I was craving green beans and our book club was meeting to discuss ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn. Our hostess served Tom Yum Koong Soup, favored by one of the characters in the book when fighting off a cold. Others brought bar food and I brought green beans…never mentioned in the book but satisfied my craving.
This is a simple and absolutely delicious recipe. I’ll be making it again, and again, and again.
GARLIC ROASTED GREEN BEANS WITH SHALLOTS & ALMONDS
2 lb. fresh green beans
5-6 shallots, peeled, and cut into thin slivers
5 large cloves garlic, peeled and cut into thin slices
3 T olive oil
1 tsp. salt (or more to taste)
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, very finely chopped
1/2 cup almonds, sliced or chopped
1 tsp. lemon zest
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Trim ends from green beans. Peel and cut shallots and garlic, then place with beans in plastic bowl. Add olive oil, salt & pepper, parsley, almonds and lemon zest. Toss until ingredients are well coated with oil.
Spray roasting pan with nonstick spray or mist with olive oil, then arrange the vegetables in a single layer. (I used parchment paper for roasting vegetables and the results are great). Roast 12-15 minutes for thin beans, or slightly longer for regular beans, until beans are slightly shriveled, and shallots and garlic are lightly browned.
Several weeks ago a Facebook friend shared a recipe for roasted cabbage and I meant to copy or print it. Short story, short…I forgot. This week I was in the mood for roasted cabbage and…no recipe. After a quick Google search, I found a similar recipe from Martha Stewart for Roasted Cabbage Wedges.
The recipe calls for caraway OR fennel seeds and I AM a caraway seed lover but decided to do a few of both. The fennel seeds won, hands down! The fennel gives a nice touch to the roasted cabbage where I didn’t feel the caraway enhanced the flavor. My Czech ancestors would probably roll over in their graves if they heard me admit that!
Great recipe to pair with pork, Bratwurst or for a vegan dish.
ROASTED CABBAGE SLICES
1 tablespoon plus 2 more tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium head green cabbage cut into 1 inch slices
Coarse salt and pepper
1 teaspoon caraway or fennel seeds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Brush a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil.
Place 1 medium head green cabbage cut into 1 inch slices, in a single layer on the baking sheet. Brush the cabbage slices with 2 tablespoons oil.
Season with coarse salt and pepper, then sprinkle with caraway or fennel seeds.
Roast until cabbage is tender and edges are golden, 40-45 minutes.
Zucchini is the vegetable that keeps on giving, except in my garden. Daughter Megan has several plants and shares the wealth with family and friends.
Zucchini can be a blessing or a curse. I’ve read a quote online that supposedly came from Garrison Keillor that made me laugh. ‘July is the only time of year when country people lock our cars in the church parking lot, so people don’t put squash on the front seat.’
We’ll be wishing for garden fresh zucchini this winter so we’ll, again, get creative with the zucchini recipes.
3 small (or 2 medium) zucchini
Cherry or Sun Gold tomatoes (sliced in half)
salt and pepper
Bread crumbs (plain or seasoned)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise and slice a bit off the back side so the zucchini will lie flat on the baking pan. Scoop out the centers of the zucchini halves with a spoon.
Brush the surface of each zucchini half with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slice tomatoes in half, and arrange them into the grooves.
Lightly sprinkle with bread crumbs. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese or parmesan cheese (or both) and bake for about 30-40 minutes until tender.
Optional: Set your oven to broil, and continue to cook another minute or two until cheese is golden and bubbly.
Continuing on my lazy days of summer postings, let’s talk about tomatoes. Fresh garden tomatoes cannot be compared in any way to the mushy, tasteless tomatoes at the grocery store. Comparing the two is like comparing a beautiful rose to a dandelion. Wonder why that’s the case? Read this great article from the University of Illinois Extension office.
Unfortunately, I have regular visitors to my garden helping themselves to my tomatoes. The silly bunny (that isn’t afraid of my Golden or Chihuahua) along with the neighborhood Raccoon are creating havoc with the tomatoes. I find green tomatoes plucked from the vine laying on the ground. I find large red tomatoes half eaten on the vine. Have any of you had the same experience? This is the first time in over 20 years that I’ve had to fight for my own tomatoes!
My tomatoes have been slow to produce this year but I have enjoyed a few fresh tomato salads. This time a juicy sliced tomatoes paired with homemade pesto (basil also from my garden) was the salad du jour.
