This is a great dish to make with wonderful September tomatoes. I used a blend of my CSA tomatoes with grape as well as Campari tomatoes. It may possibly be my daughter’s (and even my husband’s!) dream salad- loaded with tomatoes, cucumbers, sourdough and fried cheese?!?! It was well received. 🙂
The recipe was inspired by a Greek horiatiki salad and is also similar to an Italian panzanella. Incorporating halloumi cheese makes it hearty enough to serve as a vegetarian main course. This recipe is from The New York Times, contributed by Julia Moskin.
Yield: 6 to 8 as an appetizer or side, 4 to 6 as a main course
For the Croutons:
- 1 pound slightly stale sourdough or country bread, thickly sliced
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
For the Salad:
- 4 to 5 cups cucumber chunks, preferably thin-skinned, such as Kirby or Persian
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 to 3 pounds cherry tomatoes, halved, or ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks (I used a blend of orange cherry, grape, and Campari tomatoes)
- 8 to 12 ounces halloumi cheese
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup excellent quality extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- 2 T thinly sliced red onion or scallions, plus more to taste
- 2 to 3 T coarsely chopped fresh mint or basil
- 2 T red wine vinegar, plus more as needed
To Make the Croutons:
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut each slice of bread into 1-inch-wide strips. Tear each strip into 1-inch pieces, removing the crust as you go if it is very thick.
- Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet (or use 2 sheets, if necessary to prevent crowding). Drizzle with olive oil and toss until evenly coated.
- Bake until golden brown and crunchy on the outside, 10 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet and turning the croutons halfway through so they brown evenly, and checking them every few minutes. (I baked mine for 12 minutes on convection.)
- Taste and adjust the seasoning with a light sprinkling of salt, if needed. Let cool on the baking sheet.
To Make the Salad:
- In a colander in the sink, toss the cucumbers with about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place a bag of ice cubes or an ice pack on top to chill and firm the cucumbers. Let drain while you prepare the other ingredients.
- In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes with about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Slice the halloumi about 1/4-inch thick, then cut into bite-size strips.
- Smash and peel the garlic cloves and combine with 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a measuring cup to steep.
- Pour off excess liquid from the bowl holding the tomatoes. Add drained cucumbers, red onion or scallions, fresh herbs and 2 tablespoons vinegar to tomatoes and toss well.
- Remove and discard the garlic cloves from the extra-virgin olive oil, add the oil to tomatoes and mix well. (If desired, the salad can be made up until this point and refrigerated for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain off excess liquid in the bottom of the bowl before proceeding.)
- When ready to serve, add about half the croutons to the salad and toss so they can absorb the liquid.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt, pepper, extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar.
- Cook the halloumi: Line a plate with paper towels and lightly coat a nonstick skillet with extra-virgin olive oil. Heat oil over medium-high until rippling. Working in batches, cook the halloumi strips on both sides until golden-brown and crusty, about 1 minute per side. Remove to the plate to drain.
- Taste and add more croutons to salad as desired. (If there are too many, the salad will be starchy; too few, and it will be wet.)
- At the last minute, toss in the halloumi, mix gently and serve immediately. (If desired, transfer to a clean bowl or platter for serving.)
Posted in Appetizers, Quick, Salads & Dressings, Sides, Vegetarian
Tags: appetizer, basil, croutons, cucumbers, dinner, Greek, halloumi, horiatiki, Italian, Kirby, lunch, panzanella, Persian, quick, salad, side, side dish, sourdough, summer, tomatoes
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I typically enjoy our amazing Long Island summer corn simply on the cob after boiling it for two minutes in salted water. No butter, no extra salt. It’s perfect. 🙂 But, I must admit that both of these dishes brought sweet corn to another level and were absolute crowd-pleasers.
The first dish, pictured above, is Ina Garten’s Chipotle Parmesan Sweet Corn. It was buttery and indulgent. We ate it as a side with grilled chicken. The second dish, photo below, is Mexican-Style Corn with Citrus Cream. I served it on a separate occasion as an appetizer with tortilla chips.
