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Creamy Leek and Rainbow Chard Gratin: A Thanksgiving Must-Have

Creamy Leek and Rainbow Chard Gratin: A Thanksgiving Must-Have

It’s the Gobble, Gobble time of year already. Is it me or does Thanksgiving come every 4 months now? I say it like it’s a bad thing, but really what could be tastier? All those family favorite recipes coming out of semi-retirement. This year I have a new recipe, but it’s inspired by a family fave, as well as time spent during my year cooking in France. It seemed like something the French might serve. Introducing creamy rainbow chard gratin.

We grew up with a local turkey farm over the hill and always went to pick out our bird. The backing track of gobblers is a sound I won’t soon forget. Growing up surrounded by farmland, this was the way of life. But despite the fresh birds, there was not an abundance of winter produce available. Hence the frozen spinach casserole that started this ball rolling. At least it was green, we’d think, on an otherwise brown food day.

I'll take that one. Katy and Richard at the local turkey farm.

Rainbow Chard and Leeks

You have no doubt seen Swiss chard in the markets and at your local grocery. But have you noticed the red chard with its magenta stems? Or the rainbow chard with stripey fuchsia, navel orange, taxi-cab yellow and granny apple green? The colors are magnificent. 

Chard in all the colors of the rainbow

This dish is inspired by my Aunt Mary’s spinach and artichoke heart casserole. I’ve made it so many times I can do it blindfolded and so have many of my friends. (I have included the original in the recipe card notes below). This is the first Thanksgiving without Aunt Mary, and she has left big shoes to fill. I spent most of the last 5 or 6 Thanksgivings prepping next to her, where she was in charge of dressing, a family apple compote recipe and gravy. Oh, and polishing the candlesticks. Gamama, as the kids called her, spent most of two days giving some old silver candlesticks the royal treatment. Mary never met a stranger, and I am confident she might have swindled the latex gloves required for silver polish manicure preservation right off the hands of her TSA agent. They never saw her coming. She had to be the only one passing bittersweet branches for the centerpiece, freshly clipped from her Indiana garden, through the CTX machine. She held court in the kitchen and the rest of us served at the pleasure. Whatever else I contributed, you can be sure that the spinach and artichoke hearts dish was on the list. 

I wanted to pay homage to that dish but zhoosh it up a bit. She was all color, so as I debated what changes to make, rainbow chard raised its hand and said “Pick me, pick me!” I considered keeping the art hearts, but didn’t think the flavor was the ideal match, and I figured they would overwhelm in the texture department. So instead I swapped out the onion for some leeks. I also added some Gruyere to make it a bit more creamy – and then of course, I added bacon. Of course I did. 

Yellow chard leaf

Cleaning Chard and Leeks

You might be tempted to look at the prep time and think ain’t nobody got time for that, but I assure you it is worth the effort. Plus – for the meal prep WIN – you can do this all the day before and just bake it off while your turkey is resting and as you carve. 

Both leeks and chard can be sandy, so I wanted to just reassure you with tips on the best way to get the grit out. For details on how to clean a leek, check out this post. For the rainbow chard, place the leaves in the sink or a large bowl, and fill with cool water. Let them soak, then lift them from the sink, rinsing, leaving any grit at the bottom of the sink or bowl. Don’t try to pour the water out of a bowl, as that will just move the grit and sand back into the leaves. Always lift them out! Dry on towels or spin, in batches, in a salad spinner. 

Once cleaned and dried, trim and remove the end of each stem, then cut a “V” in each leaf to remove the full stem. Slice the stems into 1/2″ wide pieces and set aside. Stack the leaves and roll tightly into a long tube shape, then cut cross-wise into 1/4 – 1/2″ ribbons. It will be quite voluminous at this point and you might think you need another baking dish, but it will cook down and fit in a 3-quart casserole. 

