Zucchini Salad with Lemon, Herbs and Ricotta

Adapted from Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Magazine

2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound)

2 T lemon juice

2 t fresh rosemary, minced

1 t honey

½ t sea salt

½ C whole milk ricotta

2 t lemon zest

2 T extra virgin olive oil

¼ t sea salt

¼ C pistachios, chopped

1 T sesame seeds

Garnish – ½ – 1 C lightly packed fresh herbs, chopped (mint, chives, parsley)

Thinly slice the zucchini (use a hand-held slicer or a mandolin if you have one) and transfer to a bowl. Mix together the lemon juice, rosemary, honey and salt and add to the sliced zucchini; toss well and let stand 15-30 minutes. Left longer, the slices will turn limp and continue to release moisture, which changes the texture of the salad and can dilute flavors.

In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta with the lemon zest, olive oil and salt. Set aside.

In a small skillet (or in a toaster oven), combine the pistachios and sesame seeds and toast, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Transfer the zucchini to a platter, add half the fresh herbs and mix gently. Dollop the ricotta mixture on top. Scatter with the pistachio-sesame mixture and the remaining fresh herbs. Drizzle with additional oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Serves 4.


Orzo Salad with Asparagus, Feta Cheese, Spinach and Lemon

½ lb. orzo, cooked

1 lb. asparagus

1 (6-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach

2 T extra virgin olive oil

½ cup red onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Zest of 1 small lemon

½ cup toasted nuts – chopped pistachios, pine nuts, slivered almonds or pumpkin seeds

1 cup feta, crumbled

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of cinnamon

Salt to taste

Cook the orzo according to the directions on the box, drain and transfer to a large bowl. Prep the asparagus: trim each one by snapping them at the end of their stem, which will separate the tough part from the tender. Bring a pot of water to a boil, drop in the asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes, until crisp-tender. Drain them under cold running water. Cut them into 1½ inch pieces and set add them to the orzo.

In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, just until aromatic. Add the spinach and a pinch of salt and cook until wilted and tender, about 1 minute. Add mixture to the orzo; add the feta, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt to taste.

Heat a small-medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the nuts and toast until they begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Watch them carefully so they do not burn. Sprinkle on top of the orzo and serve. Serves 5.


Leeks Mimosa with Toasted Hazelnuts

Dorie Greenspan Leeks Vinaigrette with Mimosa on eatlivetravelwrite.com

 

 

Begin this simple, distinctive side dish by roasting leeks, which mellows them and brings out their sweet side. Give them a drizzle of citrus vinaigrette, and sprinkle on toasted hazelnuts for a pleasant crunch. As a garnish, grated egg yolks are called mimosa (named for the yellow mimosa flower); we use the whites as well, to finish the dish. This recipe is a hearty side dish for four. Store extra vinaigrette in the refrigerator up to three weeks. Adrienne demoed this as part of allium month, May 2016. Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

4 large leeks (2 pounds), white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise and rinsed well
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 eggs, hardboiled and cooled
1 t Dijon mustard
2 t finely grated orange zest, plus more for garnish
3 T fresh orange juice
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 T minced shallot
3 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 ounce (¼ cup) skinless hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange leeks on a rimmed baking sheet, and brush generously with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast, flipping once, until tender and gold, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly on sheet. Halve eggs and remove yolks. Finely grate whites on the medium holes of a box grater; place in a small bowl. Grate or crumble yolks; place in another small bowl. Whisk together mustard, orange zest and juice, lemon juice, and shallot. Slowly add oil, whisking until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange leeks on a platter. Scatter whites and yolks on top. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Sprinkle with hazelnuts, and garnish with orange zest. Serve immediately.


Warm Potato Salad with Lemon-Herb Dressing

potatoes

 

 

Baby new potatoes are great in this. The golf-ball sized tubers start hitting farmers markets around April. Use a variety of colors –purple, yellow, red-skinned – if you can find them for maximum nutrition, or stick with red-skinned or yellow Yukons. We love the sweet flavor of the new potatoes in this recipe, but any type of boiling potato works for year-round goodness. If you have a culinary mandolin, use that to slice the potatoes, or better yet, the slicing bade on a food processor. The sauce comes out thick, almost like a chimichurri sauce. Mix and match herbs – tarragon, chives, parsley; or dill, parsley and chives; or basil, cilantro and chives. Mix your sauce in while the potatoes are still warm for maximum flavor, and also to “cook” the raw garlic, making it less harsh. You can serve it any temperature, though it is best either warm or room-temperature. One last thing – if you don’t have a steamer (and lots of us don’t), just boil these gently in about an inch or so of water, covered.  Demoed at USBG in March 2016. Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking.

1¾ lb. baby potatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick
Kosher salt
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 C lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ C lightly packed fresh basil
½ C thinly sliced chives
1/3 C extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large, wide pot fitted with a steamer basket, bring about ½-inch of water to a boil over medium high heat. Arrange the potatoes in an even layer in the steamer and sprinkle with ½ tsp. salt. Cover and steam, carefully stirring every now and again, until the potatoes are just tender, five to six minutes. Drain and put them back into the hot pan, cover.

While the potatoes are cooking, finely grate the zest from the lemon and then juice the lemon. Put the zest in a food processor and set the juice aside. Add the garlic to the food processor and pulse a few times. Add the herbs and pulse to coarsely chop. Add the olive oil, 1t salt, and ½ t pepper and pulse until the mixture is fairly homogenous, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. (Avoid overprocessing or the herbs will heat up and discolor; 10 to 12 pulses should do.) Add 3 T of the lemon juice and pulse once to mix.

Drizzle the herb mixture over the potatoes and toss gently to combine. Season to taste with more salt or lemon juice. Serve warm.


Turmeric and Ginger Tea

ginger-and-turmeric-tea-health-boosting_7

 

 

Great for what ails you! Turmeric and ginger both have anti-inflammatory properties, making this an ideal tea if you have a cold. It’s very comforting on a cold winter’s day, served piping hot. But it’s also refreshing as a summer pick-me-up, so keep it in mind when those seasonal allergies strike. It’s also a very good digestive. Fresh turmeric is available at Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, Wegman’s and Asian supermarkets. Fresh ginger is widely available at supermarkets. Adrienne demoed this at Brookside and USBG in January 2016.

Two 2½-inch pieces fresh turmeric root, finely grated
2-inch piece fresh ginger root, finely grated
Few grinds of black pepper
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/4 C honey
Freshly squeezed juice of ½ a lemon

Combine ingredients in a small jar or bowl. Stir until well blended. Cover with a lid, and store in the fridge. To make the tea, heat 8 ounces of water in a cup and add one teaspoon of the ginger-turmeric mixture. Garnish with a grinding of black pepper.