***STACKED FOODS*** One of the newest trends in presenting food is to go vertical. Main dishes and desserts are getting the tower treatment, in what they refer to as "stacked" foods. I took some of my favorite ingredients and incorporated them into several "stacked" dishes that I think you'd enjoy for the warm weather. The first is built this way: Begin with a pita bread disc, and spread it with hommus. Next, place two leaves of romaine lettuce in an 'x' in the middle. On top of this, place a large leaf of radiccio. Then, place one or two thick slices of a large tomato, for instance, the 'beefsteak' variety. Then you can add a good-sized slice of portobello mushroom on top. Now you can add a slice of zucchini and of yellow squash- each cut the long way, and arranged in an 'x' on top of the portobello. Finally, a radish on top, pinned into place with a long frilled toothpick. A light drizzle of a vinagarette and croutons finishes it off. To this recipie, you can always add a layer of flank steak, chicken, or salmon, to "beef it up"! Another stacked salad recipie would be to begin with a round of foccaccia bread, and spread boursin cheese on it. Next, stack a slice of roasted or grilled eggplant, roasted or grilled yellow squash and zucchini, then roasted or grilled red bell pepper. On top of this, add a disc of melted-then-cooled mozzarella cheese. Drizzle this with a light vinagaretts and sprinkle with fresh basil.
Here's a seafood recipie... Beforehand, make a relish of sorts by combining the following... 1/2 cup diced tomato 1/2 cup diced cucumbers 1/2 cup diced mango (optional- not always available) 1/2 cup mandarin oranges (fresh or canned), each section cut in half so that they are roughly the same size as the other diced ingredients) 1/2 cup crushed almonds 1/2 cup finely shredded fresh mint leaves Toss all these together and add a mixture of 1/2 cup olive or veg oil and 1/2 cup orange juice and 1/4 cup balsamic vinagar and 1/4 cup honey. Pour the stirred mixture over salmon, tuna, mahi-mahi, or swordfish, and let marinate between a half hour and an hour. Grill on an outdoor or indoor grill(such as the George Foreman Grill (TM), and reserve the remaining marinade relish. The time will depend on how thick the filet of fish is, but it will be between 6-8 minutes. When the fish is turned over on the grill, pour the remaining marinade over it, and grill an additional 5 minutes. (This will render the remaining marinade poured over the fish at the end safe because of the exposure to the high temperatures.) (NEVER use leftover marinade from ANY meat dish without it being heated to at least 160 degrees Farenheight!)