April 21, 2015

Tuna Artichoke Pasta Salad





Ingredients:
8-10 oz cooked pasta
14 oz canned artichoke hearts in brine, drained and chopped
15 oz canned solid albacore tuna in water, drained
2 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons nonpareil capers
zest of 1 lemon


dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons Dijon
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


Directions:
In a large bowl, toss together the tuna, artichoke, pasta, capers, onion, celery and zest. Break up any large chunks of tuna. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Drizzle over the salad and stir to evenly distribute all ingredients.


My thoughts:
In spring, I find myself returning to some old picnic favorites. I ate a lot of tuna and tuna pasta salad growing up and as an adult I still like it but try to jazz it up a bit. Not a huge amount of produce is in season quite yet in Maryland so no major fresh vegetables here but this recipe makes the most of canned ingredients to still yield a spring-y dish. The lemon and the Dijon really brighten the whole salad.

April 14, 2015

Blue Crab Celeriac Remoulade



Ingredients:
1 cup finely grated celeriac (aka celery root)
8 oz blue crab meat (I used leftovers from steamed crabs)

dressing:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2-2 tablespoons Dijon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


Directions:
Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

Place all place the crab and celeriac in a medium bowl. Drizzle with dressing. Stir to evenly distribute all ingredients. Refrigerate at least 1 1/2 hours prior to serving.


My thoughts:
Years ago I had céleri rémoulade, a classic French cold, raw salad made with celeriac, mayonnaise and mustard and really enjoyed it. It is so refreshing yet filling. I had thought about making it myself but never got around to it, our stores frequently have celeriac (lucky!) but they are often small and honestly, I don't love grating. Then this weekend we had crabs for the first time and I was trying to think of what to do with the leftover meat from the last couple of crabs when I spied the (finally, huge) celeriac I've had in my fridge for a shocking long period of time from my Washington Green Grocer order weeks ago.

Luckily the celeriac was still fresh* so I grated it up using the second largest holes in my box grater, tossed it with the crab and dressing and refrigerated it for about an hour and a half. Matt raved about the salad. It was just as good as I remembered but it was made even better thanks to the sweet plump crab. The flavors melded wonderfully and the celeriac, though raw, is soft and creamy, not starchy or hard. It just may be my favorite dish of 2015 so far! Oh, and if you don't want to serve it as a salad, it is divine scooped on  a piece of (cooked) firm fish like cod.



*I was skeptical but my new BerryBreeze does seem to actually keep things fresh longer. I had 2 week old Brussels sprouts and blackberries in there that were just as fresh as they were when they were delivered.


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April 10, 2015

Creasy Green Egg Salad



Ingredients:
8 hard-boiled eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon
3/4 (loose) cup chopped creasy greens*
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
dash hot sauce**

Directions:
Slice 3 eggs in half and remove the yolks. Place the yolks in a food processor or mini chopper. Set aside.

Chop up the remaining whites and the rest of the eggs. Place in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.

Place the mayonnaise, mustard and hot sauce in the mini chopper with the yolks. Pulse until smooth. Pour over the chopped eggs. Add the creasy greens and red onion and stir to combine.


*Or arugula or watercress

**I used locally made Snake Oil hot sauce by Woodberry Kitchen which is made with my favorite: fish peppers!


My thoughts:
As I mentioned in my previous creasy green recipe, creasy greens are a spring green that is often foraged in West Virgina and grows wild in a lot of the south. I think the creasy greens I received must been grown in a greenhouse however, they were super clean; nearly pristine. If you are lucky enough to find some either in your backyard or at the market, pick them up! They have a great peppery, sharp bite to them.

I tempered that bite a bit by stirring them into this creamy, rich egg salad. We had it as part of a dinner I like to call "snackies" (a bit of cheese, a bit of bread, a bit of veg etc) but it would make a fine lunch treat.

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April 08, 2015

Cheesy Creasy Green Grits




Ingredients:
2 cups yellow stone-ground grits
6 cups water or chicken stock
1 cup grated extra sharp cheddar*
4 bunches creasy greens, leaves finely chopped (about 3 1/2-4 loose cups of chopped greens)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:

Heat a small amount of oil in a medium skillet. Saute the garlic and pepper flake until fragrant, 2-3 minutes then add the greens and saute until wilted, 3-5 minutes. Set aside.


Meanwhile, in a medium pot, bring the water or stock to a boil. Add the grits and stir continually for about 10 minutes or until all the broth is absorbed. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and greens. Keep covered until ready to serve.

*I used a mix of Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar and their Extra Sharp Cheddar

My thoughts:
I was excited to see creasy greens in the local-only produce box this week so I switched my order to that vs my usual mixed box. I had to google creasy greens to figure out exactly what they were! It turns out they are a spring green that are a popular plant to forage for in WV. How fun! I ended up with an enormous bag so I divided them up to make these grits and saved some to make another recipe that I hope to post here. They have a peppery bite sort of like arugula or watercress (that is what I would sub in, if you can't find creasy greens) but the flavor lingers in your mouth more. I thought creamy, cheesy grits would be the perfect way to highlight their flavor while tempering it a bit. I'm not sure what a traditional way to make creasy greens is but this is a must-try!



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