Posts tagged ‘vegetarian’

July 3, 2012

Balsamic Pickled Cherries, Prosciutto, Goat Cheese & Watercress Salad

Balsamic Pickled Cherries, Prosciutto, Goat Cheese & Watercress Salad

Fresh cherries are one of my favorite fruits, and I always seem to get carried away and bring home way too many for us to possibly eat. A great way to preserve these little beauties are to pickle them. They are unbelievable in this salad and will also go great on a cheese platter or… in a grilled cheese sandwich!

I’d like to take a moment to thank Jo Packman and the wonderful team at Where Women Cook Magazine for the generous 12 page feature this month. It’s out on the stands now, and features many more amazing women, make sure to grab a copy!

I’m a huge fan of What Katie Ate blog, and was thrilled and quite flattered (to say the least) that she featured one of my photos from this post,  in her “All American Post 2012” (below) Thanks Katie!

June 12, 2012

Baby Heirloom Tomatoes with Sorrel, Avocado & Yogurt Puree, Marinated Fennel, Brazil Nuts

Summer is in the air, and I’m California dreaming……

It’s just about time to shutter up the house, pack our bags, our little dog, and head to the West coast. How blessed are we, to be able to spend the summers with our much missed family and friends, and in my opinion, in one of the best places on the planet – Santa Cruz, CA! Ok, I may be a little bias, considering this is my hometown and all. So, dust off those winter lists girls (you know who you are), we have lots of exciting things to see, eat, smell, discover ~ and most importantly, enjoy our time spent together.

I’d like you to meet Bailey Sterling…

Baby Heirloom Tomatoes with Sorrel, Avocado & Yogurt Puree, Marinated Fennel, Brazil Nut Powder

Now, about this amazing salad.
I know, I know… it’s not quite summer, but I couldn’t resist these beautiful baby heirlooms. By layering the salad, not tossing it with the dressings, you get to enjoy all of the components; each bite is slightly different from the last. The subtle sorrel – avocado puree pools the bottom of the platter, allowing you to coat each tomato as you go. I made the marinated fennel slightly acidic so it wakes up the entire dish as it runs through the tomatoes. The sweetness of the brazil nut powder ties everything together.

June 5, 2012

Smoked Corn, Coconut and Shrimp Soup ~ Crispy Chard and Garlic Chip Salad with Sesame – Lime Vinaigrette

Smoked Corn, Coconut and Shrimp Soup – Crispy Chard and Garlic Chip Salad with Sesame – Lime Vinaigrette



Typically, I avoid eating soup this time of year, especially since it’s been so warm here in South Florida. I was in the mood for something comforting, yet smokey and summery. It’s just what I wanted, the soup is light and silky with a touch of smoke; a celebration to the warmer months ahead of us. The shrimp is gently cooked in the soup just before serving, we enjoyed it warm, not piping hot. In my opinion, the fish sauce is the star of any dish. Unless you are a Vegan, don’t omit it, it really adds a special layer. I use a lot of it, as you can probably tell by the empty bottle above, I had just enough for this recipe.

The baby chard was beautiful at the market, the leafs were so tender they required little, if any, cooking at all. The obvious choice for me would have been to make it into a salad, but I really wanted something crunchy to go with the soup, so why not make a crispy chard salad? It was light, crisp and really flavorful with the lime juice, soy and garlic oil. Don’t be shy with the garlic chips either; because the garlic was blanched in milk before frying, the flavor is sweet and mild. Be careful not to over cook the garlic, they will become bitter. I pull the chips out of the oil while they are slightly undercooked, by the time you get them on the paper towels they will be perfect. Also, immediately scatter them into one layer on the paper towels, if they are touching each other the oil won’t be able to drain properly and they will become soggy. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt while warm.

I have to say, this is officially my new favorite salad. You can use any variety of chard or kale for this recipe, the cooking time may vary slightly.

May 15, 2012

Almond – Brazil Nut Tarts with Fig, Date & Goat Cheese Pâté, Golden Beets, Red Leaf Watercress

Almond – Brazil Nut Tarts with Fig, Date & Goat Cheese Pâté, Golden Beets, Red Leaf Watercress

My inspiration for these tarts derived from a salad we eat often. I thought it would be fun to figure out how to restructure it into a tart. For the almond & brazil nut tart shells, I chose to use unsalted butter but you can use grape seed oil or a nut oil if you’d like. I used almonds and brazil nuts, which is what I had on hand, use your favorites, mix and match. This isn’t your typical tart shell as there’s no flour or eggs,  and that makes it’s pretty delicate. It’s simple to work with though, just grind up the nuts and toss in the garlic, salt and butter and press it into the pans. After they bake, let them sit on the cooling rack for about 15 minutes then refrigerate for another 15 minutes, this will firm them up a little. I filled them while they were still in the tart tins, this way they won’t break apart before you get them on the plates. If you make the fig, date & goat cheese pâté ahead of time and refrigerate it, bring it to room temperature and give it a good stir before spreading it into the shells. I used golden beets here, but any other kind will work great. I found this amazingly beautiful red leaf watercress at the market, but young watercress, arugula or even radish sprouts would be a few of my other choices.

January 31, 2012

Salad Series {Post #8} Winter Panzanella AKA Italian bread salad

Pottery handmade by Catalina Aguirre Hoffman

Winter Panzanella – well, my interpretation anyway…

French and sprouted green lentils, roasted butternut squash, dandelion greens, whole wheat raisin croutons with a lemon-thyme vinaigrette.
One of my favorite salads is a summer panzanella, super ripe tomatoes, basil, maybe a little mozzarella and day old bread to mop up all the tomato nectar – it doesn’t get better.  I guess the only traditional ingredients that overlap between the summer and my “winter” panzanella are the bread and onions. This is a great example taking a classic recipe and making it through the seasons, with what’s in season. Instead of the tomatoes and basil I used dandelion greens and squash. I used a whole wheat raisin loaf I didn’t get to finish before it staled. Because this is such a healthy salad I felt it justified to saute the croutons in a pan with a little butter and olive oil – my favorite way to enjoy croutons. Although I don’t think traditionally the bread is toasted, I like the extra crunch and it keeps the bread from getting too soggy (which is one of my least favorite things, ewww). This is also a very hearty salad, it’ll fill your belly and warm your soul in the cool of winter. Not that we see very cool weather here in South Florida, I guess that’s why I’m making salads, not stews!  I used Feta, which is what I had on hand, but I would love this salad with goat cheese. Use whatever leftover bread you have, though I really liked the sweetness the raisins added. If you don’t use raisin bread, I’d toss in a few raisins or dried fruit of some kind, soaked in warm water for a few minutes to soften them. Dandelion greens aren’t for everyone, especially when their more mature = pretty bitter, but they sure are good for you! The slight bitterness plays really well with the other ingredients in this salad. If they’re too earthy for you, arugula, spinach or frisse would be a great substitute. Just about any squash or root vegetable will work in this recipe – just don’t over cook them, you want them to have a slight bite and hold their shape. Using a few different types lentils made this salad extra interesting. This is the first time I’ve used sprouted lentils – if you can get your hands on some,  their wonderful.

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