Posts Tagged ‘Summer’

This month we are focusing on the spice turmeric!  Here is a new one from Dish Deanna:

Turmeric is typically used in a lot of curries, can be used as a substitute for saffron and apparently has great health benefits. It is very vibrant, adding color to any bland-looking recipe and it even has anti-inflammatory properties, helps detoxify the liver, and is a natural pain killer. As I was doing research about this interesting spice, I was reading that many people put it into capsules and ingest it daily. This might be something worth looking into further! I do have to say though, when I heard that Turmeric was the theme of the month I panicked a little. I had no idea what kind of recipe to make. I knew that it is used in many curry recipes but I wanted to do something different. As I was browsing some vegetarian recipes, I came across one for hummus. It didn’t have turmeric in it but I improvised a little and came up with something that I think is pretty damn creative.

Ingredients for the hummus:

  • 2 (15 oz) cans of chickpeas (or garbanzo beans)
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup olive oil

Ingredients for the pita chips:

  • 1 pkg of pita pockets
  • Garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

You will need:

  • A food processor or blender!
  • An oven or toaster oven


To start, strain the chickpeas and rinse them with water. This will take off any liquids that are still clinging to the chickpeas from the cans.


Measure out all of your ingredients and toss everything into the food processor. Pulse until the mixture is smooth. You may want to open the food processer intermittently and see how your hummus tastes. I found as I was making this that it was very experimental. In order to get the creamy texture I wanted I had to add just a little bit more olive oil. Feel free to be liberal with your measurements – you can’t really mess this up!


After you’ve finished with your hummus, place it into a bowl. I prefer my hummus at room temperature but if you like it cooler, throw it in the fridge! To start on the pita chips, first preheat your oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. Cut one pita pocket into 4 even triangles and peel apart each side. Lay them flat on tin foil on a baking sheet. You should then brush one side only with olive oil, and sprinkle garlic powder and salt over the pita. Toss them in the oven for approximately 5 minutes (maybe even less). I wouldn’t walk away from the oven because you want to take them out as soon as the edges turn golden brown. I burned the first batch!


When they look about ready, take them out and let them cool. Then get ready to enjoy. You’ve just made homemade hummus and homemade pita chips! CONGRATS!!

*** serve with veggies or save for later to use as a spread for sandwiches!***



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From Dish Jodi:

It’s been hot here in LA. And though I love our hilltop house and big patio — a place to dip my feet regularly would sure be nice. It’s been a little bit of “Operation Find A Pool” and last weekend was no exception. Here’s a little technique I figured out.

1) Find a friend (or friend of a friend) with a pool.
2) Using sneaky undercover tactics, figure out that this person happens to love anything made with chocolate and coconut.
3) Make cookies (see below).
4) Send friend pictures of cookies, asking for a trade.
5) Realize friend is weak to idea of chocolate and coconut cookies and take advantage.
6) Dangle feet, float and splash away in friend’s pool while friend is distracted by cookies.


1 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp coarse salt
2 cups white-chocolate chips or chunks
1 3/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 3/4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Cream butter and sugars in an electric mixer. Mix in vanilla and then eggs, one at a time.

Meanwhile, sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into another bowl. Mix slowly into butter mixture until combined. Fold in chocolate, coconut and walnuts until evenly distributed.

Put big scoops of dough on baking sheets leaving a couple inches between. Smush them down a little to shape. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set.

Let cook on the sheets for a couple of minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

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From Dish Erin:

Full disclosure: I completely forgot to do my SLD this past month. So what you’re getting here is a sneak, last minute peek into what my kitchen looks like between the months of July-Sept, when I pretty much tailor all my meals around my beloved Jersey tomato. It’s peak season for tomatoes right now–they’re so juicy and fresh that just a few dices in some olive oil are delicious enough to become a ‘sauce’ for pasta, no hours of simmering or cans needed. Summer pastas and pretty much my go-to and this is a perfect example of what I will whip up on a weeknight.

Note: The night before I had roasted a chicken, and had quite a bit leftover. You can used leftover cooked chicken, or just saute a chicken breast in a pan until cooked through. I promise I’ll get it together next month, dear readers.

2 cups whole wheat penne
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 yellow onion, sliced thin
2-3 cloves garlic, minced roughly
A few shakes of red pepper flakes
1 whole Jersey tomato, diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup white wine
1 teaspoon oregano
About one cooked chicken breast, diced into cubes
4-5 kale leaves, chopped roughly
salt & pepper
A few basil leaves, chopped julienne
Parmesan cheese

Saute onions in a medium sauce pan with olive oil until translucent. Add garlic, red pepper, and tomatoes and simmer for about 5 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, start to cook the penne according to package directions.

Make a well in the tomatoes and add the tomato paste, oregano, and stir to incorporate into sauce. Add white wine, and stir again. Add chicken & kale, season with salt & pepper and cover to simmer for about 4-5 minutes. Remove lid, mix in basil, taste and add more salt & pepper if need be.

Serve in bowls over penne and a generous amount of Parmesan cheese.

