Dalmascan Tomato Salad

Rogue Tomato“Here’s the bill I posted for the Rogue Tomato, the mark I’ve petitioned to have hunted. Do you want to hear all the details?”

—Tomaj, FFXII

This vegan summer salad is light and refreshing, but also quite hearty and filling — exactly what you need at the end of a long hunt.

  • ½ cup white quinoa (about 3 oz.)
  • ½ cup red quinoa (about 3 oz.)
  • 1 pound Persian cucumbers
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1 15-ounce can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3–4 small tomatoes
  • ¼ ounce fresh mint

Place quinoa in a small pot and add 1½ cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Cook until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15–20 minutes. Set aside, covered.

Meanwhile, wash the cucumbers, remove the ends, and slice thinly. Transfer to a medium bowl and add 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and ½ teaspoon salt. Toss to combine.

Preheat broiler with rack in highest position. Dry garbanzo beans on a paper towel and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Broil, shaking sheet halfway through, until golden and crispy, about 8 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together tahini, turmeric, cumin, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons water, ¼ teaspoon salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Slice tomatoes and sprinkle lightly with salt. Pick mint leaves from stems.

Divide quinoa between two bowls. Visualize each bowl as being divided into three sections. Place tomatoes in one section, cucumbers in another section, and chickpeas in the last section. Top with dressing and mint leaves.

Makes 2 bowls of salad. Per bowl: 871 calories, 36 g. fat, 583 mg. potassium, 1421 mg. sodium, 114 g. carbohydrates, 22 g. fiber, 28 g. protein, vitamin A 53%, vitamin C 68%, calcium 13%, iron 44%

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Rin’s Herb Platter

Rin's Travel Agency“Welcome to Rin’s Travel Agency. Would you care to take a rest?”

—travel agency clerk, FFX

A delicious spread for hungry travelers. Tear off a piece of flatbread and wrap it around a selection of items to create a mini-sandwich. If you’ve got a really fresh tomato or some Persian cucumbers, you could slice those up and add them to the platter too.

  • 8 oz. block of feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
  • 1 small bunch of fresh mint
  • 1 small bunch of fresh basil
  • 1 small bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 1 small bunch of fresh dill
  • 1 bunch radishes, ends removed and quartered lengthwise
  • 1 bunch scallions, ends removed and quartered crosswise
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • Lavash or other flatbread

Drain the feta and place it in the center of a large platter. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the caraway, cumin, and coriander seeds and stir until they start to release their aroma, about 2 minutes, being careful not to let them burn. Transfer to a small bowl and pour in the olive oil. Add a pinch of salt, stir, and set aside.

Wash and dry the mint, basil, cilantro, and dill and cut the ends off the stems. Arrange around the feta in piles. Add radishes, scallions, and walnuts to the platter. Pour the olive oil mixture over the feta. Serve with warmed flatbread.

 

Sky Pirate’s Sandwich

Balthier Bunansa“A pirate would do well to smile. Wouldn’t want to sour his reputation.”

—Jules, FFXII

This sandwich is best when it’s freshly cooked — leftovers become dry and less flavorful. Make a full batch of the chickpea batter, but only fry as much as you can eat in one sitting and store the rest of the batter in the fridge. It will keep for about a week, or you can shape it into balls and freeze for several months.

For the sauce:

  • 7 oz. plain lowfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 lb. Persian cucumbers, washed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the chickpea batter:

  • ½ pound dry chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh curly parsley
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 17-oz. bottle grapeseed oil

For the sandwich:

  • Mediterranean flatbread
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Fresh romaine lettuce
  • Thinly sliced white onion

Start about 8 hours before you want to serve the sandwiches. First, place the dried garbanzo beans in a large bowl and cover with 4 cups of cold water. Next, mix together the ingredients for the sauce and refrigerate.

About 2 hours before you want to serve the sandwiches, drain and rinse the chickpeas and pour them into a food processor or blender along with the chopped onion, parsley, garlic, flour, salt, cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and smoked paprika. Blend until mixture is combined, but still chunky. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 1–2 hours.

When you’re ready to start cooking, pour the bottle of oil into a large skillet. Heat the oil over medium heat. Meanwhile, start shaping the chickpea mixture into round balls or patties, about 2 tablespoons of mixture per ball.

Drop a test ball into the center of the skillet. It should take about 3 minutes per side to brown. If it’s browning too fast, reduce heat before adding the rest of the balls. Once they’re fried on both sides, remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with warm flatbread, yogurt sauce, tomatoes, lettuce, and raw onion.

Makes about 21 balls. When the oil has cooled, you can transfer it to a tightly-sealed container and refrigerate it up for up to a month to reuse in another recipe, such as Queen Brahne’s Fried Chicken and Biscuits.

Airship Salad

Aeris and airshipCid: “Wow, what a ship!”

Setzer: “That landing really messed up the engine. It’ll take a while to fix.”

Cid: “I’ll help. No machine can stump me!”

Setzer: “Don’t touch anything!”

Cid: “Go kill time in the casino! I can speed this crate up!”

