Archive for side dish

Caprise Salad

Caprise salad

This is such a yummy, fresh, and cool summer lunch or dinner side dish.
Alter the amounts to suite your needs and taste.

Tomatoes, roughly chopped
Olive oil
Fresh mozzarella, roughly chopped
Basil, chopped fine
Balsamic reduction (recipe below)

Put the tomatoes in a strainer and sprinkle generously with salt. Let sit for a few minute, giving them a stir every once in a while. This will help them not make everything too runny.

Then coat them lightly with olive oil.

Layer the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil on a plate, and drizzle with the balsamic.

Balsamic Reduction:
1 c Balsamic vinegar
2 shallots, diced (or use 1/2 small onion)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced

Put ingredients in a small pot and boil, stirring occasionally, until it is starting to thicken up, and had reduced in amount.

Caprise salad


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Pudding Bars

chocolate pudding meringue shortcake bars

The other day I started craving the custard and pudding pizza from Pizza Inn. Actually, I’m still sort of craving it, because what I eventually made wasn’t the same. It was GREAT, but different.

So for those of you who are not craving custard and pudding pizza from Pizza Inn, this should satisfy cookie and chocolate cravings.

I did use some custard when I made this, but since the pudding is custard based, and there wasn’t much actual custard to begin with, you can’t taste it, and I think it’s totally unnessessary.

Pudding Bars

Double batch of short bread crust dough
1/2 batch of dark chocolate pudding (make a whole batch and eat some!)
1 batch of meringue pie topping

Preheat oven to 425.

Give a 9×13 baking dish a quick spritz with baking spray and spread the shortbread dough out. Place the dish in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Cook the crust for 13-15 minutes or until golden. Let cool.

Spread the cooled pudding out on top of the crust, and freeze for 15 more minutes.

Then spread the meringue topping out on the pudding.

Bake at 325 for 15 minutes, or until meringue is golden on top.

Be careful if you’re using glass. Pyrex should transfer from the freezer to the oven without cracking, but some cheaper brands or other glassware might crack with the temperature change.

chocolate pudding meringue shortcake bars

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Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad

I didn’t get any pictures of this salad this weekend, but I made it for the 4th of July cookout. I’m really enjoying making salads that aren’t just stuff on lettuce or spinach.

I’ll just direct you to the original recipe, since she has nice pictures.

Smitten Kitchen’s Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad

And I’ll follow with the things I did differently.

I uses 1.5 shallots, but I also don’t know if mine would have been considered large or not.

If I made this again I would maybe double the vinegar, but I like things with lots of vinegar (weird how much I hate pickles, I suppose).

I did use a bit of chopped basil in mine.

And I didn’t use quite 1/3 c of olive oil, maybe more like 1/4 c.

I used a container of mixed heirloom cherry tomatoes, so they are all different colors. I gutted mine, because I hate tomato goo.

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Potatoes and Greenbeans with Pesto

Potatoes and Greenbeans with Pesto

This is one of those times that it’s better to just direct you to the blog where I got the recipe. Smitten Kitchen does a great job of taking pictures, and has just an all-around great blog.

I did make a couple of small changes. I couldn’t find pine nuts at Food Lion, and wasn’t in the mood to go to another store, so I used chopped walnuts. And since I had garlic scapes on hand (read about them in the next post), I added one of those to the pesto, and chopped one up and added it to the green beans as they were boiling.

Here is Smitten Kitchen’s recipe

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Black Bean and Corn Salad: take 2

Black bean and corn salad: take 2

I posted a black bean and corn salad a while back, and this one is similar, but still different enough to warrant it’s own post, I think. The main differences are the lack of salad dressing, changing green onions to regular, getting rid of the basil, and using fresh corn.

We went over to Char’s the other night to cook on the grill, and she had a ton of fresh farmer’s market organic corn, and wanted to make some sort of corn salad. We were brainstorming about what goes well with corn, and I suggested blackbeans. She had a can on hand, so we dumped them in. Then we decided that some tomatoes would be good, we used canned with garlic and onion, but fresh would work. Some lime juice, cilantro, vinegar, and olive oil later and we had a great salad.

You don’t cook the corn for this, so the fresher the better. If you can get yummy corn from a farmer’s market, do that. I went with Harris Teeter corn, and it was good, too.

Black Bean and Corn Salad: take 2

6 ears of corn (I used 4 yellow and 2 white)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can tomatoes, rinsed and drained
2-3 tablespoons chopped onion (use less if you use flavored tomatoes)
1 tsp garlic powder (or use some minced garlic, again, use less if you use flavored tomatoes)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tbsp chopped cilantro (or to taste)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1-2 limes (or 1 lime and the zest)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)

Remove husks and silk from the corn, and cut the kernals away from the center into a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients. Serve with goat cheese on top (optional)

Black bean and corn salad take 2

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Ricotta Pea Wontons with Lemon Butter Sage Sauce

Not such a pretty name for these guys, nothing with the word “pea” in it is ever going to sound pretty. But since peas are the main ingredient, I guess there is no way around it.

I starred a recipe similar to this in my Google Reader the other day, and decided to make them last night as a side dish. The original recipe didn’t call for any sauce in particular, and I thought a quick lemon butter sauce would work well.

This recipe made about 16 wontons, and they supposedly freeze well, just make sure to double bag them, and then bake straight from the freezer.

Ricotta Pea Wontons with Lemon Butter Sage Sauce

1 c. sweet peas, cooked, and mashed slightly
1/4 c. ricotta (I used part-skim ricotta)
1/4 c. parmesean and/or guyere (I used a microplane so my 1/4 c. was very fluffy and not packed in at all… use less if you’re packing it in more densly)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, seeds and ribs removed (if you love heat, leave the seeds and ribs in, or use an extra pepper)
Dash of red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
Wonton wrappers (or eggroll wrappers cut in fourths)
Tbsp melted butter

Mix all of the ingredients except the wrappers and butter in a bowl. Lay out your wrappers and place a teaspoonfull of the mixture on each wrapper. Top with another wrapper and seal the edges with water, pressing down to make sure you’ve got them sealed. Brush the tops lightly with butter (I used Smart Balance light margarine with omega 3).

Cook at 450 for 7-10 minutes, or until golden brown and the edges are crispy. Drizzle with lemon butter sage sauce (recipe to follow).

ricotta pea egg rollsricotta pea egg rolls

Lemon Butter Sage Sauce

1/4 c. melted butter (I used the Smart Balance light margarine with omega 3)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3-4 sage leaves (I used pineapple sage from my garden)
Dash of garlic powder

I don’t like big pieces of sage, so I muddled my sage in the lemon juice and let it sit for a while, and then poured the lemon juice into the butter while leaving the sage behind. Then I added the garlic.

You could also mince the sage and just mix all of the ingredients together.

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Roasted Ricotta Roma Tomatoes

Until now most of my recipes have been tweaked enough that I wanted to repost the whole recipe. But when it comes to recipes from Pioneer Woman, they’re usually difficult to improve. Plus she takes such wonderful pictures that I it’s just a way better idea to link you to her recipes and let you see for yourself.

This recipe is actually by her friend Pastor Ryan, and man does he make good food!

Pastor Ryan’s Roasted Ricotta Roma Tomatoes

I made these last week while we were at the beach. My mom was having guests over and I pulled together a quick lunch for them. Mostly it was an excuse to try this recipe. Everyone loved it. They taste like little (low carb, i bet) pizzas.

These are my new favorite appetizer, and if you invite me to any gathering in the near future I’ll probably bring some!

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