Halloumi is a salty, dense Greek cheese that is super amazing when grilled. My friend Melissa, from Smells Like Brownies, is a big fan so she was pretty excited when I showed her this recipe. Hearty quinoa mixed with lettuce and veggies and topped with warm cheese - delish!
We didn't end up having the cucumbers the original recipe called for, so we used tomatoes instead and they were great. I do really like cucumbers, though, so I would say to use both. The more veg, the better, right? The dressing includes red wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, mint, and scallion - yum!
We also discovered (by oiling one side and not the other of an electric grill) that the cheese gets better grill marks when the grill is not oiled. Don't worry, though, it won't stick!
This is a very satisfying (and light!) vegetarian lunch that is sure to make even meat eaters happy.
On one of our weekly lunch adventures, my friend Melissa and I decided to try out a risotto made from barley. Barley is a whole grain that (unless you have a wheat allergy) is better for you than rice, even brown rice. The grains are larger and chewier than rice, but they make a very good substitute. I actually like barley better than rice because the chewiness gives the dish more body.
I don't know about you, but I am not a huge fan of raw carrots. Warm spiced carrot soup with tahini on a cold day, though? Yeah, I'm a big fan of that.
This is another dish brought to you by my vegetarian lunches with Melissa at Smells Like Brownies. She pulled together a couple of recipes to come up with this one.
Carrots, onion, garlic, coriander, and cumin all go into the pot with vegetable stock.
Now that Hurricane Sandy has passed us without incident, I can catch up on posting! Thanks to everyone for praying and thinking about us out here on the East Coast.
I have been trying to expand my repertoire of fish dishes beyond just salmon and discovered a really easy way to cook halibut. Wrapping it in parchment paper with with various other ingredients and baking it leaves it moist, flaky, and flavorful. Plus the presentation is really cool!
One combination that I really liked was lemon, cherry tomatoes, artichokes, olive oil, and basil. I made this right at the end of summer with super sweet cherry tomatoes - look at those colors!
When I made ricotta to use for the squash galette, I made a lot of it. I had a whole series of ricotta recipes lined up to try out, and these muffins were one of them. Using up that last batch of summer berries, these muffins are creamy and dense and delicious.
I am so obsessed with figs right now. I buy a pint (or two) every week. And while they are amazing on their own or simply drizzled with honey, I like to give them the fancy treatment from time to time.
Like with this gorgeous pasta dish with figs, toasted walnuts, goat cheese, spinach, and lemon zest.
Or done up in a super classic pairing with prosciutto and mozzarella.
I cut some Black Mission figs in half, sandwiched a piece of mozzarella between them, wrapped them in the prosciutto and skewered them.
Then I broiled them until the ham was nice and crispy and the cheese was melty and drizzled the whole thing with honey. Ridiculously yummy - and the house smelled fantastic!
I am nowhere near done with my fig phase, still - more to come!
Fig and Walnut Pasta
adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
whole wheat spaghetti, enough for 2 people
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 cup white wine
1 small lemon, juice and zest
1 big bunch of fresh spinach
4.5 oz goat cheese
3.5 oz walnut halves, toasted in a dry pan
5 fresh ripe figs, cut into quarters
Boil the spaghetti to al dente, according to the instructions on the package, and set aside when done.
Add olive oil to a large frying pan on medium heat. Add garlic and let it sweat for about 30 seconds before adding the wine and lemon juice. Stir around, add spinach and goat cheese while stirring (save a small piece of the goat cheese for later). Let it simmer for three minutes before adding the spaghetti and the roasted walnuts. Stir for 30 seconds, taste it and add salt if needed, make sure that the spaghetti is covered in the goat cheese/wine/lemon cream then turn off the heat.
Add the figs and gently fold them into the pasta. Serve on a big plate or in a bowl with the rest of the goat cheese and lemon peel sprinkled over it.
The last time I posted a recipe for you was over a month ago! Oh my goodness! You have my deepest apologies, dear readers, and to make it up to you I will post not 1, not 2, but 3 delicious summer recipes for you!
Let's start with this gorgeous zucchini tart from Closet Cooking (which is a blog that I highly recommend). Puff pastry is topped with a mixture of ricotta, feta, lemon, fresh herbs, and an egg along with thinly sliced zucchini and baked to puffy, golden perfection. Served on its own or with a side salad, this is the perfect summer lunch.
Next up, take advantage of those juicy summer tomatoes in a slightly different take on a fresh tomato pasta with a Roasted Tomato Sauce.
It has gotten hot, hot, hot out here - plants and people alike are wilting in the heat. On days like these where you can't bear to be outside for more than 5 minutes, slaving over a stove is out of the question. These shrimp rolls are the perfect thing for oppressively hot days: fast, easy, cool, and refreshing.
All you have to do is mix together cold, cooked shrimp with celery, scallions, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Put a piece of butter lettuce on a bun, top with the shrimp mixture, done! Dinner in less than 10 minutes.
Creamy Shrimp Rolls
adapted from Real Simple
Makes 4 rolls
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
kosher salt and pepper
1 1/2 lbs cooked medium shrimp, cut in half crosswise
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup sliced scallion greens
4 soft buns
1 small head butter lettuce, torn into pieces
In a medium bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Fold in the shrimp, celery, and scallions. Line the buns with the lettuce and fill with the shrimp mixture.
This is a pretty decadent dinner, but sometimes we need a little comfort (and a lot of cream). "Melt in Your Mouth" Chicken is topped with seasoned mayonnaise and baked to make it juicy and flavorful. Creamy Lemon and Chive Farfalle is surprisingly light - with the gentle flavors of white wine, shallot, lemon, and chives.
I am obsessed with all things spinach and artichoke right now, it must be Spring getting to me. Tossed in a casserole with chicken, pasta, and cheese these veggies become instant comfort food (similar to my long time favorite Spring Shells casserole). This comes together quickly and only needs to bake for 10-15 minutes, just enough to brown the top (all the ingredients are already cooked).