Hatch Chile and Lemon Rice Salad

Hatch chile and Lemon Rice Salad

Hatch chile and lemon rice salad 2 Hatch Chile and Lemon Rice SaladI’ve got a little “hatch chile fever” going on at the moment so hang in there. This should be the last hatch recipe for a while.. I think icon smile Hatch Chile and Lemon Rice Salad This Hatch Chile and Lemon Rice salad has been on my mind for a while. Last winter when I had no fresh hatch chiles!!! and my frozen stash had dwindled to almost nothing, I was thinking about this salad. So I  made some notes and filed it away to await my new supply of hatch chiles.  So you see, I kinda had to make this salad – and it was sooo tasty I wanted to share it!!!

Hatch chile and lemon rice salad 3 Hatch Chile and Lemon Rice Salad

I think you are really going to like this one –  it’s sweet, sour, crunchy and well,  punchy… there is a lot going on with this salad – chiles, bell peppers, zucchini, avocado and corn – which is just the way I like it.  If you’ve taken a peek at the recipe, don’t freak out and the long list of ingredients because this Hatch Chile and Lemon Rice Salad is really two different recipes. The first is for a Lemon Relish  – which btw, is terrific on fish and chicken so I’d make a double batch – use it with chicken or fish one night and use the rest in this salad for later in the week.

And since  fall has officially started and we are all returning to “the routine” anything I can “make once, eat twice” goes to the top of my list of things to make –  like this Hatch Chile and Lemon Rice Salad.

Hatch Chile and Lemon Rice Salad 1 Hatch Chile and Lemon Rice Salad

If you haven’t gotten your supply of  roasted Hatch Chiles yet, you still have time to head out to a chile roast in your area – here’s a handy list from Melissa’s Produce to help you find a “chile roast” near you!!!!

Hatch Chile and Lemon Rice Salad
 
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Serves: 6 - 8 servings
Ingredients
  • For the relish:
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh chives
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • For the salad:
  • 1 recipe lemon relish
  • 1 cup long grain rice, cooked
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano (mexican if possible)
  • 1 tsp. Tangin
  • 1 cup roasted hatch chiles, cut into ½ inch dice
  • 1½ cups fresh corn kernels
  • 1 cup diced, seeded yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • ¾ cup minced cilantro
Instructions
  1. For the relish - Remove the zest from the lemon and add to a small mixing bowl. Slice the lemon thinly and then remove the remaining peel. Chop the pulp and add pulp and any remaining juices. Add the remaining ingredienst and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. For the salad: Cook the rice and let cool. In a large mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients except the avocado. Add the rice and the lemon relish. Stir to thoroughly combine. Fold in the cilantro and avocado and serve.

Tri Tip Salad with Bloody Mary Salsa

Bloody-Mary-steak-Salad-#4

Bloody Mary steak Salad 4 Tri Tip Salad with Bloody Mary Salsa My grill has been working overtime this summer, has yours?  Lately, I’ve been throwing anything and everything on the grill and so I am always trying to come up with new dishes . With three confirmed carnivores in the house, trying to come up with dishes that everyone likes can be a  challenge!  Through all this exploration, each summer I   come up with my “go to meal”. It’s  the one I make for parties and get togethers, something that’s hearty enough for the carnivores but with enough vegetables and “plant material” to to satisfy those whose idea of a Saturday dinner is not a side of beef.

This  summer it’s this Tri Tip Salad with Bloody Mary Salsa. Capitalizing on all those luscious heirloom tomatoes in the farmers markets  (or hopefully in your backyard!!) gives the dish fabulous color and the sherry vinegar, worcestershire and horseradish are assertive enough to stand up to meaty cuts like Tri Tip but also works great with other beef cuts – flank steak, rib eyes, t – bones… pretty much any other cut you’d throw on the grill.

So what makes it a “go to” dish? Ah, let me count the ways! First, with the exception of grilling the meat, all of this Tri Tip Salad with Bloody Mary Salsa can be assembled in advance so it’s ideal for camp outs, beach BBQ’s, potlucks, etc., etc. It”s also really flexible – for those who don’t eat meat, you can just assemble the salad portion and you can add as little or as much meat as you like! Finally, this Tri Tip Salad with Bloody Mary Salsa plays really well with other dishes – grilled potatoes, potato salad,  rice salads and sides – which makes planning the rest of your menu really, really easy.

