Archive for August, 2011

Nectarine Salsa

Posted on August 20, 2011. Filed under: garden, healthy, hodgepodge, recipe, salsa, summer, vegetable | Tags: , , , , , , , |

About a month ago, tomatoes the size of my head starting amassing on the large vines growing in my garden. My feeble plan of using bamboo sticks to keep the vines vertical was looking more and more futile every day. A makeshift system of shoelaces, bricks, and more bamboo provide temporary respite from that problem, but I could tell this was going to be trouble. Then another problem arose–what was I going to do with all the tomatoes?!?! I never thought I wouldn’t know what to do with a tomato. This isn’t my first summer growing them. Every summer I lived in Los Angeles I raised a few plants, and I never had any trouble eating the harvest. A quick sauce, add them to a salad, perhaps a soup. Easy.

But this year has been different. I heard terrible things about the tomato blight that has afflicted Pittsburgh the last few years, so I decided to plant five plants as an insurance policy. One dude, five plants. No blight, many tomatoes. This year, it was time to be creative. Nectarine salsa is the first of a few dishes I created with what what around my kitchen and garden.

2 Cups Diced Tomato*
1 Cup Diced Nectarine
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1/4 Cup Diced Shallot
Pinch Salt
Squeeze Lime Juice
Poblano Pepper, to taste
Cilantro, chopped
Mint and Basil, chopped (just a few pinches of each if you have them around)

Let everything sit for 1-3 hours at room temperature before serving.

...more tomatoes to come...

Remove seeds from tomato before dicing. If you have time, let diced tomatoes drain in a colander for a few minutes–your salsa will be less watery. (Drained tomato water can be saved and used in a soup, or as part of a refreshing drink.) Also, try to use a variety of tomatoes if you can.

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Beans and Bacon

Posted on August 8, 2011. Filed under: bacon, recipe, vegetable | Tags: , , , , |

I hadn’t planned on posting two recipes in a row that were basically titled X and Y. It’s not a new theme, promise. I actually had a few recipes lined up to publish, but I just got a fancy-pants new camera and wanted to show off a photo of the first thing I cooked since purchasing this camera. I’ve come to realize that as much as I think a food blog should be about content, pretty pretty pictures are also very nice. We do eat with our eyes and all that. So, perhaps my new camera will inspire new pretty pretty pictures.

But honestly, for me it’s all nonsense if the food doesn’t taste good. Visual stimulation means nothing without gustatory satisfaction. This dish is both visually and gastronomically pleasing. Hooray!

Boil, for seven minutes:
3/4 lb. Green/Yellow/Wax Beans, halved
Immediately plunge beans into ice water after boiling.

Meanwhile, saute over medium heat:
3 Slices Bacon, diced

Once bacon browns, remove it from pan.
Leave 1.5 Tbs. Bacon Grease in pan, reserve the rest for other delicious things.

Add to remaining bacon grease:
1 Shallot, diced
2 Cloves garlic, minced

Cook for one minute, and then add:
Pre-Cooked Beans, drained
1/2 Cup Diced Tomatoes
1/2 Cup White Wine
Two pinches each of Fresh Thyme and Rosemary, finely chopped

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Kale and Quinoa

Posted on August 3, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I’ve been eating kale all summer. Three little seeds produced a massive amount of garden-bounty. It seemed like every time I clipped it, twice as much would grow back. I’m glad–kale is delicious and it’s mighty good for you. However, it’s been rather hot in Pittsburgh, and the kale is starting to bolt. I decided I should do something a little creative with the kale that was left, and the following recipe is the result. It’s good stuff. I planted a new batch of kale for autumn harvest, but for the next month or so I might to have to live kale-free. Sad times.

1/2 Cup Quinoa*
1 Cup Water
Boil, covered, for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, wash and cut into strips:
3/4 Pound Kale

Boil the kale for 3 minutes.
Immediately plunge into ice water.
After kale cools, drain thoroughly.

Add, to a medium-hot pan:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Cloves Garlic, minced

Saute for 1 minute and add prepared kale.

Cook 1 minute, and add:
1/2 Cup Mirin
1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar

Cook 1 minute, add prepared quinoa, and cook 1 more minute.

*I used a combination of red and white quinoa, because I like the contrast of texture and color.

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