Sunday, June 22, 2014

Strawberry Salad with Candied Almonds

This salad is simply the Mandarin Orange Salad I've made for years, but with strawberries instead of the Mandarin oranges.


*Update, 7/6/14 - I took this salad to a family picnic today, only I substituted black raspberries from my dad's farm for the oranges or strawberries.  I think that may be the best combination to date!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Asparagus and Roasted Chicken Pizza

Simple, but yummy!

Source:  adapted from

6-8 stalks asparagus, cut on the bias into 1" pieces
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
Parmesan, to taste
Roasted shredded chicken, optional

Place pizza stone on lower rack of oven and preheat oven to 500 degrees (or as high as your oven will go).

Drizzle asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Toss to coat.

Prepare pizza crust on a sheet of parchment paper.  Brush dough with olive oil.  Top with mozzarella, chicken (optional), asparagus, and red onion.

Slide pizza and parchment paper into oven on top of pizza stone.  Bake until crust is golden and cheese is hot and bubbly, about 5-7 min.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan.  Wait a few minutes for pizza to cool, then cut into slices and serve.  


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Asparagus-and-Lemon Risotto

I never get tired of risotto, especially when it uses fresh vegetables from the garden!

Source:  adapted from Martha Stewart Living magazine, January 2013

6 c. vegetable stock, preferably homemade*
1/4 c. olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 c. Arborio rice
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, stalks cut into 2" lengths
1 c. fresh peas
1 t. grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 c. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan.

Heat 2 T. oil over medium heat in another saucepan.  Cook onion, stirring frequently, until soft, 6-7 minutes.  Add wine; cook, stirring, just until evaporated.

Add 1/2 c. hot stock; cook, stirring, until almost absorbed.  Continue adding 1/2 c. stock in this manner until liquid is creamy and rice is al dente, about 20 min. total (you may not need to add all the stock).  Add asparagus and peas with the last addition of stock.

Remove from heat; stir in lemon zest and juice, parsley, cheese, and remaining 2 T. oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately with additional cheese and lemon zest.

Serves 4

* Note - Asparagus stock works very nicely in place of the vegetable stock.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Broccoli and Chickpea Salad

I'm not a huge broccoli fan. I don't know whether it's the flavor or texture, or if it has to do with eating it raw or cooked.  In fact the only way I really like eating broccoli is when it's in the classic Broccoli Salad that everyone is familiar with.  But, since I'm able to grow it in my garden and I do eat it on a regular basis, I'm going to keep working at learning to love and appreciate it.  And, after reading the book "French Kids Eat Everything" (fabulous book!!!!),  I'm even more inspired to keep learning to like, even love, those few remaining vegetables that aren't my favorites!

This recipe is surprisingly good.  Steaming and chopping the broccoli a bit really helps the texture (at least in my opinion!).  

Source:  adapted from

4 c. broccoli florets
15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
5 sliced scallions
1/2 c. chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/3 c. pine nuts, toasted
1 clove garlic, minced
2 t. Dijon mustard
1 t. honey
1 T. grated lemon zest
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
6 T. extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine garlic, mustard, honey, lemon zest and juice.  Slowly add oil, whisking to emulsify, and season with salt and pepper.

Steam broccoli florets until just tender, 5-7 min.  Once cool, chop, add to dressing,  and combine with chickpeas, scallions, parsley, and pine nuts.

Cook's note:  Refrigerate salad in an airtight container up to two days.

Serves 4.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Rice Salad with Asparagus and Peas

1 clove garlic
3 anchovy fillets
Coarse sea salt
1 T. sherry vinegar
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 c. Arborio rice
 6 oz. asparagus (about 1 bunch), trimmed and sliced 1" thick on the bias
1 c. fresh shelled or frozen peas
1/2 c. finely chopped red onion
4 oz. radicchio, finely shredded (about 1-1/4 c.)
1/2 c. julienned fresh basil leaves

Finely mince garlic and anchovies together with 1 t. salt on a cutting board until a paste forms.  Transfer to a bowl; whisk in vinegar and oil.

Cook rice in a pot of salted boiling water until tender, about 13 min.  Add asparagus and peas; cook until crisp-tender, about 2 min.  Drain and transfer to bowl with vinaigrette.

Add onion and radicchio, toss to combine, and season with salt.  Let stand 30 min.  Add basil, toss to combine, and let stand 30 min more before serving.

Serves 6.