Tag Archives: salad

Salade Lyonnaise/Frisée Salad with Pancetta

This quintessential salad originated in Lyon, France. It’s a classic salad that is found in many bistros throughout the country. I consider it a gourmet dish, and does require a little juggling in the kitchen. This kind of lettuce is called Frisée  (pronounced: Freezay) also known as curly endive. This salad has a lot of textural components that create an explosion of flavors in the palate. The French use lardon as their pork fat, but I put my twist on it and use pancetta. The combination of the mildly bitter green, savory pancetta, tangy vinegar, succulent shallots and the runny eggs make for a creamy and delectable taste sensation. I assure you, in the end, you will want to sing La Vie en Rose. Put on your apron and follow me in the kitchen.



Salade Lyonnaise/Classic Frisee Salad



Serves: 5-6  Difficulty: Intermediate


  • 1 head of Frisée (curly endive) remove bottom piece, rough chopped
  • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil + more to drizzle
  • 1/2 lb. of pancetta, or bacon chopped*
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar* + 2 tbsp.
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 5 eggs, poached
  • Water to boil the eggs (in a medium-sized pan)


    1)  Wash the Frisée, pat dry with paper towel. Rough chop and place them in a very large serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

    2)  In a large frying pan, on medium-high heat, heat 4 tbsp. olive oil. Brown the pancetta for 3-4 minutes. Stir occasionally.  Remove with a slotted spoon.Set aside.

    3)  In the same pan, lower the heat to medium, add the shallots and sautee’ for 2 minutes. Deglaze with vinegar and cook for 1-2 minutes. Set aside or keep it on the warmer.

    4) In the meanwhile, time to poach the eggs. In a medium-size pot, fill up with water  and add 2 tbsp. vinegar. Bring water to a boil. Crack the eggs in a large plate. Slide them in the boiling water. Give it one gentle twirl with a large spoon (do not break the eggs) and let it boil on medium-high flame for 2 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon. There will be some egg white separated from the eggs. Do not use them. The eggs should come out whole as seen in the first picture.

    5) Time to assemble the salad.  Pour the hot shallot dressing and pancetta on top of the salad. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes to sip down to the bottom.  Place the eggs on top, drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil. Right before serving, gently break the eggs with a knife, so they can run into the salad. At this point, after receiving all the compliments, toss well.  You can also create individual salad bowls with an egg on top. The choice is yours.

    My family went crazy over this salad! My hubby said: Where are you going to get a salad like this?? This is awesome!! Everyone was fighting for the eggs and the pancetta. It was beyond marvelous, and makes a fantastic accompaniment to any protein of your choice. This can also be served as a main meal with a piece of french baguette.

    Wine pairing suggestion: Chardonnay or a nice Chablis which is a chardonnay from the Burgundy region in France. Otherwise, pick a white wine you like and make your own pairing.

    Cook’s notes: 1) If you want to get fancy, you can use Champagne vinegar instead of apple cider.

                                                   Instagram Feature Contest:

Here is a mini contest: Make this salad in your kitchen (you can use bacon instead of pancetta if you want).  Take the best photos and tell me how you like this salad. Please email me at Ginafoodiewinelover@gmail.com and write under the subject line: Lyonnaise Salad Contest. A winner will be picked on Monday, April  10th, 2017 by 6:00 PM Eastern time. The one with the best photos and caption will be featured on my Instagram profile and will be seen (world-wide).  Every participant MUST have an Instagram account set on public settings. You must follow me on Instagram and tag 2 friends under the comment line. This can come later, after you enter and submit your photos.

Disclaimer:  WordPress, Instagram and its affiliates are NOT sponsoring this contest and shall be released from all responsibilities and liabilities that may occur  from this contest. By entering this contest, you also agree to hold harmless Gina Martino Zarcadoolas, aka Foodiewinelover.  Let the fun begin!

Happy Cooking! Good Luck!

