January 12, 2015

Black & Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

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I had to take a minute and share this beautiful dish. This salad was the “recipe of the day” on Epicurious a while back. It looked so beautiful and included all the ingredients we love, it was a must try. Since the recipe called for microgreens it gave me a reason to buy some Blue Moon Acres local microgreens. I used their micro-arugula for this dish. It’s pretty pricey stuff, but it sure takes a beautiful picture and tastes fantastic.

I’ve used their microgreens on a smoked salmon platter in the past and it made for a special holiday starter. Microgreens have a delicate flavor that dress up any salad. In the summer when our farms are overflowing with fresh picked veggies I love to dice up an assortment very small, toss them with microgreens and a little crumbled feta or blue cheese and voilà! Delish! It’s a quick chopped salad using salad greens that don’t need any chopping. For now, in this freezing weather, butternut squash and rice of all kinds are easy to find. You can, of course, use regular baby arugula for this as well.

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Adapted from Epicurious

INGREDIENTS

  • 1½ cups black rice
  • ½ cup wild rice
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • ½ medium butternut squash, cut into small cubes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2oz microgreens or baby arugula
  • ½ cup roasted pistachios, chopped

1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

2. Cook the rice together in a 4 qt saucepan of boiling water with a pinch of salt until tender – about 35 minutes. Pour the rice through a sieve and allow it to drain completely. Pour the drained rice onto a large platter and allow to cool.

3. Meanwhile, cover a sheet pan with foil and toss the butternut squash with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast in your preheated oven for about 20 minutes until softened and beginning to brown.

4. To make the dressing, whisk the vinegar and honey together and then add the ¼ cup of olive oil, whisking to emulsify. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.

5. In a large bowl, fold the rice, squash, scallions and microgreens together. Toss with the dressing. Sprinkle the chopped pistachios on top.

Enjoy!

December 16, 2014

Panko & Pecorino Crusted Tilapia

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The holidays are here! Can I say Happy Holidays? I’ll take any friendly holiday greeting happily… I love this time of year. We celebrate Hanukkah in our house and there isn’t much decorating or preparing. It kind of sneaks up on me every year, especially when it comes early. In fact, I just figured out over the weekend that the first night is tonight! See what I mean?

Truth be told, we just pull out the menorah and that’s about all the festive decorations you’ll find in our house. I know some fellow Hanukkah peeps go to greater (and better) lengths to make it a festive occasion. We don’t seem to put much effort in these days, but it works nicely for us and there’s always my mother’s latkes – the most important part of the holiday. I love having Hanukkah dinner with the family. Personally I only need 3 things for Hanukkah: latkes, applesauce and sour cream.

I know this isn’t a very holiday’ish recipe, but if you find yourself running around like a crazy person preparing for the holidays and you need something fast to make for dinner on a weeknight, this is it!

If you’re not a tilapia lover you can definitely make this with another firm white fish. Tilapia is so mild, it works really well here, and it’s generally pretty inexpensive, too. I know there are some folks out there that say cheese and fish are a “no-no.” I disagree. With linguine and clam sauce, I must have Parmesan… zuppa di pesce, I like a little grated cheese and how about cream cheese and smoked salmon? Is cream cheese actually considered a cheese? Anyway, the combination of the panko and grated Pecorino makes an addictive crunchy topping. If your kids eat fish, this might be one they’ll like.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3-4 tilapia fillets (one per person)
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 6 tbsp panko
  • 4 tbsp grated Pecorino Romano cheese (you can use Parmesan if you prefer)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt & cracked pepper
  • About 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon, sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a sheet pan with foil. Brush the foil with a little olive oil.

2. Combine the panko, Pecorino, red pepper flakes and a little salt and pepper in a small bowl, set aside.

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3. Place the fish fillets on the foil lined pan and lay 2 slices of lemon under each piece.

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4. Brush about 2 tsp of Dijon mustard on each fillet. It doesn’t have to be exact, just make sure you get the whole top of the fillet coated, like I’ve done above.

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5. Sprinkle the panko mixture evenly over the fish. You want a nice thick crunchy topping. Then lightly drizzle a little olive oil over the panko crust. Place pan in your preheated oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Timing will depend on how thick your fish is.

6. Right when the fish is done, transfer it to the broiler to finish browning the crunchy topping. Keep an eye on it and don’t walk away. It only needs a minute or two. You can rotate the sheet pan to make sure it browns evenly. Serve immediately with a wedge of lemon.

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Enjoy!

 

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