Friday, August 22, 2014

Brussels Sprout Salad

We bought some brussels sprouts at the market the other day and I was looking around for a different way to use them. I came across this recipe for a salad made just with the brussels sprout leaves. I was intrigued and decided to give it a go. The good news is that this is a very tasty salad. The bad news is that it takes quite a while pulling all those leaves off the darn sprouts. So, my guess is the person who developed this recipe is RETIRED! Seriously, no working person would ever have come up with this. You cut the ends off the sprouts and then pull off the larger intact leaves. You are left with the center of the sprout which you can save to use for something later. I guess I'll just steam or roast them? The pleasant surprise is the brussels sprout leaves make a lovely change from the greens we normally eat.

3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 T white wine vinegar
juice of one lemon--also a bit of lemon zest
salt and pepper
t of dark mustard
1 clove garlic minced

Whisk all together and refrigerate for about an hour. This will make more dressing than you will need.

Leaves from a large bunch of brussels sprouts
large handful of fresh blueberries
large handful of dried cherries
large handful of almonds
1/4 shaved Parmesan

Toss leaves with 1/2 cup dressing, add the rest of the ingredients and toss again. Makes two big salads or four small.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Good Lunch

Sometimes it seems as though there's nothing in the house for lunch but then I remember there's Fried Rice! I had a very little bit of cooked rice in the fridge. I always have carrots, onions and eggs as well as soy sauce. I also just happened to have two small slices of Canadian bacon so we were in business.

1 small carrot, diced very small
1/4 onion, diced small
Canadian bacon, diced small
some butter
some cooked rice--maybe 3/4 cup?
1 large egg, beaten
soy sauce

In medium non-stick skillet I melted some butter and sautéed the carrot, onion and bacon for five minutes, then added the cooked rice. Sloshed on some soy sauce and stirred that all around. Then I pushed that mixture to one side and poured in the egg and scrambled it up. When the egg was pretty much cooked, I broke it up and stirred it into the rice. Transferred all that to a bowl and had a nice lunch :-)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Potatoes and Beans with Radish Leaf Pesto

We bought the most beautiful bunch of red globe radishes at the market the other day and the attached greens were just too beautiful (and healthful) to pitch. I made a pesto with those greens and then added that to fresh green beans and small red potatoes. YUM!

1 bunch washed radish leaves, dried and trimmed of stems
1 handful almonds
2 garlic cloves
some salt and pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup olive oil

Whirl this up in a processor--adding more oil if too thick.

Bunch of fresh green beans, trimmed
container of small red potatoes, cut in half

Bring large pot of salted water to boil, add the potatoes and cook for ten minutes and then add the green beans for another ten. Drain and toss with pesto.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mama!

Today my mother would have been 97! Sadly, she has been gone for the past 17 years and I miss her presence, her laugh, and her sense of humor. Today also happens to be my brother Beale's birthday--what a present she got that day 71 years ago! I am feeling nostalgic for foods that defined us as a family and one favorite was a dish commonly called "Wilted Lettuce" which at first blush may not sound that appetizing. However, upon closer scrutiny, one sees that it's leaf lettuce that is doused with hot bacon dressing so really, how could that be bad? When my mother would make this salad back in the day it rarely even made it to the table as my brothers and I would literally inhale it as soon as she poured that hot dressing on the green leaves.  One bite of this dish takes me back, way back to the house on Merrick Avenue and a time when our greatest dilemma was what drive in movie we'd get to see that night. I miss my mom and I miss my big bro Jeff. Food is comfort and love--RIP to two of my favorite people.

a bunch of leaf lettuce washed and dried (can't be damp)
5 pieces of bacon
4 T apple cider vinegar
1 T sugar
some pepper
a bunch of green onions, sliced
2 hard cooked eggs, diced up (I added this cause I thought it would be a good addition and it was)

Cook up the bacon, drain on paper towel, and crumble. To the bacon grease, add the vinegar, sugar and some pepper. Stir well and cook just a bit.  Pour over the greens, toss, and add the onion and bacon. Serve right away adding the optional egg on top.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Tuna Caprese Salad

This is a keeper combo. We love caprese salad this time of year because the tomatoes are luscious. We also love quick cooked rare tuna so really this salad is a win/win in our book. I also am able to buy these really cute marinated fresh mozzarella balls at Arbor Farms Market and I have fresh basil growing out back. Have I mentioned that I love summer? :-) Oh, and I only had one pan to wash-life is good!

This is quite simple to make:

Sauté a good sized tuna steak in a cast iron skillet 3 min on first side and maybe 2 on the other.
Slice some nice tomatoes, add some fresh mozzarella, lots of chopped fresh basil, drizzle on some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and fresh black pepper. Add a baguette and a glass of red wine and head out to the deck for dinner!