19 September 2012

Arugala and Pistachio Pesto

I'm so sorry my camera is terrible.  I've had loads of people try to figure out what's wrong with it.  Anyway, I had a bag of arugula on it's way out, so I threw it in the mini-prep with olive oil, salt, pepper, about a 1/2 cup of pistachios and 2 big handfuls of herbs from the garden (basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, mint) sort of a nutty chimichurri I suppose.  

Tossed the lot (and it is a lot) with 3-4 servings of whole wheat fettuccine, and served it with heirloom tomatoes and steamed asparagus.

Roasted Radish and Toasted Walnut Salad

Fully out of tomato season now, I'm starting to get creative again instead of letting one ingredient do all the work!  I once had a lasagna at Taste where thinly sliced radishes took the place of noodles, and an even more amazing roasted radish bruschetta.  So that was my inspiration for this salad. 

Greens - as much as you like
Roasted radishes - 1 bunch
Toasted walnuts - 1/2 cup
Smoked cheese - to taste
Your favourite vinagrette (I used apple cider) - less is more

To roast the radishes: Toss them in melted 1/4 T of butter, or olive oil, and roast them for 1/2 an hour on a preheated cookie sheet in a very hot oven.  To toast the walnuts: throw them into a hot cast iron skillet and toss them around until slightly browned.  

Fried Green Tomato Salad

To mark the end of tomato season, I decided to give green tomatoes a moment in the spotlight.  Well the decision was made for me when I went to the market and saw how hopelessly undelicious the regular tomatoes looked.  I'm no expert on fried tomatoes, so I just googled a random recipe and used it.  I used coconut oil though, and not nearly as much as the recipe called for.  

I dressed the greater part of a box of supergreens with a T of Basil oil, a t of apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper.  Toss in pickled red onion slices, top with goat cheese sprinkles and tomatoes. 

Hint: If you like your tomatoes a little softer, bake them on 200 for half an hour after you fry them.  I did this and I think it was an improvement.  I'm pretty sure that's not traditional though.

08 September 2012

Smoked Green Bean Salads

I first had smoked green beans at Square One Brewery in Lafayette Square.  They have some of the most creative and delicious salad combinations I've ever come across.

I have an actual smoker, but it is for indoor use and makes my hair smell like a bonfire, so I skipped it for these.  Instead I dressed the beans in a mixture of Wright's liquid smoke, Braggs, and a little sesame oil.  Equal parts of each.  Then I roasted them slow and low in a single layer at 250 for 40 mins, or until they get a little bit shriveled.

You almost don't need to dress the rest of the salad after you put these on top, but you can use a little balsamic vinagrette if you want. 

1) Above: I placed the beans on a bed of arugula, topped them with red onion slices, tomato wedges and a little sprinkle of Baetje Farms Cheese for a salad I could easily make a meal from. 

2) Left: To make it more of a main course salad, throw some baked polenta slices on top.  This time I used Seaside Smoked Cheddar to bring out the smokiness of the beans.  And the last of the season's heirloom tomatoes. 

I'm really really bummed that tomato season is over, but I keep reminding myself that absence makes the heart grow fonder.

04 September 2012

Husk Cherry and Corn Salad

 Here you see the adorable husk cherry or ground cherry as it is also known.  I tasted one at Local Harvest Grocery, and had to purchase a punnet despite the high price tag.  
My first thought was too use them in a summer's bounty salad along with greens, sungold tomatoes, fresh shucked corn, and lots of mint and basil.  I'm not usually one for fruit in salad, but the interplay between the corn and the ground cherries is out of this world.  Oh, and there's a big hunk of fresh mozzarella in the middle there.  And I served it with lavash crackers:

His and Hers Tostadas

I made mine on a brown rice puff.  I can't remember the brand name.  I topped it with refried pinto beans, red cabbage, cilantro, green onion, yoghurt, and really really hot salsa.
 His is on a more traditional corn tostada shell.  Topped with refried pinto beans, cabbage, cilantro, green onion, but also shredded cheddar cheese and milder salsa.
I feel like no one ever thinks to make tostadas at home.  I like them better than hard tacos and find them easier to eat.  And I love the endless possibilities for topping them.  Maybe next time I will do them with cooked vegetables.  Ooh, maybe even smoked veggies - my new obsession.