New Potato Salad With Scape Salsa Verde



Of course with a long weekend ahead I would be lost without a handy potato salad recipe, so here it is.
I’m sure not too many of you miss the heavy mayo laden with egg and celery version but not to fret, I’m sure it will still be offered – somewhere, you can just bring this along to the BBQ instead.

Easy, light and FRESH I’ve finally found another way to use up those tasty garlic scapes as the main ingredient in this salsa verde style dressing.

NEW POTATO SALAD WITH SCAPE SALSA VERDE

3 Lbs New Red Potatoes
8-10 Garlic Scapes, trimmed
1/4 Cup Basil Leaves, packed
1/3 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley, packed
1 Tablespoon Capers, about 30
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon Salt, or to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Wash and boil the potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover.
Cook potatoes until just tender, or al dente, so you are able to cut through them easily.
Meanwhile, trim the seed buds from the top of the scapes and discard.
Combine the scapes along with the basil and parsley, pulsing to finely chop.
Add the capers, mustard, salt, pepper and vinegar, continuing to blend while drizzling in the oil through the feed tube.
Scrape down from the sides, taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary.
Drain the potatoes. Once they are cool enough to handle quarter them into even sized wedges, unless they are very small.
Add the potatoes to a large bowl and add about half of the dressing at first. Toss well to coat adding more to your liking.
Serve at room temperature.

Want more potato salad? Try my other, Warm New Potato Dandelion Greens Salad, if you still have a few weeds that need eating from your yard.

Spinach Pesto


I used to be one of those people who would see those enormous tubs of spinach, you know the ones that are at least a pound, and not imagine what sized family could possibly consume that much salad in a week. Seeing that baby spinach weighs a little more than air, that’s quite a bit of greens. However, since converting and making a “baby spinach only” vow, it’s on my weekly grocery list. I put handfuls of it into just about everything I cook that will take it; like soups, omelettes or pasta. The rest go into my every other daily salad or into this super mild and creamy staple: pesto.

SPINACH PESTO

2 Cups Baby Spinach Leaves
Handful of Flat Leaf Parsley, about 1/2 cup
4 – 5 Large Basil Leaves
1/2 cup Walnuts, lightly toasted
3 Garlic Cloves, peeled
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Pinch of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pile everything but the oil into a food processor and combine well.
Using a spatula, scrape the sides then reattach the lid.
With the motor running, drizzle in the oil through the feed tube one tablespoon at a time until everything is smooth but not oily. You may only end up using 2 tablespoons. (Use the remainder for topping the pesto, if you’re keeping it in the fridge.)

Pesto may be kept in a sealed container, topped with oil. Otherwise, it freezes very well in ice cube trays or flattened, in a ziploc bag, where you can break off desired amounts for soups, crustini or pasta for one.

Yields about 1 Cup.

Roasted Garlic Paperadelle


1/2 Cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Semolina Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Head Roasted Garlic*, squeezed to remove the skins
1/3 Cup HOT Water

* To roast garlic, preheat the oven to 350ºF and cut off the top of the bulb to reveal the attached cloves.
Placed in aluminum foil, drizzle the top of the garlic with olive oil to cover but not saturate.
Wrap the foil tightly and place into the oven.
Roast the garlic for about 30 minutes or until soft, caramelized and fragrant.

In the bowl of a food processor, add the flours and salt; mix to combine.
With the motor running at a medium to low speed, add the olive oil then the roasted garlic through the feeder tube.
Drizzle 1/4 Cup of the water to begin. As the dough begins to form and appear crumbly, slowly add small amounts of the remaining water, as you may not need it all.
When the dough comes together in a full ball, turn off the food processor and remove the dough to a slightly floured board to knead.
Knead the dough until it is stretchy but not sticky, about 2 minutes.
Wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or while you prepare your sauce.
Cut the dough into 3 – 4 workable pieces, which ever size you are most comfortable handling, and set all but one aside in a covered bowl.
Either using a pasta maker or by hand, with a rolling pin, roll the dough to about a 1/8″ thickness, then cut into 1 1/2″ wide strips.
Lightly dust with semolina to separate and loosen the noodles, if necessary, as you finish rolling and cutting the remainder of the dough.Fresh pasta takes only a fraction of the time dried pasta needs. Drop the freshly cut pasta into a large pot of rapidly boiling water and cook for 3 – 4 minutes for al denté.

