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At Ease



By George Otto ~ March 1st, 2014. Filed under: At Ease.

AtEase 0314

 

Panzanella Salad

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 6
4 c. sourdough or French baguette cut into cubes, or good quality homestyle croutons
2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 clove garlic, minced
1 c. red onion, sliced
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, cubed
1 red pepper, seeded, cubed
½ c. Kalamata olives, seeded
¼ c. basil, shredded
½ c. Parmesan cheese, shaved

In a large bowl toss bread cubes or croutons with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt until well coated. Place on cookie sheet and bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 8 minutes. Cool. In a medium bowl whisk together the vinegar, lemon zest, garlic, and remaining olive oil for dressing. In a large bowl combine onion, cucumber, pepper, olives, and basil. Stir into bread cubes or croutons. Toss with dressing and finish with Parmesan.

Grilled Wahoo with Pistachio Pesto

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Chilling time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6
6 6-oz. wahoo steaks or filets,
trimmed
2/3 c. olive oil
4 tsp. lemon zest
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper
1-1/2 c. pistachios
2 cloves garlic
1 c. mint
1 c. parsley
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, grated

Place wahoo in a shallow dish. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil then rub with 2 teaspoons lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper, and marinate for 30 minutes. In a blender, combine pistachios, garlic, mint, parsley, and red pepper flakes; blend on high until well chopped. Add Parmesan and blend again to finish the pesto. Slowly pour remaining olive oil into mixture, and season with salt and pepper. Grill wahoo over medium heat about 4 minutes per side. Remove from grill and serve with a dollop of pesto.

Angel Hair Pasta with Julienne Spring Vegetables

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 6
12 oz. angel hair pasta or spaghettini
pasta
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 c. baby carrots, thinly sliced
1/2  red bell pepper, seeded, thinly sliced
1 c. zucchini, thinly sliced
1/2 c. basil, lightly chopped

In a large pot, cook pasta according to package instructions then drain and toss with olive oil. In a large skillet melt butter and sauté garlic. Add pepper flakes, carrots, red bell pepper, and zucchini, and sauté for 5 minutes. Sprinkle in basil and season with salt and pepper. Toss pasta with veggies and serve on plates with wahoo on top.

Strawberry-Coconut Parfaits

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 6
1/2 tsp. coconut extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. whipping cream
1 c. sweetened coconut, shredded
2 c. frozen sweetened strawberries
1 tbsp. Cointreau
4 c. angel food cake, cubed
4 c. fresh strawberries, rinsed,
trimmed, halved

In a large bowl whip coconut and vanilla extracts into whipping cream with a hand mixer until stiff. Spread coconut on a cookie sheet and toast in a 300-degree preheated oven for 10 minutes, stirring often. In a saucepan heat the frozen strawberries with Cointreau about 10 minutes until melted. Puree melted strawberry mixture in blender until sauce is smooth. In parfait cups, layer a dollop of whipped cream, cake, fresh berries, 1 tbsp. of sauce, whipped cream, and coconut. Repeat starting with cake to create one to two more layers.

Carrie Hanna is the author of Florida’s Backyard, a collection of original recipes. To order the book, call (800) 839-8640

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