Monday, July 19, 2010


This was a pretty interesting recipe. If there was a way to make the Pesto to be less fattening, it would be the perfect diet food. Below is the original recipe. It comes from the blog called Tea & Cookies.
I did change a few things though. I made a bunch of jars of Basil Pesto in the spring. I use quite a bit of garlic in mine so I didn't add more to this recipe. I also used sun-dried tomatoes instead of fresh ones. I thought it was pretty good.


Two medium-sized zucchini or one large one (but not those crazy baseball bat zucchini), about four to five cups.
One large bunch of basil, leaves removed from steams (about 3 cups)
Garlic, 1-2 cloves (start with one, add a second if you find you want more garlic flavor)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup dried or fresh tomatoes, sliced (if dried) or cut into chunks

Run the zucchini over a mandolin to create “noodles, or cut into 'matchbook size'.
Put basil and garlic in the bowl of a food processor (you can chop by hand, if you don’t have a food processor, it just takes a bit of time). Process the herbs while drizzling olive oil in though the feeder tube until you see the consistency change from chopped to smooth, (somewhere between 1 to 2 tbs. of oil). Add salt and pepper to taste (I’d start with 1/2 tsp of salt and add more if you like).

Toss all together. Eat immediately.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing and Fried Eggplant Croutons

I made this salad last night. It had gotten great reviews and my family agrees! I was a bit skeptical about the eggplant croutons but they 'make' the salad! DELICIOUS! There was enough dressing to use on additional salads. I keep it in the refrigerator in a canning jar.
Aaron never let's me down with his recipes!

Deep-Fried Eggplant Croutons

Recipe courtesy Aaron McCargo Jr.

  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 eggplant, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Salt


  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 bag spring mix greens
  • 1 heart romaine, chopped
  • 10 basil leaves, torn
  • 10 fresh oregano leaves
  • 10 parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced


Preheat a fryer to 375 degrees F.
In separate shallow dishes add flour, egg and bread crumbs. Coat the eggplant cubes in the flour, then the egg and finally through the bread crumbs. Carefully add the cubes to the fryer and fry until crisp and golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the fryer to a paper towel lined platter to drain. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, garlic and mustard. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to combine and emulsify. Add the herbs, salt and pepper. Set aside to dress salad.
In a large serving bowl, toss together the greens, herbs, cheese, tomatoes and onion.
Toss with the desired amount of dressing, top with eggplant croutons and serve.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


This was a delicious recipe adapted from Eating Well. Adding the basil made for a nice fresh taste. They were very easy to make.

Corn and Basil Cakes

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons canola oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 2 large ears) or frozen (thawed)
1/2 cup chopped basil

Whisk flour, milk, eggs, 1 Tablespoon oil, baking powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until smooth. Stir in corn and basil.

Brush a nonstick skillet (I used my crepe pan) lightly with remaining oil; heat over medium heat until hot (but not smoking). Cook 2 cakes at a time, using 1/4 cup batter for each. Pour the batter onto the skillet (batter will be very thick) and pat down a bit with the back of a spoon, but leaving them thick. Cook until the edges are dry, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, 1 to 3 minutes more. Repeat with remaining oil and batter, making ten cakes total. Reduce the heat as necessary to prevent burning.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Five-Spice Tilapia

This was such an easy recipe and is packed with flavor!

Five-Spice Tilapia
From Eating Well

1 pound Tilapia fillets
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder, or enough to cover fish
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon canola oil
3 scallions, thinly sliced

Sprinkle both sides of Tilapia fillets with five-spice powder. Combine soy sauce and brown sugar in a small bowl.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the Tilapia and cook until the outer edges are opaque, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, turn the fish over, stir the soy sauce mixture and pour over the fish and into the pan. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook until the fish is cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly (make sure to not caramelize sugar), about 2 minutes more. Add the scallions and remove from the heat.

Serve the fish drizzled with the pan sauce.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


On our trip last week to Ithaca, NY, we stopped off at our favorite Farmers Market... The Ithaca Farmers Market.
We always find something new there to try and this time was no exception. We happened to notice people checking out and buying these curly looking scallions (or so we thought). They were buying a TON so we knew they couldn't be scallions because what do you do with a TON of scallions. We kept walking around and found another 'farmer' that had these interesting curly things. We asked him about them. He explained that they are Garlic Scapes... the stems and seed heads of the garlic plant. For about 2 weeks in June, they curl and that's the perfect time to pick them. He explained that if they don't look like a pigs tail, they aren't ready! He said that people can't get enough of these things! They saute them, pickle them and make pesto with them. Well, PJ and I LOVE garlic so we HAD to get some of these and give it a try. It was too early in the week as we weren't going home for 5 more days so he told us where his farm stand is and he'll pick some Tuesday night for us. We ended up buying 5 POUNDS of these things. I LOVE canning so my plan was to make pesto and pickle some.

The recipe we use for making pickled scapes is the Dilly Beans recipe found in the Ball Blue Book.Quite a few blogs recommended this recipe. I read that these taste best after 3 weeks of being in the brine so I actually haven't tried them yet!


2 pounds Garlic Scapes
1/4 cup canning salt
2-1/2 cups vinegar
2-1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided
4 cloves garlic, divided (I did NOT add these. The Scapes are strong enough in flavor!)
4 heads dill, divided
Trim ends off green beans. Combine salt, vinegar and water in a large sauce pot. Bring to a boil. Pack beans lengthwise into hot jars, leaving 1/4” head space. Add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 clove garlic, and 1 head dill to each pint. Ladle hot liquid over beans, leaving ¼” head space Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints and quarts 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Yield: about four pints.

Then I made Pesto with a bunch of Scapes. This was VERY strong in taste and hopefully will calm down after a while. I froze all of the jars except one, which is in the refrigerator. I've read that people love mixing a little with mayo to make a spread with it .

Garlic Scape Recipes: Garlic Scape and Almond Pesto
  • 10 garlic scape (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (finely grated)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of toasted almonds
  • Kosher salt or sea salt
Mix the finely chopped garlic scape, Parmesan cheese, almonds and half of the olive oil in a container of a food processor. Blend the mixture and see if more olive oil and Parmesan is required and add the same. You can decide upon the texture of the pesto the way you like it. Season the mixture with salt. You can also add a bit of fresh lemon juice just before serving. You can preserve this garlic scape dish in a refrigerator for a couple of days. All you have to do is place the mixture in an airtight container.