Garlic Scape Hummus and the Best Ever Pita Chips

Garlic Scape Hummus

What is growing in your garden this year?  One of the things I am picking is garlic scape (those cool green spiral thingies that grow out of your garlic plant pictured above).  I am also picking sugar and snap peas and radishes.

Grow garden …grow

Cher's Garden

If you are growing garlic don’t miss out on picking these garlic scapes.  Garlic scape are milder in taste than garlic and are awesome stir fried in a pan with other vegetables, made into garlic scape pesto, or as I just discovered, made into Garlic Scape Hummus.

Garlic Scape Humus

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup chopped garlic scapes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon sea salt
Ground black pepper (to taste)
1 can (15-ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
¼ cup olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

1. In the bowl of a food processor, process the garlic scapes, lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper until finely chopped, scraping the sides as needed.

2. Add the chickpeas and process to a rough puree (the chickpeas will be just about completely mashed).

3. With the machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil and process until smooth. Check the consistency; if it is still thick and paste-like, you can add 2 or 3 tablespoons of water to thin it out a bit. Taste, and add more salt and pepper, if desired. Serve with your favorite vegetables, pita chips, etc.

Now don’t say I didn’t warn you … if you make these home-made pita chips you will never ever buy them in the store again.  You will tell yourself  “I’m only going to have one more” … after having had about 10… they are that good and super easy.

Homemade Pita Chips
Ingredients
3 pitas, cut into 8 wedges
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, smashed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions
Preheat heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut pitas into 8 wedges. Pour olive oil into a bowl and add garlic, salt and pepper. Brush pita chips olive oil and garlic mixture. Arrange pita chips on baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of The Neelys – FoodNetwork

Advertisements

Moroccan Grilled Lamb Kabobs and Orange Couscous

Grilled Lamb Kabobs

Be prepared for a taste sensation.  I never expected this flavor explosion as I took my first bite … this one is a keeper!  ENJOY!

Moroccan Lamb Kabobs with Orange Couscous

Serving Size = 2 – 3

  • About 2 lbs leg of lamb, fat removed
  • 2 onions, cut into big pieces
  • 4 metal skewers
  • (optional: 1 bell pepper, cut into large pieces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (Hungarian sweet)
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1/8 teaspoon or so of cinnamon
  • Pinch of allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup of oil (extra virgin olive oil)

Orange Couscous
Serving Size = 3 – 4

  • 1 box of couscous
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • Salt, pinch

Grilled Lamb Kabobs

  1. Cut lamb into about 2-inch pieces. Chop the onion and bell pepper (optional) into roughly the same size. Mix together the next 13 ingredients (shouldn’t be as thick as a paste, but don’t make it too runny either) and then pour over the lamb. Massage into the meat and set aside for about an hour (I’ve cooked immediately though and it still works). I leave it out of the fridge because I want the lamb to come up to about room temperature.
  2. Take the skewers and start with a piece of onion, a piece of bell pepper if you’re using it, a piece of lamb, then onion again and so on. I place an onion on the end when done.
  3. Heat the outdoor grill over medium high and cook to desired doneness (roughly 10 – 15 minutes). Remember to turn it to cook all sides.
  4. Start the couscous by bringing the orange juice, water, salt, and cilantro to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover and remove from heat. Leave for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. It’s now ready to serve.

Source:  Elsacooks.com

Grilled Lamb Kabobs

Steak Tacos and Just Like Chipotle’s Corn Salsa

Steak Tacos and Corn Salsa (2)

I have to admit it … I’m addicted to Chipotle!  I typically do not like “chain restaurants” (does that make me a food snob?) with the exception of Chipotle.  Their food is fresh, good and addictive.  If you don’t have Chipotle near you or you want to make a good steak taco and corn salsa at home then try this recipe.  The corn salsa tastes almost exactly like Chipotle’s!  ENJOY!

