Yet another short week of cooking – took off for Salt Lake City on Wednesday for a work trip. Kept it (mostly) light in anticipation of the eating and drinking associated with conferences. Tuesday includes another zucchini recipe to add to your repertoire, and a perfect no-cook one at that for the hottest days of summer (and smokiest, if you’re in pretty much any of the PNW).
Baked my Gâteau aux Pommes again to get some updated blog pictures. I always forget how good this cake is, and how surprisingly easy it is to throw together. Don’t let the French name scare you away! Also, leftovers make great breakfast – it has apples, so it’s fine, right?
Ended up making the Mushroom and Chive Fettuccine Alfredo that I’d originally planned to make last Saturday before life happened. It was still a bit cooler than it has been outside, so it was the perfect comfort food. I’ll have a recipe up for that in the near future!
I got a pound of purple carrots in the CSA this week, and felt inspired to make a recipe that I’ve been eyeing for a while – Smitten Kitchen’s Roasted Carrots with Avocado and Yogurt. It’s simple to prepare with a complex flavor payoff, and won’t make you feel guilty if you follow it up with some ice cream. This one is pictured as the title image for the post.
Had to pack for my work trip so I scheduled the most hands-off meal for Tuesday – a sous-vide sirloin steak (throw in the sous vide and wait) and a simple Zucchini Carpaccio Salad to make use of some more delicious CSA summer squash. I actually wrote most of this blog post while I was waiting for the food to mostly prepare itself!
It feels more special to make a cocktail in the evening in the summer, instead of just pouring myself a glass of wine. Winter calls for red wine most nights, but this bright lemon basil spritz will hit the spot after a long day in (let’s be real) an overly air-conditioned office. If you don’t have or can’t find lemon basil, this would also be delicious with regular basil.
Lemon Basil Vodka Spritz
Makes One Drink
Hands-On Time: 5 min
Total Time: 5 min
1 cup loosely packed lemon basil leaves
1 TBS agave syrup
1.5 oz vodka
Juice of half a lemon
Can of soda water or seltzer water
Muddle together the basil leaves and agave at the bottom of a glass. Add lemon juice and vodka. Add ice. Fill the rest of the glass with seltzer. Garnish with additional basil leaves and lemon slices.
Hate food waste? Same here. That’s why I’m always so excited to learn new recipes for things that would otherwise be considered food scraps, like beet greens and carrot tops. This carrot top chimichurri has a more earthy, vegetal taste than the normal parsley and cilantro variety, but it’s just as delicious and a great way to keep one more thing out of the trash or compost bin. Serve it with steak, use it as a marinade, or do whatever else you would do with regular chimichurri!
Carrot Top Chimichurri
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Hands-On Time: 15 min
Total Time: 20 min
1 cup finely chopped carrot greens from 1-2 lbs of carrots
1 small to medium shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 TBSP crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp finely chopped fresh oregano
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt + to taste
Combine shallot, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt in a small bowl. Cover with the red wine vinegar and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
Add the chopped carrot greens and oregano to the aromatics and vinegar mixture and stir to combine. Whisk while slowly adding the oil. Add additional salt to taste.
Optional: You can serve the chimichurri as-is at this point, but I like to take an immersion blender (I use this set from Cuisinart and love it, but you can also get a standalone immersion blender) and give it a few pulses. It shouldn’t be smooth/creamy, but it’ll be a little finer than just chopping will normally get it.
In my opinion, there are few better ways to prepare and enjoy vegetables than roasting them. You can roast pretty much any vegetable and it’ll turn out crispy and delicious with just some oil and salt. But it’s so easy to elevate your roasted veggies with just a few extra ingredients and make them, dare I say, crave-able? This tangy, salty broccoli with a bit of bite from the crushed red pepper goes great as a side with anything, and I could probably eat a whole pan of this for dinner and call it a day, especially with a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
Favorite Roasted Broccoli
Serves 2 as a side
Hands-On Time: 10 min
Total Time (if chilled): 30 min
2 heads of broccoli (can sub romanesco or cauliflower as well)
1 TBS salt
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice from one large lemon
Preheat your oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with foil.
Chop up the broccoli – get the florets separated from the stalk, and cut the stalk into ~1 inch pieces. Check out this tutorial from Gimme Some Oven for more detail.
In a large bowl, combine broccoli pieces with remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Spread evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender and slightly charred.