Carrot and Dill Frittata

frittata with carrot and dill
I love my CSA farm share. I could tell you that it’s because the veggies are bountiful and fresh, or because our farmers are lovely and inspiring. But the truth is, it’s mostly because I enjoy the challenge. Anyone who has been part of a CSA knows that feeling of excitement every week when you arrive to pick up your share, wondering what will end up in your bag. I adore the not knowing, the surprise of finding a big purple eggplant or a bunch of fresh herbs or a pile of carrots. But then I get home an I realize that I never used up all those carrots from last week, or even the week before, and now my crisper is overflowing with carrots. And dill. I like dill well enough, but what’s a girl to do with three bunches of fresh dill?

The answer, of course, is to throw it in everything.

So we’ve been having roasted carrots with dill, and salads with a dilly vinaigrette, and carrot soup with a dill oil drizzle. And this morning when I wanted eggs it seemed only natural to add in my staple ingredients of the moment. Surprisingly, carrots and dill and a bit of Swiss cheese make for a truly delicious frittata. The sweet carrots, fragrant dill, and nutty cheese bring the humble egg to a whole new level. I think the trick, though, is not to overcook the carrots. You do want them soft – but not mushy. The bit of bite they lend to the frittata makes it seem heartier, more substantial.

I’ve pretty much worked my way through my stash of carrots, and I only have a small bunch of fresh dill left. We’ll see what next week brings. I’m hoping it’s not more garlic. I have nine heads of fresh garlic in my fridge right now. Anyone have any great garlic ideas?

omelet with carrot

Carrot and Dill Frittata
Serves 1-2

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2 small carrots, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
3 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup grated Swiss cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In an oven-proof 8-inch skillet, melt the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and carrots and sauté until the carrots begin to soften, about 6-7 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat the eggs, milk, dill, salt, an pepper until frothy. Reduce the heat to low and make sure that the carrots are spread evenly in the pan. Then slowly pour in the egg mixture. Shake the pan a bit to distribute the egg. Allow the frittata to cook for 2-3 minutes to let the bottom set. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and transfer to the top rack of the oven. Cook until the egg is set and golden and the cheese has melted. Run a spatula around the edge of the pan and turn the frittata out onto a plate. Slice and enjoy (also yummy cold)!

Published in: on August 10, 2013 at 10:56 am  Comments (8)  
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Roasted Tomato Jalapeno Salsa

roasted tomato salsa
I’m sorry for my infrequent posts these past few months – but I have a good excuse.

Our family is growing! And while I have been feeling pretty good, all things considered, blogging has taken a back seat lately. In the past few months, I haven’t felt much like experimenting in the kitchen. Slightly nauseated and continually tired, my cooking pursuits have been limited to grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches, whole wheat blueberry muffins, and mushroom cheddar omelets.

But all of that has suddenly changed. You see, I think I’ve reached that nesting phase. For most women, I guess nesting means washing baby clothes and hanging mobiles. But not for me. No, in our house Jeff is in charge of decorating the nursery while I obsessively stock our freezer with meals and ingredients to enjoy when we’re too bleary eyed and exhausted to even beat eggs.

Thankfully, our farm share’s bounty is well timed. The tomatoes have started to pour in, along with piles of fresh herbs and loads of garlic. This week, I threw it all in the oven, along with some green jalapeno peppers, and made a big batch of this spicy, smokey salsa. After I was done eating my fill of chips and salsa, I froze the rest. As it happens, cooked salsas actually freeze pretty well and retain their flavor for a few months in the freezer. The texture of the salsa might change when defrosted, but if you stir it well and heat it up again, it is just fine.

This salsa is really easy to make, and works well in all kinds of recipes. I froze most of my batch, and when I defrost it, I’ll probably use it to marinate steak for grilled steak fajitas. Or possibly I’ll toss it with some black beans, whole wheat pasta, and cheddar for a southwest pasta bake. I might even just spoon it into a tortilla with some scrambled eggs for a quick breakfast burrito.

