Posts Tagged 'pine nuts'

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Dried Cranberries & Pine Nuts

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Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Dried Cranberries & Pine Nuts

Oh my!  You are gonna love this sweet potato salad. Colorful, tasty, and filling.

I created it from memory based on a dish my friend Lucia had made a couple of years ago as a side.  I served it over a bed over lettuce to give it a little more dimension.  For variations, I think you could sub chopped pecans for the pine nuts or scallions for the red onions.  To add more protein, I think drained black beans would be a tasty addition too!

Enjoy!

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Dried Cranberries & Pine Nuts

2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 or 4 medium), peeled and cut into small 3/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
Juice of one lime
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the potatoes with the olive oil and cumin. Season with salt and pepper to taste. On a baking sheet, even spread the potatoes in a single layer. Bake until the potatoes are cooked but still firm, about 30 to 35 minutes. Refrigerate to cool.

Place the cooled sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add the red onion, cranberries, and pine nuts and toss to combine. Add the lime juice and fresh cilantro and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over a bed of lettuce as a main or as a side salad.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tip: I like to line my baking sheets with parchment paper. The paper liner prevents sticking and helps make clean-up easier.

Variation: Chopped pecans would be a tasty substitute for the pine nuts.

Vegetarian & Vegan

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Lemony Swiss Chard with Pine Nuts and Raisins

With its bright green leaves and stems of yellow, orange, and red, rainbow Swiss chard is by far the prettiest green around.  And in my opinion, the tastiest!

But I have to admit, for years I was not a greens fan.  I’d turn my nose at all different types: turnip, mustard, kale …. You name the variety; I was not going to eat it.

Then last year in my weekly Fall CSA, I kept getting a big bunch of Swiss Chard. The first bunch died in the back of my fridge.  The second week, I gave my Swiss Chard to a friend.  The third week I decided, “I have to give this a try.” Wasn’t one of the reasons I participated in a CSA to try new ingredients?

I called my friend Melissa (who had happily taken that second bunch of  Swiss Chard off my hands) and asked her how she prepared hers.

“Be sure not to overcook the Swiss Chard. Its flavor is best when it is just lightly sautéed ,”she advised.

So, I cooked it just like a do spinach …  sautéed with garlic in a little olive oil until just wilted.  

Before I took the first bite I wondered, “Is this even cooked enough?”  All the greens I had encountered on menus in the South had been cooked for hours … not minutes.

But Melissa was right!  Lightly sautéing is the trick!

As I continued to get Chard (and other greens) in my weekly CSA, I played around with a few other recipes. This lemony version is my favorite.  The lemon brightens the flavor of the greens and the pine nuts and golden raisins add a delicious texture.

Swiss Chard is in season in the Fall. Go out and give it a try.  Who knows?  This nutrient-packed green may become a favorite of your too!

Enjoy!

Lemony Swiss Chard with Pine Nuts and Raisins

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons finely-diced shallots
6 cups coarsely chopped rainbow Swiss chard leaves
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pan. Add the shallots and cook until they are soft, about 2 minutes.

Add the chard and cook, stirring, until the leaves just begin to wilt, about 1 minute. Stir in the lemon juice, water, lemon zest, and raisins. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chard is tender and the liquid has almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tip: I prefer rainbow Swiss chard due to its brightly colored veins, but varieties with only white or red veins are equally delicious.

Variation: For more texture and color use the stems in this dish as well. Cut the stems into 1/2-inch pieces, add to the pan before adding the leaves and cook until the stems are tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the leaves and continue with the recipe.

Note: A CSA (short for Community-Supported Agriculture) is also known as “subscription farming.” At the beginning of the growing season, you purchase a subscription from a local farmer just like you buy a subscription to magazine. But instead of receiving a magazine each week, shareholders receive a weekly supply of veggies, herbs, fruits and sometimes even eggs and meat. It’s a win-win for the customer and the farmer. The customer gets fresh, locally-grown foods.  The prepaid CSA fees are a source of financial security for the farmer.

Watermelon and Arugula Salad

I don’t think any fruit says summer and back-yard barbecues like watermelon. I love, my kids love it … a juicy, refreshing slice of watermelon is just hands-down a quintessential favorite.

Most people only think of serving watermelons sliced  … but one of my favorite ways to enjoy this juicy treat is in a salad.  I just love the whole “savory versus sweet” thing that goes on when you match ripe, sweet fruits with savory ingredients.

For this salad, I toss watermelon with spicy arugula. I find that a flavorful green like arugula provides a great contrast to the sweet fruit.  (Spinach would be a good substitute if you can’t find arugula.)

In the South, we like to salt our watermelon slices. (Don’t make a face if you haven’t tried it!) The piquancy of the salt actually enhances the melon’s sweetness.  To get that same experience in this salad, I add crumbled Feta cheese.  This salty cheese works the same way Kosher salt would on a cold slice of watermelon. Yum!

So for the next time you buy a watermelon … think salad rather than slices.

Enjoy!

Watermelon and Arugula Salad
From Simply Salads by Jennifer Chandler

For the vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad:
1 small watermelon, seeded, rind removed, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 package (5 ounces) Baby Arugula salad blend
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

For the vinaigrette:

In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice and red wine vinegar.  Slowly add the oil in a steady stream, whisking to emulsify.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the salad:

In a large salad bowl toss the salad blend, watermelon, feta cheese, and pine nuts. Add the vinaigrette to taste and gently toss.

Makes 6 appetizer or side salads.

Tip:  Add fresh mint leaves for an interesting zing to this refreshing salad.


Jennifer Chandler

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