10 Jun Summer Minestrone Soup with Pesto

Try this soup using other fresh vegetables or herbs you have on hand.

Ingredients:

  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 small red-skinned potatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 small zucchini, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 15-ounce can cannelloni beans, drained
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled, crushed
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • 6 T purchased or homemade pesto
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1.  Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes.

2.  Add broth and next 7 ingredients. Increase heat to high and bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover pot, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

3.  Stir in spinach; simmer 3 minutes longer. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.

4.  Ladle soup into 6 bowls; garnish each with 1 tablespoon pesto. Serve, passing cheese separately.

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27 May Fresh Peach Salsa

This simple peach salsa can be made in advance and simply eaten with chips or served with grilled fish, chicken or pork.  Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl. Mix well, taste for seasoning and refrigerate until serving.

Ingredients:

  • 6 fresh Texas peaches, pitted, peeled and diced
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1½ cups diced fresh jicama
  • ½ cup diced fresh cucumber
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, washed and patted dry, chopped
  • 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced (optional)
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • pinch freshly-grated nutmeg
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20 May Figs in a Blanket

Recipe courtesy of Mozzarella Company
For a variation, try using local melons in place of figs.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided for separate use
  • 8 very thin slices prosciutto, about 1/4 pound
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) soft, Texas Goat Cheese
  • 8 fresh ripe figs or 8 dried figs plumped in 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 4 leaves mint, cut into thin strips, for garnish

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Brush a non-stick baking sheet with 1 tsp olive oil.

2.  Separate the slices of prosciutto and cut each in half so that there are 16 pieces. Divide the Goat Cheese into 16 pieces and roll them into small balls. Cut the figs in half and make indentation with thumb in each.

3.  Place a ball of Goat Cheese into the indentation of each fig. Wrap each fig tightly with a piece of prosciutto, taking care to completely enclose the Goat Cheese so that it won’t run out while baking. Gently squeeze the prosciutto-wrapped figs to seal the packets and place the figs on the prepared baking sheet.

4.  Combine balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp of olive oil, and honey in a small dish.

5.  Bake figs for 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese begins to melt and the prosciutto begins to brown.

6.  Remove from the oven and, using a spoon, drizzle the balsamic vinegar dressing over the figs. Serve while warm, with mint for garnish.

 

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13 May Stir Fried Beef, Broccoli and Sweet Potato

Can also be made with kale. Serve with rice.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 3 T oyster sauce or fish sauce
  • ¼ tsp dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 lb flank steak, cut in half lengthwise then crosswise into ¼ inch thick slices
  • 1 ½ T flour
  • 2 ½ T sesame oil
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 peeled sweet potato, cut in half lengthwise then in 1/3 inch thick slices
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh ginger

Directions:

1.  Stir first four ingredients in small bowl until sugar dissolves.

2.  Place beef in large bowl and sprinkle salt and pepper, then add flour and toss to coat.

3.  Heat 1 ½ T oil in large wok over high heat. Add beef and stir fry until no longer pink outside, about 3 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl.

4.  Heat 1T oil in same skillet. Add broccoli, sweet potato and ginger. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add sauce. Cover, reduce heat and cook until vegetables are tender, about five minutes. Add beef, tossing until sauce coats beef, about one minute.

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06 May Smothered Yellow Squash with Basil

This also works well with zucchini

Ingredients:

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb medium yellow squash, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil

Directions:

1.  Heat 1 T oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then add half of squash and sauté, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes.

2.  Transfer browned squash to a bowl, then heat remaining tablespoon oil and sauté remaining squash in same manner. Return squash in bowl to skillet. Add garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, 1 minute.

3.  Add water, salt, and pepper and simmer briskly, covered, until squash is tender and most of liquid is evaporated, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in basil.

