Showing posts with label side dish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label side dish. Show all posts

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Traditional, with a Twist: Baked Farro “Arancini”

This is my entry to the contest hosted by Tuscan Fields to win a conference registration to Eat Write Retreat. I had a fabulous time the last two years and would love to attend again in the new Philadelphia location. I hope that you enjoy my post and that I am able to attend EWR13 thanks to Tuscan Fields!  

Connection – that is my word. Last year at Eat Write Retreat, Monica Bhide challenged us to find the one word that defined our blogs. Connection can mean many things, but for Good Cook Doris one of the main ways my “word” presents itself is connecting tradition with today through old recipes with new twists or traditional ingredients with a new spin.

This scholarship contest challenged bloggers to take farro, an ancient grain, and come up with an original recipe and post. Keeping my word in mind, I knew that my recipe would be traditional, with a twist! As with last year, I’m still squeezing cooking in along with family, work, school, and life. I wanted a recipe that would showcase the farro and be easy enough to make while having a million other things on my plate to do.

Tuscan Fields is bringing farro to the US from Tuscany.  Their products are grown at Fattoria Pieve a Salti and are 100% organic. Farro has been a part of Tuscan cuisine as far back as ancient Rome! In addition to being an agriturismo, the farm is also the second largest producer of organic agriculture products in Tuscany. For my recipe, I used Tuscan Fields® Farro Perlato. For a little background on farro, I turned to the Tuscan Fields website. Here is a description in their words:  “Farro is often translated into English as ‘spelt’ – but it is actually another variety of heirloom or “ancient” grain in the wheat family. Its biological name is triticum dicoccum and it is the forerunner to spelt (Triticum Spelta) on the evolutionary wheat chain. In the U.S. triticum dococcum is also called “emmer wheat” but it is readily known worldwide as “farro”.”

I decided on a twist on risotto and arancini. Farro’s nutty flavor and slightly texture makes it perfect for many different preparations and spice additions. We eat a lot of southwestern flavors here in the Good Cook Doris kitchen which means the spices and herbs we run out of the most are cumin, chili powder, and cilantro. I wanted to incorporate these into my farro recipe, along with a delicious Queso Blanco that we picked up at last week’s winter farmers market. The cheese is locally made in Rhode Island by Narragansett Creamery .

First, I made a savory and delicious farro-risotto with onions, carrots, garlic, spices, and chicken broth. Next, I wrapped it around squares of Queso Blanco and coated it in seasoned panko breadcrumbs. After about 20 minutes in the oven, and a quick broil, the baked arancini were ready. Cutting into the middle revealed a warm, melty cheese center. The sea saltiness of the cheese paired with the creamy, spiced flavor of the favor made for a delicious bite.

In true Good Cook Doris fashion, while I was making this recipe I was also busy at work on a paper for my graduate school class this semester. I set up shop in the kitchen and in between steps tried to get a few words written. It's all about maximizing the time you have, right?

I hope you enjoy this recipe and that I have a chance to enjoy Eat Write Retreat 2013 in Philly!

Farro Risotto
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced small
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced small
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder (I used a red chili powder from Texas)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1.5 cups Tuscan Fields Farro Perlato (this ended up being the entire 9.1 oz package)
2 cups water
1.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or 1 tablespoon freeze-dried, or dried cilantro)
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

In medium saucepan add oil, onion, carrots and garlic
Cover and cook over medium-low for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally
Stir in cumin and chili powder and cook until you can smell the spices (about 1 minute)
Add farro to the saucepan and stir well, cook for about 2 minutes or until lightly toasted
Add broth and water and stir
Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 5-7 minutes until farro is tender (but still has slightly chewy texture)
Remove from heat, mix in cilantro and lime juice and season with salt if desired

Note:  I did not add too much salt, knowing that I would be adding a salty cheese to the final baked product.

