salads

Picnic Staple: Potato Salad

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, which means outdoor picnics, and parties. And nothing says sunny weather menu must have better than potato salad.

To me, my Grandma Mimi’s potato salad will always be the gold standard, but I also love to try creative twists and new variations.

Greek or Asian potato salad? Why not? My Greek Potato Salad incorporates red potatoes with fresh oregano, calamata olives, bell peppers and cucumbers with a d’lish Feta Vinaigrette. And one of my new faves is Wasabi Potato Salad. Just toss still warm steamed potatoes with soy and a little seasoned rice wine vinegar – cooled then mixed with a wasabi spiked mayo, celery and green onions. Yum!

Or really think outside the box and try my All-American Potato Salad Deviled Eggs! Combining two party staples, these deviled eggs feature classic potato salad ingredients like mayo, mustard, celery, and are topped with a tiny diced potato salad!

So get out there and enjoy the weekend with a tasty potato salad as part of your picnic table. –Kathy

All-American Potato Salad Deviled Eggs

(Photo © Kathy Casey Food Studios from D’Lish Deviled Eggs)

All-American Potato Salad Deviled Eggs
Nothing says 4th of July or sunny summer picnic quite like potato salad! These eggs definitely do the original justice, and they’re the perfect finger food accompaniment to a fun day outdoors.

Makes 24

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs (recipe follows)

Filling
6 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp yellow mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp minced dill pickles
2 Tbsp minced red onion
2 Tbsp minced celery

Topping
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1/3 cup cooked tiny-diced potato
3 Tbsp finely chopped dill pickle
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Halve the eggs lengthwise and transfer the yolks to a mixing bowl. Set the egg white halves on a platter, cover, and refrigerate.

With a fork, mash the yolks to a smooth consistency. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar, and mix until smooth. (You can also do this in a mixing bowl with a whip attachment.) Stir in the pickles, onion, and celery.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain or large star tip, then pipe the mixture evenly into the egg white halves. Or fill the eggs with a spoon, dividing the filling evenly.

To make the topping, in a small bowl, mix together the vinegar and sugar. Add the potato, pickle, and parsley, and toss until well coated. Top each egg half with about 1 heaping teaspoon of the mixture.

Hard-Cooked Eggs
1 dozen large chicken eggs

Place the eggs in a large nonreactive saucepan and add cold water to 1 inch above the eggs. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit for 10 minutes. Remove from the stove and run cool water over the eggs in the pan until they are cooled. When cool, carefully peel them under running water.

Recipe from D’Lish Deviled Eggs by Kathy Casey, Andrews McMeel Publishing

Greek Potato Salad with Feta Vinaigrette
Makes 8 cups

2 lbs red potatoes, cut in 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup halved pitted calamata olives
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1 small green pepper, diced
1/2 cup tiny-diced red onion
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup crumbled cheese)
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Steam potatoes until very tender, about 12 – 14 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl make the dressing by whisking together the vinegar, olive oil, Dijon, oregano, salt and pepper.

When potatoes are still warm, toss them with the dressing and set aside until cool, then stir in the remaining ingredients.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on May 22nd, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads

Tasty Garden Rocket: Arugula!

Ah, arugula! This bold green livens up any dish it’s in. Nicknamed “Garden Rocket,” it grows fast, almost like a weed in our northwest climate.

Well, weed or not, this tasty leaf is full of great health benefits. Just 4 ounces of this green is just 25 calories – wow! It’s also full of vital antioxidants and vitamins – 3 cups gives you 100% of your daily vitamin K needs!

Arugla’s taste is nutty and peppery. Try it tucked into sandwiches, or tossed in a little olive oil and scattered over a sexy cheese pizza. This tasty green also complements meat and seafood beautifully. It makes a perfect bed for a piece of grilled fish or steak.

Of course, it’s great in salads like in my Baby Arugula, Orange & Fennel Salad with Grilled Shrimp & White Balsamic Vinaigrette. It’s also a delicious add-in to a homemade pesto recipe for a robust, peppery edge!

So get your arugula on and dig into this peppery green that’s so good for you! – Kathy

Baby Arugula Salad
Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books.

