Friday, August 20, 2010

Local and [farmer's market] Fresh

Ahhh...another night cooking in the Hamptons. It's hard not to be completely inspired to cook good food out here. Driving around you pass farmers markets left and right with local produce and fresh fish markets with their catches of the day. We went to Round Swamp Farm yesterday to get inspired. This is one of my favorite places here. They have it all, local from land to sea and they also carry specialty products that are hard to find. They had extra large JUMBO prawns that immediately caught my eye. I was like a kid in a candy store (really, sort of embarrassed looking back by my reaction). We grabbed a few of these and made a round through their market picking up local corn, heirloom tomatoes and other fresh ingredients to prep for dinner.

I decided to start with a recipe that I came across on the blog, Green Lemonade. I love this blog! It is Noelle's journey to living a healthier and more natural life and it is completely inspiring. She recreated the Heirloom Tomato and Avocado Salad from East Hampton's Blue Parrot . Noelle made a macadamia nut pesto instead of the restaurant's cilantro pesto and since cilantro is probably the only ingredient that my husband will not eat, I decided to go the same route. This was just incredible. The textures of the ripe tomato with the creamy avocado and crunchy macadamia nuts with the fresh basil was a party in my mouth. You can find the full recipe here. Let me know what you think!
We followed with a Sweet Corn Quinoa and Simply Grilled Jumbo Prawns. I added diced cherry tomatoes, cucumber, green onions and pine nuts to the quinoa and dressed it with a sweet Dijon vinaigrette. The meal came together so beautifully, we already had the leftovers for lunch today!

Sweet Corn Quinoa
Serves about 4

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 ears of sweet corn
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup cucumber, diced
2 stalks scallion, thinly sliced
pine nuts, toasted

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp good Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
Cook the quinoa according to directions and set aside. Grill the corn, set aside to cool and then once cooled, cut the kernels off of the cob. Set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the corn, tomatoes, cucumber, green onion and quinoa.

To make dressing, mix all ingredients in blender until smooth. Stir into the salad and top with toasted pine nuts.

Simply Grilled Jumbo Prawns
Serves about 3

6 large prawns, shells on
olive oil
freshly ground pepper, to taste
sea salt, to taste

Using kitchen shears, cut a slit along the top part of each shell and clean the prawn by quickly running under cold water. In a bowl toss with a little olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Put directly on a high heat grill and cook for about 3-5 minutes, turning once until it turns pink and is just cooked through.

Arrange the prawns on top of a bed of the sweet corn quinoa. Serve and enjoy.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ani's Sesame Noodles

I had the opportunity to meet Ani Phyo when she was in town on her book tour. She came out with her latest cookbook Ani's Raw Food Essentials and gave a demo at Organic Avenue a couple of weeks ago. She completely inspired me so I decided to try another one of her recipes last week. These noodles were so good that I had it for dinner three nights in a row! I had to share these images with you all...

Kelp noodles are the greatest thing that I have learned about. I am always craving pasta, though without the bloating feeling that comes along with them. These are the perfect solution! Kelp noodles are a sea vegetable in the form of an easy-to-eat raw noodle. They are fat-free, gluten-free and very low in carbohydrates and calories. They are a healthy alternative to pasta and rice noodles and no cooking is required! Just rinse and add noodles to any dish.

This recipe uses walnut and cashew butter to create an incredibly smooth texture for the sauce. It is flavored with toasted sesame oil, Braggs Liquid Aminos, vinegar, garlic and ginger and topped with crunchy veggies and Tamari almonds. You can buy her book here to get this recipe and more raw delights!

Let me know if you have any questions or if you give this recipe a try! Leave your comments.

Heirloom Tomato Avocado and Basil Salad

Walking through our local farmers market last Saturday in the West Village I came across an incredibly colorful table of heirloom tomatoes that I absolutely could not resist. Their wonderful colors and odd shapes immediately draws me. This salad is simple (I thought almost not worth blogging about) but after tasting, I had to share! You can use any juicy, ripe tomatoes but during this high season, if you can get your hands on the heirloom variety, I highly recommend. I added avocado because I had a perfectly ripe one at home, but the simpler the better so feel free to omit. Also, I still have some really sweet good-quality balsamic on hand (from our honeymoon in Italy) but if you don't have one I recommend creating a balsamic reduction by heating on low heat for an hour or so, until it reduces by three-fourths and becomes a thick sweet syrup.

Heirloom Tomato Avocado and Basil Salad

Serves 2

1 large heirloom tomato, chopped into small pieces
1 avocado, pitted and diced
good sweet balsamic vinegar, for drizzle
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzle
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
fresh basil leaves, chopped

In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes and avocado chunks, drizzle some olive oil and a pinch of salt and gently combine. Plate half on each plate. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and grind fresh black pepper and top with fresh basil. Serve immediately. Enjoy!