SUNCHOKES W/ ZESTY WALNUT GREMOLATA
This is a recipe adapted from Mario Batali’s book, Molto Gusto. I was a little skeptical making a salad like this without a more potent vinaigrette. At first glance, it sounds a bit bland. However, the zest and herbs are really enough to carry the dish. Sunchokes are fantastic when eaten raw so I can actually see why chef Batali kept this super simple. Sunchokes (or Jerusalem artichokes) are a little sweet, nutty, and a lot crisp. Back in early spring, I found sunchokes quite readily at farmers markets but now I only see them bagged at Whole Foods. Regardless, if you can get your hands on them, they’re definitely worth a try.
I made this little side dish my own by adding a few radishes which helps the otherwise earthy sunchokes ‘pop.’ A little culinary lesson of the day – gremolata is just a chopped herb condiment made of some sort of zest, garlic, and parsley. If I were to make this again, I think I would roast the walnuts with a little maple syrup and perhaps add some sliced apples… sounds perfect for fall.
- Sunchokes (1 lb)
- Radishes (6)
- Orange Zest (2 tbsp)
- Walnuts (1/4 cup)
- Italian Parsley (1/3 cup)
- Garlic Cloves (2)
- Olive Oil (2 tbsp)
- Salt + Pepper
- Coarsely chop the parsley, and combine with walnuts (toasted and finely chopped), orange zest, and garlic in a small bowl, mixing well. This forms your walnut gremolata.
- Using a Benriner (Japanese mandoline) or other vegetable slicer, thinly shave the sunchokes.
- Thinly slice up the radishes.
- Transfer the sunchokes and radishes to a bowl and drizzle with the olive oil, tossing well to thoroughly coat the vegetables.
- Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the gremolata, and serve.
*This recipe is adapted from Molto Gusto, by Mario Batali and Mark Ladner
AHI SHOYU POKE
One of Hawaii’s most popular dishes is ‘poke’ (pronounced poh-keh). The literal translation of poke is “to cut/slice crosswise.” It’s basically a raw fish salad but much more bold than ceviche and more flavorful than sashimi. The dish is most popularly eaten with rice. Now, you can get creative with the marinade by adding Maui onions, seaweed, or going the Korean route but in this instance, I’ve kept it simple. In my opinion, this is the most perfect seafood dish for summer. The 5 minute prep and forgetting about it while the marinade does its thing in the fridge is any cook’s summertime ‘beat-the-heat-of-the-kitchen’ dream. Hopefully you’re lucky enough to live near a fresh and reliable fish market (please make sure of this prior to purchasing) because without that, you really can’t make the most of this dish. While in Hawaii my husband and I indulge in variations of poke with white rice, I served my version with whole grain rice – still tasty!
Koloa Fish Market, Kauai:
- Ahi Sashimi (1 lb)
- Soy Sauce (1/2 cup)
- Scallions (1/3 cup)
- Fresh Ginger (1 tsp)
- Lime (1/2)
- Sesame Oil (1 tbsp)
- Sesame Seeds (1 tbsp)
- Finely chop the scallions.
- In a glass bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, lime, and sesame oil until well combined.
- Add the chopped scallions and sesame seeds. Grate in the ginger.
- Cube the tuna into small bite-size pieces and add to the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
13 MINUTE EINKORN PASTA
Einkorn is a type of wheat; the first species of wheat to be domesticated from the wild. Because einkorn is the first species of wheat and not a hybrid creation, it makes sense that its nutritional value is higher compared to other well-known types of wheat. Einkorn carries more protein, fiber, antioxidants. I will say that if you’re looking for a healthier pasta that doesn’t taste healthy, einkorn is not for you. It has that healthy bite to it, albeit more pleasant than standard whole wheat pastas. However, I wouldn’t view this as a negative factor as it doesn’t take away from the dish. Speaking of the dish, it literally takes 13 minutes because you can prep the sauce while the pasta is cooking. It’s perfectly refreshing for summer with a kick from the pico de gallo paired with a creaminess from the avocado. The cojita cheese ties all of the goings-on of the dish together. I promise this one will leave you in a festive mood!
