Green Bean & Penne Pasta Salad

Green Bean & Penne Pasta Salad
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

1 lb tomatoes, chopped (about 2c)
1 lb fresh green beans
8 oz Spinach Penne Pasta
4 oz Aged Feta, crumbled

In a large owl, combine 2 cloves of minced garlic with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, a handful of chopped basil, and the chopped tomatoes. Set aside so flavors can marry.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Wash, trim, and rinse your green beans. When water boils, toss in green beans. Let cook for 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove green beans. Add pasta to the boiling water. Let boil for 3-5 minutes. When pasta is almost done, throw beans back into water for just a minute. Strain beans & pasta into colander. Run under cool water to stop cooking.

Toss penne & green beans into bowl with tomatoes. Mix all together. Top with crumbled feta. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Fingerling Fries

Sweet Potato Fingerling Fries

2 Tbsp olive oil
Coarse salt and coarsely chopped black pepper
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 lbs Fingerling sweet potatoes, thoroughly washed, left unpeeled with the ends trimmed and cut into quarters, lengthwise
Preheat oven to 450 degree F.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, the butter, and salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange the potatoes slices, not touching, in rows on an oiled baking sheet. Brush the potatoes with the oil mixture, and roast them in the upper 1/3 of a preheated oven, turning them over once with a spatula, for 18-22 minutes, or until they are golden and crisp.

Transfer the potatoes to paper towels to drain, sprinkle them with more coarse salt and pepper to taste (if desired), and serve them warm.

Squash Fries

Squash Fries

1 large Delicata Squash (approx 1lb), washed, seeded and sliced into matchsticks
You could use any squash for this recipe; Acorn or Butternut would both work
1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp curry powder

1/3 cup of ketchup
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp coriander
parchment paper
1 gallon sized Ziploc bag

Preheat oven to 350.
Soak fries in water for at least an hour.
Pat fries completely dry.
Place fries in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.
Add olive oil and curry powder to the bag.
Shake until the fries are evenly coated with oil and curry powder.
Arrange fries on a parchment lined cookie sheet approx 1″ apart. Do not crowd fries.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Flip over each individual fry and then bake another 15 minutes.
To make the ketchup, whisk together ketchup, cayenne, turmeric and coriander.
Serve fries hot with ketchup.

Tips for Crispy Fries

1. Soak the cut fries in salted water for at least an hour. I have no scientific reason as to why this works, but it does. The soaked batches crisped much better than the unsoaked batches.

2. Space fries at least 1″ apart on all sides. Overcrowding leads to sogginess.

3. Flip fries halfway through the cooking time. Unfortunately, this has to be done by hand. Be careful cause they’re hot.

4. Cook fries on a cooling rack. That way air circulates around them as they cook.

5. If you don’t have a cooling rack or (like me) only own a small one, cook the fries on parchment paper. Again, I have no explanation for this except it works. The batch I baked on tin foil did not come out well.

6. Pat fries completely dry before tossing with olive oil. Get rid of all excess water or else they will steam rather than bake in the oven.

Tomato, Basil, Corn Salad

Tomato, Basil, Corn Salad

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 ears cooked corn, kernels sliced from cob
1 cup cherry/grape tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Gently toss cooked corn, tomatoes, and basil. Top with dressing. Mix well.

Kohlrabi, Fennel, & Blueberry Salad

Kohlrabi, Fennel, & Blueberry Salad
For the Dressing:
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the Salad:
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1  lb kohlrabi, peeled and very thinly sliced on a mandoline
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced on a mandoline
2 ounces semifirm goat cheese
1 cup blueberries or pitted, halved sweet cherries
2 tablespoons torn mint leaves
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the almonds on a pie plate and toast for about 7 minutes, until golden. Let cool.

In a mini food processor or blender, combine the ginger, shallot, vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, soy sauce and maple syrup and puree. With the blender on, add the grapeseed oil in a thin stream and blend until creamy. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the kohlrabi with the fennel, cheese, toasted almonds and dressing. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Add the blueberries and mint and toss gently. Serve right away.

Kohlrabi Fritters with Creamy Avocado Dipping Sauce

Kohlrabi Fritters
For the Fritters:

1 small kohlrabi
1 medium yukon gold potato
1 T chives, finely chopped
1 egg
3 T flour
1 T milk
Salt and pepper
Oil for frying

For the Dipping Sauce:

½ avocado
¼ cup plain greek yogurt
½ lemon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
chopped chives (for garnish)

Peel the kohlrabi and grate. Grate potato and mix with kohlrabi in medium mixing dish. Press grated veggies with tea towel, to absorb any excess moisture.

