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  • Posted March 27, 2013 by

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    Vegetable Garden Salad


    This cipriani recipe is a combination of salad, bread, fish and stuffed tomato arranged beautifully in one plate. Although it is technically an appetizer, it can be quite filling and can be eaten as a healthy meal if you are on a diet, paired with a fruity wine such as Côteaux d'Aix.


    Unlike most salads, this can take some time to prepare as you will have to do some cooking. You can prepare the fish beforehand to save some time but freshly cooked fish is desirable. Red mullets make the dish more Mediterranean but any fish that you prefer will do fine. When buying red mullet, go for the smaller ones and make sure they are super fresh. Red mullet is best eaten on the same day that it is caught.


    Crostinis are Italian appetizers made from small slices of toasted or grilled bread, typically Italian or French baguette and topped with cheeses, meats, vegetables, or spreads. The simplest crostini is brushed with some olive oil and herbs. For this recipe, Chef Francis Cardailhac uses mashed black olives and red mullet filets as toppings for the bread.


    You can buy baguettes to make crostinis from your local grocery or make the bread from scratch. Check out some baguette recipes on this website if you wish to make your own baguettes.


    This recipe is also a brilliant idea if you have some fish left over and don’t know what to do with them. Simply filet and top them on bread to make crostinis and arrange on a plate with a nice mix of salad greens or mesclun, which is another word for a mixture of young salad greens. This crostini red mullet salad also makes wonderful hors d'oeuvres in a cocktail party. It makes for an attractive looking dish that will drive guests wild.




    4 small red mullets
    4 bread slices cut ¾ inch thick
    marjoram sprigs
    34 oz. of mashed black olives
    3 3/4 oz. olive oil
    4 garlic cloves
    1 bunch of cress
    7 oz. wild ROUQUETTE 3 ½ oz. young spinach leaves or mesclun (young chervil, arugula, leafy lettuce, and endive leaves)
    1 sprig each of basil, chervil, tarragon, chive, and dill
    8 ½ oz coriander coffee grounds
    1 oz. balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper


    Wash the salad greens and various herbs and drain well. Scale and filet the red mullet and season with salt and pepper, rub with crushed coriander and marinade with olive oil. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for over 10 minutes or until cooked. Set aside to cool.


    To make the stuffed tomato, first drop tomatoes in hot boiling water for about 20 seconds and place in cool water. Drain, peel and cut off the tops, scoop out the seeds, and set aside. To make the filling, crush the garlic and place in small pot with some olive oil and heat until slightly brown. Add sprigs of marjoram. Cut the tops off the aubergine, dice into cubes and put in the pot. Cut the basil into strips and dice the tomatoes into small pieces and add to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until mushy and set aside to cool. Once cool, put the filling inside the scooped out tomatoes and cover with the tops. Stems and leaves should be intact.


    To make the crostinis, mash black pitted olives until they can be easily spread on top of the bread. Slice baguettes diagonally about a half inch thick and spread olive oil on top. Spread the mashed black olives covering the entire surface of the bread. Top each with two small slices of red mullet fillets. Grill in a frying pan with a little olive oil until the bread slightly browns at the bottom.


    To make the mesclun, mix all the salad greens together in a salad bowl until distribution is even. Make the dressing by combining the olive oil, vinegar, herbs and season with salt and pepper.


    To serve, place crostini on one side of the plate and the stuffed tomato on the opposite side. The rest of the eggplant and zucchini filling can be made as a bed for the mesclun.

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