Posts Tagged ‘olive oil’

Unrecipe of the Week: Balsamic Marinade

July 22, 2013

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It’s grilling season, and marinades help lock in moisture and add flavor to foods.

Whether you are tossing meat, chicken or vegetables on the barbeque, or cooking in the oven, this unrecipe will become a staple in your repertoire.

Balsamic Marinade:

Combine ½ cup balsamic vinegar, juice of 2 lemons, ½ cup olive oil, a big dollop or two of Dijon mustard, a couple of minced garlic cloves, and salt and pepper. Whisk to blend. Pour over meat or chicken and allow it to marinate for several hours or overnight. Vegetables should be marinated for a very short time, to avoid getting soggy.

Kitchen tip:

Never pour leftover marinade that the raw meat has been soaking in over cooked food. Once the food has been put on the grill, use a clean plate to remove it to avoid contamination.

Bringing the leftover marinade to a full boil for a couple of minutes will kill any bacteria and allow the sauce to be safely used. Cooking it for 5 or 10 minutes will allow the liquid to reduce, and give you a slightly thicker consistency for a finishing sauce.

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photo: Glasshouse Images

 

Unrecipe of the Week: Tabbouleh

July 5, 2013

taboulŽ

As the weather gets warmer, I find my appetite changes. I long for lighter, cooler foods, utilizing the fresh tastes of the season.This simple side dish fills the bill, yet it is hearty enough to build a meal around.

Tabbouleh, a Lebanese salad made of grains, herbs and tomatoes is a great make ahead dish, as it is best to allow the flavors to mingle a bit before serving. While it is traditionally made from bulgur or cracked wheat, quinoa, cous cous or even brown rice could be used in its place. It’s a perfect “unrecipe”that can be tailored to taste and dietary preferences.

Tabbouleh

Prepare 1 cup of the grains as directed, being careful not to overcook them. Bulgur can be cooked on the stovetop for about 20 minutes, or soaked in very hot water until softened. Set aside to cool.

In the meantime, chop a bunch of parsley and ½ a bunch of fresh mint leaves. Add a diced tomato or 2, and a large diced cucumber. A bit of finely chopped onion or scallions can also be added. Stir in the cooked grains. Toss with lemon juice, and olive oil. Season liberally with sea salt and pepper. Refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to merge. Taste and add lemon juice or more salt and pepper if necessary. Enjoy!

Note: Traditional tabbouleh is very heavy on the herbs, and uses the bulgur modify the balance to herbs and grains to suit your taste.

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photo: Glasshouse Images

Unrecipe of the Week: Crab and White Bean Salad

April 1, 2013

This beautiful salad inspired by Mario Batali, is filled with springtime flavors, and hearty ingredients. The white beans and crab make it filling enough to serve as a light main course, as well as a starter.

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For the salad:

Drain and rinse 1 can of cannellini beans and place in a bowl. Add some finely diced red onion, and about a teaspoon or so of diced fresh rosemary and marjoram. Add the zest and juice of a lemon, season liberally with salt and pepper and chill until ready to use.

Before serving, mix in 1 pound of lump crabmeat, and drizzle with mint oil. Add a quick grind of fresh pepper and enjoy!

For the mint oil:
Blanch about ½ cup of fresh mint leaves in boiling water for 15-30 seconds. Drain and squeeze dry.

In a blender or food processor, puree the mint with ½ – ¾ cup of olive oil. This can also be done a couple of hours in advance and set aside until ready to serve.

photo: indigo jones

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Unrecipe of the Week: Socca Pizza

March 25, 2013
The finished product

The finished product

I have already posted our recipe for Socca, a chickpea flour flatbread that is gluten free, high in protein and delicious. Tonight, I was looking for something low in carbs, crispy and full of vegetables. After a little thinking, I decided to use the Socca as a pizza crust, and top it with a hearty blend of tomatoes, artichokes and mushrooms. The result was a beautiful flatbread, brimming with flavor and surprisingly filling. As with any unrecipe, top it with whatever you are craving. Consider adding goat cheese, parmesan or a little shredded mozzarella. Toss on some finely sliced pepperoni or bacon if you are a meat lover. Use zucchini instead of artichokes, or even both. The possibilities are endless!

For the crust:

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Whisk together 1 cup of garbanzo flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 cups water. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes or up to a few hours.

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Coat the bottom of a 12″ skillet with olive oil. Add a chopped shallot, and place in the hot oven until sizzling. You can also add the herbs of your choice at this stage.

Pour the batter over the shallots, and bake until the flatbread is crisp and brown, about 40 minutes. The flatbread will easily lift out of the pan when it is fully baked.

For the topping:

The topping

The topping

Saute 1 clove of garlic and about 6-8 sliced mushrooms until brown. Add a few chopped artichoke hearts ( canned or frozen) and lightly saute them. Season with salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Add 2 chopped plum tomatoes (or some crushed canned tomatoes) and cook until the tomatoes start to soften. If the mixture gets too dry, drizzle in a little more olive oil.