Great White North



I’m currently tearing off the layers as I write this. It’s tough to believe that it’s Thanksgiving, here in Canada, that is. You see, it’s 90ºF and I’m really thankful I cooked our “Appreciate The Turkey Day” feast yesterday when it was cloudy and chilly enough for a cozy fire.

I went outside to try to find any scratch of this great Holiday going on. Any cars gathering for visits, the scent of roasting goodness traveling through a window screen, a football cheer, or the screech of a fork on a plate, but nothing. Nothing but cyclists, lawn mowers buzzing, the summer smell of the backyard grill, fans blowing and kids giggling with their dad on his day off.

I made soup last night, with feast leftovers, two kinds! This time of year, mind floods to comforting, feel good, stick to your ribs meals. But today, as I’m about down to my skivvies, I just can’t imagine any more hot and sticky.

Together with a little roasted pumpkin and grilled tofu, left over from yesterday, I whipped up a creamy spinach pesto to go over some quick, brown rice fettuccine. It was perfectly satisfying and didn’t add heat to the house.

Oh well, shouldn’t complain, it could have been snowing.
Continue reading Great White North

Zucchini Pesto Provinciale


What’s lightening quick, goes with just about anything and uses up even more of the overflow of zucchini?
The title gave it away, didn’t it?

Looking for dinner inspiration, I gazed over my garden. I grew some of my own stuff this year, but now my garden is getting that late August hue of tan with many of the plants either beginning to shrivel or by going to seed; my garlic being one of them. Where the zucchini still overflowith, my garlic has met it’s match and I reluctantly bowed to mother nature and pulled it. I’m always excited to get the fresh garlic but, it being the first to go, does always symbolize the beginning of the end. In celebration of it and my surprising lack of basil, I decided to whip up a different pesto this week.

Zucchini Provinciale, was something my Mom used to make for us as kids and to my surprise, it was standard beginner fare in a culinary class. It makes an excellent side dish, consisting of sautéd onion, garlic, zucchini, finished with fresh tomatoes and parmigiano. I always liked it, even as a kid, so I took that same idea, minus the cheese, to create the pesto.

ORZO WITH ZUCCHINI PESTO PROVINCIALE

1 Medium Zucchini
3 Tablespoons Pine Nuts, toasted
1/4 Cup Sundried Tomatoes, about 5-6, reconstituted in water
3 Cloves of Garlic
2 – 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
450g Orzo
1 Small Zucchini, optional
1 Field Tomato, optional

Add the dried tomatoes to a large measuring cup and pour over enough boiling water to just cover them.
In a dry sauté pan, lightly toast the pine nuts.
Combine the zucchini, garlic cloves, and nuts in the bowl of a food processor.
With the motor running, add the tomatoes, once they have softened, and the olive oil through the feeder tube, scraping the sides as necessary.
Start with about a 1/8 teaspoon of salt and a quick grind of pepper, adjusting to your liking.
In a large pot, boil the orzo in lightly salted water, or as to it’s package directions to al dente.
Seed the field tomato and cut it and the small zucchini into matchsticks, if using.
Drain and stir in the zucchini, tomato and about 1/2 cup of the zucchini pesto.
Chill and serve.

Sundried Tomato Pesto


1 Cup Sundried Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves, packed
4 Cloves Garlic
2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Salt

Add the tomatoes to a 1 Cup measuring cup and fill with enough water to cover the tomatoes and allow to reconstitute until soft, about 20 minutes.
Drain the tomatoes and add them to a food processor. Add the garlic and pulse until well chopped.
Add the basil and thyme and with the motor running, slowly drizzle enough oil until everything is well blended and smooth.
Add salt to taste, incorporating well.