Summer Salad With Peaches

It’s been a bit too hot outside to turn the oven on, so I’ve been making a lot of salads lately. In the summer I love adding fresh fruits to my salads – there’s something so good about mixing sweet fruits with creamy or salty cheese!

Ingredients: (serves 1)
1 peach, pitted and sliced
1 tomato, sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
10 fresh green beans, blanched
Ricotta salata
Fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 cups fresh spinach
4 prosciutto slices, torn
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Fresh cracked pepper

Place the onions in a bowl with some balsamic vinegar and let sit for 10 mins. In the meantime, blanch the green beans and set aside. In a bowl mix together the spinach, chopped basil, peaches and tomato. Top with the balsamic onions, ricotta salata, and fresh cracked pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and any leftover balsamic from the onions.


Vegetable Curry With Cauliflower Couscous

It has been way too hot to turn the oven on, so I’ve been trying to make quick things on the stove top, like this vegetable curry with cauliflower “couscous” that took about 30 mins to make. I love using cauliflower in this way, it tastes just like tiny rice or couscous, which is especially great for any gluten-free people, or people simply

Ingredients: (serves 2)

1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 Japanese eggplant, chopped
1 summer squash, chopped
10 or so green beans, halved
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
1 (14oz) can coconut milk
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 small cauliflower
1 lime – 1/2 for the curry, and the rest sliced for serving
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh grated (or minced) ginger
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil
Naan bread, for serving

Start by making the cauliflower couscous by pulsing the florets in a food processor until it resembles a couscous texture. I did mine in two batches, otherwise it doesn’t blend evenly at times. Next, saute 1 garlic clove in a little olive oil, then add the lime zest, cauliflower, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well then cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often as to not let it burn.

For the curry, saute a garlic clove with a little olive oil in a large pot. Add all the vegetables, coating with the olive oil, and adding more as needed. Toss in the red pepper flakes, then salt and pepper to taste. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, red curry paste, curry powder, fresh basil, and lime juice. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

To serve, plate some couscous and top with the vegetable curry. Serve with a lime wedge and warm naan bread!


Spicy Cucumber Lime & Basil Popsicles

The city has been so hot the past few days, I’m pretty sure I’ve unintentionally lost 5 pounds from just walking around while melting like buttah. I almost flew out of my chair when I suddenly remembered that my mother gave me a Popsicle mold for Christmas. I immediately juiced come cucumber and got to work, using my love for spicy cucumber margaritas as my inspiration. I didn’t add alcohol this round, but will definitely be doing that next time!

2 large cucumbers
Small handful fresh basil
1 lime
1/3 cup sugar
Good pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Juice the cucumber, basil, and lime. In a small saucepan, add the sugar, cayenne, and 1 cup of the cucumber mixture. Cook on medium stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool a little. Pour the mixture evenly into the pop molds and freeze for at least 8 hours. Enjoy!

Vegetable Lasagna With Garlicky Crème Fraiche

What to do with a fridge full of vegetables? Make a vegetable lasagna and pour garlicky crème fraiche all over it of course!

1 shallot, chopped
1 eggplant, chopped small
Summer squash, chopped small
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped small
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
16 oz ricotta cheese
16 lasagna noodles, cooked el dente
16 oz crème fraiche
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper

Sauté the shallot in a little olive oil for a minute or so. Add the eggplant, squash, carrots, and bell pepper, and cook until everything softens. Adding additional olive oil as needed. In the meantime, cook the lasagna noodles per the box instructions. I like to add a little olive oil to the water to prevent them from sticking together. Make sure not to overcook the noodles, as they will continue to cook in the oven. In a small saucepan, add the crème fraiche, parmesan cheese, garlic, and parsley. Salt and pepper to taste, and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.

To assemble, pour a little of the vegetable mixture in the bottom of a baking dish, then layer some lasagna noodles. Next, spread a layer of ricotta and a drizzle of the crème fraiche mixture, followed by another layer of noodles, and so on. Lastly, top with shredded mozzarella, and pour the remaining crème fraiche sauce over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for another 15 minutes or until it just begins to brown. Let cool a little before serving. Enjoy!

Braised Salmon with Tarragon & Creamy Greens

I had some friends over for dinner last week and decided to make a version of a recipe I recently saw with salmon, creme fraiche, and greens. I added tarragon, fennel, shallots, and garlic scapes to my version. For a side, I made crispy roasted potatoes with garlic. The potatoes were great because they soaked up the amazing sauce. It was delicious! I will definitely be making this again.

Ingredients: (adapted from BBC Good Food)
4 skinless salmon filets
1 fennel bulb, sliced thin
2-3 garlic scapes, chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1.5 cups chicken stock (or broth)
8-10 fava bean pods, beans blanched and skins removed
3 tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon
1/2 cup crème fraîche
Pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste

Crispy Roasted Potatoes:
3 Yukon potatoes, sliced very thin
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

If you’re making the potatoes, start with those as they need a while to bake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Thinly slice the potatoes and layer them vertically in a baking dish. You may need to play around with how best to fit them in the dish depending on size. Add the garlic in between most of the potato slices, then mix some salt and pepper into a little bowl of olive oil, and brush well onto the potatoes. Bake in the oven for 1.5 hours, or until crispy and browned. If needed brush with a little more olive oil toward the end.

Now for the salmon. In a large skillet, saute the fennel, garlic scapes, and shallot in some olive oil until softened. Add the chicken stock and tarragon and let simmer for a few minutes. Next, add the crème fraîche, salt, and pepper. Cook for another minute or so, then nestle the salmon and fava beans into the pan, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Every couple of minutes spoon some of the sauce over the fish. Serve right away with potatoes on the side.

Rhode Island Stuffed Quahogs

My mom’s stuffed quahogs (aka “stuffies”) are one of my favorite things EVER. She’s been making them forever, and I finally got the recipe! Stuffies are a big thing in Rhode Island where we’re from. They’re large clam shells stuffed with a mixture of chopped clams, spicy sausage (we use Portuguese chourico) and bread stuffing, then roasted in the oven. They’re perfect if you’re having a BBQ and want an appetizer to pass around. You can also wash and save the shells to re-use them for next time, this way if you can’t find big quahogs you can buy smaller ones and stuff the larger shells.

10 quahogs, scrubbed, steamed, and chopped
2 bell peppers (we used smaller mixed ones for color) minced
1/2 large onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup white wine (a blush wine would work too)
1/3 cup mixed fresh herbs, chopped (such as parsley basil or chives)
2 large links Portuguese chourico, minced
1 Italian bread loaf (day old bread, not soft), broken down to crumbs
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/2 tablespoon paprika
Black pepper, to taste
Adobo seasoning, to taste (I use the Goya brand)

Start by steaming the clams until they fully open. Let cool, then chop the clams. Don’t chop them too small though, you want people to taste the clams in there! Next, sauté the onion, garlic, and peppers until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chourico and chopped clams and cook for another 5 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add handfuls of the breadcrumbs until the the consistency is right. You want it to be like the texture of thanksgiving stuffing. You may need to add splashes of clam juice to get the right consistency. Next, add the fresh herbs, paprika, cheese, red pepper flakes, adobo seasoning, and pepper. Mix well. Fill the clam shells with the stuffing, and place each of them in a little foil pouch with a tiny piece of butter on top. Wrap tightly and cook in oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and unwrap from the foil. Serve hot. Enjoy!!