Archive | June, 2011

Quinoa and Zucchini Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

30 Jun

This quinoa salad was light, fresh, healthy, and extremely yummy.  Though it could easily be served warm or room temperature, I thought it was really great cold.  The greens we served this over were ever-so-slightly bitter, which worked really well with the slight nuttiness of the quinoa and bite of the red wine vinegar.  The brine-y bite of the capers really tied everything together and knocked this salad out of the park.  This was even better today for lunch than it was last night thanks to the fact that all of the flavors had the evening all alone in the refrigerator to get acquainted.

On another note, Zak and I are going out of town for the weekend of the Fourth.  I will not be posting our usual CSA post on Saturday; rather, I will wait until we return to collect (the remnants of) it from whichever set of parents is gracious enough to go pick it up when we return on Sunday evening.  I will hopefully be back on schedule posting recipes by Monday evening.

Quinoa and Zucchini Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

1 cup organic quinoa

2 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock

1/3 cup zucchini, diced

1/3 cup tomato, diced

1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped

2 tbs. olive oil

1 tbs. red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp. ground mustard

1 tsp. capers

5 cups fresh lettuce, chopped

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Bring homemade chicken stock to a simmer over medium heat.  Add quinoa and cook, covered, 12-15 minutes until grains are tender and cooked through and liquid has been absorbed.

Meanwhile, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, ground mustard, and kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Combine all ingredients except lettuce.  Transfer to refrigerator and let cool to desired temperature.  Serve atop chopped lettuce garnished with capers.

Garlic Scape Pesto Pasta

29 Jun

It’s official – garlic scape pesto is delicious.  It has a delicious garlic and onion aroma and flavor without the bitter punch of raw garlic.  Tossed simply with some olive oil sautéed zucchini, this was a healthy and delicious meal.  I really loved how the natural sweetness of the zucchini and unique, aromatic flavor of the garlic scapes shone through in this dish.

This pesto is also great on bread as a snack or spread on a grilled cheese, so the recipe makes more than you will need for two servings of pasta.  For lunch yesterday, I smeared a tablespoon or so on two slices of bread and popped them in the toaster oven with a few thin slices of smoked gouda cheese until the cheese was just beginning to brown and melt, added some lettuce, and formed a sandwhich.  It was absolutely delicious.

Garlic Scape Pesto Pasta


2 servings pasta of choice, cooked according to package instructions

1 cup zucchini, diced

1 tbs. olive oil

Reserved ends garlic scapes (see below)

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a medium sauté pan.  Add zucchini and reserved ends of garlic scapes from below and season with salt and pepper.  Sauté over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutse until zucchini and scapes are very tender.

Add cooked pasta and 3-4 tbs. of pesto from below.  Toss and stir to combine and coat.

Garlic Scape Pesto:

3/4 cups garlic scapes, roughly chopped, some curly ends (with bulb) reserved

1/2 cup lettuce, roughly chopped

1/4 cup walnuts

1/4 cup fontina cheese, shredded

1/4 cup olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Add garlic scapes, lettuce, and walnuts to a food processor.  Pulse 15-20 times until well combined.  Add cheese and pulse another 10-15 times until only small chunks remain.  Season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

With food processor running, slowly add olive oil until a mostly smooth paste is formed.  If necessary, add more olive oil or scrape down the sides of your machine.

Toss 3-4 tbs. with pasta and zucchini from above.

Grilled Dill Sockeye Salmon and Vegetables

28 Jun

This dish is the epitome of simple, healthy, and delicious.  The fresh vegetables from our CSA and excellent quality salmon were elevated with a simple marinade of olive oil, garlic, red wine vinegar, and dill.  The salmon was perfectly cooked – just barely warm in the center and flaky and delicious on the outside.  The dill flavor was subtle but highlighted the freshness of the fish.  The vegetables were tender and mouth-wateringly flavorful, with a hint of acid from the red wine vinegar and a natural sweetness.  We both immensely enjoyed this due to the variety of flavor and texture.

Grilled Dill Sockeye Salmon and Vegetables

Dill Marinated Sockeye Salmon:

1 lb. Copper River sockeye salmon steaks

3 tbs. olive oil

2 tbs. red wine vinegar

2-3 tbs. fresh dill, finely chopped

1 large clove garlic, minced

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 lemon, quartered, for garnish

Non-stick cooking spray

Mix together marinade ingredients.  Add fish and let marinate 2-4 hours.

