I finally got around to making this colorful dish of Salmon with Rhubarb and Red Cabbage. I have had this recipe squirreled away for years, always running across it when rhubarb season was over and all of my red cabbage had been used up or given to friends. But this time my (rather unorganized) recipe files (found on all three levels of my house) didn't get the better of me. I ran across the recipe at the most opportune time -- when I was again wondering what I should do with all of my rhubarb. Of course, it is far too early to be eating red cabbage from my garden; the plants only went in two weeks ago. But this dish will certainly be on my menu again this summer.
I made some slight changes to the original recipe. Instead of roasting the salmon in the oven, it was grilled outdoors on a cedar plank. And assorted garden lettuces were tucked under the tender red cabbage that was simmered in a syrup of orange and spices. I can also see this rhubarb and cabbage served with an herb encrusted pork tenderloin, seared and finished in the oven. So many possibilities.
+ Grilled Salmon with Rhubarb and Red Cabbage +
• adapted from a recipe in Bon Appetit | April 2010
• 4 teaspoons black or yellow mustard seeds
• 1 1/4 cups fresh orange juice
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/3 cup water
• 2 tablespoons finely grated orange peel
• 4 teaspoons coriander seeds
• 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
• 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
• 3 cups 2-inch-long, 1/4-inch-thick matchstick-size strips of rhubarb (from 12 ounces trimmed rhubarb)
• 8 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (from about 1/2 medium head)
• 1/2 cup Sherry wine vinegar
• 1/2 cup dry red wine
• 6 6-ounce salmon fillets with skin
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 3 cups assorted lettuces
• 3/4 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
1. Stir mustard seeds in small dry skillet over medium heat until beginning to pop, about 3 minutes. Transfer to small bowl; reserve.
2. Bring orange juice, sugar, 1/3 cup water, and orange peel to a boil in a large skillet, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium; add reserved mustard seeds, coriander seeds, caraway seeds, and ginger. Simmer until syrupy, 10 minutes. Add rhubarb; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until rhubarb is tender but intact, 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer rhubarb to microwave-safe bowl; reserve.
3. Bring syrup in skillet to a simmer. Add cabbage, vinegar, and wine; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer until cabbage is soft and most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 45 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
4. Place salmon pieces on a pre-soaked cedar plank. Brush salmon with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill salmon over medium-low heat until it is just opague in center. Rewarm reserved rhubarb in microwave just until warm.
5. Divide lettuces among 6 plates or shallow bowls. Scoop cabbage onto the lettuce. Lift the skins off of the salmon fillets and place a fillet atop the cabbage. Spoon a dollop of Greek yogurt onto the salmon; arrange strips of rhubarb on the yogurt.
TAKE a LOOK:
Whenever I visit France, I'm there in search of inspiration. And France never disappoints. Last summer in the south of France, it seems as though every amazing meal I ate incorporated a savory shortbread into the dish.
At Le Château de Mazan (check out the beautiful hotel and restaurant HERE) assorted chilled vegetable purées were piped atop a thin savory cookie.
At Chez Serge in Carpentras, my first course balanced a savory cookie over my smoked salmon.
When I returned home with thoughts of cookies, savory and sweet, I made this dessert of fresh strawberry ice cream topped with strawberry rhubarb compote, and placed it on a pistachio cookie.
... and I continue to dream of ways to include savory pastries (and cookies) in the meals I create.
For this appetizer or first course, I rested a savory jalapeño Havarti custard with honeyed cocktail sauce on top of a delicate cornmeal cookie, then crowned it all with a giant grilled, lemon shrimp. I can't wait to make this part of an al fresco meal on the patio this summer!
I fortunately had some leftover cocktail sauce that a friend made, and which I used in this recipe. * Ina Garten's cocktail sauce (recipe HERE) would be a good substitute. An excellent commercial brand of cocktail sauce would also work as a coating for the custard.
SAVORY CORNMEAL COOKIES
makes 8 cookies
• 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
• 1/8 cup cornmeal
• 1/2 teaspoon Maldon salt or fleur de sel
• 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
• 1 large egg yolk
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper and set aside.
2. Combine the flour, cornmeal and salt in the bowl of a food processor; pulse once or twice. Add the cubed butter and pulse until small pieces form. Add the egg yolk and pulse briefly until the mixture just starts to come together. Do not over mix.
3. Transfer the mixture to a lightly floured work surface. Roll dough to approximately 3/8-inch thickness and cut out 3 1/2-inch to 4-inch rounds. Place cookies on prepared baking sheet.
4. Bake the cookies on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until golden. Remove and allow to cool.
JALAPENO HAVARTI CUSTARDS
makes 4 servings
• 3 large eggs
• 3/4 cup whole milk
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/3 cup finely diced Jalapeño Havarti
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 4 tablespoons cocktail sauce (see * above)
1. Preheat oven to 375˚F
2. Prepare four 1/2 cup ramekins by drizzling 1/2 tablespoon honey into each. Gently spread 1 tablespoon cocktail sauce over the honey, evenly coating the bottom of the ramekin.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and Jalapeño Havarti. Divide the custard evenly between the ramekins. Place the ramekins in a baking pan and make a bain-marie (water bath) by pouring hot water in the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
4. Gently slide the baking pan onto the middle rack of the oven and bake the custards for 30 minutes, or until set. When finished baking, remove from the oven and then remove the ramekins from the bain-marie. Cool for 10 minutes.
