July 22, 2014
We love green bean salads in the summer here at S&SK, so when I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it. Plus, it reminded me of the long forgotten 3-bean salad of my growing up. So long forgotten that I kept wracking my brain as to what the 3rd bean was. I knew it included canned green beans and canned kidney beans, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember the 3rd bean. So of course I googled it and saw that it was wax beans! So if you want this recipe to look like the classic but taste 21st century, you could make it with green and wax beans (at farmer’s markets up here right now) and kidney beans. :-) We served this with potato salad and grilled meats. Yum!
Margaux says . . .
We loved this recipe! I’m always looking for new ways to prepare green beans because it is a family favorite. The flavor in this salad is amazing, with the capers, herbs, shallot and lemon. I used canned cannellini beans. I served it with California burgers and corn on the cob…perfect summer weeknight meal.
BEAN SALAD adapted from Bon Appetit
2 cups cooked beans, fresh or dried (such as cannellini, borlotti or cranberry) or 1 14-oz. can cannellini or kidney beans, rinsed
1 pound green beans (or half green and half wax beans), ends trimmed, beans snapped in two
3/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup olive oil
juice of 1/2 or 1 whole lemon, depending on how large
1 small shallot, minced
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook the dried or fresh shell beans according to directions. Drain and set aside to cool. Alternatively, open the can, rinse and drain. Cook the green beans (and wax beans if using). Place in steamer, bring water to a boil and steam for 5-6 minutes. Alternatively, cover in water, bring to a boil and simmer for 5-6 minutes. Either way, drain, place back in the pan, cover with cold water and ice to cool down and stop the cooking. Once cool, drain and dry with paper towels.
Place both types of beans in a large bowl. Add the parsley, chives, capers and lemon zest. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, the shallot, the red pepper and salt/black pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the bean mixture and mix thoroughly, best done with your hands.
July 22, 2014
Aunt Suzy says . . .
I have become enamored with farro, an ancient grain that’s a species of wheat. (I love this NPR article that includes a few recipes.) I saw this recipe as I was about to head out to the farmer’s market. Beets are just coming in now up here in Minnesota, and I love using both the beet root and tops in dishes. Star Prairie Trout Farm sells at the market – fresh and smoked – and I had some farro on hand, so I was set! We really enjoyed this and Randy remarked that he would like it equally as a side salad without the trout. A dry rosé wine was a perfect complement.
Adapted from Food and Wine
3 small beets (1/2 pound)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 thyme sprigs
1 rosemary sprig
4 cups water
1 1/2 cups semi-pearled farro (8 ounces)
1 shallot, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon honey
Freshly ground pepper
6 ounces skinless smoked trout fillet, flaked
2 cups chopped beet greens or Swiss chard—stems removed, leaves washed and finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a small baking dish, lightly drizzle the beets with olive oil and rub to coat. Cover the dish with foil and roast for about 1 hour, until the beets are tender. Let cool, then peel the beets and cut into 1/2-inch dice.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the garlic, thyme, rosemary, water and 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil. Stir in the farro and simmer over moderate heat until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well and transfer the farro to a bowl. Discard the garlic and herbs. Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl, combine the shallot, lemon juice and honey. Gradually whisk in the 1/3 cup of oil and season with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, toss 2 tablespoons of the dressing with the trout.
To the farro, add the diced beets, the chopped greens and the remaining dressing and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Transfer the salad to a serving platter, scatter the trout on top and serve. (I think this could also be served slightly warm. Definitely the flavors will be more pronounced if not chilled before serving.)
July 21, 2014
This pasta salad caught my eye on “Food and Wine” because of the olives and tomatoes…I really love that combo of flavors in a pasta salad. But what made this excellent is the mixed herb pesto that you toss it with, and the shaved pecorino that you toss in after it’s completely cooled, so that it doesn’t melt. This dish has a ton of flavor and will be in regular rotation on our “pasta Wednesdays” in the summer!
Penne with Herbs, Tomatoes, Olives and Pecorin0
adapted from Food and Wine
1 pound penne
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves, halved
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped thyme
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped marjoram
1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes—halved, seeded and quartered
1/3 cup Calamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 cup coarsely grated Tuscan Pecorino cheese (3 ounces)
Freshly ground pepper
Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the penne and toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large serving bowl. Let sit to get to room temperature.
Meanwhile, in a blender, puree the basil, parsley, garlic, thyme, marjoram with 1/3 cup of olive oil. Add more olive oil if you think it’s necessary…the original recipe called for 1/2 cup, but I felt that was a little much. Scrape into the bowl with the pasta and season with salt, then toss together.
Then toss in the tomatoes and olives and let stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes to develop flavor. Just before serving, add the Pecorino, season with salt and pepper and toss well.
