Sunday, September 16, 2012

Quick Recipe: Basil Tarragon Dressing

As summer comes to an end, I find myself snatching up all the late summer produce I can find. It's like there is a little voice inside me that screams "Quick! Grab that because it might not be here next week! Ooooooo, tomatoes! You must buy them all and eat them every day because you won't get them in January."

So here is a late summer recipe for you. This bright, creamy dressing can be used on summer salads, but my favorite way to eat it is in a tomato sandwich on multigrain bread.

This can be made vegan by simply using vegan mayo. Enjoy!

3/4 cups mayo
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh basil (packed)
1/4 cup fresh tarragon
1/4 cup fresh flat-leafed parsley
5 green onions
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Refrigerate for at least an hour. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Autumn Inspiration

It's fall! It's fall!!! Ok maybe not officially, but I feel it. There is a nip in the air in the morning, and a cool breeze all day. I am always amazed at what the change in seasons can do to me. I feel more awake, more alive, and more excited about everything. You feel it too, right?

This new weather also awakens in me an excitement about the new fruits and vegetables that come with it.

Although I plan to take advantage of the last of the summer produce, I've been spending some time this week on some of my favorite food blogs and websites, gathering inspiration and ideas. My good friends at Peas in a Blog had the same idea this week, so I thought I would take a cue from them and share with you some of the food photos and recipes that have sparked my interest this week. I look forward to trying them all and taking a little from each to create new and fun recipes of my own!


Brussels Sprout Salad with Sour Cherries, Hazelnuts and Manchego Cheese


Honey-Whiskey Carrots


Lentil & Pepper Salad


Southwest Stuffed Acorn Squash with Goat Cheese 


Curried Coconut Pumpkin Soup w/ Chicken and Jasmine Rice


 Roasted Summer Squash Tart


Orange & Cardamom Spiced / Honey'd Fig / Olive Oil Tea Cake

Monday, September 10, 2012

Burg Article - Sans Soucy Shrimp & Wine Festival

Sometimes, my job as a food writer is SO HARD. Sweet shrimp, local wine, and outdoor entertainment. It's just exhausting.

My latest Burg article featured the Sans Soucy Shrimp and Wine Festival in Brookneal, VA. It's too late to visit the festival this year, but the article features some tips on cooking with shrimp along with three delicious shrimp recipes.

Big thanks to Paul and Cameron Anctil for their innovative recipes and beautiful photography on this one!

So I leave you with my favorite shrimp recipe. Savory, decadent, and comforting.

1 cup polenta
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 bay leaf
4 cups shredded fresh collard greens or spinach
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound medium/large wild shrimp, peeled and deveined
4-5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 cayenne or jalapeño peppers, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons butter
handful chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley
3 ounces goat cheese
sea salt & pepper

1. In a saucepan, bring broth to boil. Slowly whisk in polenta (whisking prevents clumping), add bay leaf and a couple pinches of salt. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

2. In another saucepan, bring 1qt water to boil and salt heavily. Boil greens for 5-7 minutes, or until just tender. Drain.

3. While polenta and greens are cooking, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add garlic and peppers, sauté for 2-3 minutes. When the garlic begins to brown, add wine and tomato paste, whisk and cook for another 3-5 minutes.

4. Add shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 2-4 minutes on each side, until just cooked through

5. Add lemon juice, 1 tablespoon butter, and parsley, and remove from heat.

6. Whisk goat cheese and 1 tablespoon butter into polenta, taste for seasoning, and add salt if necessary. In a shallow bowl, spoon polenta in the bottom, Place a mound of greens on top, and, then pour shrimp and pan sauce over top.