Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Watermelon, Corn & Jalapeno Salad


I love watermelon salads...and I love corn salads. What could be better than combining the two to make a delicious, refreshing, cool and a bit spicy salad?  This recipe depends on using the freshest, best quality, organic and/or sustainably grown, local produce. You really will notice a difference in taste.   The watermelon juice combines with lime for an oil-free dressing.  Jalapeño adds a bit of heat.  The feta provides protein and saltiness to balance the sweetness of the melon and corn.   The measurements are guidelines, adjust to suit your palate. And feel free to substitute the mint for other herbs...basil is nice as is thyme, Italian parsley or oregano.  Cilantro works really well with the jalapeno. Be creative!
watermelon growing in the garden

Local melons are starting to ripen, especially the lovely little individual sized "personal" watermelons. I think they are perfect for small families like mine because they average only two to five pounds.  They have a thinner rind, firmer flesh and are sweeter than their bigger brothers.  So I buy the regular size when hosting parties and "personal" when it is just us.  

We had fresh homemade tamales (homemade, but not by me, on my list of things to learn to make), green chile and refried beans for dinner last night. The corn & watermelon salad was the perfect accompaniment.  What would you serve with the salad?



Corn & Watermelon Salad
1 small "personal" size watermelon (or half a regular one)
2 ears corn on the cob, grilled and cut off cob
1-2 jalapeños, minced (start with one.  add the second if you want it very spicy)
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1 lime
2 tablespoons mint, chiffonade
grey salt

Seed the watermelon and cut into bite sized cubes. (or, if you want to be fancy, use a melon baller.) Add to a large bowl.  Add the corn, jalapeño and feta cheese. Gently stir to combine.  Zest the lime and add to salad.  Juice the lime and pour juice over salad.  Add mint and a pinch of salt and stir to combine all ingredients.  Taste and adjust salt if needed.

Summer means easy, breezy dishes made from fresh, just-picked produce and this week at Food Network's Summer Soiree we are celebrating WatermelonDo you have a favorite watermelon 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. 

Weelicious: Watermelon Cinnamon Granita
Homemade Delish: 
Refreshing Watermelon Salsa
Healthy Eats: 
Pretty in Pink: 6 Dishes Made Better with Watermelon
Creative Culinary: 
Margarita Watermelon
The Wimpy Vegetarian: 
Watermelon and Peach Salsa
Dishin & Dishes: 
Watermelon Jalapeno Agua Fresca
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Watermelon Salsa
Red or Green: 
Watermelon, Corn & Jalapeno Salad
The Mom 100: 
Watermelon Strawberry Smoothie
Taste with the Eyes: 
Unique Watermelon Salad - Pomegranate Syrup, Feta, Cucumber
FN Dish: 
6 Party-Ready Ways to Take Watermelon Off the Rind


best,
diane

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

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Corn On The Cob With Basil-Jalapeno Pesto


It's summer, and I want delicious and easy recipes for all my meals. No complicated preparations, just quick and simple. Because when fresh produce is in season the last thing I want to do is muck up the taste with heavy sauces or overcooking.

This corn on the cob dish is a perfect example. Barely cooked corn (or grilled), topped with the freshest possible basil pesto, sprinkled with tangy shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. How good does that sound? And, to give it a bit of a kick, I added jalapeño peppers to the pesto. I will be serving this all summer. Enjoy!



Corn On The Cob With Basil-Jalapeno Pesto
(serves 4-6)

4-6 ears corn
sea salt
black pepper
1 recipe Basil-Jalapeno pesto (recipe follows)
1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano

Roast or grill corn. Or, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt water and add corn. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from cooking water and place on a platter.

Spread pesto liberally over each ear of corn. Top with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Pass the salt and pepper to season as desired. Serve immediately.

Basil-Jalapeno Pesto

1/2 cup pine nuts
2 oz parmigiano-reggiano cheese, cut into 2 pieces
2 garlic cloves
1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and deveined
5 cups basil leaves (packed)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper

Toast pine nuts in a skillet until just beginning to brown.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Add cheese to a food processor fitted with the chopping/mixing blade.  Process until the cheese is grated.  Add cooled pine nuts, garlic and jalapeno pepper and process until all ingredients are finely grated.  Add half of basil leaves, and 1/4 cup olive oil and process until smooth but with a bit of texture. Add remaining basil, remaining olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Process until well mixed.  Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.

Other Pesto recipes you may enjoy.

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

The Lemon Bowl: Lemony Pistachio Basil Pesto
Dishin & Dishes: 
Kale Pesto and Mushroom Stuffed Porterhouse Chops
Creative Culinary: 
Pesto Potato Salad with Parmesan Walnuts
Weelicious: 
Kale Pesto
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Garden Salad With Basil-Pesto Vinaigrette
Red or Green: 
Corn On The Cob With Basil-Jalapeno Vinaigrette
Homemade Delish: 
Spinach and Kale Pesto
Domesticate Me: 
Ratatouille Quinoa Bake with Pesto and Buffalo Mozzarella
The Mom 100: 
Crusted Loin Lamb Chops with Mint Basil Pesto
Taste with the Eyes: 
Fresh, Fabulous, and Frugal - Carrot Top Pesto
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: 
Chicken Breasts with Coconut and Cilantro Pesto
Healthy Eats: 
Green Is the New Black: 5 Must-Try Pestos
FN Dish: 
6 Non-Pasta Ways to Go Big with Pesto


best,
diane

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

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Fresh Watermelon & Herb Margaritas


I believe summer cocktails should be light, fresh, refreshing and not too sweet. This cooling cocktail perfectly fits the bill. Freshly squeezed watermelon juice is blended with fresh lime juice, freshly picked herbs, a bit of sea salt and your favorite tequila. The herbs and lime juice deliciously cut some of the sweetness of the watermelon, and the sea salt pulls everything together. So wonderful. Just the thing to tame the spiciest food.

