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It’s been so long! But stews have been calling me. And this is the perfect transitional stew. Fresh, bright ingredients that still feel right on a warm summer night, but warm and filling enough as the weather starts to turn. Plus, anything with fresh peas and ricotta is bound to be amazing.

fregola with green peas mint and ricotta

Fregola with Green Peas, Mint and Ricotta
via bon appetit

1 1/4 cups fregola (can substitue pearl couscous, if you’re having trouble!)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
2 ounces bacon (about 3 slices), chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt
1 cup shelled fresh peas (from about 1 pound pods) or frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus leaves for serving
4 ounces ricotta

Cook fregola in a large pot of boiling salted water until very al dente, 6-8 minutes. Drain pasta (do not rinse), reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium and cook bacon, stirring often, until bacon is brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp and onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add wine, bring to a simmer, and cook until skillet is almost dry, about 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Add fregola and cook, stirring often, until pasta is just al dente and broth is thickened, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add peas and chopped mint and cook, stirring, until peas are warmed through, about 2 minutes. Add pasta cooking liquid as needed to adjust consistency. Serve topped with ricotta, mint, and cracked pepper and drizzled with oil.

 

This summer is too hot for cooking. But a quick chop of veggies roasted for a few minutes in the oven, seasoned just right? Perfectly easy and delicious on a hot night.

roasted chickpea ratatouille _ raudette

Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille
via love and lemons

1 small eggplant (about 1.5 cups, cut into 1-inch cubes)
3 roma tomatoes, cut into 1 inch wedges
2 cups chopped zucchini/yellow squash
1 medium yellow onion, sliced into strips
1 15 oz can chickpeas
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon white or red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
a few pinches of red pepper flakes
a few leaves of basil, sliced
(optional): cous cous, cooked millet or crusty bread on the side

Preheat oven to 425. Arrange the eggplant, tomatoes, squash, onions and chickpeas on a baking sheet (it’s ok if it’s a little crowded). Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Toss to coat, then bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
Remove from oven. Drizzle the vinegar over the veggies and toss them with the minced garlic and a few pinches of red pepper flakes. Bake 5-10 minutes longer (or broil 1-2 minutes)… until the veggies are golden brown on the edges but still have somewhat of a bite (you don’t want them completely mushy). Remove from the oven and toss with sliced basil. Taste and adjust seasonings. Drizzle with a little bit more olive oil, if you like. Serve with a grain or protein (pictured with cous cous).

We’ve had quite a few sunny days here in Seattle. And when the sun comes out, I get the urge for grilled food. These burgers had just a bit of bite, and a ton of flavor. I love the contrast of the fresh, crunchy lettuce and cucumbers with the cool, creamy sauce and spiced burgers. A perfectly balanced and rather healthy meal. This is the sort of thing I’ll eat all spring and summer long. A few minutes of prep and a few on the grill, great for a weeknight meal.

Greek Inspired Burgers
Spicy Chicken Burgers with Mint Greek Yogurt
via applemint

1 lb ground chicken
1 red jalapeno, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt to taste
1 Lebanese or English cucumber, sliced with skin on
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
3-4 tbs fresh mint, chopped
Few leaves of fresh crunchy lettuce (I used butter lettuce)

Mix together the ground chicken, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, chili powder and cumin. Form into wide flat patties. Grill or pan fry in a bit of olive oil until cooked through (about 5 minutes per side). Mix together the Greek yogurt, mint and salt to taste. Serve the burgers warm over toasted buns, pita or alone, with the cucumber and lettuce and yogurt sauce.

For the game yesterday (go hawks!!!), I finally made this killer corn dip that’s been sitting on my to-do list since the summer. And it turned out awesome! I can’t even put into words what a perfect mix of flavors and textures this is – and so easy! Definitely my new go-to for parties and football sundays. Particularly in the summer, when the corn will be even sweeter. Yum!

corn and cotija cheese dip

Corn & Cotija Cheese Dip
via minimalist baker

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
3 cups fresh corn, cut off the cob (about 3-4 ears)
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup sour cream (or you could use plain Greek yogurt)
4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup grated cotija cheese + more for topping
1/4 tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat a cast iron or oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and shallot. Stir constantly to prevent burning, cook for 3 minutes, until the shallot begins to turn translucent, add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add corn, 1/4 tsp each sea salt and pepper and stir. Cook for 5 minutes until shallots appear softened and the corn is slightly darker in color. Then remove from heat.
In a large bowl mix together sour cream, cream cheese, cotija. Add corn mixture to the bowl and stir until well combined.
Use the additional tbsp of olive oil to lightly grease the skillet, so the dip doesn’t stick. Spoon dip back into the skillet (I grated a little additional cotija on top here, about 1/4 cup) and bake 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle the green onions on top and serve immediately.
We served it with tortilla chips, but veggies, crackers or bread slices would be great too!

Wow! We really don’t make enough fish. This recipe is amazing, and enough to convince me to stop being so scared of fish dishes and bring a little more into my life. Sometimes I feel like living in the northwest, I get a little burned out on all the salmon around here (crazy! I know!), but this recipe has just enough kick and is such a departure from the usual – it made me fall in love with salmon all over again. Plus, the avocado salsa here could be my new favorite topping. Seriously. This is fantastic, folks. Did I mention this is also paleo and whole30 friendly? I didn’t even realize it until after I’d already scarfed it all down.

grilled spiced salmon with avocado salsa

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa
via the cookie rookie 

2 lbs salmon, cut into 4 pieces
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp black pepper

for the Avocado salsa:
1 avocado, sliced
½ small red onion, sliced
Juice from 2 limes
2 tbs finely chopped cilantro
Salt to taste

Mix the salt, chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion and black pepper together, rub the salmon fillets with olive oil and this seasoning mix. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Pre-heat the grill. Combine the avocado, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a bowl and mix well, chill until ready to use. Grill the salmon to desired doneness (our took about 7-8 minutes). Top with avocado salsa and enjoy!