Gina Martino Zarcadoolas
My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles
Culinary Aficionado
WSET-Level 2 Wine Connoisseur










Delicious Field Greens & Strawberry Salad

Field Green Salad, Rotisserie Chicken, Sourdough bread
Field Greens Salad, Rotisserie Chicken, Sourdough bread

imageNo one wants to cook during the hot days of summer. For this reason, I like to create different salads and pair them with a protein. Today, I picked up a rotisserie chicken and some sourdough baguette to go with my delicious salad. It’s easy and takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. Recently, I started using a nice wooden bowl.  I prepare the dressing right in it, and then, I toss the salad. This way, you avoid more cleaning and save time.   Follow me in the kitchen and watch me whip a quick meal.


Warning: If you are allergic to nuts  or any type of seeds, omit the pumpkin seeds.

Serves: 4-6 as a side dish
Level of difficulty: Easy


  • 1  – 5-oz bag of mixed field greens
  •  1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  •  1 tsp. honey
  •  1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 organic strawberries, sliced
  • 1 handful of pumpkin seeds
  • 4.5 oz. garlic and herbs goat cheese, broken into pieces

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk mustard, honey and balsamic vinegar. Slowly, pour the olive oil and continue whisking until it emulsifies. Drop the greens, strawberries, pumpkin seeds and goat cheese. Toss well.

I served it with 2 store-bought rotisserie chicken, (only 1 in picture)  and some sourdough bread.  My family smeared the goat cheese on the bread and it was divine.

Cook’s note: You can substitute pumpkin seeds for pecans or walnuts.  If you don’t like goat cheese, use another soft cheese of your choice.

Happy Tossing from My Kitchen to Yours!

Gina Martino Zarcadoolas
My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles

Fattoush Salad, A Lebanese Delight

Recently, my hubby and I were heading to Aventura mall, to celebrate his birthday. We missed the exit, made a u-turn, and ended up at  Gulfstream Park instead. We stumbled upon this Lebanese restaurant called Mijana.  We ordered an assortment of mezze, (or meze) that are small dishes, or plates in Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s spelled differently, depending on the region of the world.  We had their luscious, and traditional Lebanese Fattoush salad. It is considered a peasant salad, made with fresh greens, veggies, toasted pita bread, and a lemony dressing. We could not get enough of the intense flavors, and the freshness of the salad. I knew, it wasn’t going to be long, before I attempted to make it in my kitchen. You will need a spice called Sumac, that is tart and full of flavors.

Serves: 4 as a side dish  Level of difficulty: Easy


  • 5 ounces of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 5 radishes, sliced
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 of an English cucumber, sliced * (Do not peel)
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  •  2 small pita bread, cut up in squares, broiled


  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, + more for pita
  • 1/4 tsp. sumac + more to sprinkle
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper


  1. Arrange the lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, cucumber, scallions, parsley, mint in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Cut pita bread in small squares, place on a tray, and drizzle with olive oil. Broil for about 3 minutes. Make sure you don’t burn them. Remove them.  Place on top of the salad.
  3. Whisk  lemon juice, olive oil, sumac, salt & pepper until blended.
  4. Pour over the salad. Toss well. Sprinkle more sumac to garnish, and drizzle more olive oil, if necessary.  Serve with a piece of chicken or fish, for a delicious and nutritious meal.

Fattoush SaladI hope you will try this refreshing salad, and share your experience with us.

Lebanese food
Lebanese food at Mijana Restaurant


Tips: 1) English cucumbers are generally long, with fewer seeds, and the skin is tender. If you don’t have this kind, the regular cucumber will do the job.
2) Some authentic recipes call for pomegranate molasses, but I didn’t have it on hand.  Purslane, a nutritious weed, can also be used, but not easily found in my area.

Happy Tossing!

