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ENTREES/ Italian/ Seafood

Shrimp Marsala

Shrimp Marsala

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Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 6 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons currents
  • or white raisins
  • 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • and drained
  • 1 cup dry Marsala wine
  • 3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 pounds jumbo shrimp,
  • peeled and deveined
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh parsley or basil for garnish

Instructions

1

preparation

2

In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and celery to pan and sauté until it is soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes, pine nuts, currents, capers, marsala, fennel seeds and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat.

3

Once the mixture is at a low simmer, add the shrimp. Toss to combine and cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. Serve as is or over polenta.

4

For the Polenta

5

In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and slowly add 1 cup of the polenta in a steady stream, whisking as you go. Whisk constantly to avoid lumps. Add salt and pepper to taste and keep stirring, now using a wooden spoon for about 10 minutes until the polenta is thick. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in about 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and 2-4 tablespoons of butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.

ENTREES/ Italian

Figgy Piggy Chicky

Chicken breasts stuffed with fig preserves, serrano ham, brie and sage

If you are in the market for a convenient yet impressive make-ahead dish, look no further. The chicken (chicky) is filled with fig preserves (figgy) serrano ham (piggy), brie and fresh sage for a true flavor explosion. For the full recipe, see the next page.

Figgy Piggy Chicky

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Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • Figgy Piggy Chicken
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 tablespoons fig preserves
  • 4 slices of serrano ham
  • 8 slices of brie (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 handful of fresh spinach leaves
  • 4-6 large sage leaves, chopped
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Sautéed Spinach
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

1

Directions

2

Preheat the oven to 375.

3

Using a sharp knife, cut a slit in each chicken breast. Be careful not to cut through the chicken. You want to form a pocket for the filling and you don’t want any leaks. Season the inside pocket and the outside of the chicken generously with salt and pepper.

4

Next spread one tablespoon of fig preserves inside each breast. Sprinkle the chopped sage inside each breast. Then place one piece of ham; two slices of brie; and a few spinach leaves in each pocket.

5

Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Place the chicken in the pan and cook until golden brown. Flip the chicken and repeat on the other side. Remove the chicken to a baking dish. You don’t have to cook the chicken all the way through. It will finish cooking in the oven.

6

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic cloves just until they start to turn golden. Add the spinach and the salt and pepper. Stir the spinach with a wooden spoon and cook until wilted.

7

Add the spinach to the baking dish with the chicken, nestling the chicken into the spinach. Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

8

Do ahead: You can prepare the chicken up to the point where you are ready to bake it in the oven. Park the chicken and spinach in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it.

Asian/ ENTREES/ Pasta

Thai Red Curry Coconut Soup with Chicken Meatballs

This recipe comes together quickly and thanks to the noodles and the meatballs, it’s filling enough to serve as a meal! This recipe will serve four to five people. You can easily add more noodles to serve one or two more noodle-loving friends

Thai Red Curry Coconut Soup with Chicken Meatballs

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Serves: 4-5

Honestly, I fell in love with this soup. Don't tell my husband. It's packed with flavor and it's creamy and spicy and with all the meatballs and noodles, it's a complete meal. I was inspired by both the New York Times and Half Baked Harvest who both have a version of this soup. Also, I used fettuccine, but I think those flat rice noodles would be the bomb (my daughter prefers the fettuccine.) Don't skimp on toppings. We topped ours with thinly sliced red onions, sliced scallions, red pepper flakes and halved grape tomatoes and more basil and cilantro.

Ingredients

  • For the Chicken Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2-3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • neutral oil such as vegetable or canola for rolling
  • For the Soup
  • 2-4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated.
  • 2 15-ouncs cans coconut milk (full fat)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock (see note)
  • 1 bunch of blue kale, hard ribs removed and sliced to bite sized pieces
  • 2-3 tablespoons fish sauce (start with 2 and taste, this will depend on what brand you use. I like Red Boat Fish Sauce. You can substitute soy sauce too.)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 8 ounces fettuccine noodles, cooked to package directions (or whatever noodle you choose)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro and/or basil, chopped, plus more for serving
  • lime wedges, thinly sliced red onions, sliced scallions, red pepper flakes and halved grape tomatoes for serving

Instructions

1

Directions

2

To make the meatballs, combine the chicken, scallions, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix until it is just combined. Coat your hands with oil and roll into balls about a tablespoon in size. You should have about 15.

3

Heat a large Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat. Add the coconut oil and when it’s hot, cook the meatballs on all sides until they are brown and crisp on the outside. Remove and set aside.

