Seared Scallops with Braised Cauliflower

9 09 2014

Top braised cauliflower with quick seared mini scallops for a fast and healthy weeknight meal. Loaded with flavor and super easy to make!

Seared Scallops with Braised Cauliflower

The following serves 3 (compliments of Lidia Bastianich and This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • Dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 5 large Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1-2 Tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
  • 12 oz frozen mini scallops, thawed and patted dry
  • Ground black pepper
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

Heat 3 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add 4 cloves of minced garlic, and let it sizzle for a minute or two, stirring. Toss the cauliflower and stir to coat with the oil. Deglaze with a splash of dry white wine.

Add the olives, oregano, salt and red pepper flakes and stir. Next add the tomatoes and their juices, along with the capers. Bring the cauliflower/sauce to a rapid simmer. Cover, and cook 10 minutes. Uncover, and simmer until the cauliflower is tender and the sauce has thickened, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Right before you’re ready to serve, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil in a medium-large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add dry scallops and sear for 4-5 minutes, constantly tossing the scallops in the garlic oil. Remove from heat and season lightly with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve immediately.

Garnish cauliflower with a good handful of chopped parsley. To serve, dish out the cauliflower, top with a little parmesan cheese and finish with scallops and some of the garlic oil they were cooked in.





Fennel, Orange and Kalamata Olive Salad

4 08 2014

I’m not much of a fennel fan, but I really enjoy it in this dish! I had this salad at a party this summer and knew I’d replicate it once we got fennel in our Fresh Fork Market grab bag. And this past week we did….so, here’s the yummy salad! Fresh, delicious and crunchy, this salad is great as a side dish for dinner, or is a perfect addition to your picnic fare.

Fennel, Orange and Kalamata Olive Salad

The following serves 4 as a side salad (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • Handful of fennel fronds, chopped
  • Zest of 1 small orange
  • 2 oranges, peeled, separated and pits removed and sliced in bite size pieces – watch out for seeds
  • 1 heaping cup of pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup of oil from the olives, or olive oil
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp of white wine vinegar
  • Small pinch of salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 2.5 ounces, or half a small container of organic arugula

Combine the fennel, fronds, orange zest, orange pieces, olives, oil, vinegar and salt and pepper in a medium-large bowl. Mix well and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Taste, and add more oil or vinegar to your liking if needed.

Dish out arugula and top with the fennel, oranges and olives.





Grilled Chicken With Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade

25 06 2014

This Mediterranean dinner is quick and oh so tasty! Get creative with finishing simple grilled chicken, like thinking outside the traditional sauce. Try something rustic like tapenade!

Grilled Chicken With Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and roughly chopped (oil reserved)
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato oil
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic scapes, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp green onions, chopped
  • 4 large basil leaves, finely chopped
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

Preheat oven to 400.

In a small bowl, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, garlic scapes, green onions, basil, 2 Tbsp oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season with a little pinch of salt and pinch red pepper flakes. Cover and store in the fridge 30 minutes to an hour, or until ready to use.

In a large bowl, toss broccoli with 1 Tbsp of the sun-dried tomato oil, salt to taste, pinch red pepper flakes and some parmesan cheese. Spread out in a single layer on a non-stick pan sprayed with non-stick spray. Roast for 15 minutes, or until beginning to brown, rotating half way through.

Preheat grill to high.

Season chicken with 1 Tbsp of the sun-dried tomato oil, pepper and garlic powder to taste and just a little salt (don’t over salt as the tapenade will be salty). Grill on high heat until cooked through and juices run clear, 6-8 minutes per side. Remove and top with a little of the tapenade and tent with foil to rest.

Serve chicken topped with more of the sun-dried tomato and olive tapenade, garnished with feta. Enjoy with roasted broccoli.





Creamy Tuscan Beans With Mushrooms and Kale

21 05 2014

This rustic Tuscan bean side dish is deliciously creamy and loaded with both flavor and nutrition! It whips up pretty quickly too. Get some chicken or steak on the grill while you prepare this, and before you know it you’ll have a lovely weeknight meal ready to enjoy.

Creamy Tuscan Beans With Mushrooms and Kale

The following serves 4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Pinch kosher salt to taste
  • 1 (8 oz) package sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup of low-sodium, reduced-fat beef stock
  • Kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • 2-3 oz fontina cheese, cubed (you want to use fontina because it melts really well)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

In a medium saucepan, heat a few Tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until beginning to soften, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring, a minute or so. Add rosemary, red pepper flakes and just a pinch of salt. Next add the mushrooms and cook until beginning to brown, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans, stock, olives and cheese. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The cheese will melt nicely into the stock, creating a nice creamy dish.

Meanwhile in a large saute pan, heat some oil and saute kale until wilted and cooked, 5-10 minutes. You can make as much as you like, I filled the pan (remember it shrinks when it cooks). Transfer sautéed kale to the beans and finish cooking together the final 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Dish out beans, top with parsley and enjoy alongside a protein of your choice. I served with grilled chicken breasts.