And as I’ve said, summer is all about keeping it easy!!!

Tri Tip Salad with Bloody Mary Salsa
 
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Serves: 4 - 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 - 2lb tri tip roast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • Salad:
  • ½ red onion cut into ¼ inch dice
  • 1 pint baby heirloom tomatoes, halved or 2 cups chopped large tomatoes
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • ½ cup manzanilla olives, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. prepared horseradish
  • 1 tsp. tabasco
  • 1 Tbsp. olive brine
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, washed, spun and torn into 2 inch pieces
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, garlic and onion powder. Stir to combine. Rub over the tri tip and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the onion with the sherry vinegar. Let sit for 10 minutes. Add the worcestershire sauce, prepared horseradish, tabasco and olive brine. Stir to combine. Whisk in the olive oil. taste and season with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and celery and toss.
  3. Pre heat one side of the grill to high heat. Sear the tri tip on each side - about 5 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to medium and close the lid. Let the tri tip cook for about 25 - 35 minutes or until the internal temperature is 130 degrees for medium rare - the temperature will rise after you remove the tri tip from the grill! After removing the tri tip let it rest on a cutting board for 15 minutes. Slice.
  4. For the salad, place the romaine on a large serving platter. Spoon half of the tomato salsa mixture on top. Top with the tip tip and garnish with the remaining salsa.
Notes
This is also really good garnished with some crumbled blue cheese!

Hatch Chile Pesto Potatoes

Hatch Chile Pesto Potatoes

Hatch Chile Pesto Potatoes Hatch Chile Pesto PotatoesThey’re coming!!!!!!  The date is now circled on my calendar and I am counting down the days.  You see, my “stash” is almost gone… I feel a little (ok, a lot) like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory with his Wonka bar… I’ve been doling out miserly bits in order to stretch my supply out as long as possible.

So, what exactly am I talking about??? HATCH CHILES!!!! Thanks (or not!) to Melissa’s Produce, I was introduced to these amazing chiles a couple of years ago…. and well, my life has just not been the same since.  After laying in what I thought was a sufficient supply, I was down to one baggie… ONE!!

But as always, Melissa’s Produce came to the rescue!!! I recently attended the launch party for Melissa’s new book – The Hatch Chile Cookbook!!!! Not ONLY did I get to feast on Hatch chiles (ahem… it seems some people are better at planning ahead than I am!!) , get my very own copy of the book,  but I also received a “care package ” to tide me over until the chiles arrived – a fabulous bag of roasted, peeled and frozen Hatch Chiles!!!

Hatch Chile cookbook Hatch Chile Pesto Potatoes

Be still my beating heart. Crisis averted.

Hatch Chile Pesto BC1 Hatch Chile Pesto Potatoes

Well, the bag is now over half gone… I’ve been putting them into casseroles, eggs, salads and into this Hatch Chile Pesto. Yup, pesto… and according to one taster, it was “the best pesto they’d ever had!!! I don’t know if I’d go that far but I have to tell you it was amazingly good!! So good in fact that I was sneaking small spoonfuls and getting a bit carried away by adding it to sandwiches (divine with roasted chicken), thinning it out for salad dressing (which was a hit with the guys) and tossing it with roasted potatoes!

I know what you are thinking – ” we know you love Hatch Chiles Nancy, but isn’t this going a bit too far??” Nope. Not even close. One of the best kept “secrets” about Hatch chiles is that you can only use them all kinds of dishes – like Hatch Chile Pesto! One of the things I love about Melissa’s Hatch Chile cookbook is that it explores all kinds of delicious uses for Hatch Chiles… everything from Flash Fried Pizza Nibbles to Chicken Lettuce Wraps and even S’Mores!!

In a little over two weeks, Melissa’s will be celebrating with Chile roastings and as soon as I have the schedule I will be posting it here at the Table!

The wait is almost over!!!

