Tag Archives: parmesan

Grilled Radicchio, Romaine & Chicken Salad #FoodieFriday

Yes, you are reading that correctly. It’s not just the chicken that’s grilled, but also the radicchio and romaine! You’ll think it’s crazy, but that slight little char on the green stuff creates an amazing flavor. It takes a little longer to make your salad, but it’s worth the effort. This recipe is for two, so double the greens and/or chicken as necessary.


2 Chicken Breasts – Halved lengthwise
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 lemons
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic
radicchio head – halved
romaine head – halved
Shaved parmesan curls (As much as you want)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Marinate the chicken breast in the mustard and juice from one lemon. If you can, do this for about an hour.

Oil your grill and pre-heat it.

Rub 1/4 cup olive oil on all sides of the radicchio and romaine heads. Salt, but not too much since the parmesan has a lot of salt. Put a skewer through the 3 garlic cloves.

Place both the radicchio, romaine and skewered garlic on your grill. You want to leave them on there until you get a little bit of char on the leaves and cloves. Maybe 5-10 minutes depending on your grill. Once the first side is grilled, flip on the other side until you get the first bit of char, then remove from heat.

Place the marinated chicken breasts on the grill. I halve them so they will cook faster, but they could dry out, so watch them while you prep the rest of the salad.

Chop the radicchio and romaine and place in bowl. Chop the garlic and add to greens. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts and parmesan curls over the greens. You can make parmesan curls by running your vegetable peeler across a nice chunk of parmesan. Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and the juice of the remaining lemon over the greens.

Once cooked, slice the chicken breasts lengthwise and place over the salad. Voila! A very different salad for you. To change it up, try using blue cheese instead of parmesan and/or add craisins or other fruit. You’ll love it!


Barley & Leek Risotto #Recipe

In my family, we ate rice almost every night in one way or another. Whether as a side dish, combined with beans, in chicken and rice, or in a comfort food of fried eggs over rice, it was there every day.

In my husband’s Italian family, it was pasta every day. Even their family dog ate it every day.

Which makes adopting a low carb diet quite a challenge. But I will say this: I’ve lost nearly 23 pounds in about two months, so it’s definitely working!

One challenge has been having a side dish that’s got the mouth feel and taste of rice, but is healthier. I’ve mentioned quinoa and you could probably substitute that in this recipe. But why not try another healthy whole grain: Barley?

Barley’s dietary fiber gives your intestinal health a boost and can also help to lower cholesterol. Plus it’s a good source of niacin, a B vitamin and has been known to help people with Type 2 Diabetes with their glucose and insulin responses. For more information on all this, you can click here.

Today I’m giving you a recipe I’ve adapted after watching Mary Ann Esposito and her Ciao Italia show. Did you know that Mary Ann has been on the air for 23 years, making her show the longest running cooking series in America?

Thanks, Mary Ann! I love your recipes and advice on great Italian food.

But for now, here is my version of a barley and leek risotto.

Barley and Leek Risotto

1 cup barley (be sure to rinse it first; you can also soak it for an hour to reduce cooking time)
2 cups vegetable and/or chicken broth (keep this heated)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup diced mushrooms
1 cup sliced leeks (Be sure to thoroughly rinse. Leeks can have lots of dirt between the leaves)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/8 cup fresh parsley minced

Put 1 tablespoon olive oil in a stockpot and heat on high. Add the mushrooms and brown them. Then add the leeks and sweat them down for about a minute. Add another tablespoon of the olive oil and once it’s hot, add the barley and toast it a bit. Coating the grains in oil will help keep them from clumping.

Add the hot broth, a cup at a time. Stir until the broth is almost absorbed, then add the second cup of broth and cook down at a low simmer. Keep stirring and checking to see if the barley is al dente.

Once the barley is al dente, add the tablespoon of butter and cook it a bit more. Finally, stir in the parmesan cheese and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste here. I say hold up on the salt since the broth and/or parmesan have enough, but that’s up to you.

Serve as soon as you can. You don’t want to let it clump as it sits.

Also have additional parmesan on the table to add to the top of the barley! Voila. A simple and tasty risotto dish.

If you don’t have leeks, you can substitute shallots, scallions and/or regular onions. It’s just that leeks have a milder, almost asparagus taste. They’re actually known as the “poor man’s asparagus.”

Also, keep those heavier, bigger leek greens. Next time you’re making a soup, clean them, tie them together with butcher’s twine and toss them in. They impart wonderful flavor to any broth!

Hope you enjoyed today’s recipe!