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Roasted Fennel, Shaved Apple and Pesto Salad (aka the "all green" salad from Food Network Star)

June 20, 2018

 

 

Okay, I know these look like the faces of people who look like they're having an awkward podcast, but we actually had a ton of fun. We joked around about our bone structure, about how our salad is green "like Craig's eyes and money" and had quite a few laughs. 

 

 

And sure, our salad was "just a salad", but it was a beautiful salad and it was super tasty. For those of you who didn't watch, the challenge was to make a dish that was all one color. Harrison and I both grabbed the green spatulas.

 

 


As such, our dish had to be entirely green. There was so green curry, and thank fully no green meats, so we went the salad route. Seems like it makes sense to me. But what do I know? Lol.

Bon Appetit just posted a green salad to their Instagram and it got PLENTY of likes. 

 I think that looks like a tasty salad. (Just like I thought that Harrsion's and my salad was a winner. Just goes to show me the things I don't know about life. Not only did we not win, but our Podcast performance landed us on the B team. Jess and Adam won, and they were granted to advantage of selecting their other three team mates for the next challenge. My referring to us as the B team didn't go over well with all of my team mates. It doesn't mean that anyone on the team was bad. But fact, if you are NOT first chosen for the varsity team, you are in fact, on the B team. Haha. I am not saying that is a bad thing, it just is what is is. 

Okay, we have chatted a bit about the first episode. I am going to get into the makings of the salad, and wrap up the post with a recap of our on site presentations at The Proud Bird

 

 

 This really was a super legit salad. We had peppery arugula, tart and crispy apples, caramelized fennel and a baller pistachio pesto. Harrison and I collaborated to make a beautiful and tasty dish. It is actually what I am eating tonight for dinner. This is in part because I need to photograph it for this blog post, but also because I like it. It is so vibrant and just screams of fresh summer herbs to me. I could totally sit on a patio, with a glass of wine and this salad and be perfectly happy. I would also probably have earphones in to block out the noise of my children. JK. They're precious... mostly. 

 

There really isn't even much cooking. (Okay, maybe it is just a salad.) All YOU have to do is roast some fennel, and chop stuff up. You see, Harrison and I finessed the flavors for you (the hard part), so now all you have to do is make it and eat it. Soooooo easy. :)

 

Ingredients/Instructions:

(makes 4 salads)

 

1 fennel bulb

1 Granny Smith apple

Pistachio Pesto

1 package arugula

1 zuchinni

1/2 cup pistachios

1/4 cup dill

1/4 cup basil

1/4 mint

1/4 parsley

dressing of choice (think along the lines of something citrus-y and zesty)

 

1. Thinly slice your fennel  bulb (I discard the fronds because they have a black licorice flavor that I don't particularly enjoy) and place it onto a silicone mat

 2. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

3. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees until browning on the ends (roughly 12-16 minutes) and set aside.

 4. Finely chop up your herbs and mix them with the cilantro, setting aside. 

 

 (herbs from my garden)

 

5. Make the pesto in a food processor. Click for ingredients/instructions.

 

 

5. Using a mandolin, prepare your granny smith apples by julienne-ing them into thin slices. 

 

6. And last thing before the assembly process is taking a vegetable peeler and running it down the length of a zucchini. You can make it shorter or more narrow but cutting horizontally or vertically across the shave zucchini if desired.

 Now were just going to put it together. 

7. Add your fennel, apples and shaved zucchini to your herb and arugula mix. 

8. Toss well and dress with your dressing of choice.

9. Finish with a dollop or smear of pesto, pistachios and more herbs/apple for garnish if you desire.

Enjoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now onto the second half of Food Network Star. Jess and Adam picked their team of Christian, Palak and Katie. That left me, Harrison, Manny, Rebekah and Simone to be on the B team. (Sorry/not sorry if that is offensive. I mean, I'm on the damn team. lol) 

First off, I felt right at home at The Proud Bird. My husband is an F-22 raptor pilot. His dad was an F-16 Viper pilot and so on. Almost all my friends are fighter pilot wives. It is what we do. 

 

 Pat and I at our first fighter assignment in Alaska (2011)

 Random pictures I put together for Veteran'S Day. But the one in the red dress is from Pat's weapons school graduation in 2016. His dad is in the bottom left. 

 Pat (aka Sled) doing a fly by in 2013. Pat is #2.

 Raytheon Trophy (our squadron won is 2016)

Pat when he was 7, stepping to the jet to go fly it with his dad. (Don't worry, they didn't let him fly.)

 

 Wives namings, where my dear friend Ashley named me MUSE. IThe name is two fold. First I am a muse. My house is immaculate, I cook, I paint, my shit is seemingly together. How do I do it? The second part is an acronym. Making Uncomfortable Situations for Everyone. Although I do tend to put my foot into my mouth with some frequency, I accidentally scared another wife off one time. haha. I was throwing a baby shower for my friend Sammye (pronounced Sammy, and not to be jokingly referred to As Sam-ye, like Kanye, I tried once). And we had a new wife to the squadron who couldn't make it to the shower, had never met any of us, but was sweet enough to drop of a present anyway.  Well I am  hyper paranoid individual and lock my door like the world will come kill me in my sleep. So subconsciously locked the door after she walked in. She went to leave and was baffled by the locked door. Instead of saying "oops I locked it", as and sane person would do. I said "Well it was great meeting you, thanks for the present, but I have locked you in my house so I can chop you up and bury you in my back yard". Lets just say it startled her and we didn't see her for a while after that. lol. I also feel the need to point out that I have never chopped anyone, partially or in full and I am a nonviolent human. 

 Pat and I infront of his jet here in Hawaii (2017)

 

Anyway, The Proud Bird kinda gave me some nostalgic feels as I was missing my husband and my kids.  So going into this I was feeling pretty confident. Plus, I had never had chicken and waffles, and that's a pretty darn crazy thing considering how much I cook and eat. 

Anyway, I totally took the babiest bite at the very end after I tossed it to Rebekah and that wasn't enough to appease the Food Network gods. So after kicking ass on Comeback Kitchen, I am doing so-so on Food Network Star. But next week is another week to turn it all around. :)

My team landed in the bottom. 

 And ultimately Simone went home. Sorry friend. :(

 See you next week!

 

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Food Network Star Farewell

August 2, 2018

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