Roasted Tomato Jalapeno Salsa
Makes about 4 cups

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 medium tomatoes, halved
3 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded
1/2 small onion, thickly sliced
4 peeled garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons minced scallion
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with half of the oil. Arrange the tomato halves, jalapeno halves, onion, and garlic cloves on the baking sheet and brush with the remaining oil. Roast the vegetables until the onion begin to brown and the peppers are blistered. Cool slightly. Working in batches, pulse the vegetables in a food processor and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the cilantro, scallions and vinegar. Add salt to taste. Serve right away, refrigerate for a few days, or freeze to use within a few months.

Published in: on July 28, 2013 at 6:32 pm  Comments (2)  
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Fresh and Easy Spring Rolls

asian spring roll veggie
Where did Spring go? I have no idea what happened to the last few months, but all of a sudden, here we are. And this here and now is HOT. Weeks like this make me endlessly thankful for air conditioning. And even though we are enjoying the incredible luxury of central air while our neighbors sweat, I still have no desire to turn on the oven. There is nothing worse than a hot steamy kitchen on a hot steamy day.

So we’ve been eating a lot of spring rolls. This is cooking without cooking, and the results are flavorful, light and fresh – my kind of summer food. And like all my favorite recipes, there is really no recipe here. There is a technique, for sure. But as for the ingredients, well, that’s up to you.

You can pretty much stuff these light little rolls with just about anything that’s in your fridge. The fillings below are merely a suggestion, but I’ve used everything from shredded cooked chicken to pea shoots to fried tofu to Fuji apples. It pretty much all works. In terms of noodles, rice noodles are probably most traditional, and they work well. But I happened to have a box of angel hair pasta in my pantry so that’s what I used yesterday and they were lovely. I’ve also used seaweed noodles and soba noodles. They all are just fine – or you can feel free to leave out the noodles all together.

Be patient with yourself when working with the rice paper wrappers. Try not to overstuff the rolls, and you’ll get the hang of it. And have fun!

thai spring rolls
Fresh Spring Rolls with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce
Makes 25 rolls

2 cups cooked angel hair pasta
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 cup chopped lettuce
1 cup sliced snow peas, cut in long thin strips
1 cup sliced bell pepper, cut in long thin strips
1 cup sliced mango, cut in long thin strips
1/4 cup chopped scallion
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
25 dry rice paper spring roll wrappers (the package will contain many more!)
warm water
2/3 cup bottled sweet chili sauce
1/3 cup soy sauce

Toss the pasta with the oil. Arrange the veggies, mango and herbs on a cutting board so that they are easily accessible. Fill a shallow dish, such as a pie plate, with warm water. Working with just one wrapper at a time, take one rice paper wrapper and soak it in the water until it softens, about 10 seconds. Once it is soft, remove the wrapper from the water and lay it on a flat surface. It may wrinkle a bit, and that’s fine. Place a small bit of pasta, lettuce, snow pea, pepper, mango, scallion, and basil in the center of the wrapper. Fold in the ends and then roll the wrapper closed to seal. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and fillings. Meanwhile, to make the dipping sauce just wisk the chili sauce with the soy sauce. Serve the sauce with the spring rolls. These are best served right away but if you cover them well, they will keep a few hours in the fridge before the wrappers start to get a bit chewy.

Published in: on June 24, 2013 at 5:48 pm  Comments (7)  
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Pina Colada Rice Pudding

brown rice pudding with coconut milk
I think rice pudding is one of those divisive foods. Some people love it, some people hate it.

When I was a kid, every time we went to New York City my mother would take us to her favorite deli. We’d slurp bowls of matzo ball soup, share overstuffed pastrami sandwiches, and then tuck into a creamy bowl of rice pudding. Wolff’s Deli’s rice pudding was cool and sweet, laced with plenty of cinnamon and a generous helping of raisins. Wolff’s served their rice pudding with a swirl of whipped cream on top, but Mom and I would skip the cream, digging down deep in search of plump raisins. My brother would wrinkle his nose and shake his head and pat his pastrami-filled belly. I don’t know if he ever actually tried that rice pudding, but he insisted that he hated it.

