“In My Kitchen” July 2018

I used to dread July.  It’s hot.  It’s humid.  It means I only have four weeks left before school starts and back to the grind.

Notice the past tense I used above…

I have a new job and although it is a twelve month gig (as opposed to my 11 month contract for the last thirteen years) and I am extremely busy and doing a lot of traveling, I LOVE IT.

I LOVE JULY.

I LOVE EVERYONE and EVERYTHING!   🙂

(I am even looking forward to August this year.)  I love fresh starts to rejuvenate and refresh!

 

So, what’s new in my kitchen?

Did I mention how busy I am?   We have honestly been subsisting on rice bowls and dining out.  Still, the tomatoes are doing well, especially the cherries.

Sweet Million cherry tomatoes and three Cherokee Purple cherries.

The tomatoes are doing so well, that I decided to whip up another salad for this month’s IMK.  This time I have more of a recipe though.

Toasted Quinoa Garden Salad

Debra

With items from the pantry and garden, this salad developed naturally. 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 c. quinoa
  • 1/3 c. olive oil plus 1 T., divided
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 lemon
  • balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and minced
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 c. Vidalia onion, diced
  • 1/2 c. Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 1/2 to 2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and seeded and diced
  • 1/3 c. basil, packed
  • 1/4. c. crumbled feta

Instructions

  1. Place 1 T. olive oil in a medium sauce pan on medium high heat. When oil is hot, add quinoa and toast for 3-4 minutes or until aromatic. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for ten minutes.
  2. While the quinoa cooks, make the vinaigrette. Place the remaining 1/3 c. olive oil in a small mixing bowl.
  3. In a 1 cup liquid measuring cup, squeeze the lemon juice and strain out the seeds. (You will have less than 1/4 c. probably.) Add the balsamic vinegar to top off the lemon juice to equal 1/4 cup.
  4. Pour the lemon juice/vinegar into the olive oil along with the garlic clove, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk and set aside.
  5. When the quinoa is finished cooking, place it in a large serving bowl or mixing bowl. Whisk the vinaigrette again and pour it on the warm quinoa. Stir and set aside while you prepare the vegetables and herbs.
  6. Once the quinoa has cooled to at least room temperature, add the onion, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, basil and feta. Season with more pepper. (Beware of too much salt because of the feta and the olives.)
  7. Refrigerate and let set for at least one hour. Serve.

Yield: 4-6

Prep Time: 30 mins.

Cook time: 15 mins.

Total time: 45 mins.

The tomatoes, cucumber and basil came from the garden.  (Sorry no photo of the cucumber.  It had gotten lost at the bottom of the vine and when I found it it was almost yellow.  I was afraid it would be bitter, but it wasn’t and was a good addition to the salad.)

Three kinds of basil: Tulsi, Aristotle, and Lettuce Leaf

I also have a butternut squash vine that is going nuts!

First harvest.

This cookbook is not necessarily new.   I got it last summer after perusing through a copy my sister had during our Fourth of July celebrations 2017.   I ordered one as soon as I got home.   I just now used it for our 2018 Fourth celebrations.  

I made both the Fresh Potato Salad w/Horseradish, Lemon and Capers and the Mango Squares with Coconut Topping from The Summer Table.  (I will post these recipes and a full review soon.)

And finally, this is not from the garden but this makes for a quick and easy early evening cocktail when it’s hot outside and you only want to stir.

 

It’s really great stuff and is non-alcoholic (until I add the rum).  We had dark rum on hand so that’s what went into these cocktails, along with some fresh mint (also from the garden) and a lime.

Whether it’s winter or summer where you are, I hope you enjoy!

I’m linking up with Sherry’s Pickings.

I’m linking the salad portion of this post up with Deb’s Souper Sunday.

Hope you had a wonderful Fourth!

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My Favorite Reads

Eat, Pray, Love
Running with Scissors
SantaLand Diaries
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Angela's Ashes
Naked
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
My Life in France
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
The Liars' Club
Code Name Verity
The Paris Wife
The Shoemaker's Wife
The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo: A Novel
Brother of the More Famous Jack
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls


Debra's favorite books »

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