salads

Summer Blackberries

Ahh blackberries… the glorious summer berry growing in backyards, parks, and all along our northwest trails. These delicious juicy little fruits are definitely worth the fight with the prickly bushes that they grow on – and your patience will be rewarded!

Not only are blackberries delicious, but they’re good for you! With one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any fruit – these berries are also a wonderful source of vitamins C and K as well as fiber.

Truth be told, I think blackberries really are a taste of summer, which is why they’re the perfect addition to a refreshing summer cocktail. Add them into a shaker tin with some fresh mint, lime juice, simple syrup and rum, and you have a wonderful (and easy to make) Blackberry Mojito!

Gone blackberry picking and now have a big bowl in the fridge? Throw some in your pancake batter and start the morning off with some d’lish Blackberry Pancakes topped with Citrusy Syrup.


Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

Or how about a summer salad tossed with Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette – a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts and fresh goat cheese – a great start to any summer meal.

Enjoy the last days of summer with a fresh bowl of blackberries! –Kathy

Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette
Toss with summer garden greens, and fat blackberries. Scatter with toasted hazelnuts and a crumbling of blue cheese or chevre. Dressing recipe can easily be doubled.

Makes about 1 generous cup of dressing.

1/2 cup fresh (or frozen) blackberries
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp Liquid Kitchen® No. 5130 honey or local honey
2 tsp Dijon mustard
6 Tbsp olive oil
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Refrigerate until needed. Can be made up to 3 days in advance.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on September 8th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in breakfast, Cocktails, Foodie News, Fruit, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads

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

Veggie Mash-Up

With the surging popularity of kale, brussel sprouts and even rutabagas, what’s old has become new again, especially in the veggie world! In years past, moms everywhere couldn’t bribe their kids to eat these veggies, but today, being green is now fun and good for you!

A great example of an old but “new” veggie is the gorgeous Lacinato Kale (aka black kale). It’s a beloved veggie in Italy and traditionally slow cooked into soups. It is branded at most stores now as “dinosaur kale”, which makes it fun for kids and just one way of getting them to eat it too.

 

kale

Lacinato Kale or “Dinosaur” Kale

 

Also new on the veggie hipster horizon are vegetable mash-ups! Take for example kalettes, which are a cross between brussel sprouts and kale or broccolini; a hybrid of broccoli and gai lan (aka Chinese broccoli).

 

And don’t forget the gorgeous Romanesco aka broccoflower! A lime green vegetable that takes the best of broccoli and cauliflower and marries them together in a blissful union. So delicious steamed and tossed in olive oil, lemon juice, salt and lemon zest!

Don’t have time to get to the market, then checkout Barn2Door. Founded by 2 Washingtonians. This “un-grocery” store gives you 24/7 access and a direct line of communication between you and the growers, plus access to an ever changing fresh sheet of local products. You can even message the farmers directly! How cool is that?

I have been a veggie lover since I was a kid, so it’s great to see so many people eating their greens these days. With spring on its way, our local markets will be brimming with amazing options in no time. So get your veggie on and try something new! –Kathy

 

Posted by Kathy on April 14th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, salads, vegetables

It’s Pomegranate Season!

I remember when I ate my first pomegranate as a kid….seated in a chair with a TV tray. Yes, it occupied my little hands for hours! Take note moms: it’s fun for kids. And yes, it will make their hands bright pink, but only for a day.


Juicy pomegranate seeds!

Pomegranate’s brilliant tart-sweet seeds are prized for their distinctive flavor and are high in antioxidants. I love the texture and how they pop in your mouth.

They are so great sprinkled on a winter salad of arugula, slices of orange, and fennel or endive, tossed with a champagne vinaigrette. Or finishing a dish of roasted Brussel sprouts and toasted walnuts adding their tart crunch.

Pomegranate Salad

Try them on ice cream or yogurt or even shaken into your favorite cocktail.

And I have a great tip to make de-seeding simple:

    •Cut the pomegranate in half, then holding a half firmly over a large bowl.
    •Hit it with a heavy wooden spoon and watch the seeds come tumbling out.
    •Repeat – then eat.

PS. This is also a great holiday stress reliever. And be sure you put on a bib apron, the pink speckles will be flying! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on December 24th, 2015  |  Comments Off on It’s Pomegranate Season! |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, salads

Apples

A true sign of fall: apples appear everywhere. From thick caramel-coated and dipped in nuts to sweet and tangy cups of fresh-pressed cider at the local market to grand glass bowls filled with elegant red apples simply used as a table centerpiece.

The Northwest has always been the hub for amazing apples. Glorious Galas with their perfume-y sweet flavor, firm Fujis that hold their texture amazingly well when cooked, deep-blushed Braeburns, and the list goes on.

What most of us (at least us pie-lovers) think about when thinking of apples is pie, I love to make my apple pie with a little cheddar in the crust – yum!