Baked Farro Arancini
Farro-risotto from above recipe
10 half-inch cubes of Queso Blanco
1 cup AP flour
1 egg plus a splash of water, lightly beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon dried cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil or melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Set up three shallow bowls on your work space
In one bowl, put the flour
In the second bowl, mix the egg and water
In the third bowl, mix breadcrumbs, chili powder, cumin and cilantro; add butter or olive and mix until well combined
Using an ice cream scoop (or cookie dough scoop), take a scoop of risotto and place it in your palm, flattening it slightly
Place a cube of cheese in the middle, using a smaller spoon, take about 1 tsp additional risotto and put on top of cheese
Shape the risotto into a ball, completely surrounding the cheese so you can’t see it at all, packing the ball tightly
Roll ball in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and place on the parchment paper lined baking sheet
Repeat for as many as you would like to make
Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees
Broil for 2-5 minutes until the outside is golden brown and crispy
Serve with warm salsa (your favorite jar or homemade)

Thank you to Tuscan Fields for the opportunity to win a chance to attend Eat Write Retreat!

I signed up to enter this scholarship contest and was one the first 50 entries which meant that I received two packages of farro from Tuscan fields to use in developing a recipe for this contest entry. To be eligible to win, I had to create an original recipe and post, and link to both Tuscan Fields and Eat Write Retreat. For full details of the contest, you can click here

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cooking American Food: Wild Rice Salad

American food was the assignment. The party theme was all-American food and music. My first instinct was to pick up one of my state-themed cookbooks (Missouri, Montana, and Ohio) and pick out an all-American side dish. But when you start reading the recipes, you realize that almost all of the recipes were inspired by non-American cuisine and include many use non-native ingredients. In community cookbooks like these, the recipes included have been passed down through families and most originated in another part of the world.

I closed up the books and starting thinking about what foods are native to this part of the world and what I could put together in a summery side dish to please a big crowd. Since the party was on a weeknight the salad had to be travel friendly (an hour to work and an hour to the party with no refrigeration). And since I didn't know all of the guests I ruled out my favorite herb, cilantro and nuts in case of allergies.

After some thinking I came up with two ingredients - wild rice and cranberries. Wild rice is native to North America - it grows in the Great Lakes region. Cranberries are a product of Massachusetts, so they were an easy choice to throw in.

I perused the cookbook library and really couldn't find a good recipe for what I was looking to make. So I used my American can-do attitude and made up my own recipe!

My weekly trip to the farmers' market yielded a vibrant green bunch of flat-leaf parsley and purple scallions. A quick trip to the grocery store provided the rest of the ingredients - wild rice and celery. Thanks to some delicious free samples, provided to me by Oh!Nuts, I had a bag of dried cranberries in the pantry. The dressing for the salad was made out of ingredients from the fridge and the pantry. As a bonus - this is a very healthy dish! The only fat comes from the oil in the dressing and all the ingredients bring something nutritious to the mix.

The salad was pretty quick to make - while the rice is cooking you can finish all of the other components. It held up well during travel and was a big hit! I lightly dressed the salad the the before the party and put out extra dressing for guests if they wanted more flavor. I will be making this again soon! The wild rice is a great base for a variety ingredients - much like quinoa, barley, or kasha. Perfect for summer lunches and potlucks!

For a recap of all the American inspired dishes and songs, visit the gracious party host's blog Doves and Figs. I forgot to take a picture of the finished product - you'll have to visit Doves and Figs to see the completed salad. Great company, food, drinks, and song!

Summer Wild Rice Salad
Serves 10+ as a side dish

Rice Salad
2 8-ounce bags Quick-cooking Wild Rice (Lundberg Family Farms brand)
1.5 cups celery stalks, washed and diced
1.5 cups dried cranberries
1 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
3-4 scallions, purple (or white) and green parts chopped

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Zest from 1 orange
Juice from one orange
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Cook rice according to the package instructions
Remove from the pot when finished and let cool completely
Toss veggies, herbs, and cranberries with the rice (I think using your hands mixes it best)

In a food processor, combine vinegar, honey, mustard, orange zest and juice
Blend, streaming in olive oil until well mixed and frothy

Pour about half the dressing over the rice mixture and toss well
Refrigerate overnight, or until ready to serve
Toss with additional dressing if desired
Garnish with fresh parsley leaves and enjoy!

