Entries in lunch (4)


iris cafe


Every once in a while you find a place that you wish was around the corner from home...where everything on the menu sounds great. For me, Iris Cafe is one of those places. It is in Brooklyn Heights and I go there often to meet my friend Randall. The avocado on toast is the perfect breakfast for me - I do not love eggs and it is surprisingly difficult to find savory breakfast alternatives. They also serve delicious sandwiches (my favorite is the ploughman, above left), have great coffee, and a lovely vibe. 


smoked trout salad


As someone who is tempted to skip meals when solo, I find keeping the ingredients for a hearty salad a good solution for lunch on my own. All the ingredients in this salad keep well in the refrigerator, so this also works well for an impromptu lunch or dinner with friends.


Make a bed of greens on a plate and top with smoked trout, roasted beets, goat cheese, avocado and pecans. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.


chicken salad with cashews


When we have a lot of leftover chicken this salad is the first thing I think of making.  The secret lies in the dressing, which was inspired by my friend Kyra. She considers herself a sandwich aficionado, and loves coming up with new combinations. During one of her visits (she lives in Holland) she rummaged through our fridge and made a sandwich that was an english muffin spread with mayonnaise and topped with shredded roasted chicken, Mrs. Ball's Chutney, and nice coarse sea salt.  We all loved it so much it was coined 'The Kyra Sandwich", and we continue to make it to this day.


Mrs. Ball's Chutney is one of the things we always brought back with us after a visit to see Adam's family in South Africa...it is as ubiquitous there as ketchup is here. Several years ago I almost fainted when I found it randomly among the chocolate bars, candy, and beer in a corner of Fairway. It is now available on Amazon too, which is a good thing, since it means I can share this recipe without fear that it is just a tease. If you are hesitant about ordering chutney for chicken salad alone, it is delicious with many many things...and if you have kids who feel everything is better with ketchup, they may be open to this alternative...I know mine are. As much as I hate letting them dip too many morsels of otherwise healthy food into sugary sauces, I do think a variety of flavors at least helps them develop a wider range of tastes.


To make the chicken salad I shred or chop the chicken into bite size pieces and mix in a generous amount of chopped celery, cashews, and either currants or raisins. For the dressing mix mayonnaise with a big spoonful of Mrs. Ball's Chutney and some juice and zest of a lemon. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. 


tortilla espanola


I love frittatas and make them often when I have left over grilled vegetables in the summer, but when I decide to start from scratch this is my very favorite. The potatoes make it filling and creamy and the sauteed onions add so much flavor. It is the season for beautiful little onions and ramps - I chose a bunch of purple spring onions but ramps, scallions, or any kind of onion can be substituted. The amounts used in this recipe filled an 11 inch cast iron skillet but you can easily make a smaller version that would feed 2-3 people in a 6 or 7 inch non-stick skillet. 



Tortilla Espanola

8-10 small yukon gold potatoes

1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 bunch purple spring onions, thinly sliced

coarse sea salt

10-12 eggs, lightly beaten


Heat oven to 400°.

Place potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Cook until just tender when a paring knife is inserted into the largest potato, about 10-15 minutes depending on size of potatoes. Set aside until cool enough to handle.


Use a paring knife to slip skin off potatoes and slice about 1/4 inch thick. 


Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet or non-stick pan. Add onion and sautee until they start to soften. Add sliced potatoes, season with salt, and continue cooking until they are just barely beginning to brown. Add eggs and gently to submerge potatoes. Place pan in oven and cook until eggs are set, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Invert pan onto cutting board to unmold. Serve cut into wedges.