Wheat Berry, Soy Sausage and Pomegranate Bowl

This recipe comes from Bon Appetite – with some minor adjustments. I used soy sausage, use regular chorizo if you prefer. It makes for great leftovers too.

  • 2 cups wheat berries
  • Salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 12 oz soy sausage, casings removed
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, divided
  • 2 tsp za’atar, plus more for serving
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 c pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 c coarsely chopped min
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, divided
  • 3 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced into rounds
  • Pine nuts

Simmer wheat berries in a large saucepan of salted water until grains are tender and hulls have just started to split open (cook time will vary and can take up to 1 hour). Drain and rinse under cold water, then thoroughly drain again. Transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Cook sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned and crisp, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon.

Mix garlic, yogurt, 1 Tbsp. oil, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, and 2 tsp. za’atar in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Set yogurt sauce aside.

Add pomegranate seeds, chopped mint, half of scallions, remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, and remaining 1 Tbsp. lemon juice to bowl with wheat berries and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide wheat berry mixture among bowls and top with cucumbers, sausage, and remaining scallions. Drizzle with reserved yogurt sauce, scatter mint leaves over, and sprinkle with more za’atar. Sprinkle with pine nuts.

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Pasta Salad with Mozzarella and Mint

I used tiny fergola past here. You could use any other tiny pasta or even a grain such as farro.

  • 8 oz pasta or farro
  • 4 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 6 oz mozzarella, cubed
  • 1/2 c torn mint leaves
  • 2 – 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon wedges
  • Balsamic vinegar

Cook the pasta according to the package.

Drain pasta, and stir in vinegar and 1/2 tsp salt. Let cool to room temp.

Sprinkle tomatoes with salt, stir into pasta. Stir in mozzarella, mint and olive oil (1 tbsp at a time – you don’t want it to be too wet). Squeeze lemon over the pasta and stir. Drizzle with balsamic.

Serves 4.

Lemon Chicken and Tomato Salad

Perfect end of summer salad!

4 heirloom tomatoes, sliced

2 large Buffalo mozzarella, torn in half

Pesto

Poached lemon chicken, sliced

2 tbsp lemon zest

3 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

Lemon Chicken:

4 c chicken stock

1 lemon, sliced

4 sprigs thyme

1 tbsp peppercorns

4 chicken breasts

Place stock, lemon, thyme and pepper corns into a large pot and bring to a boil, add chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cover with a lid and let stand for 10 minutes.

Combine lemon zest, juice and olive oil in a small jar, shake to combine.

Divide tomato, mozzarella and mint between plates. Slice chicken and toss with dressing to coat. Drizzle with pesto. Divide amount plates and serve.

Serves 4.

Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes & Burrata


Another Melissa Clark winner!

6 oz pasta
2 tbsp olive oil plus more for drizzling
6 garlic cloves, minced
¼ tsp chile flakes
Salt
1 quart cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tbsp butter
4 oz grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz burrata or fresh mozzarella, torn
3 c torn herbs, such as basil, mint and parsley
6 green onions, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package. Drain and reserve ½ cup of cooking water.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil along with garlic, chile flakes and a pinch of salt and cook 1 to 2 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Add tomatoes and cook 5 to 8 minutes, until they begin to burst and shrivel at their borders.

Add pasta to skillet. If it looks dry, add a little reserved pasta cooking water. Increase heat a bit so pasta can finish cooking in the sauce. When pasta is cooked, add butter and Parmesan and toss until everything is coated.

Serve pasta warm and garnish with chunks of burrata and a handful of herbs and green onions. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.into bite-sized chunks

Serves 4.

Pasta with Green Olives, Garlic and Mint


This is a bright and tasty pasta – perfect for a rushed weeknight.

Ingredients:
1 c pitted green olives
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 c fresh mint
1/4 c olive oil
2/3 c grated parmigiano
Pepper

In a food processor, combine olives, garlic, mint and oil and half the cheese. Pulse to create a rough chopped sauce. Season with pepper. Transfer to a bowl that will hold the pasta.

Cook the pasta according to the package. 

Toss pasta with sauce and remaining cheese.

Serves 4.

Grilled Pork Patties


These little pork patties are packed with flavor! The lemongrass really makes them special – so do make sure to seek it out at your local farmers market or Asian Market.

Ingredients:
1 lb groung pork
4 shallots, minced
4 lemongrass stalks (bottom 1/3 only), sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp Vietnamese fish sauce
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp red pepper flakes

Garnish:
Lettuce leaves
1 carrot, grated
1 bunch of cilantro
1 bunch of mint
1 bunch of basil
1 diakon, sliced thin

Combine all for parties in a bowl and mix well. Form into 10 – 12 patties (I use a cookie scoop to make sure they are all even). Chill for a few minutes.

Heat grill to medium high heat. Brush with a little oil. Grill patties for 4 minutes per side.

Serve with garnish.

Serves 5 – 6.

Tofu Soup


This quick soup screams spring and is oh so tasty!! 

Ingredients:
6 c chicken stock
1 c mint
6 oz baby bok choy (cut into bite soze pieces) or spinach
8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper
1 container medium-firm tofu, drained, dried and sliced into bite size pieces
3 scallions, sliced thin

Bring stock to a boil in a large pot. Reduce to medium low and add mint, simmer until ready to use (at least 10 min).

Add bok choy and mushrooms, simmer 5 minutes. Remove mint, add tofu and simmer 2 more minutes. 

Garnish with scallions and your favorite hot sauce.

Serves 6. 2 WW PP.