herbs

Pears

Here in the Northwest, we are lucky to have so many varieties of scrumptious pears! Red Bartlett’s, Bosc, Seckel, Concorde…each one different and oh-so-delicious!

Pears are known to be sweet and juicy, but did you know they can shine in savory dishes too? I love to cut them into thick wedges and toss with a little olive oil, balsamic, and seasoning. Then roast on a sheet pan in a HOT oven until they are golden delicious. The smoky, sweet flavor pairs perfectly with roast chicken or on a crostini with some gorgonzola for an easy appetizer.

But my favorite way to use roasted pears is in my Endive Salad with Roasted Pears, Hazelnuts, Blue Cheese & D’Lish Cranberry Vinaigrette! It’s always a crowd pleaser at my dinner table.

I also love to use them in a quick and easy fresh relish. Simply mix together diced pears, shallot, a touch of honey and a splash of red wine vinegar. Toss it with fresh mint and just like that- you have an amazing addition to curry dishes or grilled lamb.

Grilled pears are also tasty as a base to a sophisticated sundae- topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a drizzle of salted caramel, red wine syrup and some toasted hazelnuts. Yum- that’s my kind of dessert!

So next time you’re at the grocery store, grab some pears and get creative in your kitchen!
–Kathy

Endive Salad with Roasted Pears, Hazelnuts, Blue Cheese & D’Lish Cranberry Vinaigrette
Makes 4 to 6 servings

Pears
2 unpeeled ripe but firm pears
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 head baby frisée
2 heads Belgian endive
1 small head radicchio, sliced (about 2 cups)
4 cups baby arugula
D’Lish Cranberry Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and coarsely chopped

To roast the pears, preheat an oven to 500°F. Cut the pears into eighths lengthwise. Core, then cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Whisk the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, then gently toss the pears in the mixture.

Spread the pears on a rimmed baking sheet lightly sprayed with vegetable-oil cooking spray and roast for 7 to 10 minutes, or until lightly caramelized. You can make the pears up to 1 day in advance. If you do, cool them thoroughly before refrigerating, then bring to room temperature about 1 hour before serving.

To finish the salad, cut the root end and about 1 inch of the top off the frisée. Rinse the frisée thoroughly, separate the head into leaves, and spin dry. Cut the stem ends off the endive, halve the heads lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into thin strips. Toss the frisée and endive in a large, deep bowl with the remaining greens and about 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette.

Divide the greens among large dinner plates. Top each salad with pears, cheese, cranberries, and hazelnuts, dividing evenly. Pass additional dressing.

D’Lish Cranberry Vinaigrette
Makes 1 1/2 cups

2/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup vegetable oil or very light olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine the cranberries, sugar, and vinegar in a small nonreactive saucepan and cook over medium heat until the cranberries pop, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Purée the mixture in a blender, then blend in the mustard and orange juice. With the machine running, gradually drizzle in the oil. The dressing should become smooth and emulsified. Blend in the salt and pepper. Refrigerate until needed.

Chef’s Note: If you are having a big dinner party during the holidays, the entire recipe can easily be doubled. And, if you are tight on time, you can substitute sliced fresh pears or apples for the roasted pears.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table Cookbook

Posted by Kathy on September 7th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Kathy Casey, appetizers, herbs, roasted, salads, seasonings, sides, vegetables

There’s Nothing Better Than Corn!

Ahhh, sweet summer corn. Is there anything better? Fresh, crunchy corn is so delicious and versatile. Personally, I love my corn with just a bit of seasoning, but a little smear of butter is the perfect complement to hot corn on the cob. You can get creative with your butter by whipping in a bit of local honey, chili powder, fresh basil, roasted garlic…the combinations are endless!


Photo courtesy of Pablo y Pablo

Traditionally boiled or steamed, corn is also amazing done on the grill. If you’ve already got your grill turned on for a sizzling summer barbeque, why not throw your corn on as well?

Leave the stem on for an easy handle and roll it along the grill to heat it through and add some great color. Serve it just like that, or cut off the kernels and add them to fresh salsa, folded into whipped potatoes, or sprinkle on a salad- like my d’lish Summer Corn, Roasted Pepper, and Arugula Salad garnished with Goat Cheese Crostini!

Not a fan of eating corn right off the cob? No problem- I have a great trick to share with you! Take a bundt pan, insert the corn into the center hole and carefully cut downwards as close to the cob as you can, without cutting into the cob. The bundt pan will catch the kernels for you! If you don’t have one, just hold the corn vertically, making sure the tip is firmly in place and cut downwards.

