Tag Archives: summer salad recipe

Going With The Grain Part II: Smoked Barley with Blistered Tomatoes & Burrata

Milky sweet burrata is the crowning touch on this smoked barley-charred tomato salad.

Milky sweet burrata is the crowning touch on this smoked barley-charred tomato salad.

 

If you’re a pyromaniac when it comes to cooking, this new cookbook is surely going to stoke your desire to light things up.

“Thank You for Smoking: Fun and Fearless Recipes Cooked with a Whiff of Wood Fire on Your Grill or Smoker” (Ten Speed Press) is not only a cleverly titled cookbook, but a very creative one, too.

The book, of which I received a review copy, is by Austin-based Paula Disbrowe, a grilling expert and veteran cookbook writer.

There are 100 recipes included. What’s really fun is that most go way beyond the norm of just throwing a steak or piece of chicken on a grill or in a smoker. Instead, Disbrowe really opens your eyes to possibilities you may never have even considered.

Just get a load of recipes such as “Smoked Arbol Honey,” “Dirty Martini with Smoked Castelvetrano Olives,” “Smoked Onion and Cheddar Tart,” Beef Tenderloin with Smoked Garlic Aioli,” and “Burnt Marshmallow Krispies.”

Thank You For Smoking

With its luxurious cream center that spills out of a ball of mozzarella, burrata is one of my favorite cheeses. So I just had to take a go at “Smoked Barley with Blistered Tomatoes & Burrata.”

Is it really worth it to set up a smoker and spend about 35 minutes to smoke barley grains?

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Going With the Grain Part I: Fig, Walnut & Freekeh Salad

The two F's: figs and freekeh.

The two F’s: figs and freekeh.

 

WTF.

As in what the freekeh?

If you don’t know this ancient grain, summer is the perfect time to give it a try.

It’s a lot like bulgur, except that freekeh is roasted young green whole wheat kernels, while the former is cracked, hulled parboiled whole wheat kernels. As such, bulgur cooks in a flash, while freekeh takes about 20 minutes or so. The tiny grains of both are packed with fiber and protein, and cook up with with a slight chewy texture. I think freekeh tastes just a little toastier.

Grains like these, which are staples of Middle Eastern cuisines, make incredible summer salads or side dishes. You’re probably already familiar with bulgar in tabbouleh salads. Freekeh can be used in the same way.

Enjoy it in this tasty, texture-tantalizing “Fig, Walnut & Freekeh Salad.”

SaffronintheSouks

The recipe is from the new cookbook, “Saffron in the Souks: Vibrant recipes from the heart of Lebanon” (Kyle), of which I received a review copy. It’s by John Gregory-Smith, a food and travel writer who specializes in Middle Eastern and North African cuisine.

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A Potato Salad Brimming with Herbs

Potato salad with yogurt, lemon and a plethora of home-grown herbs.

Potato salad with yogurt, lemon and a plethora of home-grown herbs.

 

In my mind, I’m a passionate gardener.

In reality, I’m often a disgruntled one.

Martha Stewart sure makes it look easy. But does she have to contend with lightening-fast squirrels that seem to think they have squatter’s rights in my yard? I think not.

I water and fertilize diligently, nurturing my plants and trees, and waiting for that moment when they give forth their riches in fruits and veggies. Apparently, the squirrels play that same waiting game. And more often than not, they trounce me at it.

Who will be first to snag the ripe tomatoes and peaches? Usually them, alas. This season, I got so fed up that I picked all my peaches off my dwarf tree just a hair before they ripened — just so I could enjoy them before the critters did. Take that, varmints!

Maybe that’s why I actually get joy from growing herbs. Because for whatever reason, my herbs are mostly left alone, able to flourish undisturbed, enabling me to get my pick of soft green leaves to enjoy.

Saladish

On a recent afternoon, I felt fairly smug, going through my backyard, snipping chives, lemon basil, Italian basil, shiso, tarragon, and thyme, all in pristine condition.

Yes, it was all mine — to incorporate into “New Potatoes with Soft Green Herbs.”

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Grilled Romaine with Feta and — Wait For It — Nuoc Cham

An Asian riff on romaine salad.

An Asian riff on romaine salad.

 

This romaine salad is not your usual suspect.

It’s not even your typical odd uncle of grilled romaine.

Not when it’s garnished with feta — and nuoc cham, the ubiquitous Vietnamese dipping sauce.

The creative combo of ingredients that make up “Grilled Romaine with Feta and Nuoc Cham” comes from the mind of Bill Kim, the South Korea-born chef of Urbanbelly and bellyQ, both in Chicago.

Kim, who immigrated to the United States at age 7, grew up helping his mother cook at home, before going on to work at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, Bouley Bakery in New York, and Susana Foo in Philadelphia.

KoreanBBQ

It’s featured in his new cookbook, “Korean BBQ” (Ten Speed Press), co-written with Chandra Ram, editor of Plate magazine, a publication I’ve been fortunate to contribute to.

As the name implies, this book, of which I received a review copy, is all about grilling with bold Asian flavors. In fact, if you master Kim’s seven master sauces, which includes nuoc cham, you’ll be good to go to not only make any recipe in this book, but jazz up any type of barbecue dish you routinely make already.

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