Monday, July 26, 2010

Fresh Corn Salad with Basil
(with thanks to the Barefoot Contessa)

This salad is simple and delicious.

5 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves


In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3 minutes until the starchiness is just gone. Drain and immerse it in ice water to stop the cooking and to set the color. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob.

Toss the kernels in a large bowl with the red onions, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Potato Rosemary Foccacia

Inspired by a Log Lunch recipe, adapted from Gourmet 1990 via Epicurious. I made this for a dinner at Alexis' house with her mom and it was a big hit!

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose and/or bread flour
2 cups mashed cooked russet potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 tablespoon salt
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary (dried is ok too)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 pounds small red or purple potatoes

1. In a small bowl sprinkle the yeast over 1 cup warm water and let it proof for 5 minutes, or until foamy.

2. In a large bowl combine 4 cups of flour with the mashed potatoes and the salt until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the yeast mixture, and stir the dough until it is combined well.

3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it, incorporating as much of the remaining 1/2 cup flour as necessary to prevent it from sticking, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball, put it in an oiled bowl, and turn it to coat it with the oil. Let the dough rise, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled.

4. While the dough is rising, in a small bowl stir together the garlic, the rosemary, and the oil and let the mixture stand, covered.

5. Turn the dough out into an oiled 15 1/2- x 10 1/2-inch jelly-roll pan, press it evenly into the pan, and let it rise, covered loosely, in a warm place for 30-45 minutes, or until it is almost double in bulk.

6. Using a mandoline or hand-held slicer cut the small potatoes into paper-thin slices, arrange the slices on the dough, overlapping them, and brush them with the oil mixture, discarding the garlic. Sprinkle the focaccia with salt and pepper to taste.

7. Bake it in the bottom third of a preheated 400°F. oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until it is golden. Let the focaccia cool in the pan on a rack and serve it fresh out of the oven!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Arugula Pesto

What to do with two bunches of arugula from the Farmer's Market? Make arugula pesto, or course! This easy and delicious recipe is adapted from Andrea Chesman's book, "Serving Up the Harvest."

8 cups arugula leaves, washed and trimmed
1/2 cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the arugula and blanch until wilted, about 30 seconds. Remove the arugula with tongs and transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Let cool, then drain, squeezing out as much moisture as possible. If you're making pasta, you can use this water to cook it!

2. Chop the pine nuts and garlic in a food processor. Transfer the arugula to the food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the oil and parmesan and process until the mixture has the consistency of a thick paste. Add a little bit of water or more oil if you want to thin it out. Transfer to a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

My favorite way to eat this is with whole wheat pasta and halved cherry tomatoes - yum!