Hatch Chile Pesto Potatoes
 
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Serves: 4 - 6 servings
Ingredients
  • Pesto
  • 2 cups, packed, fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 cups, packed, fresh italian parsley leaves
  • 2 scallions, cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 - 3 roasted, peeled Hatch Chiles
  • Juice of 1 - 2 limes
  • 2 Tbsp. corn oil
  • ¼ cup roasted, salted pepitas
  • 2- 3 Tbsp. grated parmesan
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 lb. Melissa's small dutch yellow potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. corn oil
Instructions
  1. Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry the potatoes and cut in halves. Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray. Put the potatoes on the pan and toss with the 1 Tbsp. corn oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper or Tajin. Place potatoes in the oven and roast for 20 - 30 minutes or until tender and golden brown.
  2. For the pesto combine the cilantro, parsley, scallions, garlic, 2 Hatch chiles, juice of 1 lime, corn oil and pepitas in the bowl of a food processor. Process until a chunky paste is formed. Taste. Depending upon the heat of the chiles (and your own tastes) you can add another chile is the pesto is not spicy enough. Add more lime juice if desired. Add the parmesan and mix. Taste and adjust seasonings. If the pesto is too thick, you can thin it with a little water. If not using right away, cover and refrigerate. You can store the pesto for 2 - 3 days in the refrigerator.
  3. Toss ½ of the pesto with the warm potatoes and serve.

 

Asian Pickled Shrimp

Asian Pickled Shrimp

Asian Pickled Shrimp BC1 Asian Pickled ShrimpFood memories are funny…. there are a number of foods that I honestly couldn’t tell you when I first tried them. It isn’t that they weren’t tasty, but for some reason I have no clear recollection of trying them.

Not so however, with shrimp. That I remember clearly. My parents had taken me out for a “fancy” dinner … and for the first time the waiter actually  handed me a menu!!  Gingerly, I opened it and started reading it.. or rather tried to read it since I couldn’t pronounce half the things on it and had no idea what they were! There were no hamburgers or steak in sight… and my heart sank. My mom, seeing my reaction, looked over and pointed.. “I think you’d  like the Shrimp Scampi. ” The what???

Despite living within a mile of the beach and having fish once or twice a week, I’d never had shrimp – but if my Mom  said I’d like it, well who was I to argue??? So, I politely told the waiter that is what I’d like (and fervently hoped it was true!).  Well, my mom was wrong… I didn’t just like it, I loved it!!!

Asian Pickled Shrimp BC2 Asian Pickled Shrimp

And so began my love affair with all things shrimp and with foods from different “cultures”. Like pickled shrimp.  A staple of southern entertaining, I only discovered  this dish when I was in my thirties… and was instantly smitten.  (and yes, if you are from Southern California the South is definitely a different “culture”!)  The  traditional recipe is made with cider vinegar, lemons, onions and various herbs and spices and is  has become one of my all time favorite recipes… (and if you are looking for a great traditional recipe, my friend Lana of Never Enough Thyme has a a fabulous one!).

Although this Asian Pickled Shrimp is not “traditional” I think it’s a very fitting dish for celebrating the 4th of July. Just as this country is a blend of different cultures and traditions, so is this Asian Pickled Shrimp.

So Happy Birthday America… Let Freedom Ring!

Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy and Safe Fourth of July!

Asian Pickled Shrimp
 
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Fish sauce can be found in Vietnamese markets and in many asians markets. The two brands that I like (and yes, there is a difference amoung brands) are Three Crabs (has a drawing of 3 crabs on the label) and Flying Lion.
Serves: 4 - 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. 31- 40 count cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 shallots, skinned and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1½ limes, juiced
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 1 - 1 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1½ tsp. dark brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced into rings
  • 5 cilantro sprigs
Instructions
  1. Combine everything except the shrimp in a large measuring cup and stir to combine, Place shrimp in a lidded container (I find a 1 quart canning jar works great) and pour the pickling mixture over the shrimp, making sure the shrimp are covered completely. Cover the container and refrigerate overnight.
  2. To serve, remove the shrimp from the picking mixture and mound on a platter - garnish with cilantro, lime slices, sliced shallots and jalapeno slices if desired.
  3. Shrimp can be made up to two days ahead.
Notes
Fish sauce can be found in many Asian grocery stores or in some well stocked grocery stores.

Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese VinaigretteYesterday was the “official” start of the grilling season (ok, maybe nobody else thinks so, but in my book THAT is when it starts!). In my house, that means 3 or 4 nights a week dinner will be something off the grill… with the appropriate sides, of course… which for me generally means salad – like this  Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette.  Winter, spring, summer, fall… it doesn’t matter there is almost always salad somewhere in the day – and many times more than once. I freely admit it, I am a “salad junky”!

But during the summer, I like my salads to be a little lighter… just some  greens, a nice “accent” vegetable and a zippy vinaigrette. Tossed altogether in a bowl and I am a happy camper. This Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette hits all those points – crisp romaine, some lightly pickled red onions (even if you don’t like onions on your salad, trust me, you will like these!!) and a zesty blue cheese vinaigrette. All I need is a nice piece of grilled fish or a steak…  and dinner is served  at Chez Buchanan! (Ok, a potato or some grilled bread wouldn’t be amiss here either… not to mention, ahem a nice glass of wine!).

Now, you might not have noticed it, but “I’s got some new props” in my photo!! I recently participated in  the Food Blogger Prop Swap, hosted by Alyssa of www.EverydayMaven.com and Faith of www.AnEdibleMosaic.com, I sent a box of props to a food blogger and received a box in return!” Seriously, how cool is that???

Romaine salad with Blue Cheese vinaigrette BC2 Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

It was a blast… not only picking out some props to send but getting a fabulous collection of new props like this gorgeous pink plate and napkin  from Anne of “From my sweet heart” a drool worthy dessert blog ( her Snickerdoodle Cheesecake is on my “must make” list!!).

And wait till you see what other “goodies” I got…. my food has never looked this  good… Thanks Anne!!!

Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
 
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Yes, I know, you don't "like" anchovy paste. But trust me, you won't taste it ! The anchovy paste is critical in this vinaigrette - it adds a depth of flavor that is what makes this dressing so good. The onions need to marinate for about 15 minutes so if you've made the vinaigrette ahead of time (which you absolutely can!) just start on the onions and let them marinate while you get the rest of your meal organized!
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp. anchovy paste
  • 1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced into a paste
  • 2 tsp. blue cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • ½ red onion,peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, washed with leaves separated
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
Instructions
  1. In a large salad bowl, combine the sliced red onion and 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar. Season with salt and toss. Set aside. While onions are marinating, make the vinaigrette. In a medium sized bowl, combine the 3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar, anchovy paste, worcestershire sauce, garlic and 2 tsp. blue cheese. Whisk together until cheese is incorporated (you may have some small lumps remaining and that's ok!). Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and season to taste with fresh ground pepper and salt.
  2. In a large salad bowl, combine the romaine with the marinated onion slices. Drizzle ½ of the dressing on and toss to combine. Taste and add more dressing if desired. Sprinkle crumbled blue cheese on top. Serve!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kopanisti Dip

Red Pepper and Feta Dip

Heathers Dip Kopanisti DipRemember me?

Yup, I know I’ve been MIA.. I honestly wonder sometimes where the days go.. so if you know, you could send them back, please???

Thanks.

But at least  I’ve got some great things lined up for you and to get the “ball rolling” as they say, I have a GIVEAWAY today on the blog! But before we get to that, I have a story.. and of course a recipe for this amazing Kopanisti  Dip!

If I were to list my top 3 favorite things (well aside from family and friends)  in the whole world they would be this – food, travel… and bookstores.  Seriously, one of my hands -down- all- time -favorite activities is strolling through a bookstore. I can (and have!) spend hours in one …. checking out the newest offers from my favorite murder mystery authors, trying to decide what travel  guide to buy (hey,  a girl can dream, can’t she??), flipping through the glossy pages of food magazines…. and of course…. cookbooks!

However, things have changed a bit since I’ve become a food blogger.

You see, I actually know some of the authors of those beautiful cookbooks!!! Every time I see a cookbook by a blogger that I know, I feel a little giddy (cue the scene from Elf when Buddy is talking about Santa and you’ll get the picture icon smile Kopanisti Dip .

