Nicoise in a Jar

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I like things in jars, and here is another good use for the many jars I have laying around.

Putting salads in Jars is a great way to make things them of time, and to keep the salad fresh, and develop flavors while they sit in the fridge.

The order of the layering is important, as keeping the lettuce away from the moist ingredients keeps it crisp, while allowing some to touch the dressing improves their flavor – in this case the tomatoes and onion.

They also look, really pretty. Depending on how tightly packed the jar is  you may be able to eat directly from the jar (shaking to mix), or as I had, added to a plate or bowl to mix and eat.

Nicoise is a classic French salad, I didn’t use olives as I didn’t have any, and used capers instead of anchovies for a salt hit.

The tuna, egg, potato and beans make a very filling salad. If you wish, replace the eggs and tuna with white bans or chickpeas for a vegan alternative.

You need two large size clean jars for this recipe,  mine where 750mls, but you can add more or less lettuce to fit a slightly smaller or larger jar.

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Ingredients: for two large jars (these make a BIG salad for one).

2 tins of tuna slices in oil, drained

2 boiled eggs cooled, and sliced.

1 cos lettuce, washed, spun and torn into pieces

10 cherry tomatoes – halved

1 red onion – diced

6 baby potatoes, steamed, cooled, cut into slices.

250 gs of green beans, steamed lightly and cooled, cut into thirds

2 tsp of capers

2 tbs of olive oil

1 tbs of red wine vinegar

Salt and Pepper

Steps.

1. Add oil, vinegar and salt and pepper to the bottom of the jar.

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2. Add tomatoes, onions and capers.

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3. Add tuna.

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4. Add the potato slices, carefully so that they are flat and cover the bottom layers completely.

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5. Add the green beans to cover the potato.

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6. Add the egg, reserving a couple of slices to arrange vertically against the jar for decoration.

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7. Place the decorative eggs slice against the glass, add the lettuce to ‘hold’ up the egg and fill the jar.

8. Screw on lid, and refrigerate until you want to eat!

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Txx

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Maggie Beers Roast Pork Loin and Apple Sauce and Roast Potatos

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I really like watching Maggie Beer cook, however, I rarely make any of her recipes. I think because they often involve verjuice or some ‘other harder than usual to find ingredient’, that I would have to make a special trip to purchase.

I love that she showcases local and seasonal produce.

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But when I saw this one on the latest season of Masterchef, I had to give it a go. It was a real ‘Sunday lunch’ or special ‘Family dinner’ recipe.

I didn’t have verjuice, so I used apple cider vinegar in the apple sauce and left it out pouring it over the pork. I also didn’t make the cavolo nero, but served it with some steamed zucchini

I won’t re-write the recipe here, here is the link to the Masterchef recipe. http://www.masterchef.com.au/recipes/berkshire-pork-loin-with-cavolo-nero-and-apple-sauce.htm

This was not a complete success, as I didn’t have time to let the pork ‘dry’ overnight, I left it for about five hours, and the pork was already scored, but not at the 1cm intervals suggested. So, only part of my pork skin turned into beautiful crackling :(.

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The use of apples and grapes was wonderful with the pork, and as always with Maggie’s recipes, it really uses the best of season produce. This is a good apple sauce recipe, using a beurre noisette really deepens the flavors.

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I will include my recipe for crispy roast potatoes here.

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Serves 4.

6 medium Kestrel Potatoes (or any good roasting potatoes)

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salt and pepper

I clove of garlic minced

1 tbs of melted butter

1 tbs of olive oil.

1.  Preheat oven to 180c. Halve the potatoes. Add the potatoes to cold salted water in a large saucepan. Heat on high, bring to the boil and boil for about 10 minutes. You  want the potatoes to be partially cooked, but not falling apart. Drain and allow to steam dry in a colander.

2. Meanwhile, mix the remaining ingredients in bowl.

3. When cool enough to handle, use a knife to cut diagonal lines in the top of the potatoes, repeat in the opposite direction to create a cross hatch pattern. Do not cut all the way through.

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4. Place potatoes, on a lines baking tray. Using a basting brush, paint the potatoes with the butter mixture.

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5. Cook in oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden and crispy.

Give her method of getting the perfect crackling a go,  and let me know how it turns out.

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