I would say I've had this recipe for Warm Cannellini, Olives, and Goat Cheese tucked away in my files for at least 20 years, but have never made it -- until a couple of weeks ago. Since then, I've eaten it three times. It's a great combination of bitter raddichio, creamy cannellini beans, and salty black olives. The original recipe calls for one disk of baked, breaded goat cheese per serving. I think it's much better with two or more. You can never have too much goat cheese!
Serve with a baguette and a glass of chilled white wine or rosé -- Perfect!
an adapted Martha Stewart recipe
• 1 1/2 cups dried Cannellini Beans
• 1 seven-ounce log goat cheese
• Extra-virgin olive oil
• 4 slices white or whole wheat bread
• 1 large head radicchio
• 1 cup black oil-cured olives, pitted and sliced
• Freshly ground pepper
• Balsamic vinegar
1. QUICK SOAK BEANS: Rinse beans, drain, and place in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to a gentle boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover pan, and let beans rest for 1 hour. Drain beans and return to pan. Cover beans with cold water and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tender, about 1 hour. When beans are tender, add salt to taste and cook an additional few minutes. Drain beans and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Cut goat cheese into 8 equal rounds (I use a piece of sewing thread to slice through the goat cheese log, which causes less breakage than a knife). Coat the rounds lightly with olive oil and refrigerate until needed.
3. Tear the bread slices into small pieces and process in a food processor until the bread becomes fine crumbs. Transfer bread crumbs to a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven. Toast crumbs until evenly browned, stirring occasionally; let cool, then coat the goat cheese rounds with the crumbs. Place the cheese rounds on a baking sheet and bake until soft, but still holding their shape, about 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, cut the radicchio into fine shreds. Set aside. In a small sauté pan, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over low heat. Add the sliced olives and cook for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the beans; stir gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Toss the radicchio, just to coat, with equal amounts of balsamic vinegar and olive oil; add salt and pepper to taste. Divide the the radicchio between 4 plates. Top with warmed beans and baked goat cheese. SERVES 4
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I am fairly new to Quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah"). I began using it not quite a year ago; after my daughter was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance. Originating thousands of years ago in the South American countries of Ecuador, Bolivia, Columbia, and Peru, Quinoa is actually a seed, even though it is referred to as an "ancient grain".
Closely related to beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds(!) Quinoa is nutrient-rich in lysine, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin E, potassium, and iron; all reason enough to make Quinoa part of your diet. But aside from all of this -- plus the fact that Quinoa is gluten-free -- I like it most of all for its nutty taste.
This recipe for Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Citrus-Coriander Dressing is from Faith in the Kitchn (get the recipe HERE). I served it as a side dish to a pork tenderloin with a chili powder-packed dry rub -- a nice contrast to the fresh oranges in this salad. In fact, I liked the oranges in this salad so much, I increased the number to three, using both Cara-Cara and Valencia oranges. My advice: Refrigerate for several hours to allow the flavors to infuse the salad.
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What can I say? It's another healthy salad.
adapted recipe from COOKING by Kim Johnson Gross and Jeff Stone
• Olive oil
• 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
• 4 cups cooked wild rice
• 1/2 pound smoked turkey (or chicken), diced or shredded
• Couple handfuls cherry tomatoes
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
• 4 to 8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, minced
• 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 5 tablespoons olive oil
1. Place a small skillet over medium heat and drizzle with a film of olive oil. Add the red onion and sauté until onion is wilted. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
2. Make the dressing: Place the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce in the bowl of a food processor. Mix to combine. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and blend until smooth.
3. In a serving bowl, combine the salad ingredients with the dressing; mix gently. Serve either chilled or at room temperature.
• My daughter added diced avocados to her salad and highly recommends doing so.
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January. The new year. After the busyness of the holidays, everything suddenly becomes quiet and time, very briefly, seems to slow down for me. Many hours are spent contemplating what's ahead. Is this the spring that I will finally change out my brick-edged vegetable plots for raised beds with new soil? Will my hand-drawn Cochon on the kitchen blackboard be erased and replaced with a Bouledogue Francaise perhaps?
(notice any similarities?)
While preparing for our daughter's wedding last year, we put aside any thoughts of travel -- but this new year we've already booked a trip, traveling by train later this summer, to Glacier National Park where we will stay in historic lodges in the U.S. and Canada... A photography show in and of my hometown, Amana, Iowa, is a possibility... And France, unfortunately, has been put on hold until spring 2014 (it seems like an eternity); Paris and Provence with my sister and best friend, Renate. Sometimes the anticipation is almost more exciting than the actual event (well, almost), and talking about and planning our visit will certainly consume my time and thoughts over the upcoming months.
