Friday, April 29, 2011

Simple Hummus

I like complicated, many ingredient recipes. I like using more then one pot, chopping, steaming, measuring,  getting out my Kitchen Aid mixture.  But sometimes, you just want a simple recipe. Something you can just whip up when the urge strikes you and have little clean up, and have it ready in minutes. That's how easy it is to make homemade hummus dip. I found a "5-minute" recipe for hummus in an issue of Real Simple, and I made it even easier (so my version is, like, 4-minutes) and used even fewer ingredients. And it's so good. Lick the bowl good.

Hummus (adapted from Real Simple)


1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon scant kosher salt

1. In a blender or food processor, mix all ingredients together and puree until smooth and creamy. Add 1-2 tablespoons water, if necessary, for desired consistency.

2. Serve with pita chips, chopped veggies, or use as a spread on sandwiches.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Outdoor Cooking

I know in some places in the country, there's still a chill in the air, but here where I live it's starting to get warm. Warm enough, that firing up the grill for dinner is becoming an option some evenings. Last night it was a warm evening, and my son was happily playing in the sunshine, and I decided instead of using the oven for the meal I had planned, I'd just move my cooking outdoors. The chicken breasts that were going to go in the oven and the asparagus that was headed for a pot of boiling water went out onto the grill. I added some mixed greens and boiled the new potatoes, and topped it all off with a mustard vinaigrette. Even my four year old devoured the asparagus.  Delicious warm weather meal, eaten happily on our little patio in the sunshine.

Grilled Asparagus


1 lb asparagus
2 Tbsp olive oil
Sea Salt

1. Toss the asparagus with the olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt to taste.

2. Place on a hot grill (350-400 degrees). Grill, turning, for 5-10 minutes.

3. Serve plain or with mayonnaise.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Salad

Last week, the first vegetables in our garden began appearing. Small carrot greens, wisps of green onions, pert little green shoots of garlic. And the radishes. The radishes, their little red bodies poking out of the earth under their leafy green tops saying, "Yes! Spring is here!" I think my love for radishes is solely based on them being the vegetable that is ready to eat first. They warm my gardener's heart with the promise of all the vegetables to come. And they also taste pretty good.
My little boy excitedly checks the radish bed everyday and patiently looks at each little plant and determines if it's ready to pick. And last week, they were:

I made this fantastic spring salad with them. So simple: just an avocado, some carrots slices, and the radishes, topped with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. So simple, yes, and so good. Hello, Spring.

Spring Salad

1 ripe, but firm, avocado
4 small radishes
1 large carrot

1. Cut the avocado into small chunks. Slice the carrot into thin strips. Cut the radishes into thin circles. Mix together. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing (see below).

Simple Salad Dressing

1-2 cloves garlic
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Dash of course salt
8-10 Tbsp olive oil

1. Crush the garlic cloves. Add the vinegar and mix together, with the salt.

2. Whisk in the oil.

3. Transfer to a sealed bottle and shake until oil and vinegar are completely mixed together.