I just made this Quinoa Salad with Kale and Red Grapes ( I still have kale in my garden! ) and I think it could possibly be a contender for one of the sides on my Thanksgiving table. My plans are starting to come together. Our neighbors, that are joining us for dinner this year, are making the turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes. Yes... it makes it very easy for me. I will fill in with everything else. But I am still undecided on dessert. Of course there will be a pumpkin pie. There has to be a pumpkin pie. But I plan on making a second pie/tart and every suggestion I've thrown out to family members has been vetoed. Maybe I'll stop asking... Maybe I'll make two pumpkin pies.
• inspired by a recipe in Experience Life magazine
• 1 cup quinoa
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
• 2 cups water
• 3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, divided
• 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• Pinch of red pepper flakes
• 3 cups stemmed kale, center rib removed and finely juilienned
• 1 teaspoon lemon zest
• 2 cups halved red seedless grapes
• 3/4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
1. Place the quinoa in a bowl of cool water, and whisk for two minutes, then drain thoroughly in a fine-mesh sieve. Over medium heat, drizzle a small amount of olive oil in a medium-size pot. Add quinoa and stir for one minute to dry and toast briefly. Add the water and 1/2 teaspoon salt, increase the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to the lowest setting, cover pot, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork.
2. While the quinoa is cooking, whisk together the lemon juice, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, ,cumin, red pepper flakes, and olive oil in a large bowl.. Add the kale and press on it for a short time with the back of a wooden spoon. Doing this breaks down its fibers, making it easier to chew and digest. Add the quinoa, lemon zest, grapes, and walnuts; toss gently. Serve at room temperature.
TAKE a LOOK:
It is again, thankfully, that time of year when I wake up in the morning and ask... what will I do with all of my tomatoes today? It's a dilemma I embrace. And yesterday, I did nothing but tackle the produce that fills bowls, colanders, and baskets throughout my kitchen. I started off with ratatouille (that is now aging in my fridge, waiting for another day), and finished with this panzanella salad of heirloom tomatoes, Colorado peaches, olive oil-soaked croutons, and the beloved fresh Burrata. It was a dinner last night that started off with Campari cocktails on the patio.
Two of us devoured a recipe meant to serve four. And both of us were sadly looking at the empty bowl, wishing there had been more. I purchased another bag of peaches yesterday, and have a feeling I'll be making this salad again before week's end. Ripe garden tomatoes, fresh peaches and creamy, rich Burrata... what could be better?
Unfortunately, these days won't last forever.
+ recipe from Fabian von Hauske and Jeremiah Stone | via The Wall Street Journal
• serves 4 as a first course or 2 as a main course
• 2 cups cubed sourdough, ciabatta or country bread
• 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 1/4 pound heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
• 1 large peach or nectarine, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
• 1/4 cup thinly sliced basil
• 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
• 1 teaspoon Sherry vinegar
• 2 balls burrata (about 1 pound total)
1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. In a medium bowl, toss the croutons with 4 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the croutons (making sure to get every drop of oil) on a baking sheet and bake, tossing halfway through, until golden and crisp on all sides, about 13 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, gently toss together the tomatoes, peaches and basil. Season with salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Place shallots in a small bowl and cover with ice water. Allow the shallots to crisp for about 8 minutes; drain shallots, pat dry with a paper towel, and set aside.
3. Just before serving, toss shallots, croutons, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and sherry vinegar with the tomato and peach mixture. Season with extra salt and let croutons absorb some of the fruits' juices, about 5 minutes. Divide salad between two plates and place a ball of burrata on each plate (if serving 4, slice balls of burrata in half). Season burrata cheese with a pinch of salt and drizzle with additional olive oil. Serve immediately.
TAKE a LOOK:
Had it not been a hot, muggy day, I never would have made this salad. I would have roasted the little purple potatoes in the oven and seared the haricot verts green beans in olive oil on top of the stove; both favorite techniques of mine. Nice that it happened this way!
Dinner on the patio... rhubarb mojitos, grilled chicken, potato & green bean salad, fresh peach and blueberry crisp (baked in the cooler, early morning hours) with homemade ice milk. Isn't summer great? Forgot to pull the watermelon balls from the refrigerator -- another day, another dinner...
+ recipe adapted, from The New Basics Cookbook
• 1 3/4 pound small purple or yellow potatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
• 3/4 pound Haricots Verts or green beans, trimmed and halved or quartered depending on size
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
• 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
• 1 teaspoon salt
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Place the potatoes in a medium-size pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. Drain. When cool enough to handle, peel potatoes, halve or quarter if large.
2. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil; add the green beans. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender; approximately 3 minutes for Haricots Verts and possibly longer for larger beans. Drain and run under cold water. Drain again.
3. For the dressing... in a medium bowl whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, zest, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.
4. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes and green beans. Gently fold in half of the dressing, then any of the remaining dressing until coated to your liking. You may not use all of it. Serve salad at room temperature or refrigerate until needed.
TAKE a LOOK:
I cannot let a summer pass without making a big Salade Nicoise at least once. The timing of a Salade Nicoise depends on just one thing... whether or not my green beans are ready. WELL... they're ready!