- Avocado (2)
- Pico de Gallo (3 cups)
- Beet Juice (1/2 cup)
- Einkorn Pasta (12 oz)
- Olive Oil
- Salt + Pepper
- Cojita Cheese
- Prep the pico de gallo ahead of time, or go with a nice fresh and organic store bought concoction to save time.
- Place the pico de gallo into a large bowl.
- Dice up the avocado into small 1/4-inch cubes and place into the bowl. Mix in with the pico de gallo so the avocado doesn’t brown. Season with salt + pepper as needed.
- Bring a pot of water up to a boil. Poor in the beet juice. Salt the water once boiled. Cook the pasta according to package (roughly 13 minutes).
- Drain the pasta and transfer straight to the mixing bowl. Drizzle in some olive oil and toss the pasta with the rest of the ingredients until completely combined.
- Plating: Serve pasta topped with grated cojita cheese.
Ah – the Caprese. Quite possibly the simplest salad concept out there yet, wouldn’t you agree, one of the most delicious? For as long as I can remember, this salad has been one of my all time favorite. I believe that its simplicity welcomes the opportunity to make it your own. A restaurant in Washington, DC makes their own rendition called the ‘Caprese Injection.’ A gastronomical creation, the mozzarella is broken down into a liquid and sucked up by this plastic injector. The the tomato (skins off like in my version) are attached to the end of the injector with a little basil. Meant to be eaten in one bite, the Caprese Injection @ MiniBar showcases just how creative you can get with just three ingredients. Mine is not quite gastronomical because I personally prefer the texture of the cheese but I’m all for Caprese being presented as a one-bite salad. I can’t stand when you’re served a huge beefsteak tomato with a small slice of cheese; getting as close to that 1:1 ratio of tomato to cheese has always been my preference. What to do with all those tomato peels? Don’t throw them away! I made a side panzanella salad and used the tomato skins to create a sauce for the bread prior to grilling them.
- Fruit Tomatoes (10)
- Mozzaraella Balls (10)
- Fresh Basil (1/4 cup)
- Creamy Balsamic Vinegar
- Olive Oil
- Salt + Pepper
- Bring a pot of water up to a boil.
- Cut a small ‘X’ at the bottom of each cherry tomato and let sit in the boiling water for about 10-15 seconds (depending on size). Scoop up the tomatoes using a spider wok and transfer directly to an ice water bath.
- Peel the tomato skins with your fingers and set aside.
- Coat your mozzarella balls with a little basil.
- Assemble your skewers – cheese then a tomato.
- Once you’re done assembling, sprinkle some salt + pepper along with any leftover basil.
- Plating: Serve with a side of creamy balsamic and, as I opted to do, a side panzanella salad.
SLAW-ED + SHREDDED
Sometimes people think that in order for a salad to taste “good,” it needs to be packed full of ingredients. However, that to me makes it… not a salad. Piling on the croutons, cheese, bacon, breaded chicken, and blue cheese dressing sounds far from what a refreshing salad should be. That said, I’m one of those people who can eat a plain salad without any dressing. I know – that’s weird too – but I can do that with a smile on my face because I admire the rawness of vegetables; an overwhelming appreciation for farm-to-table. I’ve kept to that motto with these two salads by keeping things simple and incorporating some fun vinaigrettes that don’t weigh down the ingredients but help them shine.
- Pear + Mango Slaw -
- Mango (1)
- Asian Pear (1)
- Lettuce (2 cups)
- Anaheim Pepper (2)
- Honey (1 tbsp)
- Grape Seed Oil (2 tbsp)
- Red Wine Vinegar (1 tbsp)
- Salt + Pepper
- Shredded Beet Salad -
- Red Beet (1)
- Scallion (1)
- Lemon (1/2)
- Orange (1)
- Yuzu Mustard (1 tsp)
- Salt + Pepper
- Start by whisking the vinaigrette for the beets. In a small bowl, squeeze in the lemon and orange. Add the yuzu mustard and a little salt + Pepper. Whisk together until combined.
- Finely chop up the white stem of the scallion and add to the vinaigrette. Thinly slice the green part and set aside.
- Peel the beet (cold) and shred into a bowl. Once grated, add the vinaigrette and mix together. Cover and pop into the fridge while you prep the slaw.
