Tag Archives: onion

Asian Inspired Summer Salad with Green Beans

Served with “dilled” shrimp salad, cucumber salad and fresh salad greens.
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water

1 lb green beans (4 cups); stem end removed cut into 1 inch lengths
1/2 red onion (3/4 cup); diced
1/4-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch-1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh ginger; finely grated
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seed oil
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 cup slivered almonds

Cook quinoa in water as directed on package (bring water and quinoa to a boil, reduce heat to slow simmer and cook till all the water is absorbed; 15-20 minutes) and remove from heat. Meanwhile, prepare the remaining ingredients and place in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Pour hot cooked quinoa over the prepared ingredients, mix well and refrigerate to chill.

2 lbs cooked pealed shrimp
2 cup fresh dill; coarsely chopped
1/2 Tablespoon lemon zest
pinch sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon canola oil

Combine all ingredients in a glass or ceramic bowl, mix well and refrigerate to chill.

1 cucumber; halved and thinly sliced
1/2 red onion; halved and thinly sliced
pinch sea salt
dash fresh ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a glass or ceramic bowl, mix well and refrigerate to chill.


Homemade Recaito

DSC_0004I harvested the Puerto Rican peppers (aka aji dulce) in bulk at the end of the CT growing season and made a large batch of recaito. Recaito is the base for many savory Puerto Rican dishes so having 1/2 cup batches frozen and ready to sauté in olive oil makes for a nice shortcut.

3 quarts Puerto Rican peppers; stems removed
2 onions; minced
2 bunches cilantro (about 4 cups); stems removed below the leaves and coarsely chopped
12 cloves garlic; crushed or finely minced in a food processor

Combine the above ingredients and mixing well. I froze mine in 1/2 cup batches in snack sized ziplock baggies placed into a labeled gallon freezer bag.

Garden Zucchini Sandwich

I started the day by baking rolls knowing that I was picking vegetables to stuff them for dinner.
 Preparing whatever comes out of the garden is wonderful; fresh and rewarding. Featured on this sandwich are zucchini, tomatoes and amaranth greens out of the garden with onions and homemade ranch dip/spread.

Ranch Dressing
1/4 cup mayonnaise (homemade)
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon prepared mustard (I use dijon)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
1/2 teaspoon dry basil
1/8 teaspoon dry dill weed
pinch dry thyme

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Vegan Avocado Aioli
1 avocado
1 small clove garlic; crushed
juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 1/2 Tablespoons)
pinch sea salt
dash white pepper

Process all ingredients in a food processor or use an emersion blender until creamy and refrigerate until ready to serve.

(optional side- Marinated Bean Salad)
11/2 cups purple beans (really, any snap bean will do); cut to bite sized pieces
2 onion rounds; cut into quarters to make strips
1 clove garlic; crushed
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients and set aside.

Wash all vegetables and prep by slicing to fit a sandwich.
Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat, coat with extra virgin olive oil and fry the zucchini on both sides until it becomes golden with some brown areas.
DSC_0004I arrange all of the vegetables on a platter so each person can make their own stack on a roll (or for a gluten free option, the large amaranth leaves used as a wrap is perfect).

Purple Beans, Green Snap Peas and Red Beet Stems

The end of the snap pea season and the beginning of the purple beans meant there wasn’t enough of one or the other. What to do? Made a quinoa salad; quick, easy and refreshing after a day in the garden.
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water

Bring quinoa and water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until all water is absorbed.
In the meantime prepare the vegetables for the quinoa salad. I used the following but I highly encourage you to explore whatever you have in the garden or bring home from the market.

1/2 cup purple beans; ends removed and cut to 3/4-1 inch pieces
1/2 cup snap peas; ends and strings removed and cut to 3/4-1 inch pieces
1/4 cup beet stems; sliced to 1/4-1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup red onion; finely chopped
1 clove garlic; crushed
1/8-1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
DSC_0017 DSC_0018 DSC_0019 DSC_0020
Place all ingredients into a glass or ceramic bowl, mix and chill until the quinoa is at least room temperature. I served ours over a bed of red and green salad greens. Xav had a (not gluten free or vegan) sandwich on the side and I made a simple (pescatarian Jarlsberg and smoked herring salad) wrap using a beet leaf.

