Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Yellow Heirloom Tomato, Avocado and Blue Cheese Salad

I found some lovely, early yellow heirlooms the other day.  When a friend dropped in for dinner last minute, I punched them up with some blue cheese, avocado, chopped basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.  You can almost always find a jar of homemade balsamic vinaigrette in my fridge as I use it on so many things: in salads, drizzled over grilled veggies...and I used to bake it on fish or chicken back in the day.  Anyway, having it on hand made whipping this together a breeze and it tasted just as good as it looks.

Dressing (more than you will need, but keeps in the fridge for weeks)
1/4 cup EVOO
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsps dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon italian herb seasoning
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1-2 large yellow heirloom tomatoes, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
12 basil leaves, thinly sliced
2-3 oz blue cheese crumbles

Combine dressing ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously.  Arrange sliced tomatoes on a flat platter.  Top with sliced avocado.  Sprinkle chopped basil and cheese over the top and drizzle with vinaigrette.

Serves 2-4

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oven Roasted Tomato, Asparagus, & Goat Cheese Frittata

Last week, I was given a dozen of the freshest eggs I've had since I was a kid on a ranch.  At my daughter's school, they have chickens and I was thrilled to receive a bucket of their lovely multi-colored eggs.  I wanted to eat them right away, so decided on frittata for supper.  I roasted some tomatoes and asparagus, cooked it with some goat cheese and topped with fresh basil.  Quick, easy, and beautiful.  Thanks, Kelly!

1 cup organic mini cherry or plum tomatoes
1/2 bunch organic asparagus
Salt and Pepper
8 best quality organic eggs
2-3 oz organic goat cheese
1/8 cup chopped fresh organic basil

Preheat oven to 400F.  Slice tomatoes in half and chop asparagus into bite size pieces.  Place on rimmed baking sheet, toss with a bit of EVOO, salt and pepper and roast until done (~20min).   Mix eggs in a medium mixing bowl.  In a large oven-proof skillet, heat a little EVOO over medium high heat.  Pour eggs into pan and top with the veggies.  Using a spatula, lift up the sides of the egg mixture to let the egg flow underneath. Sprinkle goat cheese on top.  When the eggs are about half set, move skillet into the oven and bake until the frittata is fluffy and golden, about 5-10 minutes more.  Sprinkle with fresh basil, then slide out of the pan onto a serving dish.  Salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 4

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Roasted Veggies & Quinoa

This dish (inspired by something similar my lovely friend Kari made for me) is one of those great clean-out-the-fridge deals that can be made quickly and easily.  Use whatever you might have on hand: I made it with red quinoa, asparagus, sweet potatoes, zucchini and Marchini almonds last week.  Tonight, I'm using white quinoa, asparagus, new potatoes, carrots and pine nuts.  I'm not going to put measurements on this as it will vary based on what you have, but it's fantastic the next day so make plenty.  Guilt free eating right here.

Various veggies
Quinoa (any color)
Toasted nuts (almonds, pine nuts, etc.)
Lemon juice
Parmesan Cheese (regular or vegan)
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.  Wash then slice veggies into bite sized pieces, toss with a little EVOO, salt and pepper.  Roast on rimmed baking sheets until just done (times will vary for various veggies, but none more than 30min.)  Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to package directions.  In a jar or small tupperware, combine equal parts EVOO and lemon juice.  Add parm, salt and pepper to taste, then shake.  Arrange quinoa on a platter.  Top with the roasted veggies and nuts.  Pour a decent amount of your sauce on top and serve immediately.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tortilla Soup with Avocado, Cilantro and Lime

Simply omit the cheese for a vegan version

We just got back from 10 days in Mexico, so I thought today's recipe would be appropriate.  Typically, this dish is made with chicken, or at least chicken broth, but there's really no need for it.  You could play with various toppings, too.  I could see some fresh corn or fire-roasted chiles sprinkled on top.  There are lots of different cheeses you could do, too, but I had goat cheese this day, so that was the pick.  It was surprisingly delicioso!

6 corn tortillas, cut into sticks
1 Tablespoon EVOO

 Heat oven to 400F. Toss tortillas in oil, sprinkle with salt and bake on baking sheet until crispy.  Set aside and let cool.

2 Tablespoons EVOO
4 cloves of minced organic garlic
1 large organic onion, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cayenne chili powder
1.5 teaspoons ground coriander
1 14 or 15 oz can organic crushed tomatoes
6 cups organic vegetable broth
Salt to taste
1-2 organic avocados
1 cup chopped organic cilantro
4oz goat cheese crumbles
1 organic lime

Heat oil in a large pot over med/high heat.  Cook onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes, until onion is translucent but not browned.  Add the cumin, coriander and cayenne.  Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and add 1-2 cups of the broth, then puree with an immersion blender (or transfer a bit at a time to a regular blender or food processer).  Add the rest of the broth and puree until smooth.  Return to the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Salt to taste.  Ladle into bowls and top with the tortilla sticks, avocado, cilantro and goat cheese.  Cut the lime into wedges and squeeze lime juice over the top and serve.

Serves 4-6
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