So, in the meantime, I continue to spend my days in the kitchen. I need to plan more luncheons and dinners with friends. That will give me an excuse to bake the desserts that are tempting me, something I've been trying to limit in this new year. Until then, I'll focus on healthy salads. When I stumbled upon "Forbidden" black rice at a local grocery, I snatched it up and made this delicious recipe from the Kitchn. I highly recommend it!
Serves 4 as a side portion
• 1 cup black rice
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1/4 cup orange juice
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
• 1 grapefruit, peeled and quartered and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
• 1 avocado, peeled and diced
• 2 green onions, chopped
• Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Rinse the rice. In a small, lidded saucepan bring to a boil 1 3/4 cups of cold water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the black rice, return to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 40 minutes or until the water has been absorbed (check the rice after 30 minutes). Once cooked, uncover and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
2. While the rice is cooking, make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the minced garlic, orange juice, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and rice wine vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Place the rice in a serving bowl and add the vinaigrette and remaining ingredients. Gently stir to combine and adjust seasonings. Salad may be refrigerated for up to two days.
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Each and every spring when I plant my vegetable garden, I place red cabbages at the corners of my "formal" garden beds.
My garden will NEVER rival the Château et Jardins de Villandry in France, but I am rewarded by the end of the summer with more red cabbage than I know what to do with.
So, what do I do with the red cabbages that aren't given away to friends? This season, I've been making Apple-Cabbage Slaw with Crystallized Ginger. It's easy, fresh, and delicious. And I always add more julienned apples than the original recipe calls for. Here's my version...
• Apple-Cabbage Slaw with Crystallized Ginger
adapted from Whole Living | 2010
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 5 cups finely shredded red cabbage
• 2 large apples (I used Braeburn) peeled, cored, and julienned
• 1/4 cup finely diced chives
• 2 to 3 knobs crystallized ginger, halved and thinly sliced
1. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt; toss together with the cabbage, apples, and chives. Sprinkles with the crystallized ginger.
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It seems like forever since I've had a quiet, lazy morning in my kitchen -- experimenting and taking photos. But that's what I did today, and the result gave us an incredible Sunday lunch on the patio.
Here it is, already mid-September and this was the first meal I've prepared this summer with figs! I'm always making salads with figs, grilling them, making tarts or pizzas with them. I wanted to use the figs differently today. I have to say, I think these individual Savory Fig Custards with Prosciutto Spirals were extraordinary!
Figs and prosciutto... what could be better?
+ Savory Fig Custards with Prosciutto Spirals
• 8 slices Prosciutto di Parma
• 8 fresh Black Mission Figs
• 3 large eggs
• 3/4 cup Half & Half (light cream)
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon coarse cracked pepper
• 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
• 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
• 2 tablespoons balsamic reduction (also called balsamic glaze)
• 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• salt & pepper, to taste
• 4 ounces arugula
PREHEAT OVEN to 375˚F
1. Take the slices of Prosciutto di Parma and wrap each piece around a wooden or metal skewer, partially over-lapping the Prosciutto while you wrap. It should look like a long cigarette. Place the skewers on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
2. While the Prosciutto is in the oven, rub four 3/4 cup ramekins with olive oil. Line the base of the ramekins with a disk of waxed paper.
3. Quarter the figs and using two figs per ramekin, line the bottom of the ramekins with the quartered figs. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, Half & Half, salt, cracked pepper, Parmigiano Reggiano, and fresh thyme. Pour and divide the custard evenly over the figs. Place the ramekins in a baking pan and make a bain-marie (water bath) by pouring hot water in the pan to reach about 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. While the custards are cooling, make a vinaigrette by whisking together the balsamic vinegar reduction and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Take about 4 ounces of arugula and toss with the balsamic vinaigrette.
6. Divide arugula between four plates. Using a sharp knife, run the blade around the edge of the custards and unmold. Place custard on top of the arugula and top with two Prosciutto Spirals.
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There are recipes I have had in my files for years. I am always tearing out, writing down, or copying somehow, anything that sounds good to me. This was one of those recipes. But whenever I ran across it, while rifling through my files, the ingredients were out-of-season. The stars were aligned this week when I pulled the recipe and had both August garden tomatoes and watermelon in my kitchen.
I am crazy for this salad! I served it with grilled chicken paillards, a potato salad with grainy mustard and sopressata, and green beans. If you'll be having a barbecue over the upcoming holiday weekend, MAKE THIS! I'll be doing a little traveling the next two weeks; getting away to celebrate our (40th!) wedding anniversary (yes, I was very young when I got married). And, I will also be visiting my family in Ohio. It's been quite a while since I've spent time with Antique-of-the-Week Susan, and I have yet to see the historical property, The Willow Tree, that my nephew has been renovating. Postings will most likely be few and far between the first half of September, but I will have my camera along, and plan to photograph The Willow Tree inside and out. A wedding is scheduled there during our visit, so I might also get a few photos of the event preparations. It will be a nice break from all of the projects and deadlines I've created for myself prior to my daughter's November wedding. Have a great weekend!