Rainbow Chard Saute

Chard Gratin

From here, the chard gratin is just a sauté of stems and leeks, a wilt of leaves, and a stir in of sour cream and Gruyere. Top with some grated Parmesan and crumbled bacon and you are oven-ready. You can wrap it up and put in the fridge for a day at this point or bake it off now (slightly less time) and reheat when ready to serve. 

Gratin is the French word for a dish that has melted cheese or bread crumb topping, turned golden brown. Remember the Betty Crocker box mix of Au Gratin potatoes? The cheese was already in the mix in powdered form. This dish doesn’t have breadcrumbs – though I definitely considered a Panko dusting atop – but it does have real Parmesan (I used Reggiano) that “goldens” up quite nicely. 

sauteed chard leaves and stems

If you were Aunt Mary, you might now kick back with a house Chardonnay and a glass of ice and nurse that for the remainder of the meal!!! Gobble. Gobble.

Full Thanksgiving Menu!!

You got this trimmin’, but what else to serve? Don’t worry – I got you covered. We have everything you need for complete and tasty meal perfection.  If you are ever in doubt, there is a search button on the top of the site that will take you where you need to go. But today – holiday special – I have curated the list you are most likely to need!

The Shop That Has It All!!

Do you have everything you need to stage a flawless Thanksgiving? I just happen to have a shop on my website with links to all the must-have kitchen equipment and gear you will need to pull off  holiday success, mostly available with Amazon Prime shipping! This shop is filled with only things that I NEED and use and are called for in my recipes. KatyKeck.com is an affiliate marketer for Amazon and other sites, so we may earn a small fee on your purchase. (Thank you!) For full details, see the privacy policy

You are just fooling yourself if you try to pull off Thanksgiving without these things 🙂 There’s also a good assortment of hostess gifts that are sure to be put to immediate use. 

rainbow chard ready to eat 

Have a blessed holiday and please let me know what you tried. Comment below or tag me on social!

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Casserole of rainbow chard and leek gratin, with spoon out

Thanksgiving Must-Have: Creamy Leek and Rainbow Chard Gratin


  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 - 8 1x

Description

This rainbow chard gratin is inspired by my Aunt Mary’s spinach casserole. She was quite colorful and deserves the rainbow. Packed with flavor from caramelized leeks and some nutty Gruyere, with a touch of the creamy goodness of sour cream, this will be the newest must-have on your Thanksgiving menu.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 pounds of rainbow chard (approximately 23 bunches)
  • 4 Tablespoons of butter, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 leeks, split lengthwise, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 4 ounces Gruyere, grated
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 4 pieces of bacon, cooked and coarsely crumbled

Instructions

Prepare the chard: Place the chard leaves in the sink or a large bowl and fill with cool water. Let them soak, then lift from the sink, rinsing, leaving any grit at the bottom of the sink or bowl. Dry on towels or spin, in batches, in a salad spinner. 

Separate the stems and leaves: Trim the root end of each stem, then cut a “V” in each leaf to remove the full stem. Cut the stems into 1/2″ wide pieces and set aside. Stack the leaves and roll tightly into a long tube shape, then cut cross-wise into 1/4 – 1/2″ pieces. 

Cook the chard: Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan. Add the stems and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 – 12 minutes, until softened and lightly browned. Transfer to a large bowl. 

Add half the leaves and a drop (1 – 2 teaspoons) of water. Cover and cook until wilted, about 4 -5 minutes. Remove the lid and let any accumulated water cook off. Transfer to the bowl with the stems. Repeat with the remaining leaves. 

Return the first batch of leaves and the stems to the sauté pan and stir to combine, cooking off any excess moisture. Season with salt and pepper. Return to the mixing bowl.

Cook the leeks: Melt the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter in the sauté pan and add the leeks. Cook over high heat for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally and scraping up any brown bits from the pan. Add to the bowl with the chard. 

Mix: Add the sour cream and Gruyere to the bowl and stir to combine. Adjust seasoning as needed. 

Finish the chard gratin (bake now or refrigerate for up to 24 hours): Transfer the mixture to a buttered 8 x 12″ or 3 quart casserole. Top with the grated Parmesan and crumbled bacon. At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to one day. (Thanksgiving prep for the win!)