I plant two beans each spring. One is a bush, French Haricot Verts -- the thinnest of green beans -- and the bean that I use in my Salade Nicoise. I always plant two beds from seed with their rectangular plots surrounded by 20-inch-tall bamboo fencing to keep hungry rabbits out.
This year I planted one bed of the Haricot Verts in mid-April, followed by a second planting three weeks later. But I've come to realize I should have waited even longer. Both beds are going gangbusters right now. And in addition to the Haricot Verts, the heirloom purple pole beans I planted this spring are coming on with a vengeance as well. Needless to say... we will be eating a lot of beans this week at my house!
Too bad these beautiful purple beans turn green once thrown into a pan of boiling water.
This is a fantastic recipe for Salad Nicoise. Get some really good bread and salted butter, pour yourself a glass of Provencal Rosé and enjoy a long, leisurely al fresco meal this summer!
• Salade Nicoise
adapted from a recipe in The New Basics Cookbook
by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins
Recipe adjusted to feed 6 to 8 people
• 16 new potatoes
• 1 pound haricot verts, trimmed, or if using regular green beans trimmed and halved lengthwise
• 6 cans (4 1/2 ounces) tuna (packed in olive oil), drained
• 8 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
• 4 tablespoons tiny capers, drained
• 7 tablespoons, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
• 7 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon mild extra-virgin olive oil
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 2 generous tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
• 1 cloves minced garlic
• Coarse (kosher) salt, to taste
• 4 cups grape tomatoes, halved
• 4 tablespoons parsley, chopped
• 8 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
• 1/2 cup Nicoise olives
1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F.
2. Prick the potatoes with the tines of a fork, and place them in a baking dish. Bake for 1 hour, or until tender. Set aside to cool.
3. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add the beans. Simmer until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain. Wrap in a dish towel and set aside.
4. Place the tuna in a mixing bowl, and break it into large chunks. Add the red onion, capers, 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, and pepper. Toss gently until well-combined and set aside.
5. Cut the cooked potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and place them in a mixing bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, rosemary, garlic, pepper, and coarse salt. Toss to combine, and set aside.
6. Place the halved grape tomatoes in a bowl. Sprinkle with pepper, coarse salt, and the parsley.
7. Just before you are ready to serve, toss the beans with the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 2 teaspoons olive oil. Season with coarse salt.
8. Arrange tomatoes, tuna, potatoes, and green beans on a large platter. Place hard boiled eggs throughout and toss Nicoise olives over the top.
TAKE a LOOK:
When I send my husband to the market, I'm never quite sure what he'll come home with. This week it was yams and that meant a dinner of Roasted Yams with Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing and Bacon. We also ate alfresco for the second time this week. I think we've finally turned the long-awaited corner!
+ Roasted Yams with Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing +
BUTTERMILK BLUE CHEESE DRESSING:
• 2 tablespoons buttermilk
• 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
• 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
• 1/4 cup blue cheese, diced
• Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (to taste)
• 2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
• Salt and pepper (to taste)
1. Combine buttermilk, mayonnaise, and Greek yogurt in a bowl. Add the blue cheese. Stir in lemon juice to taste, along with the chives. Season with salt and pepper.
TO MAKE YAMS:
1. Preheat oven to 375˚F
2. Peel several small yams and cut into 1-inch cubes. Toss with olive oil and roast, stirring occasionally, until tender and beginning to caramelize. Season with sea salt.
1. Line bowls or plates with greens. Scatter roasted yams on top. Drizzle with some of the dressing. Sprinkle with cooked, chopped bacon and additional minced chives.
TAKE a LOOK:
Hardly a day goes by without peaches playing a starring role in one of our meals. I loved this salad and thought the leftovers the next day were as good if not better. Had there been goat cheese or some Maytag Blue in my refrigerator that day, I would have crumbled some over the top of the salad... yum!
+ adapted -- recipe by Linton Hopkins | Food & Wine, July 2012
• 1/8 cup mayonnaise
• 1/8 cup sour cream
• 1/8 cup buttermilk
• 1 tablespoon fresh mint
• 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
• 1 tablespoon fresh chives
• 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
• Freshly ground pepper
• 1/2 pound thick-slice bacon
• 1/8 cup brown sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 1/2 pounds Vidalia or other sweet onions cut into 1-inch slabs
• Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
• 2 large, ripe peaches, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
• Arugula, for serving
1. PREHEAT OVEN to 325˚F.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the sour cream, buttermilk, mint, parsley, chives and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate.
3. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the bacon slices on the sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with the brown sugar and cayenne. Bake for about 25 minutes, until caramelized (the bacon will crisp as it cools). Cut the bacon into bite-size pieces.
4. Meanwhile, light a grill. Brush the onions with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until softened and browned. Separate the onions into rings. Brush the peaches with olive oil and grill over moderately high heat until tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
5. In a large bowl, toss the onions with the peaches and bacon. Add the buttermilk dressing and toss to coat. Serve right away... But like I said, it's really good the next day!