Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Spicy Greek Chickpea Spread


My friend Cynthia sent me this recipe a few months ago, and I have been making versions of the original ever since. I have tinkered and tweaked so much that I guess you could I am addicted. The smooth and creamy chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans) are coarsely mashed and then turned into a cross between hummus and salad. Tahini, soy sauce, chili sesame oil and lemon juice are stirred into the mashed chickpeas and then tons of fresh vegetables and herbs are added to the dish.



The result is perfect as a spread for crackers or chips and is wonderful as a filling spooned into pita bread or piled high on toasted whole wheat bread topped with lettuce, sprouts, and tomatoes. I brought this to a dinner party last month where I was assigned appetizers, and every drop was gobbled up. (yes I am looking at you, Janelle :) ) I suggest adding this recipe to your gathering...maybe this weekend's Labor Day BBQ?

And, FYI, I just discovered chili sesame oil. This stuff is good! Spicy, hot and delicious, I have been adding to everything. It adds the perfect amount of heat with the nuttiness you expect from sesame oil. Try in stir-frys, salad dressings, marinades or spreads. Trust me, you need this in your pantry.



Spicy Greek Chickpea Spread
(six servings)

3 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1/2 cup tahini
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons chili sesame oil (or sesame oil and 1 tsp dried red pepper flakes)
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped cucumber (lemon cucumber if available)
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced
1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 cup cornichons, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Add chickpeas to a large bowl and, using a potato masher, mash until smooth but with a bit of texture. Stir in the tahini, soy sauce, sesame oil and lemon juice. Stir until the liquids are combined with the chickpeas.

Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Add additional chili sesame oil if you like it a bit spicier. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours to allow the flavors to meld.

Serve with crackers, tortilla chips, stuffed in a pita or spread on toasted whole wheat bread topped with lettuce and sprouts.

Summer means easy, breezy dishes made from fresh, just-picked produce and this week at Food Network's Summer Soiree we are celebrating Labor Day DishesDo you have a favorite recipe for Labor Day? Please share in the comments section of this post. And be sure to check out the delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network. 

The Lemon Bowl: Lemon Garlic Chicken Kabobs
Bacon and Souffle: 
Roasted Shrimp Orzo
The Hungry Traveler: 
Ginger Vanilla Fruit Salad
Homemade Delish: 
Festive Champagne Punch
Dishin & Dishes: 
Savory Tomato, Roasted Garlic and Mozzarella Tart
Creative Culinary: 
Zucchini and Cream Cheese Casserole
TasteBook: 
Apple-Pecan Chicken Salad
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: 
Batter Fried Pepper with Tzatziki Sauce
Healthy Eats: 
6 Fall-Forward Recipes for Your Labor Day Celebration
Domesticate Me: 
Lobster Avocado Toast
Taste with the Eyes: 
"Margarita" Salmon Burger with Tequila, Lime, and Hatch Chiles
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Grilled Shrimp & Peaches with Arugula Pesto
Red or Green: 
Spicy Greek Chickpea Spread
The Heritage Cook: 
Smoked Chicken Salad (Gluten-Free)
The Mom 100: 
Yogurt Berry Pops
FN Dish: 
The Last Hurrah: Grill Absolutely Everything on Labor Day

best,
diane

I have started sharing my newest blog "California Girl in Taos."  Please visit and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Summer Peach & Tomato Salad


This is the perfect summer salad. Refreshing, healthy, delicious and chock full of the freshest, ripest summer produce imaginable. Peaches, tomatoes, fresh mint and toasted almonds. The splash of vinegar adds a touch of sweetness, the freshly cracked black pepper a bit of spice. I usually prepare the dish early in the afternoon and allow to chill in the fridge until dinner.


I like serving alongside grilled fish or chicken. Or with BBQ ribs. Perfect with Mexican food or as part of a salad bar supper. Finely chop the ingredients and add tortilla chips for a tasty and different salsa. Taste and tell me what you think.


Summer Peach & Tomato Salad
(serves 6-8)

1 lb fresh ripe peaches, cut into pieces 1 inch in diameter (I do not peel)
1 lb heirloom tomatoes, cut into pieces 1 inch in diameter
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
2 tablespoons best quality balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Combine all ingredients except almonds in a medium sized bowl. Stir to combine and refrigerate a minimum of two hours. Just prior to serving, stir in almonds. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.




