July 25, 2012

Sauteed Baby Purple Artichokes with Shallots, Mint, Lavender, Thyme, Basil, and Pecorino Romano

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These little darlings were staring at me at the market. I just couldn’t help myself and piled them in my basket one at a time. I was dreaming of my stash of herbs at home when I realized how simple this would all come together. A quick trip to the cheese counter and I was set. A girl on a mission. 

Most people deep fry these baby artichokes. As delicious as that sounds, we don’t really deep fry stuff around here. We like to keep things light. We want to wear pretty dresses, bathing suits, and flirt with boys. Some annoying girl once told me this: “a minute on the lips is a lifetime on the hips”. I’m not that crazy. I like to eat my butter, but I like to keep balance. Good fats, lots of veggies, water, healthy friendships and exercise will keep you in check ladies. 

I had the amazing chance to barrel taste some Pinot Noir and use my nose, and taste strengths to discuss wine in a very effective way today. I hope I was professional! Sometimes I don’t have a filter. It really put my nose in check. That’s why all these herbs came to mind when trying figure out to do with these suckers. 

This is a perfect appetizer to a nice Summer meal. Serve this with a nice Pinot Blanc, like Helioterra from Oregon. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound baby artichokes (whatever color you can find)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, avocado oil, or other high heat oil of choice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Fresh herbs of choice, a couple sprigs of everything ( I used mint, thyme, lavender, basil, and chives)
  • 1 small shallot cut in small rounds
  • 2 Tbsp shredded pecorino cheese
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and lemon for garnish
  • Splash of dry white wine if you wish. 

Steps:

  • Clean artichokes, cut in half lengthwise, trim really hard outside leafs. Unless you like them crunchy
  • Chop herbs, mince garlic, slice shallot
  • Heat oil
  • Add garlic and shallots
  • Once garlic and shallots start to soften add artichokes
  • You want to cook these for 10-15 minutes, so they start to crisp a bit. (note I added a splash of white wine to finish.)
  • Add minced herbs, and red pepper flake. Cook for 1-2 minutes
  • Top with with fresh shredded peccorino, a little pinch of salt, and a squeeze of lemon. 
  • Enjoy!

xoxo

Sarah

July 20, 2012

Nostrana Salad

Hello lovelies!

It’s been a long time, I’ve missed you all. Is Summer treating you well? Are you having fun in the sun (with a great all natural sunblock???)? I truly hope you are.

Mine is great! Thanks for asking. Lots of fun trips planned, pink wine drinking, shenanigans. It’s like I’ve reverted back into my early twenties. Fun times here.

This salad is wonderful. It’s a knock off of a restaurant favorite. It comes from Nostrana right here in Portland, Oregon. It’s also served at a great lilttle place called Oven and Shaker. It pairs nicely with Pizza, and Pinot Blanc. It’s really one of my favorite things to eat right now. Forget KALE, let’s all eat RADICCHIO. How fun is that to say? Ridicchio is radiculous- in the best way possible.

Super easy, and super hearty at the same time. This salad will impress your foodiest, of all foodie friends. So get to it cuties!!!

Ingredients:

3 heads radicchio (about 1 1/2 pounds total weight), cored

Dressing:

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sour cream (mayo is fine)
1 very fresh large egg yolk
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Croutons:

2 cups (3/4-inch) fresh bread cubes, cut from a hearty rustic bread

2 tablespoons unsalted butter1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage

1 Tsbp mustard

a pinch of salt and, cayenne

2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
Cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
Freshly ground pepper

Steps:

Place chopped radicchio in bowl

Make croutons. Take bread, melted butter, mustard, herbs, cayenne, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Place on baking sheet covered with silpat or foil and bake until crispy on 350. About 10 mins. If you like a little extra crunch place under broiler for one minute on each side.

Make dressing. Place all ingredients but olive oil in bowl. Whisk until well combined. Drizzle olive oil into mixture while whisking away. You want a super creamy dressing here.

Place croutons on top of radicchio, toss to coat with dressing, and toss with grated cheese.

Enjoy!!!!!

xoxo

Sarah

May 22, 2012

Shredded Zucchini Salad with Lime and Herb dressing

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Hello all! Sorry for the lack of posts. Rest assured I’ve been following my salad challenge, and feel clean and healthy. I hope you do too. This is a simple post with fresh organic ingredients. It took less than 15 minutes to prep, and packs well even when dressed. We like recipes like this. Once again, adapt, adapt, adapt. 

I’m trying to shed some winter pounds, keep healthy, and eat light and fresh meals. I always think fruits and veggies should be the star of every meal….plus I think most people don’t get enough. I also think a lot of vegetarians need to up their veggie intake too. 