Chipotle Mexican Grill’s Ancho Chile Marinade

Ingredients

  • 2 oz dried ancho chiles or dried pepper of choice
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbs fresh oregano, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 red onion, quartered
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 cuts of meat of choice, such as chicken or steak

Directions

  • Soak dry chiles in water overnight or until soft. Discard water. Remove seeds.
  • Add all ingredients except meat in food processor. Puree until smooth.
  • Spread mixture over meat and refrigerate at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours.
  • Heat grill to about 400 degrees, or if cooking inside heat small amount of oil in skillet or grill pan over high heat. Salt meat to taste. Grill meat about 4 minutes per side, depending upon thickness, until done.
  • Serve with rice, black beans or choice of side dish. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Or serve in a burrito.

Source:  Huffingtonpost.com

Just Like Chipotle’s Corn Salsa

makes a big bowl

  • 6 ears of corn
  • 2 medium-sized jalapeno, seeded and chopped (leave in some seeds for more heat if desired)
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, torn or chopped
  • the juice of 2 (juicy!) limes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix, mix, mix. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Add more cilantro, jalapeno or lime according to your tastes!

Source:  Howsweetitis.com

Steak Tacos and Corn Salsa

Pomegranates are here – Pomegranate Rice

Pomegranate Rice

I was so happy to see pomegranates in the stores this past week – Those beautiful little red gems that just burst in your mouth and are loaded with everything good for you.

In case you don’t know pomegranates are:

“Pomegranates are a SUPERfood!

 Pomegranates are a new superfood:  They are high in vitamin C and potassium, a great source of fiber, and low in calories. Not only delicious, pomegranates are one of the healthiest foods you can eat!

Pomegranate juice is high in three different types of polyphenols, a potent form of antioxidants. The three types – tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid – are present in many fruits, but fresh pomegranate juice contains particularly high amounts of all three.” taken from  pomegranates.org.  This web site has a lot of information about pomegranates … how to remove the seed, history of pomegranates. recipes and more. Another great super food to love!

Not only is this rice visually beautifully, but what a taste treat!  Enjoy!

Pomegranate RIce

Ingredients

  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup jasmine or long grain white rice
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 14 ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup roasted sliced almonds
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • Lemon peel strips
Pomegranate RiceDirections
1.In large saucepan cook shallots in hot oil over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes or just until tender, stirring occasionally. Add rice, ginger, and cinnamon. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until rice begins to brown.2.Carefully add broth and water to rice. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 14 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, 10 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.3.Stir in nuts and pomegranate seeds. Sprinkle lemon peel. Makes 6 to 8 servings.slightly adapted from bhg.comPomegranate RIce

Tomato Love – Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella

Grilled Portobello with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Do you love fresh garden tomatoes and are you looking for a great new recipe to use them?  You’ve found the right recipe.  This is one of my favorite ways to prepare grilled portobello mushrooms.  It reminds me of a caprese salad on top of a grilled portobello; the flavors are fresh and compliment the grilled portobello.  I think next time I will even try a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for greasing grill pan
  • 4 large portobello mushrooms (about 5 inches in diameter), stemmed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 small to medium sized vine ripened tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces fresh water-packed mozzarella, drained, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Directions

Prepare the barbecue (medium-high heat).

Drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil over both sides of the mushrooms. Sprinkle the mushrooms with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil on grill pan to prevent mushrooms from sticking. Grill until the mushrooms are heated through and tender, about 5 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, whisk the extra-virgin olive oil and garlic in a medium bowl to blend. Add the tomatoes, cheese, and basil and toss to coat. Season the tomato salad, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Place 1 hot grilled mushroom gill side up on each of 4 plates. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper. Spoon the tomato salad atop the mushrooms, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil to finish, about 1 tablespoon and serve.