Summer means easy, breezy dishes made from fresh, just-picked produce and this week at Food Network's Summer Soiree we are celebrating Summer PeachesDo you have a favorite peach recipe? Please share in the comments section of this post. And be sure to check out the delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network. 

Virtually Homemade: Mixed Summer Fruit Baked Oatmeal
Homemade Delish: 
Bite-Sized Peach Panini
The Heritage Cook: 
Grilled Chicken with Peach Chimichurri Sauce (Gluten-Free)
Weelicious: 
Peach and Ricotta Crostini
Creative Culinary: 
Fresh Peach and Bourbon Upside Down Cake
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Chocolate Dipped Peaches with Sea Salt
Red or Green: 
Summer Peach & Tomato Salad
The Mom 100: 
Sour Cream Peach Cobbler
Domesticate Me: 
Peach Crumble Smoothie
Daisy at Home: 
Creamy Peach Popsicles
In Jennie's Kitchen: 
Six Ways to Savor Peaches
Healthy Eats: 
7 Healthy Ways to Use Peaches in Their Prime
Taste with the Eyes: 
Grilled Peach Salad, Over-The-Top Maple Bourbon Dressing
Swing Eats: 
Grilled Peaches with Greek Yogurt, Honey, Lime Zest, and Vanilla
Dishin and Dishes: 
Bacon Wrapped Grilled Peaches with Goat Cheese and Aged Balsamic
FN Dish: 
8 Juicy Ways to Eat Peaches Before They're Gone

best,
diane

I have started sharing my newest blog "California Girl in Taos."  Please visit and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Ice Cream Sandwiches With Frozen Yogurt.


I first posted this recipe on my Napa Farmhouse 1885 blog back in 2011. The frozen dessert was featured in a special issue of the now defunct magazine Everyday Food. Back then, gluten free recipes were just starting to become popular. Since then, I have made the delicious almond flour cookies numerous times and served then with everything from fresh fruit and caramel dipping sauce to a side for pudding. But my favorite way is filled with frozen yogurt. Of course, you can use the more traditional ice-cream, but the frozen yogurt just sounds healthier, right?



Ice Cream Sandwiches scream summer to me. Honestly, they can be made year round but when the weather is hot, and the sun is shining, nothing is more cooling and refreshing than this dessert. Even better, the cookies are a snap to make and, once they are baked, the recipe is as simple as spooning best quality frozen yogurt between two cookies, sandwiching them together and eating. For a more indulgent dessert, dip half the cookie into caramel or chocolate sauce and serve. Enjoy!


Ice Cream Sandwiches With Frozen Yogurt
(From Everyday Food)
(makes 12 sandwiches)

For the almond shortbread cookies:
1/2 cup almond meal flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown rice flour. plus more for rolling
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature (**I used vegan butter, earth balance brand)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (I used 1/3 cup organic coconut sugar)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk

For the yogurt:
Purchase a best-quality frozen yogurt in the flavor(s) of your choice.  I made 1/2 of this recipe with chocolate frozen yogurt and 1/2 with black cherry.
chocolate or caramel sauce if desired.

Directions for the cookies:
In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, starches, and salt.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar on high until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add vanilla and egg yolk and beat until combined, scraping down the bowl as needed, 1 minute.  With the mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until dough comes together (dough will be sticky).  Form dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a 1/4-inch-thick round.  With a 2 1/2 inch fluted cookie cutter (or any shape you like) cut dough into 24 rounds and place on two parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets (reroll scraps if necessary).  Freeze 15 minutes, and then bake until cookies are lightly golden, 10 to 12 minutes.  Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks, 20 minutes. (to store, transfer to an airtight container at room temperature, up to 3 days)  To serve, transfer frozen yogurt to the refrigerator to soften, 20 minutes. Scoop 1/4 cup of the frozen yogurt onto flat sides of 12 cookies and sandwich with remaining cookies. Serve immediately.  If desired, dip into chocolate or caramel sauce, set on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet for 2 minutes in the refrigerator to harden and then serve.