Add chives and egg and mix to combine. Add flour and milk to make a cakey batter. Season with salt and pepper. Heat oil to medium-high heat in large skillet. When oil bubbles when you flick water at it add the fritters, one heaping spoonful at a time. Flatten a little so the fritter is flat not round.

Fry each fritter for 4-5 minutes on each side. If they are browning too fast turn your heat down. Drain on paper towel (this is when you want to salt them if you are going to again). Serve with Creamy Avocado Dipping Sauce.

Creamy Avocado Dipping Sauce:
In a small bowl, mix ½ avocado, ¼ cup plain yogurt, juice from ½ lemon, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt to make the avocado cream (or blend the ingredients together in a food processor).

Grilled Fava Beans

Fava beans have a rather short growing season, so when you see them, definitely snatch ’em up. Fresh fava beans are a treat not to be missed. Now, what to do with these tasty legumes? We’ve got a few ideas. See below.

Grilled Fava Beans
2 pounds of fava bean pods
1 lemon, halved
1 small block of parmesan cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
Heat grill on high heat.Rinse fava bean pods and pat dry; coat in extra virgin olive oil.

Grill fava beans for about 3-4 minutes on each side until charred and soft. Grill lemon, cut side down until it has grill marks and is juicy.

Remove beans from the pod; bean should slide out easily from skin.

Drizzle good quality extra-virgin olive oil, and fresh shavings of parmesan cheese, and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy!

Pasta: Toss beans with your favorite dish.

Hummus: Mash beans, then mix in a little sour cream or greek yogurt along with fresh chopped herbs like mint or dill. Fantastic with crackers when pureed until creamy or as a spread on bruschetta when left chunky.

Succotash: Sure, corn is traditional (do you have frozen summer corn in your freezer? you should.), but don’t limit yourself to just corn. Throw thin slices of zucchini, fresh peas, chopped asparagus, or any other seasonal vegetable into the pan along with those fava beans. Toss over high heat with some olive oil until everything is bright and crisp-tender, and you’ll have a side dish to remember.

Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms
2 poblano chiles
4 large portabella mushrooms caps (about 6 oz each)
3 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 c finely chopped onion
1 c baby spinach
1/2 c cooked quinoa
1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp coarsely chopped cilantro
Prepare the poblanos first. Light a grill or preheat the broiler. Roast the poblanos over the grill or under the broiler, turning, until blackened, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool. Peel, core and seed the poblanos then finely chop them.

Brush the portabella mushrooms with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill or broil the mushrooms over high heat, turning, until softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate, stem side down; let drain and cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the baby spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer the spinach to a sieve and press out the liquid.In a bowl, mix the spinach with the quinoa, cheese, cilantro and poblanos. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 325°. Season the mushroom caps with salt and pepper. Spoon the rice mixture into the mushrooms, mounding it slightly. Transfer the mushrooms to a baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the top is lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnish with extra cilantro.

Make Ahead
The cooked stuffed mushrooms can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature, cover and bake in a 325° oven for about 20 minutes, or until they are heated through.

Cilantro Slaw

Cilantro Slaw
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
3 tbsp (or more) fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tsp finely grated lime peel
1 small hot pepper, seeded, minced
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
8 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
4 green onions, minced (about 1/4 cup)
Whisk mayonnaise, yogurt, 3 tablespoons lime juice, lime peel, minced pepper, and garlic in large bowl. Stir in cilantro. Add cabbage and green onions; toss to incorporate evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill 1 hour. Note: Can be made 1 day in advance. Keep chilled.Season slaw with more lime juice, salt, and pepper, if desired, just before serving.

Cilantro Hummus

Cilantro Hummus
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas (you can use dry and cook your own)
1/2 cup tahini
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup cilantro
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup water (or reserve the chickpea cooking water if you use dry beans)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
First you need to peel off the chickpea skins. Rub chickpeas with a kitchen towel; skins will slip right off.In a food processor blend the chickpeas until they are a coarse grain. Now add the tahini, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, cilantro and salt. Blend for a full minute or two. Now with the processor still running drizzle in the oil and then the water. For an even smoother, thinner consistency add more water.

Enjoy as an afternoon snack with some toasted naan. It would also be great on crackers, veggies or spread on a sandwich.

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