dinner. Tuna sandwich for dinner?  Yes, these are quite filling and satisfying.  They are rich with mediterranean flavors:  marinated artichokes, olives, pickled red pepper, and oregano.  20140716-193034-70234334.jpgThe key to these is to use a good french bread, and to press it with weight while it sits for about 1/2 hour. And, honestly, they are even better the next day (warp when up and put them in the fridge overnight.  Bring back to room temperature to eat).20140716-193035-70235341.jpgI served it with some baked parmesan squash (some day I will need to blog the squash recipe, it was yummy, I just need to perfect the technique a bit more).  It was a happy dinner.20140716-193035-70235803.jpgMediterranean-style Tuna Sandwiches

2 6-ounce cans tuna, drained well

1/3 cup chopped onion (red or white)

1/3 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

4 or 5 Kalamata olives, chopped

1/4 cup pickled red pepper, chopped (you can use roasted red pepper)

2 tsp dried parsley (from the garden)

3/4 tsp dried oregano (from the garden)

1 – 2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

I french bread loaf, sliced in half lengthwise


Combine the tuna, the veggies, herbs, oil and vinegar in a bowl. Mix well with a fork, breaking up the tuna, it necessary.20140716-193034-70234654.jpgTop the bottom half of the bread with the tuna mixture.20140716-193034-70234995.jpgCover with the top half and cut into 2 inch wide slices. Press, cover with weight (e.g, a plate with something heavy on top) and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.   20140716-193035-70235341.jpgServe and enjoy!20140716-193035-70235803.jpgServes 4.



Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Sandwich | Tags: | Leave a comment

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Crunchy Apple Slaw

I had planned to make this for dinner, but forgot to set up the crock pot before I left the house for the afternoon.  By the time I realized it, it was too late to make it for dinner that night.  So, I put it up to cook when I got home and set it to cook that evening.  I prepared it up through shredding the chicken, put the chicken in the sauce and let the flavors mingle even more overnight.


This is not a necessary approach, it works just as well as a ‘normal’ slow-cooker dish.  One benefit though, was the ability to remove the excess fat from the reduced sauce before reheating, making it just a tad healthier. But oh, it was just as delicious.

And, I can’t say enough about how good the apple-cabbage slaw is!


I could have made nice, neat sandwiches, but I wanted an overflowing, messy, ewwy gooey sandwich that I would need many napkins for…



Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Crunchy Apple Slaw

Slightly adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup apple jack
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
3 Tablespoons light molasses
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2lbs chicken breasts (locally raised)

For the Crunchy Apple Slaw:
2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
juice of 1/2 lime
salt & pepper
3 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1 large Granny Smith apple, thinly chopped


Combine ingredients from ketchup to pepper in a large crock pot then whisk to combine. 


Add chicken halves then cover completely in sauce and cook on low for 4-6 hours, or until chicken is very tender. If the sauce does not fully cover the chicken, every couple of hours, spoon some sauce over the chicken.


Remove 2 cups cooking liquid and transfer to a saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat slightly and let bubble and thicken, about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, shred chicken with 2 forks then return to crock pot with remaining liquid and stir to combine. 


For the Crunchy Apple Slaw: In a large bowl whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, lime juice, salt and pepper.


Add cabbage and apples then toss to combine.


Place shredded chicken on top of bottom buns then top with reduced sauce (unless you have mixed it all together like I did, and again, I made my sandwich overflowing, you don’t need to).



Top with Crunchy Apple Slaw and serve. Enjoy!


Serves 4 – 6.






Categories: Apples, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Sandwich | Tags: | 2 Comments

Hummus and Grilled Zucchini/Pattypan Squash Wrap

I had a friend coming over for lunch and did not have time to go to the store.  I promised something healthy.  Luckily, I had just enough in the house to make an adaptation of Ellie Krieger’s Hummus and Grilled Vegetable Wrap along with some spiced edamame from the garden.


The star of this wrap was the grilled pattypan squash from my garden.


One of the adaptations I made was to use my homemade pickled red pepper instead of raw red pepper.


The only ingredient from the original recipe that I did not have, that I think would be a good addition is  baby spinach.  So I left that in the recipe below, even though I did not use it and the wrap was still super good.


Hummus and Grilled Zucchini/Pattypan Squash Wrap

Adapted from Ellie Krieger’s Hummus and Grilled Vegetable Wrap

2 small pattypan squash or medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices (from the garden)

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/8 teaspoon salt

Pinch freshly ground black pepper

1 cup store-bought plain hummus

4 pieces whole-wheat wrap bread (about 9 inches in diameter)

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1/2 tsp dried mint leaves

1 medium pickled red bell pepper, thinly sliced

2 ounces baby spinach leaves (2 cups lightly packed)

1/4 cup onion thinly sliced into half moons


Preheat a grill pan over medium heat. Brush both sides of the squash/zucchini slices with the oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.


Grill until tender and slightly browned, about 4 minutes per side.

Spread 1/4 cup of the hummus over each piece of bread. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of pine nuts on top. Sprinkle with dried mint leaves.


Top with slices red pepper, 1/2 cup of the spinach, a few sliced onions.


Add slices of grilled zucchini.


Roll each of them up and cut in half on a diagonal. Enjoy!


Serves 4.








Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Sandwich, Spinach, Vegetarian, Zucchini | Tags: | Leave a comment

Carrot Salad Pita

I have been making this lunch dish for years, but this is the first time I have been able to make it with my own carrots; I am very excited!


Stuffed into a pita, it makes a refreshing and healthy lunch.


But is it equally good as a side salad with a meal.  It is perfect for a picnic or cookout.


The key when using it in a pita is to not fill the pita until you are ready to eat.  It is a moist salad and would turn the pita soggy if they were packed together ahead of time.