Bake in a pre-heated 350oF oven for 30 – 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.

Notes

This is a great make-ahead dish, especially since it takes a bit of time to clean and cut the chard. You can get the majority of the prep done a day ahead and then bake it off when ready to serve. If it’s Thanksgiving and the oven is very busy, you can bake this off while the turkey is resting and being carved. 

Aunt Mary approves!

Creamed spinach and artichoke hearts: If you find yourself short on time, you have my permission to go for the original which is really quick to make. Sauté one chopped onion in 2 Tablespoons of butter. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add two boxes of frozen spinach (thawed and well-squeezed) and one box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed. Stir in one pint of sour cream and add salt and pepper to taste. Spread into a buttered 8 x 8″ baking dish (or similar sized soufflé dish) and sprinkle 1 cup Parmesan on top. Bake in a preheated 350oF oven for 30 – 40 minutes. Serves 8. 

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Stovetop + Oven
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: chard gratin, leeks

Casserole pan of leek and rainbow chard gratin

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Everything but the Farmer Farmers’ Market Corn Salad

Everything but the Farmer Farmers’ Market Corn Salad

There’s still time to lend an ear, grab an ear, shuck an ear, do what you must…to make this peak-of-the-season fresh corn salad that was on the menu at last week’s Summer Harvest Bounty feast. I have shared this recipe before and while it’s a no-recipe recipe, I’ve been ask to fill in some blanks. 

Farmers Market Fresh Corn Salad

Nothing is better than late summer tomatoes and corn. Local farmers here in west Michigan know that I am a bit of a fiend when it comes to sourcing products. I have been known to hit four different markets and source my meal from half a dozen farmers in any given week. So much for reducing the carbon footprint from eating local. Gotta have corn from Ham Family Farm. Arugula only from Grandson’s Garden. (Don’t miss the world’s best $2 pot scrubber from 9-year-old weaver Liam!) Bacon from Creswick Farms (THEY have zero carbon footprint). Organic salad mix with nasturtium blossoms from Summer Blend Gardens. And don’t get me started on Laughing Tree Bakery breads. For the love of all that’s sacred, Charlie and Hilde, make more Elbridge Parmesan Olive bread!! It gets a little competitive most Saturdays.
Fresh Picked CornWith all that commitment to sourcing ingredients, who has time to follow a recipe? Truthfully I am a bit ambivalent about recipes. I think there is nothing sweeter than a well-tested recipe that works every time. They are worth their weight in culinary gold. (I’m talking about salt, people!) However, this time of year and with perfect ingredients, they can get in the way. There are no right or wrong ingredients for this dish. And no right or wrong amounts. What’s in season? What’s picked at the peak of perfection? What sounds good today?? But for those that prefer it, I have updated this recipe to show how I make it. You do you; I’ll do me.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Fresh Corn Salad – Yes, Please!

My go-to must-haves for this corn salad are always the basics – obvs corn and tomatoes. And I almost always include tomatillos. The grilled or roasted tomatillos provide the acid, and the bacon and avocados provide the fat, thereby eliminating the need for a dressing.  It’s a self dressing salad – pure genius!!!  The rest of the ingredients always vary and the proportions are flexible to taste. You can assemble all the ingredients except for greens and bacon well in advance.  Just toss the more fragile ingredients in at serving time and don’t overmix – I love the big chunky pieces of corn cut from the cob. It tells everyone you got your hands dirty.  That makes it taste so much better. What are you waiting for?

Farmstand Basil

As always, check the seasonings. If anything, I usually grab a generous sprinkle of smoked serrano salt. That’s salt and pepper in one-stop shopping – almost as brilliant as the self-dressing salad. Or Maldon salt – my flaky favorite. Fresh cracked pepper. Done.