Jeff hates it too. But that didn’t stop me from turning a take-out container of leftover brown rice into a sweet, exotic treat. I love cool, cinnamon-scented deli rice pudding. But this week, I wanted something a bit more tropical. Ok, that’s actually not true. The truth is that I just didn’t have any raisins. And along with that leftover rice, I had half a can of coconut milk languishing in my fridge. Basically, my cupboards were almost bare and I was hungry. So pina colada rice pudding was born.

I actually ate this rice pudding warm for breakfast. But I think that it would be lovely either warm or cold, for breakfast or dessert. I had some fancy flavored roasted cashews lying around too, so I sprinkled those on top. I think any toasted nut would be tasty, and give a bit of good crunch. I used a combination of skim milk and coconut milk, but if you are avoiding dairy I think that you could substitute almond milk for the skim milk and the results would be fantastic. I wouldn’t go for all coconut milk since it’s a bit heavy.

pineapple coconut dessert

Pina Colada Rice Pudding
Serves 2-4

1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup low-fat or skim milk
1 cup canned coconut milk (unsweetened)
1/2 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 cup toasted chopped nuts of your choice (for garnish)

In a saucepan, bring the rice, milk, and coconut milk to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the pineapple, vanilla and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. This will take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the type of rice and how long you have left it sitting in your fridge. Serve warm topped with toasted chopped nuts or chill and serve cold topped with toasted chopped nuts.

Published in: on April 23, 2013 at 6:28 pm  Comments (7)  
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Indian Spiced Cauliflower Soup

vegan indian vegetable soup

Almost every year, I succumb to a moment of temporary insanity on December 31st.  I make all sorts of crazy resolutions for the next year. And in the first few weeks of January, those New Year’s resolutions generally hold firm.  I go to the gym, forgo the ice cream, munch on raw broccoli and drag my butt to Pilates class.  But by the third week of the new year, all my good intentions have been waylaid by stressful late nights at the office, snowy winter mornings, movie theatre popcorn with extra butter, and cozy cuddling on the couch.

Let’s be honest.  Am I really going to keep my vow to make it to the gym every single day? Nope. Not likely. And give up ice cream?  Why did I ever want to give up ice cream?  Seriously… what was I thinking?

So I’m trying to bring a little bit of balance to my January.  Healthy, wonderful, delicious food – like this soup.  And a bit of ice cream every now and then too.

This soup is amazingly fragrant, easy to make, and perfect for a cold night.  It actually gets even better the next day, so makes for tasty leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch. I’m not usually an advocate of frozen veggies, but in the case of soup, I’ve found that frozen is usually as good as fresh.  So feel free to use a bag of frozen cauliflower in place of the fresh in this recipe.

I really like good, grainy croutons on top of this soup, and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.  But a handful of toasted sunflower seeds would be lovely too. And adding a sprinkle of finely chopped hard-boiled egg or a big dollop of Greek yogurt would make this soup into a hearty meal (but would, of course, make the dish no longer vegan). Basically, anything goes. Use your imagination, and enjoy!

vegan curried cauliflower soup

Indian Spiced Cauliflower Soup

Serves 4

For the soup:

1 pound fresh cauliflower (about 1 head) chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon coriander

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the toppings:

4 slices whole grain bread, cut in cubes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or any other fresh herbs you have in the fridge)

Steam the cauliflower until very tender.  Meanwhile, in a large pot, saute the onion in oil over medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes.  Add the ginger, garlic and spices and cook, stirring, another 2 minutes.  Add the cauliflower and broth to the pot.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes.  Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor.  I like it to retain a bit  of texture, but you can puree until completely smooth if you prefer. Return the pureed soup to the pot and stir in the almond milk.  Heat until fully warmed through.

Meanwhile, toss the bread cubes with oil, salt and pepper.  Toast under the broiler until golden brown.