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes (rice)
Pot for rice, spoons, cutting board, knife, measuring cups, food processor, serving bowl and utensils

Friday, April 9, 2010

Potluck in your plans? Head to the Pantry!

Tis the season for potlucks, picnics, and friendly spring get-togethers. Now that New England has thawed from winter, people are leaving the house again! If you find yourself invited to a potluck and have no idea what to make, here's an easy solution.

I had a Sunday afternoon lunch potluck on my calendar and knew exactly what dish I wanted to bring along. When I went the pantry to get the ingredients to make the pasta salad, turns out I had no pasta! No elbows, linguine, penne, nothing! Instead of running to the store I decided to get creative and work with what I had on hand.

With a few minutes and a few pantry staples I was able to pull together a tasty dish to bring along to a discerning group of diners - my sorority alumnae group (yay Gamma Phi Beta!). The dish had to be tasty, somewhat healthy, and good for sitting out for a little while. The dish got great feedback and I promised I would post the recipe on the blog. Without further delay, here is the recipe:

Quick and Easy Harvest Grain Salad

1 bag of Harvest Grains Blend from Trader Joe's (it has Israeli couscous, red and green orzo, split dried garbanzo beans, and red quinoa - it's in the rice aisle)
1 can of no salt added garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
About 1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt & Pepper
Dried or fresh herb blend (I used a premade mix with parsley, oregano, and basil)
Cook harvest grains according to the directions on the box
When done, immediately take out of the pot and put into a large serving bowl (or storage bowl) and fluff with a fork to separate the grains
Add the garbanzo beans, herbs (maybe 1-2 teaspoons) to the cous cous and mix with a spoon or spatula
Add about half the oil and vinegar
Mix well
Taste and add more herbs, oil/vinegar, and salt and pepper as needed
Chill and serve!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
Soup pot, fork, spoon, colander, measuring cups, serving bowl, serving spoon

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Good Cook Doris Photo Shoot

A friend of ours has taken up photography. I casually mentioned to him at our summer BBQ that if he ever wanted to take some food photos, I'd be happy to volunteer. Lucky for Good Cook Doris, he had a photo challenge that called for food pictures! Thanks for the new profile pic! Stay tuned for the next "When He Fends for Himself" - a new profile photo too!

I started thinking of colorful and photogenic recipes that would hopefully help him win his challenge. On the menu: grilled chicken with quick beer-brine, vegetable confetti couscous, and a red and golden beet salad. To finish off the meal on a sweet note - a quick 10 minute apple cinnamon pull apart bread.

We had our dinner shoot on a weeknight, so I did some cooking the night before in order to be ready on time. I roasted the beets and chopped all the veggies the night before. That left the chicken and couscous for the night of the shoot. I'll post photos and recipes below - it might be a long post. For more photos from my friend, visit his Flickr page at

This is a recipe I found on my new Epicurious iPhone app. I thought beets would make for a good photo and set out to find a recipe on my train ride home. As noted in the reviews of this recipe, the dressing was delicious and worth making for salads and other veggie dishes. There was no photo with the recipe, so I took the suggestions and styled it my way!

Beet, Cucumber, and Sweet Onion Salad with Dijon-Honey Dressing
Adapted from Epicurious (original recipe here)

3 medium red beets
3 medium golden beet
1 large English cucumber, unpeeled, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1/2 sweet vidalia onion halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
4 teaspoons honey
4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared Dijon mustard
1/3 cup corn oil

This part can be done the night before or earlier in the day:
Preheat oven to 400°F
Wrap each beet in foil, enclosing completely
Place on rack in oven (be sure to wrap well so they don't drip)
Bake until beets are tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
Cool in foil
Peel beets, then cut each into 6 or so round slices (I cut mine into half circles)
Note: use gloves when peeling the red beets otherwise your hands will be bright red (and peel over the foil!)
Store in a ziplock bag (red beets will stain your Tupperware)

Cut the onions and store in a plastic bag
Cut the cucumber and store with a little water in a separate plastic bag

Right before serving:
Arrange red beets on 1/3 of a large platter
Arrange golden beets on 1/3 of the other side of the platter
Arrange cucumbers down the middle
Sprinkle the onions on the top
Put in the fridge while you make the dressing

Whisk honey, vinegar, and mustard in small bowl to blend
Gradually whisk in the corn oil
Season with salt and pepper
Drizzle over vegetables right before serving

Confetti Couscous
This is a quick and easy dish perfect for using up leftover veggies. It's ready in less than 10 minutes and can be customized in many ways. The dish is great hot or cold, so no need to worry about serving right away.

