My good friend Dona Johnson has a garden overflowing with tomatoes and has asked for some new recipes. Here is a favorite of mine that comes from another good friend Kathy Soter. This recipe takes minutes to put together, and is perfect for a hot summer day as no cooking is required! Peaches and tomatoes make a delicious combination; Kathy recommends using white peaches and heirloom tomatoes.
Tomato and Peach Salad
2 large tomatoes
2 ripe peaches
1/2 red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or more to taste)
good quality olive oil
1/2 to 1 lime
red pepper flakes
Slice the tomatoes. Peel, pit and slice the peaches. Arrange the tomato and peach slices on a serving dish in a circular pattern, alternating tomato and peach slices.
Very thinly slice the red onion (preferably with a mandolin) and sprinkle over the top. Sprinkle with cilantro. Drizzle generous amount of olive oil over the top. Squeeze lime juice over all (amount needed depends on how juicy your lime is!). Sprinkle generously with red pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt.
Make ahead: Tomatoes, peaches and onion can be sliced and plated up to 4 hours ahead. Cover and store at room temperature. Add cilantro, olive oil, lime, pepper flakes and salt just before serving.
I love asparagus, and am always trying new ways to serve them. One summer I created this recipe that combines sautéed mushrooms together with the roasted asparagus recipe from our cookbook, A Well-Seasoned Kitchen. Now that asparagus is coming into season, I’m going to make this recipe again this week!
Sautéed Mushrooms and Roasted Asparagus
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound mushrooms (I like to use a mixture – shitake, cremini, oyster, etc.), sliced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 pound fresh asparagus, tough ends removed
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, around 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the wine and continue cooking for 1 minute, then stir in the garlic and herbs, turn heat to low and cook for another minute. Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and pepper, and set aside.
In a large rimmed baking dish, toss the asparagus with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with kosher salt. Roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, place asparagus on serving platter and top with mushrooms. Can be served hot or at room temperature.
Make ahead: Mushrooms and asparagus can be cooked up to 2 hours before serving and stored at room temperature.
The other night I had some butternut squash leftover from making the Roasted Butternut Squash and Chicken Sausage dish in our cookbook, and decided to make the squash the star ingredient in a new salad recipe. I added some roasted mushrooms, nuts, feta cheese and shaved country ham, then tossed it all together with a light balsamic vinaigrette. Both Robert and I loved it – and I hope you do, too!
Note: this recipe was featured on Foodie Friends Friday linky party on August 31, 2012.
Roasted Mushroom and Butternut Squash Spinach Salad
1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and cubed (1/2-inch) butternut squash
2 cups quartered mushrooms (cremini, shitake or small portabellos work best)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, separated
2 tablespooons chopped walnuts or pecans
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
1/4 cup shredded ham, preferably country ham
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a medium roasting pan, using your hands toss together the squash, mushrooms and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; toss again. Roast for 10 minutes. Stir in the chopped nuts and continue roasting for another 5 to 10 minutes or until the squash is tender, stirring occasionally.
Place 1 cup of spinach on each of 4 individual salad plates. Sprinkle with the feta cheese, then the mushroom mixture, then the ham. Place the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the balsamic vinegar in a small skillet and warm over low heat. Drizzle over salad; season with salt and fresh ground pepper as needed.
I love this salad – it is easy to make, delicious and beautiful to serve. Note that you have to make the dressing at least one day ahead. You will likely have some dressing left over, which you won’t mind because it is so delicious!
Recipe for Roasted Beet Salad with Arugula Dressing
2 cups packed baby arugula
4 green onions, sliced
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
6 large beets
9 to 10 cups Boston bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
goat cheese crumbles
sliced red onion
toasted nuts (pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, etc.)
To make the dressing: place the arugula, green onions, garlic, mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice and tarragon in the bowl of a food processor and blend until well combined. Place in a covered container and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Wash the beets, cut off the ends and wrap 2 beets in a large piece of foil; repeat with remaining beets. Place in oven directly on oven rack and roast for around 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until soft in the center when poked with a fork. Cool. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel and slice.
Divide lettuce among 6 salad plates. Arrange sliced beets in a circle on top of lettuce; scatter goat cheese, red onion and nuts over the top. Drizzle with dressing and serve.
Make ahead: the dressing can be made and the beets roasted up to 3 days ahead, covered and stored in the refrigerator.
