emeraldowl

Posts Tagged ‘Olive oil’

Green Crostini

In Cooking on August 31, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Since our trip to the Dallas Farmers Market dishes have been clean, simple and fresh. It’s been all about utilizing and enjoying the produce in season and not burying those fresh flavors we crave so much in the winter.  This last week has also been about headaches. I have only escape a skull smashing, eye squinting, bed-stricken state twice this week. My husband luckily has been kind, patient and self-sufficient. I have awoken with ice-water at my bedside and never a cross word about lack of cooking or chores undone. I think I’ll keep him!

via Instagram

Two things I have really enjoyed this last week were a simple Bread Salad and this Green Crostini.  The Bread Salad is simple, sweet and a delicious way to use up leftover bread, or bread ends. I coarsely chopped up two large slices of a loaf of artisan garlic baguette, chopped up 4-5 small tomatoes, tossed in a Tbsp of olive oil, dash of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and some coarsely chopped cilantro (any fresh herb will do); toss the bread in the mix letting it absorb the juices and oil and enjoy. It’s so so very good. Plus zip, zero, zelch cooking – on these hundred degree days that is a blessing!

GREEN CROSTINI

makes 2 servings, four slices 
 
4 – inch thick slices of baguette (we used our artisan garlic bread) 
butter or oil for toasting bread
 
1 – large avocado
1 – Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 – Tbsp fresh jalapeno, finely chopped
1 – Tbsp fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
*plus more for serving – if you love it like we do!
2 – Tbsp pistachios, roughly chopped
 

Directions: Slice baguette; spread oil or butter and toast over medium heat in a skillet. Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare topping. Combine all the ingredients, except the pistachios, and gently mash. Salt and Pepper mixture to taste and then spread on prepared toast; sprinkle with pistachios and extra cilantro if desired.  Enjoy!

This topping is beautiful with all the different shades of green. It is mildly reminiscent of guacamole, but with a salty crunch from the pistachios.  The garlic bread really brought out the flavors of several ingredients, if you were using a plain baguette I would break the “green” theme and add a little garlic to the mix! Hope you enjoy and for tonight I am headache free – hallelujah!

Bruschetta

In Cooking, Uncategorized on August 23, 2011 at 10:19 pm

We have been enjoying the August bounty of the Farmer’s Market. Tomatoes being at the top of the list! I love fresh grown tomatoes; especially straight from the farm, where they remain untainted by waxes.  One of my favorite ways to enjoy a good tomato is Bruschetta (pronounced “brusketta”). 

Bruschetta

  • 6 or 8 ripe Roma tomatoes (or any small sweet tomato will do!)
  • 1 large clove of garlic, cleaned and cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or substitute balsamic vinegar)
  • zest of half lemon, optional if using lemon juice
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 baguette French bread or similar crusty bread
  • melted butter, for toasting bread

Directions: Wash tomatoes; cut them in halves or quarters; remove the seeds and stems from their centers.  Cut them into smaller pieces if desired. Add the tomatoes to a bowl; stir in 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and zest/vinegar, chopped basil and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside or in refrigerator while you prepare bread – this resting time allows the flavors to bloom.

 Cut the bread on the diagonal, about 1/2 inch slices. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Apply melted butter to both sides, with a pastry brush; add buttered slices to skillet. Cook on each side until brown and toasted. Remove and  rub both sides of the warm bread with the cut garlic; set aside on serving tray. Top warm buttered garlic toast with chilled tomato mixture. Serve with additional small basil leaves, for those like me who enjoy a lil’ extra basil. Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

We enjoyed ours with some fresh fruit and good cheese. I love the touch of lemon, instead of the much more common balsamic vinegar. It adds a brightness to the taste and smell of the dish.  Also, I love rubbing the warm toast with the garlic, instead of having minced garlic in the tomato mixture.  It adds amazing flavor and is still aromatic, while allowing you to control the garlic content and focus on the beautiful tomatoes!! Simple. Lovely. Summer.

