Monday, August 24, 2015

My Everything Salad

My husband will show tons more enthusiasm for a dinner salad if I throw in a few extra somewhat naughty ingredients...this salad turned out tasting a bit like an Italian Sub sandwich, and I must admit it was quite tasty. The trick is to put two heaping tablespoons of dried oregano into your olive oil and vinegar/lemon dressing. Zesty! There are no rules to this one- I added what I had on hand: a can of chickpeas, a small head of red lettuce, cubed provelone cheese, and thinly sliced salami (my husband's favorite part, of course.) A little bit of Radicchio brings in a touch of color and slight bitterness. I know it's a faux pas these days to use iceberg lettuce as it has little nutritional value- but in this dish? I say do it, tastes great. Some good olive oil, a half of fresh squeezed lemon juice, a splash of vinegar. Have fun with it! Toss the salad dressing in (don't forget salt & pepper) and dive in! 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Beans and Rice

I absolutely adore Mexican food. It's a Monday and I'm working off what I've got in the refrigerator and pantry. 
When in doubt, there's always blessed beans and rice to save the day. I'm cooking up a nice batch from scratch which will likely turn into burritos since I have some gorgeous tomatoes, shallots, corn etc that I retrieved from the farmers market. Wrap all of that into a tortilla with perhaps some shredded cheese and you're golden. Here's my slow simmering pot in progress: 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Summer Vegetable Casserole

Summer has arrived, and it's time to work with your farmers market purchases or your excess garden vegetables! No rules on this one, it's so easy- throw anything you have together- begin with sautéed onions and garlic- then carry on with goodies such as squash or eggplant and potatoes (thinly sliced) with some cheese, herbs and olive oil and slow roast it all... around 400 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour. Divine. I had a CSA delivery so I did a Japanese eggplant, shallots, garlic, fingerling potatoes, and tomatoes. Finely slice everything, add some fresh herbs on hand ( I used basil and thyme) and grate up a nice intense cheese such as Gruyere or Sharp Cheddar. Bake it at around 425 and watch it go. If it looks like it's going to burn on top, cover it up and lower the heat slightly- things get nice and juicy and sweet. Along with the melted cheese on top, it's a treat. Once you pull it out of the oven top with some fresh herbs and olive oil at the very end- you will love it. Serve and enjoy.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Tomato Zucchini Rice Gratin

If you have a garden overflowing with summer squash or tomatoes this summer, this luscious, healthy, and simple dish is for you! And if you have some leftover rice from takeout or cooked grains hanging around in the fridge, all the better. This easy to make cheesy bubbly casserole takes about 45 minutes to bake, and although yes, you do have to turn on the oven- it's well worth it. This can be served hot, warm, or room temperature. I topped it with fresh basil at the end, mmmm.


2 pounds ripe tomatoes, mostly diced, one tomato thinly sliced

1 cup cooked rice, farro or barley

2 medium zucchini, diced

1 large onion, roughly chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 eggs, lightly whisked

4-5 tablespoons Olive Oil

1 cup Gruyere Cheese or Sharp Cheddar, grated

Salt and Pepper

Two pinches Red Chili Pepper Flakes (optional)

1 teaspoon fresh Thyme chopped

2 sprigs fresh basil, torn


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Heat a large dutch oven on the stove top at medium low heat with 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for about 30 seconds. Throw in zucchini, tomatoes, chopped thyme, chili pepper flakes if using, and seasonings to taste. Gently stir with a wooden spoon. Let simmer for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile beat the eggs in a bowl, and grate the cheese. Gently fold in the eggs, grated cheese, and cooked rice to the pot, stirring gently. Pop that beauty in the heated oven, and bake for 45 minutes. Take it out, let cool for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle basil on top and serve. Buon Appetito!