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29 Apr Radishes with Mozzarella

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces mozzarella or burrata cheese, torn into pieces
  • 2 thinly sliced radishes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped chives and finely grated lemon zest (for topping)

Directions:

1.  Tear cheese into pieces and place on a platter.

2.  Toss 2 thinly sliced radishes with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.

3.  Arrange radish mixture over cheese and drizzle with any remaining dressing.

4.  Top with chopped chives and finely grated lemon zest

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22 Apr Shrimp Scampi with Green Onions and Orzo

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup orzo
  • 4 T (1/2 stick) butter, divided
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • 1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 8 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine

Directions:

1.  Cook orzo in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.

2.  Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic for 10 seconds. Add shrimp and sauté 2 minutes. Add green onions and toss until shrimp are just opaque in center, about 1 minute longer. Add wine and toss until wine boils, about 1 minute. Mix in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and season to taste with salt and pepper.

3.  Drain pasta; transfer to large bowl. Top with shrimp and onion-garlic butter.  Serve with sautéed spinach or other greens.

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15 Apr Sweet Potato & Spinach Breakfast Strata

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cubed sweet potato
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp pepper, divided
  • 2 cups spinach, shredded
  • 1/2 lb. stale sourdough bread, cubed
  • 4 oz. shredded fontina or other cheese, divided
  • 1 T minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 T minced chives
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk

Directions:

1.  Prepare the night before you plan to serve it. Roast sweet potatoes and onions in olive oil, salt and pepper at 400 for 15-20 minutes.

2.  Place the spinach in a large bowl and scoop hot sweet potatoes and onions on top. Stir, letting spinach wilt just slightly. Add bread, along with 2 ounces of cheese, the rosemary and the chives, tossing until well combined.

3.  Lightly grease a 9×9-inch baking dish. Scoop the bread mixture into the pan, evenly distributing the spinach and sweet potatoes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over the bread mixture, pressing down on the bread to submerge it completely in the egg mixture. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

4.  In the morning, bake the strata for 45 minutes at 350, covered. Remove the foil, sprinkle with remaining 2 ounces of cheese, and continue to bake uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes until the strata has puffed and the cheese is browning. Serves 4-6.

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10 Apr Sausage, Greens, and Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds sausage
  • 1-2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 1/2 pounds red skinned potatoes, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 bunch spinach, kale, or other greens, washed and chopped
  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 T dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 rind Parmesan or Pecorino cheese (optional, but so good!)

Directions:

1.  Heat 1T olive oil in large Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Sauté sausage rounds for a minute or two, until they are nicely browned. Transfer to a small plate and set aside.

2.  Add 1T olive oil to the pot, along with the minced garlic and onions. Sauté over medium ‐low heat for 4‐5 minutes until onions soften and start to get transparent.

3.  Add broth, water, potatoes and salt to the pot. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a steady simmer and cook for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

4.  Using a potato masher or immersion blender, mash half the potatoes right in the pot, so you have a creamy broth with some chunks of potato remaining.

5.  Add the cooked sausage, greens, beans, thyme, oregano, and rind. Cook until the greens wilt and the soup is heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 5-7.

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03 Sep Tomato-and-Corn Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 3 small Tomatoes, sliced

  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly Ground Pepper

  • 1 (14-oz.) package prebaked Italian Pizza Crust

  • Parchment paper

  • 1/3 cup refrigerated Pesto

  • 1/2 cup fresh Corn Kernels

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

  • 1 teaspoon Sugar

  • 8 ounces fresh Mozzarella, sliced

  • 3 tablespoons fresh whole or torn Basil Leaves

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 450°. Place Tomato slices on paper towels. Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper; let stand 20 minutes.

2.  Place Pizza Crust on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet; spread with Pesto. Stir together Corn, Parmesan, and Sugar. Top Pizza with Corn mixture, Tomatoes, and Mozzarella Slices.

3.  Bake at 450° for 14 minutes or until Cheese is melted and golden. Remove from oven, and top with Basil Leaves.

Note: Tested with Boboli Original Pizza Crust.

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