Carrot Salad Pita

Adapted from Better Than Peanut Butter and Jelly by Marty Mattare

1 small can pineapple chunks packed in juice, drained (you can also use mandarin oranges)

4 – 6 carrots, grated, depending upon size (from the garden)

1 cup raisins

1 cup walnuts, chopped

2 – 3 tsp canola oil

2 – 3 splashes of cider vinegar

6- 8 whole wheat pitas

1/4 tsp Kosher or sea salt, or to taste


In a medium bowl, combine pineapple, carrots, raisins, walnuts, oil, and vinegar.


Mix well.  Add salt to taste.


Divide and stuff into pitas just before serving.


Serves 6 – 8.

Categories: Carrot, Kosher, Recipe, Sandwich, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Mediterranean Turkey Wrap

I had a long week with a lot of driving, including 1 day when what is normally a 3 hour round-trip became a 6 hour round-trip.  So, by the end of the week, I was too wiped out to spend the effort to cook dinner. Time for a wrap – a Mediterranean Turkey Wrap inspired by Krystina Kalapothakos on her blog Kouzounas Kitchen.


It is an easy, tasty wrap that uses the cucumbers and tomatoes from my garden.  Yes, the tomatoes are finally ripening! Dinner was fast, fresh, tasty, and surprisingly filling. The pictures below are from my wrap, my husband’s wrap was filled more heavily.

When I went out to the garden to harvest the veggies, I was greeted by our friendly backyard bunny.


Not only did he watch me while I harvested, he was waiting for me by my back porch.  Then, when I walked close, instead of running away he jumped onto the porch and let me stand 4 feet away.  I think he is getting a bit too comfortable. At least, with all the clover in the yard, he has been leaving my garden alone.

Mediterranean Turkey Wrap

For each wrap:

1 whole wheat flour tortilla

2 – 3 Tbsp hummus

1 or 2 slices roast turkey

Thinly sliced cucumber (from the garden)

Thinly sliced tomato (from the garden)

Chopped Kalamata olives

Sliced roasted red pepper


Spread the hummus on the wrap. (the wrap holds together even better if you apply it to the entire wrap, I just wasn’t that hungry)



Top one side with turkey, tomatoes and cucumbers.




Add the olives and red pepper.


Roll up from the filled side first.  Pin with toothpicks and cut in half.





Categories: Cucumber, Kosher, Recipe, Sandwich, Tomatoes | Tags: | 2 Comments

Strawberry Peanut Butter Pitas

I really enjoy having a farmers market just 4 blocks from my office at the University of Pennsylvania.  The PA growing season is a little behind mine in Delaware, so I get to extend the seasons for my favorite fruits and veggies.  I recently picked up some asparagus, bok choy, sugar snap peas and strawberries. The veggies went into three separate dinners, and the strawberries were mostly eaten straight up by my son and me with our lunches. Now, there are just a few left…


Some of these went into a simple, yet fun, lunch for me on my day off…Strawberry Peanut Butter Pitas!  Why use preserves when you have the fresh fruit around?


Strawberry Peanut Butter Pitas

Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens PB and Strawberry Pockets

Recipe for 1 serving, just multiply for more servings:

1/2 large whole wheat pita bread, halved crosswise into semicircles

2 Tbsp peanut butter (I used white chocolate peanut butter)

1 Tbsp golden raisins

1/3 cup fresh strawberries, sliced (from Beechwood Orchards)

2 tsp sunflower seeds, hulled


In a small bowl mix together the peanut butter, raisins and 1/2 the sunflower seeds.

20140613-155635-57395162.jpgOpen the pita into a pocket.  Spread with the peanut butter mixture.  Top with strawberries and sprinkle with the remaining sunflower seeds.  Enjoy!




Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Sandwich, Strawberries, Vegetarian | 3 Comments

Pepperoni Calzones

I used to shy away from making anything that required pizza dough.  Then I discovered frozen dough balls.  Boy, do they make life easy…and the baked dough tastes good and has a nice consistency.  Tonight I used them to make pepperoni calzones.

How does this relate to my garden?  Well, the sauce is frozen tomato sauce I made from my garden tomatoes last summer.  I seemed to have forgotten about all the food I froze last season, so I will be working my way through my freezer before veggies and fruit start coming in later this spring.


Using frozen pizza dough and the frozen sauce made this very easy.  It just took forethought to thaw both the dough and sauce the day before.


Given that we eat main vegetarian and healthy meals, pepperoni calzones are not something I would make often.  But I have to admit, they were actually as much fun to make as to eat!


Look for a healthier version with veggies from the garden this summer!

Pepperoni Calzones

Based on Jeff Mauro’s Pepperoni Pizza Calzones

2 cups Basic Tomato Sauce (doctored up however you like)

1 lb pizza dough, divided into 4 balls (thawed if using frozen)

2 cups shredded whole milk mozzarella

6 ounces pepperoni, thinly sliced

Grated parmesan


Preheat the oven to 400F.

Simmer the tomato sauce in a medium saucepan until it is a desired thickness.


On a lightly floured surface, roll out and/or stretch the dough balls into 4 equal rounds.


Place 1/4 of the mozzarella on half of each round, leavin about 1/4 – 1/2 inch border around the curved side.


Layer 1/4 of the pepperoni on top of the mozzarella.


Moisten the border, fold the plain side over the filled side and curl up the edges.

20140219-192102.jpg 20140219-192136.jpg

Place the calzones on a baking sheet.  Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with grated parmesan.


Bake until golden  about 10 – 20 minutes.  They should sound hollow when tapped.


Serve with the sauce on the side.  Enjoy!


Serves 4.

Categories: Main Dish, Recipe, Sandwich, Tomatoes | Leave a comment

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: