This was a recent meal at our house and even though I accidentally made two “errors” with it, the meal was still delicious. So, I think we’ll call this one both forgiving and versatile.
Error number one was not realizing this recipe made two cake pans worth of polenta (not a big deal as the other polenta is safely in the freezer awaiting a dinner soon) and error number two was baking the polentas in the cake pans. Also not a big deal since, as far as I can tell, it worked out fine. Lessons learned: if you’re just trying to feed two, just make a half recipe of the below and for possibly crispier polenta, turn them out onto a baking sheet. But you know, no big deal.
That all said, the versatility comes in by really being able to top these pizzas with anything you might normally put on a pizza. Mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, lamb sausage, feta — it’s completely adjustable to the season and whatever you’re in the mood for eating!
. . . → Read More: White Polenta with Sausage, Chard and Fresh Mozzarella
Does cinnamon and chicken sound weird? Well, maybe just a little at first (although, probably not as weird as tuna meatballs with cinnamon), but, honestly this chicken dish is so amazing. The chili flakes keep the cinnamon-sugar marinade from becoming too sweet and it all just really seems to work with the juicy, roasted chicken thighs. Plus, when you think about it, just because cinnamon seems to be typically used (at least in the U.S.) in sweeter recipes, the spice itself isn’t sweet at all. It’s paired with lamb all the time. See, not that weird at all.
Also, I seriously love chicken thighs. Even the skinless, boneless ones aren’t bad but the bone-in thighs are just the best, so you can probably imagine how much I enjoyed this meal. This harissa, while I’m not sure how authentic it is, pairs excellently with the chicken. The caraway adds a very unexpected flavor and the roasted bell peppers are all smokey and rich — a flavorful partner for the spicy, cinnamon-y, crispy skin.
On the side we had some cumin roasted carrots (carrots, sliced and tossed with cumin, salt, pepper and olive oil, roasted . . . → Read More: Cinnamon-Roasted Chicken Thighs with Harissa Sauce
Quinoa is one of my favorite grains. I can’t remember when I first tried it — I think maybe a couple of years ago? But ever since that first experience, I’m always looking for new ways to use it. I’m not quite sure what it is but I really like the texture and flavor — soft but still a bit toothsome, but with a slightly nutty flavor.
Tossed with spicy, roasted carrots, pecans, cranberries and peppery arugula, this is a great way to incorporate quinoa. There’s also a good chance that all the spices needed for the spice mix are already in your cabinet so you really don’t have an excuse to not give this a try. It may seem like a lot of work, but after you combine the spices together, you’re basically just using it as a seasoning for roasting the carrots, flavoring the dressing, and mixing in with the final salad.
After I photographed this meal, I got the lightbulb-worthy idea to crumble some feta on top of the salad — you should definitely do that.
Also, we don’t really stick to a Meatless Monday schedule, as we have a lot of . . . → Read More: Perfect for Meatless Monday: Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Salad
The first thing that has to be said about this dish is that this is the absolute go-to buttermilk dressing recipe. Oh my god, who knew dried ginger would bring the awesome so much? The only think I’d do add is maybe a little mayo or plain yogurt to make it a little thicker, but wow, was that delicious!
The next thing I’m going to say is that this was the last of my amazing Prince William Sound Sockeye Salmon from Copper River Salmon.
And finally, this is such a great Summer meal. The salad is nice and cool and there’s really nothing stopping you from making the salmon earlier in the day (when it’s cooler), refrigerating and then serving cool or at room temperature later.
Oh, also, what this salmon dish doesn’t have in looks (not super photogenic, this one), it definitely makes up for in taste. So flavorful!
Herb-Buttermilk-Marinated Salmon with Cucumber Salad
Adapted from a recipe in Fine Cooking Magazine.
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions (about 6 medium scallions)
2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 Tbsp ground ginger
2 . . . → Read More: Herb and Buttermilk Marinated Salmon with Cucumber Salad
This has become sort of a weekly staple over the last…okay, well, only two weeks but I plan to keep making it pretty often. In fact, I am on my second bag of Kamut Berries. Of course, you can also make this with plain old wheat or spelt berries (or even rye berries), but I find Kamut* kind of fun.
It’s very Greek Salad-esque and the kick of cumin goes just perfectly. I quadrupled the olives from the original recipe and added pine nuts.
Feta & Kamut Berry Salad
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine
1 cup kamut, wheat, spelt, or rye berries
5 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1 tbsp red-wine vinegar
1 tsp ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
dried hot red pepper flakes to taste
1 red or orange bell pepper, roasted, peeled and diced
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup pitted brine-cured black olives
1/2 cup diced, seedless cucumber
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup mixed minced fresh herbs such as parsley, mint, and dill
Cook the wheat berries in boiling salted water cook the wheat berries for 40-60 minutes, or until they are tender, and drain. I used Kamut Berries and pre-soaked mine overnight, so I . . . → Read More: Feta & Kamut Berry Salad