fresh pineapple salsa

Alert: this post does not describe any home-baked goods.  It’s 100 degrees out today, people.

I love that happy serendipity that occurs when you have the impulse to make something and then you discover that you already have all the ingredients you need to make said something.  Especially when those ingredients are odds and ends that probably wouldn’t have been used in a timely fashion otherwise.  Such was the case when I decided I wanted to make pineapple salsa today.  I had fresh pineapple, half of a Vidalia onion, a lime I bought some time ago for goodness knows what, and a jalapeno and some cilantro from my garden.  And then I found this recipe on the Whole Foods website.  I’ve adapted it slightly, but it’s essentially the same.  I enjoyed it spooned on to some Blue Ginger Black Sesame and Sea Salt Brown Rice Chips I had in my pantry.

Fresh Pineapple Salsa
(adapted from wholefoodsmarket.com)

Makes about 2 cups.

2 cups diced fresh pineapple
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lime
Sea salt to taste

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to use.

revisiting an old favorite

Last summer I discovered a new favorite — grilling flatbreads.  They are quick and simple to make, and so much fun, and everyone loves to eat them.  Yesterday, I made Grilled Asiago Rounds and Zucchini Caponata from King Arthur Flour’s Bakers’ Banter.  Both recipes are so easy and sooooo good.  Check out the links above for the recipes as well as how-to videos.

I was outside grilling the breads yesterday morning so we could take them along with us into Boston for the fireworks.  L. said he could smell them in his sleep.  The last time I made this I thought it lasted a bit longer — maybe a couple of days, but the only reason we didn’t finish it all last night was because I only brought two-thirds of the batch of flatbreads and caponata with us.  We had other goodies as well, and really, who needs that much food for just one evening?  I took a lot of abuse for that decision.  Rest assured, we finished the rest of it today. 

garlic grilled bread and eggplant caponata

More grilled bread, more caponata! I made this to take along on our trip west to see James Taylor at Tanglewood (the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra), although we ended up eating much of it at home the next day since it poured the evening of the concert and it was difficult to handle a large golf umbrella and a glass of wine and bread and caponata all at once.

Like the earlier grilled bread and caponata, these recipes were from King Arthur Flour’s Bakers’ Banter. This dough was made with garlic-infused olive oil and contained no cheese. It also had a higher ratio of semolina to flour which gave it more of a pita bread (without the pocket) texture — chewier and less soft than the Asiago bread. Sadly, the garlic flavor was so subtle as to be barely discernible. I wasn’t crazy about this bread and found myself wishing for the Grilled Asiago Rounds.

The eggplant caponata was very like the zucchini caponata I made before, just with eggplant instead of zucchini. The chunks were a little less defined (mushier) than in the zucchini caponata — just a little different but still very tasty.

grilled asiago rounds and zucchini caponata

I made these grilled flatbreads outside yesterday during one of the drizzliest days we’ve experienced this summer. Not really how I planned it, but whaddya gonna do?

The recipe is from King Arthur Flour’s excellent blog, Bakers’ Banter. It’s not my first try at grilled bread, but it’s definitely my most successful. What’s better than moist cheesy bread, hot off the grill? Everyone raved about it! And it was so simple to make — definitely going to make this one again this weekend. Alongside the bread, I served this Zucchini Caponata. The basil was from our garden — it was fragrant and fresh tasting and we were happy to get to enjoy some of it before the bugs ate all of our basil plants to the ground.

stromboli!


L. is a sucker for calzones. However, sometimes calzones from the local House of Pizza aren’t in the budget. I made this stromboli from The Best Make-Ahead Recipe this week for dinner for “Guys’ Night.” Guys’ Night is what the guys have when I have book club. Usually the offerings are take-out or something somewhat decadent at least, but neither were in the cards this week so I thought I’d try to come up with something worthy instead. I was able to make the stromboli earlier in the day and refrigerate it so they could just pop it in the oven in the evening.

I prepared my stromboli with browned ground beef, turkey pepperoni and bacon bits. An odd combo, I know, but it’s what I had kicking around in the fridge! L. and P. had it with a little (jarred) marinara on the side. It was very well-received!

Giada’s Dirty Risotto

I snagged Giada De Laurentiis’ recipe for “Dirty Risotto” from the Food Network website. Up until now, my risotto experimentation has lent itself mostly to vegetarian fare. Not deliberately, but lately that’s what I had been emphasizing and/or working on. Needless to say, these experiments have not been soundly well-received by the manfolk, nor the teen manfolk in the house. So I was intrigued by this recipe, since it has Italian sausage as one of its ingredients. I also liked that it didn’t in fact contain chicken liver, unlike the Dirty Rice of my barbecue restaurant cook days from high school. I followed the recipe closely (even using pancetta, where up to this point I have been substituting bacon for pancetta in every recipe I’ve come across. Sorry, it’s just that I couldn’t find the pancetta in my store and was too unmotivated to ask someone.). The only thing I didn’t include was the fresh Italian parsley (I’ve found my shopping list writing brain blanks out when it sees fresh Italian parsley in a recipe — and many other fresh herbs as well. I don’t recall ever making a conscious decision not to buy it; I don’t even recall ever reading it in the ingredients.).

Anyway, it was well-received. P. raved about it — “better than soup, stew, or whatever!”, and L., after asking “we’re having risotto, and what else???”, had multiple helpings. So thanks, once again, to Giada, for a well-conceived recipe.