To serve, ladle the hot soup into bowls and top with croutons and cilantro.

Published in: on January 21, 2013 at 7:27 pm  Comments (9)  
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Green Tomato Relish

easy green tomato relish

At the end of the season, there always seem to be green tomatoes left clinging to the vine. Over the weekend I went to my mom’s house on the shore to help ‘batten down the hatches’ before the hurricane. During summer, she had the most bountiful tomato plants with the sweetest tomatoes. But with a massive storm surge on the way, it was time to salvage what we could, and say goodbye to the plants.  So I came home with a pile of green tomatoes.

I spent Sunday night cooking up a storm, in preparation for the hurricane. As it turned out, we were extremely lucky and never lost power, but I had baked bread, tossed pasta salad, and made meatloaf. And I began the great  green-tomato-relish-experiment.  Not only had I never made green tomato relish, I had never even tasted green tomato relish.

It turns out that green tomato relish is really easy to make, and also really tasty.  However, after an evening of experimentation I determined that the type of vinegar is really key here.  Although many recipes call for cider vinegar, I really liked my batch with white balsamic best.  Of course, white balsamic is quite sweet, so you don’t need as much sugar as you might see in other green tomato relish recipes.

This relish is tangy and sweet and wonderful on meatloaf.  It also happens to be great on grilled cheese.  And I spooned a bit over my scrambled eggs this morning, which was lovely. Of course, it would be great on a hamburger or hot dog too!

I hope you all made it through the storm safe and sound!

Easy Green Tomato Relish

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups chopped green tomatoes

2 cups white balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup of water

3 tablespoons sugar

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a saucepan, saute the onion, pepper and garlic in oil over medium heat until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, the vinegar, the water and the sugar. Simmer gently over medium heat until most of the liquid has evaporated – about 20 minutes (plus or minus depending on your tomatoes). Add the salt and pepper to taste.  Cool the relish and serve or store in the fridge for up to a week.

Published in: on October 30, 2012 at 6:44 pm  Comments (8)  
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Radish Green and Cashew Pesto

pesto made with radish leaves

Remember in the spring when I made this lovely radish tartine? I was thrilled at the adorable little radishes growing in my garden.   I have long dreamed of a beautiful and fruitful kitchen garden. I always believed that if I ever got to live someplace with a back yard, I would have pounds of squash and bushels of peppers.  But as it turns out, even with that lovely back yard at my disposal, gardening is not an innate talent that I possess.

I’m working on it. With advice from friends, and some trial and error, I may just get that fantasy garden someday. For now, I make do with easy to grow radishes.  Radishes do especially well in cool weather, making them a great fall pick as well as a spring treasure. And at the moment, I have more radishes than I know what to do with.  A lovely problem to have.

I also have more radish greens that I can store in my fridge.  I’m not one to waste food in general, particularly not food I’ve grown in my own garden.  So I’ve been finding all sorts of ways to enjoy these greens, which remind me a bit of watercress. Young radish greens are tender and sweet, and add a nice bite to salads.  More mature radish greens are a bit spicier and a little more woody, and are lovely sautéed with garlic in oil and tossed with pasta. If you are using radish greens from store-bought radishes, just be sure to pick bunches of radishes with the freshest, brightest-looking greens (this will ensure fresh, crisp radishes too).

For this radish green and cashew pesto you can use young greens for a milder flavor, or mature greens for greater intensity. Either way, this is a unique sauce.  Don’t expect this to have any of the subtle sweetness of a traditional basil pesto. No, this pesto is bold and radish-forward.  But it is lovely.  It is wonderful on sandwiches, delicious over grilled fish, tasty tossed with fresh pasta, and fantastic stirred into scrambled eggs.  My favorite way to eat it, though, is spread thickly on a simple piece of whole grain toast.

