ROASTED CORN AND ZUCCHINI SALAD

You know that kind of recipe that shows up in one of your favorite food blogs and you just have to make it right away? This was it. I saw the picture, the list of ingredients, and fell in love with it. Plus, human beings who have braces on their upper and lower teeth live in a permanent state of craving corn on the cob. The type of pleasure that is far removed from their reality. This salad brings corn back into play. Still a bit hard to negotiate, but doable. Totally doable. Or I should say chewable… Sorry. Got carried away…

ROASTED CORN AND ZUCCHINI SALAD
(very slightly modified from Karen’s Kitchen Stories)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice and zest of 1 lime
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 ears roasted corn, cooled, and kernels cut off
2 zucchini, chopped into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Whisk the olive oil,  lime juice and zest together in a small bowl until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, add the corn, zucchini, jalapeño, and cilantro. Add the dressing and toss until combined. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to 12 hours.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: You can grill the corn as Karen suggests, but also broil in the oven, which is what I ended up doing. Quick, easy, you just have to keep an eye to avoid burning the delicate kernels, in case you set up your rack too close to the broiler. I prefer to keep it about 6 inches below, which is a good compromise.  Simply rub the corn with a touch of olive oil, and set under the broiler, moving the cob to get all sides nicely charred. Once that is done, let them cool a bit and shave the kernels off to use in the salad.

My recipe was almost exactly like Karen’s, but I made half the amount, and reduced a little bit the proportion of olive oil in the dressing, making it slightly more lemony.  This was refreshing, light, delicious, it will be a regular dish in our rotation, as the husband already requested it for next week. He lives in fear that a dish he really likes might never show up at our table again. No risk with this one.  Raw zucchini, when cut in small dice and allowed to sit with the acidic dressing for a few hours, turns out perfect. I cannot recommend this recipe enough!

We enjoyed it with turkey burgers (my default recipe which we adore), sweet potato fries, and avocado slices.

Karen, thank you for being a constant source of inspiration in my cooking…

ONE YEAR AGO: Fraisier Cake, A Celebration of Spring

TWO YEARS AGO: Zucchini Frittata with Roasted Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

THREE YEARS AGO: Playing with Pectinase

FOUR YEARS AGO: Poached White Asparagus with Lemon and Pistachios

FIVE YEARS AGO: Dan Lepard’s Saffron Bloomer

SIX YEARS AGO: Fesenjan & The New Persian Kitchen

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Pasta Puttanesca

NINE YEARS AGO: Miche Point-a-Calliere

 

 

ZUCCHINI NOODLES WITH SUNDRIED TOMATO PESTO

One of the best acquisitions for our kitchen was the spiralizer. It is the type of gadget that requires a little bit of getting used to. When I first got it, the idea of dragging it out of the cabinet, setting it on the countertop, and getting my technique right so that the strands would be uniformly gorgeous… seemed a bit much. But trust me, the more you use it, the better you’ll be and the more you’ll fall in love with it. Now I don’t even blink, grab it, and try it on all sorts of veggies, broccoli stalks being the most recent. Stay tuned for that one… Should I call them “broodles?” Yeah, broodles. Mind. Blown. But anyway, zucchini is probably the number one veggie that everyone uses. They have the perfect shape and give super long and beautiful strands. Plus, they marry well with so many sauces: Oriental style like soy with peanuts plus a little fish sauce to hip-it-up, tomato based sauces, cashew cream, real cream, pesto, browned butter… Today I am sharing a recipe from a favorite food blog of mine. I’ve cooked many dishes from  The Iron You. Mike raved about the combination of sun-dried tomato pesto and zoodles. He is one smart cookie. It is superb! You must try it.

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ZUCCHINI NOODLES WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATO PESTO
(adapted from The Iron You)

for the sun-dried tomato pesto:
½ cup  oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
⅓ cup roasted almonds
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
small bunch of fresh basil leaves
salt to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil

for the noodles:
6 medium-large zucchini

In a food processor (or blender) add roasted almonds and basil and pulse until roughly chopped. Add sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and Pecorino Romano cheese and process until a uniform paste has formed. Season with a little salt. With the food processor (or blender) running, stream in the olive oil and continue blending until the olive oil is emulsified into the pesto and the sauce looks uniform. Pesto can be stored in the refrigerator with a thin film of olive oil on top.

Using a spiralizer create zucchini noodles using your favorite blade, thin or thick, whatever you prefer.

