Pasta with Olive, Caper and Herbed Pesto

  

 Ingredients:

½ c olive oil
¼ c panko
2 TBSP chopped fresh dill
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
12 ozs pasta
4 oil-packed anchovy fillets
1 garlic clove
1 c fresh parsley
½ c fresh basil
1 c green olives, pitted, halved
3 TBSP drained capers
½ oz Parmesan, finely grated
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice

Heat 1 tsp oil in a medium skillet over medium and cook panko, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; transfer to paper towels to drain and toss with dill and lemon zest.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking liquid.

Combine with parsley, basil, anchovey paste, garlic, olives, capers and olive oil in a food processor and pulse till chopped.

Toss pasta, sauce and ¼ pasta cooking liquid. Toss, adding Parmesan a bit at a time, along with more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta. Add lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.

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Charred Broccoli with Blue Cheese Dressing 

  

Dressing:
1/3 c half and half
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
3 ozs blue cheese, crumbled (see Note)
1/3 c sour cream
Salt

Broccoli:
2 pounds broccoli, cut into 1 1/2-inch florets with stems
1/4 c unseasoned rice vinegar
1 1/2 TBSP harissa
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp Sriracha
1/2 c olive oil
1/3 c minced shallots
Salt
Pepper
2 TBSP butter
1 c crisped rice cereal

In a small saucepan, warm the half and half until hot. Whisk in the crushed red pepper, sugar and one-third of the blue cheese until melted. Let cool completely, then whisk in the sour cream and the remaining cheese. Season the dressing with salt.
PREPARE THE BROCCOLI 

In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the 
broccoli until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain well and spread on a large baking sheet to cool.

In a blender, combine the vinegar, harissa, lemon zest and juice, soy sauce, mustard and Sriracha and puree. With the blender on, gradually add the olive oil until incorporated. Transfer the vinaigrette to a medium bowl and stir in the shallots. Season with salt and pepper.

In a medium skillet, melt the butter. Add the cereal and 1 1/2 tsp of the harissa vinaigrette and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli with half of the remaining vinaigrette and season 
with salt. Grill the broccoli over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred all over, about 5 minutes. 
Transfer to a plate.

Spread the blue cheese dressing on a platter and scatter the broccoli on top. Garnish with the spiced crispies and 
serve, passing the remaining harissa vinaigrette at the table.

Nectarine and Strawberry Crumble

 I love fresh fruit with buttery, oaty topping perfect for summer dessert (or breakfast).

Ingredients:
2 c strawberries, sliced thin
1 1/2 lb nectarines, sliced thin
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c corn starch
Topping:
1 c sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 c oats
1 stick of butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 c flour

Preheat oven to 350.

In a 9×13 toss the strawberries, nectarines, sugar and corn starch.

Toss the crumble ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it looks like course meal. 

Spread over fruit. Bake for 30 – 45 minutes until the topping is brown and fruit is bubbly.

Serves 8 – 10.

Halloumi, Spinach and Harissa Tartine

 I love a quick lunch idea – thanks Bon Appetite for this one. Grilled cheese, sautéed spinach and a smear of harissa pasta on toast – so perfect! I love TJ’s 3 seed bread and always have a loaf in the freezer for sandwich emergencies.

Ingredients: 
2 thin slices of Halloumi cheese
2 c spinach
1 – 2 slices of bread, toasted
Harissa paste

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the cheese until brown at the same time. In the same skillet, cook the spinach until wilted, season with a little salt and pepper.

Spread a little Harissa on the toasted bread, top with spinach and cheese.

Serves 1.

 Butter Warmed Corn with Cilantro

 This dish is so simple and packs a ton of flavor. It goes perfect with meats. This literally only takes 2 minutes.

Ingredients:
3 ears of corn, kernals cut from cob
2 TBSP butter
1/2 c fresh cilantro, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add corn and cook until just warmed through, tossing to evenly coat in butter, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and shower with zest, cilantro and salt. 

