Fennel Apple Salad

Fennel Apple Salad

Fennel Apple Salad

So easy so yummy.

Fennel Apple Salad

1 large bulb of fennel

1 granny smith apple

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

1. Slice the fennel and the apple very thin.

2. Whisk thyme, olive oil and vinegar together. Toss with fennel and apple.

3. Garnish with Parmesan cheese using a vegetable peeler. Salt and pepper to taste.

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Roasted Mixed Veggies with Sage

Ready to roast

Ready to roast

Roasted veggies are so good and easy. The roasting brings out the sugars and I love the char. Cut the vegetables to about the same size so they cook at the same rate. I came across cabbage sprouts at the Farmer’s Market but Brussels sprouts would be perfect too. Cabbage sprouts are the small heads that grow from where the large head of cabbage was cut. The amounts are very flexible here as are the choice of veggies themselves. Use your imagination and have fun.

Ready to serve

Ready to serve

 

Roasted Mixed Veggies with Sage

1 Rutabaga chopped

1 small butternut squash peeled, seeded and chopped

1-2 carrots sliced

1-2 cabbage sprouts quartered or 10-12 Brussels sprouts halved

1-2 parsnips chopped

1 onion chopped

2 Tablespoons Olive oil

Zest from 1 lemon

6-8 fresh sage leaves minced

1 small bunch of thyme leaves only

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1.Toss veggies with the olive oil. Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet. SAlt and pepper generously.

2. Roast for 30-35 minutes.

3. Combine lemon zest, sage and thyme with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over cooked vegetables. Serve.

Classic Potato Salad

Potato Salad

Potato Salad

Classic potato salad has to have tart tangy mustard and rich creamy hard boiled eggs. The dressing is based on mayonnaise but I update it with yogurt. One of the secrets is marinating the cooked still warm potatoes in a little apple cider vinegar and lots of pepper. I hope you like this as much as I do!

Classic Potato Salad

4 large eggs

6 medium Yukon gold potatoes

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 medium onion chopped

3 stalks celery chopped

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup pain yogurt

1/4 cup grainy mustard

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

chopped dill and paprika for garnish

1. Hard boil eggs. Cover eggs with cold water in a saucepan. Bring to boil. Cover and remove from heat. Let sit 15 minutes, drain and put into ice water. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Cover potatoes with well salted water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and partially cover for 20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through. Drain.

3. I n a large bowl roughly chop hot potatoes, add apple cider vinegar and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Cover and let come to room temperature.

4. To the potatoes add onions, celery and peeled, chopped hard boiled eggs.

5. In a separate bowl combine mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard and hot sauce. Stir dressing into potato mixture.

6. Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle with dill and paprika.

Ultimate Succotash

Ultimate  Succotash

Ultimate Succotash

Succotash is a favorite of my husband’s. Plain old corn and lima beans is good enough but why not make it awesome? Summer squash is a classic addition from the triad of the Native Americans. Onions and red pepper sautéed in bacon drippings adds flavor. Finishing the whole thing off with cream and parmesan makes it the ultimate!  Don’t eat meat? No problem skip the bacon and use olive oil or a combination of butter and olive oil. This succotash  is so rich and flavorful I serve very small portions of meat or chicken with it. I used thawed, frozen baby lima beans here but when fresh are in season, by all means, use them. Also in the off season frozen corn will work.

Ultimate Succotash

2 slices applewood bacon cut in 1/2 inch pieces

1 small onion diced

1/2 red pepper diced

1 small to medium summer squash quartered lengthwise and sliced

1 1/2 cup thawed frozen baby lima beans

Kernels from 2 ears of corn

Sprig of thyme

3/4 cup heavy cream

Parmesan to grate

1. Sauté bacon until crisped to your liking. Remove to a paper towel covered plate reserving the drippings in the pan.

2. In the bacon drippings sauté the onion and red pepper till limp. If needed add some olive oil.

3. Add squash and thyme.  Cook about 8 minutes stirring occasionally.

4. Add beans and corn. Heat through.

5. Add cream and cooked bacon and let reduce to a nice sauce consistency.

6. Transfer to a serving bowl and grate some Parmesan over the succotash.

 

Gazpacho

Gazpacho

Gazpacho

The abundant summer harvest calls for gazpacho. This cold summer soup uses tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions and herbs and nothing beats it on a hot summer evening. I never make it quite the same and vary the ingredients depending on what is available and what I will be serving it with. Sometimes we have it before the main dish and sometimes we have as the main dish with just cheese and bread.  Here are some basic guidelines to play with. You will want everything diced small so every spoonful has several flavors.