Baby Arugula, Orange & Fennel Salad with Grilled Shrimp and White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Makes 6 to 8 servings

Shrimp
1 Tbsp undiluted orange juice concentrate
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp minced orange zest
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp minced shallots
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp minced fennel fronds
1 Tbsp fennel seed, toasted and crushed
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 lbs large raw shrimp (32 to 40)

Salad
1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed
6 oranges or tangerines
6 cups baby arugula
2 heads baby frisée, torn, rinsed and spun dry
White Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

To marinate the shrimp, whisk all the ingredients, except the shrimp, in a large bowl. Peel, devein, and remove tails of the shrimp then add them to the marinade and toss to coat. Refrigerate and marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

To prepare the salad, finely shave the fennel bulbs with a sharp knife or a mandoline and crisp in ice water for 10 minutes. Spin dry before using. Cut the peel off the oranges, trim away all the white pith, then cut the fruit into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Flick out any seeds. (If prepared ahead, refrigerate the fennel and orange slices separately, for up to 2 hours.)

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill to high. Grill the shrimp until just pink and done, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, toss the arugula, frisée, fennel, and oranges with enough of the vinaigrette to coat nicely—taste for flavor, adding more dressing if needed.

Serve the salad on a large platter or divide among individual plates, arrange the shrimp on top, and drizzle with a little extra dressing, if desired.

White Balsamic Vinaigrette
The vinaigrette keeps, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 2 cups

1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp minced shallots
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup undiluted orange juice concentrate
Pinch of red pepper flakes, or 1 Tbsp harissa paste
2 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fennel seed, toasted and ground
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped fennel fronds

In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, shallots, mustard, and juice concentrate. Whisk in the pepper flakes, salt, pepper to taste, and fennel seed. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly to emulsify. Stir in the fennel fronds. If made ahead, refrigerate until shortly before needed, then rewhisk before using.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books.

Posted by Kathy Casey on April 3rd, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads, seafood, sides

New Year Resolution Foods

The holiday feast is over, and the New Year’s resolutions have begun!  For those who vow every year to eat healthy – the trick to keeping those promises is to make it easy and delicious. Don’t worry; I have some great tips to keep you going!

Eating breakfast gets your metabolism boosted so start the day off right with a healthful smoothie. Try incorporating a few power packed ingredients like Greek yogurt, chia seeds, almond butter, kale or even goji berries!

Next, quinoa is a fantastic food! It’s high in protein, amino acids, and fiber. I love it sprinkled over salads or served as a side dish. This gluten free seed is a powerhouse! Try my recipe for Big Protein Quinoa Salad – perfect to pack and take to work.


And if you’re traveling from Sea-Tac Airport,
my Dish D’Lish has a great new, healthy Mediterranean Quinoa Salad in to-go cups!

Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Another great motto for healthy eating is “eat with the rainbow”. The vividness of the plant pigments is a good guide to the nutritional value of fruits and veggies. Bright orange sweet potatoes, deep purple wild blueberries and, dark kale and chard are all loaded with vitamins and antioxidants!

And my best tip is to stock your fridge with healthful foods. When you come home from work you won’t be tempted to order out! –Kathy

Kathy’s Jump-Start Smoothie
Makes 1 serving

1/2 cup frozen fruits or fresh fruits
1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp agave nectar (or sub honey for another all natural sweetener)
1/2 cup ice cubes
1/2 – 1 tsp flax seed (the more seeds – the more “texture”)
1 fresh kale leaf (optional)

Place ingredients in the order above and blend until smooth. Enjoy your healthy start to a great day!

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Big Protein Red Quinoa Salad
I like to make this salad with all organic produce and also add in a cup of chopped fresh raw kale for extra fiber!

Makes about 4 cups

3/4 cup red quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced or grated lemon zest
1/2 cup peeled, seeded and 1/4-inch-diced organic cucumber
1/2 cup canned organic garbanzo beans, drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2cup organic golden raisins
1/2 cup organic hazelnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup grated carrot
3/4 to 1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Rinse quinoa in cold water and drain well. Put the drained quinoa in a heavy medium saucepan and dry roast the grain over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 1 minute. Add the water, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for about 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove lid, fluff grains with a fork, and let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with the remaining ingredients and toss well.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on January 2nd, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, breakfast, salads

Zingy Grapefruit

We all enjoy fresh squeezed grapefruit juice for breakfast and in classic cocktails like a Salty Dog (or a Greyhound depending if salt is used) or a Paloma. All for good reasons, too.