Spinach & Apple Salad with Warm Meyer Lemon-Bacon Vinaigrette
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios for Sunkist

But in addition to desserts there are bushels of other great ways to cook with apples. Try whipping up a Spinach & Apple Salad with Warm Meyer Lemon-Bacon Vinaigrette. It’s really quick and delicious.

Looking for a new side dish? How about a toothsome Apple Barley Risotto – a twist on the classic using pearl barley instead of Arborio rice?

Just remember, one of the best apple tips to observe is to always keep your apples refrigerated. At 70 degrees, apples break down and become soft 10 times faster than if refrigerated. Many a Northwesterner accomplished this in the olden days by stashing the winter’s apples under the bed, back when winter bedrooms were quite chilly. I bet those rooms smelled appley great!

Cheers crisp fall apples – crunch! -Kathy

Spinach & Apple Salad with Warm Meyer Lemon–Bacon Vinaigrette
This salad is delicious as a starter, or serve it as an entrée topped with grilled chicken breast and crumbled blue cheese.

Makes 6 servings as a starter salad

6 cups baby spinach
1 apple, cored and cut into thin slices
1/2 cup thinly sliced white onion

Vinaigrette
1/3 cup fresh-squeezed Sunkist Meyer Lemon juice
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
———————————————
1/4 cup finely diced raw bacon
2 tsp. minced fresh garlic

Place spinach, apple and onion in a large, heat-proof bowl and refrigerate until ready to dress salad.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, sugar, pepper, salt
and olive oil. Set vinaigrette aside.

In a small nonstick pan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until three-quarters done, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds, but do not brown garlic. Add the reserved vinaigrette to the hot pan. Immediately remove from heat and pour over reserved spinach mixture.

Toss until salad is well coated with dressing, and serve immediately.

Recipe created by Kathy Casey for Sunkist®

Apple Barley Risotto
Allow about 50 – 60 minutes total cooking time for this recipe.
Makes 4 servings

2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 Braeburn or Fuji apple, unpeeled, cored and diced 1/4-inch
1/2 cup pearl barley
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup water
1/4 cup shredded, high-quality Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts, lightly toasted
1/8 tsp. black pepper
salt to taste (If using canned broth, less salt will be needed.)

In a large heavy-bottom saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and red onions. Sauté till mushrooms are limp. Add the garlic and stir around for about half a minute. Then immediately add the wine, increase heat to high and reduce wine till syrupy, about 3 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium and stir in the diced apple and barley. In a bowl or large measuring cup mix together the broth and water. Add 1 cup to the barley and simmer till almost all the liquid is absorbed about 6 – 8 minutes.

Stir in another cup of the broth-water mixture and continue cooking, stirring often, until all the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this process again until all the liquid has been used and the barley is tender.

Remove from heat and fold in cheese, nuts and pepper. Taste and season with additional salt if needed.

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

Posted by Kathy on October 8th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Apples |  Posted in Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recipes, salads

Ancient Grains are New Again

Whole grains are all the rage, and with good reason. Their health benefits and high-fiber content make them a great addition to your regular menu!

One of my favorites is quinoa, an ancient grain-like seed. It’s a high-quality protein with eight essential amino acids and a good source of fiber, as well as B vitamins, iron, and other minerals. You can get regular quinoa, red and tri-colored – all are tasty tasty!

I like to toast it dry in a pan before cooking to add a bit of nutty flavor. I love it made into a salad to take for lunch such as my Big Protein Red Quinoa Salad – cooked quinoa, cucumbers, carrots, garbanzos, raisins, hazelnuts and fresh herbs all dressed up with olive oil and lemon juice. The combination of textures and flavors is d’Lish and so good for you!


Red Quinoa!
(Photo courtesy of FitSugar)

Another fave is farro, an ancient hulled wheat that was served as the daily ration of the Roman legions. Today it is making a huge comeback and can be seen on restaurant menus everyhwere (and also grown locally in eastern Washington). I love its toothsome bite. Most instructions say to soak it before cooking (preferably overnight). This is great to speed up the cooking, but I typically just give it a long slow boil until it is tender. I love it in a dish of Kale Lacinato, Wild Mushrooms and Goat Cheese. Perfect for this time of year.