I’ll keep the salad challenge going, but let me know your favorite dressings, or salad recipes. I’m going to post two salads a week from now on. The rest of my blogging will be veggie packed foods that I love. 

Thanks for reading!

Shredded Zucchini Salad with Lime and Herb Dressing

(serves 1)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Zucchini, washed and shredded 
  • 1/4 cup of sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1 mini yellow bell pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Shredded Parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp Avocado Oil
  • Juice of 1/2 of lime
  • 1 Tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 Tbsp minced chives
  • 1 Tbsp minced basil
  • 1 Tbsp minced parsley
  • 1 Tbsp minced cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

  • Shred zucchini with a vegetable peeler, mandoline, or food processor ( I used this Kuhn Rikon Julienne Peeler)
  • Slice tomatoes, and bell pepper
  • Make dressing. Mince your herbs in an herb grinder
  • Juice your lime, and slowly drizzle oil while whisking, add herbs, salt and pepper
  • Dress zucchini with dressing, and toss to coat
  • Top salad with tomatoes, bell pepper, and cheese. 
  • Drizzle a little more dressing if you choose, and salt and pepper to your liking
  • Enjoy!

xoxo

Sarah

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May 17, 2012

Salad Challenge Day Two, and a Spring Green Panzanella!

Hey salad lovers! My fridge is stocked with asparagus, five pounds of asparagus for two people. Yes, we love the green stuff that much. It’s also packed with fresh pea shoots, arugula raab, fresh avocados, early zucchini, and everything green. This is the perfect time of year for salads.

I don’t think of salad  as just lettuce, cucumbers, flavorless tomatoes, and the occasional frozen peas. My co-workers keep mentioning how hard it is to eat salad, and do the prep. This leaves me absolutely speechless. My answer to this problem is to make your salad your main course.

We love bread salads, and this is my take on Spring Panzanella. It’s simple. It doesn’t take a whole lot of prep, and can be done in less than thirty minutes. Easy, simple, fresh, and oh so very green.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Plus, it’s extremely adaptable. Use what you have on hand, and get your salad challenge on. Remember to eat two salads a day. I will post a daily salad recipe, or idea. You follow a long, and challenge yourself to eat lighter, greener, and healthier.

Spring Green Panzanella

  • 1 bunch peashoots
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbsp good quality olive oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, drizzled with oil and salt
  • 2 Tbsp corona beans
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
  • a good splash of high quality balsamic vinegar
  • Salt, pepper, and crushed red chiles

Steps: 

  • Roast asparagus drizzled in oil  for seven minutes on 400.
  • Saute chopped garlic in olive oil, chop pea shoots, and add to oil mixture. Sautee for 5 minutes or until slightly wilted.
  • Toast sliced ciabatta bread in oven until crispy, remove from oven, and spread with creamy goat cheese.
  • Top bread pea shoots, chopped asparagus, tomatoes, beans, crumbled goat cheese.
  • Drizzled with oil, and balsamic, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve warm and enjoy!

xoxo

Sarah

May 15, 2012

Baby Kale Caesar, and a Salad Challenge!

Hey Guys! Whoah, Spring has totally sprung. I’ve got a tan going on from all of this lovely hot weather here. I can’t believe how gorgeous it has been. I’m totally ready for camping and outdoor season.

Speaking of hot weather. It was too warm to eat dinner last night. That rarely happens for me.

I eat a lot of salads. Most of my recipes happen to be salads, and salad just happens to be my favorite food.

When I was little and we would get fast food as a treat- I would always pick Wendy’s because they had a salad bar. I know, I’m a total dork. It’s just always been my favorite food. You can make a salad as fancy or as simple as you want. It involves little, or no cooking. It’s light, filling, and refreshing all at the same time.

I’m kicking off a salad challenge. Each day I will post a recipe for a different salad a long with my regular posts. I’m starting super simple. In fact, this is for my co-workers who hate prepping salads. You can’t get easier than this. Organic Girl (available at New Season’s and Whole Foods) sells pre-washed, and packaged baby kale already for you to plop into bowls. Simple. Done. Then you make a quick dressing, toast some bread, and grate some cheese. Voila!! Salad, made. Seriously could it be easier than that??

What kind of salads do you like? What do you eat for lunch and dinner that you absolutely can’t live without?? Ummm, that would be salad for me!

Baby Kale Caesar

Ingredients:

  • Organic girl baby kale mix
  •  1 piece crusty day old bread
  • Olive oil 2 tbsp
  • 1 Clove garlic smashed, and chopped
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 heaping Tbsp Shredded Parmesan
  • Salt, and pepper to taste
  • More olive oil, dried herbs, crushed red pepper, and salt for croutons

Steps:

  • Plop greens into bowls.
  • Squeeze lemon into bowl with smashed garlic and mustard, and slowly drizzle olive oil, whisk to combine. Salt, and pepper to taste
  • Dress salads with dressing, and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Tear bread, dress with oil, dried herbs and chiles as desired.
  • Bake bread on 350 until crispy, about 15 minutes.
  • Top salad with bread and cheese, toss to combine.
  • Enjoy!!!