Grapefruits contain no fat, cholesterol or sodium and they are rich in vitamins A and C. Peeled and eaten like an orange, they have a ton of good-for-you fiber and are known to help with weight loss.

KC065

Juicy grapefruits!
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios
®.

I love pink and ruby grapefruit for their balance of sweetness and tang. They are perfect paired with avocado, like in my Shrimp, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad with Honey Shallot Vinaigrette.

Are you a Chicken Picatta fan? Try it with grapefruit instead of the traditional lemon! I love to serve this with orzo tossed with a little butter and lots of fresh herbs. Or even better if you have fresh chanterelle mushrooms available – sauté them up and fold into cooked wild rice. Yum!

And for a refreshing and bright beverage, try my recipe for Pink Grapefruit Honey Ginger Fizz. Oh! And it is also great as a cocktail with a little shot of something added…. vodka, gin, tequila, bourbon……they all work!

Enjoy grapefruits in all their zesty glory any way you like! – Kathy

Shrimp, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad with Ginger Honey Vinaigrette
Makes about 6 servings

Honey Shallot Vinaigrette
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp finely minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp minced shallots
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp honey
1/3 cup canola or olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
pinch cayenne pepper

——————————————————–
2 large pink or ruby grapefruit
2 ripe but firm avocados
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 1/2 cups cooked bay shrimp or cooked prawns
1 very large head butter lettuce, leaves washed and spun dry

Make vinaigrette first. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Chill until ready to serve salad.

Cut ends off grapefruit, then cut skin off the sides of grapefruit, carefully removing all the white pith. Section out grapefruit into a bowl. (Cut grapefruit out with a knife to get sections with no pith. If there is lots of juice, do not add it to salad—drink it!) Toss grapefruit with red onion. Slice avocado over grapefruit and add shrimp and half of the dressing. Fold dressing in—be very gentle.

Place lettuce in a large bowl and toss with the remaining dressing. Divide among small serving plates or place on a large platter.

Top dressed greens with grapefruit mixture. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Chicken Piccata with Grapefruit, Pine Nuts and Capers
Makes 4 servings

2 Tbsp milk
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/3-inch thickness
4 Tbsp salted butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tsp finely minced grapefruit zest
2 Tbsp capers, drained
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
4 grapefruit wedges for garnish, and squeezing

In a small, flat bowl, mix together the milk and eggs. In another flat dish, mix the flour, salt, and pepper.

Dip the chicken pieces into the egg mixture and then into the flour mixture. Coat each piece well, then shake off the excess.

Meanwhile, in a large, shallow, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and all the olive oil. Add the coated chicken pieces to the hot skillet, and cook until the chicken is golden on the outside and no longer pink on the inside, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Drain chicken on paper towels. Keep warm. (Keep the pan to make the sauce—don’t wash it.)

In the chicken cooking pan, add the garlic and stir around for a few seconds, being careful not to burn. Add the grapefruit juice and white wine. Increase heat to high, bring sauce to a boil, and let reduce by half. Immediately remove pan from the heat and whisk in the grapefruit zest, remaining butter, capers and parsley.

Transfer chicken to a warm platter and spoon sauce over each breast, then sprinkle with the pine nuts. Serve with grapefruit wedges for squeezing over chicken. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Pink Grapefruit Honey Ginger Fizz
Try substituting ginger ale for the soda water in this refreshing drink for and extra ginger kick. To make it libatious, add a shot of your favorite spirit!

Makes 1 drink

3 oz fresh squeezed Sunkist Pink Grapefruit juice
1 oz Honey Ginger Syrup (recipe follows)
1 oz soda water, chilled
Garnish: Sunkist Grapefruit wedge

Fill a tall glass with ice. Measure in the Sunkist Grapefruit juice, Honey Ginger Syrup and soda water. Stir to combine and garnish.

Honey Ginger Syrup
Makes 10 ounces

1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup water

Combine ingredients in small saucepan. On medium-high heat, bring liquid to a boil while stirring to combine well. Immediately reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool. Store refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on October 18th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, meats, salads

Creamy and D’Lish Avocados!