Emerald’s Salad

In Cooking, Uncategorized on August 18, 2011 at 9:39 pm

This crazy concoction just kind of happened… It started with a pretty picture of a salad (with a link in another language!), a craving, and then a random list of things that I thought would oddly go together. The salad in the picture had cherries, and well I’ve never thought to put fresh cherries in salad. So please, bear with me. Keep an open mind and palate and give it a try – it really isn’t as weird as it sounds or looks. Oh and if you can think of a better name, well I am all ears. Cherry Munster Avocado Rocket Salad… well as you can see it’s a bit much and surely there is something better than Emerald’s Salad.

Emerald’s Salad

1 package of rocket (arugula) blend lettuce, washed
1 large avocado, sliced and lightly salt & peppered
10-25 cherries, pitted and halved
block of Munster cheese, shaved into slices*
dressing of your choice – we used an olive oil vinaigrette, 
          balsamic vinaigrette or raspberry would also be lovely.
 

Wash and dry lettuce, clean and prepare cherries, and prepare avocados once ready to assemble and serve – as they will brown.  You can prepare each serving and then dress; or toss all three ingredients with dressing and then dish up; shave slices of Munster on top to finish the dish. Enjoy.

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I love salad! I will also admit I had my reservations when I fixed this, but the flavors all balance nicely. The lovely bitter and peppery flavor of the arugula, with the sweet juice and pieces of cherries, rounded by the buttery avocado, more texture contrast with the mild creamy cheese, and all of it drizzled with the vinaigrette lending both the flavor of olive oil, vinegar and a hint of spices – good stuff!  

 

Quinoa Grits

In Cooking, Uncategorized on June 30, 2011 at 9:32 pm

This is my first time to try quinoa. So far I am a big fan. It was just like cooking rice, although it smelled like I was cooking rice in peanut butter and chicken stock. Maybe that is just me, but it smelt weird so I was needless to say leery.  So I decided to make them cheesy and serve like grits with poached eggs for a meatless, but high protein dinner. So technically these aren’t grits, but this was the closest description I could come up with for the dish.

Quinoa Grits

Serves 2

1 cup cooked quinoa
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup cottage cheese
3-4 baby carrot, finely grated
1 egg, plus 1 egg white
1 small yellow onions, finely diced
1 /2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
pinch of  garlic powder
Olive oil to saute onions
 
2 poached eggs to serve with Quinoa Grits. 

 

Directions: Prepare quinoa according to directions and set aside to cool. In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, carrot, eggs, sugar, pepper, cumin, salt, and garlic powder.

Heat a frying pan with olive oil and saute onions; then add mixture and cook through until warm and all the cheese is melted. Place in your serving dish and top with a freshly poached egg. Voila.

I made extra quinoa in the rice cooker to try other recipes. This recipe would lend itself to any variety of flavors and spices so if cumin isn’t your thing feel free to experiment!

Chinese Carrot Salad

In Cooking, Uncategorized on June 23, 2011 at 8:44 pm

I call this Chinese Carrot Salad, because it is something I came up with to serve alongside stir-fry and fried rice.  Nothing ever really seems to go. Especially with stir-fry, because well you put most everything in it. This salad is super crunchy, sweet, savory and very refreshing. It would go well with fish or any number of dishes… but I always serve it with Chinese – hence the name.

Chinese Carrot Salad

12 oz carrots, cleaned and cut into fine matchsticks
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 Tbsp garlic and ginger infused olive oil (recipe below)
 

Directions: Prep carrots and place in a bowl with oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and fresh ginger. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour so flavors can meld. Stir in the poppy seeds just before serving. Enjoy.

Garlic & Ginger Infused Oil: Method 1: Add several smashed garlic cloves and about 1 inch of chopped fresh ginger to a bottle of olive oil and leave to infuse about 2-3 weeks before using. Strain the oil after allotted time and store in a cool-dark place. Method 2: Bring oil, smashed garlic and fresh ginger to a simmer in a pan. Stir so the garlic and ginger do not stick or burn and turn to a very low heat for about 20 minutes. Let cool, strain and use. If you make more than needed store in the fridge covered for up to 1 week. 

I could eat the whole batch – it is that tasty. I hope you will make it, even if it is not with Chinese! 😉 P.S. I love poppy seeds.