Last night my friends Nicola and Habib came over to help me judge (and eat!) a couple of dishes I was testing for a cookbook review.
The book I'll be reviewing (I'll try to post it next weekend) is Lidia's Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine; Lidia would be Lidia Matticchio Bastianch – you may know her from her PBS show Lidia's Kitchen.
You can't invite just anyone if you're testing a recipe for rabbit, but I had a feeling English-born Nicola and French-Tunisian Habib would be game (pun intended). And they were! The other recipe I tested was spaghetti alla carbonara.
But hmmm – nothing green there. How to make sure my pals had their veg? Got it! We'd nosh on crudités while I was finishing up the cooking; I'd put them out with a red pepper-harissa dip I've been making and serving to friends for eons. I made the dip about an hour before they arrived and stuck it in the fridge so the flavors would come together. Here's the recipe:
And before we dug into the carbonara and rabbit, I'd give them a salad. I wanted something with some weight, and serious greens. Just the thing: baby kale with roasted sweet potato and pomegranate seeds. Should I put in some goat cheese? Nah – better idea: toasted pecans. I could toast a bunch and use them in both the salad and the dip.
I'm not usually a huge fan of balsamic vinegar, but it's just right with the kale and sweet potatoes, and its depth balances the bright flavor of the pomegranates. And here's something really cool: All four of the salad's main ingredients are superfoods. A superfood salad for super friends! Please try it – and tell me if you like it as much as we did.