Tomatoes- Tomatoes are the base of the soup. They should be the freshest and most flavorful you can find. I like to use heirlooms I find at the farmers’ market since I don’t have a garden myself. I use 2-3 different varieties to get the richest flavor. The tomatoes should be cut into small pieces. If I am making it for company I will peel and seed the tomatoes and dice them, but the family does not always get that special touch.

Vegetable juice- I prefer vegetable juice thinned with water for my “broth” I have played with using chicken or vegetable broth but wasn’t fond of it. I find tomato juice to be too thick. Vegetable juice and water in a 2 to 1 combination seems perfect to me.

Peppers- Now we are having fun! Any combination of hot and sweet peppers that you think will be good will work. I use whatever catches my eye for the sweet ones. 2-3 depending on size. Dice them small. The hot ones can get tricky. You want some spice but not too much. Jalapeños or serranos are good bets, use 1 or 2, minced. But experiment. It is better to need to add hot sauce at the table that to have it too spicy.

Cucumber- 1 whole cucumber diced is usually good. I leave the skin on and seeds in. The cucumber cools everything down and the gazpacho is not complete without it.

Onions- Red onions or green onions are my first choices. Yellow onions can be too strong so go easy with them if they are all you have. Sweets like Vidalias are too sweet and break down quickly. Cut the onions into a nice dice.

Other veggies- Sometimes I will add celery. Corn can be a nice addition right off the cob raw. I don’t like carrots as they are too crunchy.

Additions- 1-2 cloves of garlic grated are a must. Juice from a lemon or lime adds some needed acid. A tablespoon of vinegar would work as well.  A nice drizzle of olive oil is welcome to add a pleasant mouth feel. The herbs are where you can really have fun. The options include fresh basil, cilantro, parsley, thyme, oregano,chives and tarragon. Be careful if you choose to use more that one herb to balance the flavors. I decide what herb to use to compliment what I will be serving with the gazpacho.

Some people add croutons, sour cream or crème fraiche as a garnish. This does not appeal to me but you may want to try it.

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Dill Pickles

Dill Pickles

Fun and easy! These are crunchy and flavorful. The proportions and seasonings are flexible. The one important piece of advice is to use a plain salt. Most recipes will call for canning salt but any salt without additives will work. Particularly avoid salts with anti-caking additives. These additives can compromise the quality of the pickle. I used a plain sea salt. Once the pickles cure for 48 hours or so they will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 months. But they will get eaten first.

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Special equipment : 2 jars (I used empty pickle jars)

3 cups water

1 cup distilled white vinegar

1 Tablespoon additive free salt

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon whole brown mustard seed

1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seed

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon white peppercorns

2 bay leaves

2 whole cloves

1. Bring all of the above ingredients to a boil for 2-3 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

Small cucumbers to fill two pickle jars, sliced or cut into spears

6 cloves of peeled garlic

2 smallish bunches of fresh dill

1. Put 1 bunch of dill and 3 garlic coves in each jar. Pack with cucumbers.

2. Pour  vinegar mixture in each jar to cover. There may be some leftover. Try to divide the spices between the jars.

3. Let cure 48 hours in the refrigerator. As long as they are refrigerated the pickles will keep for 2-3 months.

Asian Miso Cole Slaw

Asian cole slaw

Asian cole slaw

Sometimes you are ready for a change of pace. Time to shake things up a little. This cole slaw may be the answer. The Asian inspired salad is sweet, salty and full of umami. The recipe calls for white miso, I find that at any Asian grocery store in the refrigerated section.  This comes together quickly. I like to let it sit for a couple of hours in the fridge for the flavors to develop.

For a quick dinner rub 1 Tablespoon each butter and sriracha blended under the skin of a chicken breast. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

 

Asian Miso Cole Slaw

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Slaw

1/4 head of cabbage,shredded

1 1/2 cup bean sprouts

1/2 red pepper thinly sliced

4 scallions sliced

1. Combine ingredients in a large bowl

Dressing

1/3 cup white miso

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 Tablespoon grated ginger

1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/4 cup peanut oil

1. Whisk dressing ingredients together. You may need to add 1 Tablespoon water for proper consistency.

2. Toss slaw and dressing together. Refrigerate for several hours for flavores to blend.