This pesto will keep for a few days in the fridge, but I do plan to freeze my next batch.  The flavor pop of fresh radish greens will be welcome on a cold day mid-winter, I am sure.

pesto made with garden fresh greens

Radish Green and Cashew Pesto

2 cups loosely packed fresh radish greens

1/2 cup roasted unsalted cashews

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 ounces parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup olive oil

Add the radish greens, cashews, salt, and cheese to the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse to finely chop the nuts and greens. Slowly, with the machine running, drizzle the oil into the bowl.  Continue to process until the mixture is well combined and no chunks remain (stop and scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl as needed). Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Published in: on October 14, 2012 at 2:37 pm  Comments (9)  
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Aleppo Roasted Carrots with Green Garbanzos and Cider-Poached Raisins

carrots green garbanzo beans

Last weekend we were in Vermont for a dear friend’s wedding.  In between a rehearsal dinner of sweet potato coconut pizza, the heart-warming marriage vows, and the after-party bonfire s’mores, Jeff and I managed to squeeze in a visit to the Rutland farmer’s market. A great farmer’s market is a treasure. And hitting a great farmer’s market on a great day in the middle of a great harvest, well, that’s just about as good as it gets.  I’m very lucky that Jeff is ever-willing to help me haul my purchases home, because I couldn’t help myself.  From beautiful pink radishes to tiny jars of picked garlic, to shimmering bottles of sweet icewine, I went a little overboard. But the best purchase of the day was these beautiful multi-colored carrots.

multicolored carrots

I adore roasted carrots.  They are nutty and sweet, and when dusted with Aleppo pepper, just a bit smokey. The combination of sweet root vegetables and subtle Aleppo pepper is addictive. You can serve the Aleppo roasted carrots all by themselves as a great side dish.  But the addition of green garbanzo beans and plump raisins takes this from side dish to meal. I have occasionally been able to find fresh garbanzo beans, but more often they are available frozen.   And if you can’t find Aleppo pepper, you can substitute Spanish paprika to mimic the sweet and smokey flavor.

puprple carrots yellow carrots white carrots

Aleppo Roasted Carrots with Green Garbanzos and Cider-Poached Raisins

Serves 2 as a main course

5 cups chopped carrots

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup frozen green garbanzo beans

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup apple cider

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the carrots with the oil, Aleppo pepper, and salt.  Spread the carrots on a baking sheet and roast until lightly browned at the edges, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, microwave the garbanzos with a few tablespoons of water for 2 minutes, then drain.  Simmer the raisins in the cider until they are very plum, about 5 minutes (you can also do this in the microwave if you prefer, just watch so it doesn’t boil over).  To serve, toss the roasted carrots, garbanzos, and raisins together.  Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if you like.

Published in: on October 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm  Comments (5)  
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Sweet Zucchini Crumble

sweet zucchini raisin crumble

Jeff whines to anyone willing to listen about my habit of sneaking veggies into every dish.  He’s right – I do shove spinach into lasagna, cabbage into potstickers, cauliflower into mac and cheese, sprouts into sandwiches and peppers into quesadillas. Jeff, on the other hand, could go for weeks without consuming so much as a carrot stick.

Over the years he has become amazingly adept at ferreting out even the smallest dice of hidden vegetable. Dinner in our house goes something like this:

Jeff: “There’s fennel in this sauce, I can tell.”

Katie: “Yep.”

Jeff: “I’m not a big fan of fennel”

Katie: “Too bad.”

And on some nights dinner is more like this:

Jeff: “The kale gives this pesto a weird texture”

Katie: “There’s no kale, it’s just basil and oil and nuts and cheese”

Jeff: “Liar”

Katie: “OK, fine, basil and oil and nuts and cheese AND kale.  You win.”

