Grilled Kale Salad

grilled kale salad Who knew you could grill kale? I didn’t. It wasn’t until I saw this technique done in a book called, Hero Food by Chef Seamus Mullen’s, that I got inspired to do it. Actually, the minute I saw it I knew I had to try it, why not, I grill everything else!

garden kale We grow a ton of kale, we have it all over our garden, three different varieties so I’m always thinking of ways to use it up, as it keeps growing well into the fall. I’ve made kale chips in the past and I have to admit I didn’t like them at all, but I’ve since realized it was the way I made them, they lacked flavor. With a little more seasoning and a little more olive oil I’ve come to love those crispy little chips, maybe it’s an acquired taste I don’t know, but they’re very addicting if they’re made right!garden bounty Our tomatoes are finally getting red, it’s exciting to walk out into the garden everyday to see what kind of loot we have vine ripened and ready to pick. grilling kale Tossing the kale in a mixture of olive oil, balsamic, lemon zest and garlic gives you a nice base for a salad or just to eat as is.grilling kale The kale leaves hold up very well on the grill with the stems and all. Don’t walk away because it just takes one to two minutes per side. You could grill up a large platter in a few minutes!grilled kale Grilling brings out a rich smokey flavor with a texture that is crunchy and chewy at the same time, and it looks quite unique on a platter, something you don’t see often.grilled kale salad  As I said you could eat it right off the grill as a side dish to fish, poultry, beef or pork or you might want to break it up and toss it into a salad like I did.grilled kale with grilled veggies For my grilled kale salad I used vegetables that I had previously grilled, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, corn, yellow and red peppers. In addition to that I added fresh cherry tomatoes and goat cheese to the salad with an extra drizzle of my vinaigrette over the top. Summertime freshness that is so good for you!

Grilled Kale Salad

Ingredients

  • Adapted from Chef Seamus Mullen's
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons, balsamic vinegar
  • 2 bunches of kale, washed and spin dried, any variety with big leaves will do
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat grill.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine olive oil, garlic, vinegar, juice, zest and kale. Toss until well coated.
  3. Lay kale side by side in a single layer on top of the grill until crispy, 1 - 2 minutes per side.
  4. Pile the kale in a big stack on a large platter or break up and place into a salad.
  5. For salad add grilled assorted veggies, goat cheese and sliced cherry tomatoes.
  6. VINAIGRETTE RECIPE to drizzle on top.
  7. 3 parts good olive oil to 1 part wine vinegar, a splash of balsamic, 1 smashed garlic clove, a dollop of Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of oregano, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, ground pepper to taste. Whisk everything together.
http://www.prouditaliancook.com/2013/08/grilled-kale-salad.html

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Tomato Harvest and the Winner of my Giveaway

I’m sure many of you are thinking up different ways to use up your garden tomatoes like I am, I’m not a caner so I try to use them as they start piling up. So far I’ve made numerous caprese salads, ( a stash of fresh mozzarella is a staple in my fridge lately).
Tossed them into pastas, made gratins with them, used them with grilled meats and fish, stuffed them, made quick sauces, dried them.
I’ve roasted cherry tomatoes by the pan full and graced many things with them, pizza, panini, tarts, omelette’s, I could go on and on and so could you I bet!

Recently I made this Tomato and Corn Pie and of course It has a little Italian twist on it. My only regret is, I should have made more than one, it was that good and disappeared in a heartbeat!

I just used a good store bought refrigerated pie dough, placed it into my pie pan, brushed it with olive oil and sprinkled with black pepper, then I pricked the dough all around with a fork.
I layered the bottom with a mixture of shredded asiago, mozzarella and grated romano cheese.
On top of the cheese I scattered caramelized onions and fresh basil. Place fresh corn from the cob over that and add a quick drizzle of olive oil and more romano.
 Arrange sliced tomatoes on top adding salt, pepper, dried oregano, fresh basil and another quick drizzle of olive oil. Bake in a 375 oven until crust is a nice deep brown. Let it cool down before you cut into it.
Serve this with a green salad and you have a fabulous meal!
I made this for breakfast last Sunday, Baked Eggs in Tomatoes.
Basically you cut a 1/2 inch off the top of a tomato, gently scoop out the seeds and inner membrane, being careful not to break through the flesh of the tomato. Season, drizzle with olive oil and layer the bottom with fresh corn. Place in a baking dish lined with parchment.
Whisk up one egg per tomato, I added basil, romano cheese and a bit of asiago and divide and pour mixture among the tomatoes. Top with romano and bake at 350 for 45 to 50 minutes. Serve warm.
Recipe adapted from Martha
Pop some toast in the toaster, have the coffee brewing and the Sunday paper near by and enjoy a leisurely breakfast!
Cheesey, eggy, tomatoey goodness, oh my!

And now for the winner of my blogiversary giveaway!
 Before I announce the winner I just want to say thank you for all the wonderful comments I received, I enjoyed reading each and every one of them, I was touched in so many ways.

AND THE WINNER IS……..
BECKY ROCHELLE

Marie,
you have reconnected me with my love for Italian food. I too am Italian, LOOOVE food, moonstruck, the godfather and all things Amore! I live in California and have skipped over Italian at times, due to the heaviness of the foods and carbs but you have shown me the light! I am newly engaged, love to cook and have impressed my Fiance with all of your recipes- Cedar Plank Portobellos, Zucchini boats, tarts, etc… It all has been amazing! We both thank you! I have made some of your dishes for my girlfriends as well. Not only do I have the confidence that the meal will be delicious, but it also has been so fun to make and create each dish with all of the incredible tastes and color-combinations! Thank you again!
Becky Rochelle
I found you on my cousin’s Pinterest account!

