Orange, Tomato and Broccoli Salad

June 27th, 2018

Orange, Tomato and Broccoli Salad

Our 4th of July celebration is set in stone.  It is a family event with three generations, water sports, fireworks and lots of food and drink.  I always have a container of chocolate chip cookies for the kids.  My Granddaughter requested two separate containers this year; one for the three girls and one for the three boys because in past years the boys have snuck too many cookies.  The girls will probably hide their cookies.

We will be grilling most meals with chicken, hamburgers, ribs and a smoked pork butt among the offerings.  But I do try to get creative with some of the side dishes.  This year I experimented with this Orange, Tomato and Broccoli Salad with an Orange Vinaigrette.  It is a winner.

Orange, Tomatoe, Broccoli Salad Alternate

Whatever your plans for the holiday, you can’t go wrong with this colorful salad.  Happy Independence Day.

ORANGE, TOMATO, BROCCOLI, AND SWEET ONION SALAD WITH ORANGE VINAIGRETTE

Ingredients: 

2 cups ¾-inch pieces broccoli florets

3 large oranges

2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 cup diced sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Maui)

¼ cup sliced fresh basil

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1½ tbsp red wine vinegar

1½ tsp grated orange peel

Preparation: Steam broccoli until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Place broccoli in large bowl. Cut peel and white pith from oranges. Holding oranges over small bowl to catch juice, cut between membranes to release segments. Cut each orange segment crosswise into 3 pieces. Add orange pieces, tomatoes, onion, and fresh basil to bowl with broccoli. Add oil, vinegar, and orange peel to bowl with collected orange juice; whisk to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour vinaigrette over broccoli mixture and toss to coat. Bon Appétit, 2002.

Printable Recipe

Red Rice Salad and Florida Gardening

February 3rd, 2018

Red Rice Salad

We are cooking on the grill tonight.  David is making ribs.  I was excited about this rice salad from Giada De Laurentiis and thought it would be a great accompaniment.  One of the ingredients is radicchio.  I was having a hard time finding it here in New Smyrna Beach.  The local Publix did not have it.  I went to the local health food market, Heath’s Natural Food and, although they did not have radicchio, they ordered it for me.  It came within days.  I shared Giada’s recipe with them and they will display the recipe near the radicchio to encourage others to buy and use it.  I also bought Organic Madagascar Pink Rice from them since I could not find red rice anywhere.  The local businesses here in NSB are very accommodating.

Red Rice Salad

There is much to love about this rice salad.  It is full of flavor with fennel, radicchio, oranges, cucumber and fresh basil.  The whole-grain mustard vinaigrette ties it all together.

NSB Planters

I am hopeful that the days of freezing temperatures are behind us.  Everything that the owner of the house had in her outside planters was taken out by the freeze.  I have been busy for the last week trying to replace what she has lost.  This large planter now has Geraniums and  White Bacopa flowers.

New Smyrna Beach Planters

I bought this Dorotheanthus succulent that can withstand high heat.  It is also called Livingstone Daisy.  Hopefully it will make it through the summer.

NSB Planters

I also chose a native plant: the Dune Daisy, which is indigenous to Florida.  I am looking forward to more blooms.  With winter blanketing so many of you, I wanted to offer a glimpse of Spring and Summer.  It has also been  restorative to my well being to work on these planters.

Red Rice Salad

This may be too late for a Super Bowl side dish, but I am sure that it would be welcomed by anyone wanting a side dish for a Pot Luck or a crowd.  Enjoy and thanks to Giada!

RED RICE SALAD

A Change in Latitude and Warming Soup

January 11th, 2018

NSB House

We have made our annual Winter trek to Florida this month.  We fell in love with New Smyrna Beach last year and were lucky to find this charming rental property for this year and, hopefully, for many years to come.  The house has a lot of character with two fireplaces and lots of room.  It is within walking distance to town and the beach.

The only down side so far has been the cold weather.  We have had freezing temperatures and have made use of both fireplaces.

NSB Bedroom

The fireplace in the Master Bedroom is wonderful and a cosy place to curl up with a good book.

Lentil and Kale Soup 1

Another way to warm up is with this Slow Cooker Creamy Lentil Soup.  It was featured in the latest issue of Cooking Light Magazine and was part of a 3 day detox article for clean eating after the holidays.  We have stuck to the recipes and have felt better for it.  We’ve even lost a few pounds.

NSB Kitchen

I am enjoying my new kitchen.  It has a gas stove, which I prefer, and every kind of pot, pan, casserole and gadget imaginable.

NSB Porch

When the weather warms up, I am sure that we will enjoy this screened in porch.

Lentil and Kale Soup

In the meantime, we will stay warm by the fire and eat warming soup.  The soup is made creamy by an infusion of pureed chickpeas.  I know it is probably colder where most of you are located, so let’s hope the January thaw will make an early appearance.

SLOW COOKER CREAMY LENTIL SOUP (Cooking Light Magazine)

Cooking Spray
4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup uncooked green lentils
1 cup chopped yellow onion
3/4 cup chopped carrots
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
5 thyme sprigs
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15-oz.) can unsalted chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 cups thinly sliced lacinato kale
1/2 tsp. sherry or red wine vinegar

Coat a 5-6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.  Place broth and next 8 ingredients (through garlic) in slow cooker; stir well.  Cover and cook on LOW 7 hours.

Process chickpeas, 3/4 cup water, oil, and lemon juice in a blender until smooth.  Add chickpea mixture and kale to slow cooker; stir well.  Cover and cook on LOW 30 minutes.  Stir in vinegar.

