Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad

Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound green beans
  2. 1 pound cherry tomatoes
  3. 1 can cannellini or navy beans, drained
  4. 1 large shallot
  5. 3 T. red wine vinegar
  6. salt
  7. freshly ground pepper
  8. ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  9. basil or other herb, optional
Instructions
  1. Trim green beans and parboil them in salted water until tender. Drain and immediately spread them to cool. Cut tomatoes in half. These steps can be done in advance.
  2. For the vinaigrette, peel and dice the shallot finely and put it in a bowl with the vinegar and salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil. Taste and adjust the balance with more vinegar, oil, or salt, as needed. Toss the cherry tomatoes with the vinaigrette; this can sit awhile.
  3. Do not add green beans or cannellini beans until just before serving or they will discolor from the acid in the vinaigrette. Garnish with basil or another herb.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Herb Garden Harvest by Robin Nathan

I live in Roscoe Village, a great neighborhood in the city, a little west of Wrigley Field, in a house that was built in 1904. While many houses in my neighborhood are either new construction or gut rehabs, our house has only been updated over the past 116 years.  By city standards, we have a very large backyard – one of the biggest on the block, and the only one with the original trees. The oak tree is as old as the house, with an enormous trunk and towering branches. Our maple tree is a baby – a mere 60 years old. These trees provide lovely shade – but there is one downfall. Not enough sun for a true garden.

HerbPotsInstead, every spring, I line the stone fence surrounding the trees with pots of herbs.  They get enough sun to keep going through the summer months. There’s always basil, cilantro, and mint, sometimes rosemary, and this year there is also lavender and oregano. These herbs form the basis of many a weeknight dinner. Sometimes I’ll grab three and puree them with a little white wine vinegar and olive oil to drizzle over quickly grilled chicken, fish, or steak. Or I’ll throw in pine nuts or pistachios and make a quick pesto. Often I don’t even bother with the pureeing and just mince two or three herbs with a little arugula to toss into a quick summer sauté of grape tomatoes, sweet onions and bi-color corn. The fresh taste and color are welcome and delicious, and give new life to old weeknight standbys. You really can’t miss when you combine fresh herbs – just go a little easy on the mint so you don’t end up feeling like you’re eating toothpaste. Have fun and go a little herb crazy! In a few months, this freshness will be a only a memory.

5 Herb Purée
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  2. ½ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  3. ½ cup packed fresh arugula leaves
  4. 2 T. packed fresh mint leaves
  5. 1 T. packed fresh oregano leaves
  6. 2 T. white wine vinegar
  7. 1/3 cup olive oil
  8. salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Chop all the herbs. Place in a blender or coffee grinder (my favorite, because it really pulverizes the herbs) with the vinegar and oil. Process until completely smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt.
Notes
  1. To turn it into a pesto, add a couple tablespoons of a nut and some Parmesan cheese.
  2. Serving Ideas: Drizzle on freshly grilled chicken, steak, fish, or pork. Stir into ratatouille or any other fresh veggie sauté. Drizzle over veggie crepes or breakfast eggs. Drizzle over goat cheese and serve with crackers.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Tomato and Caramelized Onion Tart

Tomato and Caramelized Onion Tart
Yields 2
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Tart Shell
  1. 12 T. butter, cold
  2. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  3. ½ t. salt
  4. ¼ t. baking powder
  5. 4 ½ oz. cream cheese, cold
  6. 2 T. ice water
  7. 1 T. cider vinegar
Filling
  1. 2 T. oil
  2. 2 T. butter
  3. 1 t. salt
  4. 3 sweet onions
  5. 1 t. thyme
  6. Mixed cherry tomatoes
  7. 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  8. 1 cup Manchego cheese
Instructions
  1. Cut butter into cubes, wrap in saran wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.
  2. Place flour, salt, and baking powder in a gallon plastic bag and freeze for 30 minutes.
  3. In a food processor, blend the flour mixture for a minute.
  4. Cut the cream cheese into 3 or 4 pieces and add the flour mixture. Process for a minute or so until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add frozen butter cubes and pulse until butter is the size of peas. Add the water and vinegar and pulse another 10-12 times.
  5. Spoon the crumbly mixture into 2 Ziploc bags. Knead mixture until it holds together.
  6. Wrap with saran, flatten into a rectangle and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
  7. In a large nonstick sauté pan, add the oil, butter, salt, onions and thyme over medium high heat. Stir often for 10 minutes. If onions begin to brown at all, turn temperature down. After 10 minutes, drop temperature to low and continue sautéing for 20 more minutes until tender.
  8. Roll out dough and press into tart shells. Prick with a fork, 8 times. Freeze for 20 minutes.
  9. Bake empty shells for 15 minutes.
  10. Add ½ the cheese to each tart shell; top with ½ the onions, then half of the tomatoes.
  11. Cover the crust edges with foil and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes prior to slicing.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Summer Panzanella Salad with Beans, Corn, Beets, Burrata and Croutons

Summer Panzanella Salad with Beans, Corn, Beets, Burrata and Croutons
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Ingredients
  1. Candy beets
  2. ½ cup basil leaves
  3. ¼ cup oil
  4. ½ t. salt
  5. Velour purple beans, trim one end
  6. Mirai Bi Color sweet corn, shucked
  7. ¼ cup oil
  8. 4 slices of country bread, hand torn
  9. Burrata or fresh mozzarella
  10. 8 oz. Arugula
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400.
  2. Trim ends of beets and lay on a piece of foil (no more than 4 beets per packet). Drizzle a little oil on beets and season with salt and pepper. Wrap package tightly and place on a parchment lined sheet tray. Roast for 20 – 60 minutes depending on size of beets. Beets should be fork tender. When cool enough to handle, remove skin and slice into ¼” slices. (Optional to wear gloves.)
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add 1 T salt.
  4. Prepare an ice bath in a medium bowl. Place basil leaves into a mesh strainer and dunk into boiling water for 10 seconds. Immediately plunge into ice bath for 10 minutes. Wring out all water from basil by squeezing it.
  5. Put basil into Vitamix with ¼ c. oil and ¼ t. salt. Blend until smooth. Either use puree as is on the salad or strain oil and just use the oil on the salad. If straining, reserve the basil pulp for another use.
  6. In a large sauté pan, heat ¼ cup oil over medium heat, add croutons and stir to thoroughly coat with oil. Season with salt and pepper and continue sautéing about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until crisp on the outside, tender in the middle.
  7. Drop sweet corn into boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove corn from water with tongs and cut off core when cool enough to handle. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Drop beans into boiling water for 2 minutes, remove and strain. Season.
  9. When ready to eat, squeeze lemon on arugula and season with salt and pepper. Lay on bottom of platter. Artfully arrange beans, corn, beets and cheese on top of arugula.
  10. Drizzle with basil oil, sprinkle with croutons and eat!
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Roasted Radishes – Who Knew? by Teri Hiben

The next time you’re at the farmer’s market, don’t skip by the beautiful red radishes or the kohlrabi.  Both of these vegetables with strong flavors can be eaten raw or roasted which yields a delicious, mild and mellow flavor.  Recently I roasted both of these after they arrived in my CSA box. Here’s one idea to prepare each of these: 

Cut the radishes in half and rub with olive oil.  Place cut side down on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with a bit of salt.  Roast at 400 degrees for 10-15 mins.  After you plate them, squeeze a little lemon on top and sprinkle with a few of the green leaves from the radishes that you have minced. 

Cut the kohlrabi in 1/4” thick sticks and rub them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Roast these also at 400 degrees for 10-15 mins.  When they come out of the oven, immediately sprinkle with a bit of parmesan.