Kitchen Shrink: What’s Your Culinary I.Q.?

Greek Salad
Greek Salad


In keeping with the spirit of the end-of-school season, I thought it apropos to give a food-related final exam for your amusement and amazement. Check out next week’s column for the answers — and please, no cheating!

True or False

1. Since baking soda and baking powder are both white, powdery leavening agents, they can be used interchangeably.

2. All fruits and vegetables continue to ripen after picking.

3. Nectarines are a hybrid cross between a peach and a plum.

4. The “eyes” that sprout on potatoes can be toxic.

5. Tomatoes have more cancer fighting lycopenes when cooked.

6. Avocados are loaded with artery clogging, trans fatty monsters.

7. Braising and sautéing are similar cooking methods for tenderizing meats.

8. Sweet potatoes, a Thanksgiving favorite, are also called yams.

9. The peanut is botanically a legume, not actually a nut.

10. To “shock” green vegetables means to place them in an icy bath to halt the cooking process so they can maintain their bright hue and al dente texture.

Multiple Choice

1. Cage free eggs come from:

a) chickens that are raised on organic and hormone free feed;

b) chickens that nest in free cages donated by animal activists;

c) chickens that stretch their legs and roam in the barn;

d) chickens that romp freely outdoors.

2. The most widely consumed fish throughout the world is:

a) salmon;

b) sardines;

c) herring;

d) tuna.

3. Authentic mozzarella cheese from southern Italy with protected designation of origin status is made with milk from:

a) cows;

b) goat;

c) sheep;

d) water buffalo.

4. The “Dirty Dozen” refers to:

a) a Robert Aldrich World War II flick;

b) 12 foods with high pesticide residues like strawberries, spinach and apples that should be substituted for their organic equivalents;

c) a carton of eggs with bloodshot yolks;

d) 12 poppy seed bagels.

5. A good digestive aid is:

a) mustard seeds;

b) fennel;

c) cumin;

d) fresh ginger;

e) all of the above.

6. “Aioli,” derived from the Occitan language spoken in parts of Spain, Italy and southern France translates to:

a) mayonnaise;

b) garlic oil;

c) almond paste;

d) oil free.

7. A splash of this liquid prevents cut apples from oxidizing and turning brown, while keeping guacamole green:

a) lemon juice;

b) orange juice;

c) cider vinegar;

d) apple juice.

Match the numbers with the letters

1. The protein found in common grains and their hybrids

2. Surprisingly an herb, and sibling to carrots, cumin, parsley and cilantro

3. This gourd contains 95 percent water

4. It has the highest smoke point of oils, making it ideal for sautéing and frying

5.This type of butter is free of common dairy allergens, along with the milk sugar lactose, hydrogenated oils, additives, preservatives and trans fats

6. A rich store of minerals in this seasoning boost the immune and skeletal systems, along with libido, and regulate heartbeat, fluid levels, and sleep patterns

7. Having more Vitamin C than oranges, and as much calcium as milk, this anti-cancer warrior is most potent when eaten raw

8. The authentic Greek salad also called a “rustic salad” is a Mediterranean blend of tomato chunks, sliced onions and cucumbers, feta cheese and Kalamata olives tossed in an olive oil vinaigrette without this popular ingredient used in the Americanized version

a) pink Himalayan salt

b) Romaine lettuce

c) broccoli

d) gluten

e) cucumber

f) celery

g) Ghee

i) safflower oil.


••• Recipe: Greek Salad for 2

Ingredients: 1/2 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, cut in chunks; 2 large heirloom tomatoes, cut in chunks; 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced; 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted; 4 ounces feta cheese, cut in cubes or crumbled; 2 mini red peppers, sliced.

For the dressing: 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil; 1/4 cup red wine vinegar; juice from half a lemon; 1 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano; salt and pepper to taste.

Method: In a large salad bowl, combine vegetables and cheese. In a small mixing bowl, whisk dressing ingredients. Pour desired amount over vegetables and toss well.

Catharine Kaufman can be reached by e-mail: