Grilled Corn Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette.

It’s a good thing I like to cook. I’m at the point where I can no longer not contribute to gatherings, even family gatherings. I must contribute now. I’ve always been one to want to contribute, or at least help cook. This Easter I was in charge of a side. I decided to make something light and summery. Grilled corn is definitely a summer staple in my book. So, a grilled corn salad it was. Now, I would love to say I came up with this recipe on my own. Not to say this isn’t the type of recipe I would make anyways, but (as much as I hate to admit it) I found this particular recipe on Pinterest (Authentic Suburban Gourmet).

Everyone loved this salad. It was crisp, light and refreshing. The only thing I would have done differently would have been to add fewer red onions. I found myself tasting onion all day, which isn’t always bad, but not always desirable. I ate on this the rest of the week and it remained just as delicious as the day I made it.

Avocado and Grilled Corn Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

5 Ears Corn, husk removed, brush with olive oil and grilled, remove corn with sharp knife
2 Avocado’s, diced and sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning
2 C. Tomatoes, red and yellow cherry variety or equivalent
1 Small red onion, finely diced
¾ C. Feta, crumbled
1 ½ C. English cucumber, skin on and chopped small dice

Add to a large bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Cilantro Vinaigrette

6 T. Olive oil

2 T. Sherry vinegar
1 t. Garlic powder
2 T. Fresh cilantro, minced
½ t. Salt
10 Grinds of fresh ground pepper

When you are ready to serve, toss the vinaigrette with the salad.

I would like to thank my brother for the amazing pictures. I am very jealous of his new camera. A camera will definitely be my next big purchase!

Eggplant Rollatini.

So, I have entered a contest. Giada is having a photo contest. Step one, make one of her recipes. Step two, take a photo of the recipe. Step three, submit the photo and (this is where you come in) have as many people vote as possible! If I win, I could become famous. I’m just saying. Think about it.

Click here to vote for me!

I made Giada’s Eggplant Rollatini. I have never made this before but am so glad I discovered it! This dish is colorful and bursting with flavor. It’s a perfect Italian dish that does not involve a noodle or meat. I would recommend this for all. It may seem like a lot of steps, but is actually pretty easy to put together.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium-sized eggplants (about 4 pounds total)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Can vegetable spray
  • 32 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 8 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 20 basil leaves, chiffonaded
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 2 cups fresh tomato sauce, recipe follows

Directions

Preheat the grill pan and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place a rack over a large baking sheet. Cut the 2 ends off the eggplant. Cut the eggplants lengthwise, into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange eggplant slices onto rack. Sprinkle with sea salt to help remove excess moisture and any bitterness from the eggplants. Set aside for about 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse off the salt from the eggplants and pat dry with a towel. Spray hot grill pan liberally with vegetable spray and then place eggplant slices on the grill until lightly browned on each side and tender, about 4 minutes per side. Remove slices from the grill pan and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until lightly scrambled. Mix the ricotta in with the egg. Add mozzarella, 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts and gently combine. Fold in basil just to combine. Do not overmix.

Place a tablespoon of the cheese mixture on 1 end of the eggplant and roll up tightly. Place the eggplant rollatini into a greased (with olive oil) 13 by 9-inch baking dish, seam side down. Continue with remaining eggplant. Evenly distribute the tomato sauce on top of the eggplant rollatini. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 5 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and bake for 15 minutes. When cooked, drizzle the top with extra-virgin olive oil.

Simple Tomato Sauce

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and bay leaves and simmer uncovered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.

Add 1/2 the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.

If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Grilled Tilapia with Mango-Avocado Salsa.

With summer upon us, it’s time to start taking food outside and throwing it on the grill. Being in Denver, it’s difficult for me to want to trek out into the snow in order to throw something on the grill. For the winter being, the oven or stove will make do.

Nice grill lines on the fish and the avocado and mango make for a perfect summer dish. It’s flavorful and healthy. With bursts of mango, lime and avocado, you might think you have been transplanted to a beach (I wish!). Beach or no beach, i’ll take what I can get. And I will take this dish for dinner any night of the week!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 1 medium ripe mango, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 large fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 6-ounce halibut or mahi-mahi fillets
  • 4 lime wedges

Preparation

  • Prepare a grill to medium-high heat. Gently combine the avocado, mango, tomatoes, basil, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in a large mixing bowl. Season salsa to taste with salt and pepper and set aside at room temperature, gently tossing occasionally.
  • Place fish fillets in a 13x9x2″ glass baking dish. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoon oil and 2 tablespoon lime juice over. Season fish with salt and pepper. Let marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes, turning fish occasionally.
  • Brush grill rack with oil. Grill fish until just opaque in center, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plates. Spoon mango-avocado salsa over fish. Squeeze a lime wedge over each and serve.

 


Fennel & Orange Salad.

Happy Memorial Day. With that said, summer has crept upon us. Hot weather, sun, grilling and fresh food.

One of my favorite foods is fennel. I love the crisp, black licorice taste of it. It’s a great addition to any dish. Salads are always a good side to any grilled meal. The black licorice taste of fennel and citrusy orange compliment each other perfectly. This is a recipe that would accompany grilled fish or chicken perfectly.

Ingredients

  • Fennel
  • Orange
  • Lime
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Almonds (Optional)
Directions
  • Cut the fennel into two pieces. Place on the grill for a short time until grill marks appear. Zest one orange and then cut the orange into segments. Zest one lime and squeeze the juice into a bowl. Add the dijon mustard to the orange and lime zest and lime juice. While whisking together add olive oil to make a dressing. Combine the fennel, orange segments and almonds together. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss together. Add salt and pepper.
Enjoy!