And “gasp”… I get even more giddy when I see “Simply Sensational Cookies” on the shelf  (FYI – I assisted with baking the cookies for the photos which were styled and shot  by Diane Cu and Todd Porter of White on Rice Couple!) .  So when my friend Heather Christo of Heather Christo Cooks announced that her book, “Heather Christo’s Generous Table ” was coming out and asked if I would like to review the book, well I couldn’t type YES!!!!! fast enough!!

Heathers Dip 2 Kopanisti Dip

Like Heather, this book is beautiful both inside and out.  Heather not only shares her wonderful recipes, but also her stories, like the one behind this  Kopanisti dip (and if you enter the giveway and win the book, you can read it for yourself!!). But wait there is more! Heather Christo’s Generous Table is organized by season and by celebration – her chapter on Boy’s Breakfast couldn’t have been better timed since my oldest  is now home from college and “da boys” will soon be back together –   so there is definitely a “Boys Breakfast” in my future! The recipes are all accompanied by enticing photographs with lots of tips and decorating ideas for your next soiree!!

With all the upcoming showers, birthdays and housewarmings this is going to be a perfect gift!!

And as a “gift” for you all, I have a copy to giveaway!

So, how to enter? EASY!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kopanisti Dip
 
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I used a good sheeps milk feta for dip and like Heather, have been slathering it over everything!
Serves: 1½ cups
Ingredients
  • 12 oz. feta cheese, drained and cubed
  • 4 oz. roasted red bell peppers, drained
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 small cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the ingredients are combined. Continue to pulse until the mixture is smooth but still retains some texture.
  2. Taste and add more lemon juice or pepper if needed.

 

Sparkling Rosewater Lemonade

Sparking Rosewater Lemonade

Rosewater Sparkling Lemonade Sparkling Rosewater Lemonade

Sometimes I think my refrigerator looks more like the lab of some mad scientist than an actual family refrigerator. There are lots of labeless bottles and jars  sporting homemade sauces, pickles, preserved lemons and liquids of almost every color.I recently added a new specimen bottle to the collection – a lemon syrup  for  my summer  “go to” beverage – Sparkling Rosewater Lemonade!!!

I was first introduced to this refreshing drink by my friend Diana after one of our “field trips” –  a fun filled day spent visiting the world’s largest grower of Tillandsia’s – Rainforest Flora in Torrance. Arriving back in the OC we were parched and in definite need of refreshment. Within minutes Diana handed me this gorgeous, pink, fizzy lemonade – a little tart, a little sweet with this  beautiful floral aroma from the rosewater – truly the perfect spring/summer libation. We drank ours sans liquor –  I know, I know “what were we thinking??? But it wasn’t quite 5 o’clock and after downing one of these  I could easily imagine turning this Sparkling Rosewater Lemonade into a cocktail by adding a little vodka.

Rosewater Sparking Lemonade BC1 Sparkling Rosewater Lemonade

Having a nice supply of lemons from my tree, I juiced those babies up and made a jar full of syrup – a welcome addition to my growing collection of  homemade goodies inhabiting my refrigerator – ready and waiting to quench my thirst at a moment’s notice. With Mother’s Day coming up and the season of bridal showers, baby showers and graduations upon us, this Sparkling Rosewater Lemonade is the perfect beverage to have on hand – and definitely deserving of some of that valuable real estate in your refrigerator!!!

Sparkling Rosewater Lemonade
 
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Depending upon the tartness of your lemons and your own personal preference you may need more sugar for the syrup. Rosewater can be found in some grocery stores and in Middle Eastern markets. It is a clear liquid and has a lovely floral aroma!
Serves: 4 lemonades
Ingredients
  • For the lemon syrup
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (or more) sugar
  • 3 tsp. raspberry preserves (optional)
  • For each lemonade
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon syrup
  • 6 oz. sparkling water
  • 1½ Tbsp. rosewater
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized jar with a wide lid combine the lemon juice and the sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Taste and add more sugar if desired. Ad the raspberry preserves and stir. Seal the jar and place in the refrigerator.
  2. To make the lemonades, add 3 Tbsp. of the lemon syrup to each glass. Add ice and pour in the rosewater and top with the sparking water.

