salad

The Summer of Non-Cooking Continued

IMG_6101 So this involves a small bit of cooking, grilling, really, so that isn’t the same. We have been grilling corn on the cob, too, keeping the kitchen cool. Lightly coat (husked) ears of corn with olive oil (okay, butter if you must) and pop on the grill. You’ll know when it’s done by the color. Throw some burgers on the grill or lamb kabobs. Yum. I think I need to go to KO and see how it is really done.

GRILLED ZUCCHINI SALAD from 5 casual feast recipes from Sam Jackson (of KO Catering and Pies) in Boston Globe Magazine

Serves 8

FOR THE SALAD

1 teaspoon chopped rosemary

1 teaspoon chopped thyme

 3 garlic cloves, minced

Grated zest of ½ lemon

¼ cup olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 pounds zucchini, cut lengthwise into ½-inch slices

Small handful fresh mint, roughly chopped

1 cup roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded, and finely sliced

1 small red onion, diced

8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

FOR THE DRESSING

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

Mix rosemary, thyme, garlic, lemon zest, oil, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl. Add zucchini and allow to marinate for at least an hour. I prepped this in the morning and my house smelled gloriously of garlic all day. I forgot to marinate the zucchini for an hour and it was still delicious. Love a recipe that lets me mess up and is still so good. Heat grill to medium-high heat. ( we used charcoal grill, just watch it and move them to the edge of the grill). Grill zucchini strips for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Set aside to cool, then slice on a slight angle into chunks. Toss in a large bowl with chopped mint, red peppers, onion, and feta.

In a separate bowl, mix the two oils, vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Toss the salad in the desired amount of dressing and serve.  We had this for lunch the next day – perfect on a bed of fresh greens.

There are three other recipes in this article that I have not yet tried but will. Until I do –  go here for the lamb, salmon and some yummy looking coconut ice cream.

Summer Cooking or Not Cooking in Summer

Yes, school is out and I have been ignoring my blog in favor of my family, mostly because I love them but also, because they are home all the time. Really, almost all of the time. So it is doctor and dentist and orthodontist appointments and driving to activities. So much for writing. Short and sweet it will have to be. I am also writing a longish post – working title – Cinderella wore l20120517-072201.jpgululemon. Stay tuned.

I have been writing in my head, though, and cooking and baking, so I’ll post about my finds. I loved this cover shot on the Boston Globe Magazine two weeks ago and was inspired to try it. Amazingly enough my food looked this good, and was delicious – even without the crab. Make it as a vegetarian option for your next potluck.

Serves 8

1 pound cooked Jonah crab meat (not from a can) We left out the crab and made the salad and topped it with broiled salmon. A huge hit.

4 ripe avocados, peeled and cut

into large chunks

2 cucumbers, cut into large chunks

2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved

2 bunches scallions, sliced on an angle (I would prefer fewer scallions – maybe my cuts are too generous?)

½ bunch Italian parsley, roughly chopped

½ bunch tarragon, finely chopped (family is not a fan of this herb so I used less – it was still delicious)

2 limes, peeled and cut into segments

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

12 ounces baby spinach, washed and spun dry

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Juice of 2 limes, divided

In a large bowl, toss all salad ingredients except for spinach with ¼ cup oil and juice of 1 lime. On a large platter, lay out spinach and drizzle with the remaining oil and lime juice. Top spinach with crab salad and serve. (or not, really good plain, too).

Recipes for my mother-in-law’s pressure cooker which is how I still think of it although I have owned it for almost 20 years.

My Mother-in-Law is a sweetheart and early in our marriage gave me a pressure cooker. She told me that I could make dinners in no time flat and it would be great. Well, I was a little nervous about the pressure cooker’s potential to explode so I tried only a few things – chicken soup was the best –  45 minutes and you have homemade chicken soup – overnight if you really want to skim the fat – but still. (Basically one chicken cut up or pieces you like best – thighs make it richer, veggies of choice – carrots, celery and parsnips, garlic and onion if you like – don’t salt it until it is done cooking). So for years that is all I used it for and I still don’t have a decent pressure cooker cookbook but last week I thought…”Hmmm, I don’t really want to cook…it is hot and I am tired…What can I make with minimal effort that my whole family will eat?” of course the answer – boringly – was chicken. What to do? I bought breasts and thighs and some Theo’s Steakhouse Marinade at Whole Foods and I dumped it all into the mighty pressure cooker. Okay, I filled the empty marinade bottle halfway with water to get the rest out and to cover the chicken with liquid. I secured the cover and turned the heat up. I guessed it would be done in about 25-30 minutes and it was just as I wanted it – like pulled chicken from a Barbeque place. I served it on potato rolls (also Whole Foods) and some salad and brown rice and corn on the cob.

Done.

I am baking today which means I can’t write about it now or I will mess it up – chocolate cinnamon cookies and a strawberry pie (we went to a strawberry festival yesterday at Verrill Farm in Concord) and I am also making a salad for a friend with our farm share bounty – red and green lettuce, arugula, radishes, spinach and scallions.

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