Thursday, July 28, 2016

Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, and Toasted Garlic Breadcrumbs

I made this pasta recipe for dinner a few weeks ago and loved how easily this dish came together. The layers of flavor are fantastic and the use of a large portion of colorful tomatoes makes this dish look stunning. Overall, even though there are a lot of ingredients, it's very easy to multi-task with this dish. 

Recipe from a Beautiful Plate

Roasted Tomatoes
-2.5 lbs small heirloom tomatoes or large cherry tomatoes
-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-6 large cloves of garlic, smashed
-sea salt
-freshly ground black pepper

Crispy Garlic Breadcrumbs
-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-1 medium shallot, finely chopped
-1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
-1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
-sea salt
-freshly ground black pepper

-3/4 lb dried spaghetti pasta 
-2 ounces fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnishing
-extra virgin olive oil
-parmigiano-reggiano cheese, for serving

Bring a large pot (8 quarts or larger) of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
First you'll want to roast the tomatoes, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the tomatoes and smashed garlic cloves on a large baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Make sure the tomatoes are spread out in a single layer so they will cook evenly. Roast the tomatoes for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping them every 5 to 10 minutes or so, until they are soft and have just begun to collapse.

While the tomatoes are roasting prepare the breadcrumbs, in a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the chopped shallot and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the shallots have softened. Add the panko breadcrumbs and chopped garlic. Reduce the heat to low and toast the breadcrumbs, stirring constantly until they are golden and fragrant. Remove from heat and place the breadcrumbs in a small bowl.

Once the water is boiling add the dried pasta and cook until al dente. -- drain the pasta making sure to reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta back into the pot and drizzle with olive oil. Add the warm, roasted tomatoes and toss gently. Add reserved pasta water as necessary.

Garnish each pasta serving with basil, a generous amount of toasted garlic breadcrumbs, and serve with grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Quinoa + Zucchini Pizza Fritters

This recipe has a lot of cool things going on -- this was my first time using my new waffle iron, the zucchini came from my parent's garden (and there's an over abundance of it), and the spiralizer which is my favorite kitchen tool.

Don't let all of the kitchen tools intimidate you, this recipe was very easy to make and the ingredients are all simple. I thought this was a really fun recipe to prepare for a weeknight dinner and a pretty light summer recipe.

Recipe from Kelly's Ambitious Kitchen.

-2 eggs
-1/3 cup flour
-1 large zucchini, spirialized
-1 cup quinoa, cooked
-1/2 cup pepperjack cheese, shredded
-1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
-1 teaspoons italian seasoning
-pizza sauce, for dipping

Plug in your waffle iron to get it hot and ready to make the pizza fritters. In a large bowl add the eggs and beat until frothy. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Add zucchini, quinoa, both cheeses, and seasoning to the egg mixture. Combine fully, it might be easiest to use your hands.

Once the mixture is ready, spray the waffle iron with a non-stick cooking spray. The rest takes a little bit of guessing, each square of my waffle iron fit about 2-3 dollops of the zucchini mixture, yours may fit more or less.

Cook the fritters for 4 minutes and raise lid to see if they're cooked, they should be perfectly crisp around the edges.  Add more time until they reach a golden brown.  Use a rubber spatula to easily lift the fritters up  and out of the waffle iron.

Serve your fritters with pizza sauce for dipping.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Berry and Mozzarella Salad with Honey Vinaigrette

Summer is one of my favorite times to prepare recipes, because the ingredients available are so fresh and bright. This salad is adapted from a recipe that I saw on Pinterest, I've been very unsuccessful locating burata at my local grocery store, although it's a grocery store with a lot of specialty items. Burata cheese is pretty unique, it's like fresh mozzarella on the outside and a creamy soft center of stracciatella and cream. I had it once at a local restaurant paired with grilled fruit and toasted baguette. I substituted fresh mozzarella pearls to mimic the size of the berries. Along with strawberries and blueberries I added fresh blackberries because they're my favorite.

Recipe adapted from Two Peas in Their Pod.

Honey Vinaigrette
-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
-1-2 tablespoons honey
-Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

-5 ounces mixed salad greens
-1 cup sliced strawberries
-1 cup blueberries
-1 cup blackberries
-1 cup fresh mozzarella pearls

Combine the salad greens, berries, and mozzarella pearls in a large bowl. Combine all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette whisk to combine the oil with all of the other ingredients.

Portion the salad into individual servings, I was able to get about four salads out of my salad mix. Then drizzle the salads with as much vinaigrette as you'd like and serve immediately.

Hello Cappuccino. 


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Quinoa Breakfast Scramble

I know, I've still be slacking, can we just call this my summer vacation from blogging? I have several delicious looking summer recipes that I'm making next week and I will hopefully get the change to write posts for those and get them up on the blog in the timely fashion. My work schedule seems to be slightly less crazy this month leaving more free time available for cooking, eating, and blogging.

Recipe from Wendy Polisi.

-1/2 cup cooked quinoa
-2 eggs, scrambled
-1/2 avocado, cubed
-2-3 tablespoons salsa (I used a black bean corn salsa)
-Pinch of salt and pepper

To make this recipe -- place quinoa in a serving bowl and top with eggs and avocado. Top with salsa and sprinkle with a pinch of pepper. That's it!

I recommend salting the eggs before you scramble them, I read an interesting article recently about the scientific reasons that salting the eggs before cooking them results in a softer scramble, if you salt them after the scrambled eggs will be tougher.