I made a big pitcher of the margaritas for book club last week. The group loved them, drank every drop, and asked for the recipe. I consider that a massive success. Trust me...make a batch for your next party. You won't be sorry and will be blending watermelon margaritas all summer. Enjoy!



Fresh Watermelon & Herb Margaritas
(makes 8)

watermelon juice from a medium watermelon seeded and chunked 
juice of 2-3 limes 
1/2-1 teaspoon salt 
1 tablespoon mint (I used chocolate mint, but any type works), plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon basil, plus more for garnish
ice
tequila

Blend watermelon, juice from 2 limes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and herbs together till smooth. You should get around 10 cups of liquid. Taste and add additional lime juice and salt to taste. 

Pour some of the juice into an ice cube tray to make watermelon ice cubes. Freeze until firm.
Refrigerate remaining juice until very cold.

When ready to serve, add 2-3 oz tequila to each glass. Add a couple of ice cubes and a few watermelon ice cubes. Fill glass with watermelon juice. Stir and garnish with herbs. Serve immediately.

Other Summer Cocktails you may enjoy:


Summer means easy, breezy dishes made from fresh, just-picked produce and this week at Food Network's Summer Soiree we are celebrating CocktailsDo you have a favorite cocktail recipe? Or, if you are not from the states, a favorite outdoor picnic recipe? Share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one. And be sure to check out the delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network. 

Feed Me Phoebe: Hibiscus Tea Arnold Palmers, Spiked or Sober
Creative Culinary: 
Lime Sherbet Float with Strawberries and Prosecco
Virtually Homemade: 
Strawberry Swirl Pina Colada
Healthy Eats: 
5 Classic Cocktails, Slimmed Down
Daisy at Home: 
Frozen Watermelon-ade
Homemade Delish: 
Summer Cocktail Delight
Taste with the Eyes: 
Sublime Franco-Korean Elderflower Soju Martini
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Prosecco & Chambord Cocktail
Red or Green: 
Fresh Watermelon & Herb Margaritas
The Mom 100: 
A Peach Cocktail and a Mocktail for Mixed Company
FN Dish: 
6 Fruity Riffs on Classic Summer Cocktails

best,
diane

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

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Roasted Sweet Pepper Salad


The cool thing about this salad is its versatility which is why it is perfect for this weekend's 4th of July holiday or any other summer weekend. In addition to serving alongside grilled meats, it works well as part of an appetizer menu served with bruschetta and assorted cheeses, it is terrific as a side salad or spooned on top of a sandwich. Try as an omelet filling, or mix with hot pasta and grated parmesan, or make a panini with the peppers and your favorite cheese. Also delicious on its own eaten with tortilla chips, used as part of a pasta salad or added to corn and black bean salad. Get creative..there are countless uses.


Roasted Sweet Pepper Salad
(serves 6)

3 red bell peppers (or 2 red and 1 yellow)
1 red onion (peeled, cut in 1/2 and then thinly sliced)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice from one lemon (approx 2 tbsp)
3/4 tsp superfine dry mustard
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp grey sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper
1 1/2 tsp coconut sugar


Char peppers over a gas flame until blackened on all sides. Place in a brown paper bag and let cool. Remove skins. Cut in half and then slice lengthwise into thin strips. Place on a serving platter and arrange red onions on top of peppers. Combine remaining ingredients in a mason jar and shake well until thoroughly combined. Pour dressing over onion/pepper mixture and refrigerate for several hours. Serve cold or at room temperature. The salad will keep in refrigerator up to 3 days. Cover well.

Happy 4th of July to all my American (USA)  friends!

Summer means easy, breezy dishes made from fresh, just-picked produce and this week at Food Network's Summer Soiree we are celebrating The 4th of JulyDo you have a favorite 4th of July holiday recipe? Or, if you are not from the states, a favorite outdoor picnic recipe? Share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one. And be sure to check out the delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network. 

Feed Me Phoebe: Red Beet Hummus Recipe with Lemony Yogurt
The Heritage Cook: 
Tangy Caprese Salad with Pickled Cherries (Gluten-Free)
Creative Culinary: 
July 4th Red, White and Blue Patriotic Poke Cake
Weelicious: 
Blue Corn Chip Crusted Fish Sticks with Red Pepper Coulis
The Lemon Bowl: 
3 Steps to Perfectly Cooked Sweet Corn
Bacon and Souffle: 
Red, White and Blue Bark
Healthy Eats: 
5 Frozen Treats for a Sweet Fourth
Taste with the Eyes: 
Dessert for the 4th of July: Elderflower Berry Pavlova
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Best Ever Elk Burgers For The 4th of July
Red or Green: 
Roasted Sweet Pepper Salad
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: 
Heirloom Tomato Pie
In Jennie's Kitchen: 
Summer Raspberry Sorbet
Homemade Delish:
 4th of July Cheesecake
FN Dish: 
Portable Picks to Make and Take on July 4th

best,
diane

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