Farm to Table: Cantaloupe, Tomatoes, Basil

Complete Plate

Whenever I see cantaloupe I think of my favorite appetizer: prosciutto and melon! That’s so simple to make though, so I thought about making it into a salad with a little more to it. It turned out great!

Ingredients:

To make the salad:

10 oz. arugula (I used 1/2 arugula and 1/2 arugula blend to add variety)

1 medium cantaloupe

8 – 10 slices of prosciutto

about a cup of slivered almonds
To make the dressing:

1/4 cup champagne vinegar (if you can’t find champagne, use white wine)

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh chopped herbs (use what you have, I had sage, rosemary and mint)

1. Put the slivered almonds into a pan on the stove and toast them. Toss them frequently to get them to brown on each side. When they are done set them to the side and use the same pan to crisp up some prosciutto. Put a little olive oil in the pan, then add about 1/2 of the prosciutto that has been diced up. Saute it in the pan until it gets crispy. This adds a variety of textures to the salad.

 toasting almonds toasted almonds cooked prosciutto   diced prosciutto

2. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl combine all the ingredients for the dressing except the oil. Mix them together with a small whisk. slowly whisk in the oil to get the mixture to emulsify. Whisk very quickly. Set the dressing aside as you prepare the salad.

 dressing ingredients mixed dressingDiced Cantaloupe

3. Take the cantaloupe and cut it into small-medium size pieces. Use a melon baller if you have one.

4. In a large salad bowl, combine the lettuces, (now cooled) almonds, the diced cold prosciutto, the diced crispy prosciutto and the melon. Toss the dressing on the salad and serve! It’s a great salty, sweet combination.

 Untossed Salads Cantaloupe and Prosciutto Salad

For the Main Course we had an assortment of Gluten Free pizzas. We started with a crust from Bob’s Red Mill.

Pizza # 1 – Margherita

To start we brushed the crust with olive oil. We topped it with fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes and basil.  It’s a classic for a reason!

Crusts Uncooked Margherita Pizza Margherita Pizza

Pizza #2 – Grilled Veggie and Prosciutto Pizza

To begin we took potatoes, yellow squash, and carrots, sliced them and put them on the grill. Once they were grilled on both sides we brushed the crust with olive oil then laid a single layer of prosciutto on the crust. We then layer the veggies in a rotation on top of the crust. We tossed a few tomatoes on top and some shredded Parmesan cheese then baked both crusts in the oven. They came out lovely and delicious!

grilling veggies Uncooked Veggie Pizza Veggie Pizza

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Farm to Table Friday: Tomatoes, Corn, Peppers

Tacos and CornAs soon as we saw corn, tomatoes, and green peppers on our CSA list, we were inspired to head south of the border for this week’s Farm to Table dinner! This meal ended up being perfect to enjoy on a hot summer day. On the menu this week:

Carnitas Tacos
Fire Roasted Salsa
Sauteed Corn & Pepper Salad

From Bailey
Carnitas Tacos & Fire Roasted Salsa

To start we made Carnitas Tacos. This slow cooked pork is one my favorite items to order at a Mexican restaurant. Instead of going slow and making this on a smoker, I have a great recipe to make carnitas in a crock-pot.

Slow Cooker Carnitas

  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 3-4 Bay Leaves
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 4 lb. boneless Pork Shoulder

This is very easy to assemble. Combine all the dried spices, pat them all over the pork shoulder. Put the shoulder in your crock pot, cover it with the chicken broth and drop in the bay leaves. I usually do this at night, then stick it in the fridge. Before I leave for work the next morning I pop it onto low and when I get home in the evening the meat is ready to go. I take it out of the crock pot and shred the meat with tongs or a fork.

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Fire Roasted Salsa

  • About 2 lbs. assorted Tomatoes (preferably small or medium)
  • About 1 lb. assorted Peppers (I use the small sweet peppers)
  • 1/2 cup chopped Onion
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh Cilantro
  • 3 cloves Garlic, diced or minced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Special Materials: A food processor or blender

Step One: Clean the peppers and tomatoes, then put them on a preheated grill. Turn them every few minutes to get a good char on each side.

Tomatoes and Peppers Veggies on the Grill Roasted Veggies

Step Two:  When the peppers and tomatoes are roasted, put them in a food processor bowl, You will easily be able to pull apart the peppers to remove the stems and seeds. Add the chopped onion, juice of the lime, the cilantro, garlic, and as much jalapeno as you want to control the spice level. Fire up the food processor and work the ingredients until you get a salsa consistency.

Salsa on the Stove

Step Three:  Move the salsa from the food processor to a pot and heat it on the stove to meld the flavors, serve warm.

**If you don’t have a food processor you can use a blender or just chop everything by hand. You will end up with a chunkier salsa, but it will still taste delicious!

We used gluten free, corn soft-shell  tacos for the Carnitas Tacos, and topped out tacos with the Fire Roasted Salsa, avocado slices, cilantro, and lime juice. Delicious!!

From Megan
Sautéed Corn and Pepper Salad

Since we had already made corn on the cob, I wanted to try something new that could also incorporate the green pepper. I came up with this Mexican-inspired sautéed corn and pepper salad. It’s easy to make and has a great flavor. I liked it so much, I ended up making it again to bring to a cookout later in the week!