July 20, 2014
My family farm has a couple of cherry trees, and this year we just happened to be in town (its 2.5 hours south of Chicago) when they were ready to pick! We picked as many as we could in 20 minutes, and got just enough for a pie and some hand pies I made a week later. Last year we got lucky with cherries, too, and I made this slab pie, which is also fantastic. It’s always hard to decide what kind of dessert to make when you only get cherries once a year. Next year, I vow to spend more than 20 minutes picking cherries (someone will have to entertain the children!), so that we have enough to freeze for later. Then I can make a pie, a slab pie, this sour cherry crumble pie that Aunt Suzy posted about years ago, and this cake that looks really good.
I found this recipe while reading a Smitten Kitchen blog about a strawberry rhubarb pie recipe that I used recently. The idea is that you bake the crust before baking the pie, so that the bottom crust isn’t soggy. I like that idea. It’s what I do with my single crust baked pies, like peach and custard pies, so why wouldn’t I do it with cherry? The results were just as I wanted…no soggy bottom crust. Instead it was nice and crisp, buttery and delicious. Instead of a traditional lattice top, I used a round cookie cutter to make a decorated top. I could have layered them and added more, because I didn’t think about the fact that they would shrink during baking. So I recommend putting more on than you think are needed.
Twice-Baked Sour Cherry Pie
adapted from Melissa Clark’s recipe in The New York Times
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, more for rolling out dough
3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
15 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1 cup sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons instant tapioca
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 pounds sour cherries (about 6 cups), rinsed and pitted
1 tablespoon kirsch or brandy
3 tablespoons heavy cream, or 1 egg yolk lightly whisked with 1 tbsp water
Demerara sugar, for sprinkling.
1. To make dough: in bowl of a food processor pulse together flour and salt just to combine. Add butter and pulse until chickpea-size pieces form. Add 3 to 6 tablespoons ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until mixture just comes together. Separate dough into 2 disks, one using 2/3 dough, the other using the remaining. Wrap disks in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour (and up to 3 days) before rolling out and baking.
2. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place larger dough disk on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 12-inch circle, about 3/8-inch thick. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Line dough with foil and weigh it down with pie weights. Bake until crust is light golden brown, about 30 minutes.
3. While pie crust is baking, prepare filling. In bowl of a food processor, combine sugar, tapioca and cinnamon (use more tapioca if you prefer a thicker, more solid filling, and less if you like a looser, juicier filling). Run the motor until tapioca is finely ground. Place cherries in a bowl and add sugar and tapioca mixture. Drizzle in kirsch or brandy and toss gently to combine.
4. When pie crust is ready, transfer it to a wire rack to cool slightly and reduce heat to 375 degrees. Remove foil and weights. Scrape cherry filling into pie crust.
5. Place smaller disk of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it 3/8-inch thick. Use a round cookie cutter (or several round cookie cutters of different sizes) to cut out circles of dough. Arrange circles on top of cherry filling in a pattern of your choice.
6. Brush top crust with cream or egg wash and sprinkle generously with Demerara sugar (as you can see in photos, I forgot my sugar. Oops.) Bake until crust is dark golden brown and filling begins to bubble, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer pie to a wire rack to cool for at least 2 hours, allowing filling to set before serving.
Aunt Suzy says . . .
This recipe caught my eye because Randy has been talking up trying the slow-roasting method for cooking salmon. Our usual approach is high-heat roasting for a very short period of time. We also love mustard greens; this is an unusual, but ultimately delicious, use of them. As Margaux says, the slow-roasting yields a tender and, we felt, silky textured piece of salmon. The original recipe called for 4 pieces of salmon, but we both made it with 2, using the full quantities of ingredients for everything else. If making with more pieces of salmon, we recommend upping the amounts of the other ingredients. We served with Green Rice and a dry French rosé wine.
We loved this dish! I’ve never made salmon slow roasted, and I thought it was really tender and delicious, and not dry at all. The sauce was divine. I only made two pieces of salmon, but still made the full recipe of the chickpeas and sauce. The leftover chickpeas and greens made a nice lunch the next day, and we ended up using almost all of the sauce because it was really good over the rice I made to accompany this as well.
Slow-Roasted Salmon with Mustard Greens, Chickpeas and Lemon-Mustard Sauce
2 tablespoons plus olive oil
1 15.5-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 bunch small mustard greens, stems removed, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon honey dissolved in 3 tablespoons hot water
2 4-6-oz. salmon fillets
1/2 small shallot, very finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon, or more to taste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, patted dry
¼ teaspoon crushed red chile pepper
Preheat oven to 250°. Lightly coat a large baking dish with oil. Place chickpeas in a medium bowl and mash about half of them with a fork. Remove skins that have come loose. Add the cumin and 1 tablespoon olive oil, stir to thoroughly combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer chickpea mixture to the prepared baking dish.
Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the garlic, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the mustard greens and cook, tossing, until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Add honey water and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing, until greens are completely wilted, 2-3 more minutes. Transfer to dish with chickpea mixture.