5. Prepare and grill shrimp while custards are resting.
GRILLED LEMON SHRIMP
• 1 to 2 large shrimp for each serving of savory custard
• Olive oil
• grated lemon zest
• kosher salt
• cilantro, for serving
1. Peel and devein shrimp. In a bowl, toss the shrimp with a good drizzle of olive oil. Add lemon zest and sprinkling of salt.
2. Grill shrimp either on a preheated grill pan indoors or on an outdoor charcoal or gas grill until pink and cooked through.
1. Using a small paring knife, run the tip around the outside of the custards. Top custard with a small plate and invert. Shake to release custard. Place a cookie on a serving plate and using a thin metal spatula center a custard on the cookie. Crown the custard with a grilled shrimp and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Repeat with remaining cookies, custards, and shrimp. Serve immediately.
TAKE a LOOK:
I found this recipe for Charred Corn with Tomatoes and Basil Vinaigrette on Lynn Rosetto Kasper's The Weeknight Kitchen. This salad screams summer. I found that I liked it even better the next day, after the basil vinaigrette really infuses the corn and tomatoes, and with a big handful of arugula thrown in.
+ Charred Corn Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
• adapted recipe from Kitchen Confidence by Kelsey Nixon via The Weeknight Kitchen
• 6 ears corn, shucked
• Canola oil, preferably cold-pressed
• Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
• 1 1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
• 1 garlic clove, grated
• 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
• 1 (10-ounce) container small heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)
• 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1. For the corn: Preheat an outdoor grill.
2. Brush corn cobs with the canola oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the corn on the grill and char each side. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Stand each ear up, stalk end down, in a wide, shallow bowl and, using a knife, slice the corn kernels off the cob. Set aside.
3. For the vinaigrette: In a food processor or blender, pulse the basil and garlic until the basil starts to break down. Add the vinegar. Continue pulsing while adding the oil in a steady stream, then process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
4. In a large bowl, combine the corn, tomatoes, and red onion. Drizzle the basil vinaigrette over the vegetables and toss well to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
+ Toss in fresh arugula, if desired.
TAKE a LOOK:
I wish it could happen more often. For a brief time, everything seems perfect. It's a content feeling I would like to capture more often than I do. I just need to be thankful when it does happen.
For me tonight, it was that rare, perfectly gorgeous, late summer's evening. Warm. A gentle breeze. Beautiful light. The yard was stunning; the way it is this time of year (especially knowing what lies ahead for Minnesota in winter). The Pee-Gee hydrangeas are slightly tinged in pink. There are copious amounts of heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, beets, and zucchini in the garden. The blue cabbage are massive. I couldn't imagine being anywhere other than my backyard at this moment. Oh... and there was pizza on the grill! Yes, it was all pretty perfect.
The Pizzas: One of the pizzas I made was Roasted Eggplant & Onion. I slice unpeeled Classic and Japanese eggplant about 1/2-inch thick, then cut the slices of Japanese eggplant in half; quarter the slices of Classic eggplant. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Toss eggplant with a VERY healthy drizzle of olive oil in a sheet pan with 1-inch sides. Place in the preheated oven and roast for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding another drizzle of olive oil if eggplant seems dry. Peel one or two large, sweet onions and cut each into large wedges. Keeping wedges intact, transfer the onions to the eggplant. Continue to roast, stirring often, and adding more olive oil if vegetables seem dry. I add the onions after the eggplant because they tend to burn easily at high heat -- and they roast faster than the eggplant. It's important to stir the mixture often. When vegetables are roasted to your liking, remove from oven and sprinkle generously with fresh thyme leaves. Season to taste with kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
To make pizzas on the grill: I use a recipe from Wolfgang Puck for the pizza dough (recipe HERE). After grilling the pizza dough disks on one side (over low heat), flip and drizzle top of pizza dough with olive oil. Cover with some eggplant-onion mixture and dot with slices of fresh mozzarella. Close the grill lid and "bake" the pizza until dough has browned on the bottom and cheese has melted.
I also topped pizza with corn and my garden, heirloom tomatoes. The recipe I used was Herbed Sweet Corn and Tomato Salad from theKitchn (recipe HERE). For the pizzas I left out the goat cheese that is called for in the recipe, and added fresh mozzarella when grilling the pizzas.
TAKE a LOOK:
This is what I believe most Minnesotans live for -- summer! And after what seemed like a winter and spring that would never end, it is now time to celebrate the outdoors. I bike as often as I can, work in my garden every day, and try to dine on the patio as much as possible. I just hosted a dinner for friends that I have meant to do for a long, long time. And, hopefully, I have more of these dinners still ahead during this short span of warmth we now enjoy.