1/2 of a red pepper
1/2 of a yellow pepper
1/2 of an orange pepper
1/2 - 1 cup of fresh shelled English peas (substitute frozen if you don't have fresh)
1 box of plain couscous
A few tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Dice peppers into small squares
Shell peas
Steam veggies in either the microwave or on the stovetop
Prepare couscous according to the instructions on the box
Fluff couscous and add veggies
Season with salt and pepper
Sprinkle with parsley and serve

Beer Brined Chicken
I searched the web for some recipes with grilled skin-on chicken breasts. I came upon a recipe on a site called Cooking for Engineers that was adapted from an Emeril recipe. Using the flavors as a guide, I adapted it myself for this delicious dish! I didn't marinate the night before, but I can imagine it would be even more delicious if I did. Here's my version:

2 cups apple juice (natural, not the super sugary kind)
1/4 cup kosher salt (maybe a little less)
A teaspoon or two ground cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon multi-colored peppercorns
A dash or two of ground cloves
A dash of nutmeg
4 boneless skin-on chicken breasts
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bottle of dark beer (I used a Newcastle)

Put the chicken in a large dish
Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with all the spices and rub in with your hands
Pour beer into the dish
Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge until you're ready to grill

Heat the grill to 450 degrees
While the grill is heating, melt butter and mix in chili powder and cayenne pepper
Take chicken out of marinade and brush with the butter mixture
Lay chicken skin side down on the grill (watch to make sure it doesn't catch on fire like mine)
Flip every 10 minutes or so until it is cooked through (165 degrees inside - with a meat thermometer)
Due to the fire at the beginning, the chicken cooked a little quicker than expected (about 20-25 minutes)
Served with a parsley garnish, no sauce was needed!

Quick and Easy Pull Apart Bread
I was briefly a Pampered Chef Consultant (I hate following rules!) and this is one of my favorite recipes that I took away from the experience. It works perfectly with my 8-inch skillet and cinnamon sprinkle. This dish costs maybe $2 at the most. Budget friendly and it could be diet friendly (if you use a healthier butter substitute).

1 apple (any type) cored and diced into small squares
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of cinnamon sprinkle (or combo of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, etc.)
1 can of supermarket brand biscuits (they are 2/$1 at my store)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (or the temp. on the can)
Melt the butter in an 8-inch oven-proof skillet over medium heat
Add 1 tablespoon of cinnamon sprinkle and diced apples
Saute until brown and just softened
Tear biscuits into small pieces and cover the apple cinnamon mixture
Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of cinnamon mixture on top of the biscuits
Place the skillet in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown
Remove from oven
Place a large plate over the skillet and flip over (like an upside down cake)
Enjoy - there won't be any leftovers!

Thanks Jim!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Old Favorite - Sloppy Joe Sandwiches

A few years ago I figured out that it was cheaper - and tastier - to make my own sloppy joe sauce. Don't get me wrong, Manwich is tasty, but it is salty! And once you read the label, you realize that you have most of the ingredients in your pantry and it takes no time at all to make a homemade sauce.

I downloaded a new iPhone app from Whole Foods that lets you put in a few ingredients you have on hand and it will suggest recipes for you. This is an entertaining app to play with on the train ride home from work. I've gotten good at coming up with impossible combinations for the WF recipe gurus (soy milk + peas + beef stumps them). One of the featured recipes last week was for sloppy joe sandwiches so I decided to give their recipe a try. I had ground beef in the fridge and all the other ingredients in the pantry. I didn't have any onions, so I decided to use up the last of the rainbow carrots from the farmer's market. Don't they look good?