4

Add a little more oil to the pan and add the Thai red curry paste, ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant — just 1 or 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, broth, fish sauce, sugar, herbs and kale. Add the meatballs back in. Cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through and the kale has softened.

5

Place the noodles in the serving bowls and pour the soup over. Top each bowl with the toppings you choose.

Notes

To make an easy vegetable stock, place 1 quartered onion, 2-3 carrots, 1 head of garlic (halved crosswise), 2-inches of ginger, 2-3 scallions, 4-6 shitake mushrooms and salt and pepper in a heavy bottom pot with a touch of neutral oil. Cook for a few minutes until a tiny bit brown. Add 2 quarts of water, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 hours. Drain and discard veggies. Voila — veggie stock. Or just buy it.

Asian/ ENTREES/ Seafood

Commander Tso’s Cod

Celebrate the Chinese New Year on Jan. 25 with this better-than-take-out twist on a classic.

According to The New York Times General Tso’s chicken is not really named for Tso Tsungt’ang, a 19th-century general. Although, he is believed to have enjoyed the dish, this ubiquitous offering traces its roots to Peng Chang-kuei, a chef who created the dish in 1950s Taiwan. Later, when he moved to the United States in 1973, he brought his recipe along with him. Once here, he sweetened it to appeal to Americans.


Here I have replaced the chicken with cod and toned down the sweetness just a bit. But feel free to add more sugar if you like. And because I love a good alliteration, I’ve named it Commander Tso’s Cod — after no one in particular.



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Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • For the sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
  • chili flakes to taste
  • ½-1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • For the fish
  • 12 ounces cod filets
  • 2 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • Oil for frying (peanut or any neutral oil)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • Scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

Instructions

1

Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.

2

To prepare the fish, cut each filet into bite sized pieces. Add the soy sauce and egg yolk and mix well. Stir in the corn starch and 2 teaspoons neutral oil and set aside.

3

Pour the peanut oil into a large wok or large frying pan. (You want enough oil so it comes up at least half way on the fish.) Set over high heat until the oil is hot. (I test the oil by putting a damp toothpick in the oil. If it sizzles, it’s ready) Add half the fish and fry until crispy and golden. Using a slotted spoon, move the fish to a plate. Repeat with the rest of the fish. Pour the oil into a heatproof container and wipe the wok or pan clean.

4

Place the wok or pan over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons peanut oil. Once the oil is hot, add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds, until fragrant. Add the reserved sauce. It will thicken a little as it cooks. Return the fish to the wok and stir carefully to coat. You don’t want the fish to break up. Remove from the heat, stir in the sesame oil and top with scallions. Serve with rice and roasted Brussels sprouts.

5

For the Brussels sprouts

6

Trim one pound of Brussels sprouts and cut in half. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place a rimmed sheet-pan in the oven to get hot.

7

Toss the Brussels sprouts in a mixing bowl with 1-2 tablespoons of a neutral oil and kosher salt to taste.

8

Carefully remove the sheet-pan from the oven and spread the Brussels sprouts on the sheet-pan cut side down. Return the pan to the oven and roast for 20-30 minutes until they are brown and crispy on the cut side.

ENTREES/ Uncategorized/ Vegetarian

Veggie Korma

Veggie Korma

This recipe was inspired by betterfoodguru.com. Follow her on the Insta for vegan inspiration. I am not a vegan, but I am down with a vegan meal every now and then (more now than then). Korma is traditionally a creamy curry that uses yogurt or cream or both. Here, I used coconut milk to keep it in the vegan column. I served this with some killer homemade naan. My kitchen looked like a smoke bomb went off, but it was worth it.

This curry is great with mango chutney or some yogurt raita or both. I am a slave to condiments. Obviously, no raita for vegans unless you make it with non-dairy yogurt which would probably be really good.

Veggie Korma

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Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 cups butternut squash cubed
  • ½ head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can coconut milk
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 2 cups greenbeans trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2-3 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2-3 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 3-5 cloves, whole
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • Fresh cilantro for serving
  • Scallions, sliced for serving
  • Slivered almonds

Instructions

1

Saute 1 onion until starting to turn golden.

2

Then add 3 cloves of minced garlic and the grated ginger and the cumin seeds and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.

3

Add the squash, cauliflower, tomatoes and spices and cook until the veggies are softened.

4

Add a half cup of water, almond flour and coconut and stir it all up and let simmer a few minutes. Add the green beans and cook until they are as soft as you like. Serve with rice or naan or both. Top with cilantro, scallion and almonds.