Tomato & Watermelon Savory Salad
recipe by Bill Smith | SAVEUR Magazine • September 2008
• 1/4 cup champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
• 3 teaspoons sugar
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
• a 4 pound seedless watermelon
• 1 1/2 pounds beefsteak tomatoes (I used Purple Cherokee and an heirloom cherry tomato)
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and cayenne. Quarter and thinly slice half of a small red onion. Toss it with the vinegar mixture and set aside to rest for about 30 minutes; this will help to soften the onion. Cut the flesh of the watermelon into 1-inch cubes and transfer to a large bowl. Core the tomatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes; add tomatoes to the watermelon. Right before you plan to serve the salad, pour the vinegar mixture over the watermelon and tomatoes, along with the olive oil. Season with addition kosher salt, if needed, and freshly ground black pepper.
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This is it. My favorite salad. And it's my version of the French Salade aux lardons, croûtons et oeuf poché. First of all, I am crazy about eggs; a poached egg or fried egg in particular, and probably eat more per day than is recommended. Lately, I've been starting my days with black beans (I cook a pot of beans that are combined with onion, jalapeños, and roasted red bell peppers) and top a bowlful of the beans with a fried egg. My last meal of the day has recently been this salad of Greens with a Poached Egg, Sourdough Croutons, and a Sherry-Bacon Vinaigrette, and I will most likely eat this salad every day -- I'm a little weird like that -- until all of the vinaigrette stored in a glass jar in my refrigerator is gone. And, what makes this so easy is, there's no frying of bacon each time I compose this salad. The bacon is cooked and added to the sherry vinaigrette -- toss mixed bitter greens with the vinaigrette, arrange on plates, scatter large cubes of sourdough that have been toasted in extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt, then top with one (or two, in my case) poached eggs... Perfect!
Recipe by Charlie Trotter
• 4 oz. bacon, julienned (I use Nueske's)
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar
• 1 small shallot, finely diced
• Salt & freshly-ground black pepper
Cook the bacon until crispy. Place bacon and 1/4 cup of the rendered bacon fat in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil, vinegar and shallot and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To assemble salad:
Toss bitter greens with vinaigrette. Top each serving with one to two poached eggs. Garnish with croutons. Season poached eggs to taste.
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Last year I planted cucumbers in my vegetable garden for the first time. I put in three plants which produced more cucumbers than were humanly possible to eat. I thought I was playing it safe by planting two this past spring. Next year -- I'll only be putting one in my garden.
I wonder if my neighbors know that it's me dropping the bags of cucumbers at their door, knocking, and running away as fast as I can!
So now I'm always on the lookout for something... anything delicious to make with a cucumber. My neighbor pulled this Cucumber, Tomato, and Pineapple Salad with Asian Dressing out of her refrigerator the other night when I stopped by and gave me a sample. I loved it! Cool, refreshing, healthy, and a fantastic way to not only use up cucumbers, but also tomatoes, jalapeños, and mint from my garden. I see this as a great side dish to grilled meats and fish. Tonight I served this salad alongside baked Salmon Croquettes; a family favorite.
Cucumber, Tomato, and Pineapple Salad with Asian Dressing
adapted from a recipe by Alexis Touchet
• 1 large garlic clove
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
• 1 jalapeño chile, minced
• 1/4 teaspoon Asian Fish Sauce
• 1 small cucumber, halved, seeds removed, then thinly sliced crosswise
• 2 cups fresh or canned pineapple, 1/2-inch dice
• 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
• 1/4 cup coarsely chopped mint
• 2 medium tomatoes (1 pound total), cut into chunks
1. Mince the garlic, combine with the salt and using the blade of a knife on a flat surface, mash into a paste. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the lime juice and the sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the oil, jalapeño, fish sauce, and the reserved garlic paste.
3. Gently stir in the remaining ingredients. Chill until ready to serve.
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My absolute favorite way to eat cantaloupe? This way... Cantaloupe with Black Pepper, Vinegar & Olive Oil. There's also Sopressata Salami and Chives in this dish. I've been making this recipe for years, but only in the summer when I've got locally grown cantaloupe to work with. Wouldn't even think of making this until cantaloupe are sun-sweet and juicy.
Easy, Healthy, and Delicious...
• 1 perfectly ripe cantaloupe
• freshly ground black pepper
• kosher salt
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
• 3 slices Sopressata Salami, finely sliced (optional, but not for me!)
• fresh chives, finely minced
Scoop as many melon balls as possible from the cantaloupe and place in a medium-size bowl (or cube the melon). Sprinkle cantaloupe with salt to taste and lots of freshly ground pepper. Drizzle melon with the olive oil and stir gently. Add the vinegar and stir again. Toss melon with Sopressata Salami and fresh chives.
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