Boil the zoodles in salted boiling water for 2 minutes, drain and mix with the pesto sauce while still very hot.  Sprinkle with additional Parmigiano cheese before serving.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

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Comments:
Talk about a tasty pesto!  The texture of mine was not as smooth as the one Mike made, at least from the photos, but I don’t think that matters that much. If you prefer a smoother texture, process further and maybe add a little more olive oil.  I used roasted unsalted almonds, so I adjusted the seasoning with salt. Mike used salted almonds and he also used garlic, which I am sure most of my readers will enjoy too.  I fully agree that it was a match made in heaven with the zoodles.  We enjoyed it as a side dish with grilled pork tenderloin, but of course you could make it into a fully vegetarian meal if you add a few more goodies on the plate, like roasted asparagus, a big salad, or a crostini with a smear of goat cheese run under the broiler. Yeah, that sounds about right!

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Dinner is served!

 

Zoodles with Sundried Tomato Pesto

 

ONE YEAR AGO: Caprese Salad with Toasted Walnuts

TWO YEARS AGO: Oh, my God! I think I saw something!

THREE YEARS AGO: Celebrate Wednesday with Hoisin-Grilled Chicken and Soba Noodles

FOUR YEARS AGO: The Manhattan Project

FIVE YEARS AGO: Carrot “Nib” Orzo

SIX YEARS AGO:  A Sticky Situation

SEVEN YEARS AGO:  The Garden

THE GREEN CHIP ALTERNATIVE

Anne Burrell has a way to get me into the kitchen and make her recipes shortly after watching her show.  Last week she made kale chips, and I was mesmerized. They were very simple to prepare and she munched on them with so much gusto, I could not wait to try some.  Serendipity happened: I arrived at the grocery store for my weekly shopping, and found bunches of organic kale that looked absolutely perfect.   I left the store with a huge smile on my face, hoping that Phil would get as excited about kale as I was (yeah, right ;-)).

KALE CHIPS
(from Anne Burrell)

1 bunch of kale leaves
olive oil
salt and pepper

Wash the kale leaves, dry them well, cut them in half lengthwise, removing the central, thick stem.

Place them in a single layer over a rimmed baking dish, spray olive oil lightly over the leaves, season with salt and pepper.  Repeat the misting with olive oil on the other side of the leaves.  Gently toss them around, trying to distribute the oil throughout the leaves.

Place them back on the baking dish in a single layer, trying not to overlap them too much.  Bake on a 250 F oven for  30 to 35 minutes.   Keep an eye on them, remove leaves that start to crisp up too much.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Before….

and after….

These chips are addictive! I hope you’ll give them a try, even if kale is not your favorite veggie. I kept the small amount that was left inside a bowl covered with plastic wrap, and two days later enjoyed the last pieces, still crispy and delicious.   Add less salt than you think they need (sorry, Anne Burrell): the leaves shrink a lot during baking, and the salt tends to get concentrated on spots.

Husband’s verdict:  Two thumbs up! 

ONE YEAR AGO: Weekend Pita Project

TWO YEARS AGO: Tried and Tasted Roundup

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FROM BACKYARD TO KITCHEN

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Two of our three zucchini plants got so sick I had to cut them, but the other one seemed to shape up, maybe afraid of following the neighbors’ fate. Yesterday, as I stared at the pantry considering my options for a quick dinner, it occurred to me to go check our veggie garden. I knew the cherry tomatoes had to be ripe by now, but the two cute zucchinis were a nice added bonus. Let’s hope this is just the beginning of a great harvest! 😉

Veggies fresh from the garden (as well as from farmer’s markets) are so much better than those tired beings at the grocery store, that I like to keep their preparation very simple.  One of my favorite quick dishes for zucchini comes from a great blog, Smitten Kitchen. I make it quite often, actually, changing it slightly according to my mood.

Here is yesterday’s version, served as a side dish for barbecued brisket that will definitely show up on Bewitching Kitchen sometime

QUICK ZUCCHINI SAUTE WITH ROASTED PEANUTS
(adapted from Smitten Kitchen, original recipe from Red Cat, New York)

2 small zucchini (preferably from your own garden!)
2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
squirt of lemon juice
lemon zest to taste
1/4 cup roasted, salted peanuts

Julienne the zucchini, not too thin (zucchini tends to turn into mush fairly easily). Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan until you can detect a little smoke forming. Add the zucchini, salt and pepper.  Saute until it starts to get light brown in some spots.  Lower the heat, add a squirt of fresh lemon juice, some lemon zest, and incorporate the roasted peanuts. Taste for seasoning, adjust if necessary.

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