Tomato, Watermelon and Beet Salad with Caramelized Almonds

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2 cups tomatoes, cubed (or cherry tomatoes, halved)

2 cups watermelon, cubed

3 medium-small beets, boiled, peeled and cubed

1 cups slivered almonds

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons natural sugar, preferably maple sugar or evaporated cane sugar

2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped, for garnish

 

Dressing:

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar (can substitute apple cider vinegar)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste

 

To cook the beets: place the unpeeled beets in a medium saucepan, and cover them with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until fully cooked, about 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted indicates they are tender. Drain and cool.

 

Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, toss the almonds with the maple syrup and sugar. Spread them evenly on a foil-covered baking sheet and bake until caramelized 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool. Break up the clumps into small pieces.

 

Remove skins from the beets with a peeler or a knife, cut into cubes roughly the same size as the watermelon and tomatoes, place them in a salad bowl. Cube the tomatoes and watermelon, add them to the beets. Whisk together the vinegar, salt and olive oil, toss into the salad. Serve the salad sprinkled with almonds and garnished with chopped mint. Serves 8.

 


Melon and Blueberry Salad with Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette

A healthy summer salad that can be amped up with a pinch of cayenne. You can also try it with a bit of Tajin chili-lime powder, available at many supermarkets, including Walmart. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tajin-Fruit-With-Lime-Seasoning-5.3-oz/10849977

 

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2 C Galia or cantaloupe melon, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 C watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 apple, thinly sliced (a combination of red and green is nice, but choose whatever you like)

1 C blueberries

4 C arugula

¼ lb feta cheese, crumbled

 

Dressing:

4 medium shallots

Zest and juice of 1 lime

¼ C apple cider vinegar

1/3 C olive oil

1 T honey

Pinch of cayenne (optional)

½ t Tajin chili-lime powder OR Sumac (optional)

Sea salt, to taste

 

Roast the shallots: Preheat the oven to 375F. Place the shallots in an oven tray with the skin on, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and roast for 45 minutes. Allow them to cool enough to handle and remove the skins. Transfer the shallots to a food processor, mini-prep or Magic Bullet and add the remaining dressing ingredients. Blend well, taste and adjust for salt and spice.

 

Put the arugula in a large, wide serving bowl and scatter it decoratively with the melons, apple slices and blueberries. Add the crumbled feta and lastly drizzle with the vinaigrette. Extra dressing can be served on the side. Serves 4.


Baby Potatoes with Coconut Flakes and Mustard Seeds

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A delectable complement to any Indian cuisine. Try substituting green beans, cut into thirds, for the potatoes.

1 lb. baby potatoes
2 T coconut oil or ghee
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ t turmeric
1 t whole mustard seeds (yellow or black)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
¼ C water or broth
¼ C dried unsweetened coconut flakes
Sea salt

Scrub the potatoes to clean. If using larger potatoes, cut them into large chunks. Pat them dry with a dish towel or paper towel. Heat the oil or ghee in large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, turmeric and mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to sizzle, add the potatoes. Shake the pan so the potatoes are well coated with the oil, lower the heat a bit and continue to sauté the potatoes until they are browned a bit, about 8-10 minutes. Add the jalapeno and water/broth, cover and let simmer until potatoes are tender, about another 8-10 minutes, adding a small amount of water if they begin to dry out. Just before serving, add the coconut flakes and season with salt. Serves 4-6.

 


Vegetable Carpaccio

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If you don’t own a culinary mandolin, use a vegetable peeler to get the paper-thin slices this recipe calls for. The inspiration for this salad comes from beef carpaccio, a classic dish of rare/raw sliced beef dressed in lemon juice, olive oil, capers and Parmesan cheese. The root vegetable version was invented by Chef Andy Hollyday of Selden Standard, named Restaurant of the Year 2016 by Hour Detroit magazine. It’s perfect for what’s coming in season right now — baby beets, beautiful radishes of every color, sweet turnips, colored carrots. The carpaccio certainly made an impression in March 2016 at several different demo venues.

A selection of seasonal vegetables that could include:

1 small fennel, shaved thin
1 small red or gold beet, peeled and shaved thin
3 medium sized heirloom carrots, shaved thin
6 small radish, washed and shaved into thin coins or 2 small turnips
1 small celery root, peeled and shaved thin

¼ C capers in brine, drained
¼ C cup fresh herb of choice, chopped – chives, tarragon, parsley or basil work well
3oz. Parmesan Reggiano, shaved thin
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Lemon Vinaigrette

Zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 2 T)
1 shallot, minced fine
1 T champagne or white wine vinegar
½ C extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

To make the vinaigrette combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl or a mini-prep food processor, season with salt and pepper and whisk together. In another bowl add the shaved vegetables and enough vinaigrette to generously coat. If there is any vinaigrette remaining reserve for another use. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and allow to marinate for 10-30 minutes, mixing once or twice. After 10 minutes, taste the salad again for seasoning. Distribute onto a large platter or on individual plates. Garnish with shaved Parmesan, capers, herbs of choice, and a twist of freshly ground black pepper. Serves 4-6.

 


Savory Crustless Popovers

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3 eggs
2/3 C half and half
½ C plain lowfat yogurt
1 T unsalted butter, melted
1/3 C flour
½ t salt
4 oz. mild cheddar, shredded
2 T each fresh parsley and chives, finely chopped (or other herbs of your choice)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk together the eggs, half and half, yogurt and butter. Add the flour and salt, stir in the cheddar and herbs. Fill greased ramekins or mini-muffin tins until 3/4 full, and bake for 20 minutes, or until set, puffy and lightly brown on top. Let popovers cool at least 10 minutes before unmolding (they will fall slightly, this is normal!). Gently invert to unmold. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 12 standard muffins.