IF by some miracle you have leftover corn salad, it makes a fabulous addition to a quesadilla.  But more than likely, you too will have a guest that grabbed the serving bowl and polished it off using a giant serving spoon. 🙂

Hey hey hey – I said everything BUT the farmer. 
But anyway here’s my corn guy from Ham Family Farm – always good for a recipe or produce update.

Corn and the Farmer

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Farmers Market Fresh Corn Salad with tomatillos, avocado, and microgreens

Everything but the Farmer Farmers’ Market Corn Salad


  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8. 1x

Description

This farmers’ market fresh corn salad is a real crowd pleaser. Serve it when corn and tomatoes are at their peak, or sub out for other in-season ingredients.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 tomatillos, husked and thrown on a hot grill until charred; chopped when cool
  • 4 cobs of corn, shucked, rubbed with a little olive oil, then grilled until a bit of color; cut from the cob
  • 3 scallions, sliced thinly
  • 2 Tablespoons peppadew peppers, or other brined spicy peppers, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, charred over a hot grill, then sweat and peeled; discard seeds and chop
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 cup halved cherry heirloom tomatoes or chopped larger tomatoes
  • 4 pieces crispy bacon, crumbled
  • 2 cups arugula, whole leaves if small, otherwise coarsely torn
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

Instructions

Prepare all ingredients per details above.

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, adding the bacon, arugula and basil when you are ready to serve. Gently stir to toss, keeping the corn chunks intact.

Check seasonings, adding salt and pepper, if needed.

Notes

Leftovers are fantastic in a quesadilla or omelette. 

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: corn salad

Everything but the Farmer

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Indian Spiced Potatoes Fit for a Diwali Feast

Indian Spiced Potatoes Fit for a Diwali Feast

Sour Potatoes on a Stick

Are your lights on? It’s Diwali, a Hindu festival of lights which started on the 7th this year. I recently had an opportunity to take these Indian spiced potatoes to a Diwali pot luck hosted by the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance in honor of this annual fête. I am not going to lie – although I feel quite confident in the tastiness of this dish – it is a bit daunting to take my spin on classic Indian cuisine to a culinary celebration that includes many Indian professional women chefs. Cultural appropriation is a big thing these days and the culinary world is not exempt. I tried to slide my dish in unnoticed, but it’s lack of “nametag”, sparking a few “what IS this???” comments, and those cute little bell-clad picks that I snagged in Mumbai’s Crawford Market ruined any chance of fading in the background. Oh, and I used habanero flakes instead of plain ole red pepper flakes!! These Indian spiced potatoes are no shrinking violet. Apologies to native Indian chefs for any pirating of their cuisine. And for Pot Lucky fans, rest easy. I already had an Indian feast on the docket for early next year. More taste treats in this flavor palate are on their way soon!

Fit for Diwali Indian Spiced Potatoes

Diwali is a highlight of the Hindu calendar, celebrated in the fall here in the northern hemisphere. It is a triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. Sounds like something we could all use these days. “Light” has roots in most all world religions. While Diwali is celebrated for five days, the third day – today, as I write this – is the pinnacle, as it marks the darkest night in the Hindu calendar. Friends and family gather throughout the five days, and food is king. 

Spices in Mapusa Market

I spent about a month in India ten years ago with a group from Women Chefs & Restaurateurs. We covered all things food along the entire west coast of the subcontinent, from Thiruvananthapuram to Mumbai. While very enlightening and informative, with stops at so many wonderful spice markets, it is not where this recipe derives its inspiration. I came by this recipe, if not with cultural integrity, with honor. It was handed to me maybe 30 years ago by Louise Spicehandler. If you can’t get spiced potatoes, with cumin, coriander and cardamom from a spice handler, then from whom? While I NEVER LOSE ANYTHING, this tattered print copy is, shall we say, temporarily indisposed. I suspect the original might have been copied from the NY Times, but since I can’t currently locate it, I am not positive. Louise was a great source of recipes and encouragement in my pre-professional days, as I dipped a toe in the culinary stream. As usual, Louise meticulously noted her adjustments in the margins of this recipe, and I meticulously followed them, until I didn’t. I think the ginger and the fresh herbs are my own, but to be honest, I never make it the same way twice. What do I have on hand? That’s the way I like it!!

Herbs and Spices

Indian Spiced Potatoes (Khatte Aloo)

Khatte Aloo, or sour (khatte) potatoes (aloo), are often made with diced, possibly boiled, big potatoes. I can’t resist the cute little mouth-poppable rounds that are now found easily in your supermarket thanks to The Little Potato Company.  They are multi-colored, one-bite wonders, serving as a delivery system for a whole lotta spice. And, I like to roast the potatoes, coated in spices, to further release the spices’ aroma.

Hero Potatoes

I have always used lemon juice, but I asked one of the Indian chefs at the pot luck, and she uses lemon and lime. That sounds amazing. However you chose to make them, don’t overthink it. Large & diced or whole & small; spiced then roasted or boiled then spiced; whatever choices you make, Indian spiced potatoes are a great dish to serve with a pick as an hors d’oeuvre or even as a side dish at an Indian feast. I have also served them skewered with brats and peppers, both grilled first, then assembled for serving and topped with a tomato. 

Indian Spiced Potato and Brat Skewers

This dish is so quick and easy you might have time to run out and get yourself a henna tattoo! Then don’t forget to light the candles. Enjoy!

Henna Hands by Ravi Sharma

Henna Photo by Ravi Sharma on Unsplash
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Fit for Diwali:  Indian Spiced Potatoes in a multi color bowl with a tile pattern, with lots of toothpicks with colorful bells

Celebrating Diwali with Indian Spiced Potatoes


  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 as side, or many as part of an hors d’oeuvre buffet 1x

Description

Khatte Aloo (sour potatoes) traditionally are diced, possibly boiled, potatoes. I like to roast tiny multi-colored, one-bite wonders and dose them with a whole lotta spice! Taste buds…you have been warned!!!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 1 1/2 pounds small (large marbles) potatoes
  • Zest of one and juice of 1/2 lemon, juice reserved
  • 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425oF.

Pulse cumin, coriander, and cardamom about four pulses in a food processor or spice grinder until coarsely ground.

In a medium bowl, combine potatoes, lemon zest, and ginger.  Drizzle with olive oil and stir to coat the potatoes. Season with cumin, coriander, cardamom, salt, and pepper flakes, stirring until the potatoes are spice-crusted.

Transfer to a sheet pan and spread out in one layer. Roast for 15-18 minutes until cooked through.

Transfer to a serving dish, scraping up additional spices left behind. Drizzle warm potatoes with lemon juice.

Serve warm or at room temperature, as a vegetable side dish or as an hors d’oeuvre. Before serving, toss with chopped mint and cilantro.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer, Side
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: Indian, Potatoes, Spicy

Indian Spiced Potatoes

© Copyright: KatyKeck.com 2018. All rights reserved.

 

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Harvest Grains Salad with Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Harvest Grains Salad with Oven-Dried Tomatoes

When I find something that will change  your life – FOREVER – I must share. I’m not such a fan of pre-seasoned packages, like those dried bean soup mixes loaded with some heavy doses of sodium, but I recently stumbled across this beauty at Trader Joe’s. It’s simply called Harvest Grains Blend and can quickly become the rock star of a wonderful fall Harvest Grains Salad. I wanted to take issue with the fact that orzo is a pasta  and not technically a grain, but I guess pasta started as a grain, right? There’s really no reason to get cranky, because this is a great Mama’s helper. It has Israeli couscous (the jumbo pearl size), three colors of orzo (plain, red pepper and spinach), split baby garbanzo beans (so cute), and red quinoa. The beauty of the pre-package is that it takes the guesswork out of cooking. You can easily make your own blend, or even just use one single grain/pasta. But if you are mixing, you need to pay attention to cooking times so you don’t, for example, throw couscous and wild rice into the same pot at the same time. Cooking time here is a mere ten minutes.

