Category: Dinner

Sesame Soba Noodles

Sesame Soba Noodles
Yesterday was all about improvising because I started Sunday stumped on what to cook, and I’m normally a total planner. At the farmers market in the morning, it was obvious that the corn and tomatoes were dwindling, so I needed to change my routine of focusing on shiny red and yellow things. I went green instead, but not just lettuce—that doesn’t count.

I found myself in unfamiliar territory reaching into bins with green beans and sugar snap peas. When I got home, I decided to make a simple noodle salad since we are in the middle of another round of hot summer weather. I sautéed my veggies and tossed them in a big bowl of sesame soba noodles dressed in a mixture of sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce.
Sesame Soba Noodles
Sesame Soba Noodles

Serves 4

4 ounces, soba noodles
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 red finger pepper, thinly sliced
6 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed
6 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup shredded red cabbage
1 handful cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

Cook the soba noodles following package instructions. Rinse with cold water, strain and transfer to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon canola oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss with the noodles.

Heat the remaining canola oil in a large skillet over high heat. Sauté the white scallions, garlic, ginger and peppers until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the sugar snap peas and green beans and sauté until bright green and cooked through but still crisp, about 5 minutes. Stir the vegetables into the noodles followed by the cabbage, cilantro, green scallions and sesame seeds. Serve cold or at room temerpature.

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Grilled Veggie Burrito Bowls

Grilled Veggie Burrito Bowls
When I made these grilled veggie burrito bowls, I thought they would be actual burritos. I had big tortillas and was ready to go. Then I chickened out. It was the rolling that intimidated me, and I didn’t think I was missing much by skipping the wrap. Instead I focused on the fillings because it’s what’s inside that counts, right?

For the vegetables, I made a version of a spice rub that I typically use for poultry. It’s a blend of chili, garlic & onion powder, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper that had a little bit of a kick. To fill the rest of the bowls, I included cilantro lime rice, pinto beans and cherry tomato pico de gallo and served them with chips and salsa.
Grilled Veggie Burrito Bowls
Grilled Veggie Burrito Bowls

Serves 4

For rice
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
1 cup water
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 handful cilantro, roughly chopped

For pico de gallo
1-1/2 cups quartered cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped red onions
1 jalapeno, minced
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For beans
1-15 ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup roughly chopped red onions
1 handful cilantro, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For vegetables
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 zucchini, trimmed and sliced lengthwise, 1/4-inch thick
1 summer squash, trimmed and sliced lengthwise, 1/4-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, quartered lengthwise
1 orange bell pepper, quartered lengthwise
2 ears corn, shucked
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Tortilla chips and salsa for serving

For the rice, heat the oil over medium high heat in a small saucepan. Toast the rice for 1 minute before adding the water, lime juice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 15-20 minutes on low until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Stir in the cilantro.

For the pico de gallo, combine the tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, lime juice, salt and pepper.

For the beans, in a medium bowl, combine the pinto beans, red onions, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.

For the vegetables, preheat a gas of charcoal grill on medium high heat. In a small bowl, combine the cumin, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Drizzle the vegetables with oil and rub with the spice mixture. Grill the zucchini, squash and peppers until grilled marked, about 3-4 minutes. Grill the corn, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, about 5-7 minutes. Let the vegetables cool slightly before dicing the zucchini, squash and peppers and slicing the kernels off the corn cobs.

Divide the rice, beans and vegetables between 4 bowls. Top with pico de gallo. Serve with salsa and tortilla chips.

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Fresh Herb Pappardelle

Fresh Herb Pappardelle
As much as it breaks my heart, our beautiful, bountiful container garden is just about kaput for the season. We are harvesting the last round of Super Sweet 100, Amish Paste and Cherokee Purple tomatoes, and I’ve already started buying basil again instead of picking it from the boxes on our back deck. Our garden was good while it lasted!

With a tangle of chives, rosemary and a few store-bought greens, I made a batch of fresh herb pappardelle. It was so aromatic and flavorful that I only tossed it in garlic-infused olive oil along with rainbow cherry tomatoes, zucchini ribbons and torn fresh mozzarella. I sprinkled on more herbs, flaky sea salt and black pepper for this simple late August meal.
Fresh Herb Pappardelle
Fresh Herb Pappardelle

Serves 4

For pasta

5 ounces all-purpose flour plus more for work surface
5 ounces semolina
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs (chives, basil, rosemary, thyme)

For serving
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 zucchini, trimmed and cut into ribbons
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces
1 tablespoon minced chives
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Pulse the flour, semolina and salt in a food processor. Add the eggs, olive oil and herbs and pulse until the dough forms. Shape the dough into a round disk and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight. (If the dough is refrigerated, let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before rolling out the pasta.)

Divide the pasta dough into 4 pieces keeping them covered. Working with one piece of dough at a time, flatten slightly and feed through the smooth rollers of a pasta machine starting at the widest setting. Fold the pasta sheet in half each time it is fed through at a narrower setting until the pasta sheet is very thin but does not tear. Place the pasta sheets on a floured work surface to dry for 10 minutes.

Cut the pasta sheets into 12-inch lengths. Sprinkle with flour and roll them up loosely. Using a knife, trim the rough edges and cut into 1-inch wide strips. Unroll and place the strips on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta for 2-3 minutes until al dente.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, cook the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Toss the pasta into the oil before transferring to a large bowl and stirring in the tomatoes, zucchini, mozzarella, chives, salt and pepper.

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Pesto Barley with Scallions & Cannellini Beans

Pesto Barley with Scallions & Cannellini
My husband likes to joke that if wasn’t for me he would eat spaghetti every night for dinner. Now one of our three-year-old’s favorite meals is pasta, “Daddy style,” which is spaghetti with olive oil, garlic powder and plenty of Parmesan. Absolutely no black pepper or red pepper flakes like Dad usually adds to his version of his signature dish.

I don’t always want to join them on the pasta train, but that doesn’t mean I have the motivation to make something else. My solution is to stir pesto into a can of beans. To make this a blog-worthy recipe, I added whole grains and greens to my pesto barley with scallions & cannellini beans. It was simple and great for lunchtime leftovers the next day.
Pesto Barley with Scallions & Cannellini

Pesto Barley with Scallions & Cannellini Beans

Serves 4

1/2 cup pearl barley
1 cup water
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup walnuts plus more for garnish
1/2 ounce Parmesan, grated, plus more shaved for serving
1-1/2 cups basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup basil pesto
1-15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 handful baby arugula
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced chives
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

In a medium saucepan, combine the barley and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until tender. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.

For the pesto, mince the garlic cloves in the bowl of a food processor. Add 1/4 cup walnuts, Parmesan, basil, salt and pepper. Puree the mixture. While the motor is running, drizzle the olive oil through the feeder tube until the pesto is fully combined.

Add the beans, arugula, scallions, chives and remaining walnuts to the barley. Stir in about 1/4-1/3 cup pesto. Top with Parmesan before serving.

Save the extra pesto for another use.

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