Source:  Foodnetwork.com  – Recipe Courtesy of Giada De Laurentis

Grilled Portobello with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Now Harvesting Dragon Tongue Beans and a Recipe for Roasted Fingerling and Tomato Salad with Green Beans and Arugula

Dragon Tongue Beans

Dragon Tongue Beans … not only do they have a cool name, they are colored pretty green and purple beans.  Never one to settle for the ordinary I seek out new and unusual vegetables to grow in my garden.  Dragon Tongue Beans turned out to be a winner for me! I ordered these from rareseeds.com.  Their description of these beans:  “This famous Dutch heirloom bean has an incomparable flavor. The tender and superbly delicious 7-inch pods are yellow, with amazing purple streaks! Also makes a tasty shelled bean. Popular with chefs and gourmets. Compact plants set high yields.”  They have great flavor and are now my favorite bean next to Edamame.  Once cooked, sadly they loose their pretty purple color and turn lime green, but loose none of their delicious flavor.  In reading the reviews I saw many people enjoyed them raw.  I think I need to go to the garden and try them right off the plant!

Beans this good deserved an equally good recipe.  Green beans would work just as well if you are unable to find Dragon Tongue Beans.  I used a mix of green beans and dragon tongue beans.  I tried this salad warm and tried the leftovers cold.   Both ways were good but I actually enjoyed it more cold – it’s a matter of preference.  Try it yourself and see which you prefer.  ENJOY!

Dragon Bean, Arugula and Tomato and Roasted Fingerling Salad

Roasted Fingerling and Tomato Salad with Green Beans and Arugula (*Note:  I drastically reduced the amount of olive oil from the original recipe and I think next time I may reduce it even more.)

INGREDIENTS

5 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil*
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 pounds Russian banana fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
4 stems fresh thyme
1/2 shallot, minced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 ounces green beans
2 cups baby arugula

COOK’S NOTE

To ensure maximum flavor, toss potatoes with dressing while they’re still warm.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make the salad: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Puree garlic and oil in a blender until smooth. Toss with potatoes, tomatoes, and thyme on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until potatoes are golden and tender, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  2. Prepare an ice-water bath. Cook green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until bright green and just tender. Transfer to ice-water bath. When cool, drain beans in a colander
  3. Make the dressing: Combine vinegar, mustard, thyme, and shallot in a small bowl. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified.
  4. Toss potato mixture, beans, and arugula with dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Source:  Slightly adapted from:   Marthastewart.com
Roasted Fingerling and Tomato, Dragon Tongue Beans and Arugula Salad

Grilled Polenta with Tomato Relish

It is still February and cold here in NE Ohio but already I’m starting to get spring fever!  I can hardly wait to start my garden and taste fresh hand-picked tomatoes.  This is a summer inspired side, but it is still good in the winter, especially when you’re feeling a case of spring fever coming on.  Go ahead ….pretend it’s summer.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cups water
  • 1tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 small red tomatoes, cut into wedges and seeded
  • 3 small green tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tequila or orange juice
  • 1 – 3 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 1teaspoon chili powder
  • Olive oil

Preparation:

1.Line a 9-inch round baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges. Grease foil; set aside. In a medium saucepan bring the 1-2/3 cups water, butter, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boiling.

2. Meanwhile, in small bowl stir together cornmeal, 1 cup cold water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Slowly add moistened cornmeal mixture to boiling water, stirring constantly. Cook and stir just until mixture returns to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cook, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until mixture is very thick, stirring occasionally. Evenly spread the cornmeal mixture in prepared pan. Cool; refrigerate, covered, for 3 to 24 hours.

3. For the Tomato Relish: In a large bowl combine the red tomatoes, green tomatoes, 1 tablespoon olive oil, tequila, 1 to 3 teaspoons brown sugar, and chili powder. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.

4. Using foil lift cornmeal mixture from pan and gently cut into 8 wedges. Generously brush wedges with additional olive oil and grill directly over medium-hot coals for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden, turning as needed to brown evenly. (To prepare indoors, in a 12-inch skillet heat wedges in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden, turning occasionally.)

5. To serve, layer 2 grilled polenta wedges with tomato mixture on each plate. Spoon any of the Tomato Relish mixture over all. Makes 4 side-dish servings.

Source:  BHG.com