To the Farmers Market We Go.

It’s official. I need to live in a warm climate so I can go to the Farmers Market year round. Today I went to the Cherry Creek Farmers Market and was bombarded by vibrant vegetables, pastries, berries, food truck vendors, hatch chiles and so much more. Downside, it was very crowded. I went around 10 a.m., so word to the wise, go as early as you can!

When I was leaving the market, I realized almost everything I was leaving with could be fried. I guess that’s the southern girl in me. Here is a peak of what I walked away with and what’s to come…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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!

Salmon + Arugula Salad.

I love salmon and I love arugula. Put them together and it’s a match made in heaven.

Most say salads are boring. But there are so many options and choices when it comes to making a salad. You can add fruit, nuts, veggies, meat, spices, herbs, oils, lettuce, cheese, etc. The list could go on. With so many options, you could have a different salad every single night. So, explore and experiment. I say there is nothing boring about salad.

Ingredients

  • Arugula
  • Pears
  • Fennel
  • Mint
  • Pine nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Citrus
  • Salmon
  • Roquefort cheese

Directions

Prep the salmon with olive oil, salt and pepper and fennel seed. Bake until cooked. Toast the pine nuts, cook the fennel and cut the pears. For the dressing, zest two lemons, two limes and one large orange. Squeeze the juice from all, add some olive oil an pepper. Put all of the ingredients together and toss. Place the salmon filet on top of the salad.

Bon Apetit!

Panzano.

Reservation #2: Panzano

“Chi mangia bene, viva bene”  — Those who eat well, live well. Those Italians know what they’re talking about when it comes to food, and so does Panzano. Located downtown on the corner of 17th St. and Champa (next to Hotel Monaco), Panzanos atmosphere is classy and accented in red. From white table cloths to red floors and chandeliers, this busy restaurant is a sight for sore eyes. Personally, I have never been to a restaurant in Denver that will offer regular water or sparkling water when you sit down. I have a love for sparkling water, so you can imagine my excitement when this option rolled around. So, here it comes, the four courses…

As you should do at restaurant week, each party eating has to order something different off the menu. That way you each get to try eight different things rather than four. For the first course we ordered Cavolini di Bruxelles (fried brussels sprouts tossed with apple cider vinegar, pistachios and green apples) and Crespelle ai Funghi (hazel dell mushroom stuffed crepes, fonduta sauce, white truffle oil). Both so tempting and pleasing; full of flavor and color. For the second course we went with the traditional and ordered a Caesar (hearts of romaine, anchovies, garlic, parmesan, croutons, crispy capers) and an Insalata Mista (hand picked organic greens, sherry vinaigrette). The third course, the main course, were surprisingly large portions. Panzano went all out. We ordered Rosmarino Tagliatelle (rosemary pasta with cranberries, toasted pine nuts and goat cheese, with a lemon emulsion) and Pollo Val d’Aosta (lightly breaded chicken layered with prosciutto and and fontina cheese over mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach). Both dishes were engaging and divine. There were so many flavors in the dishes but one never overpowered the other. On to the fourth course (as if I could eat anymore), dessert was Cioccolato Cannoli (housemade cannoli filled with gianduia and dark chocolate mousse and a italian dark cherry sauce) and Selezione di Sorbetto (made in house daily and a scoop of passion fruit, raspberry and cassis).

Whew. If there was another course someone would have had to roll me out of the restaurant. With all of that food, nothing disappointed. It was an opulent and robust meal. Delizioso!

Pollo Val d’Aosta

Summer Salad.

Cabbage & Lime Salad with Roasted Peanuts

Recipe adapted from The Lee Bros.: Simple Fresh Southern

Salads are definitely a must during the summer. So, instead of getting bored with a plain old spinach or iceburg salad, why not switch up the menu and make something new and fresh. The Lee Brothers put together a light and refreshing salad to keep summer meals cool and creative.

Cabbage & Lime Salad w/ Roasted Peanuts:

1/2 small red cabbage, trimmed, cored, and shredded (about 6 cups)
1/2 small green cabbage, trimmed, cored, and shredded (about 6 cups)
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 bunch fresh baby spinach, stemmed and cut into 1/2-inch wide ribbons (about 4 cups loosely packed)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from about 2 small limes)
1 tablespoon Dijon or other salty prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, toss the shredded red and green cabbage with the salt. Transfer the cabbage to a colander and let it drain for two hours.

Put the salted, drained cabbage back into your (rinsed and dried) large bowl and add the spinach. In a medium bowl, whisk the lime juice, mustard and cumin together. Add the peanut oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly until the ingredients are thoroughly emulsified. Toss the salad with the dressing and add the roasted peanuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve and Enjoy!