Gina, Foodiewinelover
My food, wine, & Travel Lifestyles

Recipe inspired by Mijana restaurant, made in my kitchen
Pictures by Gina for Foodiewinelover



Pear and Blue Cheese Salad, Thanksgiving Edition

I noticed these beautiful Bosc pears at the grocery store, and decided to make a colorful, and festive salad with them. We have no fall here in South Florida, but I wanted to get in the spirit of autumn. This salad is perfect for Thanksgiving, and has all the luscious colors of the season.

Serves 6 – 8 as a side  –  Level of difficulty: Easy
You can easily double up on the recipe for a larger group


  • 5 oz. bag, assorted field greens, pre-washed
  • 1 Bosc pear, cut lengthwise
  • 3 walnuts, unshelled, broken into medium-sized pieces *
  • 1 tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 2 oz. blue cheese, crumbled

Place the field greens in a large bowl, arrange the pears, sprinkle the walnuts, cranberries, and the blue cheese on top of the salad.


  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  •  Salt, to taste

Whisk in vinegar, oil, honey and salt, until it’s mixed well. You can also shake all the ingredients in a jar. Taste and adjust if necessary. Pour over the salad just before serving.

Tips: 1) You can also use 1/4 cup candied pecans instead of the walnuts.

2) Add grilled chicken, and make it a meal for a special evening.

Wine “pearing”: A crisp white wine, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, or any wine of your choice.

Bosc pear
Bosc pear, photo by Foodiewinelover

Eat, Drink and put all your troubles aside for at least one day! Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!




Salade Niçoise

Salade Niçoise
Salade Niçoise

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Nice, also known as The Côte d’Azur, located on the French Riviera. This trip inspired me to make this salad, and I’m so happy to share it with all of you.

Nice, France
Nice, France 2011


Nice, France 2011

Salade Niçoise, (pronounced Niswaz) originated in Nice, France, and makes a delightful summer “salade”, French for salad. I’ve made it in the past with freshly seared Tuna, but this time, I’m using canned tuna. There are many variations to this traditional dish, but most of them call for tuna, haricot vert, which is a French style green bean, potatoes, tomatoes, olives, hard-boiled eggs. You can also garnish it with anchovies. I use a Tarragon Dijon-Mustard Vinaigrette for dressing.

Serves: 4  Degree of difficulty: Easy


  • 2 cans of tuna fish, in olive oil, drained
  • 10 – 12 fingerlings potatoes, boiled
  • 1 handful of Kalamata olives
  • 6 to 8 San Marzano Style tomatoes *
  • 4-5 boiled eggs, sliced
  • 16 oz. haricot vert, boiled or steamed
  • Lettuce leaves


    1) Boil eggs, peel, and set aside. (Please look for my upcoming post on how to boil and peel the perfect eggs.)

    2) Boil potatoes, gently poke with knife, if it goes through easily, it’s done. Do not overcook as it will fall apart.

    3) Boil or steam haricot vert, do not overcook because they will lose their vibrant color.

    If you are comfortable to have 3 burners going on at once, you can cook simultaneously to save you time.

    4) Wash tomatoes, lettuce, and drain well.

    5) Prepare the dressing

Tarragon Dijon-Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • Himalayan salt or sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. dry Tarragon

In a medium-sized bowl, add the mustard, salt, pepper and tarragon, slowly whisk in the oil, to emulsify it.  Adjust the ingredients as necessary.

6) Now that you have done all your prepping, it’s time to plate it. Place the lettuce on the bottom of a serving dish, and arrange all the ingredients to your taste. I did a deconstructed salad, but you can also mix it all together. Add your own touch and make it yours. Drizzle with the vinaigrette for the finishing touch. I can assure you, you and your loved ones will enjoy this sumptuous and healthy summer salad.  I recommend a nice Chablis (a dry Chardonnay from the Burgundy region), or a Sauvignon Blanc, a lovely Rose’ from the South of France to pair with this delectable and refreshing dish. Bubblies are always a good option if you want to get fancy.

* You can also use sliced, cut-up, or grape tomatoes.

