Garlic Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes

In my last post, I wrote all about the process of meal planning: choosing a recipe for each day of the week, buying a week’s worth of groceries all at once, and doing prep in the morning before heading to work.

And now for something completely different.

Returning from vacation is always slightly crazy. There’s laundry to do, e-mail to catch up on, and kitty messes to clean up. (Welcome home, humans!) Meal planning goes out the window and I’m just grateful if Gabe and I have anything edible in the cupboard. But this post-vacation craziness (psst… mazel tov to the beautiful couple) also allows for some spontaneity in the food department. Cupboards stripped bare, one evening I was forced to run to the grocery store and just pick out whatever looked good. How adventurous!

I came home with an assortment of fingerling potatoes, which I had to have because some of them were purple. (Super sophisticated foodie, here.) I sliced them in half, tossed them with some fresh rosemary from the balcony, and roasted them until toasty brown and slightly crispy on the outside. Rustic, simple, and delicious. And completely unplanned.

Garlic Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes

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Garlic Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes

  • 1 lb. fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 375° F. Toss potatoes with olive oil and rosemary on a rimmed baking sheet. Spread potatoes out into a single layer and roast in oven for 10 minutes. Stir, then roast for another 10 minutes. Stir garlic into potatoes and roast for another 8-10 minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown and fork tender.

Remove from oven, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.

Source: Williams-Sonoma Eat Well.

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Flatbread with Egg, Parmesan, and Arugula

I’m in the middle of kind of a weird food week. Gabe and I are back from a weekend of camping, but we only have a few days at home before jetting off to California for his brother’s wedding. So aside from one glorious meal of homemade pesto featuring the first crop of my miraculously growing basil plant (wahoo!), we’ve been eating sandwiches and takeout.

Meal planning can feel like just one more chore sometimes, but I know I’m so much calmer, healthier, and less impoverished-feeling when I know exactly what we’ll be eating everyday and don’t have to depend on a nearby restaurant. Last week was a pretty successful week in that regard, and I kicked it off with this fun and unusual flatbread. I mixed the dough up before heading off to work, so it rose in the fridge all day and was ready for toppings come dinner time. It’s amazing what a little advance planning can do.

Flatbread with egg, parmesan, and arugula

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Flatbread with Egg, Parmesan, and Arugula

Dough

  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water (110° F)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour

Toppings

  • olive oil
  • cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup freshly shredded parmesan
  • 1/2 cup roasted or grilled red pepper slices
  • 8 large eggs
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups baby arugula

Make the dough: In large bowl, stir together yeast and warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes, or until foamy. Stir in olive oil, salt, and flour until dough comes together. Knead on a lightly floured surface for 6-8 minutes or until smooth. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, place in a warm location, and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes. Punch down dough, cover, and refrigerate at least 6-8 hours or overnight.

Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about an hour. Preheat oven to 450° F. Prepare two cookie sheets by lightly greasing with olive oil and sprinkling with cornmeal. Divide dough in half and roll each section into an oval about 7×13 inches. Place each oval of dough on a cookie sheet.

Lightly brush dough with olive oil. Top with shredded parmesan and red peppers. Bake flatbreads for 8 minutes. Remove from oven. One at a time, crack an egg into a small bowl, and then slide the egg out of the bowl onto the flatbread, until each flatbread has four evenly spaced eggs. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Return flatbreads to oven and bake until eggs reach desired doneness, about 5-8 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together 1/2 Tbs. olive oil with vinegar in a large bowl. Toss arugula with dressing until well-coated, and then top the baked flatbreads with the arugula. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

Serves 4-6.

Source: Slightly adapted from Williams-Sonoma Eat Well.

Watermelon, Mint, and Feta Salad

This post isn’t so much a recipe as it is a proclamation: Try weird things sometimes. It’s good for you.

I bought a quarter of a watermelon for the Fourth of July because a) it’s a holiday requirement, b) a whole watermelon would have been a lot to carry back from the grocery store, and c) I’m the only watermelon-eater in this household. Inspired by the rapidly expanding mint plant on my balcony, I threw together this watermelon salad with mint and feta. Salty cheese with juicy watermelon and refreshing mint? Now that’s different.

After a few deeply pondered bites, I declared to Gabe, “This is weird. But I like it.” And now that my watermelon salad is all gone, I’ve found myself craving the unusual but exciting combination of flavors it provided. This funny little dish made me even more excited to try new and “exotic” recipes. So there you have it: try weird things sometimes. It’s good for you.

Watermelon, mint, and feta salad

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Watermelon, Mint, and Feta Salad

  • 4 cups seeded, cubed, and chilled watermelon
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 Tbs. fresh mint, coarsely chopped

Place watermelon in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with feta and mint, and stir to combine. That’s really all there is to it!

Source: Slightly adapted from Joy the Baker.

Grilled Salmon with Tangy Cucumber Dill Salad

I don’t want to write this without knocking on wood or throwing salt over my shoulder, but guess what? I’m actually growing plants! Basil, mint, chives, oregano, thyme, dill, rosemary, and even a little jalapeño plant! Oh, and fresh catnip, that is constantly and lovingly guarded by a certain little someone.

Guarding her catnip

I’m super excited about my little container garden. It just seems so magical to have ingredients that are (practically) free sitting right on my balcony. But when I noticed that my dill was growing rapidly and threatening to take over its neighbors, it was time to trim it back a bit and do some cooking. Take that, dill.

Chopped Dill

And so I made this tasty grilled salmon with a tangy cucumber dill salad. The salad comes together quickly and can sit in the fridge for awhile, so this fast and easy weeknight meal is ready to go in no time at all. Which is good, because the cat is not the only salmon lover in this household.

Grilled Salmon with Tangy Cucumber Dill Salad

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 Grilled Salmon with Tangy Cucumber Dill Salad

  • 1 hothouse cucumber
  • 1/3 cup finely sliced red onion
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 3 Tbs. good mayo
  • 1 Tbs. rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 4 skin-on salmon fillets, about 6 oz. each and 1 inch thick
  • olive oil, for greasing the grill

Slice cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Slice cucumber very thin and toss with sliced red onion and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Place vegetables into a fine mesh sieve and let drain over a bowl for about 1 hour to draw out some of the water.

To make the dressing, whisk together sour cream, mayo, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and dill. Stir in the cucumbers and red onions and toss until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill salad until ready to use.

Heat grill over high heat and brush with olive oil. Rub salmon fillets with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Grill the salmon, skin side down, for about 4 minutes, or until it gets nice grill lines. Flip and grill for another 2-3 minutes, or until desired doneness.

Remove salmon from grill and carefully peel off the skin, if desired. Serve topped with cucumber salad.

Source: Slightly adapted from Once Upon a Chef.