We know it’s not warm for all of us out there this week, but nevertheless, the kids are going on spring break and the season has started. I mean tomorrow’s officially the first day of spring; what says spring like yet another snowstorm?
While we took care of what you should wear if you’re jet-setting this month, we haven’t delved into your cooking regimen for the upcoming season. We decided to start by checking in with our friends at Mandolin in Miami for a warm-weather menu; it’s one of our favorite Miami spots. The menu will keep you and your friends entertained and well-fed through spring…which we hope will start at some point in the next decade; us New Yorkers are beginning to get pissed.
Greek Village Salad
2 Large ripe Tomatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 Cucumbers, peeled, and cut in 1/2 moon pieces
1 Green Bell Pepper, cut into 3 inch strips
1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced • 1/4 cup Greek Olives
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 tablespoon Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup Feta, sliced into large chunks
3 tablespoons Capers
In a large bowl toss together tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, red onions, and olives. In another bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper. While whisking, slowly pour in the olive oil. Continue whisking until the dressing is emulsified. Dress the salad with the vinaigrette. Top with feta pieces. Garnish with capers.
Grilled Butterflied Tiger Prawns
8 large Tiger Prawns, butterflied and vein removed
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
4 Lemon Wedges
Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
Brush both sides of the prawns with olive oil. Season each prawn generously with paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper. Place the prawns shell side down on the grill. Cook for 4 minutes until the meat turns opaque. Flip the prawns over and grilled for 1 more minute. Serve with lemon wedges for garnish
16 Sheets Phyllo Dough, thawed
2 sticks Butter, melted
4 cups Unsalted Pistachios
1 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
2 cups Honey
1/2 cup Water
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Unsalted Pistachios, coarsely ground, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place pistachios in a single layer on a baking sheet, you might need to use 2 baking sheets. Toast nuts for approximately 3-5 minutes until slightly golden and very fragrant. Let the pistachios cool and then coarsely grind using a food processor. Toss with the ground cinnamon.
Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Cover the phyllo dough with a damp towel to prevent it from drying out while working. Place 6 sheets of phyllo dough in the bottom of the dish. Make sure to butter each sheet before placing on top of the one before it. Place 1/3 the pistachio mixture evenly throughout the dish. Layer 3 pieces of phyllo dough, buttering each sheet before placing on top of the other. Distribute 1/3 pistachio mixture evenly in the pan. Layer 3 more pieces of phyllo dough, buttering in between. Top with the final 1/3 of the pistachios. Place 4 sheets of phyllo dough to top off the baklava, making sure to butter in between sheets. Brush the top with butter. Cut the baklava into squares and bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
While the baklava is baking, make the syrup. In a saucepan, combine water, honey, and vanilla extract. Heat over medium flame and stir. Heat until ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Take the baklava out of the oven and pour half of the syrup evenly over the dessert. Let it soak it up and pour the rest of the syrup over the baklava. Garnish with ground pistachios.
*Photographed by Alli Shepherd