Corn IngredientsSautéed Corn & Pepper Salad

  • 6 ears of Corn
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ cup of fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh Lime Juice
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Step One: Using a sharp knife, remove the corn from the cob. I found it easiest to hold the ear of corn in a large bowl while I cut it, so the kernels did not fly everywhere.

Step Two: Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Once heated, add the corn, green pepper, and red onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until crisp tender. Add a small pinch of red pepper flakes, stir once, and remove from heat.

Saute Corn

Step Three: Pour the corn, pepper, and onion into a bowl. Add the cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Enjoy!

Mixing Corn

Crabby Potato Salad Recipe

One of my favorite summer salads is Crab Potato salad.  I like any excuse to eat crab, and combining it with these amazing fresh summer ingredients makes the best summer side dish.  Don’t feel committed to any of the portions in this salad, feel free to add more of anything or less. You could add onions, cabbage,  mash the potatoes, or do many other tweaks to make this recipe your own. This is my version:

Crabby Potato Salad:

  • 2 lbs Red Potatoes
  • 1/2 cup cooked Corn-on-the-Cob
  • 1/2 cup diced Celery
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise ( I always make my own. see: The Truth about Mayonnaise)
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 cup crabmeat (Canned works fine, I usually buy some fin and some lump just to mix up the textures)

First boil, cool, then cube the potatoes.

Boiling Potatoes   Boiled Potatos

Next, dice the celery and cut the corn off the cob. Make sure to cook the corn first and let it cool completely.

Chopped CeleryCutting Corn Cut Corn

Add together the potatoes, corn, celery, crab, and lemon juice and toss around.

Crab Potato Salad

Mix the Old Bay seasoning into the mayo, then add to the potatoes. This way you avoid clumps of seasoning getting stuck to the veggies!

Old Bay Mayo

Combine all the ingredients and keep chilled until service. Since I use homemade mayo, I try to always keep this inside if possible; if not, keep a lid on it lightly and put it in a bowl of ice to keep chilled.

Crabby Potato Salad

This makes a delicious side dish for any summer picnic – Enjoy!
~ Bailey

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Basil

After a very hot and sunny weekend, I think it’s safe to say that Summer has arrived! When days get hot and humid, I like to enjoy food that is light and refreshing… like Watermelon Salad with Feta and Basil! This dish combines fresh, simple summer flavors in a way that feels complex without being too rich or heavy.

Watermelon Salad with Feta and BasilWatermelon Salad with Feta and Basil

  • One large Watermelon
  • Fresh Basil leaves
  • Feta Cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

– Cut the watermelon into bite-sized cubes and put in a bowl. (If anyone knows a quick & easy way to do this part, I would LOVE to know your secret!)

– Tear or mill about a cup of FRESH basil leaves and add to the bowl. I use an herb mill and absolutely love it!

– Crumble feta cheese on top of the watermelon cubes and torn basil. I used about 1/2 a block of feta, but you can add more if you want a richer taste. As you add more cheese, you will start to lose some of the watermelon taste, and the salad will get pretty milky, so don’t go too crazy with it!

Watermelon Salad

– Drizzle the ingredients with olive oil, add coarse salt & freshly ground pepper to taste, then toss everything together!

Watermelon Salad 2

The result is a refreshing and unexpected combination of flavors and textures. I look forward to making this salad every summer… especially to take on picnics or to enjoy at an outdoor concert!

Happy Cooking,
Megan

Recipe: Warm Potato Salad with Bacon-Parsley Vinaigrette

For many years I avoided all potato salads. An aversion to excessive mayonnaise has kept me from almost all salads of the potato/macaroni picnic varieties. However, I have been introduced to vinegar based potato salads over the past few years and I have fallen in love. For dinner last weekend Megan was making a root beer pork recipe. To complement the sweetness of the pork we wanted something with a good acid and saltiness. Here is what we invented:

Warm Potato Salad with Bacon-Parsley Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

(Please note there are no quantities listed in the recipe, just get what you need for your guests.)

Small Red Potatoes

Bacon (the higher quality and thicker cut the better) I got mine from a local charcuterie called Rooster Street Provisions. We love them!

Curley Parsley

Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

1. Start by slicing or dicing the red potatoes. Cutting them into small wedges would help the salad hold up a little better. I sliced mine so they would bake faster. After cutting the potatoes put them in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes to coat them.
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2. Spread the potatoes out on a baking sheet and put into a 350 degree oven. Roast the potatoes until they are done. If you’re not sure when they are done, just poke one with a fork or take a bite.
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3. When the potatoes seem to be close, start the dressing. First dice up the bacon, then chop the parsley. Get a medium-large saute pan. Drizzle some olive oil into the saute pan and put it on medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the bacon and saute. When the bacon starts to crisp and there is a bit of dark residue on the bottom of the pan add the balsamic vinegar. Saute a for a few minutes. Add the parsley right before you remove the pan from the heat.
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4. Remove the potatoes from the oven. Put them into a heat-safe bowl. Add the dressing to the bowl and toss. You may want to add more salt, pepper, oil, or vinegar to taste.
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This salad is a delicious side at any picnic, feel free to adjust to your own tastes. Try different ingredients, we’d love to hear how you adapted this delicious salad!

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