Harvest Grains

Israeli couscous and OrzoIsraeli couscous is larger than standard coucous and is slightly chewy and comes in a variety of flavors. Shown here is  a tri-color blend, including unflavored, spinach and tomato. The pasta in the center is orzo.

I hope you are taking advantage of the last of the season’s juicy tomatoes. I have detailed before how you can simply split them, put them cut side up on a sheet pan, sprinkle with salt, and slow roast them to concentrate the flavors and dehydrate the liquid. From there, once cooled, they are easy to Ziploc and freeze. I  use them all winter in frittatas, cornbreads, pastas, soups and stews, on pizzas, focaccia, and in salads.  They are a sweet treat come February, and now is the time to make it happen!

Oven Dried Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a natural BFF to blue cheeses.  While blue can be made with cow’s, goat’s or sheep’s milk, all varieties share a common production technique which involves ripening them using cultures of the mold Penicillium. The green or blue veins are created during the aging process by spiking with stainless steel rods to aerate the cheese and encourage the mold’s growth.  It’s not hard to see where the spikes went in on this hunk of Glacier Wildfire Blue. To learn more, check in with our friends at The Cheese Lady for great info on many cheeses, blue and beyond.   

Glacier Wildfire Blue

For this salad I chose Delft. It’s a buttery cow’s milk cheese with a clean finish – a bit sweet and not too salty. This cheese comes from the Netherlands and is so named for its resemblance to Delftware pottery. The blue veins and milky whiteness resemble the lovely pottery, as if broken and put back together.

Delft Cheese

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Harvest Grains Salad with Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Harvest Grains Salad with Oven-Dried Tomatoes


  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 - 6 1x

Description

A new twist on pasta or grain salad, this dish uses a Trader Joe’s pre-packaged combo and includes Israeli couscous, tri-color orzo, split baby garbanzos and red quinoa. While you can, oven dry some end-of-summer tomatoes and stash them in your freezer. They will add a nice flavor boost to salads like this, as well as pastas, soups, stews and anything else you might make this winter when the tomatoes in the store then will taste like cardboard.


Ingredients

Scale

Vinaigrette:

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salad: 


Instructions

Make the Vinaigrette:

Whisk together the ingredients and refrigerate until needed. 

Make the Salad:

Cook grains or pasta according to package directions.  Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

Transfer to a mixing bowl and add tomatoes, cheese, parsley, and scallions.  Stir to combine.

Toss with the dressing and refrigerate until serving time. Before serving, taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more lemon juice if needed and adding the almonds.

Notes

I used Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains blend, but you can make this with pasta, or your own combination of couscous, both regular and/or Israeli, orzo, quinoa or other favorites. 

This salad is perfect for extra add-ins. I’m keeping it pretty simple here, but feel tree to add other vegs, bacon, different cheeses or whatever your little heart desires. 

Makes 1 quart.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Stovetop

Keywords: cous cous salad

Don’t you want to just dive headfirst into this Harvest Grains Salad? 

Harvest Grains Salad with Deflt Cheese and Oven-Dried Tomatoes

© Copyright: KatyKeck.com 2017. All rights reserved.

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Farm Stand Roasted Potato Salad

Farm Stand Roasted Potato Salad

No Mayo Potato Salad

Having a German grandmother exposed me to vinegar-style potato salad from an early age. Don’t get me wrong, we had our share of mayo-based summer spuds too, but I developed a taste for the briny acidity and mustard of German-style potato salads at a very early age.  What I didn’t see at that time however, growing up in Southern Indiana, was roasted potato salad…only boiled taters in our tater salads. It was only after I developed some culinary chops that I realized the beauty of roasted potatoes…well, TBH, roasted everything.  Not only does roasting develop a bit of sweetness from caramelizing the natural carbohydrates, but it saves you from ditching all those wonderful nutrients that are lost when draining the water.  

