Leafy Green Salads With Homemade Cheese

Leafy Green Salads With Homemade CheeseThrowing some leafy greens with other vegetables together on a plate and topping it with some nuts, seeds and your favorite dressing or vinaigrette is a great way to get your daily servings of vegetables.

How about going a step further and adding some cheese, like Parmesan, grumbled goat cheese, or even some of your own homemade cheese made in an hour? What? Yes you read right, homemade cheese made in one hour.

One Hour Cheese by Claudia LuceroWe were listening to NPR this past week, and the program was All Things Considered, and I was very intrigued at hearing that you could make cheese in one hour.

Listen here to the 3 minute interview with Claudia Lucero who runs Urban Cheesecraft in Portland, Oregon, and authored the book “One Hour Cheese” (CLICK HERE TO HEAR INTERVIEW). 

After listening in the car to the interview with Claudia, the very next day with a gallon of milk from Whole Foods Market, I ventured to make some homemade cheese in my own kitchen for the first time.

Here’s what you need to do to make your own cheese in an hour….

Pour 4 cups milk into a 2-quart saucepan and heat it on medium as you stir.

Look for foam to begin forming around the inside edges of the pot as well as little simmer bubbles coming from the bottom—not a rolling boil. Stir continuously so that a skin doesn’t form on the milk’s surface.

Once you see a soft boiling of the milk, slowly add 1/8 cup of fresh lemon juice. You can also use vinegar. Apple cider or white vinegar will do.

As you are slowly pouring in the lemon juice, stir gently to incorporate it until you see the clear separation of curds, which will be white solids, and whey, a clear liquid.

This separation of curds from the whey is called coagulation.  When you see coagulation and the liquid no longer looks like plain milk, turn the heat to low and stir the curds very, very gently as you cook them for 2 minutes more after the coagulation begins.

Have a cheese cloth placed in a small strainer over a bowl, and using a slotted spoon, carefully spoon out the curds and place them into the cheese cloth, and let any excess whey drain off.

After the whey has drained off, you can add some sea salt or Himalayan salt to the cheese and mix in.

We add some garlic seasoning, which gave it a great flavor. In Claudia Lucero’s book, she even shows you how to make a faux cheddar cheese (which takes days to make) in an hour by just adding turmeric to give it that orange look that you see when purchased at the market.

Here is what we got at our first try making homemade cheese.

making homemade cheese

The cheese is much like a crumbled cheese you would buy at the market. Here are a few leafy green salads we put together using our homemade cheese.

Leafy Green Salad With Homemade Cheese

               Leafy Green Salad With Homemade Cheese

This salad is a few handfuls of leafy greens (your choice) topped with sliced radishes, pecan pieces, pomegranate vinaigrette, and homemade crumbled cheese.

making a leafy green salad with root vegetables and homemade cheese

Our next salad is a plate of leafy greens, with a fried egg and some root vegetables, consisting of sliced radishes and golden beets. We topped the salad with a olive oil and sweet balsamic vinaigrette, homemade crumbled cheese and fresh thyme.

Leafy Greens With Root Vegetables and A Fried Egg And Homemade Cheese

Leafy Greens With Root Vegetables and A Fried Egg And Homemade Cheese

As we mentioned at the on set of the article, this is a great way to get a few servings of your daily need of vegetables, and a added treat you make yourself, Homemade Cheese.

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The Eatable Fiddlehead Fern

The Eatable Fiddlehead Fern

Fiddlehead greens are the curled stalk or leaflet of Fiddlehead fern, and these curled leaflets are harvested for use as a vegetable or leafy green. Fiddleheads are harvested early in the season (Spring) before the frond has opened and reached its full height, they are cut as close as possible at ground level.

Believe it or not, but fiddlehead ferns have antioxidants, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and are high in iron and fiber (Agriculture Canada Study). The most popular verities that are harvested for food are:

  • Western Sword Fern
  • Lady Fern
  • Cinnamon Fern or Buckhorn Fern
  • Royal Fern
  •  Midin
  • Zenmai or Flowering Fern
  • Vegetable Fern

Certain varieties though, of the fiddlehead fern can be carcinogenic.

Harvesting the Fiddlehead Fern

Health Benefits of the Fiddlehead Fern

We mentioned a few nutritional benefits of the fern at the onset of the article, other benefits of the fern are, it’s rich in potassium, and low in sodium.

A draw back of eating the fiddlehead is it contains an enzyme called thiaminase, which breaks down thiamine a B-vitamin. Therefore, it is best not to consume the fern in excess, as it can lead to beriberi and other vitamin-B deficiencies.

Dinning On Fiddlehead Greens

Fiddlehead ferns grow wild in wet areas of the northeastern part of North America in the spring. Fiddleheads are a traditional dish of  Maine, and northern New England (USA) , and in some parts of northern Canada. It is said that the town of Tide Head, New Brunswick (Canada) claims itself as the “Fiddlehead Capital of the World.”

It is recommended to cooked the fiddlehead greens thoroughly before eating eating them as they do contain some traces of tannins and toxins. The recommended cooking time is 15 minutes if boiled and 10 to 12 minutes if steamed. The cooking methods of gourmet cooks, is to spread the greens into a thin layer in a steaming basket and steam them lightly, just until tender crisp.

The University of Maine states that the ostrich fiddleheads should not be Sauteed , stir-fried, or microwaved.  They say that the Fiddleheads should be boiled or steamed prior to use in recipes, and after doing so, then they can be used for sauteing, stir-frying or baking.

Recipes Using Fiddlehead Greens

Hawaiian Fern SaladHawaiian Fern Salad

1 pound warabi (fiddleheads)

1 cup water

1 tablespoon Hawaiian salt

1 (4oz.) package codfish, shredded

1 small onion, thinly sliced

2 tomatoes, cubed (can also use cherry tomatoes)

Sauce ingredients:

¼ cup soy sauce

⅓ cup lemon juice

½ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon garlic salt

Thoroughly rinse warabi and dry, then cut into 1-inch length. In a saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil, then add salt and warabi. Turn down heat to medium and cook until tender. Drain and set aside.

Heat shredded codfish on medium heat for approximately 2 minutes. Cool.

In a mixing bowl, combine warabi, codfish, onions and tomatoes.

Sauce instructions:

Mix together soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar and garlic salt. Pour over warabi salad and toss gently.

Chill until ready to serve.

Spicy Vegetable fern saladSpicy Vegetable Fern Salad

1 pound cooked shrimp and oysters

16 ounce bag of spring mix of leafy greens

4 boiled eggs, sliced

1 red onion, sliced

2 medium tomatoes sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

¼ cup soy sauce

⅓ cup lemon juice

½ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon garlic salt

2 to 3 tablespoons of wasabi  sauce

In a medium bowl mix soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar, and garlic salt. Pour dressing into a large salad bowl. Next add first 6 ingredients in the recipe list. Toss until well coated with the dressing. Plate and serve.

 

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