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From Dish Danielle:

While out of town spending some chillax time at a friend’s childhood home earlier this summer, we were completely spoiled with leisure time — someone else was doing the cooking, there was time to sleep in, to read and drink coffee with our feet up, to take catnaps in the middle of the day. It was lovely, and just what the doctor ordered. Not only were we treated to a batch of delicious gin cocktails (rhubarb simple syrup anyone…!?!?), but we also had a killer meal that was perfectly summer: light, zesty, and fresh. Thanks Abby!

Abby’s summer sobas. I knew I’d be recreating this as soon as I got back to Brooklyn, and so I did for one of our first BBQ’s of the season.

*this recipe has been adapted from Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi

1 package of soba noodles
1 ripe yet firm mango, peeled and sliced.
1 large eggplant, salt sweated & cut into 1” cubes
small bunch radishes, sliced thin
½ bunch of carrots, sliced thin.
1 red onion, sliced thin
1 bunch kale, cleaned and chiffonaded
1 bunch cilantro, cleaned, pruned and rough chopped
salted pistachios, rough chopped
¼-½ c sesame oil
¼c seasoned soy sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp yuzu paste
1½ lime, zested & juiced
agave nectar
sesame seeds

Start by bringing a medium pot of water to boil. While you’re waiting, take care of chopping your radishes, carrots, and onion. Place in a bowl with your chiffonaded kale and set aside. Slice your mango as you like—Abby did long thin slices and I followed suit. Once the water is boiling cook noodles according to the directions on the package—be sure not to overcook them as they cook very quickly and become mushy if left unattended.

Once the noodles are cooked, strain and run them under cold water until they’re cool. Drizzle with a dash of sesame oil to prevent them from sticking together and set aside. Now cook your eggplant. If you have a cast iron, use that. Place it over a medium-med high flame. Leave the pan dry and pan sear them one batch at a time until they’re finished. You want to hot pan to leave grill marks on the eggplant.

Set the cooked eggplant on a paper towel to cool/dry out. Now make your dressing — which some of you might notice is eerily similar to the dressing I used on my ‘Sprouts for a Crowd’ post I wrote a several months back… (It’s the same!) I never did get Abby’s exact recipe so I improvised with what I had.

In a small bowl mix the oil, soy sauce, minced garlic, yuzu paste, zest & juice of the lime, a small squeeze of agave and a pinch of salt thoroughly with a fork or small whisk. Taste & tweak of course. You’re almost done.

Now toss everything into a large bowl including the cilantro, pistachios & sesame seeds (a decent handful I’d say..) and toss thoroughly, making sure the dressing is evenly coating the entire salad.

This is absolutely a meal in and of itself. Serve on a piping hot summer evening and cool off with some cold noodles.

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From Dish Nicole:

So far this summer has been a blast. I can’t believe it’s already August; so much fun has been had. One of the highlights from this summer took place waaaaay back in June. My dear friend Leila (whom I never get to see) set out on a road trip from California to Southampton, New York. I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to stay with her at her Aunt Shelby’s beautiful beach house for the weekend. Of course I said hell yes and Leila and I got to catch up over cocktails, dips in the ocean and fabulous meals. Aside from the obvious benefits of having a beach weekend with a bestie, Shelby was an amazing hostess and even better cook. Everything she made was delicious but seemed effortless. She turned me on to the refreshing Aperol spritz and these ingenious grilled artichokes. Leila and I certainly were living the good life.

For the artichokes you will need:

4 large artichokes (figure about ½ per guest)
2-3 lemons, quartered
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 stick butter melted
3 sprigs thyme removed from stem

To prepare the artichokes you start by cutting off the top section. Next you need to trim the top of all of the leaves with scissors. Once all are trimmed, cut the artichokes in half and scoop out the “choke” (if you haven’t really worked with artichokes before, the choke is the fuzzy center). You want to remove all of the fuzz but try not to scrape out too much of the heart. Squeeze lemon juice on the hearts to prevent them from turning brown and set aside.

Next you will want to get out your largest pot and fill with about 2 inches of water. You can add some lemon slices in for extra flavor. Bring to a boil and add the artichokes. Reduce the heat to medium and cover. You will want to let the artichokes steam for about 15 minutes.

Now that the artichokes are occupied for a few minutes, prepare your grill and let it heat up. The next step is preparing the basting sauce. In a small skillet, melt butter over a low heat. Add in chopped garlic. Allow the butter to start to bubble and remove from heat. You just want the garlic to infuse the butter with flavor, but not brown. Pour the mixture into a small bowl and add the thyme, a tablespoon of lemon juice and salt and pepper.

Okay now its grill time! Hopefully you have a friend with you who’s preparing your cocktail while you grill. If not, prepare your cocktail before the grilling. Brush the artichokes with the butter sauce. Make sure to get it in between the leaves. Place the artichokes on the grill. Grill for about 5-10 minutes, basting with the butter sauce and turning frequently, until the tips are a little charred. Serve immediately.

