Tuesday, May 31, 2011
That all changed a couple of weeks ago. We had a family get-together and my cousin made a potato salad that was out of this world. Really. This is high praise from a non-potato-salad-loving person. What was unique about her salad was that it a) was made with sweet potato and b) it had no mayonnaise. Yes, you read that right...no mayo. So you could actually taste the flavours in the bowl. And boy did she add flavour!
She graciously gave me the recipe - which I made today and just had to share. And although I totally forgot to ask her if it was okay to blog it, I'm sure she won't mind. She's amazing that way.
So, as May comes to a close and June rolls in, it's time to start thinking of backyard BBQs, weekends at the cottage and picnics - and of course - what to serve for dinner. Well, at least you've got the side dishes covered!
(p.s. I didn't have any green onions on hand so I substituted with red onion. It was still amazing!)
Lisa's Sweet Potato Salad
2-3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. wine vinegar
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice (or a little more if you like the tang!)
2 tsp. cilantro paste
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt and pepper
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/3 cup sliced green onions
3 tbsp. fresh cilantro (optional)
1/2 cup cashews
1. In a large saucepan, simmer sweet potatoes in salted water until fork
tender. Drain, rinse in cold water (helps to retain the colour) and drain
2. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, cilantro paste, cumin,
sugar, salt and pepper.
3. Gently mix the potatoes, red pepper, green onions and fresh cilantro with
the dressing. Refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight. Mix in the cashews
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Yesterday was eggplant. Today I moved on to avocado. I'm trying to introduce Little Miss to new foods. She hasn't attempted avocado in a while...a long while (the first attempt left scars on our psyche - and our walls). Anyway, I found myself having an abundance of leftover avocado and wondered if the old adage about life giving you lemons held true for this green, mushy, super-food.
Apparently it does because I've got a HUGE container full of rockin' guacamole.
I like to shake things up a bit when I cook. Don't get me wrong - I'm all for traditional and purity and all that jazz, but sometimes, just sometimes, I like to turn a classic on it's ear. So I skipped the chopped tomatoes and tossed in pomegranate seeds. Same tartness. Same colour contrast. Way better crunch! More like a burst actually...a sweet, tangy burst of flavour that balances the richness of the avocado just beautifully.
So...I've got the guacamole. Who's bringing the chips?
By the way...raspberries are also an awesome substitute for the over-worked tomato. Really. I'm not kidding.
4 ripe avocados
1/2 a red onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
seeds from half a pomegranate
3 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Scoop out avocado flesh into large bowl. Using a fork, mash until mostly pureed but with some big chunks left.
2. Add onion, garlic, two-thirds of the pomegranate seeds, lime juice, cilantro (if using) and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 20 minutes to let the flavours "blend". Taste and adjust lime juice, salt or pepper as needed. Sprinkle remaining pomegranate seeds on top and serve.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
I was craving baba ganoush the other day. For those of you who are unfamiliar, it's a very common Middle-Eastern roasted eggplant spread. It's savoury, garlicky, rich and delicious and is the perfect summer dip. It also happens to be vegan-friendly for those who do not partake in dairy (don't look at me...I'm a cheese-a-holic). I was also intrigued by some absolutely exquisite-looking eggplants that were practically begging me to take them home. And I needed a good challenge. My experience cooking with eggplant is limited.
After some quick online research and recipe comparing, I came up with this one. And OH.MY.GOD. It blew me away (and that's not just the garlic talking). I think I'm in love. Although next time I think I'll roast the garlic first (roasted-garlic-junkie-I-am).
I'll be trotting this one out at the next party for sure.
Baba Ganoush (Roasted Eggplant Spread)
2 large eggplants
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (juice of 1 1/2 lemons)
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise and place on baking sheet, cut side down. Poke holes in skin with a fork. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven, and place in a large bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. Remove from water and peel skin off.
3. Place eggplant, lemon juice, tahini, sesame seeds, garlic and oil in a food processor and puree. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to bowl and refrigerate. This dish only gets better the longer it sits!