Every year I can’t wait for California avocados to hit the summer markets. They are so rich, creamy and flavorful! And they’re super nutritional, too! Like olive oil, avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fat (AKA “the good fat”) as well as potassium, B-vitamins, and folic acid.

Avocados
(Photo from the California Avocado Commission)

Avocados are delicious when sliced and served in sandwiches like a summer BLTA, cozied up to thick sliced summer tomatoes. We also love them in chunky guacamole scooped up with crispy corn chips, or folded in a tropical fruit salsa.

I love them in salads, especially when paired with sweet and tangy oranges like in my Orange, Avocado & Red Onion Jumble with Poppyseed Vinaigrette it’s wonderful to top bib lettuce as a starter or as an accompaniment to grilled Alaska salmon. Yum!

Speaking of salads avocados are also great blended into salad dressings, such as the classic Green Goddess or in a low fat ranch—so tasty drizzled on grilled fish tacos.

And don’t forget breakfast, I love them sliced over a pepper jack cheese omelet with a dollop of fresh salsa – d’lish!

And yes avocados are also pretty tasty and interesting in blended beverages too. In Dubai, I had a really interesting layered drink with avocado, red date and rose. A little closer to home, Portland’s Lucy Brennan of Mint Bar put the blended avocado daiquiri on the cocktail map. It’s good – really!

Just remember my 2 avocado “rules”:
1. Buy them a couple of days ahead so they get nice and ripe — but are still firm.
2. Don’t throw that pit away! Put it back in your dressings and guacamoles until ready to serve. It helps keep the avocado from turning brown.

So think green and add in fresh California avocados to your next dish! – Kathy

Orange, Avocado Jumble
Photo from Kathy Casey Cooks: Favorites.

Orange, Avocado & Red Onion “Jumble” with Poppyseed Vinaigrette
Makes 4 cups; about 6 servings.

3 large oranges
1 cup very thinly sliced red onion
2 ripe but firm California avocados

Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup canola or light olive oil
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

Make vinaigrette first. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Chill until ready to serve salad.

Cut ends off of oranges and then cut skin off the sides of orange, carefully removing all the white pith. Cut oranges in half lengthwise and then cut into 1/4-inch slices. Place in a large bowl with onion. Cut avocados in quarters, peel and then slice into salad.

Toss with dressing and serve.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Green Goddess Dressing
Makes about 2 cups

1 ripe California avocado (reserve pit)
2 egg yolks*
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
1 shallot, minced fine
4 anchovy fillets
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sour cream (or light sour cream)
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

In a food processor (or blender) place the avocado, egg yolks, lemon juice, herbs, shallot and anchovies. Process for about 1 minute until well combined. Then slowly drizzle in the oil, as when making a mayonnaise. Mixture should become smooth and creamy. Turn machine off and scrape down the sides. Add the sour cream and pepper. Process for about 30 seconds more or until smooth.

Place in a container; submerge the avocado pit to help dressing keep its green color. Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the dressing’s surface and cover well. Will keep refrigerated for up to 4 days.

* Note: Raw eggs are not recommended for pregnant women, children, the elderly or anyone with immune deficiencies.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on August 9th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Cocktails, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, appetizers, other, salads, sides

Fruit Salads

Quick: name 3 side dishes for your next barbeque. I bet fruit salad was on that list! Put down that recipe for Waldorf salad and get creative with new fruit salad ideas.

A fave d’lish trick is to mix freshly squeezed lemon juice with a local honey; then add in some chopped freshly picked mint from the garden. Toss this with juicy peach wedges or halved apricots – yum!

Try grilling thick slices of pineapple and then sprinkling them with a touch of ground chipotle chili, a touch of lime juice, and a quick scatter in some chopped cilantro. My mouth is watering just thinking about this one.

Icy cold watermelon chunks are terrific when tossed with feta cheese, chopped fresh basil, kalamata olives and a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil! Now that’s a NEW salad everyone will love!

So think outside of the box and try a new spin on fruit salad…and don’t forget to tell me how you like your refreshing summer side! – Kathy

Fruit + Lavender
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios
®.

