Monday, August 27, 2012

Sauteed Kale with Garlic and Pine Nuts

If you haven't started cooking with this super food yet, you should.  And now is the perfect time to start.  You'll find and abundance of this gorgeous, leafy green at your farmers' markets right now.  Kale is delicious, packed with nutrients, and so easy to prepare. 

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 pound kale, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add kale, salt and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes or until kale is tender-crisp.  Sprinkle with pine nuts

Makes a nice side dish or serve with farro, wheat berries or pasta for a delicious meatless main.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sauteed Summer Fruits over Greens with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Reduction

Although I never get tired of biting into a juicy farm-fresh peach, sometimes I like to take my fruit to the next level.   This simple and delicious salad, requires just a quick saute step for the fruit, which is then served over buttery lettuce.  If you don't want to make the balsamic reduction, a drizzle of balsamic will do as well.
And, if you've gone a bit overboard at the Farmers' Market and bought more produce than you think you can possible eat, this is a great way to use up that luscious fruit. 

2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 peaches, pitted and sliced
2 plums, pitted and sliced
1 cup blueberries
1 head Bibb lettuce
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan.  Simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until reduced by half.  Stir in 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1 tablespoon butter; set aside.

Melt remaining tablespoon butter in 10-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add peaches and plums and cook about 1 minute, just until softened.  Add blueberries and brown sugar and cook about 1 minute or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is slightly saucy.

Arrange lettuce on platter; pour fruit mixture over lettuce.  Top with goat cheese and walnuts. Pour Balsamic reduction over salad and serve immediately.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Coconut-Watermelon Vodka Lushie

Finding it hard get all of the necessary servings of fruit in your diet?  No worries, just drink you're fruit!  I somehow always feel a little better about my cocktails, when I know I'm getting a few servings of fruit in there.  What better time than summer to blend your favorite fruits with your favorite booze to create refreshing summer cocktail.  Fresh watermelon, blended with vodka, mint and the subtle taste of coconut....Cheers!

3 cups cubed watermelon
1 cup coconut water
1 cup ice cubes
1/2 cup vodka
2 to 3 sprigs mint

Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into glasses and garnish with watermelon wedges and soak up the sun!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Summer Watermelon & Tomato Salsa

Warm nights, cool cocktails, ocean breezes, crazy thunderstorms....Just a few of my favorite summer things.

One of my exceedingly favorite things about summer is the abundance of farmers markets and farm fresh produce.  After a long winter, I almost forget how delicious fruits and veggies taste when they haven't been picked weeks before they arrive at the supermarket.  Nothing inspires the cook in me more than a walk through the farmers' market.  I find that the hardest thing is reigning myself in, because I literally want to buy and cook everything!

For the rest of the summer, and even into the fall, expect to see many recipes inspired by Farmers' Markets.  This recipe combines fabulous Jersey yellow tomatoes, with sweet red watermelon.  Serve with chips, over greens, or use to top grilled fish, pork or chicken.

2 cups diced watermelon
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup diced, peeled and seeded, cucumber
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper (you can add more if you like, it depends on how hot the jalapeno is and how hot you like it!)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.  Serve with chips, or with grilled fish, pork or chicken.

I really love how colorful this salsa is.  You can also try using yellow watermelon and red tomatoes.