Farm Fresh New Potatoes

I am able to find tiny marble-sized potatoes both at the farmers market and in the grocery store. There are several brands at the supermarket, including The Little Potato Company. They offer an assortment of cherry-sized fresh creamer potatoes…Baby Boomer, Blushing Belle, Little Charmers, Chilean Splash, among them. If you can’t find a small potato in your market, I recommend roasting new potatoes whole and cutting to size once they have cooled.  Not only does it better hold the nutrients, but it also helps keep them a bit creamier which is a good thing in salads. If you were making an oven-roasted side dish,  you might want the added golden surfaces from a pre-cut potato. It’s a matter of personal taste, so go with what you know. A whole larger potato will definitely increase cooking time, so keep that in mind.

Supermarket Potato Varieties

Now is the perfect time to think about preserving the late summer bounty of tomatoes, so I am counting on you to look back to the post You’ll Thank Me in the Winter Oven-Dried Tomatoes.  If you don’t have any on hand and aren’t ready to work on your winter supply, either substitute with sun-dried tomatoes (so inferior!!) or just use fresh tomatoes for the whole recipe, either the heirloom cherries called for in the recipe or chopped Romas or Beefs, enough to make up the one cup tomato total (1/2 cup dried + 1/2 cup fresh). Don’t forget to adjust seasonings, especially salt, if you are only using fresh. The oven-dried tomatoes will bring salt from the prep, so I have cut back on the salt in the recipe in anticipation.

Potato Salad

If you are so lucky as to have leftover roasted potato salad, try adding it to a breakfast quesadilla along with scrambled eggs, shredded cheese, and a little avocado, all sandwiched between flour tortillas. And be sure to keep my number handy because I’m gonna wanna show up for that!

Roasted Potato Salad

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Roasted New Potato Salad

Farm Stand Roasted Potato Salad


  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 - 8 1x

Description

This roasted potato salad highlights the potato-y-ness of fresh-dug new potatoes, often lost with boiling. Being a just-say-nay-to-mayo gal, I love the bright flavors of lemon juice with lemon oil. It’s a partay in your mouth! You’re invited.


Ingredients

Scale

Vinaigrette:

  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon olive oil or EVOO
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (you will need more if using fresh tomatoes in lieu of oven-dried or sun-dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Salad: 

  • 1 1/2 pounds new potato (the smaller the better)
  • olive oil to drizzle on potatoes
  • 1/2 cup shelled edamame
  • 1/2 cup You’ll Thank Me in the Winter Oven-Dried Tomatoes, or sun-dried
  • 1/2 cup halved heirloom cherry tomatoes (or use 1 cup of either oven-dried or fresh)
  • 4 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped chives

Instructions

Make the Vinaigrette:

Whisk together the ingredients and refrigerate until needed. 

Make the Salad:

Preheat oven to 425oF.  Drizzle just enough olive oil over potatoes to coat very lightly and toss to combine. Transfer to a sheet pan and roast until tender, about 13 – 15 minutes.  Remove and cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, combine the potatoes with the edamame, both kinds of tomatoes, bacon, scallions, parsley and chives.

Toss with the dressing and refrigerate until serving time.  Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Sides

Keywords: roasted potato salad

Red, White & Blue

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No-Recipe Charred Asparagus with Aged Balsamic & Manchego

No-Recipe Charred Asparagus with Aged Balsamic & Manchego

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic and Manchego

Every now and then – LONG HOLIDAY WEEKEND PEOPLE!!! – we deserve a real no-recipe recipe. Just take what you have and make it work. Since you are likely firing up the grill, this is one that you can throw on the side. Or if you are in a real hurry, you can throw asparagus in a very hot oven and let it do its thing in a matter of moments. 

Asparagus

I first learned about high temperature vegetable roasting from the legendary chef/owners of Providence, RI’s Al Forno restaurant. George Germon and Johanne Killeen. They had just published their iconic book, Cucina Simpatica. I had yet to open New World Grill, but I was fascinated by their magic. They proved you could crank up the oven temp – 450 or 500oF – and blast any vegetable, with the exception of rock solid beets, in a matter of minutes. It was only the early 90s and we were otherwise much less aggressive about time and coaxing natural sugars out of our victims. Asparagus had mostly been relegated to boiling or poaching. Sure sure sure, it stays bright green that way, but so much of that baby is lost in the bathwater. Put it in a fiery oven or on a rip-snorting fire and you get this wonderful char that is a perfect foil for natural sugars.