Serves 4. 2 WW PP.

Chilled Beet Soup

  
Nothing says summer like a chilled soup! This one is from the amazing Patricia Wells. It literally comes together in minutes, Just be sure you make it couple hours before you serve it so it has plenty of time to chill. I cheated and used the cooked beets from TJ’s, which in my opinion is perfectly acceptable.

Ingredients:
1 lb steamed, peeled beets
2 c cold water
2 cloves garlic, green germ removed
1 onion, quartered
1 tsp dijon
1 TBSP sherry-wine vinegar
Salt
Several TBSP minced chives for garnish

Toss everything except the chives in a Vitamix or powerful blender. Purée till smooth. Chill for at least 2 hours.

Top with chives at serving time.

Serves 4. 1 WW PP.

Spaghetti with Green Olives, Garlic and Mint

 This is such a quick pasta dinner it comes together in the time it takes to cook the pasta – perfect for a busy weeknight.

Ingredients:
1 c green olives, pitted
2 cloves garlic
1 c fresh mint
1/4 c olive oil
2/3 c parmigiano, grated
Black pepper
1/2 lb spaghetti

Cook pasta according to package.

In a food processor combine remaining ingredient and pulse until coursley chopped. 

Scrape into a bowl. Drain pasta and  toss pasta. Serves with a little cheese on top and fresh ground pepper.

Serves 2 – 4.

Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Yogurt

 This one is from the Food52.com cookbook. I love yogurt and pasta together – bring in sweet carmazlied onions and you’ve got perfection.

5 TBSP olive oil
6 c coarsely chopped onions
Salt
1 lb pasta
2 c thick, Greek yogurt
1 c pecorino romano, grated

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the onions. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring frequently and seasoning with salt to taste as you go, until the onions are soft and golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes.

Cook pasta according to package.

Reserve 1/2 c pasta water. Combine the yogurt with 1/4 c cooking water and mix well. Add more of the reserved pasta water as needed to get the sauce to your thickness. Drain the pasta and toss with the yogurt mixture. Serve the pasta immediately, sprinkled generously with cheese and topped with caramelized onions and their juices.

Serves 4 – 6.

Roasted Chicken with Panzanella

 This one is a Mario Batali recipe that was featured in F&W perfect for a Sunday dinner. 

Ingredients:
Chicken:
1 TBSP smoked paprika
2 tsp dried rubbed sage
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 whole chicken
1/2 lemon
2 TBSP olive oil

Panzanella
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
9 oz day-old peasant bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 Kirby cucumbers, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced
1/2 c torn basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 450°.

In a small bowl, mix the paprika, sage, cumin, salt and pepper. Set a rack over a baking sheet and place the chicken on the rack. Rub the chicken with the lemon, then rub 2 teaspoons of the spice mix all around the cavity and stuff the lemon in it. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Rub the chicken with the olive oil, then massage with the remaining spice mix. Roast the chicken for about 50 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°. Let rest for 15 minutes.

Panzanella
In a large bowl, whisk the oil with the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Add the bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion and basil, season with salt and pepper and toss.

Carve the chicken and transfer it to a platter. Serve with the panzanella.

Serves 6.

   
 

Watermelon Strawberry Agua Fresca

 This maybe my new go to summer drink. You can mix it with sparkling water or sparkling wine for a wonderfully refreshing beverage. You just need a couple TBSP to flavor your beverage so a little goes a long way.

Ingredients:
1/2 c water
1/4 c honey
2 mint sprigs
One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 c seedless watermelon cubes
2 c hulled strawberries
Ice and chilled sparkling water, for serving

In a small pot, heat water and honey until it just comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add mint and ginger.

In a Vitamix or other lesser blender 😜, add fruit, strain water honey mixture and pour into blender, pop in 1 -3 slices of ginger. Purée till smooth. 

Chill. Add a couple TBSP to sparkling beverage of choice and enjoy.