The Chipotle Parmesan Sweet Corn Recipe is from Ina Garten’s Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks via barefoot contessa.com. The Mexican-Style Corn with Citrus Cream recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. The street corn had more of a spicy kick compared to the buttery chipotle corn.
Ina Garten’s Chipotle Parmesan Sweet Corn
Yield: Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup shallots, halved lengthwise, peeled, and thinly sliced crosswise (3 large shallots)
- 8 cups white or yellow corn kernels (8 to 12 ears) (I used 9)
- 1/4 tsp chipotle chile powder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- freshly squeezed lime juice from 1 lime (about 2 T)
- 1 T freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Standing the cob upright inside the center of a medium to large shallow bowl, cut the corn kernels off of the cobs. (This prevents the kernels from scattering all over the counter.)
- Heat the butter in a large (12-inch) sauté pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the shallots and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender and fragrant.
- Add the corn, chipotle powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.
- Raise the heat to medium high and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally to allow the corn to brown lightly, until the corn is tender but still firm.
- Off the heat, stir in the lime juice and Parmesan.
- Taste for seasonings and transfer to a large shallow serving bowl. Serve hot.
Martha Stewart’s Mexican-Style Corn with Citrus Cream
Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer
- 8 ears corn, husked and silks removed
- 1/2 cup light sour cream
- 1 T fresh lime juice
- pinch or two cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro, or more, to taste
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup crumbled cotija or goat cheese
- tortilla chips, for serving
- Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high. Clean and lightly oil the hot grill.
- Grill the husked corn cobs, turning occasionally, until kernels are tender and charred in spots, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine sour cream, lime juice, cayenne, chili powder, and cilantro in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Cut off the tips of the grilled corn cobs and stand in a wide, shallow bowl. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the cobs.
- Combine the corn kernels with the sour cream mixture.
- To serve, top with the crumbled goat cheese. Serve with tortilla chips for dipping, as desired.
Note: This dish can be served warm or at room temperature
Posted in Appetizers, Grilling, Quick, Recipes, Sides, Vegetarian
Tags: appetizer, chipotle, chipotle chile powder, cilantro, corn, Cotija, dip, goat cheese, grilled corn, Ina Garten, lime, Mexican, parmesan, Parmigiano Reggiano, shallots, side, sour cream, street corn, vegetarian
I have a couple more zucchini recipes to share. I receive a healthy amount of zucchini in my CSA share and I enjoy finding new dishes to make with all of it. I recently roasted a zucchini or two with fresh thyme and CSA onions, then added my special CSA corn (raw), and used it as a calzone filling. Delicious!
I knew that I would really enjoy this wonderful zucchini dish because it incorporates farro and arugula- my favorites. I ate it as a main course but my husband ate it as a side with grilled chicken and roasted potatoes. Everyone was happy. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Sarah Jampel. I roasted the zucchini and increased the amount of arugula. I also decreased the amount of salt and oil and used a combination of basil, predominantly, with parsley, and oregano in the finished dish.
- 1 cup farro
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas
- kosher salt
- 1 pound small zucchini (about 2 medium/small) and/or summer squash, ends trimmed
- 4-6 T olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 T balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup soft, fragrant herbs, such basil, mint, tarragon, or a combination, roughly torn or cut
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 to 4 large handfuls of arugula
- 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Parmigiano Reggiano, for shaving
- Rinse and drain the farro and chickpeas. Add both to a medium pot with 2 large pinches of salt and add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, skim foam from the top, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until farro is tender, about 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, divide your squash haul in half. With one group, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick planks. Reserve the other 1/2 pound for later.
- Place the zucchini planks on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet. Toss with 1 to 2 T olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- In a preheated 425 degree oven, roast the zucchini planks until lightly browned and tender, about 10 minutes per side. (I set my oven to convention roast.)
- Transfer browned zucchini to a shallow dish and, if desired, cut the planks into 2-inch pieces. (I cut mine.)
- In a small bowl, whisk together 4 T olive oil, garlic, vinegar, and half the herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour about half the dressing over the zucchini and let marinate while you finish making the salad. Set remaining dressing aside.
- Use a vegetable peeler to shave the rest of the zucchini into ribbons (here’s the easiest way: lay the zucchini on a cutting board, then drag the peeler across it). If your farro is far from done, you can preserve the zucchini strands by soaking them in cold salt water. Drain and pat dry before using.
- Drain the farro and chickpeas and transfer to a large mixing bowl. (I returned mine to the pot.)
- Toss with the reserved dressing and season with salt and pepper.
- Add arugula, zucchini ribbons, marinated zucchini, lemon juice and Parmesan shavings. Gently toss to combine and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
- Transfer to a serving bowl or platter and top with the remaining herbs and more arugula and Parmesan, as desired.
Posted in Appetizers, Greens, Grilling, Recipes, Sides, Vegetarian
Tags: appetizer, arugula, balsamic vinegar, basil, chickpeas, dinner, farro, garbanzo beans, grilled, mint, oregano, parsley, salad, side, side dish, summer, vegetarian, zucchini
I have a quite a few summer recipes to share. 🙂 I loved this simple salad so much, I had to post it first. I’ve already made it a couple of times! It is composed of many of my seasonal favorites. Bright, fresh, creamy, crunchy and absolutely perfect.
This recipe is from The New York Times, contributed by Lidey Heuck. I used half of the dressing. I made the salad with white peach slices, but it would also be wonderful with sliced nectarines or mango. The author also suggested substituting cherries, strawberries, plums, raspberries or even cherry tomatoes. Lovely.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer or side salad
- 1/4 cup (4 T) pine nuts or walnuts
- 2 to 4 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 to 2 T champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- 2 ripe peaches, pitted and cut into 1/4-inch slices (about 10 ounces)
- 1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves
- 2 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled (about ½ cup), plus more to taste
- In a small sauté pan, toast the pine nuts over medium heat, tossing often, until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. (I used a small cast iron skillet.) Remove from the heat.
- In a small liquid measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. (I used 4 T olive oil and 2 T vinegar but used about half of the dressing on the salad and reserved the remaining dressing.)
- Place the arugula in a large salad bowl. Pour just enough dressing over the greens to moisten, and toss to coat.
- Add the peaches, basil, goat cheese and toasted pine nuts and toss to coat.
- Toss gently and serve immediately.
Posted in Appetizers, Greens, Quick, Recipes, Salads & Dressings, Sides, Vegetarian
Tags: appetizer, arugula, basil, brunch, champagne vinegar, cherries, goat cheese, mango, nectarines, peaches, pine nuts, plums, raspberries, salad, salad dressing, strawberries, summer, walnuts, white wine vinegar
I knew that I had to make this as a special appetizer after seeing it on Chef Mimi’s blog. It sounded so interesting- a baba ghanoush without eggplant or tahini, but with zucchini, yogurt, and Roquefort cheese. The charred zucchini resembled bananas when they were peeled; cooking it this way gave it smokiness.
It may not be absolutely beautiful, but it was absolutely delicious. Ottolenghi describes its appearance as “rather like a volcanic eruption.” 🙂 It was a little bit time-consuming to prepare, but was worth every bit of time and effort.
This recipe was adapted from Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi. I used French whole milk plain yogurt instead of goat’s milk yogurt and used regular chile flakes instead of Urfa chile flakes. I also crumbled the cheese rather than grating it. I definitely plan to make it again- we loved it. Incredible.
