Category Archives: Sides

Roasted Radishes

I remember growing radishes as a kid since they were the easiest and fastest germinating plant but had no interest in eating them back then. I now love the occasional crunch of sliced peppery radishes on a salad but for the most part I could take or leave them. That was until I saw a picture of them roasted on a friend’s Facebook feed, I was intrigued.

Super simple delicious way to make them, roasting mellows the peppery bite and turns them sweeter with a deeper flavor. I used this recipe from Bon Appetit and riffed on it a bit, using lemon olive oil and some fresh thyme.

I could see using this as a side, ingredient in a salad, added to other roasted vegetables. If your CSA basket runneth over, here’s an alternative!

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Summer Soup

I found this recipe on Tasting Table for a Melon Basil Soup with Cucumbers Pimenton. It’s a simple and refreshing summer soup. It reminds me a bit of a green smoothie.

Stuffed Portobello Mushroom

Summer vegetables are at their peak and super tasty right now but you can always get zucchini and some sort of squash year-round if you are wanting a bit of summer when the temperature drops. Inspired and reconstructed from a dish at a restaurant this is a simple and tasty way to create a great topper to some salad greens or wonderful side dish.

Stuffed Portobello Mushroom on Greens

Ingredients*:

  • 2 large portobello mushrooms
  • 1 small to medium zucchini
  • 1 small to medium summer squash or golden zucchini
  • 1/2-1 red bell pepper
  • 5-6 mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp sundried tomatoes cut into strips (with or without oil)
  • handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • fresh basil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Dried herbs – oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary OR italian spice blend
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Rinse or brush any soil off the portobello mushrooms and using a sharp knife, cut the stems out of the center. If they are woody, discard/compost, if not cut into 1/4″ dice. Put mushrooms on a plate or dish to marinate, gill side up.
  2. Make a quick marinade of one minced garlic clove, 5-6 basil leaves sliced thin (chiffonade), 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 4 tbsp of olive oil and salt/pepper to taste. If you have other seasonings you like feel free to play! Give your marinade a good stir to blend the oil and vinegar and pour over the portobello mushrooms and let set at room temperature for 15-30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, time to dice some vegetables.
  4. While your portobellos are marinating, mince the remaining garlic cloves and shallot. Cut into 1/4″ dice the zucchini, summer squash, pepper and mushrooms. Half the cherry tomatoes.
  5. Put the portobellos in the oven for 15 minutes to cook.
  6. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. If you are using sundried tomatoes in oil put those in the skillet along with the shallots and garlic, saute until shallots are translucent. If you are using sundried tomatoes that aren’t in oil, add 2 tsp of olive oil to the pan before sauteing. Add a tbsp of dried herbs and a 1/4 tsp of fresh ground pepper and saute for 1 minute to release the aromatics.
  7. Add zucchini, peppers, squash and mushrooms to the pan and saute until softened. Add cherry tomatoes and saute for a minute to two to warm tomatoes through. Remove from heat. Add a 1/4 c of Parmesan cheese to the sauteed vegetable and stir. Sometime in this your portobellos should be done, remove from the oven but leave oven on for one final heat through.
  8. Now time to get a little messy, or not. After you have removed the portobellos from the oven, they will need their veggie topping. You can either spoon on the sauteed vegetables into a pile on each mushroom or you can be all restaurant-like mold your veggies before putting them on the portobellos. Get a small bowl that is the same diameter as the mushroom, pack the veggies in there and then turn out on the portobellos. I hate dirtying more dishes than need be unless I am feeling the need to make it pretty so I usually just spoon it on.
  9. Sprinkle the top with a tbsp of mozzarella and back in the 350 degree oven for 7-9 minutes to warm throughout and melt the cheese.

*Notes:

  • I have tried to help with timing management with the steps as if you are making the dish.
  • If you are only making two portobellos I have found using my large toaster oven works well and you don’t heat up your kitchen for a small dish.
  • You can precook everything and just assemble and heat the day of your meal, bring everything to room temp and just do the final heat through it the oven for 10-15 minutes to heat everything through. Leave out the Parmesan cheese from the vegetable saute until you are right about to put on the portobellos, if not it will discolor and be sticky.
  • The amount of vegetables are always negotiable, have more of one thing or another? Cleaning out the fridge? Use what you have on hand.
  • You will probably have some vegetable saute left over, I toss it with scrambled eggs or in an omelet the next day.
  • Dairy-free or vegan? Leave out the cheeses. The vegetable saute may not hold together as well but it will still be delicious!

Quinoa Salad

There are probably a BAZILLION variations of the quinoa salad on the interwebs, here are the parameters for mine. Note I said parameters, use this “recipe” as a way of creating your amazing one-of-a-kind salad! My “go to” set of ingredients include: sun-dried tomatoes in oil, Persian cucumbers, some sort of pepper, carrots, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese. Putting this on a bed of greens makes a lovely salad or in lettuce cups for a pick up salad.

quinoa salad

Ingredients

Cooked quinoa (cooking it in stock makes it tastier but this is optional)

Vegetable options – this is a great time to clean out the fridge or pick up seasonal fresh veggies or anything that just looks yummy, my go tos are: cucumber (I love Persian or English for the crunch), peppers (red, yellow, orange), carrots, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts (marinated is YUM), sun-dried tomatoes in oil, fresh basil

Protein options: feta cheese, marinated mozzarella, garbanzo or cannellini beans, cooked chicken

Dressing: olive oil, acid – red wine, white balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, salt and pepper. I love regular balsamic vinegar but the dark color will make your quinoa look yucky.

Directions (for approx 4 servings)

Into a bowl that will leave you room to mix:

  1. Chop your vegetables into equal bite sized pieces about 2 – 2 1/2 C of vegetables total
  2. Pour a 1/3 – 1/2 C of vinegar or lemon juice over your vegetables
  3. Add 1 to 1-1/2 C of cooked quinoa and stir. Add more quinoa if you feel the ratio doesn’t look right
  4. Add your protein – approximately 1 C and stir
  5. If you used sun-dried tomatoes in oil you may not need to add additional olive oil but if it looks dry add and 1/8 to 1/4 C and stir
  6. Taste, this is the most important part!!!
  7. Tinker – add more vinegar if needed or salt and pepper
  8. Eat at room temperature or chill for a couple of hours then serve

This can also be an amazing warm or room temperature salad using roasted vegetables instead of fresh.