Look for another salad recipe tomorrow!!!

XOXO

Sarah

May 8, 2012

Artichoke heart and Asparagus Salad

I apparently can’t get enough asparagus, or artichokes lately. I’m just that kind of girl. This salad is not one that I created, but one that I certainly do love to eat. It brings back many memories. It’s a salad from Tria, but I have adapted it to be my own. This is the kind of salad that’s super simple to pull together on a whim. You grill, or roast a bit of asparagus, make a simple relish from onions and tomatoes, and everything else comes from the olive bar from your local grocer. It’s easy peasy. We like that around here. I’m a bit busy balancing three jobs, school, and some volunteer work. Tonight is the ever lovely foodie event of the year- The Taste of the Nation. I’m in charge of the wall of wine for the fourth year in a row. It’s an honor to be a part of this event year after year. Hopefully I will see a few of you there. This is a perfect dinner, or lunch. It’s the ultimate single person’s salad. Just prepare enough of each item, or enough for a few days. It’s great with Gruner Veltliner from Austria, or a crisp Rose from Provence. You can adapt it to your tastes as I did here. I hope you enjoy this. If you are ever in Philly, visit Tria. You will love it!

Artichoke and Asparagus Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup artichoke hearts (oil free)
  • 1/2 cup Divina Gigante Beans (most whole foods have these on their salad bar)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp minced red onion
  • 1 tbs good quality extra virgen olive oil
  • A couple of drops of balsamic vinegar
  • 4 Asparagus spears, grilled, and chopped
  • 2 pieced sliced ciabatta bread, grilled and brushed lightly will olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp soft crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • Salt and pepper

Steps:

  • Grill Asparagus, so it’s cooked, but still crunchy. Cool, and chop into bite size chunks.
  • Toast 1 Tbsp pine nuts, just until fragrant, and slightly brown.
  • Prepare tomato and onion relish. Chop onions, tomatoes, add 2 Tbsp olive oil, a couple drops of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • Grill Bread, and place on plate.
  • Toss gigante beans, asparagus, artichoke hearts, and relish together.
  • Place bean mixture on top of grilled bread, and top with crumbled goat cheese, and toasted pine nuts
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Enjoy!!

xoxo Sarah

May 4, 2012

Spring Farro Salad

The markets are filled to the brim with pretty red radishes, bright purple asparagus, and fresh whispy greens. I’m loving this time of year. The air smells of flowers. The days are much longer, and I’m eating so much lighter.
Pea shoots are probably one my favorite Spring greens. They are super delicate, tasty, and just so darn pretty. You can eat them as salad greens, saute them with garlic, or add them to soups. They are super versatile.
This is a fairly simple salad. It’s flavored with veggie broth, and then a simple lemon and olive oil dressing. This salad isn’t fussy, and will keep for a few days packed nicely in glass jars for lunches or dinners on the go. You can substitute quinoa, cous-cous, or any number of grains for the farro.

Spring Farro Salad

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups farro
1 bunch pea shoots, trimmed into bit size pieces
1 leek sliced, and washed
1 bunch blanched asparagus
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 large cloves garlic minced
1 cup veggie broth
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup of fresh goat cheese, or parmesan to taste
Salt, crushed red pepper, and fresh chopped chives to taste

Steps:
Cook farro in one cup veggie broth, and 1/2 cup water until done, about 30 minutes
Saute minced garlic and leeks in olive oil until really soft and bright green. 10-15 mins on medium heat.
Add leeks and garlic to farro.
Add blanched asparagus, and chopped pea shoots to farro. This should be warm enough to wilt shoots, if not, add some water to saute pan and cook until wilted.
Dress salad with lemon juice and mustard, there should be enough oil from the leeks and garlic to give this dressing body.
Crumble goat cheese on top if serving immediately. Otherwise , reserve for later.
Salt, pepper, and add fresh herbs as desired.
Salad keeps for a few days, just add cheese when desired.

Enjoy!
xoxo, Sarah

May 2, 2012

The French Breakfast! Radish with French Butter, Sea Salt, and little toasts.

This couldn’t be more easy. Good quality butter has to be one of my favorite ingredients. It really is a game changer when cooking simple ingredients.

This dish couldn’t be more French. It’s a perfect cocktail snack, or delicious as breakfast (I’ve been eating it every single day as breakfast with coffee) .

It feels indulgent, and puts me right back in France. When I was staying in Avignon, I rented a small bungalow. I had a little kitchenette, and brought home fresh produce from the market. It was so delicious, and I didn’t even have to worry if it was organic, because of course- it was naturally. What a breath of fresh air!!!

