Farro Salad with Endive, Blueberries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese + 5 Summer Salad Links

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If you are looking for another go-to summer salad, this is it.  Fresh blueberries and sliced endive come together with toasted almonds and hearty farro to make this not just a salad but a perfect summer meal.  The shallot vinaigrette is bright and compliments the earthy farro and sweet blueberries.  Fresh goat cheese and thinly sliced chives top this salad stunner adding a little creaminess and a bit of zing.  America’s Test Kitchen does it again.  If you haven’t ordered a copy of Vegetables Illustrated I encourage you to do so today!

Farro and Endive Salad with Blueberries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese

Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated Vegetables Illustrated

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

1+ 1/2 cups cooked farro

Sea salt and pepper

2 tablespoons champagne vinegar

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 heads of Belgian endive, about 4 ounces each, cut in half, cored, and thinly sliced cross-wide

1+1/2 cups blueberries

¾ cup toasted slivered almonds

1 cup crumbled goat cheese

Directions:

Cook farro according to package instructions.  Drain, rinse with cold water, drain, and set aside.  Toast almonds in a dry pan over low heat until fragrant and light brown.  Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together vinegar, shallot, chives, mustard, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and continue to whisk.  Add drained farro, endive, blueberries, and almonds.  Toss to combine.  Next, season to taste with sea salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with goat cheese.  Serve and enjoy!  This salad makes excellent leftovers for lunch!

5 Summer Salad Links

Looking for a new Caprese salad to add to your collection?  Check out Brooklyn Supper’s shaved fennel and cherry bing Caprese salad.

Summer screams watermelon.  Why not try it in a salad with a little feta and mint?  Head to One-Pot Recipes blog for this one-pot recipe!

Take advantage of fresh corn season and make Kickass Baker’s avocado corn salad with white balsamic honey reduction.

Fruit salad is a welcome addition to any summer gathering.  Head to Bloglovin’ for a list of 5 fast and fancy fruit salads that are sure to be crowd-pleasers.

Israeli couscous salad with pickled shallots, peas, and feta is a must make every summer.  It’s also one of the most popular recipes on this blog.  Check it out!  I promise it will not disappoint!

Classic Spinach & Artichoke Dip + 5 Dips for the Superbowl!

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I traveled 2,464 miles in 48 hours.  With linked hands we cried and said goodbye to my grandfather, and later, with those same hands held high, we toasted his long, beautiful life.  He was loved and he will be missed.  Loved and missed, all any of us hope for when we leave this world.

Boston to Ft. Meyers to Venice and back again.  I am tired, bone tired, but I tuck the kids in, kiss their sweet cheeks and say good-night.  Later, I’ll rest my weary head on Bubba’s shoulder and close my eyes, grateful he is once again next to me.

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Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Loaded with spinach and artichokes and made a bit lighter with Greek yogurt and 1/3 less fat cream cheese, this classic party dip is sure to be a hit!

Makes about 5 1/2 cups

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light September 2007

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

1/2 cup whole Greek yogurt

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon +  a pinch more of garlic powder

1 can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1 (8 ounce) block 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened

1 (8 ounce) block full fat cream cheese, softened

1/2 (10 ounce) package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry

Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips or grilled baguette

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350F.  Using a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese, Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and the rest of the ingredients until well combined.  Spoon and spread mixture into 1.5 quart baking dish and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.  Place on center rack in your oven and bake for about 35 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.  This may take an additional 5 minutes depending on your oven.  Serve warm, with pita chips, tortilla chips or grilled baguette.  Enjoy!

5 Can’t Miss Superbowl Dips!

Love sour cream and onion dip?  Skip the store-bought versions and make your own for the big game!  Head to Alexandra’s Kitchen for her delicious recipe.

Bacon fans coming over tomorrow? Woo them with Taste and Tell’s bacon and horseradish dip.

If you love brie, you must make Spoon Fork Bacon’s basic brie dip.  Yum!

Hummus lovers head to Smitten Kitchen for Deb’s ethereally smooth hummus! Ethereally. Smooth. Hummus.  I gotta check this out soon!

Head here for my tried and true, never fail, always yummy guacamole.  Enjoy!

Easy Turkey Chili + My Favorite Corn Bread Recipe

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Do you love chili season? Yes? Great! I have two recipes to share with you today: my favorite chili and cornbread recipe. The chili recipe I now consider my creation. I took a basic Whole Foods recipe and added a couple of twists and turns. The end result is a spicy, sweet and comforting chili that is easy to make and healthy for you! My cornbread recipe comes from The Silver Palate Cookbook. If you don’t own this cookbook run out and buy it now! This is a classic that should be part of any home cooks’ library. The cornbread is slightly sweet and has moist tender crumb. Also, it calls for bacon which you can omit if you choose. Either way you will have a crowd pleasing cornbread to enjoy.

Lets start with my chili recipe. Chili is so versatile. Really you can add anything to a basic chili recipe and it will probably taste good. My recipe includes corn, a red pepper, ground turkey, beer and beans, but I think the key to any good chili is good chili powder. I bought a small jar of homemade chili powder from Formaggio Kitchen in Boston’s South End. This chili powder is spicy and smoky. Without sounding too ridiculous now; it adds a nice depth of flavor. I’m not kidding. I can taste the smokiness and the spice is there, but it is not too overwhelming. Typically, I use McCormick’s chili powder with good results but this chili powder was something special. _KH5I add 3 tablespoons of chili powder because I like my chili with a little kick. If you prefer a less spice, only add 2 tablespoons of chili powder.

