Thursday, July 18, 2013

Spinach, Bresaola, Apple and Nut Salad and Coffee Granita - IHCC Potluck

It's hot and humid here and I'm trying to avoid turning on the oven and stove, but we still have to eat. I was in the mood for Italian so decided to cook - and I use that term loosely - with Tessa Kiros for this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs Potluck theme. 
For a light meal for two, I made the Baby Spinach, Bresaola, Apple and Nut Salad. Simply dressed with an olive oil and balsamic vinegar vinaigrette and finished with shavings of Pecorino cheese, this dish was a fabulous combination of textures and flavours: crunchy, chewy, crisp and juicy, salty, tangy, sweet, and nutty.....every bite held something different. I love it when minimal effort (and cooking) produces something this good; toasting the almonds and pistachios was the extent of the cooking required for this dish!

I don't recall ever having eaten bresaola before, a definite oversight on my part. Like a beef version of prosciutto, it's chewy, salty, a little sweet, mildly spicy and a great foil for the tart green apple.
I didn't measure the spinach, just used what I thought was a generous amount for 2, and adjusted the dressing to our taste, using just 1 tbsp each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Served with some whole grain bread, it was light but satisfying.

An Italian inspired meal wouldn't be complete without an espresso and on a hot day, an icy version was the perfect pick-me-up.
Coffee Granita with Whipped Cream
Top chilled, sweetened espresso poured over crushed ice with swirls of whipped cream and you have this lovely dessert.
I sweetened the coffee and whipped cream to taste, using less sugar than the recipe called for, and added a little vanilla to the cream. Delicious!

The recipes for Baby Spinach, Bresaola, Apple and Nut Salad and Coffee Granita with Whipped Cream are from the Italy chapter in the book Falling Cloudberries: A World of Family Recipes, by Tessa Kiros.

We're cooking with Yotam Ottolenghi until September, but during potluck week we're given free rein to explore the recipes of any of the chefs that have been featured in the past. Check out IHCC to see what  chefs and recipes have been chosen by other members this week.

7 comments:

  1. Hi Zosia,
    This salad looks wonderful! From your description of it, it does sound like a winner! And the dessert looks so yummy! I would not mind having two servings of the dessert, espresso, yum!

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  2. We are on the same page this week. Salad b/c it's too hot for anything else! Beautiful job! Looks very elegant.

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  3. Just mouthwatering...looks delicious!

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  4. Coffee Grantia is for me! What a great submission to IHCC. LOve it.

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  5. Gorgeous salad, Zosia. I've never tried Bresaola - I've never found it available anywhere here.. However, I'm headed to California tomorrow - hoping I might be able to get my hands on some to give this lovely salad a try.

    I have made Tessa's Coffee Granita a couple of times - I love it :-)

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  6. That salad is the perfection combination of fresh, crunchy, sweet, and delicious. I love the flavor and texture combination. Not to mention, it is so pretty!

    The coffee granita seems like the perfect pick me up in the middle of a hot & humid day.

    Two great choices for what was a very HOT week!

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  7. This looks like the perfect summer meal to me--the crisp and satisfying salad--I love all of thoe flavors, followed by the refreshing coffee granita. Great picks! ;-)

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