For some, Thanksgiving is about grand parades, football or even annual 5K morning runs. But, for the Clayton family – it’s always been about the favorite foods that draw our family together. Like many, we celebrate with the traditional dishes, but through the years we’ve updated our favorites with new flavors, hints of spice and unexpected twists. The traditional sweet potato dish was the first to get a Thanksgiving meal makeover. While a sweet staple, you won’t find candied sweet potatoes with melted marshmallows on our table. We gave this dish a savory update by combining yams and butternut squash with sausage and cheddar cheese. Nutmeg and pecans give the dish a decidedly modern update.
This recipe has become a Clayton family Thanksgiving tradition, and has been adopted by many other homes that I have taken it to as part of a potluck dinner. We don’t like yam dishes that are too sweet and haven’t been able to find another recipe we like as much as this one. Another bonus? You can make it ahead and freeze it, reducing holiday stress.
Sausage, Butternut Squash and Yam Casserole Recipe
1 3/4 pounds yams, peeled and chopped
1 3/4 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pound bulk pork sausage
1/2 cup chopped green onions (or more to taste)
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2 or 3-quart shallow baking or gratin dish.
Steam the yams and squash until tender enough to mash, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Mash into large chunks, add the butter and nutmeg. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Cook the sausage in a skillet over medium heat, stirring and breaking up. After 5 minutes (when the sausage is about half browned), add the green onions and sauté until the sausage is cooked through, stirring occasionally and continuing to break up into bits, about 10 more minutes. Remove from the heat, strain off the fat and set aside.
Spread half the yam/squash mixture in the prepared baking dish, top with half the sausage and half the grated cheese. Repeat the layers, and top with the chopped nuts.
Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is bubbly and the top is brown.
Make ahead: The casserole can be prepared earlier in the day, covered and refrigerated, or frozen for up to a month. Return to room temperature before baking.
One of my favorite foods in August and September is fresh corn. Here in Colorado, we have wonderful corn that comes from the town of Olathe – sweet, juicy, tender. You can find more information on Olathe corn here. My new favorite way to fix fresh corn is this fast, delicious recipe from good friend Kathy Soter. Corn cut off the cob and sautéed with bacon and onion, then topped off with chopped fresh chives. So simple – and so scrumptious!
Olathe Corn and Bacon Salad
(Serves 4 to 6)
4 large ears fresh corn, preferably from Olathe
4 slices thick slab bacon, chopped
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Shuck the corn, cut the corn kernels off the cob and place in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until brown. Remove bacon from pan and pour off most of the grease, leaving the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
In the same pan, sauté onion over medium heat until slightly softened. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water in with the onions to deglaze the pan and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking, and when onions are nicely softened, add the corn and browned bacon and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until heated through and the corn is still crisp. Stir in chopped chives and season to taste with salt and pepper. Best if served hot or at room temperature.
Robert decided he wanted to make burgers for dinner last night. We particularly like buffalo burgers made with Bear Mountain Bison ground meat – which comes from our friends Anne and John Draper’s ranch of the same name. I decided to make my favorite french fry recipe to go with the burgers – Sweet Potato Fries. The Garlic Aoili I created to go with these fries is also delicious on the burgers! This recipe is a snap to make if you use frozen sweet potato fries; you can also make it with fresh peeled and sliced potatoes, just decrease the cooking time a bit.
(Note: the aioli is a slight modification from the lemon-garlic aioli in A Well-Seasoned Kitchen – this one has less lemon juice, which blends better with these fries.)
Sweet Potato Fries with Garlic Aioli
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons chopped fresh garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 bag (15 ounce) of frozen sweet potato fries, unthawed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon onion salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, garlic and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Place frozen fries on a large, rimmed cookie sheet. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the oil, curry powder, cumin and onion salt. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over the fries and toss to coat. Bake for around 20 minutes, stirring once or twice, until crispy and lightly browned. Serve hot with the Garlic Aioli.
(Serves 6 to 8)
Great to serve around the holidays – the red cranberries and onions together with the green lettuce and avocado are very festive!
1/4 cup cranberry juice concentrate, undiluted
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 cups mixed salad greens
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Put the cranberry juice, vinegar, mustard, pepper and olive oil in a medium jar and whisk until well combined. Cover and set aside.
Tear salad greens into bite-sized pieces and place in large salad bowl. Add the avocado, onion and cranberries. Toss with dressing and serve.
Make Ahead: Dressing can be made several days ahead, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.
Variation: Toss the greens with 3/4 of the dressing. Divide between individual salad plates. Cut the avocado into slices and arrange on top of the greens. Top with the red onion slices and sprinkle with the cranberries. Drizzle remaining dressing over the top (as needed).