Summer’s bounty as a Mediterranean and quinoa salad

The other night was a warm one (I know, it’s Summer and it’s supposed to be warm). Well in our little hometown, we’re usually blanketed in coastal fog June through August which makes it super chilly and wet.
So given the rarity (and desire not to “cook”), our family celebrated the Summer’s bounty with a Mediterranean chopped salad over quinoa. It was scrumptious. In fact, I’m all ready to make it again along with the fried squash blossoms from last night.

20120719-205320.jpg

Mediterranean chopped salad

  • 1 medium zucchini quartered lengthwise and sliced
  • 1/2 small summer squash quartered lengthwise and sliced (great for color)
  • 1 medium cucumber diced
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1 handful of black olives sliced
  • A good hunk of Harley Farms feta cheese broken up with your fingers
  • 2 small heirloom tomatoes diced
  • 2 stalks of celery sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced
  • 1/4 cup (or a mini handful) of fresh mint leaves chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • drizzle of balsamic vinegar

Mix first nine ingredients in a bowl.

Put cooked quinoa (I liked it a bit warm but it’s also great cold) into a bowl. Drizzle the quinoa with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Dress with the chopped salad. Eat!

Scrump-dilie-umptious!

Note: this can be made a day ahead. But don’t blame me if you can’t keep your paws out of the dish.

Advertisements

I’m back and with fried food

I took some time off to unplug and enjoy friends and family and the river and woods. In fact, there really was no signal. Even though I planned to bring back some photos of the scrumptious bits consumed during our camping trip, I never pulled out my phone. And therefore never took any pictures.

I’ll just have to make it again and take some photos (especially of the campfire baked donuts!)

Are you seeing squash blossoms at your farmers’ market? They’re at nearly every stand at the HMB market and so inspired a little appetizer that the whole family loved! Make this tonight. You won’t be disappointed.

20120718-130958.jpg

Fried Squash Blossoms

* squash blossoms (we used 6 little ones) pistal removed
* 1 tsp of soft tofu per blossom (6)
* 1/4 yellow onion diced
* 2 cloves garlic minced
* 1/2 tsp thyme
* 1/2 tsp oregano
* 1/2 heirloom tomato
* 1/2 medium summer squash diced
* 1 TBS goat cheese chèvre per blossom (6)
* 1 egg
* 1/2 cup or more panko
* 1/4 cup canola oil

Cook onion and garlic and herbs and a dash of salt until fragrant in 1 TBS olive oil. Add summer squash and tomatoes and cook until soft.

Mix tofu and chèvre. Add cooked ingredients and salt and pepper to taste.

Crack and beat the egg into a shallow bowl. In a separate bowl, dump panko and season with a couple dashes of salt.

Carefully stuff squash blossoms and twist the flower petals to close. Roll in egg and then in panko.

Heat canola oil over medium heat. Put a pinch of panko in oil once it’s hot to test the temp. It should sizzle but not burn. Now add your squash blossoms. And cook on each side until golden brown.

Put on paper towel to drain and finish with some parmesean shavings.

Enjoy but let them cool a bit before the first bite. The roof of your mouth will thank you.

Meat sneaks into my salad

I love salads garnished with meat for dinner. Some favs include salmon salad, thai beef salad, vietnamese salad (that one comes with egg rolls too – so of course it’s scrumptious), nicoise salad…I could go on. And I will in other posts when I throw these together and finally take a photo of them. Today’s post is about pork tenderloin and how it sneaked into my salad.

Image

I have to admit that I didn’t make this tonight. I think it was made about 2 weeks ago. As you’ll remember, I’m just coming off a cleanse. So, I’m slowly easing back into all these lovely colors and flavors (tonight dinner for me consisted of spinach pasta and a bit of marinara). Anyhow, I had this photo and wanted to share because it was so delicious.

The pork tenderloin was purchased from Markegard Family Farm. In addition to pork, they have beef, lamb, eggs and a herd share for raw milk. They are also a truly awesome family. All the veggies were from the HMB farmer’s market except the mango.

Prep, cook, and assembly time is pretty quick on this one. Luckily, I had leftover roasted asparagus and cherry tomatoes from the prior night’s dinner and the mango salsa was pre-made. The mango salsa really adds some depth and compliments the pork nicely. But you don’t necessarily need to add the roasted asparagus.

Enough babbling.

Here’s the recipe (pork recipe adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook, mango salsa inspired by “Marco’s Salsa” made by Mark Stegmaier – our foodie friend/contractor):

Candied pork tenderloin

  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • Pork rub (see below for recipe)
  • olive oil
  • a handful of brown sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • a couple splashes of Busha Browne’s Pukka Sauce or Tabasco is fine too

Rub the tenderloin with your spices and let it sit for 10 mins. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the brown sugar and garlic into a bowl. Add dashes of the hot sauce to the brown sugar mixture and stir. Keep adding the hot sauce until you have a thick paste consistency. Set it aside.

Put an ovenproof pan on the stove and heat it over medium high heat. Heat the oil then put your tenderloin in the pan and sear on all sides.

Smear/Pile the brown sugar paste on the top of the tenderloin and put it in the oven. Cook for about 20 mins until your temp is ~135 degrees.

Gently pull the tenderloin out of the pan (try not to let any of the candy fall off…it’s really good) and let it rest for at least 10 mins. Then slice into medallions (cut at a 45 degree angle into 1/2 inch thick slices.

Pork Rub 

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 4 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 TBS cumin

Mix together and store for any use. Especially great for ribs and tenderloins.

Mango Salsa

  • 2 mangoes, diced into 1/2″ cubes
  • a bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • escabeche: 2 carrots, 5 jalepeno slices, diced into little bits (you can substitute pickled jalepenos or fresh jalepenos too)
  • 1/4 red onion or less, diced into little bits
  • 1/2 lime
  • pinch of salt

Mix the first 4 ingredients together. Then add the lime and salt to taste. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 15 mins to allow the flavors to mingle.

Meat Salad:

Make a salad. I used spring greens and an extra handful of arugula and sliced cucumbers.

Dress the salad. I used a mixture of walnut oil (1/4 cup), balsalmic vinegar (~2TBS), Sigona’s Strawberry Jam (~1TBS) , a pinch of salt.

Place the tenderloin medallions on top of the salad (slightly warm still), then put a couple spoonfuls of the mango salsa on top. You could also drizzle some of the drippings from the pork onto the salad for extra bits of scumptiousness.

Enjoy!