Yield: Serves 6 as a starter or as part of a mezze selection
- 5 large zucchini (about 2.75 pounds/1.2 kg)
- 1/3 cup (80 g) plain whole milk yogurt
- 2 T (15 g) coarsely crumbled Roquefort cheese
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 T (15 g) unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 T (20 g) pine nuts
- pinch of chile flakes
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, crushed in a garlic press
- 1/2 tsp za’atar, to finish
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- warm naan, for serving
- Preheat the broiler.
- Place the zucchini on a baking sheet lined with foil and broil for about 45 minutes, turning once or twice during the cooking, until the skin crisps and browns nicely.
- Remove from the oven and, once cool enough to handle, peel off the zucchini skin, discard it, and set the flesh aside in a colander to drain. The zucchini can be served warm or at room temperature.
- Put the yogurt in a small saucepan with the Roquefort and egg. Heat very gently for about 3 minutes, stirring often. You want the yogurt to heat through but not quite reach the simmering point. Set aside and keep warm.
- Melt the butter in a small sauté pan with the pine nuts over low heat and cook, stirring often, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the nuts turn golden brown. Stir in the chile flakes and lemon juice and set aside.
- Put the zucchini in a bowl and add the garlic, a scant 1/2 tsp coarse salt, and a good grind of black pepper. Gently mash everything together with a fork and then spread the mixture out on a large serving platter.
- Spoon the warm yogurt sauce on top, followed by a drizzle of the warm chile butter and the pine nuts.
- Finish with a sprinkle of za’atar and serve at once with warm naan.
One Year Ago: Vegetarian Harira
Two Years Ago: Mushroom Spinach Soup with Middle Eastern Spices
Three Years Ago: Orecchiette with Carrot-Hazelnut Pesto
Four Years Ago: Saffron Pappardelle with Moroccan Spiced Shallot-Butter Sauce and Clams Casino
Five Years Ago: Israeli Couscous with Spinach & Onions
Posted in Appetizers, Holiday, Recipes, Sides, Vegetarian
Tags: appetizer, baba ganouj, baba ganoush, baba ghanoush, blue cheese, Easter, mezze, Middle Eastern, Ottolenghi, pine nuts, Roquefort, side, vegetarian, yogurt, Za'atar, zucchini
The culmination of my daughter’s summer theatre camp involves days of dress rehearsals followed by matinée and evening performances. She absolutely loves it all and it is worth every second, but it was also difficult to prepare and eat dinner during this time. That’s show business, right? 😉
This genius quick, healthy, and filling appetizer turned dinner saved the day the evening of her final performance. The recipe was adapted from Ina Garten via Smitten Kitchen.com. I made my favorite hummus, added arugula, used a peeled CSA cucumber, and substituted red wine vinegar for lemon juice in the dressing. I could eat it all summer long!
- 2 cups prepared hummus
- 2 T olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 1/2 cups (8 ounces or 225 grams) grape tomatoes, quartered, plus more to taste
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, or multiple small cucumbers, unpeeled, chopped
- 1/4 medium red onion, chopped small, optional
- 1 T red wine vinegar or juice of half a lemon
- 1/4 tsp sumac
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, or a mix of parsley, mint, and chives, plus more for garnish
- 2 large handfuls baby arugula, to taste
- warm naan or pita, for serving
- Prepare hummus in a food processor.
- Spread hummus on a large plate with the back of a spoon, creating swirls and cavities. Drizzle it lightly with olive oil, just to freshen it up.
- Mix tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, red wine vinegar/lemon juice, about 2 tablespoons olive oil, sumac, plus salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.
- Stir in herbs.
- Top hummus with arugula. Heap salad on top of the arugula. Finish with additional sumac and/or fresh herbs.
- Serve with warm naan or pita wedges.
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Posted in Appetizers, Quick, Recipes, Salads & Dressings, Vegetarian
Tags: appetizer, arugula, basil, chives, cucumber, grape tomatoes, hummus, Ina Garten, lemon, mint, parsley, red wine vinegar, salad, Smitten Kitchen, sumac, tomatoes, vegan, vegetarian, Za'atar
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