On the side I decided to make a 'quick' baked beans. I figured that the carrots counted for our vegetable, so I didn't make another one on the side. I served the sandwiches on potato rolls for a delicious meal! Here's the recipe and the photo for 2 servings. You should start the beans first and then move on to the sloppy joes.

Quick Sloppy Joe Sandwiches
Adapted from a Whole Foods Recipe

1/2 pound ground sirloin
About 1/2 cup carrots, diced into small pieces
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup tomato ketchup
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar)
2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
2 burger buns

Heat a medium sized skillet to medium heat
Put the beef in the pan and brown for about 5—7 minutes
Add the carrots and season with salt and pepper
Cook until carrots are almost soft about 5 minutes
Add in ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and mustard and stir well
Simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes
Spoon over burgers

These would be tasty with some sharp cheddar cheese or a nice colby jack.

Quick Baked Beans

1 can kidney beans, drained
1 garlic scape chopped into bean size pieces (or 1 garlic clove minced)
1 teaspoon bbq rub (or your favorite spices)
1 tablespoon water

Heat a small pot (with a lid) over medium heat
Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes
Add beans, water, and seasoning to the pot
Simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes (or until you're done making the rest of the meal)

Summary (for both dishes):
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Skillet, cutting board and knife, small pot with lid, measuring spoons and cups, spoons, serving dishes

Monday, June 29, 2009

Farmer's Market Finds - Part 1

One of my favorite things about working on Fridays in the summer is my trip to the Copley Square farmer's market. I bring my reusable bags and head out (rain or shine) to see what interesting things are for sale each week. It's fun, but a little slow, to go without a plan and just pick up whatever catches my eye. I usually pick up something for lunch and then take about four laps around the market before committing to any purchases.

This week's finds included one of my new favorite spring finds - English peas. They are bigger than the standard frozen peas and have a great flavor. I also picked up some rainbow carrots and garlic scapes. I had never heard of a garlic scape, but for $1 I figured that they were worth a try! They are a curly green shoot that grows out of the garlic. The sign on the basket said that they could be cut and sauteed like green beans and that they have milder garlic flavor.

Another bonus at this market is that there is a stand that sells steaks, ribs, and other meats. I picked up a nice sirloin steak for us to eat along with all the new vegetables.

Here's what I came up with for Friday night dinner with the farmer's market finds. Stay tuned for the Saturday morning breakfast post and more fun with the farmer's market finds.

This was a quick meal - the veggies take 5 minutes and the steak takes about 20-25 minutes or so to cook.

Grilled Sirloin Steak
Sirloin Steak
Your favorite seasoning (we used more of the leftover coffee rub from the BBQ)

Heat the grill for about 5-10 minutes to medium-high (like 400-450 degrees)
Rub the seasonings on the steak and let it sit while the grill is heating
Grill for 5ish minutes per side (depending on thickness)
Remove the steak and let it rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting it (this lets the juices redistribute)

Sauteed Farmer's Market Veggies
About 1/2 cup of fresh shelled peas
4 garlic scapes, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup baby rainbow carrots, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
Dash of salt and pepper

Heat the oil to medium in a small skillet
Rinse and pat the veggies dry
Add to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
The veggies will still have a little crunch (I hate mushy cooked carrots)

Serve with your favorite rice or couscous and a nice glass of wine!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Trio of Mediterranean Inspired Dips

We were invited over to someone's house and asked to bring an appetizer along. Our host told us that the menu included shrimp and swordfish kabobs, couscous, and salad with feta. I wanted to make something to go along with the Mediterranean/Greek theme, so I looked online at the menus of my favorite Greek restaurants. A lot of the appetizers needed to be served right from the oven or seemed to heavy. Keeping in mind that our dinner hosts don't eat garlic, onions, or spicy foods - I decided to do a search of my cookbook collection and find something I could customize. After searching for a little while, I decided to whip a few dips to eat with pita chips.

These were quick and easy to pull together - perfect to make ahead and keep in the fridge until party time. Here's the line up:

Dip #1 - Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip
Dip #2 - Olive Tapenade with Sundried Tomatoes
Dip #3 - Low-fat Tzatziki (cucumber/yogurt dip)

All the dips can be served with pita chips, veggies, toasted baguettes, or crackers.