Preheat grill.  Spray grill grate with non-stick cooking spray.

Once vegetables are nearly cooked through (see below), add sockeye salmon to the grill.  Cook 6-7 minutes per side until cooked to desired consistency and temperature.  Serve with grilled vegetables and a lemon wedge.

Grilled Vegetables:

3 garlic scapes, cut into 2-3″ long segments

3 green onions

1/2 zucchini, cut into 3/16″ segements

3-4 tbs. olive oil

1-2 tbs. red wine vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat grill.

Mix together olive oil, red wine vinegar, kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.  Toss all vegetables in oil and vinegar combination to coat.  Reserve oil and vinegar combination.

Lay out a flat square of tinfoil on your grill.  Add garlic scapes.  Cook, turning and brushing with oil and vinegar mixture frequently, about 15-20 minutes, until tender and cooked through.

Meanwhile, place green onions on a flat square of tinfoil.  Add a tbs. or so of oil and vinegar mixture and form a pouch.  Place on the grill and cook 15-20 minutes, turning a few times, until tender and cooked through.

Place zucchini rounds directly on the grill, careful not to allow them to fall through the grate.  Cook about 10-15 minutes, turning once, until lightly browned and tender.  If necessary, place on top of the onion packet to keep warm and prevent overcooking.¹

Serve directly off the grill.

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Cannellini and Rosemary Stew

27 Jun

It finally, finally cooled off for a couple of days, so I was craving something warm and comforting.  This cannellini bean based stew and some fresh homemade bread was the perfect solution.

It is amazing how flavorful and delicious this stew is considering the limited number of ingredients and fairly short cooking time.  The earthy flavor of the rosemary and creamy flavor of the cannellini beans combines into something that is greater than the sum of its parts.  I really wish I had doubled the recipe, because it was addictive.  I simply could not get enough of this stew.

Cannellini and Rosemary Stew

1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained with about 1/2 cup liquid reserved

1 tbs. olive oil

1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)

2 cloves garlic, chopped

3 cups homemade chicken stock

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Small splash red wine vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Heat olive oil in a medium, heavy-bottom stock pot over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until translucent.  Add garlic, rosemary, and splash of red wine vinegar.

Add chicken stock and cannellini beans and simmer 15-20 minutes.  Pick out rosemary stems.  Transfer to food processor and pulse 5-10 times until mostly smooth.

Serve with bread.

Homemade Swiss Egg Bread and Strawberry Jam

26 Jun

This jam is absolutely delicious.  The strawberry flavor is unlike anything you’ve ever tasted in a store bought jam, I can guarantee you.  It also has a hint of acid from the lemon juice and zest and a lovely amount of sweetness.  Served with a little bit of butter on some homemade bread, this made a wonderful snack or light breakfast.

The bread was also incredibly good.  It was light, fluffy, and incredibly flavorful.  It worked equally well with both sweet and savory applications and the loaf disappeared much quicker than average for around here.

I will say that I did not can this jam.  I scaled the original recipe down quite a bit and knew we would make our way through it in about a week, so it would be fine to keep in the refrigerator, which we did.  If you are interested in canning, there are about a bizillion tutorials out there on the internet to help you out.  I’ve found this one to be particularly helpful.

Homemade Swiss Egg Bread and Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam:

Adapted from Ina Garten

1 cup white sugar

1 medium lemon, zested and juiced

2 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and halved

Combine sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small saucepan.  Cook over very low heat, whisking frequently, for ten minutes or until sugar is dissolved and well incorporated.  Add the strawberries and continue to cook over very low heat for 20-30 minutes, until strawberries release their juices and the mixture is slowly boiling.  Continue to cook until jam sets on a very cold plate (keep it in the freezer).

Swiss Egg Bread:

1/2 cup 1% milk

1/3 cup water

1 large egg

2 tbs. unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3 cups bread flour

1 tbs. sugar

1 tbs. gluten

1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. yeast

Place all ingredients in bread machine.  Let knead one cycle.  Remove from bread machine and transfer to lightly oiled bread pan.  Let rise about an hour.

Meanwhile, preheat oven 350º.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Let cool 15-20 minutes before slicing.

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