Becky I will be contacting you via email, CONGRATS!
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Summer Bounty Zucchini Tart

Delicate zucchini blossoms and thin ribbons of squash pressed into cheesey flavored ricotta highlight this summer bounty tart and it’s nothing short of perfection!

Zucchini blossoms need to be showcased and this is the perfect canvas.

Thanks to convenient store bought puff pastry, it makes everything look so elegant when laid upon it and it tastes out of this world.
Crunchy, flaky, buttery!
Even if it sticks together because you might have left it out of the fridge too long and you couldn’t unfold it like you wanted to, ( cough cough),  it still looks pretty and no one would even have a clue that you had a problem.

Here’s how you make it.

RICOTTA MIXTURE
In a bowl mix 2 heaping cups of drained ricotta
1 egg
fresh snipped basil
3 different shredded cheeses, I used romano, mozzarella and an aged chedder. At least 1/4 cup each or even more to taste. My advice, taste mixture before you add the egg.
Salt and pepper
TOPPING
In a saute pan with olive oil and 1 clove of crushed garlic, saute ribbons of zucchini, yellow squash and your zucchini blossoms for a quick minute or two until slightly wilted.
PUFF PASTRY
Line a baking sheet with parchment and unfold your cold puff pastry sheet right on to it. Lightly roll it till seams are flat and sheet looks even all around. Take a pairing knife and make a 1/2 inch border all the way around being careful not to cut through. Take a fork and prick the pastry all within the border so air can get through. 
Just spread the ricotta mixture, (you’ll have extra to do another one) within the border and then lay your sauteed squash on top and dot with a few cherry tomatoes and a little drizzle of olive oil.
I like to brush my edges with olive oil and a sprinkling of romano cheese.
Cook in a 350 degree oven until edges are dark golden and crispy and so is the bottom, at least 1/2 hour could be more. Ovens vary so just check it.
ENJOY!
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Summer Veggie Slaw

Here’s another way to start using up all the zucchini and other veggies and herbs that your garden is producing, just gather everything together and make this Summer Slaw!
It’s quite easy to do if you have this handy julienne peeler, otherwise a mandoline slicer would work as well.
Note: I cut my squash in the middle so that when I used my peeler I wouldn’t have long “spaghetti” like strips but rather shorter ones like in coleslaw.
The ingredients I used were:

  • Yellow squash
  • Zucchini
  • Red pepper strips
  • Match stick carrots
  • Radish, sliced and cut into strips
  • Green onions sliced diagonally
  • Red onion strips
  • Very fresh shucked corn or precooked
  • Fresh picked basil and parsley
  • Torn spinach leaves

No exact amounts here, just use what you have and place everything in a big bowl like I do, tossing and adding until you have a nice color balance with your veggies and herbs.

For added flavor I tossed in strips of Parmigiano Reggiano, but you can get creative and use any aged cheese you like, Fontinella and Provolone work as well because the cheese can easily be cut into strips.
For my dressing I used a simple olive oil and fresh lemon juice but if you wanted something creamier that would work also.
All the ingredients are raw except for the corn, I had two cooked cobs leftover, but feel free to use super sweet fresh corn straight from the cob uncooked.
Gently toss everything together, taste for flavor adding salt and pepper and a little grated cheese if you like, then pile high on a platter.  If I had pine nuts I would have added them.
After I took the photo I added in some slivered almonds and a little crumbled feta.This was a great side dish to my cedar planked salmon!
The perfect summer meal on a very hot day!

 

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Using Up Our Summer Bounty

This quick and easy meal is something I made often this summer, everything is cooked in one pan and before you know it it’s on your table, providing you use thin cut boneless pork chops like I used here or some chicken breast.

It’s been so hot and muggy here the humidity is off the charts, walking out to my grill is not appealing, sometimes I’d rather cook inside with my nice cool air conditioning on. Yes, you have to heat up your oven for this but it’s nothing compared to the heat outside plus it’s a great way for me to use up my sweet cherry tomatoes that we’re fortunate enough to be picking on a daily basis.

We have an over abundance this year I think we went a little overboard in our planting of cherry tomatoes I’m constantly thinking of ways to use them, I made this recipe up out of necessity and it’s become one of our summertime favorites.

I love the different colors and how they cluster together and stay on the vine. They’re so delicious fresh, but sometimes I think I love them even more when they’re cooked and caramelized, the flavor just intensifies! We have a few different varieties some being heirlooms. Right now I’m looking out my window and all I see is red!


I used my cast iron grill pan, but you can use any heavy pan, you’re first going to brown your pork or chicken on top of the stove and then finish it off in a 375F oven until the meat is cooked through and the tomatoes are caramelized.
Pre heat oven
Season your meat with salt and pepper
Brown on both sides in a hot pan drizzled with olive oil
Toss in your cherry tomatoes, I used a lot as you can see
Shaved garlic
Fresh basil
Drizzle olive oil over top of the tomatoes
When finished garnish with more basil, you can never have too much!
Serve this with some five minute cous cous on the side and you’re done! I told you it was easy.
Buon Appetito
I hope you can stop by and help me celebrate my 3rd Blogiversary on Sunday, until then have a great week!
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