Monday, August 16, 2021

Sauteed Zucchini with Plum Tomatoes



  • 1 medium zucchini, cut up
  • 5 medium fresh plum tomatoes, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a knife
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Herbes de Provence
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper, to taste


  1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.

  2. Add garlic and sauté until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

  3. Add zucchini, salt, and pepper, to taste.

  4. Cook about 4-5 minutes on each side, add tomatoes, and season with additional salt and herbs de Provence.

  5. Lower heat and simmer for about 5-10 minutes.

  6. Divide into 4 equal portions when serving.

Summer Corn Edamame Salad




  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped (plus more for optional garnish)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil


  • 1/2 cup quinoa uncooked (to yield approx. 2 cups quinoa)
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 large ears of fresh corn on the cob (to yield 2 cups corn kernels)
  • 2 cups shelled edamame, frozen and thawed
  • 3/4 cup red onion, (approx. 1/4 large onion), very thinly sliced


  1. To cook the quinoa, combine 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa with 1 cup water in a saucepan, bring to boil, then simmer, covered for 20 minutes. Once all the water is absorbed, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool as well.
  2. Fill a large pot with water and heat over high heat until boiling. Add ears of corn, and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until kernels are easily pierced with a fork or knife.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, basil, sea salt, and black pepper, and stir together. Add the olive oil and whisk together until emulsified. Set aside. (Can add raw honey to sweeten, if too tart for your taste, but will balance with the ingredients in the salad as written).
  4. Remove corn from hot water, and allow it to cool on a cutting board.  When cool enough to touch, slice the kernels off the cob, and set them aside.  Discard the remaining cob.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the corn, thawed edamame, cooked quinoa, and red onion.
  6. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat.
  7. Garnish with additional basil if desired.

Komatsuna with Creamy Polenta



  • 2 large bunches Komatsuna
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled & sliced
  • 2 Tb. olive oil (or coconut oil, butter, or bacon fat)
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ c. walnuts (toasted or not)
  • 1 c. chicken stock
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 c. yellow cornmeal
  • ½ c. Gruyere, shredded
  • 2 Tb. unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper


  1. Wash Komatsuna and trim stem ends. Wash stems thoroughly to remove sand. Cut into 2” pieces; set aside until ready to use.
  2. Fill a large saucepan with water and 1 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Prepare a bowl filled with ice water; set aside.
  3. While waiting for the water to boil, start the Polenta: combine broth, milk, and bay leaf in a medium saucepan; bring to boil then turn off heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Once the water boils, drop in Komatsuna pieces to blanch for about 2 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and drop into the ice water to stop the cooking process. Remove pieces with a slotted spoon and pat dry with a paper towel or a salad spinner.
  5. In a saute pan, heat olive oil with the garlic over medium heat. When garlic gets nicely browned, remove from pan.
  6. Add Komatsuna to oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Increase heat to medium/high to saute the greens for about 6-8 minutes. Turn off heat and leave uncovered while you prepare polenta.
  7. Remove bay leaf from milk. Bring back to boil, then reduce to medium heat and slowly sprinkle in cornmeal, whisking vigorously at each pour. Keep whisking until the cornmeal has absorbed the liquid and it’s smooth.
  8. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, butter, salt, and pepper.
  9. Transfer polenta to serving dishes, top with Komatsuna, walnuts, and a few grinds of fresh black pepper (to taste).

Avocado and Heirloom Tomato Toast



  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 slices hearty, seeded bread
  • olive oil
  • 2 small heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • ½ a ripe avocado
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Make the balsamic reduction by adding the balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the balsamic to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until balsamic has reduced by half and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Make sure you keep an eye on it -- it burns quickly.

  2. Slather each slice of bread with a drizzle of olive oil and toast.

  3. Evenly divide the avocado between the pieces of toast and use the back of a fork to smash the avocado. 

  4. Layer the sliced tomatoes on top of the avocado, sprinkle with fresh basil and drizzle with the balsamic reduction.

  5. Garnish with sea salt and black pepper.

  6. Serve immediately.

Grilled Onions



  • 2 sweet onions such as Walla Walla or Vidalia
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper


  1. Hold the onion on a cutting board, with the root end facing sideways.  About 3/4 of an inch in from the root, drive a wooden skewer through the center of the onion.  Push the skewer all the way through, so that the flat end of the skewer is next to the onion and the pointy end is as far away from the onion as possible.
  2. On one side of the skewer, slice the root end off of the onion.  On the other side of the skewer, leaving about 3/4 inch of onion, slice the onion so that the skewer is going through the center of the slice.
  3. Use a knife to cut the part of the skewer that is sticking out of the onion.  Repeat until both onions have been sliced into even slices, about 3/4 inch thick.  Trim the skewers so that there is not excess sticking out of the onion.
  4. Brush the slices on both sides with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.

On A Charcoal Grill:

  1. Make a two-zone fire - coals on one side and no coals on the other.
  2. Place the onions on the cool side of the grill and flip and rotate every 10 to 15 minutes until they are golden brown.  The total time will depend on how hot your coals are and how close they are to the fire but is usually 25-40 minutes. Onions are done when golden and tender.

On A Gas Grill:

  1. Heat the grill for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Lower the burners to low and cook the onions on the low burner, flipping every 10 minutes until golden brown, about 25-40 minutes. Onions are done when golden and tender.

Italian Potato Salad



  • 2 pounds medium red-skinned potatoes scrubbed
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large English cucumber quartered lengthwise, cut into cubes
  • 4 plum tomatoes cut into quarters
  • ½ red onion very thinly sliced
  • 24 black oil-cured olives pitted, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup slivered fresh basil plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons capers rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs peeled, quartered
  • 2 6-ounce cans of tuna drained (ideally canned in olive oil or its own juice)


  1. To a large pot add potatoes, a small handful of salt, and enough cold water to cover by an inch or two. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, 20-30 minutes. (A sharp knife should meet little resistance when piercing a potato.) Drain potatoes and let stand until cool enough to handle.
  2. Cut potatoes into rough, 1-inch cubes and place in a serving bowl. Add olive oil and toss to coat. Add cucumber, tomatoes, onion, olives, basil, and capers.
  3. Whisk vinegar and oregano together in a small bowl; add to salad and toss lightly to combine.
  4. With your fingers or a fork, separate tuna into bite-size chunks and sprinkle over salad. Arrange boiled egg quarters over salad. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with basil sprigs and serve.

Cucumber Wakame Salad



  1. Place 4 tbsp dried wakame seaweed in a bowl. Break the wakame into smaller bite-size pieces if they are not pre-cut. Pour warm water to completely cover the wakame by at least a couple of inches. Dried wakame soak up a lot of water. Check in a few minutes and add more water if necessary to ensure all the wakame are submerged. It takes about 15 minutes to rehydrate.

  2. In the meanwhile, slice 1 medium English cucumber into thin slices. You can use a knife, mandoline, or a spiralizer like I did in the video. 

  3. Mix 1 tsp sea salt evenly with the sliced cucumbers. Let it rest in a bowl for about 10 minutes. The cucumber will release the excess juice through osmosis. 

  4. Combine rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar, maple syrup (or an equal amount of sugar if you don't have maple syrup), tamari soy sauce and sesame oil in a bowl to make the dressing.

  5. Squeeze out the excess cucumber juice, and strain away excess water from the rehydrated wakame. Discard the water used to rehydrate wakame, but you can save the salted cucumber juice for other use. See recipe notes.

  6. Place strained cucumber and wakame in a bowl, pour over the dressing, and garnish with black and white sesame seeds.