Jeff: “I always win”

So I’ve basically given up on pulling the wool over his eyes.  He has super-human veggie-radar.  But if the veggie-avoiders in your life have a less developed system of vegetable detection, this zucchini crumble is an amazing way to sneak some green into their tummies. While it would never fool Jeff, this sweet zucchini crumble would probably pass for apple crumble with most zucchini haters.

squash crisp Zucchini is amazingly versatile.  From ratatouille to chocolate zucchini bread it works in almost everything.  But until my mother-in-law suggested last weekend that zucchini could take the place of apples in a classic crumble, the idea had never, ever occurred to me. She swore up and down that it would be delicious, but I couldn’t quite imagine it. So, of course, I immediately ran out and bought some zucchini.  Despite my mother-in-law’s proclamation of zucchini crumble wonderfullness, I was fully expecting disaster.

But you know what?  It’s completely freaking delicious!  Who knew? Well, my mother-in-law knew.

It isn’t quite like apple crumble, but it’s close.  In fact, I might even like it better.  The texture of the zucchini here is surprisingly lovely – soft enough to seem decadent but firm enough to stand up to the hearty oat crumble topping. The raisins add an extra burst of sweetness, but if you are feeling experimental, I think dried cranberries might add a nice tart punch. This crumble makes a great dessert served with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.  But I actually have been eating it for breakfast with a dollop of Greek yogurt.  And I don’t even feel guilty about having dessert for breakfast.  After all, I’m getting my veggies!

sweet zucchini crisp

Sweet Zucchini Crumble

Serves 4

3 cups chopped zucchini

1/4 cup raisins

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cold unsalted butter cut in bits

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Grease four individual ramekins.  In a large bowl, toss the zucchini with the raisins, sugar, half of the cinnamon, and the nutmeg. Divide the zucchini mixture among the ramekins. Stir together the oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, and remaining cinnamon.  Add the butter and, using your fingers, rub the butter into the oat mixture until it is mostly incorporated.  The mixture won’t be uniform, and that’s fine. Top the zucchini in each of the four ramekins with a quarter of the oat mixture.  Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and cook for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden and the zucchini is soft.  Serve warm with ice cream, whipped cream, or yogurt.

Published in: on August 29, 2012 at 6:19 pm  Comments (9)  
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Greek Olive Paste

Greek Olive Paste

It doesn’t take long after coming home from vacation for the steady stream of daily to-do’s to wipe out my holiday induced calm. A couple of late nights at work, a family event or two, an overgrown lawn, and I’ve almost forgotten that I ever went to Greece.  Although it’s only been a few weeks, those lazy days on the Aegean sea seem like ages ago. If it weren’t for all of those lovely photos, I’d wonder if we even saw the Acropolis, or explored the mountains of Crete.

Greece Athens Acropolis temple of Athena

Does this happen to you? Does your habitual stress erase your vacation happiness?

In an effort to bring back those calm, sunny holiday hours, Jeff and I have been gravitating towards the food and drink of our vacation.  A tiny cup of Greek coffee in the afternoon, a few honeyed pistachios after dinner.  And most of all, this flavorful olive paste.  At almost every meal in Greece, we were served a big basket of country bread, a little dish of pungent olive oil, and a generous dollop of intense olive paste.  Even Jeff, a proclaimed olive hater, would slather this olive paste over crusty pieces of semolina bread.  Here at home, we’ve been devouring this olive paste as a snack, spread on sandwiches, tossed with grilled vegetables and drizzled over baked chicken.

Greek Olive Paste

In Crete, this olive paste is made with tiny black olives grown locally and used to produce some of the world’s best olive oil.  Here at home, I’ve been using kalamata olives, which give the olive paste a slightly creamier texture, but all in all produce a reasonably close copy of the Cretan staple. If you’re so inclined, it might be fun to experiment with different types of olives in this recipe.

Greek Olive Paste

makes a scant 1/2 cup

1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives

1/4 cup good quality olive oil

1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

pinch of red pepper flakes

pinch of dried oregano

salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until mostly smooth, with a few small bits of olive remaining.  Adjust seasoning to taste.  Serve with crusty bread or alongside grilled meats, on sandwiches, with a cheese plate, or tossed with fresh pasta.  The olive paste is best used right away, but will keep for a couple of days in the fridge in a covered container.

Published in: on June 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm  Comments (5)  
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