Tuesday, 19 April 2016

#readcookeat recipe : Sicilian salad (Harry Starke)

It's been a few months since I finished reading Harry Starke by Blair Howard (click through to read my review), but I'd made a note of all the foodie references that I could try for the #readcookeat challenge. There were quite a few and they all had an American theme.

p24 The Flatiron Deli is housed in the buiding that bears the same name, just a couple of blocks away from my office, very handy, and the food is good, too. They make the best BLT in town. I ordered one of those with a cup of coffee. Kate had a Muffuletta, a coke and a loaded baked potato to go with it. How does she do that? Eat all those calories and keep the weight off?

I know what a BLT is (bacon, lettuce and tomato) but I had to look up Muffuletta. It's another American sandwich, this time with Sicilian origins from the Italian immigrants, consisting of a split Muffuletta loaf (long, slightly flat, round bread), stuffed with olive salad, mortadella, salami, mozzarella, ham and provolone cheese. It can be eaten cold or toasted. It sounds nice but it would be too difficult to source the ingredients for recreating at home.

Loaded Baked Potaotes, or twice-baked potatoes as I usually call them, are something I made recently so I could have used those for #readcookeat if I'd remembered. They're very tasty, great comfort food and perfect for clearing out the contents of the fridge !

There was another sandwich that got a mention too :

p258 Next, I called Mike into the office and asked him to run to the Deli and get me a sandwich, a Reuben

Funnily enough, I made a Reuben sandwich as another #readcookeat recipe when I read Geek Girl, so you can check out my recipe here.

Another dish that I had already tried was this one :

p75 Kate ordered a chicken Caesar salad and a coke; I ordered a Philly cheesesteak and a Blue Moon beer, no orange slice.

I've eaten real authentic Philly Cheesesteak in Philadelphia and my version was nowhere near as good but it was still pretty tasty nevertheless.

Time to move away from the sandwiches ! This was a close contender for my #readcookeat re-creation because it sounds delicious but I didn't have many of the ingredients to hand :

p104 The meal was quick and easy. I served the lightly grilled salmon steaks with a baked potato garnished with lemon garlic butter sauce and an Asian salad : celery and parsley leaves; radish, alfalfa and bean sprouts, scallions and Asian pear coated in a light lemon-rice wine vinaigrette.

And this one had me googling, until I realised that mock turtle soup contained calf's head, brains and organs - ewww ! No thanks !

p197 Five minutes later, the waiter arrived with the menu. It was table d'hôte, a choice of one of two set meals; again, no prices. We both settled for the rack of lamb with a bouquetière of mixed fresh vegetables. This was preceded by mock turtle soup, and the entrée was followed by crème caramel dessert and, of course, coffee.

So ultimately I went for this one :

p167 I had Chicken Parmesan. Kate had a Sicilian salad.

I've made Chicken Parmesan two ways, one on the bone and one using chicken breast, and both are utterly delicious, but I've been there done that so I opted for Sicilian salad. A spot of googling came up with a multitude of ideas, some using pasta, some potatoes and several with oranges. As it was the day before the weekly shop, the fruit bowl contained a couple of speckly bananas and one forlorn-looking clementine, so I used that ! The result was surprisingly tasty.

Sicilian salad

ingredients :

1/4 cucumber
1/2 red pepper
1/4 onion
a dozen cherry tomatoes, halved
a mandarine, peeled with the segments chopped into thirds
some iceberg lettuce
a glug of lemon-infused olive oil (or regular olive oil with a squeeze of lemon juice)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2tsp mint
1/2tsp garlic granules
a pinch of salt
1tsp brown sugar
a squeeze of lime juice
a few sprigs of fresh parsley

Chop up the cherry tomatoes, red pepper, onion, cucumber and clementine and put them in a bowl. Add the oil, lime juice, parsley, sugar and seasonings and give it all a good mix..

Add the shredded lettuce and mix to combine all the ingredients and cover everything in sauce.

I served this with a slice of leftover Salmon & Spinach Wellington, which I'll be telling you about in another post.

Linking up with the #readcookeat challenge at Chez Maximka.


  1. What a culinary homage to Harry Starke! Never heard of a muffuletta, and the agree with you on the mock turtle soup, it does sound quite an acquired tastes, lol. I never came across a specific Sicilian salad, but like your version, very flavourful and zingy.

    1. I was surprised to see just how many of the recipes I'd already featured on my blog !


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