Succulent Summer Stone Fruits with Lavender- Lemon Honey Syrup
Makes about 6 servings

Lavander Lemon Honey Syrup
1/2 cup high quality local honey
1/2 cup water
8 ea fresh lavander flowers, unsprayed and rinsed (or 1 tablespoon dry)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Fruit
an assortment such as the following of fresh ripe stone fruits to make about 4 cups after cutting:
-peaches, peeled, pitted and  cut in wedges
-large apricots, pitted and cut in wedges
-plums, pitted and cut in wedges
-nectarines, pitted and cut in wedges
-pitted fresh cherries

Fresh lavender flowers for garnish, if desired.

To make the lavender lemon honey syrup : In a small heavy bottom sauce pan combine the honey, water and lavender flowers. Bring to a low boil over med  heat – being careful that ist does not foam up. Slowly simmer for about  10  minutes or until like thin pancake syrup.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Then add lemon juice and strain. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before using.

To serve: In a large bowl toss with the lavender lemon honey syrup. Garnish with fresh lavender flowers if desired.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Todd English’s Watermelon, Fennel and Black Olive Salad with Feta Cheese
One of my all-time favorite watermelon recipes is chef Todd English’s. He embellishes a melon salad with the distinctive flavors of fennel, feta and kalamata olives contrasted against the cool red-glistening fruit. The recipe was originally featured in the Star Palate cookbook, whose proceeds benefited the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Makes 8 servings

4 cups seeded watermelon chunks
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced on a Japanese mandoline (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pitted kalamata olives
1 large red onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1 bunch green onions, green part only, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Put the watermelon, fennel, olives, red onion, green onion, basil leaves, and feta in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss well. Divide among salad plates and serve immediately.

Adapted from “Star Palate: Celebrity Cookbook for a Cure” by Tami Agassi and Kathy Casey

Posted by Kathy Casey on July 12th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads, sides

Grilling

It’s time to get outdoors and grill up some summertime goodness. Think juicy burgers to crowd pleasing hot dogs and of course mouth-watering steaks! But don’t forget to get creative – grilling isn’t just for meat!

FF_SummerGrilling_PRINTCOPY
Don’t forget your Grilling ABC’s either (Always Be Careful)!
(Infographic courtesy of Foster Farms)

I love to grill pita bread to toss in Greek Grilled Pita Salad. It’s chock full of vine-ripened tomatoes, Walla Walla sweet onions, crunchy cucumbers, crumbled feta, and tasty black olives. Yum!

Greek Grilled Pita Salad
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Asparagus, zucchini and thick sliced eggplant cook up perfectly over an open flame and portabella mushrooms are all great to soak up that d’lish smoky hit only a grill can provide. (And I love my grilled veggies drizzled with a garlicky herb balsamic vinaigrette.)

Then there’s the Classic Bruschetta mmmmmmm … Thick slices of local rustic bread are so good rubbed with cloves of fragrant garlic then topped with a mixture of chopped peak of the season tomatoes, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.

Grilled Bruschetta
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Don’t forget about dessert! While your grill is still hot, and you’re enjoying dinner with your guests, toss some fruit skewers on the grill. Skewer up hearty fruits like peaches, pears, apricots, pineapple and bananas. Grill’em till warm and give them nice grill marks then serve over ice cream drizzled with salted caramel – yum!

So get outside and grill up what you can! -Kathy

Greek Grilled Pita Salad
Makes 8 cups — serves 4 as an entrée or 6 – 8 as a starter or accompaniment

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 large, 7-inch-diameter, pitas — the kind that don’t have pockets
2 large, vine-ripe tomatos, cut in wedges (about 2 cups)
1 cup thinly sliced, Walla Walla Sweet or red onion
1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced (about 2 cups)
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, cut in half
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley

Pre-heat grill.

In a large bowl whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, pepper flakes, garlic, salt, cheese and oregano. Set aside.

Place whole pitas on hot grill and cook on each side for about 1 1/2 minutes or until nice grill marks are made and pitas are toasty. Remove and cut each pita in half and then into 1-inch strips.

Add tomatoes, onion, cucumber, olives, parsley and grilled pita strips to bowl of vinaigrette and toss together well. Serve immediately.

Note: This salad is best served right after tossing. You can also add grilled shrimp or chicken to it for a nice summer entrée salad.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Classic Bruschetta
Use ripe summer tomatoes in this tasty appetizer.