Sautéd Beet Greens with Carrots

Don’t throw away your beet tops! Use them like you would any green. Here is the quick side I threw together.
beet greens and stems from 1 bunch
2 carrots
1 onion
1-2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Cut stems from end of leaf (you don’t need to remove the stem from the leaf itself). Soak the leaves in cold water, dunk and soak for a few minutes. Mean while wash the stems (rub them under water to remove any soil residue) scrub the carrots (I leave the skin on for nutritive value which is why I make sure the carrots are organic) and peel the onion. Remove the leaves from the water, strain and repeat the water bath. Meanwhile, cut the stems into 1 to 1 1/2 inch lengths and place in a medium sized bowl. Cut the carrots into like lengths then cut them the long way to about 1/4 inch and flip the stack of half the carrot and cut to 1/4 inch again making julienned carrots. Add the carrots to the bowl. Preheat a large heavy bottomed pan that has a lid to medium. Cut the onion in half and slice 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick half circles that will separate during cooking. Add the olive oil to the preheated pan, add the prepared beet stems, carrots and onion and cover. Stir the vegetables while they sauté under the lid occasionally, I use a kitchen tong to kind of flip and turn the mixture. Remove the beet leaves from the water, strain and check to be sure the water is clear/there is no dirt in the bottom of the basin/bowl. Repeat the rinse and dunk until the leaves are clean. Strain the leaves then cut into 1 inch strips the short way. Add the greens to the vegetables and cover. In 2 minutes when the leaves should be wilted a bit stir the mixture, cover and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Stir, cover and give it another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle with sea salt (I used about 1/4 teaspoon) and fresh ground black pepper (I used a couple pinches).

Puerto Rican Inspired Flounder, “Aranitas”, Sweet Potato Fries and Fresh Baby Greens


Puerto Rican Inspired Flounder
1 small onion; halved and sliced thin
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb flounder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
dash paprika (I used Trader Joe’s smoked)
juice of 1/2 lemon

Sweet Potato Fries
4 medium sized sweet potatoes; peeled and sliced to 1/4 inch thick strips
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400.

Saute onion in olive oil over medium low heat until soft and translucent. Meanwhile- toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Back to the fish dish- stack flounder in a glass baking dish 3 or 4 high. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Pour onions with olive oil over the fish and top with lemon juice. Cover the fish with aluminum foil. Place the sweet potato pan and fish dish in the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, until the fries are soft inside and crisping on the outside. Remove from oven and sprinkle fries with salt.

Mojo Sauce; lemon garlic dipping sauce for the Aranitas
4 cloves garlic; crushed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil (I use California Olive Ranch)

Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and set aside.

DSC_0002Aranitas; shredded green plantain fritters
2 green plantain
canola oil for frying
sea salt to taste

Preheat a small pot with 1 1/2 inches of canola oil over high heat. Peel green plantain (slice through the skin on the “seams” and with fingers separate and pull to remove. Some will peel easily but others come off in small tedious chunks). Shred plantain using the small section of a grater into a bowl.  To test the readiness of the oil place a single strand of the plantain in the pot. If it sizzles and rises to the top immediately it is hot enough. Using two tablespoons grab and squeeze together the shredded plantain and place into the hot oil. Fry just a few at a time, don’t crowd them, so that they fry hot and fast. Remove with a slotted spoon or two forks and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Repeat until done and sprinkle with salt.

Enjoy with a fresh salad on the side. We also enjoyed one of my father’s avocados that he so generously ships to the northeast. The amanitas can be dipped in the mojo sauce or simply drizzle the mojo sauce on top. (They are also good with ketchup.)

Good Morning Sunshine; Eggs Sunny Side Up with Portobello Mushrooms

This recipe is for 2 people; adjust as needed

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion; sliced
1 portobello mushroom cap; thinly sliced into bite sized pieces
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
pinch dried thyme
1/4 cup fresh cilantro; chopped

3-4 eggs (Xav is a 2 egg guy but I only eat 1)
extra virgin olive oil or butter for frying

optional toast

Preheat a medium sized skillet to medium. Prepare vegetables. Add oil to pan and heat a bit. Add onions and mushrooms and sauté till tender.

Meanwhile- preheat a large skillet over medium heat for the eggs. Add oil or butter and allow to heat up/melt covering the bottom of the pan and crack the eggs in. I made the eggs sunny side up but honestly, you can have them however you like. (If you are having toast put that in the toaster now)

Back to the vegetables- add salt, pepper and thyme, stir and simmer 1 minute more. Add cilantro, stir and sauté 2-3 more minutes until it wilts and the smell is amazing. We like the vegetables heaped over our eggs but you can segregate your plate if you wish.