And if you’re lucky enough to live in Seattle- I highly recommend checking out Pablo y Pablo. Located near Gas Works Park, this Mexican restaurant and bar knows how to treat corn right! Their Grilled Street Corn with chipotle aioli, cotija, green onion, cilantro, and lime is simply amazing. They even highlight corn in a totally different way with their Fried Hominy with chipotle salt. YUM!

So go enjoy one of the best tastes of summer while you can– fresh picked, local corn!

-Kathy

Summer Corn, Roasted Pepper, and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese Crostini
Makes 6 servings

3 mixed colorful bell peppers
3 ears fresh corn, husked
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
12 thin slices (1/4-inch) of French bread baguette, lightly toasted
6 ounces soft chevre goat cheese
4 to 6 cups tightly packed, washed and torn arugula or baby arugula

Roast peppers over a hot grill or coals or under the broiler, turning often until skin is totally blistered. Peel, seed and thinly slice peppers. Set aside.

Grill corn, turning when each side is marked and lightly roasted. Cut corn from cob, and add to peppers.

In a large bowl, whisk mustard, garlic, vinegar and lemon juice together. Slowly whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper, and toss in basil, roasted peppers, and corn. Set aside.

Meanwhile, spread toasted French bread slices with goat cheese, and place under a broiler for one minute or pop into a hot, 400-degree oven until cheese is warm.

Add arugula to roasted pepper mixture. Toss well. Divide among individual salad plates and garnish with the warm goat cheese crostini.

Copyright 2017© by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on August 31st, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Kathy Casey, chipotle, garlic, herbs, peppers, spices, vegetables

Lavender

When thinking about lavender- soaps, spa treatments, and perfumes often come to mind. It’s certainly well-known for its calming and relaxing properties, but lavender has also enjoyed a long history in the world of food and beverage.

Close-up of lavender growing in my urban garden!

Chefs, bakers and mixologists alike use it to spruce up savory dishes, sweets, and cocktails. Lavender is best when used sparingly to let its fragrant flavor subtly shine. A little goes a long way!

Try a sprinkle of lavender into your favorite sugar cookie recipe. If you enjoy preserving, add a pinch or two into your next batch of homemade strawberry jam – yum! I also love it infused in a local honey and drizzled over cheese.

If you’ve got a yard full of lavender and need some ideas to use it up, try this easy to make DIY lavender simple syrup. Bottle it up and enjoy anytime!

To make Lavender Syrup: Combine 2 tablespoons dried lavender (or 3-4 fresh flowers) with 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a quick boil and then remove from heat. Let steep for 30 minutes, then strain and store refrigerated.

For a fun Summer gift basket idea- tuck in a bottle of homemade lavender syrup with a half dozen lemons, 2 pretty glasses, a bottle of sparkling water, and a recipe for Lavender Lemon Soda. You could also add a bottle of vodka for a spirited basket. And don’t forget to include a little bouquet of fresh lavender! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on May 18th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, herbs

Spa Sipping: DIY Infused Waters

Summertime and refreshment go hand-in-hand, so why not change up the norm and make your own infused waters?

We all know you’re supposed to drink at least 8 glasses a day. I know that I struggle with drinking my daily share of water. But adding in some d’lish flavors makes it easier and tastier to drink.

Let’s make a basic recipe. First, get a large pitcher and add in a sliced fresh lemon, make sure wash the outside first. Then add in some of your favorite seasonal fruits: juicy melon chunk, fresh-picked berries, or a sliced nectarine or peach.

Afterwards, the skies the limits with flavors! For an herbal note, add in a few basil leaves, a sprig of rosemary, or even a couple of lavender flowers from the garden. I also like to add a teaspoon or so of chia seeds to plump – I love their fun texture! And if you like a touch of sweetness you could add a tiny splash of honey or agave.

InfusedWater

Now, fill up your pitcher with filtered or spring water. Slightly stir, then cover and refrigerate overnight for all that goodness to infuse.

If you want to make this for work, make smaller batches in quart jars or mason mugs with a lid – tasty hydration on the go. So get creative with your water and stay hydrated! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on August 25th, 2016  |  Comments Off on Spa Sipping: DIY Infused Waters |  Posted in Recipes, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, herbs, other

Garden to Glass Cocktails

If you are like me you have a plethora of herbs filling your summer garden.

Of course, we all know that you can cook with them, but have you thought about sipping with them too? I am not just talking about the mint that grows like a weed and spreads across your garden. There are other herbs and even edible flowers that are super delicious and beautiful to add to your cocktail creations. Fresh sage for instance is amazing paired with tequila; try it in my Sunset Sage Margarita recipe.

Summertime is the perfect time to sip on a Collins. Combine vodka, fresh lemon and local honey syrup with a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Shake it up and finish with a splash of soda. If your backyard is brimming with berries, shake in a few of those too!