Season salmon with salt and pepper then arrange over greens and chickpea mixture. Bake until salmon is opaque in the center, 25-35 minutes, depending on thickness. (Ours were relatively thin sockeye salmon pieces which were fully cooked at 25 minutes.)
LEMON DRESSING AND FINAL ASSEMBLY
Whisk shallot, 1/4 cup olive oil, mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon honey in a liquid measuring cup. Season with salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the lemon juice. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the capers and crushed red pepper and cook until opened and crisp, about 30 seconds; drain on paper towels.
Place the greens and chickpea mixture on individual serving plates. Top with a piece of the salmon then drizzle with the dressing and top with capers.
July 8, 2014
Aunt Suzy says . . .
I was in our local coop the other day and was happy to see Chef Kate of Community Cooking with Kate doing a food demo. The things she demos are always delicious and use seasonal ingredients, plus she gives out recipes! I especially liked this onion jam, something I don’t think I’ve ever tasted before. Yum! I made this yesterday for a potluck dinner + movie with friends for our appetizer. Chef Kate served the jam with gruyere cheese and artisan nut thins crackers, so I followed suit. I have to confess I was a little worried whether we would like this. Not to worry, every last morsel of crackers, jam and cheese were gobbled up with a side of rave reviews! So next time you want to serve a unique appetizer, I highly recommend this. A glass of Prosecco is a great match.
2 large sweet onions, like Vidalia
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or a few sprigs of fresh
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup dried apricots, diced
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
NOTE: you can adjust ingredients up or down to taste. You can also substitute golden raisins for the apricots.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat till shimmering. Add the onions and the salt and saute for about 15 minutes, until translucent and fragrant.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
Reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered for 30-45 minutes until caramelized. Check every so often to stir and add water if it’s becoming too dry in order to prevent scorching. I used the entire 45 minutes.
Serve with cheese and crackers or crostini. I think a manchego or a pecorino romano would work well as options to the gruyere. Randy thought this was equally delicious without the cheese.
Aunt Suzy says . . .
Our local salmon fisherman, Wild Run Salmon, has started catching and selling cod early in the farmers’ market season. I recently bought some from him and the rest is history, as they say! I decided to make this with cod even though it was not called for in the original recipe. This is a WOW dish – tasty, colorful and that it’s easy to make is an added bonus. Randy and I were both happy it made enough for two meals this week. A Sauvignon Blanc was a great match for these flavors. (I don’t this this would be the case with a New Zealand SB – American or French have the right flavor profile.)
Ingredients for 4 servings
1 pound firm white fish such as halibut, snapper or cod, cut into 4 pieces
Salt and pepper
1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped leaves and stems
2 garlic cloves, processed through a garlic press
1/2-1 serrano chile, very finely chopped, to taste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons butter
2 large onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Pinch ground cayenne pepper
1/2 preserved lemon, finely diced
1/2-1 cup green and/or black pitted olives, cut in half
Marinate the fish in cilantro sauce
Toast 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and 1 teaspoon coriander seeds in a dry skillet till fragrant. Cool slightly and roughly grind in a mortar and pestle. Place the cilantro, garlic, chile, 1 teaspoon of the ground spice mixture and the paprika in a bowl. Whisk the 1/4 cup olive oil and lime juice together and add to the cilantro mixture. Salt to taste. Stir to combine thoroughly. Place some of the cilantro sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Place the fish on top of the sauce, and optionally salt and pepper to taste. Set a small amount of the sauce aside for serving at the table with the cooked fish. Place the remaining sauce on top of the fish. Cover the dish and marinate at room temperature for 1 hour. You can marinate for longer, but refrigerate except for the last hour. NOTE: 1/2 serrano packed a lot of heat in the sauce, so I say use sparingly so the heat doesn’t blot out the flavor.
Prepare the sauteed onions
Slice the onions. I recommend cutting “pole to pole” rather than “around the equator”. I learned this technique a few years ago, which results in firmer and less stringy onions. Place the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan and heat over a medium burner. When it begins to shimmer, add the butter. When butter is melted and slightly bubbly, add the onions. Stir to coat, then add the remaining ground spice mixture, 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, the turmeric and cayenne and stir to combine thoroughly. Turn up the heat slightly and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions just begin to brown, 10-15 minutes. Place in an oblong baking dish large enough to hold all the fish on top of the onions. Stir in the preserved lemon and place the olives on top.
Bake the fish with the onions
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the fish on top of the onions, scraping all the remaining sauce on top of the fish. Bake on the top level of the oven for 10-15 minutes, until fish is firm to the touch.
You can place the fish on top of the onions on serving plates or alongside as shown in the photo. Place a little of the reserved sauce on each serving. You can see we served with fresh roasted asparagus – it’s that time of year! I think roasted potatoes or some sort of rice dish would be a nice complement.