 

Farro Salad with Tangerines and Dried Blueberries

Shasta-Gold-Tangerines-#3
Farro Salad with Tangerines and Dried Blueberries Farro Salad with Tangerines and Dried Blueberries

Farro Salad with Tangerines and Dried Blueberries

Welcome to Citruspalooza – my own little celebration of all things citrus! As you know, citrus is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. Given my love affair not only with citrus but with citrus based cocktails, I started things off with an  Orange Blossom Cocktail  – the perfect antidote to this  cold and wintry weather. In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, I decided to get you off to a good start with this  Farro Salad with Tangerines and Dried Blueberries. Speaking of starting, last week at this time I was on the road to the Central Valley of California with Melissa’s Produce to visit some of the growers that work with Melissas .These folks are growing some seriously gorgeous citrus… especially tangerines… and although  these tangerines are cute, these aren’t the “cuties” you find in the market!

Shasta Gold Tangerines 3 Farro Salad with Tangerines and Dried Blueberries

No, these tangerines are something entirely different… in fact, Melissa’s is carrying a  new variety that is just hitting the markets now.. but you’ll have to wait until Wednesday for that one.. and trust me it is not only worth waiting for, but finding in your local market… but more on that on Wednesday!

And now, on with the citrus tour!

Bright and early on Tuesday morning,  we headed out  for the  Phillips Ranch, home of Melissa’s Shasta Gold Tangerines. As we walked among the trees, Doug Phillips, owner of Phillips Ranch tutored us on tangerines and what makes Melissa’s Shasta Gold Tangerines so special. Larger than most tangerines, the Shasta is prized  not only  for it’s gorgeous color and fragrance, but for it’s perfect balance of sweet and tart. Walking among the trees, we got down to the hard work of “research” – picking and peeling a few (ahem) tangerines. They were, in a word, extraordinary… with a  clean, deep tangerine flavor that is beautifully  balanced  between sweet and tart. Melissa’s Shasta Gold tangerines are, as Doug Phillips puts it “good eating fruit”.. but don’t stop there! That clean, bright tangerine flavor pairs wonderfully with all kinds of food – like this   Farro Salad with Tangerines and Blueberries.. or in a Tangerine Gimlet… or paired with some sliced Melissa’s Steamed Beets and a light vinaigrette.. the possibilities are truly endless. The only challenge is making sure that you buy enough!!!

Disclaimer: Melissa’s Produce provided transportation, lodging and meals for this trip. However, all opinions are strictly my own!!

Melissas Shasta Gold Tangerines 2 Farro Salad with Tangerines and Dried Blueberries

Melissas Shasta Gold Tangerines Farro Salad with Tangerines and Dried Blueberries

Farro Salad with Tangerines and Dried Blueberries
 
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This salad can be made a day ahead. Keep refrigerated and bring to room temperature before serving.
Serves: 4 - 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Melissas dried farro
  • 4 Melissas Shasta Gold Tangerines
  • ½ cup Melissas Dried Blueberries
  • ½ cup minced fresh parsley
  • ½ cup sliced fresh mint
  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • 12 mint leaves for garnish (optional)
  • Dressing:
  • ¾ cup fresh squeezed Melissas Shasta Gold Tangerines ( about 2 tangerines)
  • 2 tsp. orange blossom honey
  • ¾ tsp. garam masala
  • ¼ tsp. white pepper
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. For Dressing: Place tangerine juice in a small saucepan and boil until juice is reduced by half. Cool.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cooled tangerine juice and honey. Whisk to combine. Add the garam masala, pepper and salt. Whisk until salt has dissolved. Whisk in the olive oil. Set dressing aside. (Dressing can be made 1 day ahead - cover and refrigerate and bring to room temperature before using).
  3. For Salad:
  4. Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a medium sized saucepan. Season water with salt. Add the farro and continue to boil for 16 - 18 minutes or until farro is cooked through (farro should be chewy but not hard). Drain farro and rinse with cold water. Drain and set aside.
  5. Over a small bowl, peel and section two of the tangerines. Set aside.
  6. In a large bowl combine the farro, tangerine sections, dried blueberries, parsley and mint. Drizzle the dressing over and toss to combine. Divide salad among bowls and garnish with pistachios and mint leaves if using.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean-Quinoa-Salad-BC1

