Tag: Tomatoes

Warm Lamb and Lentil Salad

Warm Lamb and Lentil Salad | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Warm Lamb and Lentil Salad | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Warm Lamb and Lentil Salad | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

I have never really liked lentils. When I was young, lentils and beans both had this texture (I think from cooking them into oblivion until they became mushy and grainy) that I just couldn’t stand. And so I stopped eating them, simple as that. Mexican food became a slight challenge (back then, it was because I didn’t like beans, now it’s because I can’t eat corn), but I mostly got away with it. Beans re-entered my life when I started living with my friend Carmelle and she made the most amazing refried beans and vegetarian chili. But lentils… I still couldn’t get behind. I hadn’t ever had them and thought, “Now those are good lentils!”

Recently though, my sister has been on a microbiome and gut-health kick, telling us all that we should be eating this or that, sending us articles and books to read. And when she sent along a recipe for lentils on our family WhatsApp thread, I told her I didn’t really eat lentils. She proceeded to yell at me (as much as one can yell via text) and tell me that lentils are good for you and that I should be eating them. It also happens that around this time, I was in the thick of cooking my way through many recipes in Alison Roman’s Dining In. From it, I made a recipe for spiced lentils (used in a rendition of a salad nicoise) that I found to be incredibly delicious. So delicious in fact, that I told the checkout guy at the grocery store that he had to make it immediately, and I let him take a picture of the recipe I had on my phone.

So I was working on liking lentils, and I was off to a really good start. Now I’ve become a person that, instead of cooking a batch of rice or farro on Sunday afternoon for lunches that week, will cook a batch of lentils to be used in salads and bowls or seasoned with oil and herbs for a side. I feel like I don’t even know myself anymore.

As I’ve been looking for other ways to use this batch of lentils, a recipe slowly started formulating in my brain. The warmer weather has got me itching for all food that is representative of spring, and a warm salad with lentils and crispy lamb sprang to mind (pun very much intended). With a little heat from the onion, some creaminess from the yogurt, bites of juiciness from tomatoes, and a little tang from the feta, this recipe became a quick favorite. It’s easy enough to throw together, makes great leftovers, and doesn’t make too many dirty dishes. I think you’ll like it.

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Grilled Tomatillo Salsa

Grilled Tomatillo Salsa | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Grilled Tomatillo Salsa | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Grilled Tomatillo Salsa | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Grilled Tomatillo Salsa | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Grilled Tomatillo Salsa | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Grilled Tomatillo Salsa | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

In summers past I have felt disappointed in myself. I wake up to find that Labor Day has arrived and I haven’t made enough pies, snuck rhubarb into enough desserts, or eaten enough berries. I didn’t take advantage of the deep red tomatoes or experience that joy that washes over you when you cut into a melon to find that *yes it is perfect*. This summer has not been one of those summers. This summer I am oh so proud of myself. Maybe it’s finally having a garden that really got me in the summer produce spirit. Maybe it’s the fact that, now that we don’t have roommates, I have a whole fridge that I can pack full of these beauties. I have been stuffing our meals to the brim with whatever is seasonal and bright.

I’ve started hearing the rumblings. I’m sure you have too, or maybe you’ve been the one whispering about your excitement for sweaters, for long pants (which I’ll admit sounds appealing), for changing leaves. And while I am definitely ready for my apartment to not be 90° every afternoon (thank goodness for the air conditioner we got last week), I am not ready to let go of all this beautiful produce. So I’ll keep relishing it until you can’t smell the peaches the moment you walk into the produce section at the grocery store, until the tomatoes are no longer juicy just under their shiny skin. But while you have the tomatoes and the heat, I recommend breaking out your grill to make this grilled tomatillo salsa to snack on on those hot afternoons. The spice will make you sweat, but I hear that’s cooling anyway.

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Weekend Finds 7:1:16: 4th of July Edition

Let’s be honest. The 4th of July has become an occasion for day drinking, barbecues, water balloons, and fireworks. But I’m not complaining. For the past few years we have spent the day in our friends Dylan and Caitlyn’s back yard, lounging, snacking, drinking good Portland brews, and eventually having a summery BBQ feast. And Monday will be no different. Here are the recipes I’m looking to cook this 4th of July.

Green Rice Salad with Nectarines

Green Rice Salad with Nectarines from Not Without Salt

This salad has been a summer gathering go-to for years now, and it never fails. People always love it, it’s summery and colorful with a little bit of spice and plenty of bold flavors.

