Dill & Shallot Potato Salad

It’s finally potato salad season! Thank goodness. Summertime makes me think of being home at my mom’s house with big containers of potato salad and pasta salad in the fridge, ready to be devoured by all of us kids (and grandkids) running through her house. It’s such a nostalgic food for me. I go back and forth between mayo and no mayo versions all summer, but I love them both. Last week I made this version with lots of fresh dill and apple cider vinegar. It’s a perfect side that goes with everything!

Ingredients: (serves 3-4)
4 large red potatoes, chopped into 1 inch chunks
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or more to taste)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Start by boiling the potatoes. You want them to be fork tender but not too soft otherwise they’ll crumble when you mix in the other ingredients. Once cooked through, add to a large bowl and toss in the rest of the ingredients, mixing well to coat the potatoes. I like to let mine sit for about 10 minutes to allow the potatoes to absorb the flavors, then I give it a taste and adjust as needed. Easiest potato salad ever!

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Summer Corn Leek & Tomato Galette

I make a variation of this galette a lot in the summer, as it is one of my favorite flavor combinations – fresh summer corn and tomatoes! I posted a version of it last summer using dandelion greens, which you can find here. I like to add corn meal to the crust because it gives it a nice texture and flavor, and I usually make a double batch of the dough so I can freeze half and make a galette on demand another night! Goat cheese is what I usually add on top, though I’m sure feta would be delicious ….or maybe even some torn burrata when it comes out of the oven?! Man I wish I thought of that earlier, that will definitely be an experiment for next time.

Galette Crust: (this crust is for 2 medium galettes, as I like to freeze half for future use)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup corn meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, chopped into cubes
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water
1 egg, for brushing
1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper

Filling: (this filling is for 1 galette)
2 ears of corn, cut off the cob
1/2 shallot, chopped
1 leek, sliced
2 garlic clove, roasted whole
2 small heirloom tomatoes, sliced
4 oz garlic & herb goat cheese (can usually find at grocery store)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh torn basil for topping

Start by making the galette crust. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, corn meal, salt, and pepper. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or use your hands. If using your hands, you simply want to roll the butter chunks between your fingers with the flour until it resembles the texture of small peas. In a separate small bowl, stir together the yogurt, lemon juice, and water. Add this to the flour/butter mixture and mix with your fingers until a dough forms. Shape into two disk (if you plan to save/freeze half like I did) then wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for at least an hour.

When the dough is almost done vacationing in the fridge, start getting the fillings ready. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, wrap the garlic cloves in aluminum foil and roast in the oven until soft, about 15 minutes. Next, sauté the corn for about 5 minutes with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Don’t overcook it though because it will continue to cook later in the oven and you don’t want it to get chewy. Set aside. Add the leeks and chopped shallot to the pan and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.

To assemble, roll the dough out on a floured surface. I like to do this on a sheet of parchment paper so that I can lift it right onto the baking sheet after. It is OK if it’s not a perfect circle, I say the more rustic it looks the better! Leaving about an inch boarder around the edges, spread on the corn, then sprinkle around the roasted garlic chunks, followed by the leeks/shallots, the sliced tomatoes, then the goat cheese crumbles. Fold in the edges, then place the galette (with the parchment) on a baking sheet. Cook in oven for 30-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the filling looks happy. It won’t smile at you, but you’ll know it’s happy.

Let cool for 5 minutes, throw on some fresh torn basil, then dig in!

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Simple Summer Veggie Bowl

In the summer I crave fresh meals a lot – crisp veggies, fresh herbs, all the good stuff. In the winter on the other hand, I crave anything hot and filled with carbs and melted cheese. I figure it must all balance out between seasons, right?! Anyway, here is one of go-to summer dinners. Packed with vegetables, soft boiled eggs, crispy polenta, and yummy cucumber yogurt to tie it all together.

Ingredients:
1 Persian cucumber, chopped
1 cup Greek yogurt
String beans, blanched
1 cup cauliflower, cut into smaller pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
Cherry tomatoes
1/2 ripe avocado
Sriracha
1 egg
Pre-cooked polenta, sliced
Olive oil
Fresh Lemon
Black pepper
Maldon (flake) salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss the cauliflower in turmeric and olive oil. Also add the tomatoes. Roast for about 20 minutes or until tomatoes softened and burst, and cauliflower is roasted well.

In the meantime blanch the string beans in salted boiling water for 2 minute, then placing in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. I used the same water to boil my egg – bring back to a boil and gently add your egg, let cook for 5 minutes (6 min max) then also place in the ice water.

Next, add a little olive oil to a pan and cook the polenta slices until crisp, about 3 minutes each side. Also sauté the kale with some olive oil for at about 5 minutes. Lastly, mix together the cucumber and Greek yogurt.

To assemble, just place everything in a bowl… and as my grandmother always says – “chow baby!”

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!

Ingredients:
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!

Summer Panzanella Salad

I’m on a health kick right now- I’ve been going to the gym 3 days a week and trying to eat healthier! I feel so much better. It is really true, when you work out and take time for yourself, you feel much more energetic and positive. Not only is it good for your body, but good for your state of mind as well. I find that the small daily frustrations aren’t bothering me as much as they normally do!

With working out comes a more than usual hungry belly though, so this week when I got home I made myself a big salad including pretty much every item I got in my CSA this week, which was nice. I added some toasted pita bread to the salad to help with the carb cravings I knew I would have if only eating a big bowl of veggies. Overall a great fresh meal! I had some leftover veggies and dressing, which I ended up wrapping up in rice paper as spring rolls for lunch the next day. A surprisingly good snack!

Ingredients: Serves 2-3

2 small green onions, thinly sliced (use the white part for the pickling and the greens for later)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Bread, torn into crouton sizes ( I used onion pita bread)
Two eggs
2 cups kale, chopped well (optional- a lot panzanella recipes do not include lettuce)
1 pound fresh green beans, halved
2 garlic scapes, chopped
1 cucumber, skinned and sliced (I used lemon zucchini- they are round/yellow but taste like a reg cucumber)
1 medium tomato, sliced
Carrots, peeled into ribbons
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs fresh mint, chopped
Pinch of salt
Pepper

Start by pickling the onions. Place the chopped white onion in a bowl with the red whine vinegar, sugar, and salt. Let sit for at least 30 minutes. To make the mint dressing, place the mint, olive oil, lemon juice, and white wine vinegar in a bowl and mix. Set aside.

Next, get a pot of water boiling and blanch the peas for a minute or before placing in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. In the same pot of water, cook the eggs for 6-7 minutes.

Add some olive oil to a pan and add the garlic scapes, onion greens, and pita bread. Tossing until the greens are cooked and the bread is toasted.

To plate- in a large bowl add some kale to the center, then the rest of the ingredients (carrot, cucumber, radish, green beans, the onion/scape/bread mixture, pickled onions, and sliced egg) then dress it with the mint dressing and enjoy!