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Monday, July 20, 2015

Recipe Review from 7/13/15

I'm loving this warm weather we're having in my corner of the world!  Temps between 75 and 80* during the day, 60's at night.  This also means being creative so as to not heat up the house unnecessarily - grilled dishes, fresh fruit, and a variety of salads are rounding out all our meals.   

I forgot to stick in my meal plan so I'll have to try and remember to come back and add it.  In the meantime, enjoy! 

Summer Chickpea Salad with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette  (Pinterest via How Sweet It Is blog)  vegetarian, gluten free  
This assembles very quickly - there is hardly any chopping to do!  I did use frozen corn, thawed and then lightly sauted in some olive oil to caramelize the sugars and burn off some of the moisture.  I used canned chickpeas for simplicity.  It takes hardly any time to heat the vinaigrette, and given the amount of garlic, not a bad idea to give it a quick saute.  I like garlic, but not all afternoon, if you get my drift. 

This dish is absolutely fantastic!  I totally get why the author raves about it.  It is a perfect summer dish, bright flavors, light, packs well, and goes great with some fruit and pita chips.  Perfect for lunch or a picnic.  This made enough for three lunches for two of us - and I turned around and made it again.  Highly recommended!  

photo from How Sweet It Is blog
3 cups chickpeas (or 2 (15-ounce) cans, drained and rinsed)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 ears grilled corn, cut from the cob  (I used frozen, and lightly sauteed it) 
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives (I skipped)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 lime, juiced and zested

In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, onions, corn, tomatoes, basil and chives. Toss well with the salt and pepper. 

In a small saucepan, add the oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, lime juice and zest. Heat over low heat and whisk until the mixture is warm and garlic cloves are sizzling a bit.
Pour the liquid over the chickpeas and and toss well to coat. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.  It tastes better as it sits! 

Caprese Pasta Salad (Pinterest by Love and Olive Oil)  vegetarian, gluten free option
Easy peasy made easier by using an already open jar of pesto - so I skipped the fresh basil, evoo, white balsamic vinegar, and shallot completely and used 2 spoonfuls of pesto.   Please note, I also halved the recipe because I only had an 8oz box of pasta on hand.

Granted, using fresh basil would add a totally different flavor set, jarred worked fine for my purposes.  This was still a perfect hot weather, sit-on-the-porch dinner.  I served with a bottle of white wine and watermelon.  Very refreshing.   Recommended for these hot summer evenings!
Photo from Love and Olive Oil
  • 4 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 pound fusilli pasta**  (gluten free option)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces small mozzarella balls (ciliegine or bocconcini), halved
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Blanche basil leaves in boiling water for 30 seconds or until they turn bright green. Transfer to an ice water bath with a slotted spoon to stop the cooking, then drain, squeezing out any excess liquid.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions until just al dente. Drain and transfer to a large bowl to cool.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine blanched basil leaves, olive oil, vinegar, shallot, salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper and pulse until uniform and very finely chopped. Pour dressing over pasta and stir until until evenly coated. Add mozzarella, tomatoes, and capers and toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Salad will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days, although the basil will start to discolor slightly after the first day.

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