Whole foods sells French butter in small ramekins. It’s a super fancy, incredible fun buy. They also sell high quality sea salt flakes in bulk so you can try all types of salt- or start your own collection like me!

I’m not going to provide a full recipe, because this is just so simple. Slice and clean your radish. Butter your toasted baguette and sprinkle with high quality sea salt. Eat with coffee for breakfast, champagne on the weekends, or Rose from Provence in the evening. Your heart with flutter, and yes high quality, grass fed, French butter is really good for you! It really, really, really is!

xoxo my lovelies!

Sarah

April 24, 2012

Roasted Strawberry Crostini

Hey all!!

I’m super impatient. We got a little tease of Summer weather here in Portland. I could smell the Lilac, back yard BBQ’s, and enjoyed quite a bit of Rose. Then I got the craving. The strawberry craving. Oregon has the best strawberries. The hoods won’t come until July, but roasting organic strawberries from California will bring out the sweetness, and add a whole richness to the bland pre-season berry.

It’s quite simple. Wash and slice berries. Place on parchment lined sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and little aged balsamic. Roast in a 350 degree oven. Done! Delicious. These are perfect on ice cream, in muffins, with chocolate, on pancakes. I like them as a little savory appetizer.

Toast some rustic bread, spread with fresh goat cheese, sprinkle with arugula, strawberries, toasted pine nuts, and little bit of basil. Voila. People will think you are fancy. Really fancy. It’s not fancy at all, but really delicious. Serve with Champagne, sparkling wine, or some pretty Rose from Provence.

Enjoy! Make some shortcake too! Trust me- you will be in super fancy food heaven!

XOXO

Sarah

April 11, 2012

My favorite- Romesco!

Hello Lovelies!

The other night we ate at Toro Bravo. We enjoyed many little snacks, but we started with a nettle tortilla, it was to die for. In fact, I would argue it had more flavor than any tortilla I’ve ever had, even more than those I ate in Spain. It inspired me to make my own version with the mouthwatering romesco to pair.

I love meals like this. One tortilla makes enough for dinner, or a brunch, plus it tastes even better left over packed in a picnic basket, or lunch box with a green salad, and some fruit. You can load it with veggies, greens, parsnips, potatoes, and you could even add cheese. I opted for a simple version with organic potatoes, shallots, and local onions. ( I apologize, but I lost the natural light and couldn’t capture a decent photo of the tortilla.) I even served it with mixed greens, piquillo peppers stuffed with goat cheese,  it made a very satisfying meal, just don’t forget the romesco sauce. Holy crap don’t forget the romesco. I, in fact kept snacking on this sauce- just to test it. You know, this is why I should never skip the gym.

Like I said, this is the perfect sort of light meal, or pinxto for friends when enjoying wine or cocktails in the early evening! I’m serving mine with a lovely Bierzo from NW Spain. I think most foods like this pair with light bodied whites or rose’s, but its’ just so chilly out tonight, the red wine definitely warms my heart.

Tortilla

Ingredients:

  • 4 local farm eggs- this is important- don’t skimp, and please don’t buy factory produced eggs- you now why, it’s just not healthy for anyone. 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large peeled potato diced, and peeled
  • a few good glugs of high quality olive oil
  • a pinch of your favorite salt
  • a pinch of esplette, if you have it on hand. It’s worth seeking out if you don’t.

Steps:

  • Heat olive oil in cast iron, or heavy bottomed pan of choice
  • Add onions, and cook until soft and translucent, don’t brown them
  • add potatoes, and cook until soft, but not mushy, and don’t brown them
  • salt, and season as desired
  • scramble eggs, and add to pan with potatoes and onions
  • cook until firm, and not runny- kind of like a pancake
  • use a plate to flip, and continue cooking on the other side
  • I like my tortilla so it’s firm, not runny, but just a little gooey in the center. It’s all about personal preference.

Romesco Sauce- holy crap this makes a lot! You’ll find many uses my friends, many!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 can piquillo peppers- or roast 2 red bell peppers, remove skin and seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgen Olive Oil
  • juice of half a lemon
  • splash of red wine, or sherry vinegar
  • 1 – 2 small pieces of grilled bread. I used 4 slices of grilled baquette
  • 2-6 dried ancho chilis
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 cup Marcona Almonds, blanched almonds are fine too
  • 1 roma tomato, seeded
  • 2 tbsp  fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste

Steps

  • Grill bread, and cool
  • Soak chili’s and roast on 375, until they start to brown, about 8-10 minutes
  • Place all ingredients in food processor, and blend until desired consistency.
  • I like it a little chunky!!!
  • Put on everything your little heart desires.

xoxo

Sarah

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