*Recipe note - I omitted garlic from all of the recipes.

Dip #1 - Red Pepper and Walnut Dip (adapted from Cooking Light)

3/4 cup walnuts, toasted (I forgot to toast them and it was still good)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoons ground red pepper
1 12-ounce bottle of roasted red peppers, drained (I used a 7 oz. jar)

Place all ingredients into the food processor and pulse until smooth
Put into serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve

Dip #2 - Olive Tapenade with Sundried Tomatoes

This is a great idea when you have a lot of assorted leftovers in the fridge. It can be customized depending on your taste. Here's my version:

About 1 cup of assorted pitted olives (I got a few scoops from the olive/antipasto bar at the grocery store)
2 sundried tomatoes (from a jar of sundried tomatoes packed in oil)
Few sprigs of fresh parsley
Zest from half a lemon

Same instructions as dip #1:
Place all ingredients into the food processor and pulse until smooth
Put into serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve

Dip #3 - Low-fat Tzatziki (cucumber/yogurt dip) (adapted from Cooking Light)

1 32-ounce carton plain low-fat yogurt
1.5 cups shredded English cucumber (about 3/4 of a large cucumber)
3/4 teaspoon salt - divided into 1/2 teaspoon and 1/4 teaspoon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

This recipe has two steps. To prepare the yogurt, you need 12+ hours. The rest of the recipe takes about 20 minutes the next day (or later)

Place a colander into a large bowl
Line the colander with cheesecloth if you have it. I used basket coffee filters to lining the interior of the colander
Spoon the yogurt onto the filters
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12+ hours
After 12 hours, remove from the fridge and spoon the yogurt into a bowl and discard the excess liquid
Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the other ingredients

Shred the cucumber using a grater or mandoline with grater blade
Place it into a colander and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt
Toss well to combine and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes
After 15 minutes, pour the cucumber onto a large paper towel
Squeeze until almost all water is gone (you may need to transfer to a dry paper towel a few times and repeat)

Combine the yogurt, cucumber, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, chopped parsley, lemon juice and pepper in a serving bowl and mix well
Drizzle the olive on top just before serving

I'll post pictures from the party when we return!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Backyard BBQ Part 3 - Two Tasty Salads

Sometimes potato salad and coleslaw seem a little boring. To make our backyard BBQ a little more unique (and healthy), I substituted two tasty salads on the side. Both these salads are vegetarian and have vinaigrette dressing - so no need to worry about leaving them out for a few hours (no meat or mayo).

The first is a version of the sun dried tomato couscous salad that I've posted previously. You'll notice that this time I left out the salami to give the non-meat eaters another option. Other substitutions included basil (not parsley), baby arugula, and chopped kalamata olives.

I found the recipe for the second salad in a Cook's Country magazine at the book store. This magazine is published by the same people from America's Test Kitchen, so you know the recipe has to be good! This recipe for Tangy Apple-Cabbage Slaw sounded so light and different that I went home to find it online. I had to register for a free trial of the website to get it, but it was well worth it! Here it is:

Tangy Apple Cabbage Slaw
1 medium head green cabbage, cored and chopped into thin strips
2 teaspoons salt
3 granny smith apples (they called for 2), cored and cut into thin matchsticks (don't peel the apples)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I just used one shake from the jar)

Start this first step about an hour before you want to make the salad:
Toss the chopped cabbage and salt in a colander set over a bowl. I put a plate on top to weight it down
Let it stand for about an hour, until wilted
Rinse the cabbage well under cold water
Drain, dry with paper towels, and transfer it to a large bowl

About 15 minutes before the cabbage ready to be drained, start to prepare the rest of the salad
Put the oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard and pepper flakes into a saucepan over medium heat
Bring to a boil, stir well, remove from the heat and set aside

Core and cut apples into thin 1/4 inch matchsticks
Slice the scallions

After the cabbage is rinsed and put in a large bowl, add the apples and scallions and toss to combine
Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat
Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least an hour before serving (you can refrigerate it up to 1 day)


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