- Heat a grill pan to medium-high and char the Anaheim pepper (depending on the heat level you desire, you can remove the seeds prior to roasting). Set aside and let cool.
- For the slaw, peel the mango and Asian pear. Finely chop up both fruit into thin strips. Finely julienne the lettuce as well and combine, in a large bowl, with the chopped mango and pear.
- Chop up the roasted pepper and place into a blender. Also add honey, red wine vinegar, grape seed oil, salt + pepper. Purée until smooth. Add a little water for a thinner consistency.
- Add the puréed vinaigrette to the slaw and toss together.
- Plating: Serve the slaw with either black sesame seeds or aonori. Serve the beet salad with a little raw goat feta.
SUMMERTIME ACORN SQUASH
Acorn squash is a popular kitchen staple in the fall and winter. Despite it being summer, I still see it in stores so while I normally don’t think to look twice their way, I picked one up the other day. Acorn squash is wonderful as a steaming, roasted vegetable but it’s also really delicious eaten cold. This is a fun side salad alternative for those summer grill nights. Yes they require roasting (aka dusting off that oven you stray away from in 90 F heat) but you can literally prep, slide into the oven and sort of forget about them for a good half hour. No need to roast in the kitchen yourself . Here’s to a little autumn in summer.
- Acorn Squash (1)
- Red Onion (1)
- Avocado (1)
- Lime (1)
- Maple Syrup (2 tbsp)
- Red Wine Vinegar (2 tsp)
- Olive Oil
- Salt + Pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
- Whisk together the oil, maple syrup, red wine vinegar, salt + pepper until well combined and emulsified.
- Halve the acorn squash and scoop out the seeds. Cut in half again so you’re left with four equal wedges.
- Quarter the red onion into equal pieces; careful not to let them separate.
- Place the squash, flesh up, and red onion on a baking sheet. Brush everything with the whisked mixture. Leave small pools of the mixture in the acorn squash.
- Pop the squash and onions into the oven for 30-35 minutes until the squash have cooked and onions charred. If the squash need to cook longer, remove the onions and place the squash back into the oven.
- Thinly slice the onions.
- Once the squash has finished cooking, let cool.
- Cover both the squash and red onion and chill in the fridge.
- Prior to serving, slice up the avocado and season with lime juice, salt + pepper.
- Plating: Serve the squash topped with red onions and avocado.
PORTOBELLO SPINACH PASTA
When it comes to pasta, I prefer simplicity. Simple ingredients and simple prep always seem to result in the most well balanced pasta dishes. You could hand me a bowl of noodles with olive oil, garlic, a little salt + pepper and I would be a happy girl. I realize that notion is not everyone’s cup of tea but I do think an occasional break from red tomato sauce is a welcomed feat. I ran with that concept and let the portobello and spinach ultimately “create” the sauce. What a delight and bonus points for the pasta staying in a perfectly al denté state thanks to the absence of a weighty tomato sauce.
- Large Portobello Mushrooms (2)
- Spinach (Bunch)
- Yellow Onion (1)
- Garlic Clove (1)
- White Wine (1/4 cup)
- Bologna Aromatic Herbal Salt
- Spaghettata Seasoning
- Brown Rice Spinach Spaghetti
- Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
- Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
- Roughly chop up the garlic and toss into a large, deep sauté pan. Drizzle olive oil and bring the heat to a simmer.
- Halve and slice up the onion. Raise the heat on the sauté pan and add the onions. Season with Bottega Aromatic Herbal salt and a little black pepper.
- Halve and slice up the portobello mushrooms. Add these to the sauté pan and toss with the onions.
- Pour in the white wine and let the mushrooms soak in all that flavor. Continue seasoning with Bottega salt and pepper.
- Wash, dry, and chop up the spinach. Add to the pan and let the leaves wilt. Add the Spaghettata seasoning, lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and let sit while you cook the pasta.
- Season the boiling liquid with salt. Add the pasta and cook until al denté.
- Spoon in a few tbsps of the pasta water into the sauce and stir. Drain the pasta and transfer directly into the sauce.
- Finish off by roughly chopping up the parsley, add it to the pasta, and toss together.