Last week I made this amazing soup. It was so bright and summery, and perfect on a night that was just a bit crisp. For fresh herbs, I only had parsley and a little bit of basil on hand, but it made for a fantastic pistou (the french version of a pesto), and with just a squeeze of lemon in each bowl, I was in love. And it was still fresh and delicious the next day after a quick zap in the microwave and a mix-in of the pistou and lemon at work. I forgot to take a picture of the masterpiece, but the original one is so gorgeous, I just had to share. After browsing a bit, I think Love and Lemons might be one of my new favorite food blogs. I didn’t even notice most of the recipes were vegetarian or vegan, everything just looks so good! Click through the link below for the full recipe!

soup au pistou

image via love and lemons

Yum! This salad is so simple and so tasty. I love the crunch and the sweetness of fresh peas this time of the year. With delicious salty bacon and the bite of sharp cheddar, I don’t know what there isn’t to love about this. It’s the perfect side for a summer of barbecues and get-togethers. I’m thrilled to have a new favorite to share!

spring pea and bacon salad

Spring Pea & Bacon Salad
via foodie with family

1 pound of bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled or finely chopped
2 pounds fresh peas, blanched and chilled
3/4 cup coarsely grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 small red onion, peeled, and finely chopped
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper (plus more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon paprika

To blanch the peas, drop them in boiling water for 3 minutes, then move to an ice water bath. Once chilled, drain and stir together all of the ingredients. Serve immediately, or (preferably) put in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator, to give the flavors a chance to meld, for an hour but up to three days prior to serving. Give it a gentle stir from top to bottom before serving.

I had a seriously craving for corn chowder this week. And a little extra kick! So I hit the produce stand, grabbed a couple of peppers and got to work. I also substituted cilantro for the traditional parsley, which I loved with the flavor of the peppers. It ended up not too spicy, but just with a bit of bite, so if you’re looking for a real kick, feel free to pile the peppers on!

corn chowder

Four Pepper Corn Chowder
adapted from food52

6 medium ears of corn
6 strips of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small onion, diced
1 medium poblano pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small celery rib, finely chopped
2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, cubed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
2 cups light cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons cilantro, coarsely chopped
3 Tablespoons Corn Meal OR Masa
1/4 cup Water

Add bacon to a pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Cook for a few of minutes until it just starts to brown. Throw in the diced onion, poblano, jalapeño, bell pepper and celery and stir, cooking for 5 to 8 minutes. Add butter and melt. Add the potato and saute with the vegetables for an additional minute. Add the corn. Stir and pour in chicken broth and salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Pour in the cream. Combine cornmeal (or masa) with water. Stir to combine, then pour into the chowder. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over low heat. If chowder needs more thickening, add another tablespoon of cornmeal mixed with water. Cook for another ten minutes. Serve with crusty sourdough bread or even torilla chips!

While I’m a huge mayonnaise fan, I know not everyone is. When I stumbled across this potato salad I first thought, “Yum!” then that this could be quite the crowd pleaser. Not everyone loves classic mayo-filled salads quite as much as I do. This version is so fresh and bright! And the dressing provides just the right amount of tanginess, balancing the creamy mozzarella, and slightly sweet tomatoes. We were a little short on basil leaves, so I threw in a bit of fresh parsley and oregano too. Just about any fresh herb combination would be great here.

Tomato and Mozzarella Potato Salad with Lemon Buttermilk Dressing

Tomato & Mozzarella Potato Salad with Lemon-Buttermilk Dressing
via the kitchn

3 pounds petite red or Yellow Yukon potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice, from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon honey, warmed
8 ounces tiny mozzarella balls
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
2 ounces basil, roughly chopped

Heat a large pot of water to boiling and salt it generously with at least 1 tablespoon salt. When the water is boiling, add the potatoes and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are very tender but not yet falling apart. Drain cooked potatoes and return them to the pot.
While the potatoes are cooking, whisk together the buttermilk, olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour this dressing over the warm potatoes and toss to coat. Toss with the mozzarella balls, halved cherry tomatoes, and basil. Season generously with salt and fresh pepper (the salad will need more salt than you expect). Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve at room temperature.

When I see pesto listed in the ingredients list, I know it’s going to be an immediate dinner consideration. I love pesto – and parsley pesto? Amazing! I think parsley is one of the most underrated herbs. I love to put it in just about everything. I had a pulled pork sandwich from Pike Street Fish Fry this past week that had some sort of parsley sauce on it – the pork was amazing, but the pesto was what really made the sandwich. And here, the bibb lettuce (love!), asparaus (love!) and perfectly grilled chicken are the perfect accompaniment.

Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Salad with Parsley Pesto

Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Salad with Parsley Pesto
via food and wine

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3)
1 pound asparagus, tough ends snapped off and discarded
1/3 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons water
Kosher Salt
Fresh-ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups loosely packed parsley leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 heads Bibb lettuce (about 1 1/2 pounds in all), torn into bite size pieces

Light the grill or heat the broiler. Coat the chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon of the oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Grill or broil the chicken for 5 minutes. Turn and cook until just done, about 5 minutes more. When the chicken breasts are cool enough to handle, cut them into bite-size pieces.
Toss the asparagus spears with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil and 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Grill or broil the asparagus, turning occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes, depending on the width of the spears. Cut the spears into 2-inch lengths.
In a blender, combine the garlic, water, parsley, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the remaining 1/3 cup oil. Puree until smooth, scraping down the side of the blender with a spatula as necessary.
In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, toss the lettuce, chicken, and asparagus with half the vinaigrette. Put the salad on plates. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the salads.