A few months ago you might remember I was invited by Dole Salads to tour the Dole salad fields up in Monterrey, CA. I love these trips not only because I have the opportunity to learn more about food, but also because of all the amazing people I meet – and the Dole trip was no different! On the trip I had the pleasure of  getting to know  to Sharon Palmer, RD and we got to talking about… what else, food!!! During our conversation, Sharon mentioned that  she would soon have a new book coming out “The Plant Powered Diet” and I said I would love to review it! True to her word, Sharon graciously sent me a copy when it was released. As I was reading the book, I was inspired to re create this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad  from True Food Kitchen – and I knew I wanted to share both the salad and the book with you!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad BC2 Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

It’s no secret that nutrition is now a hot topic and like any popular topic the web is full of all kinds of information – it seems these days “everyone” has something to say on the topic whether they are a trained professional or not. If you are  looking for reliable advice on how to change your  diet to a more healthful one this presents a problem – where do you go for reliable information?  A recent google search turned up 110 MILLION hits under “advice for healthy eating” alone. So where in the world do you start?

Start with this book.

Screen Shot 2012 10 08 at 3.54.57 PM1 Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

The “Plant Powered Diet” isn’t just another book about the benefits of eating a more “healthy diet”. What sets this book apart  is that Sharon presents the basics of human nutrition in an easy to understand way and backs up her recommendations  with scientifically based research.  More importantly, the book is filled with strategies on how exactly to do that in a way that is “doable” whether you are a vegan, vegetarian or an omnivore like me!  What I loved most about the book  though is Sharon’s approach – reading it, you feel that you are having a conversation with Sharon. Reading it,  you can’t help but get excited about eating a more plant based diet and Sharon includes 75 delicious recipes to help you get started!

So if you are looking to learn a little bit more about nutrition and how to develop a more plant centered eating plan, I strongly recommend you get a copy of “The Plant Powered Diet” – it is one that you will refer to over and over again.

Although this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad  isn’t in Sharon’s book, I thought it was a perfect example of what the plant based diet is all about. As you probably know by now, I LOVE  main course salads and frequently eat them for lunch and dinner. Lately, I’ve been making a lot of salads like this Quinoa Mediterranean Salad – paired with a side of fruit it’s the perfect lunch that I can eat at my desk or pack up and take with me on the road!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa (I used red)
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 cups english or persian cucumbers, chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes ( I used an heirloom mix)
  • 2 cups green beans (I used a mix of green and yellow wax beans)
  • 4 cups arugula
  • ½ cup marcona almonds
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¾ cup kalamata olives
  • Vinaigrette
  • 6 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh oregano, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, white wine vinegar and a large pinch of salt. Whisk in the honey and dijon mustard, lemon zest and organo. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk until the dressing is smooth. Taste. Add additional salt and/or pepper to taste.
  2. Set aside - dressing can be made 4 hours ahead - cover and refrigerate. Let come to room temperature before using.
  3. For salad: Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Place the quinoa in a sieve and rinse under running water (if your quinoa is already pre rinsed you can skip this step). Add the quinoa to the boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 - 8 minutes until the quinoa is still firm to the bite. Drain quinoa and rinse with cold water.
  4. NOTE: This is NOT the usual method for making quinoa and results in a slightly chewier, firmer grain which I prefer in my salads. If you prefer a lighter, fluffier quinoa, reduce the amount of water by 1 cup and simmer for approximately 14 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.
  5. Bring another pot of water to a boil and add a teaspoon of salt. Cook the beans for 3 - 4 minutes until tender but still firm to the bite. Remove the pot from the heat and drain the beans. Rinse the beans with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain on paper towels while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, arugula, almonds and olives and toss to combine. Sprinkle the quinoa over and toss again. Drizzle salad with ½ of the vinaigrette. Taste, adding more vinaigrette if needed. Sprinkle with the feta cheese and serve!!