Tomato-Peach Salad with Tofu Cream

Tomato-Peach Salad with Tofu Cream

Don’t let the tofu cream weird you out and keep you from making this refreshing salad. I promise, it’s delicious.

Barbecue Chicken (Rub and Sauce)

Smitten Kitchen's Barbecue Chicken

If my memory doesn’t fail me – and it’s been a year so it might – Dylan and Caitlyn make this amazing dry rubbed chicken every year, throw it on the grill, and coat it in this homemade barbecue sauce. It is always the hit of the party, no matter how much I up my game.

Strawberry Pistachio Crumble Pie

Strawberry Pistachio Crumble Pie from Bon Appetit

I haven’t made this pie (YET!) but it has been haunting my dreams. The layer of cream cheese at the bottom? The mountain of strawberries? The crumble of pistachio and poppy seeds and cardamom? I mean, come on.

Zero Proof Beverages

The thing about spending all day in the sun eating and drinking is you have to be smart. It’s always good to have a NA drink option around, and I’m having trouble deciding which of these two I should make; saffron and cardamom lemonade or tea thyme soda.

Ottolenghi’s Basic Hummus

Ottolenghi and Tamimi's Hummus

This is my extremely reliable hummus recipe that I starting making regularly after returning from Israel last summer. With a few tweaks, it is rich and healthy and makes a perfect all day snack when paired with pita, carrots, bell peppers, and whatever other crunchy vegetables you like. (What tweaks, you ask? I do 1 cup tahini, 6T lemon juice, 6 cloves of garlic, and 4T ice water.)

Weekend Finds 7:6:14

I don’t know about you all, but I had a truly lovely July 4th. I ate possibly one of the most delicious summer holiday meals every – perfectly grilled steak, BBQ chicken, grilled veggies, and that green rice salad I’ve been going on about. Now I’m at the coast with family, and couldn’t be happier that I get to spend this holiday weekend with people I really love. With that, on to the weekend finds.

1. Corn, Tomato, and Garlic Confit Pasta

Past with roasted tomatoes, corn, and garlic confit from Food52 // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
Doesn’t that look like a bowl of summer?

Garlic confit sounds intimidating to me. It really does. But let me say this – it was so easy to make. Like painfully easy. And it added immensely to this dish from Food52 (by Dash and Bella). This dish screams summer, and was so creamy and flavor packed. Just start roasting those tomatoes early! They need 2-3 hours in a low oven.

2. Easy Marinades

Easy Marinades // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
Marinate everything!

I love summer because it means marinating meats and throwing them on the grill. I’ve got a couple good marinade recipes in my back pocket, but more can never hurt, nor can the ability to throw one together no matter what you’ve got on hand. This little tidbit from Bon Appetit offers some great ideas, as well as a general equation to make your marinades perfect.

3. Apricots!

All things apricots // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
My favorite apricot recipe.

If I’m being honest, I think apricots are kind of an undervalued stone fruit. I love their small size (the perfect snack), their soft skin, and their mild/sweet/tart flavor. Perhaps my favorite thing to do with apricots is halve them, fill the hole where the pit was with a spoonful of honey, and throw them under the broiler for a few minutes. Top with Greek yogurt, mascarpone, or freshly whipped cream, and some chopped pistachios. Other bites of apricots that look delicious are these crostinis, a different roasted apricot technique with butter and brown sugar, this couscous with apricot (sub fresh for dried apricots please), and this apricot miso jam (I know the recipe calls for dried apricots, but still, two of my favorite things in a jar together, yes please right now thank you).

4. Peas, peas, peas

Summer Peas // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
A little ingredient education never hurt anybody.

I love ingredient education, and various kinds of peas are something that I confuse sometimes. It’s actually pretty important to know the different between your peas, particularly shelling peas and snap peas. Read here about which are best for what.

5. Vibrant Table by Kimberly Hasselbrink

Vibrant Food by Kimberly Hasselbrink // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
Doesn’t that cover make you want to cook? Photo from The Vanilla Bean Blog.

This is the cookbook that the green rice salad with nectarines and corn is from (the one I haven’t been able to stop talking about and made for the 4th of July), and that recipe was so freaking good, now I really want this cookbook. I love when books are organized seasonally – I feel like it makes it easier to flip through. And taking a look at some of the recipes in the table of contents, I feel like this book is something I’d reach for again and again. Wish list!