Tag Archives: Olive oil

Arugula, Watermelon, and Feta Salad

Some days you just want something incredibly simple for dinner.  Last night my husband suggested hotdogs and me in my sleep-deprived state jumped all over it.  We stopped at the grocery store and I thought, “maybe I should make a fruit salad to go with the meal, just something easy.” That’s when I saw the watermelon.  Granted, it’s not really watermelon season just yet, but this watermelon looked perfectly ripe and Ina Garten‘s watermelon feta salad is the perfect compliment to a casual dinner or picnic lunch.

Ingredients:

Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup freshly squeezed Orange Juice

1/4 cup freshly squeezed Lemon Juice (2 Lemons)

1/4 cup minced Shallots (1 large)

1 tablespoon Honey

1/2 cup Olive Oil

1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper

Salad:

3 cups (4 ounces) Baby Arugula, washed and spun dry

1/8th Seedless Watermelon, rind removed, and cut in 1-inch cubes

12 ounces good Feta Cheese, 1/2 inch diced

1 cup (4 ounces) whole fresh Mint Leaves, julienned

Whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, shallots, honey, salt, and pepper. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking constantly, to form an emulsion. If not using within an hour, store the vinaigrette covered in the refrigerator.

Place the arugula, watermelon, feta, and mint in a large bowl. Drizzle with enough vinaigrette to coat the greens lightly and toss well. Taste for seasonings and serve immediately.

Tips and Tricks:

I did not plan very well for this meal and thus I did not have a shallot at home.  I substituted 1 minced garlic clove and 2 tablespoons of minced white onion.

If you want to simplify it even further you can certainly buy the crumbled feta you can find in the deli section of the grocery store.

You could substitute watercress for the arugula if you prefer.


Grilled Artichokes with Remoulade Sauce

Artichokes are a mean and vicious vegetable, but they taste really good.  If you are willing to put aside 30 minutes to prepared these spiky bulbs and risk personal injury in the process (they can and will cut you) you will be well rewarded with succulent artichoke leaves and hearts to enjoy. They are the perfect indulgence.

Ingredients:

Remoulade Sauce:

1/2 cup Mayonaisse

2 teaspoons Lemon Zest

1/2 tablespoon Capers, minced

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 tablespoon Parsley, chopped

1/2 teaspoon Prepared Horseradish

1/2 teaspoon Whole Grain Mustard

1 tablespoon White Wine Vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper, ground

1/4 teaspoon Salt

Artichokes:

2 Artichokes

1 Lemon (reserved from Remoulade Sauce)

2 1/2 cups Water

1/2 cup White Wine

1 teaspoon Salt

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Parmesan Potato Wedges with Lemon Thyme Aioli

The which-style-of-fry-is-the-best debate is ongoing in my house.  I like fries that are a bit more crispy and I am not picky about shape, my husband on the other hand likes his fries softer and he really likes potato wedges. Being the kind of girl I am I thought, “well, we can have it both ways.” A couple of easy tricks will give you oven fries that are crispy on the outside and soft in the middle.  Give them a stylish addition in the form of a little grated parmesan cheese and a lemon thyme aioli and you have a side dish that is perfectly at ease in a gastro pub or sitting at your kitchen table.

Ingredients:

Potato Wedges:

2 Russet Potatoes

3 tablespoons Olive Oil

1 tablespoon Kosher Salt

1 1/2 teaspoons Pepper

1/3 cup Parmesan, finely grated

Lemon Thyme Aioli:

1 Lemon, zested and juiced

2 Egg Yolks

1 large Clove of Garlic

1 tablespoon fresh Thyme Leaves

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

1/4 cup Canola or Vegetable Oil

1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons Salt

3/4 teaspoon Pepper

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Lemon Herbed Potatoes

 

Lemon Herbed Potatoes

One of my favorite ways to dress up roasted potatoes, this recipe is a great side dish for the holidays or even for Sunday dinner.  They’re easy to do and always a hit.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes (or other waxy potato variety), halved

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

1/2 tablespoon Salt

3/4 teaspoon Pepper

2 tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice

2 teaspoons fresh Thyme, minced

2 teaspoons fresh Rosemary, minced

1/2 tablespoon Butter (optional)

Preheat your oven to 400°F.  Rinse the potatoes and drain the water.  Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and put them in a medium sized bowl.  Toss the potatoes with the olive oil , salt and pepper.  Place the potatoes on a sheet pan lined with a silpat or parchment paper.  Put them in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the potatoes can be easily smashed with gentle pressure.  Pull the potatoes out of the oven and toss with the minced herbs, lemon juice, and butter.  You are ready to serve, bon appétit.

Tips and Tricks:

Reheating the potatoes

Not everyone is blessed with double ovens, if you are making this recipe for a meal that requires you to pick and choose what is going to be cooked when, then cook the potatoes first.  You can hold them at room temperature  (without the lemon juice, butter, and herbs) for about an hour or put them in the refrigerator if it’s going to be longer.  When you are about ready to serve, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add in the roasted potatoes along with the lemon juice, butter, and herbs. Cook for a few minutes until the potatoes are hot again (if you have had them refrigerated, pull them out about 30 to 45 minutes before putting in the pan to allow them to come to room temperature).

This recipe serves 4.


Pan Seared Salmon with Jumbled Couscous

Salmon with Jumbled Couscous

I like clean, fresh flavors.  I think the food should speak for itself.  I don’t think that you need to have a sauce to make a meal, I don’t think everything needs to be cooked in butter (but don’t mistake me, I love butter), and I don’t think there is anything wrong with cooking a meal that’s easy. When I cook, chances are good that I am cooking for two. Chances are also good that my husband is whining like a five-year-old that he’s hungry.  Now, before I go giving him an undeserved reputation, I should note that he is perfectly capable of cooking for himself, but most of his cooking is throwing whatever is available into the nearest pan.  My cooking isn’t quite that easy, but it is close.  One of my favorite go-to meals is pan seared salmon with cous cous.  It is simple and effective.

Ingredients:

Jumbled Couscous:

1/2 cup Couscous

3/4 cups Water

1 1/2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided

2 teaspoons Salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup each Craisins, Golden Raisins, and Cocktail Peanuts

3 or 4 Cherry Tomatoes

1 Scallion

5 leaves Basil

5 leaves Mint

2 Radishes

1 tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 tablespoon fresh Lime Juice

Salmon:

2 (7 oz) Salmon Filets

1 1/2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon Lime or Lemon Juice

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