And I’m a big fan of fresh rosemary in cocktails. For an herbal gin & tonic, add in a sprig of rosemary with a squeeze of orange.

Another fun idea is freezing herbs and edible flowers in ice cubes! Pick up some silicone large-format ice cube trays. Fill them half way with water and then pop in the freezer for 45 minutes to “lightly set”.

Flowers in Ice

Now, add in all kinds of herbs and edible flowers. I personally love to put thyme with my pansies, or sage with rose petals, then fill with water and freeze again. Great to add to any summer style cocktail.

Here’s to summer sipping with garden cocktails! Cheers! –Kathy

Sunset Sage Margarita
Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Sunset Sage Margarita
Makes 1 drink

1 fresh sage leaf
1 1/2 oz reposado tequila
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz cranberry juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup*
1/2 – 3/4 oz fresh lime juice (depending upon the sweetness you prefer)
Garnish: fresh sage leaf

Tear the sage leaf and drop into a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice, then measure in the remaining ingredients. Cap and shake vigorously until very cold.Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or serve over ice. Garnish with a sage leaf.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Posted by Kathy on August 5th, 2016  |  Comments Off on Garden to Glass Cocktails |  Posted in Books to Cook, Recent Posts, Recipes, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, herbs, margarita

Crazy for Corn

For me, nothing says summer like fresh corn on the cob. Personally, I love my corn with just a bit of seasoning, but naked is just fine by me! A little smear of butter is the perfect complement to hot corn on the cob.

Put on your thinking caps; it’s time to get creative. Try whipping in a bit of local honey with chili powder (like in my Honey Butter recipe below) or combine fresh basil, roasted garlic and some finely grated cheddar cheese. The combinations are endless!

More commonly boiled or steamed, corn is also amazing done on the grill. If you’ve already got your grill turned on for a sizzling summer barbeque, throw your corn on, too. Leave the stem on for an easy handle and roll it along the grill just enough to heat it through and get some great color on it.

Serve it just like that, or cut off the kernels for my Summer Roasted Pepper, Corn, and Arugula Salad. Other options are to add the kernels to fresh salsa, folded into a chopped veggie salad, or in your favorite potato salad with some roasted hot peppers.

Speaking of cutting off the kernels, I have a great trick to share with you; if you have a bundt pan. Insert the corn into the center hole and carefully cut downwards as close to the cob as you can, without cutting into the cob. The bundt pan will catch all the kernels for you. If you don’t have one, just hold the corn vertically, making sure the tip is firmly in place and cut downwards.


Photo from Simply Recipes

So go enjoy one of the best tastes of summer while you can – fresh-picked, local corn! –Kathy

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Honey Butter

Pull back the husks and pull out the silk, then tie off the husks with a strip of husk. This makes for a decorative and very useful handle.

Makes 8 servings.

8 whole ears fresh corn

Honey Butter
1 stick (1/4 lb.) butter
2 Tbsp. local honey, such as my “5130” Honey
2 tsp. Tabasco or hot sauce (more or less if desired)
2 Tbsp. coarse chopped Italian parsley

Dish D’Lish French Seasoning Salt – or sea salt
fresh lime wedges

Peel back corn husks and pull out corn silk. Heat barbecue coals or wood fire.

Meanwhile, in a mixer whip the butter, honey, Tabasco and parsley together until fluffy.

When coals are hot, place corn on grill and cook, turning every few minutes. Cook until corn is lightly charred and cooked through. Spread corn with Honey Butter and sprinkle with seasoning.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com

Summer Roasted Pepper, Corn and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese Crostini
Makes 6 servings

1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
3 ears fresh corn, husked
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
—————————————
12 thin slices (1/4-inch) of French bread baguette, lightly toasted
6 oz soft chevre goat cheese
—————————————
4 to 6 cups baby arugula

Roast peppers over a hot grill or coals or under the broiler, turning often until skin is totally blistered. Peel, seed and thinly slice peppers. Set aside.

Grill corn, turning when each side is marked and lightly roasted. Cut corn from cob, and add to peppers.

In a large bowl, whisk mustard, garlic, vinegar and lemon juice together. Slowly whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper, and toss in basil, roasted peppers, and corn. Set aside.

Meanwhile, spread toasted French bread slices with goat cheese, and heat in the oven or on the grill until just warmed and toasty.

Add arugula to roasted pepper mixture. Toss well. Divide among individual salad plates and garnish with the warm goat cheese crostini.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com

Posted by Kathy on July 21st, 2016  |  Comments Off on Crazy for Corn |  Posted in Recent Posts, Recipes, Dish D'Lish, French Seasoning Salt, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, Products, garlic, herbs, other, salads, seasonings
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