When the crust is done, spread the the mixture over it, leaving a rim all around. Sprinkle with chopped arugula, and enjoy!

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Unrecipe of the Week

November 26, 2012

My produce bin was filled with an eclectic array of root vegetables. I had turnips, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions and radishes. I also had some fresh herbs leftover from Thanksgiving. As a much needed break from the sweetness and heaviness of holiday side dishes,this one was a winner. So easy, and so clean, I ended up eating this as my meal!

Roasted Root Vegetables:

Use any combination of root vegetables including: potatoes,sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, radishes, onions, garlic, shallots etc.

I used fresh thyme, but any herbs would work as well.

Cut root vegetables into chunks. Toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with fresh herbs.
Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened. Stir once after about 25 minutes or so.

The vegetables will get a brown, slightly caramelized tinge to them.

Enjoy!!!

Unrecipe of the Week: Ratatouille

October 22, 2012

My family was hankering for pasta with Bolognese sauce, and the meat and pasta part of the dish just wasn’t doing it for me. However,the idea of a slow cooked flavorful dish held some appeal.  I had an eggplant laying around waiting to be converted into something, and I realized I hadn’t made ratatouille in many years.

Ratatouille is an ultimate “unrecipe” since the ingredients and flavors are flexible, as is the cooking time.

Indigo Jones’ Ratatouille

Sauté diced garlic and onions in olive oil until transparent.

Working in batches, sauté sliced mushrooms, diced red and/ or green peppers, cubed eggplant, and zucchini until browned. Season with salt, pepper, oregano and basil to taste.

Add diced tomatoes and pitted Calamata olives.

Transfer to an ovenproof casserole and bake for about an hour, until the vegetables are cooked through, and the flavors meld together. Sprinkle with Parmesan

cheese and enjoy!

It’s Not Easy Being Green: Unrecipe of the Weekend

September 28, 2012

Friday night is pizza night at our house. Over the last year, I have chosen to abstain and prepare something simple and healthy for myself, without worrying about whether or not anyone else will like it. I wake up feeling more energized, and everyone is happy with his or her meal.

Last Friday night, I worked with what I had on hand, trying to use some of my CSA items.

 

I split and roasted the acorn squash with a little honey and butter in a hot oven for about 45 minutes.

I sautéed a tiny shallot, and some finely shredded kale in a little olive oil, and lightly browned some pignoli nuts in the pan. I tossed the vegetables with some quinoa cooked in stock and stuffed it into the cooked squash cavity. You can toss in a few dried cranberries for a sweet and colorful pop.  A sprinkling of black pepper and a little chopped parsley provided a finishing touch. Easy, healthy and flavorful!

The stuffed squash a nice glass of red wine were the perfect early fall meal.

I have now used the squash, kale, lettuce, kohlrabi, and a little of the parsley. The pineapple sage did not survive the night.

I just have the collards and parsley left to go. What shall I do with it?

Weird and Wonderful!

September 11, 2012

A friend brought these over, freshly harvested from their backyard garden. From a distance, I thought they were lemons. Closer up, they resembled heirloom tomatoes.

I would have never guessed that they were actually cucumbers!
This particular variety is called a lemon cucumber, and is named for its appearance, not it’s flavor, which is sweeter than the average cucumber.

I can’t wait to try them in a simple cucumber salad with a dash of olive oil, salt, pepper and some rice wine vinegar! Perhaps a little radish and dill for added flavor? Mmmm!

Unrecipe of the Week

August 22, 2012

Last night I got home from work totally exhausted and not in the mood for spending much time preparing dinner. I had a few things laying around the kitchen from the night before that I whipped into a great hearty dinner salad.

I love when everything comes together in a way that is worth replicating in the future!

On a bed of baby arugula, I diced leftover chicken breasts, several heirloom tomatoes, and an avocado. I drizzled it with a quick pesto made of a handful of cilantro*, a garlic clove, a little olive oil, the juice of ½ a lime, and some sea salt.

I tossed it with the other ½ of the lime juice and added a crumble of soft goat cheese, and grind of black pepper.

It doesn’t get much easier, or tastier than this!

*I had cilantro on hand, but any hearty green would work just as well: parsley, arugula, basil, spinach, kale…you name it!

Instagram Photos: Indigo Jones

Herbal Essence

July 18, 2012

Did you know that you could freeze and preserve fresh herbs in olive oil?

The oil not only reduces the browning and freezer burn that can affect delicate herbs, but it also creates a delicious herb infusion that can be used anytime.

According to The Kitchn, it is best to use stronger herbs, such as rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano.

The herbs can be chopped, or left in larger sprigs.

Pack the wells of an ice cube tray about 2/3 full of herbs.

Pour extra virgin olive oil over the herbs.

Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

Remove the herb infused cubes from the tray and store in containers or plastic bags.

Use the cubes as you would olive oil, for sautéing garlic and onions, and enjoy the taste of fresh herbs as they spread throughout your dish.

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