Veggie Korma

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Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 cups butternut squash cubed
  • ½ head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can coconut milk
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 2 cups greenbeans trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2-3 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2-3 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 3-5 cloves, whole
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • Fresh cilantro for serving
  • Scallions, sliced for serving
  • Slivered almonds

Instructions

1

Saute 1 onion until starting to turn golden.

2

Then add 3 cloves of minced garlic and the grated ginger and the cumin seeds and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.

3

Add the squash, cauliflower, tomatoes and spices and cook until the veggies are softened.

4

Add a half cup of water, almond flour and coconut and stir it all up and let simmer a few minutes. Add the green beans and cook until they are as soft as you like. Serve with rice or naan or both. Top with cilantro, scallion and almonds.

ENTREES/ Italian/ Pasta/ Uncategorized/ Vegetarian

Tortellini Vegetable Soup

Tortellini soup

This is a great one pot dinner that comes together super fast. Or shall I say souper fast. Forgive me. You can load this soup up with any veggies you like in soup. I used green beans, carrot and spinach (onions and garlic of course) and cheese tortellini. The full recipe is on my site (link in bio too). I know  I mentioned that this is a one pot meal, but I feel the need to reiterate that point. On a busy weeknight this soup that feels like a meal can be your friend

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By Mrs. Kossenfloffer Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6-7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 carrots sliced
  • 2-3 handfuls of fresh spinach or just use defrosted frozen
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 9 ounce package cheese tortellini (see note)
  • 2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Fresh basil, 1 sprig left whole and the rest chopped for garnish
  • Parmesan cheese for serving
  • (I had some leftover roasted grape tomatoes that I threw in at the last minute. But you can totally leave them out.)

Instructions

1

In a large pot or Dutch oven, saute the onion and carrots until soft. Add the garlic and as soon as it sizzles a little add the tomatoes and the stock. Add one large sprig of basil. Let it all simmer a bit for about 5 minutes. At this point, taste for seasoning. This will depend on how salty your stock and tomatoes are. Add the green beans and cook until they are a little soft, about 5 minutes. Stir to combine. Once warmed through, add the tor-tellini and cook as long as package says. Remove from heat, and add the parsley , the chopped basil and red pepper flakes. Remember that the tortellini will continue to cook in the warm broth, so serve as soon as they are cooked through. Divide into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese and more basil and parsley .

Seafood

Guilty Salmon

Salmon with Cream Sauce with spinach, artichokes and sundried tomatoes

So usually when I eat fish, I am eating fish because I want a lighter dinner. Not so if you plan on bathing your salmon in heavy cream. But hey, everything in moderation. And ya know, there’s spinach here too.

Salmon with Cream Sauce

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Ingredients

  • Salmon filets with skin on (1 per person, I was cooking for 6 here)
  • 2-4 big handfuls of fresh baby spinach
  • 1 15-ounc can artichokes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
  • Olive oil for sauteeing
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 cups heavy cream, depending on how many servings you are making

Instructions

1

Dry off the salmon with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper.

2

Add some olive oil to a large non-stick pan over medium high heat. When oil is hot, place the salmon filets skin side down. Leave them there for about 3-5 minutes or until you start getting a nice sear. You want crispy skin. You will see the salmon starting to turn opaque. Flip the salmon and cook until cooked through. Just another few minutes. Remove the salmon to a plate. If you are making 6 filets, I suggest doing this step in 2 batches so you don't overcrowd the pan.

3

Add a touch more oil to the pan and saute the onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two.

4

Turn the heat down to medium and add the heavy cream, don't boil it —just get it warm. Add the Parmesan (if using) and stir through.

5

Add the spinach and once it is wilted add the artichokes and sundried tomatoes. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

6

Now place the salmon filets back in the pan and serve it right from the pan. But be quick, you don't want the crispy salmon skin to get soft.

7

Alternatively, you can pool a little sauce on plates, place each filet on a plate and then spoon more sauce on top of each serving.

BAKED/ Baked Goods

Apple and Honey Galette

Apple and Honey Galette

Here’s the thing, there’s a lot of pressure when baking a pie. Sure, everyone expects it to be delicious, but people also expect pies to be pretty. There’s crimping the edges or making a lattice top or cutting out maple leaves out of the excess dough and arranging them into some sort of cornucopia — whatever it is, people expect beauty. Enter the galette. A galette is intentionally rustic. It’s the imperfections that give it it’s undeniable beauty. And here’s the best part — the fruit to crust filling ratio favors the crust more than a pie. So each bite is perfectly balanced.

