Monthly Archives: June 2012

Green gazpacho

June 9, 2012

Green gazpacho

Page 180, Ottolenghi

On a hot, hot night, this dish will be a delicious, delicious lifesaver of a dinner. It requires no cooking at all, so the kitchen stayed cool and we all enjoyed a refreshing (and healthy!) dinner with a slight kick of garlic.  I added some fresh goat cheese and tomato bruschetta  and a glass of my new favorite local raspberry wine and called it a perfect summer dinner….

Green Gazpacho Recipe

2 celery stalks (including the leaves)

2 small green bell peppers, stemmed and seeded

1 1/4 pounds cucumbers, peeled and, if desired, seeded

3 slices stale white bread, crusts removed

1 fresh green chile, such as a jalapeno, seeded (or less if you don’t want it too hot)

4 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon sugar

1 1/2 cups walnuts, lightly toasted

6 cups baby spinach (about 5 ounces)

1 cup basil leaves

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

1 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling

3 tablespoons Greek yogurt

About 2 cups water

9 ounces ice cubes

2 teaspoons salt

White pepper to taste

Directions

Roughly chop the celery, bell peppers, cucumbers, bread, chile, and garlic. Place these in a large bowl along with the sugar, walnuts, spinach, basil, parsley, vinegar, oil, yogurt, 1 1/2 cups of the water, half the ice cubes, the salt and some white pepper. Working in batches, blitz the soup in a blender until smooth, pouring each batch into a bowl and stirring to combine at the end. If desired, add as much of the remaining 1/2 cup water, a little at a time, to get your preferred consistency. Taste the soup and adjust the ingredients accordingly. If desired, pour a little of the soup back into the blender and add the remaining ice and pulse once or twice, just to crush it a little. Stir this into the rest of the gazpacho.

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Mixed grill with parsley oil

June 7, 2012

Mixed grill with parsley oil

Page 68, Ottolenghi

After a joyous week in Hawaii, I resumed the exploration of Ottolenghi’s more summer-based recipes with a grill dinner with friends. We laughed and ate and drank delicious wine made by an old friend from the QCA as the fireflies came out and the kids enjoyed the newest Studio Ghibli movie.

    

The mixed grill recipe was absolutely fabulous! And his recipe for parsley oil is a definite keeper — it’s one of those recipes that could be used on almost any vegetable or meat or tofu to make it shine. One of the things Ottolenghi has taught me in this first 6 months is that *everything* benefits from an herb/citrus/oil or greek yogurt/olive oil sauce.

 

“Mixed Grill” with Parsley Oil – Ottolenghi

 

Serves 4 Generously

 

Parsley oil

 

3/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves and stalks

 

1/3 cup olive oil

 

2 garlic cloves, crushed

 

1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

 

Salt and black pepper 

 

To make the parsley oil, blitz the parsley in a food processor with the other ingredients until you get a bright green runny sauce. Reserve for later to drizzle over cooked vegetables.

 

1 medium zucchini

 

1 kohlrabi

 

1 small eggplant

 

3 to 4 tbsp olive oil

 

41/2oz Manari or anari cheese ( I used Halloumi)

 

Peel and slice kohlrabi lengthwise in ½ then in 3/8 inch slices.

 

Cut zucchini in 3/8 inch slices

 

Slice the eggplant 1/4 inch thick

 

Slice the cheese 1/4 inch thick

 

Keeping the ingredients separate toss each one in olive oil to coat then grill until nice char marks on each side. Eggplant will take the longest 6 minutes, then add zucchini and kohlrabi, grilling until all vegetables are done. Add cheese and grill lightly then transfer all ingredients into a serving bowl and toss with parsley oil.

 

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Plenty, Hawaii style

May 26 – June 4, 2012

Talk about Plenty! We had a week + of Plenty in the form of delicious food, time with lovelies, the ocean, geckos, and snorkeling galore. Throw in a coffee tour with tastings, a spa day and luau at a local resort, and a dive to the bottom of the ocean via a submarine, and our week on the Big Island of Hawaii was truly amazing. Some of the fabulous food that we had was planned — including a special birthday dinner for my love at Merriman’s in Waimea — and some was lucky happenstance.  Some of our foodie plenty is below for your enjoyment!

We started our week with a spa day and then a luau at a local resort. The luau was such a fun experience! We tried lots of traditional Hawaiian dishes including poi ( a viscous dish made from pounded taro), salmon lomi lomi ( a fresh tomato and salmon salad), poke ( a raw fish dish that V and I *loved* and that you will definitely see re-appear in this post), ho’io (fern-shoot salad), taro rolls with fruit butter, and purple sweet potato salad, as well as some buttery kalua pork, and loads of fresh pineapple. The best part of the evening, though, was watching V learn the hula! We all enjoyed the lessons teaching us how to perform the hukilau, but the only one who remembers it!

Next up was a lovely birthday dinner at Merriman’s in Waimea. It necessitated a drive across much of the western half of the island, but oh was it delicious! My ono (a hawaiian whitefish) and B’s pork with red quinoa were both fabulous, but the standout was the appetizer (pupus! will I ever grow up enough to say that without laughing?!) platter that had some divine raw fish, amazing pork, and some other yummy goodness that I don’t even remember because we ate it so fast (and I forgot to take pictures for the same reason). The herbs and many of the vegetables (including those in the vegetable tasting that we also ordered) were grown right in the gardens on site — in fact, I chatted with one of the chef’s as she cut herbs for the dishes that night and we oohed and ahed over the red sorrel and other heirloom herbs. We ended the evening with dessert, including fresh pineapple crisp and V’s fabulous lilikoi mousse. We fell in love with lilikoi – a Hawaiian passionfruit – that we had in mousse, gelato, shave ice, and spritzer form over the course of the week.

Remember the poke from the luau? Well, it definitely reappeared in our hawaiian adventures — including as a burger! We tried to find the Aloha Theatre Cafe for brunch at the recomendation of a friend, but they closed last year, which ended up being just fine for us, as we ended up at Annie’s just up the road – a place that I had read about in my foodie research for the trip. They have all kinds of fabulous burgers and sides, and while everyone loved their burgers (including the portabello and bulgur version that A had), my poke burger was a knockout! As their menu states, it is “Panko coated patties made with our fresh sesame and shoyu-seasoned fish. Fried and complemented by sliced avocado and our special cucumber aioli. Served on a classic bun”.

The fries were also revelatory – basil and TONS of roasted garlic tossed with fresh-made french fries. Ummm, hells yes!

The other poke meal that we had was at Da Poke Shack, a tiny little storefront with no inside seating that was about a mile from our house. Our only regret is that we didn’t discover it until our last day there! They had 8+ kinds of fresh poke available, and a poke bowl that is brown rice, seaweed and sesame topping, your choice of poke, and a side ( seaweed salad, crab salad, sweet chili edamame, etc). It was amazing. I got two different type of ahi poke – shoyu/sesame and another with avocado aioli. V got the octopus, and while it was good, it was nothing compared to the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of the ahi poke — any style.

Some of the other fabulous hawaiian food that we had included fresh as can be sushi from Kenichi Pacific ( and we lucked into their 1/2 price sushi happy hour!) and a veggie version of the classic loco moco. This one was at Sam Choy’s and filled with spinach and brown rice and shitake mushroom gravy. What a great remake. Oh, Hawaii, we will definitely be back to enjoy your Plenty again soon!

                            

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