Pipi believes that if she positions herself below a dining table, she will reap huge rewards.
As I've mentioned before... this is my favorite soup, EVER! I know... you need to plan ahead with this soup. There are several steps involved. But you will be SO rewarded! And a warm, summer's evening is the ideal time to serve this chilled soup with amazing flavors. (I have left-overs!)
For Spice Mix:
• 2 tablespoons chili powder
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon onion powder
• 1 tablespoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
• Six 6-ounce pieces salmon fillet
• 1/2 cup tomato juice
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1/3 cup finely chopped vine-ripened tomato
• 1/2 pound mixed baby lettuces
Make Spice Mixture:
1. Stir together all spice mixture ingredients and reserve 1 1/2 teaspoon for vinaigrette.
2. Divide remaining spice mixture among salmon pieces, rubbing into fish and arrange fish in one layer in a shallow dish. Chill fish, covered, 2 hours.
1. In a bowl, whisk together tomato juice, vinegar, and reserved spice mixture and add oil in a steady stream, whisking until emulsified.
2. Grill fish until just cooked through.
3. While fish is cooking, in a bowl toss tomatoes and lettuces with enough vinaigrette to coat lightly and divide among 6 plates. Divide salmon pieces among plates and pour remaining vinaigrette around each serving.
And if you're wondering... I made THIS for dessert.
TAKE a LOOK:
This past weekend we had dinner with our small group that comprises what we refer to as "gourmet" -- the same three couples that get together every few months, as our busy schedules allow, to eat exceptional food and get caught up on each others' lives.
As usual, this meal did not disappoint. I was assigned the appetizer -- a pizza on the grill loaded with sweet and salty goodness. The recipe by Todd English combines fig jam, prosciutto, Gorgonzola cheese, and fresh rosemary. I added dried figs, a gift to me last Christmas from the friends and neighbors hosting this dinner. I was surprised at how moist the dried figs were when I sliced them open. I had assumed I would need to rehydrate the fruit, but that was not at all necessary.
We were served a refreshing "cocktail" to sip along with the pizza. Made with watermelon, lime juice, loads of fresh mint, and tequila, it was easy to down this drink quickly (a little too quickly) on a day hovering around 90˚.
We ate dinner in the garden where we were surrounded by herbs, flowers, and vegetables.
The main dish was Salmon and Pea Risotto with morel mushrooms that Paul, another member of our group, picked and dried this past spring. I don't think I have to tell you how good this was.
…Fig and Prosciutto Pizza…
adapted from a recipe by Todd English
• Pizza dough (recipe here), divided into 4 balls
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
• 1/2 cup fig jam
• 1/4 pound Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
• 4 ounces sliced prosciutto
• Dried sliced figs, or halved fresh figs
1. Make the pizza dough; keep covered and chilled in the refrigerator until ready to use
2. In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic, rosemary, and salt & pepper to taste
3. Prepare the grill. (I grill my pizzas on low heat, using a gas grill.) Remove 2 balls of dough from the refrigerator. I used to roll each ball of dough on a floured surface, but now I just take the ball of dough in my hands and start turning and stretching, letting the weight of the dough form the disc. When the dough is about 8-inches in diameter, place it on the grill. Repeat with the second ball of dough; place the cover over the grill When the bottom of the dough is a golden brown, flip, and begin adding the toppings.
4. Spread the surface of the dough with a thin layer of the fig jam. Sprinkle 1/4 of the garlic-rosemary mixture evenly over each pizza; top with 1/4 of the Gorgonzola cheese. Take 1 ounce of the prosciutto and tear into pieces while scattering over the pizza. Add either dried sliced figs, or fresh figs, cover the grill and continue to "bake" the pizzas until they are puffed and golden brown. Remove to a cutting board and slice into pieces. Repeat this process with the remaining 2 balls of pizza dough.
TAKE a LOOK:
For some reason, I never got around to posting this recipe after I made it this summer on our outdoor grill. (Probably had something to do with all of the time I was devoting to the kitchen renovation.)
We ate it as called for in the recipe, wrapped in warmed corn tortillas. If my memory serves me correctly, it was very good.
: Grilled Chili-Rubbed Flank Steak :
recipe by Bruce Aidells | Food & Wine Magazine, November 2003
• 1 large garlic clove
• 1 tablespoon chopped red onion
• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
• 2 teaspoons chili powder
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• One 1 1/2 pound flank steak
• Ten lime wedges
• 3 1/2 ounces Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
• 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
• Twelve 6-inch corn tortillas, warmed
1. In a processor, pulse the garlic with the onion, lime juice, chili powder, salt and cumin. With the machine on, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until a wet paste forms. Rub the paste all over the steak.
2. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Grill the steak over a medium-high fire, turning once, until an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 125˚ to 130˚ F for medium-rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
3. Cut the steak across the grain into 1/4-inch slices. Arrange the meat on a platter. Squeeze two lime wedges over the steak slices, then top with the shredded cheese and cilantro. Serve with the warm corn tortillas and the remaining lime wedges.
TAKE a LOOK: