Greenest Goddess Dressing and Dip

From the wonderful new cookbook, Tartine All Day! The addition of avocado to the original makes this recipe amazing. I also added a little lemon zest because I love it.

3/4 c. Mayonnaise
3/4 c. sour cream or Greek yogurt
3 T. finely chopped fresh Tarragon
1/4 c. finely chopped Italian Parsley
2 T. finely chopped fresh Chives or Scallions
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 olive oil or salt packed Anchovies, rinsed and finely chopped
1 ripe Avocado, halved, peeled, cut into quarters
3 T. finely chopped Carrot tops (optional-I did not use as I did not have them!)
1/4 t. Sea Salt
Ground Black Pepper to taste
Combine everything in a blender or food processor until smooth. Serve with crudités or as a salad dressing.

Easy Caponata

From David Leibowitz’s blog-one of my favorite end of the summer dishes!
Caponata is meant to be a touch sweet, a tad vinegary. I added more than Fabrizia but since vinegars can vary in strength, you can taste and add more later in the game. The original recipe made quite a bit of caponata and and I reduced the recipe by half. (Some might say you can never have enough caponata, but because of the concentrated flavors, a little goes a long way.) It keeps very well in the refrigerator, so if you wish you can double the recipe.
Easy caponata
3 branches celery (tough outer strings removed, if necessary)
Vegetable oil (or olive oil), about 1 cup (250ml), for frying
1 pound (450g) eggplant
salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup (60g) green olives, pitted and very coarsely chopped (about in thirds)
2 tablespoons (30g) capers, rinsed and squeezed dry
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225ml) best-quality tomato sauce
3 tablespoons (40ml) wine vinegar, red or white
1/2 tablespoon honey (or sugar)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Chopped flat-leaf parsley or mint, for serving
1. Remove the leaves from the celery branches and cut the branches into 1/2-inch (1,25cm) thick slices. Bring a medium sized pot of water to a low boil and simmer the celery until crisp-tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and rinse well in cold water. Set aside.

2. Trim the stems off eggplant and cut into 1-inch (3cm) pieces.

3. In a large, heavy-duty skillet (I used cast iron) heat 3/4-inch (2cm) of vegetable or olive oil. Cook the eggplant in batches, not crowding too many into the pan at once, turning them occasionally, until they are browned all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Season with salt, then fry the rest of the eggplant in batches, seasoning them with salt as you remove them from the oil. You’ll likely need to add more oil to the pan as you go. (I ended up using a total of 1 cup/250ml.)

4. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently until wilted and starting to turn golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the parboiled celery, olives, capers, tomato sauce, vinegar, honey, and red pepper flakes. Let come to a low boil then add the eggplant.

5. Cook the mixture at a simmer, stirring carefully so as not to mash up the eggplant pieces, for 3 to 4 minutes. Taste, and add additional salt if desired, and perhaps another splash of vinegar. Remove from heat and transfer the caponata to a large, shallow serving platter or bowl and cool.

Serving and storage: Caponata is best served the next day, so the ingredients and flavors have time to meld. Top with chopped flat leaf parsley or fresh mint. It also makes a nice topping for crostini: Pile it atop grilled bread that’s been brushed with olive oil before grilling,

Cole Slaw

From Food 52-this is such a simple recipe and it has a wonderful flavor. I like my cabbage shredded rather than sliced but it is up to you, whichever you prefer! You can dress this cole slaw up with any other vegetables and/or herbs but it is delicious as is. I love how the buttermilk and sour cream mix together. Feel free to add more cider vinegar if you prefer it more tart.
Slaw from Food 52
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 T.+ apple cider vinegar
1 T. sugar
1 T. salt
small head of cabbage
1 small red onion
Combine sour cream through salt for the dressing. Shred or slice the cabbage and finely slice the red onion. Combine!

Israeli Couscous and Tuna Salad

I watched the Barefoot Contessa make this on the Food Network and was salivating before she finished so I had to try it! I love the Israeli couscous-it is so pretty and takes on the flavors easily. I made a half recipe and it was plenty for at least three or four people. I never add as much salt as called for as I would rather add it as I eat it than over salt. I used red onions instead of scallions and the olives I had on hand and also added celery for extra crunch.
Israeli Couscous and Tuna
2 cups Israeli couscous (10 to 12 ounces)
2 (7-ounce) cans or jars Italian tuna, drained and flaked
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1/2 cup pitted, oil-cured black olives, coarsely chopped (3 ounces)
1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers, medium-diced (4 ounces)
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped scallions (6-8 scallions)
1/4 cup julienned fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Add the couscous and reduce the heat to very low. Cover the pot and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the couscous is just tender. (I pull the pot halfway off the heat.) Drain in a colander.

Meanwhile, combine the tuna, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, capers, olives, red peppers, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper in a large bowl. Pour the hot couscous into the mixture and stir well. Cover and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, stir in the scallions, basil, juice of the 1/2 lemon, and 1 more teaspoon of salt. Taste for seasonings and serve warm or at room temperature.

Quinoa with mushrooms, asparagus and feta

I don’t think a week goes by that I do not cook from the Williams Sonoma blog, Taste. So many of their recipes are appealing to me and delicious! I used cremini mushrooms and added about a half of a pound. I had leftover asparagus that was blanched from last night and used that instead of a whole pound of asparagus. I love the sweetness from the currants and the balsamic vinegar. This can be eaten hot, warm, room temperature or cold.

Quinoa with mushrooms, asparagus, feta

1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) olive oil, plus more for dish and for drizzling

1 cup (5 oz./155 g.) red quinoa

2 1/2 cups (20 fl. oz./625 ml.) chicken or vegetable broth

1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g.) dried currants

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 portobello mushrooms, sliced

1 small red onion, halved and sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

1 lb. (500 g.) asparagus, trimmed and cut into pieces

1/3 cup (1/2 oz./15 g.) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Grated zest of 1 lemon

4 oz. (125 g.) feta cheese, crumbled

 

Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Oil a 3-qt. (3-l.) baking dish.

 

In a saucepan, bring the quinoa and 2 cups (16 fl. oz./250 ml.) of the broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the currants, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, but keep covered to stay warm.

In a large frying pan, heat the 1/4 cup oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, mushrooms, and onion and season with salt and pepper. Saute until the vegetables soften and begin to brown, 4-6 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and cook until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and toss to coat with the oil. Add the remaining 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until the asparagus is fork-tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the quinoa, parsley, lemon zest and half of the feta. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the remaining feta, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

Winter Vinaigrette

This is another winner from the Barefoot Contessa and I really love it this time of year when the citrus is wonderful and it goes well with all of the winter vegetables -fennel, arugula, avocado, orange, apples, nuts and dried cranberries.

3 T. good apple cider vinegar

1 t. grated orange zest

2 T. freshly squeezed orange juice

2 1/2 t. Dijon mustard

2 T. maple syrup

sea salt to taste

1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper

2/3 c. olive oil

Whisk together the vinegar, orange zest, orange juice, Dijon, maple syrup, s&p in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. I put this mixture in a jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

Chopped Chicken Salad with Avocado Ranch

I am very fond of the Williams Sonoma blog, Taste, and read it daily. I combined their Chopped Chicken Salad with Citrus and Avocado with my cousin, Susan’s Avocado Ranch Dressing. There will be extra of both marinade and dressing that you can use on any of your future meals!

Grilled marinated chicken

Marinade

1/3 c. fresh lime juice

9 T. olive oil

3/4 c. minced red onion

1 large serrano pepper, seeded and minced

1 t. ground cumin

1 t. ancho chile powder

sea salt and pepper to taste

Place lime juice in a bowl and slowly whisk in olive oil. Mix in the onion, serrano, cumin, chile powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve 2 T. marinade to be added to ranch dressing later.

1 1/4-1/2# boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Place chicken breasts in a bowl and pour marinade over to cover. You may have some marinade left and save it for another use. Let chicken stand while preparing the remaining ingredients.

Ranch Dressing

1 avocado

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 c. greek yogurt

2 t. lemon juice

1 t. hot sauce

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 t. salt (or to taste)

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree. (I used a blender and needed to add a little water to get it thin enough to pour out of the blender) Add about 4 T. of this Ranch dressing to the 2 T. of the marinade above. This will be your salad dressing. You can also just use the Avocado Ranch dressing as is-it is delicious!

Grill or sauté the chicken breasts in a non stick or oiled grill pan for 5-8 minutes each side, depending on the thickness of the chicken. Cool 10 minutes. Cut into bite size pieces for the salad.

Chopped Chicken salad

Salad

washed and dried lettuce of your choice, Bibb or Romaine

chopped cooked bacon

orange slices

chopped chicken

Toss with Avocado Ranch and garnish with anything you desire-feta, chopped nuts, tomatoes

Ina’s Szechuan Dressing for noodle salad

This is a wonderful dressing to make for a pasta salad or as a sauce for vegetables-hot or cold or even for a lettuce salad. I made the szechuan noodles with chicken and broccoli with last night’s leftover roasted chicken. The dressing comes together quickly once you have gotten out all of the ingredients! This is enough dressing and more for one pound of pasta.

Szechuan dressing

6 garlic cloves

1/4 c. fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1/2 c. vegetable oil

1/2 c. tahini

1/2 c. peanut butter, smooth

1/2 c. good soy sauce

1/4 c. dry sherry

1/4 c. sherry vinegar

1/4 c. honey

1/2 t. Asian hot chili oil

1/8 t. cayenne pepper

Chop garlic and ginger in food processor. Add remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.

Shaved Zucchini Salad

This recipe comes from a new cookbook called Kitchen Garden Cookbook by Jeanne Kelley. It is a great book as it also talks about how to plant, harvest and grow the vegetables in addition to great recipes! You can use a mixture of green and golden zucchini. I would also think you could easily vary the cheese and the herbs-feta and mint would also be good. I did not have arugula and just left it out.

Image

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 T. fresh lemon juice

1 clove garlic, pressed or finely chopped

salt and freshly ground pepper

3/4# zucchini, trimmed

1/4 c. flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 c. baby arugula

1 oz. asiago or any other cheese

2 T. almonds, toasted and chopped

In a shallow dish, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and 1/4 t. salt, whisk together until salt dissolves. Use a vegetable peeler to make zucchini ribbons-shave long strips from stem to blossom end, continuing until half is shaved and then flip over and shave the other side. Transfer to the bowl with dressing. Add parsley. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently. Add the arugula and toss, garnish with the cheese and almonds and serve.