So cook up some ancient grains this fall and get your freekeh on – yes that’s another type of new grain! –Kathy

Big Protein Red Quinoa Salad
I like to make this salad with all organic produce.
Makes about 4 cups

3/4 cup red or tri-color quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. minced or grated lemon zest
1/2 cup peeled, seeded and 1/4-inch-diced cucumber
1/2 cup canned organic garbanzo beans, drained
1 Tbsp. 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 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. 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 © Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com

Farro with Kale, Wild Mushrooms & Goat Cheese
I love this dish made with fall chanterelles.
Makes 4 to 6 servings

1/2 cup whole farro, dry
2 quarts water
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup sliced wild mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, sliced paper thin
pinch red chili flakes
1 large bunch black kale (lacinato)* or green kale, torn
1/4 cup chicken broth (or substitute vegetable broth)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lemon
3 ounces fresh goat cheese (chevre)

To cook the farro: In a medium saucepan, combine farro and water and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer; cook the grain for about 30 minutes, or until very tender, but do not let it become mushy. Add more water if it gets low. Drain the cooked farro and set aside. (You can do this the day before; refrigerate cooked grain.)

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Sauté mushrooms until half cooked, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and chili flakes and sauté for a few seconds. Stir in kale. Add chicken broth and cooked farro, and cook, turning greens several times, until greens are wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze lemon over dish to brighten flavor. Serve dolloped with goat cheese or grated sexy local cheese.

*Also called dinosaur kale.

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

Posted by Kathy on September 30th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Ancient Grains are New Again |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads

Honey Varieties

Oh honey! That amazing sweet and flavorful product our wonderful bees give us!

I love bees, but I use to be afraid of them until I had a couple of hives in my urban garden and there were a LOT of bees! Honey bees go about their business and are busy, busy zooming around the everywhere. They are on a mission so make sure to not get in their flight path.

Did you know a bee will only produce about one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime? Wow!

The United States alone has 300+ varieties of honey. The variety depends on the type of blossom the bees are collecting nectar from. In the northwest, we have one of my all-time faves – blackberry honey!


My Liquid Kitchen 5130 Honey harvested from my Ballard urban garden!

If you are like me and love to whip up creative beverages and cocktails – then swap out your simple syrup for honey syrup – take 2 parts honey and 1 part hot water and mix together until they are combined. It will store for over a week in the refrigerator.

Try adding it to a summery drink like a tall Lemony Collins or a Watermelon Honey Limeade, or in a delicious salad dressing like below!

There are some great recipes on The National Honey Boards site as well as.

Cheers to a sweet summer! –Kathy

Local Greens with Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette, Toasted Hazelnuts & Chevre
Makes 4 servings

8 cups local, mixed baby greens
Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1/2 cup fresh blackberries or raspberries
1/4 cup (1 ounce) chopped toasted hazelnuts
2 ounces chevre-style goat cheese, crumbled

Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette
1/4 cup fresh blackberries
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey such as wildflower or blackberry
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. canola oil or light olive oil
pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Refrigerate until needed. Can be made up to 3 days in advance.

To serve salad: Toss greens with dressing and divide among 4 plates. Scatter with berries, hazelnuts and goat cheese. Serve immediately.

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

Posted by Kathy on July 23rd, 2015  |  Comments Off on Honey Varieties |  Posted in Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads

Strawberry Days

Strawberries really signal the beginning of summer. I can’t wait for the first big, juicy red berry of the season.

Probably the most popular way to enjoy strawberries (other than eaten from hand) is strawberry shortcake. Here’s a quick tip for my favorite take on the classic: Start with Fisher Fair Scone Mix, add in some chocolate chips, form them, and then sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake and serve with sliced fresh strawberries tossed with a touch of local honey, and a dollop of whip cream. For a truly decadent experience, add a splash of local berry liqueur to the whip cream! Yum!

On the non-dessert side, too, strawberries have multiple possibilities. In my Strawberry & Spinach Salad, I like to top them with thin slivers of sweet Walla Walla onion and glazed almonds, then dressed it all with a Lowfat Poppy Seed–Ginger Vinaigrette thickened with pureed strawberries – a light and refreshing summer salad.

If you don’t have strawberries of your own to pick, there are many choices around the Northwest for “U-Pick” strawberries. And if you have had a big day of picking but still haven’t eaten your fill while in the field, sit down and relax with a big, glistening bowl of just-picked juicy berries. -Kathy

Strawberry & Spinach Salad
Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Strawberry & Spinach Salad with Sweet Onions and Poppy Seed–Ginger Vinaigrette
You can substitute toasted hazelnuts for the almonds. This salad is also excellent as an entrée salad, topped with grilled chicken cut into strips.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Vinaigrette
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup light olive oil or other salad oil
2 teaspoons poppy seed

Salad
3 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and quartered, or another local berry, such as raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries
2 bunches spinach, stemmed, washed well, and spun dry (8 to 10 cups)
1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet white onion, such as a Walla Walla Sweet
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

To make the vinaigrette, whisk the vinegar, ginger, mustard, honey, sugar, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil, emulsifying the vinaigrette. Stir in the poppy seed. Refrigerate for up to 2 days.

To make the salad, toss the berries, spinach, and onion with the vinaigrette. Sprinkle with almonds.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Posted by Kathy on May 11th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Strawberry Days |  Posted in Books to Cook, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads
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