Servings 5, Calories 312.

Printable Recipe

Butternut Squash Soup

December 6th, 2017

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While staying with our family over Thanksgiving, my DIL Kristen made this flavorful soup for our lunch preceding our Thanksgiving dinner. The butternut squash is combined with a few parsnips and potatoes and simmered in chicken broth. Once cooked it is puréed with an immersion blender.  There is no need for heavy cream.  The soup is thick and velvety.  The smoked almonds and chopped scallions add a bit of crunch and flavor.  I will be making this butternut squash soup all through our chilly December.  If you want to make it vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

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We got our tree right after Thanksgiving because our home was on a Christmas Walk on December 2nd. I scrambled to get all of the decorations out before the end of November.  But now it is done and I can sit back and enjoy the season in peace. Here are a few pictures of the results.

Christmas Mantel

The mantel and chairs in their Christmas adornment.

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The den, ready for a fire and a good book.

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I have been busy making cookies, but on this day the Crock Pot is busy next to the sink making our dinner.  So much to do.

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Oranges in my hearth pot next to the fireplace.

Christmas Kitchen

Another view of the kitchen.

Christmas Porch

Christmas porch on a beautiful sunshiny day.

Christmas Lower Porch

Lower porch with my new reindeer pillow.

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My talented Mother’s Christmas Carolers.  I think everyone in our small town had a set of her carolers and I have fond memories of her making them in the hundreds.  She “lives on” in many households through her work.

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My husband has never grown up.  Fortunately we built bookshelves along the stairwell to our downstairs area.  I have given David free reign with all of his collectible toys.  When the Grands were younger they marveled at all of the mechanical toys (except for the bug-eyed monkeys that scared them).  The shelves seem particularly festive at Christmas.

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Enjoy the festive season and this velvety butternut squash soup on the countdown to Christmas. I am happy to have time to relax.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP (RECIPE FROM KRISTEN KLETT)

INGREDIENTS

    • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
    • 1 medium yellow onion – rough chop
    • 2 cloves of garlic – rough chop
    • 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
    • 1 medium butternut squash, cut into approx. 1” cubes (3 to 4 cups)
    • 3 small parsnips – cut similar to squash
    • 2 very small yukon potatoes (fingerling okay) – peeled and cut similar to squash and parsnips
    • 3 cups of chicken broth (I prefer making mine with “better than boullion” chicken base – much richer flavor)
    • 3 shakes of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

FOR GARNISH

  • Smoked almonds – chopped/crushed
  • Scallions – chopped

In a medium pan, saute the onions in olive oil with a sprinkle of salt and pepper until the onions are translucent.

Add the dijon mustard and garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes

Add the squash, parsnips and potatoes and stir to combine and coat with oil/onions/garlic. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Season with another sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Add the chicken broth. The broth should just cover the vegetables (too much broth will make your soup more watery/runny). Cook for 20 minutes on a low simmer until all vegetables are fork tender.

Turn the heat off and, using an immersion blender, puree the soup directly in the pan until silky smooth.

Add a few dashes of cayenne pepper to taste.

Serve soup topped with crushed smoked almonds & green onions.
TIP: Root vegetables pair very nicely with Gruyere cheese. If you want a tasty side for your soup, make grilled cheese or crostini with Gruyere.

Printable Recipe

Waldorf Salad with Fennel and Candied Walnuts

June 1st, 2017

Waldorf Salad with Fennel and Candied Walnuts

Tweaking familiar recipes keeps my enthusiasm for cooking on point.  A while back I changed up my decades old meatloaf recipe for this one and I haven’t gone back.  This update of Waldorf Salad is another change that is good.  The addition of fennel to the standard ingredients of apples and celery gives a nice slightly licorice flavor.  The candied walnuts add a boost in flavor too. Next time I may add the usual grapes back in the mix.

Waldorf Salad with Fennel and Candied WalnutsThe recipe came from my new cookbook by Erin French, {the} Lost Kitchen.  I have been enjoying cooking from her book.  You can read about her in one of my previous posts here.

Waldorf Salad with Fennel and Candied WalnutsThe fennel fronds and soft lettuce add to the visual appeal of this common salad gone wild.  Actually that is a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my meaning.  Changing things up is sometimes a good thing.  Give it a try.

WALDORF SALAD WITH FENNEL AND CANDIED WALNUTS

2 crisp apples, cut into cubes
1 small fennel bulb, cored and sliced, fronds reserved for garnish
2 celery stalks, sliced, leaves reserved for garnish
Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup candied walnuts (See below)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup parsley leaves
Salt and Pepper
1 heaping handful of radicchio or good-looking greens such as Bibb lettuce or arugula

In a large bowl, combine the apples, fennel, celery, and lemon zest and juice.  Toss to coat.  Add the walnuts, mayo, and parsley and toss again.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make a bed of lettuce on individual plates or a platter, top with the dr3essed mixture, and garnish with fennel fronds and celery leaves.

CANDIED NUTS

1/2 cup sugar
2 cups nuts, such as walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, or almonds
Maldon salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the sugar with 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Toss in the nuts, stir to coat, then, with a slotted spoon, spread them out on the baking sheet.  Bake until toasty, 8 to 10 minutes. (Watch carefully so that they do not burn).  Sprinkle with Maldon salt to taste.  Set aside to cool.

Store any leftovers in a sealed container in your pantry for up to a month.

Printable Recipe 

 

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.