Showing posts with label mozzarella cheese. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mozzarella cheese. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tomato Mozzarella Salad with Pomegranate Seeds #recipe

From Daryl aka Avery:

And the winner of last week's giveaway is…

Kate!  KaroS... at yahoo dot com.  I'll be sending you an email to let you know. Congrats!  And thanks for pinning on Pinterest.

 Lately, I've been getting into cheesy dishes again (big surprise) as I approach the release of my next Cheese Shop Mystery (coming February: DAYS OF WINE AND ROQUEFORT).

Here's a beautiful salad to put on your holiday menu. I know, salad? Really? When it's the prime of cookie and candy season?

But this one, as a full salad or as a side, is so perfect for the holidays. Sweet, savory, fun! And colorful!!!

I had something like it at one of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles, Mistral (in Sherman Oaks). It's a quaint French bistro and does a fabulous job with everything on the menu. The salad was a simple twist on an old classic, tomato and mozzarella salad. But the restaurant added pomegranate seeds. Oh, divine. The pop of the pomegranate. The sweetness with the saltiness of the cheese.

Now a pomegranate…I was scared to get into this fruit. I've avoided since I was a kid when the first and only time I tried to pop pomegranate seeds from the fruit, I ended up with stained fingers. For days!!  I had no clue how to do it, and neither did my mother or friends.

But now, with the advent of YouTube, you can find out how to do pretty much anything. I'd seen one video where you submersed the pomegranate in water and popped out the seeds, but I searched further and found one where you pound the darned seeds out. That's right. Pound them out.

You take a common kitchen wooden spoon, a salad bowl, score the pomegranate, peel the two halves apart...

...and then holding the pomegranate, seed side down toward the bowl, spank the back of it with the wooden spoon. Out they pop. No kidding.

It's so easy I'll probably have pomegranate seeds every week from this point forward. I love them and they add so much texture.


Ingredients for the salad:

(serves 4-6)

Assorted lettuce
2 thick slices of tomato per person
2 slices of soft fresh Mozzarella cheese per person
1 pomegranate, deseeded as per above (enough seeds for 6 salads)


(makes 1 cup)


1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar or brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil

Whisk all ingredients together. Whatever you don’t use, refrigerate.

Arrange the salad by setting lettuce on the plate. Layer the tomatoes and cheese. Drizzle with balsamic dressing. Adorn with 2-3 tablespoons of pomegranate seeds.

BTW, I'm thinking about a Christmas cookie using pomegranate seeds.  Suggestions? :)

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, Krista Davis, Lucy Burdette, Julie Hyzy and I are having a contest on Facebook. It's fun with lots of ways to win. We're giving away a fabulous gift basket from Salt and Pepper books (you know, the store that inspired the Cookbook Nook mysteries) as well as our books. And we might even sweeten the deal in weeks to come. Runs to the middle of December. So check it out. Click on the picture for the link!


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Next up: 
Days of Wine and Roquefort Feb 2014, preorder here
Inherit the Word March 2014, preorder here

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so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Say Cheese Meatballs & Gluten-free!

From: Avery Aames

I shared this recipe on one of my dear friend Janet Rudolph's blogs, she has two: DYING FOR CHOCOLATE and MYSTERY FANFARE, but it bears repeating on Mystery Lovers Kitchen. This is one of my husband's and my all-time favorite meals.  It's good in June and in January. The flavors are hearty. The fixings are easy - 9 items.  And it all mashes together. Served with a simple salad, it is divine and delish.

My mother always made spaghetti as I grew up, but she never served just the meatballs. My husband and I were at an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles that boasts "gluten-free" items, so we went. He had these delicious meatballs, and I couldn't have them. They had bread crumbs in them. So I immediately sobbed in my soup. Boo-hoo. Okay, I did not sob. I did have a lovely gluten-free meal. And then I went home and made my own recipe, and the meatballs turned out exactly the same, according to my husband. They're big, about three ounces of meat in each, and moist!!

The cheese...of course the cheese...makes them superb!  Say cheese! 


Italian Meatballs - Gluten-free

Serves 3-4


2 pounds ground beef
2 eggs
1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (I use Glutino – you can also mash up gluten-free rice cereal and use that)
2 tablespoons mixed herbs (rosemary, basil, thyme, parsley)
1 yellow onion, sliced thin
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (I use Paul Newman's Tomato Basil)
3-5 cloves garlic
6-8 slices fresh Mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan.

Heat the oven to 300 degrees
Mix the beef, eggs, GF bread crumbs, and herbs in a bowl. Roll the mixture into six to eight "large" balls (depending on how many you are serving).
Lay a 15 x 10 cookie sheet or 9 x 13 pan with foil. 
Pour half of the pasta sauce onto the foil. Lay the onions on the sauce. Add the cloves of garlic. 
Place the beef balls on the sauce. Top each with a slice of Mozzarella. Seal the foil.
Bake for 60-90 minutes in a slow oven.

Set out three to four plates. Divide the remaining sauce among them. Place two meatballs in each serving. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

* * *

You can learn more about me, Avery, by clicking this link.
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 so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests!

Also, do you know about my alter ego?
That is my "second" name on the left.
Daryl is what my husband actually calls me.

Daryl--I--will have a new series out in 2013:
featuring a cookbook store owner
who is an avid reader and admitted foodie!

"Like" Daryl's page on Facebook and "follow" Daryl on Twitter.
She doesn't say all the same things "I" do. Promise.

Say cheese!