_KH19After I cook the onions and garlic and brown the meat; I add a jar of diced tomatoes, a bottle of beer and the spices. The corn, beans and red pepper go in last. Then it simmers for a half hour. I find it best to cook this chili a day ahead because the flavors really meld together. If you can’t wait, don’t worry, the chili will still taste fantastic!

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While the chili simmers, I make my favorite cornbread. This time I made, cornbread muffins. The recipe will make 10 muffins or 1 9×9 pan of cornbread. Note: If you make the chili a day ahead, I would make the cornbread the same day you serve the chili. Cornbread tastes best the day it is made. If you need to make it in advance, reheat it cover in aluminum foil for 10 minutes at 350.

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Yummy!

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Once the chili is ready and the cornbread is cooling; it is time to chop up some toppings. I like avocado slices, green onion, thinly sliced radishes and cheddar cheese. A dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt will also taste good._KH84Here I added green onions, grated cheddar cheese and thinly sliced radishes. I ran out of avocados. Next time! After all it is chili season, Bubba’s favorite food season which means lots of chili from now until spring! Enjoy this recipe with a cold beer on a cool fall day. Save the leftovers over for lunch or double the recipe and freeze for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Kelly’s Turkey Chili

recipe adapted from Whole Foods Turkey Chili

serves 4-6 (4 with leftovers, 6 with none)

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 lb ground turkey (dark meat is best)

1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes with juice

2 cups good beer ( I typically use a good IPA or Pale Ale)

2-3 Tbsp. chili powder (2 if you like it less spicy)

2 tsp ground cumin

just a pinch of red pepper flakes (omit if you don’t want some heat)

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

2 bay leaves

1 1/2 cups of cooked kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can of corn, drained or 2 ears of fresh corn, kernels removed

1 red pepper, chopped

Kosher Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Directions:

In a heavy large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic. Add a bit of kosher salt and ground pepper and cook, stirring often until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 10 minutes. Add ground turkey and brown it, breaking it apart with the back of spoon as it cooks.

Add tomatoes, beer, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, bay leaves and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

Add beans, corn, chopped red pepper and simmer for 15 minutes longer to blend flavors. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper. Remove bay leaves and serve immediately with desired toppings and cornbread or your favorite crusty bread. I suggest making it a day ahead to let the flavors blend together. This chili freezes well so make a double batch and freeze the leftovers! Enjoy!

My Favorite Cornbread

Recipe from Silver Palate Cookbook Crackling Cornbread

Makes 9 squares or 10 muffins

Ingredients:

1 cups stone ground cornmeal

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

21/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 cup buttermilk

6 tbsp. of unsalted butter, melted

1 egg, gently beaten

Optional: 1 cup diced, cooked bacon

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 400. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners or grease with butter a 9×9 square baking pan.

Stir together, cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Then gently stir in buttermilk, melted butter and slightly beaten egg. Add bacon at this time if you are using it.

Pour batter into muffin cups or 9×9 pan. Place on middle rack in oven and bake for about 20 minutes if making muffins or 25 minutes if making bread. Cornbread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center is clean and the edges are a light golden brown. Cool bread in pan on wire rack or cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes on wire rack and then turn out on wire rack to cool completely. Serve warm with lots of butter!

Sweet Corn Soup

_KH10026I love soup in the summertime, especially corn soup. The corn from our farm share is extra sweet now so I decided to make Alice Water’s Sweet Corn Soup. Bubba requested the soup after the excessive heat finally let up. 80 degrees with no humidity felt cool compared to what we just dealt with the past few weeks. I served the soup at room temperature with a salad and crusty bread from our local bakery. The perfect summer meal. Our almost 3-year-old gave it a shot and liked it, but our daughter refused. I wasn’t shocked. I hope her picky stage will end soon!

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The only tweak I made to her recipe is saving the shucked corn cobs and adding them to the broth when the soup is simmering. The cobs added additional corn flavor.

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After the soup simmers for a bit, remove the cobs and puree the soup in small batches in a blender.  You can serve it warm or at room temperature but I bet it tastes good cold as well. As long as you have sweet corn, this soup won’t disappoint you.

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Sweet Corn Soup

barely adapted from Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food

Ingredients

4 Tbsp butter

1 onion, diced

Kosher Salt

5 ears of sweet corn

1 quart of water (4 cups)

Toppings

Crème fraiche (optional) seasoned with savory herbs, salt and pepper

Chives or Scallions (optional)

Directions

Shuck the corn and cut the kernels from the cobs. Set the kernels and cobs aside.

Melt 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, season with salt + pepper and cook until soft about 15 minutes. Do not let the onion brown. Add the kernels to the onions and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Cover with 1 quart of water (4 cups). Add the cobs and bring to a boil. After it reaches a boil, lower the heat to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree the soup in small batches. (Be careful when blending hot soup in a blender. Be sure there is an air vent to allow the steam to escape.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add suggested toppings if desired and enjoy!