Spring Orzo w/ Pesto, Favas and Asparagus

 

We planted fava beans in the beginning of the year and with our all of the rain we got they’ve taken off and grown over my head! They are super beautiful plants and these favas are so incredibly green, I just keep marveling at them. They are also available in lots of grocery stores and farmers markets now if you don’t happen to have a forrest of them in your front yard. This is a light pasta dish that we created to focus on the spring flavors.

{serves 4}

  • 1 pack (1 lb) whole grain orzo (or reg. orzo)
  • 8 cups chicken broth (or a mix of water and broth)
  • 1 1/2 cups fava beans (pods removed, with outer bean layer still on)
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream (optional)
  • 2 tbsp julienned mint
  • asparagus tips (remaining from pesto)
  • more asiago for serving

for the pesto:

  • 1/4 cup mint
  • juice of 1 1/2 lemons and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 lg garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 5 fat asparagus spears (cut off tips)
  • 2 tbsp grated asiago
  • tbsp olive oil
  1.  cook the orzo according to package instructions
  2. meanwhile remove fava beans from pods and boil for 30 seconds then move to an ice bath, let sit for 2 minutes then remove with a strainer and use your fingernails or a knife to peel outer layer off, use the same water to blanch asparagus for 1 minute, transfer them to an ice bath as well
  3. blend all pesto ingredients together in a food processor
  4. when the orzo is pretty cooled off stir the cream (if using) and pesto in
  5. serve and garnish with asparagus tips, fava beans, mint and more cheese!

 

© 2017, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Spring Risotto with Roasted Asparagus and Smoked Salmon

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  • This is a lighter take on risotto with lots of vibrant spring flavors.

[serves 2-3]

  • 1 cup risotto (dry)
  • 3-4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 pats butter
  • 10 asparagus spears
  • 1 spring onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • dijon mustard
  • 2 spoons of capers
  • 1 lemon
  • salt/pepper
  • 5 sprigs of dill
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 ounces smoked salmon per serving
  1. pre-heat oven to 350ºF
  2. roast onion (whole), garlic (keep in skin), lemon (slice) and asparagus on a baking sheet. drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper
  3. make risotto according to instruction
  4. when veggies are finished roasting, cut asparagus, lemon and onion into bite sized pieces and add to the risotto
  5. stir in yogurt and mustard
  6. squeeze garlic out of skin into the risotto or mince and incorporate
  7. destem and mince dill and add that as well, along with the capers
  8. serve and top with salmon

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Savory Spring Oatmeal

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This savory oatmeal is super simple and so tasty. It’s also kind of healthy comfort food (!)

[serves 1]

  • 1/2 cup oats (dry)
  • a couple of ounces of smoked salmon
  • 5 asparagus
  • salt/pepper
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 spoons yogurt sauce
  1. preheat oven to 350º F
  2. drizzle asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast until they’re starting to brown
  3. cook oatmeal according to direction
  4. top with asparagus, salmon, yogurt sauce and capers

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Matcha Pound Cake with Orange and Coconut Glaze

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I don’t know when I discovered matcha but I’ve been hooked ever since. When I visited my cousin in Vienna last summer, there was a traditional Japanese tea house that specialized in matcha. They would make each drink by hand with a whisk in a delicate little china bowl. It was always the same three women working, wearing beautiful silk and you could watch them, expertly whipping up the frothiest, creamiest matcha lattes I’ve ever seen. My mom made matcha shortbread cookies for Christmas for a couple years and they were delicious. Recently I saw this Food & Wine article about all the things you could do with matcha and it’s been on my mind ever since. Luckily, my mom’s friend owns a specialty tea company that carries some incredible matcha powder and she shared some with me for experimentation. This is my version of the Food & Wine pound cake recipe. I used coconut oil, coconut milk and coconut sugar to make it a little healthier and give it a coconutty twist. It is very dense, I’d recommend enjoying it with tea, white wine or a hoppy beer.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp matcha powder
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk

glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 5 tsp coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • shredded coconut (for sprinkling)
  • 1 tsp cardamom (optional)
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  1. preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper
  2. in a small bowl whisk together the flour, salt and matcha powder and set aside
  3. melt the butter and coconut oil then beat in the sugar, don’t worry if it doesn’t completely emulsify, it will when you add it to the dry ingredients
  4. add the eggs one at a time and the vanilla extract, beating after each addition
  5. beat in the dry ingredients and the milk in a few additions; scrape down the bowl as necessary
  6. pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
  7. let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes
  8. to make the glaze, pour milk into a small bowl and slowly whisk in powdered sugar as needed, until it is a glaze consistency, add orange zest, cardamom and vanilla extract. Pour the glaze over the warm cake and sprinkle the coconut on top

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© 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Slow Cooked Lamb Curry with Chick Peas and Grilled Eggplant

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I really love lamb. When I was little my parents used to make lamb burgers with blue cheese and apparently I was repulsed by them. Those days are over. Sometimes my dad says he wishes they weren’t. Lamb and eggplant are a combination made in heaven. There is a guy at the Encinitas farmers’ market that sells some great curries so that is where we got this gem but most grocery markets carry jarred curries.

  • 1 eggplant
  • drizzle of olive oil/balsamic
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 can chick peas
  • 1 pound lamb shank
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 onion
  • 1 jar green curry
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp powdered turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 can light unsweetened coconut milk
  • farro or rice*
  1. drain and rinse chick peas, roughly chop garlic and onion
  2. start heating slow cooker
  3. once hot, melt coconut oil; add mustard seeds, turmeric, chili flakes and chopped garlic until aromatic
  4. add curry, coconut milk, onion, chick peas and lamb and cook on low for as long as possible (8 hours)
  5. slice eggplant and drizzle it with olive oil and balsamic then grill it and add to the stew in the last 15 minutes of cooking
  6. garnish with some herbs

*we served it over farro and it was delicious but feel free to go traditional and use rice

© 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Spring Pasta with Scallops, Asparagus and Blood Orange

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I went home for spring break last week but we were only in San Diego for 4 nights so my mom and I had to plan our menus strategically. Two nights were already taken care of because fish tacos and Cardiff Crack go without saying. Some of my favorite things that I am usually too cheap to buy while I’m at school are scallops and lamb. They both also happen to lend themselves well to spring-y dishes so those took care of our other two nights.

links to the other spring recipes: Slow Cooker Lamb with Chick Peas and Grilled Eggplant, Cabbage-Beet Tahini Slaw, Chard with Anchovy Tomato Dressing

  • 1 box fussili pasta
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 blood orange (for juice and zest)
  • bay scallops
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • sprinkle truffle salt
  • 2 handfuls little yellow tomatoes
  • 4 pats butter
  • 1 handful baby kale
  • 3 sprigs basil
  • 2 cups peas (preferably fresh)
  • splash of dry white wine (plus another bottle for drinking while cooking)
  • Parmesan
  1. in a non-stick skillet melt butter over medium low heat with 1 tbsp olive oil
  2. slice shallot and add to pan, cook on medium low heat, stirring occasionally until opaque, then remove from pan
  3. line a pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and put tomatoes on it, drizzle them with 1 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with truffle salt, bake at 350°F until blistered (15 minutes-ish)
  4. slice asparagus in 1 inch pieces and remove peas from shells if necessary
  5. boil water and prepare an ice bath, cook them in the boiling water for 2 minutes, then transfer them to the ice bath as fast as possible
  6. drain those guys and put them in a large mixing bowl, zest and juice the blood orange into said bowl
  7. wash kale and basil and slice them, add to the bowl, add capers
  8. cook pasta according to isntructions
  9. add the remaining 2 pats butter and the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil to the shallot pan over medium high heat
  10. add the scallops carefully
  11. when they start turned brown on the cook-side flip them over, with tongs slide them along the bottom of the pan to absorb the toasted butter flavor
  12. continue cooking until opaque throughout then add them into the bowl with all the other items
  13. add a splash of white wine to the scallop pan to deglaze it and transfer that sauce to the bowl with all of the other items then add all that good stuff to the drained pasta

We had grilled shrimp on the side because grilled shrimp goes with everything.

© 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

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