Tabbouleh Salad With Farro and Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

28 04 2014

This is such a tasty meatless meal, packed with loads of flavor and healthy ingredients! Tabbouleh is a Lebanese grain salad typically made with bulgur wheat. I didn’t have bulgur so I improvised with the ancient grain farro, but kept the rest of the traditional ingredients the same with mixing in parsley, mint, cucumbers, tomatoes and dressing with lemon juice and olive oil. Heads up, there’s a lot of chopping to be had here, so grab yourself a sous chef to help!

Tabbouleh Salad With Farro and Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Tabbouleh Salad With Farro and Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

The following makes 4 servings (adapted from Cuisine at Home):

  • 1 cup uncooked farro
  • Minced zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package (10 oz) grape tomatoes, halved (you could also use a mix of tomatoes and chopped red bell pepper if you wanted)
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas (15 oz) drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup sliced scallions or green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup pitted and sliced kalamata olives
  • 4 large portobello mushrooms (4-6 oz each) stemmed and gilled
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat, crumbled feta cheese

Cook the farro according to package directions. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. In a bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, juice, olive oil and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve 3 Tbsp of the vinaigrette to brush on the portobellos.

Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, parsley, scallions, mint, olives, and cooled farro. Toss with vinaigrette and chill until ready to serve.

Preheat grill to medium-high. Brush grill grate with oil.

For the mushrooms, brush both sides with reserved vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Grill mushrooms, uncovered, until grill marks appear and mushrooms are softened, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from grill and transfer to a cutting board. Slice mushrooms into 1/2-inch-thick strips.

To serve, plate the tabbouleh salad, top with sliced mushrooms and garnish with feta.





“Greek Salad” Chicken

15 04 2014

This speedy supper is a take on a pasta dish I found in my latest issue of the Food Network Magazine. They used ingredients commonly found in a Greek salad, cooked them up and tossed them with spinach pasta. Looked delicious, so I thought I’d use the same ingredients with chicken, for a low-carb option instead.

"Greek Salad" Chicken

“Greek Salad” Chicken

The following serves 2-3 (adapted from Food Network Magazine):

  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • Garlic powder
  • 1 bell pepper, red or yellow, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 heaping cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 packed cups organic baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat, crumbled feta cheese
  • Lemon flavored oil for serving

Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Season chicken lightly with salt and garlic powder, then add to the hot skillet and cook until browned on both sides, 5-8 minutes, flipping half way through. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Lower heat to medium. Add remaining Tbsp of oil to the same skillet and add peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and oregano and cook for a minute until fragrant. Next add the chickpeas and season very lightly with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is lightly browned, another 3-5 minutes. Next add the olives and deglaze with the chicken stock bringing to a slow bubble, and scrapping up any brown bits that may have formed on the bottom of the skillet. Slide the browned chicken back in, lower heat and simmer until cooked through, 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the arugula until wilted (you may want to remove the chicken first to give yourself more room to work with). Divide the pepper and chickpea mixture among plates, top with pieces of chicken, crumbled feta and a drizzle of the lemon flavored oil (or extra-virgin olive oil).

Pasta option: If you wanted to make the pasta option, simply cook up 12 oz of dry penne to al dente, save 1/2 cup of the cooking water and toss the penne and the starchy water with the rest of the cooked ingredients. Finish the dish the same way, with feta and a drizzle of olive oil.





Orange-Salted Cod With Cherry Tomatoes, Olives and Capers

6 04 2014

This deliciously simple Italian fish supper is from one of my fav cookbooks, Piatto Unico, meaning a complete meal. Showcasing one-course Italian meals is what this cookbook is all about. I only changed the recipe slightly, the biggest addition being my orange salt, which brightened the fish. Serve with some crusty bread to mop up the yummy broth!

Orange-Salted Cod With Cherry Tomatoes, Olives and Capers

Orange-Salted Cod With Cherry Tomatoes, Olives and Capers

The following makes 2 servings (adapted from Piatto Unico Cookbook):

  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium-thick skinless white fish filets, I used cod
  • Orange salt (combine a good amount of orange zest, a little kosher salt, dried rosemary and red pepper flakes)
  • 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1-4 to 1/2 cup dry white wine

Preheat the oven to 400.

Place the capers in a small bowl and cover with water; soak for 5 minutes, then drain.

Drizzle a little olive oil over the bottom of a casserole dish and smear it around with your hands.

Season both sides of the fish with a little orange salt (be careful not to over salt). Place seasoned fish in the oiled casserole dish.

Combine the tomatoes, olives, drained capers, garlic, half the parsley and wine in a bowl. Pour over and around the fish. Top everything with a Tbsp of oil.

Cover with foil and bake until fish filets are just done, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness.

Dish out fish, tomatoes, olives and broth into shallow soup bowls or plates, and top with the rest of the parsley.

Serve with crusty bread for mopping up the broth, and roasted asparagus or a salad of mixed greens on the side if desired.