Cherry Tomato and Baby Bocconcini Salad

tomato and bocconcini salad - trust in kim

These pretty little yellow tomatoes came out of my garden this summer, along with the greens, so I just added the bocconcini to make a salad.  Nothing says summer like tomatoes fresh from the garden, and the cheese is mild enough that it doesn’t steal the limelight from their flavour. It’s nice with a little bit of bread to soak up any extra balsamic glaze. Delicious and super fast!

What you need:

  • some cherry tomatoes
  • fresh greens
  • baby bocconcini
  • basil
  • balsamic glaze, storebought
  • salt and pepper

What you do:

  1. Place the greens on plates.
  2. Distribute the whole tomatoes and bocconcini on top of the lettuce.
  3. Stack a few basil leaves up, roll them, then slice the roll thinly – this is a chiffonade.  Loosen up the basil strips and place a few on each plate.
  4. Drizzle a little balsamic glaze on top, then add a tiny bit of salt and pepper.
  5. Enjoy right away!

Spaghetti Squash with Sundried Tomatoes and Olives

I love the idea of spaghetti squash, but I find it doesn’t have quite enough flavour on its own.  As my friend Meredyth says, sundried tomatoes make everything better.  I feel the same way about olives.  This easy recipe isn’t shy on taste, and it is super healthy and all-vegetable.  And  nut.  Okay, and olives are actually a fruit . . . but you get the point.

What you need:

1 spaghetti squash

6 sundried tomatoes

1 lemon, juice and zest

2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)

1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped basil

1/2 clove garlic, finely diced

about a dozen kalamata olives

1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts

What you do:

1.  Cut the squash in half, scoop the seeds out and place cut-side down on a baking sheet.  Bake at 400F for about 40 minutes.

2.  While the squash is baking toast the pine nuts.

3.  When the squash is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes, until it is cool enough to handle.

4.  Combine the lemon juice and zest, olive oil, basil, sundried tomatoes, olives, garlic and basil.

5.  Remove the squash from the shells by scraping with a fork.  Add the other ingredients to the squash.

Ready, easy and yummy!

Easy Pesto

Here’s your basic pesto recipe.  You just need a food processor or mortar and pestle, some lovely fresh ingredients, and you’re set!

What you need:

1/4 cup very lightly toasted pine nuts

3/4 – 1 cup basil

1/2 clove of garlic

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan (I use lactose-free l’Ancetre brand)

olive oil

salt

What you do:

1.  Toast your pine nuts very very lightly; you still want them to be creamy when you puree them.

2. Place the pine nuts, basil,  and garlic and a bit of salt in the food processor and add as much olive oil  as you need to make it smooth.  Then add the parmesan and give it one last whirl.

3.  That’s it – use it on some pasta, add it to hummous, make a lasagna, add it to eggs, whatever you want!

Quick Lemon Pasta

Looking for ways to use up my bumper crop of arugula, I made up this easy pasta dish.  You can easily substitute the arugula for fresh basil; just use a little less.  It’s a super fast meal to prepare!

What you need:

Pasta (I used brown rice spaghetti by Tinkyada)

fresh lemon juice

parmesan (I use lactose-free l’Ancetre)

arugula or fresh basil

salt and pepper

What you do:

1.  Cook the pasta in lots of water.

2.  Squeeze lemon juice, about 1/2 a lemon per person.  Mix it with a tablespoon or two of parmesan per person, a big drizzle or olive oil, and salt and pepper.

3.  Chop arugula roughly and place in the bottom of a bowl.  Place hot pasta on top of the arugula so the arugula wilts a tiny bit from the heat of the pasta.  Pour the lemon mixture over top and mix it all up.

4.  Enjoy!

lemon block print

Tomato Basil Yogurt Breakfast Tart

This breakfast tart can be made with or without a crust, and is pretty simple to whip up.

What you need:

3/4 cup plain yogurt

6 eggs

1/4 to 1/2 cup vegan or regular parmesan (I use L’Ancentre lactose free)

1/2 cup basil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 /2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

4-6 roma tomatoes

optional: small chunks of prosciutto

What you do:

1.  Beat eggs with a fork, then mix in yogurt, parmesan, chopped basil, salt and pepper.

2.  Cut tomatoes in half and remove the seeds and liquid.  This is a step you don’t want to miss, because of you do your tart will be watery.   I used grape tomatoes, which taste great but take a long time to deseed.

3.  Pour the egg mixture into a greased pie plate, frittata pan or partially baked pie crust.  Place the tomatoes on top, then top with a little more parmesan.

4.  Bake at 375 F for 25-30 minutes, or until the middle has set.

5.  Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

I have used this mushroom crust recipe when I didn’t want a typical pastry crust, and it’s delish!

Mushroom Crust:

1/2 lb mushrooms

2 Tablespoons butter

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1.  Chop the mushrooms and saute in butter for 10 minutes.  Mix in breadcrumbs, then pat into a greased pie plate.

2.  Bake 10-15 minutes at 375F.

3.  Fill with egg mixture and continue baking.

Roasted Vegetables and Spaghetti Squash

This delicious recipe is great if you’re looking to increase your vegetable intake.  You could substitute pasta for the squash, but this is quite filling on its own.  If you want a bit of meat you could add a little hot italian sausage.

The sesame seeds are ground so they are easily digested and you can utilize their calcium and iron.

You need:

1 spaghetti squash

For the tomato sauce:

1 small onion, chopped

2-4 cloves, sliced

1 –  796 mL can crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup tomato paste

oregano – 1 teaspoon fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1/4 cup fresh chopped basil – only fresh will do! *

1 tsp brown sugar

salt and pepper to taste

For the roasted vegetables:

1 onion, chopped in large pieces

2 red, orange or yellow peppers, chopped in large pieces

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

1 zucchini, sliced about 2 cm

3-4 cloves garlic, cut in half

2 tablespoons olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons FRESH dill*

1/2 cup ground sesame seeds

salt and pepper

What you do:

1.  Start with the sauce.  While this cooks you will have lots of time to do the rest.  Chop onions, cook in a pot with a little olive oil, stirring occasionally for a few minutes.  Add garlic and cook until it has a hint of brown.  Add oregano, tomato paste and crushed tomatoes.  Give this a stir every now and then while you work on the rest of the recipe.

2.  Preheat oven to 425F.

3.  Cut squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and place face down on a baking pan.

4.  Chop veggies and lay out evenly on another baking pan.

5.  Drizzle olive oil over veggies, then pour lemon juice all over them.  Sprinkle  sesame seeds over top.   Season with a little salt and pepper, and top with chopped dill.

6.  Pop the veggies and squash into the oven.  Take the veggies out about half way through and give them a little toss.  They are done when they get a little brown.  The squash is done when you can run a  fork through it and it makes those spaghetti-like strings.

7.  Just before serving, stir the basil, salt and pepper, and brown sugar into the sauce.  Adjust to taste.

8.  To serve, place some spaghetti squash on the plate, top with some sauce, then top with some veggies.  Yum!

*Some herbs taste completely different when they are dried.  Dill and basil are two of those.  When I find some great fresh basil or dill I put them in the freezer.  They are great to use in cooking – frozen basil not really great for using as a garnish or in something uncooked because it doesn’t look fresh any more, but great for sauces. Continue reading