Picking the best - asparagus

Picking Asparagus Perfection

First pick the perfect stalk. Diameter is more a matter of preference, but it’s always easier to time the cooking if they are uniform in size.  The hallmarks of a good spear are tight buds and firm stalks. Look for bright green or lavender-hued buds with wrinkle-free stems. Rinse them off under cool water to remove any sand and snap the bases where they want to be snapped. If the spear is a bit older, it will snap higher up the stalk. Follow the natural breaking point. If the stalks are bigger and super woody, you can whittle a bit away using a vegetable peeler. Make sure the spears are dry before cooking so they don’t steam.  We are going for a dry cooking technique and want a little char.

Ljubljana Asparagus

How cute are these teeny weenies? I found them in a market in Slovenia and bonus!!! I got to pick asparagus from a nearby field the very next day. #heaven

If you need to store them until you are ready to use them, don’t clean them yet, but do give them a fresh trim on the ends. Then put them upright as you would a bunch of flowers in a container. A large liquid measure is a great and non-tippy choice. Cover the bases with a little water. I like to wrap the tops with paper towel to wick away moisture, then loosely tie a plastic bag around that. If the water gets murky, switch it out just like you would for flowers. You can store asparagus like this for several days, up to a week, but they are always best when cooked as soon as possible to avoid loss of flavor.

Farm Fresh Asparagus

When it’s time to cook them, drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil and toss to coat them all, then season with salt and pepper.  Place them on a sheet pan in a single layer – don’t overcrowd – or on the hottest grill. Cooking time will vary based on thickness, but can range from 8-10 minutes for thin spears to 12-15 for fatter ones. Give them a roll to turn about half way through and keep an eye on them. They should still be quite firm but start to get a bit of char. 

Sorting Asparagus

Way too overcrowded. Single layer only – puh-leeze!!

To serve, drizzle a good balsamic vinegar and top with shards of Manchego.  And because the measurements are all yours, this is now your recipe. Go. Enjoy. Brag. You’re welcome!

Grated Manchego and Aged Balsamic

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Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic and Manchego

No-Recipe Charred Asparagus with Aged Balsamic & Manchego


  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Description

There was a time when asparagus was relegated to poaching or boiling and flavors were delicate, maybe napped with a Hollandaise? But no more! Char these babies and drizzle with a good Balsamic and shave some tangy Manchego on top. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus (see notes above on selection)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • aged Balsamic vinegar
  • Manchego cheese

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450 oF or fire up a very hot grill.

Prepare asparagus by rinsing under cool water to remove any sand.  Snap the bases where they want to be snapped. Follow the natural breaking point. If the stalks are bigger and super woody, you can whittle a bit away using a vegetable peeler. Make sure the spears are dry before cooking.

Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil and toss to coat them all, then season with salt and pepper.  Place them on a sheet pan in a single layer – don’t overcrowd – or on the hottest grill. Cooking time will vary based on thickness, but can range from 8-10 minutes for thin spears to 12-15 for fatter ones. Give them a roll to turn about half way through and keep an eye on them. They should still be quite firm but start to get a bit of char. 

To serve, drizzle a good balsamic vinegar and top with shards of Manchego.

Notes

Top with a poached egg if you like!

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Roasting or Grilling
  • Cuisine: American

Asparagus topped with a Poached Egg

And if you are as obsessed with the poached egg on everything craze as I am, why not? This makes a mean breakfast, brunch, lunch dish. I could even see some avo toast on the side…if I squint my eyes.

Roasted Asparagus with Poached Egg and Arugula

© Copyright: KatyKeck.com 2017. All rights reserved.

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