Serves 8 – 10

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cups chopped vine-ripe tomatoes (about 2 – 3 medium tomatoes)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 loaf of rustic artisan bread
1peeled garlic clove
fresh ground black pepper

Heat up your grill or barbecue to a medium-high heat.

In a medium bowl toss together 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, tomatoes, basil, onion, garlic and salt, and set aside.

If using a large “fat” loaf, cut with a serrated knife into six 1/2-inch slices and then slice each piece in half crosswise, to make 12 pieces. If using a baguette-style loaf, cut 12 1/2-inch slices from the loaf. (Serve any remaining bread with dinner). Brush both sides of bread with remaining olive oil, and grill on each side until lightly marked or toasted. Rub each piece with a garlic clove.
Place on a platter and immediately top with reserved tomato mixture. Garnish with fresh ground black pepper.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on June 27th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, appetizers, salads

Celebrating Summer Strawberries!

One of the surefire signs of summer is sweet, juicy strawberries appearing at the market! They’re the perfect sweet treats whether eaten out of hand or piled high on shortcake topped with whipped cream or dipped in warm chocolate. Yum! How about getting a little savory with your strawberries this year?

Local berries drizzled with balsamic glaze and a few twists of fresh-cracked black pepper make for a perfect balance of sweet and savory. Ever tried that combo as an ice cream? Check out Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream shop for their inspired balsamic strawberry ice cream!

They’re also perfect in salads – my Strawberry & Spinach Salad with sweet Walla Walla onions, goat cheese and my Poppyseed–Ginger Vinaigrette is one of my favorite summer recipes.

And don’t forget to muddle some in a summer- sipper like in my d’lish Strawberry Shag. It teams lightly-sugared strawberries with fresh basil! Shaken with vodka and lemon juice, this refreshing cooler is perfect to start any patio party!

Get creative and enjoy some “first of summer” strawberries! -Kathy

Spinach & Strawberry Salad with Glazed Almonds & Lowfat PoppyseedGinger Vinaigrette
Makes about 6 servings

Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon salad oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Glazed Almonds:
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons sugar

Salad:
8 cups baby spinach
2 cups strawberries, stemmed and halved or quartered, depending upon size
1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet white onions, such as Walla Walla sweets, if in season

To make vinaigrette: In a blender combine the white wine vinegar, strawberries and ginger. Process until it is a smooth puree. Then add the remaining ingredients (except for poppyseed) and blend until smooth. Stir in poppy seeds. Refrigerate until needed.

To make the glazed almonds: Lightly pan spray a baking sheet and set aside.
Place almonds and sugar in a non-stick skillet on high heat. Start stirring with a wooden spoon. Sugar will start to dissolve and then caramelize. Stir continuously to lightly toast almonds and coat with the sugar. When almonds and sugar are the color of dark amber and golden brown, quickly remove from the pan onto sprayed baking sheet.

Spread out with spoon and let cool totally before using. Break up before serving. NOTE: Do not touch sugar or almonds with fingers when cooking or immediately after cooking. It is molten sugar and very hot!

To make and assemble the salad: Place the spinach leaves in a large salad/serving bowl. Toss with the strawberries, onions and about 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette. Sprinkle almonds on the top of salad. Reserve extra vinaigrette for another use or serve extra on the side for those that desire more.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Strawberry Shag
(Photo from Kathy Casey’s Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books – Angie Norwood Browne)

Strawberry Shag
Fresh basil lends a fun flavor note to the classic combination of strawberries and lemonade. Soda water introduces a lively sparkle.

Makes 1 drink

1 to 2 large sprigs fresh basil
1/4 cup Sugared Strawberries with juice (recipe follows)
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
3 to 4 ounces chilled soda water

For garnishing: fresh strawberry, small basil leaf

In a cocktail shaker, press the basil and strawberries together with a muddler to release the basil’s flavor. Fill the shaker with ice. Measure in the vodka and lemon juice. Cap and shake vigorously. Pour into a large glass, top with soda water, and stir. Garnish with a strawberry and basil leaf.

Sugared Strawberries
Makes enough for about 6 drinks

1 pint fresh strawberries, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Mix the ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes before using.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books.

Posted by Kathy Casey on June 13th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, appetizers, salads
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