Summer means easy, breezy dishes made from fresh, just-picked produce and this week at Food Network's Summer Soiree we are celebrating Frozen DessertsDo you have a favorite frozen dessert recipe? Please share in the comments section of this post. And be sure to check out the delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network. 

The Hungry Traveler Blog: Banana Coconut Paletas
The Lemon Bowl: 
Chocolate Peanut Butter Magic Shell
Creative Culinary: 
Strawberry, Lemon and Basil Sherbet
The Heritage Cook: 
Grilled Plums and Port Parfaits (Gluten-Free)
TasteBook: 
Triple Chocolate Mousse Pie
Dishin & Dishes: 
Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
Homemade Delish: 
Jalapeno and Peach Gelato
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Healthy Chocolate & Greens Fudgsicles
Red or Green: 
Ice Cream Sandwiches with Frozen Yogurt
The Mom 100: 
Easy Chocolate Mousse
Weelicious: 
Fruity Lemonade Ice Pops
Taste with the Eyes: 
Figs and Sabayon à la Julia Child
Healthy Eats: 
Puddings, Pops and Pies: 7 Desserts Best Served Cold
In Jennie's Kitchen: 
Seven Sensational Frozen Treats
FN Dish: 
8 Desserts to Check Off Your Frozen-Treat Bucket List

best,
diane

I have started sharing my newest blog "California Girl in Taos."  Please visit and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Summer Pasta With No-Cook Tomato Sauce


When fresh produce is perfectly ripe, I do not like to mess around with overly complicated recipes. This pasta dish is a perfect example. Just picked-from-the-garden tomatoes combined with fresh garlic, sweet onion and a handful of herbs. Of course I add dried red pepper flakes for some heat...this is the Red or Green? Blog after all.



I don't even cook this sauce. The heat from the hot pasta warms the vegetables and melts the cheese. Easy, quick, no-cook, delicious. Wonderful on scorching summer nights. Just do me a favor, do not even attempt this dish without sustainably grown, in-season produce and the best-quality-you-can-afford ingredients. A recipe this simple requires excellence from each item.  Enjoy!



Summer Pasta With No-Cook Tomato Sauce
(serves 6 as a main course)

2 lbs heirloom tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup sweet onions, chopped
1/4 cup best quality extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
pinch dried red pepper flakes
1/4 cup basil leaves (julienned)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
sea salt
black pepper
8 oz fresh buffalo mozzarella, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 lb dried pasta (any shape you like)

Place first 7 ingredients in a large, non-metal, bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. 

Cook pasta according to package directions. When cooked, drain and add hot pasta to tomato mixture. Immediately stir in herbs and cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Summer means easy, breezy dishes made from fresh, just-picked produce and this week at Food Network's Summer Soiree we are celebrating Summer TomatoesDo you have a favorite tomatoes recipe? Please share in the comments section of this post. And be sure to check out the delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network. 

The Heritage Cook: Rice and Cheese Stuffed Roasted Tomatoes (Gluten-Free)
The Lemon Bowl: 
5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Beef & Eggplant
Homemade Delish: 
Sweet Tomato Jam
Healthy Eats: 
7 Seasonal Uses for Fresh Tomatoes
Creative Culinary: 
Warm Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta 
Weelicious: 
Heirloom Tomato Salad
Dishin & Dishes: 
Cobb Salad with Homemade Roasted Onion Vinaigrette
Domesticate Me: 
10 Totally Awesome Tomato Recipes
Swing Eats: 
Tiny Insalata Caprese
The Wimpy Vegetarian: 
Tomato and Swiss Tart
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: 
Tomato Pickle
Taste with the Eyes: 
Quiche with a Black Quinoa Crust, Heirloom Tomatoes, Spinach, Goat Cheese
Red or Green: 
Summer Pasta With No-Cook Tomato Sauce
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Heirloom Tomato & Crouton Casserole (Scalloped Tomatoes)
The Mom 100: 
Chopped Salad with Chicken, Tomatoes and Lemon Thyme Dressing
FN Dish: 
10 Ways to Be a Tomato Whisperer

best,
diane

I have started sharing my newest blog "California Girl in Taos."  Please visit and let me know what you think.