—FFVI

You can use any dressing you like with this recipe. Here are two suggestions: Trader Joe’s low-fat parmesan ranch dressing, or for a more indulgent choice, Russian dressing (first three ingredients of the linked recipe).

  • 7 oz. chopped butter lettuce (about 5 cups)
  • 8 oz. cooked chicken or turkey breast, cut into strips
  • 8 oz. smoked deli ham, cut into strips
  • 4 oz. crumbled Roquefort or Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 lb. Persian cucumbers, ends removed, cut in half, then quartered lengthwise
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, washed well and cut into wedges
  • 2 hardboiled eggs, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1 ripe avocado, peel and pit removed, sliced thinly lengthwise
  • 6 oz. raw bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled, warm (optional)
  • Watercress sprigs or microgreens, for garnish (optional)
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • Salad dressing

Divide ingredients evenly between 4 bowls. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.

Per serving (does not include salad dressing): 509 calories, 27 g. fat, 17 g. carbohydrates, 8 g. fiber, 47 g. protein, iron 12%

Green Mage Juice

Ktjn“The green mage lends support on the battlefield, shielding allies and crippling foes.”

description in Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift

  • 6 oz. organic spinach
  • 10 oz. organic kale
  • 1 lb. organic Persian cucumbers
  • 2 organic Fuji apples, about 6 oz. each, cores removed

Start your multispeed juicer on setting 3 and add spinach. Increase speed to setting 4 and add kale, cucumbers, and apple pieces.

Remove pitcher from the juicer and stir well. Juice can be stored overnight in the refrigerator if necessary, but is best when served immediately.

Makes about 16 to 24 ounces of juice, depending on the variety of apple: 390 calories, 3.9 g. fat, 0.5 g. saturated fat, 1.4 g. poly. fat, 0.2 g. mono. fat, 268.3 mg. sodium, 3151.8 mg. potassium, 85.5 g. carbohydrates, 3.5 g. fiber, 35.1 g. protein, vitamin A 429%, vitamin C 555%, calcium 63%, iron 60%

Total cost for all ingredients is about $8 at Trader Joe’s.

Highgarden Terrace Salad

Highgarden Terrace in Archades“When I get enough chops, I’ll be ridin’ ‘igh in one o’ them cabs, and that’ll be the end of all this. I’ll be sittin’ pretty up in ‘Ighgarden, innit.”

—FFXII

  • 2 red bell peppers, washed and sliced into strips
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, washed and sliced into thin disks
  • 4 celery stalks, washed and cut into 2″ pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and sliced diagonally, ½” thick (about 1 cup)
  • ½ yellow onion, peeled, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise (about 1 cup)
  • 12 oz. cauliflower florets
  • 8-12 garlic cloves (1 bulb), peeled and halved
  • ½ cup coarse kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 14-oz. can of artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
  • 1 12-oz. jar of cornichons, drained and rinsed
  • 6 oz. pitted green olives
  • 16 oz. white balsamic vinegar
  • 8 oz. red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Place the bell peppers, jalapeno pepper, celery, carrots, onion, cauliflower, and garlic in a large soup pot. Stir in salt, and fill with enough cold water to cover. Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, drain vegetables into a colander and rinse well. Return vegetables to the pot and add Italian seasoning,  red pepper flakes, peppercorns, artichoke hearts, cornichons, olives, vinegar, and oil. Stir well, and fill with enough cold water to cover. Refrigerate for at least 2 days before using. The vegetables will last up to 1 month.

Wall Market Korean B.B.Q.

Cloud Strife at Wall Market“It’s thanks to the Don that we can eat like this.”

—FFVII

Marinade:

  • About 3 pounds of L.A.-style beef short ribs
  • ¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
  • ¼ cup soju (you can substitute sake, or just use water)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 Korean pear, core removed and cut into slices
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon ginger

Dipping sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons soybean paste
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper paste
  • 1 green onion stalk, chopped
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • ½ tablespoon sesame oil

Vegetables:

  • Perilla leaves
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Persian cucumbers
  • Korean green chili peppers

Trim excess fat from the short ribs and rinse a few times under cold running water. Soak in a bowl of cold water for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine soy sauce, soju, sesame oil, and honey in a large casserole dish and set aside.

Using a food processor or blender, combine the pear, garlic, onion, and ginger. Transfer the pear mixture to the casserole dish.

Rinse the short ribs under cold running water a few more times, to remove any remaining bone fragments. Add to the marinade and mix it well. Refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight.

Combine the dipping sauce ingredients, then prepare the vegetables. Rinse and drain the perilla and lettuce leaves and place them on a plate. Wash and dice the cucumbers. Chop the chili peppers into thin rounds.

Prepare a grill to high heat.  Place beef over direct heat, cover, and cook for 3 minutes.  Flip, cover, and continue to cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from grill and cut the meat from the bone and into bite-sized pieces with a pair of sharp scissors.

Layer a piece of lettuce and a perilla leaf, then add a piece of meat, a piece of chili pepper, a chunk of cucumber and a scoop of dipping sauce. Wrap and eat.