Apple and Honey Galette

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Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks)
  • chilled unsalted butter,
  • cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2-4 tablespoons ice water
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 egg, beaten (for brushing on pastry)
  • 2 teaspoons course sugar

Instructions

1

Blend flour, salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal and some pieces of butter are about the size of chickpeas. Add 2 tablespoons ice water and pulse until dough begins to clump together. The dough should feel like wet sand. Add more water if needed. Form the dough into a ball and flatten into a disc. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

2

Bring the dough back to room temperature and roll out dough on well floured surface to 1/8-inch-thick round, 14 inches in diameter. Transfer dough to a parchment lined baking sheet. Chill 15 minutes.

3

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

4

Combine apple slices, 2 tablespoons sugar, honey and lemon zest in medium bowl; toss to cover all of the apples. Arrange apple slices in concentric circles, overlapping slightly and leaving 1 1/2 inch border. Fold plain crust border over apples, crimping as you go. Pinch together any cracks. Don’t worry, it should look rustic. Brush crust with egg. Sprinkle crust edges and apples with course sugar.

5

Bake galette 30-40 minutes until crust is golden. Remove from oven and slide a knife between parchment and galette. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature. Drizzle with more honey if desired for an extra sweet year.

ENTREES/ Italian/ Pasta

Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells

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By Mrs. Kossenfloffer Serves: 6
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour

Truth be told, stuffed shells has never really been my thing. Mostly because I always thought it need more flavor. So, the filling in these includes fresh spinach and artichokes and copious amounts of garlic. When making the filling, don't go all bananas measuring. Taste it before you put the egg in to see if it packs enough punch for you!

Ingredients

  • 1 box pasta shells, cooked al dente (pull them out of water about 2 minutes shy of cooking time on box)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (maybe a little more )
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, divided, shredded on a box grater (I like to shred it myself, I feel like the preshredded doesn't get as melty)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups of spinach, roughly chopped, cooked and drained (you can saute in a little oil or cheat and toss with olive oil and micowave for a bit)
  • 1/2 can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups marinara sauce (jarred or homemade)
  • Fresh Italian parsley or basil, chopped for garnish
  • Extra Parmesan for serving

Instructions

1

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2

Combine the ricotta, 1 cup of the mozzarella, Parmesan, garlic, spinach and artichokes in a large bowl and mix until combined. Season with salt and pepper and taste it. Now add the egg.

3

Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13" baking dish with about 2 cups of the sauce.

4

Fill each cooked shell with about a tablespoon of filling and arrange on sauce. Sprinkle more mozzarella and Parmesan on top of shells and throw the rest of the sauce on there.

5

Cover with foil and bake for about 35-45 minutes until bubbly. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

6

I like to put it under the broiler for about 2 minutes at the end because I like a crunch top. But keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.

Uncategorized

Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad

Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad

Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad

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OK, really this really doesn't need a recipe so here goes. Peel, and cut up the carrots into 2-3 inch pieces, cut the thick parts of carrots in half lengthwise. Toss them with olive oil and salt and roast at 350 for about 45 minutes until they get a little browned in spots. While that's happening make the dressing. In a small bowl combine 1 clove of minced garlic, salt, pepper, a teaspoon of grainy or dijon mustard and a pinch of sugar or a dash of honey. Whisk together and add olive oil — you want to have about a 3 to 1 ration of lemon to oil. Of course you can go up or down on that ratio depending on how tangy you like it. Taste for salt and adjust. Toss some tender lettuces with a bit of the dressing and put on the bottom of the platter. When the carrots are done remove from oven and set aside. Cut up the avocado. Place the avocado and carrots over the lettuce. Drizzle dressing and sprinkle pumpkin seeds over the top. A touch of Maldon salt is good too.

Ingredients

  • Lemon
  • Carrots
  • Dijon mustard
  • sugar or honey
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • avocado
  • lettuce of your choice
  • pumpkin seeds

Instructions

1

OK, really this really doesn't need a recipe so here goes. Peel, and cut up the carrots into 2-3 inch pieces, cut the thick parts of carrots in half lengthwise. Toss them with olive oil and salt and roast at 350 for about 45 minutes until they get a little browned in spots.

2

While that's happening make the dressing. In a small bowl combine 1 clove of minced garlic, salt, pepper, a teaspoon of grainy or dijon mustard and a pinch of sugar or a dash of honey. Whisk together and add olive oil — you want to have about a 3 to 1 ration of lemon to oil. Of course you can go up or down on that ratio depending on how tangy you like it. Taste for salt and adjust. Toss some tender lettuces with a bit of the dressing and put on the bottom of the platter.

3

When the carrots are done remove from oven and set aside. Cut up the avocado. Place the avocado and carrots over the lettuce. Drizzle dressing and sprinkle pumpkin seeds over the top. A touch of Maldon salt is good too.