Ingredients for the Aperol Spritz:
3 parts (ounces) Prosecco
2 parts Aperol
splash of soda or seltzer
Ice, half a slice of orange

For the Spritz you will want to take a large wine glass or a highball glass and fill it halfway with ice. Add in all parts and garnish with the orange. I prefer to use a large wine glass. It really shows off the beautiful orange color.

The final step is to enjoy the ‘chokes and cheers to good friends, fun in the sun and staying cool the rest of this hot east coast summer.

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From Dish Nicole:

Tis the season to B-B-Q! Every spring I get sooooo excited to move my kitchen outside and cook and dine al fresco. The grilling gods have been very kind to me and I have always been given or loaned a grill, oddly enough. My last apartment had a backyard and my landlord let us use his gas grill for the 3 years I lived there. I got used to the convenience of just turning on the gas and grilling away. When I moved into my current apartment my boyfriend and I were very pleased to find that the previous tenants left us a relatively new charcoal grill on the porch (they even left most of the grilling accessories). Score! The only problem with the charcoal grill is that I had never used one so the boyfriend has come in rather handy and has been giving me grilling tutorials. One of the benefits of charcoal is that the food actually tastes the way grilled food should taste, slightly smoky. I went out and purchased a grill pan so I could take the grilling even further and add more delicate items to the old Webber, e.g.: fish and veggies. The grill pan is a MUST otherwise you will lose most of the food into the smoldering coals.

To keep things interesting throughout the grilling season we have a lot of fun experimenting with sauces and marinades. Zeke’s mom recently passed along a walnut sauce recipe that we love. Its light, savory and the walnuts add a really nice texture. Not only that, it’s tasty on salads, chicken, you name it. Another added bonus to sauces is that they can be made ahead of time and thrown on to spice up a quick dinner.

Here is what you need to make the salmon, asparagus and walnut sauce:

Salmon filets with the skin on
1 bunch of asparagus rinsed & dried
Salt & pepper to taste
2 Tbs olive oil

Walnut Sauce:
1 c. walnuts chopped
3/4 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 c. EVOO
Salt and pepper to taste
4 Tbs chopped, pitted Mediterranean-style black olives
1 Tbs capers, rinsed and chopped

Start out by making your walnut sauce. I prepared the walnut sauce a day ahead of time but you can make it right before serving as well. I like the way it tastes after the flavors have had a chance to infuse into the oil. All you have to do is prep your ingredients and then mix together. Boom, you’re done.

Next prepare your grill. Rub the salmon filets with olive oil to prevent sticking and lightly salt and pepper then set aside. Next, prepare the asparagus by cutting off the bottom where the green color fades. You will also want to lightly coat the asparagus with oil, salt and pepper. Once the coals are ready you can add the grill pan to the grill and add the salmon filets. Start with the salmon skin side up on the pan and cook for about 5-6 minutes per side. The salmon will continue to cook once you remove it from the heat. Add the asparagus to the grill pan and cook for about 5-6 minutes or until tender.

You can remove the salmon skin before serving (I prefer it that way). Add the sauce to both the veggies and salmon and dig in! I think grilled food is best served outside with a glass of chilled wine, but that’s just me. I wouldn’t call myself a grill master just yet but I plan to take the title by the end of summer.

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From Dish Rachelle:

After last month’s SLD, I promised myself I was going to cool it on posting soups for a while. They’re one of my top home cooking go-to’s – I love savoring a hot bowl of soup with some crusty bread, year round – but I also don’t want to become predictable! But that was before. That was before the Boy and I took a trip to Florence, and I tried this soup, which damn well blew my mind. This is a classic Tuscan dish, served in the summer when the tomatoes are ripe. The region is famous for its dense, salt-less bread, which is served fresh with generous pours of olive oil, but the Italian cooks are industrious, and it’s also used when it’s a day old in rustic panzanella salads, and to thicken the Pappa col Pomodoro.

A word on the ingredients: I used a salted baguette, because (don’t tell the Tuscans) I think it tastes better.

I also carried these three heirloom tomatoes around in my purse all of Saturday night. Yes, I want a medal.

Ingredients (Makes 4 medium-sized bowls of soup):

2 lbs. ripe, good quality tomatoes, mostly red
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
4 garlic cloves
5 basil leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups of stale bread

Start by peeling and seeding your tomatoes, then coarsely chop the “guts”. Run them through a food processor, and then pour the mixture through a sieve so that you’re left with smooth, red tomato juice. Your kitchen will look like a crime scene.

In a large, deep saucepan, add 4 whole cloves of garlic (skin removed) and 5 whole basil leaves to the chicken stock, and bring it up to a boil. Meanwhile, tear your stale bread into small pieces and run it through the (clean, dry) food processor, until you have them to a size that’s in-between ripped pieces of bread and bread crumbs.

When the stock is boiling, remove the garlic and the basil and add the tomato juice and olive oil, along with a dash of salt and pepper. Cover, and let simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Add the bread, and simmer, covered, for another 5 minutes, until the pieces have expanded into moist globules. Serve hot immediately, or cold the next day, and debate with your dining companion whether you think this soup should be served with (what else?) bread.

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