Salade Niçoise
Salade Niçoise previously made with Seared Tuna

Bon Appetit From Gina’s Kitchen

Delectable Greek Salad

Santorini, Greece
Santorini, Greece
Santorini, Greece
Santorini, Greece
Acropolis, Athens
Acropolis, Athens


I love Greek cuisine, and one of the easiest dishes to make, is a classic Delectable Greek Salad. When I make it here in the US, I usually use Romaine or iceberg lettuce along with the other ingredients. Surprisingly, when I was in Greece, I found out, their authentic salad did not call for any lettuce. Back in 2008, taking pictures of food wasn’t popular like today. I don’t have any to share with you because Instagram was non-existent then. However, I will share some of my personal photos taken while visiting some of the famous and breathtaking Greek islands, Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes and Athens.

Serves 2-4 as a side – Add Grilled Chicken or Salmon, and make it a meal for 2.  Difficulty, super easy.


  • 1 tomato, cut up in wedges
  • 1/2 cucumber, cut up in wedges
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  •  A handful of Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 3-4 oz. of Feta cheese, crumbled, and a square for garnish
  • Red wine vinegar, lots of drizzle to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to your heart’s content
  • Himalayan sea salt, or sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon oregano


Place the tomatoes, Feta cheese, cucumbers, onions, olives, peppers in a medium-sized bowl. Drizzle with red wine vinegar, and a generous amount of olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. Mix well. Garnish with a nice piece of Feta. Voila! You got yourself a lovely and refreshing Greek salad.

Tips #1)  Always use more olive oil than vinegar. In general, the ratio is 2-3 parts oil for 1 part vinegar.

Tip #2) You can eye-ball the measurements, use a jar with a spout, it gives you more control. Most of all, as a homecook, you should always taste your food. If you like it, the chances are, your loved ones will too.

I hope you will make this delicious salad, and bring it to a picnic!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Kali Orexi!

Delectable Greek Salad
Greek Salad


Greek Salad



Rhodes, Greece

Cinco De Mayo Avocado Salad

Avocado Salad


It’s Cinco de Mayo,  time to celebrate Mexico’s independence. There are a varieties of food and drinks associated with Mexico. Tacos, Tamales, Tostadas, Guacamole, Margaritas, Tequila, and more. Avocados are widely used in Mexico to make guacamole, a delectable avocado dip. However, today, I am sharing with you a simple, and yummy Cinco de Mayo Avocado Salad. If you’ve never had avocados, you are missing out on some yumminess. They are delicious and very healthy for you. They contain good fat, the one that doesn’t clog up your arteries. However, keep in mind, eating too much of it will make you gain weight.

I spent my childhood in the West Indies, Haiti, where my parents owned a business. We had 2 large avocado trees, needless to say, I grew up on avocados. Those varieties were the big ones, and very tasty. It is also a big staple in the Caribbean culture, and part of their daily diet.

There are many ways to prepare avocados, you can make guacamole, or stuff them with shrimp salad. I often make a lovely salad that’s easy to prepare, and adds beautiful color to a plate.

When choosing avocados, make sure they give a little to the touch, if they are hard, it simply means they are not ripe yet. You can buy them to make at a later time, but don’t wait too long as they ripen quickly. There are many varieties, but the most common one is Hass, sometimes marketed as Haas Avocado. Here is a link from Tasty Kitchen showing you how to safely open and peel an avocado:


Servings: 3-4       Level of Difficulty:   Easy


  • 2 Haas Avocado (From California), cut up in pieces, or diced
  • 2 – 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • Salt & black pepper to taste


1.) Follow instructions how to open the avocados safely. Next, cut them lengthwise, then chop them in small pieces, or dice in equal sizes. They don’t need to be perfect (unless you’re a perfectionist)

2) Add all the remaining ingredients, mix well. Chill for at least an hour.

Serve as a delicious side dish.

Tip: You can substitute the vinegar with lime juice for a different take. It will come out equally delicious.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!! Ole!

Buen Provecho y Salud!