If you don’t grow your own tomatoes, visit a local Farmer’s Market soon and enjoy the harvest.
Squash season is here! While my garden has yet to produce zucchini or yellow squash, my friend Jan has been kind enough to share. Summer squash baked with onion, peppers drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with herbs and topped with melted Mozzarella is a summer staple.
SUMMER SQUASH BAKE
1-2 small to medium sized zucchini, sliced
2 small to medium sized yellow squash, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1-2 Anaheim or green sweet peppers, chopped
drizzle of olive oil
optional: diced Japanese eggplant
sprinkle of herbs of choice (I have used thyme, summer savory or this time I used Cantanzo Herbs)
Salt and pepper
Shredded Parmesan Cheese or cheese or choice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Toss all ingredients, except cheese, and place in greased casserole dish.
Top with shredded cheese.
Bake 45 minutes or until all ingredients are cooked through.
Edamame and Edamame Salad was a new discovery about 4 years ago. I loved Edamame at our favorite sushi restaurant and I’ve enjoyed Edamame Salad at potlucks but have never made one. When this recipe popped up in a recent issue of Relish.com it inspired me to try it. As I mentioned on Tuesday, it paired well with the Yogurt Marinated Chicken.
The salad kept for days and I’ve enjoyed it as an entrée as well. The Salad would be equally good without the Feta cheese, for those that are following a Vegan diet.
Mediterranean Edamame Salad
1/4 cup white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups cooked, shelled edamame
2/3 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup black olives (Kalamata–I used mixed Spanish olives), pitted and halved
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 cups lettuce or greens
To prepare vinaigrette, combine vinegar, garlic and oregano, and mix with a whisk or in the blender. Slowly add olive oil and mix well. Add salt and pepper.
To prepare salad, combine edamame, tomatoes, onion, olives, feta and vinaigrette. Let marinate 30 minutes (or longer).
When ready to serve, toss or serve salad with lettuce or greens.
Last summer I raised kale in my garden and, unfortunately, the bugs LOVED it. I decided not to plant Kale again this year but Mother Nature took a different turn. Several volunteer kale plants popped up in my garden and it was beautiful and…no bugs! Mother Nature, are you telling me I need to try Kale again next year?
Recently at our book club potluck, a friend made a delicious collard green dish and this sounded similar. It is very tasty but next time I would cut back on the crushed pepper. This could easily be vegan by skipping the bacon.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
1/3 cup thinly sliced garlic
10 cups loosely packed chopped kale (about 2 pounds)
1 cup fat-free lower-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (too hot for me–I would reduce to 1/4 teaspoon)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 10 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently.
Add kale, broth, 1 cup water, and red pepper; cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in vinegar, salt, and black pepper.
My vegan menu continues and I wanted to have wilted spinach but with the protein of nuts. It’s easy to forget how much spinach wilts down when cooking. I used a 6 ounce box of spinach and the wilted spinach would serve 2 people as a side dish.
WILTED SPINACH AND PINE NUTS
1 large bunch spinach, about 12 cups leaves
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
Ground black pepper
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
Sort through spinach, discarding stems and bruised or yellow leaves. Wash spinach in plenty of cold water; if it’s sandy, wash a second time, then spin dry.
Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
Add garlic and lemon juice and sauté for 1 minute.
Turn the heat to high and add the spinach, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few pinches of pepper. Wilt the spinach, tossing with tongs to coat the leaves with the hot oil and garlic. (The water left on the leaves after washing will help it to wilt quickly.)
Toss in the pine nuts and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Caprese Pasta? With smoked mozzarella? OMG…I had to try this recipe found on Iowa Girl Eats. I rarely eat wheat pasta but this was worth the splurge!
8 oz. bow tie pasta (or pasta of choice)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sungold (cherry) tomatoes, halved
salt & pepper
2 Tablespoons pesto (reference Pesto recipe or purchase)
1 cup cubed smoked mozzarella cheese (or mini mozzarella balls)
extra basil leaves for garnish
Prepare pesto and set aside. Cook pasta in salted, boiling water until just under al dente then drain and set aside. Place an oven rack to the very top, then preheat broiler.
Heat oil in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add cherry tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, then toss and cook for 30 seconds.
Add cooked pasta and pesto then toss to combine. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top then place skillet under the broiler until cheese melts. Using a pot holder, remove skillet from oven then sprinkle with fresh basil leaves and fresh cracked pepper. Serve immediately.