week 45

FRIDAY date night
SATURDAY moroccan carrot salad
SUNDAY bbq salmon
MONDAY johnny carino’s angel hair pasta
TUESDAY chicken lady chicken
WEDNESDAY flank steak with salsa verde + root vegetables
THURSDAY shrimp burgers

it feels like we wait soooo long in vancouver for the summer to arrive! well, here it is!! with boiling hot temperatures to go with! yayyyyyy!

first up this week is a recipe from a brand new cookbook that i bought. i’ve been following cookie + kate for a long time via her email newsletter and i make several of her vegetarian and vegan recipes on a regular basis (she’s my go-to veggie) and was very excited when i first learned she was releasing a cook book. i’ve bookmarked several pages but wanted to make her moroccan carrot salad asap! especially as i’m growing carrots in my veggie garden. not only is it gorgeous but it is absolutely delicious!!

moroccan roasted carrot, arugula and wild rice salad
slightly adapted from love real food by kathryne taylor
serves 4 as a main dish salad.

1 cup wild rice
¼ tsp fine sea salt

1 pound baby carrots, scrubbed and cut on the diagonal into half-inch thick slices (the kind sold with the tops on them, not the baby-cut carrots that come in those plastic bags)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp fine sea salt

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp agave
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp fine sea salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste

⅓ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
10 – 12 ounces arugula
2 oz crumbled feta cheese
3 tbsp golden raisins

preheat oven to 400°F.

bring a large pot of unsalted water to boil; add the rice and continue boiling, reducing heat if necessary, until rice is cooked al dente, approx 40 – 55 mins. drain rice, return to pot, cover, and leave off the heat for about 10 minutes. uncover and stir in the salt. set aside.

toss carrots with oil, chili powder, cinnamon and salt until lightly coated. arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast in oven until cooked through and slightly caramelised on edges, approx 25 minutes.

in a small jar, add oil, lemon juice, mustard, agave, garlic, salt & pepper, and shake until well blended.

in a medium skillet, toast the chopped pistachios over medium heat, stirring frequently until golden, about 4-6 mins. set aside to cool.

in a large serving bowl, combine cooled rice with arugula and toss with dressing. arrange the roasted carrots in the centre and sprinkle pistachios, feta and raisins on top. serve immediately.

when i do my big two-month meal planning sessions, i start by getting out my recipe box and pulling out all the cards i want to cook from, and then i lay them out on our dining room table so i can order them by week. from there, i intersperse with the little recipe bookmarks i’ve inserted into my cookbooks. as a result, i completely overlook the meals that you don’t have recipes for — basics like hamburgers and steak and stuff you just throw on the grill, as is, with just a grinding of salt & pepper. well here is one of those meals! barbecued salmon the way my dad (kinda) used to make it! simple as melting 2-3 tbsp of butter with a couple cloves of crushed garlic and brushing that on about a pound and a half of salmon and grilling it skin side down on your barbecue for about 6-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet. my friend alex just recently taught me a sweet trick: when those white fat globules start appearing on your fish, it’s done! we bought spring salmon from the farmers market but i think any salmon or even halibut would do beautifully like this. i finished some parboiled nugget potatoes on the grill at the same time. i’d just tossed those babies in some extra virgin olive oil and some salt & pepper before they hit the grill. plus a green salad with lettuce from my garden and we enjoyed a fantastic meal!

for the better part of a decade, our little family drove down to burlington, washington every spring so our kids could participate in the annual youth ultimate tournament there. it wasn’t “spring reign” without a stop at johnny casino’s. and i always got the same thing: angel hair pasta with shrimp & artichokes, altho i always skipped the shrimp. it doesn’t need it. super summery, light pasta.

angel hair pasta with artichokes
inspired by johnny carino’s
serves 4

350-400 g angel hair (capellini) pasta
½ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
2 cups chopped roma tomatoes (i used some halved sun golds as well)
½ cup drained capers
salt & pepper, to taste
½ cup basil, julienned
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan, or twice as much if you are my husband
freshly chopped parsley, for garnish

cook pasta in salted water according to directions on package, approx 4 mins.

in a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium heat. add garlic and artichokes and cook for a few minutes until garlic turns golden.

add tomatoes and capers to the pan and season with salt & pepper, stirring until everything is thoroughly heated through.

when pasta is al dente, set aside a cup or two of the cooking water.

drain pasta and add it to the skillet, tossing to coat. add as much reserved cooking water as needed to mix well. the artichoke mixture will cling to the sides rather than mix with the pasta but this is okay.

transfer just the noodles to a serving dish.

remove skillet from the heat and toss in the fresh basil and stir. spoon artichoke mixture on top of pasta and garnish with parmesan and parsley.

for my first foray into david lebovitz’s my paris kitchen, i made his chicken lady chicken. i’ve roasted only a handful of chickens in my day and i don’t particularly enjoy the process — cooking or eating! is it cooked properly? what about all that gross looking stuff on the bottom? is that meat? is it fat?? no thanks. so when i learned of spatchcocking (i.e. butterflying), i thought ah yes, this is the answer! but that was a few years ago. okay, so it took me a while but the important thing is i did it. my first mistake was not reading through the recipe and i missed the very important overnight marinade part. oops. cue scrambled eggs for dinner on tuesday and the chicken getting bumped to wednesday. my second mistake: once the chicken was spatchcocked and marinated, i was to sear it in a cast iron pan for ten mins or till the skin was all caramelised and crispy. meaning: pay attention! i did not and i kinda burnt the skin. luckily it did not matter! that chicken was tasty! one might say succulent even. i made the roasted root vegetables (with carrots, beets, sweet potato, purple-skinned nugget potatoes & shallots) from the same book to go with. i mean, roasted veg is easily my fave way to eat them so this was a no-brainer.

the last meal this week was one cooked completely on the barbecue. yay for outdoor cooking! flank steak marinated overnight (the only way to do flank steak ), bbq’d, sliced and topped with a zingy salsa verde. i threw some cut up bell peppers and the last of my garden’s garlic scapes on the grill while the steak was resting.

flank steak with salsa verde
adapted from whitewater cooks at home by shelley adams
serves 4

2 lbs flank steak
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp honey
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp capers, drained
2 tbsp chopped shallot
1 tsp anchovy paste
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ cup flat leaf parsley
½ cup fresh mint, basil or cilantro, or combo of all 3
1 tsp dijon mustard
½ lemon, zested and juiced
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
½ tsp salt
⅓ cup olive oil

trim any visible fat from steak.

mix together next 8 ingredients. pour over the steak in a large ziplock bag. refrigerate overnight.

make salsa verde by combining remaining ingredients in a food processor and pulsing until smooth but slightly chunky. this can be made ahead and refrigerated.

preheat barbecue to medium heat. remove steak from ziplock and discard marinade. grill the steak for about 5 minutes on each side or until desired doneness.  let rest, covered, for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

slice steak diagonally across the grain and as thinly as possible. place steak on platter, pour any carving juices on top and drizzle with salsa verde.

i am sad the shrimp burgers got bumped cos i was really looking forward to trying them. perhaps i will be able to squeeze them in at some point. man alive, there are so many good recipes out there! so much good food!! have a great week 🙂


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