Kathy Levillier of Hickory Island returns to Culinary Capers with another unique salad (her Copy Cat Cucumber Blueberry Salad, published in August, 2017, is a favorite of many readers). Kathy, a member of the Grosse Ile Herb Society who is known for putting her special spin on recipes, said she was inspired to create the following salad by a recipe in the Wall Street Journal.
She recently took the salad to a meeting of the Herb Society and to a neighborhood potluck gathering. (The herbs were from her own her garden, of course.) Not surprisingly, she was asked for the recipe.
When I made the salad, my only change was substituting black olives, my favorite, for the traditional Kalamata, a bit less Greek, but nevertheless delectable.
INSPIRED CHICKPEA, FETA GREEK SALAD
- 15-ounce can chickpeas
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Drain and rinse chickpeas and pat dry with paper towels. Place the chickpeas in a medium-sized bowl, add the oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Stir, then spread evenly on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Roast for 15 minutes, then remove from oven to cool.
Meanwhile, in the same bowl, combine and stir gently:
- 2 cups diced tomato, or grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1½ cups peeled and diced cucumber
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine or cider vinegar
To serve, line a platter with lettuce leaves and place combined vegetables, herbs and spices in the center. Surround with:
- Canned beet slices
- Kalamata or other olives
Finally, top the salad with 1 cup of the roasted chickpeas (extra chickpeas can be served on the side) and sprinkle with:
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese YASOO!
Amira Surur of Brownstown Township (Amira’s a hairdresser at Salon Sigrid, on Grosse Ile) shares a family-favorite recipe for a simple and simply luscious blueberry dessert.
I’ve baked her pudding cake twice already and will be making it often during the U.S. fresh blueberry season, which is now through mid-September. I served the dessert with vanilla ice cream as Amira does … yummy! It’s my favorite kind of recipe: quick, easy and delicious!
AMIRA’S BLUEBERRY PUDDING CAKE
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Brush a 7- by 11-inch baking pan with cooking oil. Add 4 cups washed and patted-dry fresh blueberries to the pan and sprinkle with ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup chocolate chips (dark chocolate chips optional).
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together until smooth 1/3 cup cooking oil, ¼ cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 egg and ½ cup milk. Set aside.
- In another medium-sized bowl, sift together 1½ cups all-purpose flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1 pinch salt.
- Add the contents of the dry bowl to the bowl with the liquid ingredients and stir with a spatula until thoroughly mixed. Scoop tablespoonsful of the batter onto the blueberries, spread evenly (this may not be easy) and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cut into squares and invert so the blueberries are on top.
CAN YOU HELP?
Larry McDermott of Grosse Ile would like a recipe for a strawberry rhubarb pie. Can you help? If have a good one to share, email it to Evycairns@aol.com. Kathy’s Cucumber Blueberry Salad recipe is also available if you’d like copy.