Monthly Archives: May 2012

Warm Spinach Salad with Grilled Sausage

I got this recipe a few years ago from Real Simple magazine. It has become one of my absolute favorite summer grilling recipes. It is so delicious and perfect for eating outside in the summer. And, even better, it really couldn’t get much simpler. It is perfect for those summer nights or even afternoons for lunch when you are enjoying the nice weather and have little interest in putting a lot of effort into cooking. With this, you can have a fabulous outdoor meal with little effort, a dream come true!

To start, you need some sausages. Any kind you like. I use sweet Italian turkey sausage. You also need about 8 roma tomatoes and a large vidalia onion. Simply peel and slice the onion and cut the tomatoes in half (I cut off the ends first). You don’t want the onion slices too thin or they will be harder to flip on the grill. Or you can slice them thin and cook them in  a grill basket if you prefer. Brush both sides of the veggies with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

That’s it. Then put your sausage, onion and tomatoes on the grill.

While everything is on the grill, make the really simple dressing. You just have to put some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, grainy mustard (not yellow, yuck!), salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk them together. Dressing done!

Fill a large bowl with fresh baby spinach. As you take your veggies off the grill, put them right on top of the spinach. Then cover the bowl until ready to serve so the spinach warms up a little.

Looks Beautiful!

Then just slice the sausage, serve on top of the veggies, and drizzle some dressing on top. Perfect!

Here is the recipe as it appeared in Real Simple:

Ingredients
  • 4 Italian sausages (about 1 pound)
  • 8 plum tomatoes, cut in half crosswise
  • 1 onion, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rings
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 bunches spinach, thick stems removed (about 8 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
Directions
  • 1Heat grill to medium-high. With a fork, prick the sausages in several places. Grill, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • 2Meanwhile, brush the tomatoes and onion with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Grill until tender, 5 to 6 minutes per side for the onion and 2 to 3 minutes per side for the tomatoes. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl as they are done, add the spinach, and toss.
  • 3In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, the remaining 3 tablespoons of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Slice the sausages and serve with the vegetables and dressing.

Lemon Tarragon Tilapia

So simple, but so delicious. Served with roasted broccoli and mashed cauliflower. Also both really simple.

Just sprinkle the tilapia with salt, pepper, and tarragon. Then cook over medium high heat in a pan with some olive oil and butter. Once the tilapia is done, remove it from the pan. Then add lemon juice to the pan and scrape up anything stuck to the pan. Add a little more butter and tarragon to the lemon juice and stir until the butter is melted into the lemon juice. Pour some sauce over each tilapia filet to serve.

For the cauliflower, toss the cauliflower with olive oil, salt, pepper and some crushed garlic. The garlic should be to your taste, I like a lot. Roast at 375 for 45 minutes, turning two or three times during roasting. The cauliflower could really be done here. It is delicious like this. But sometimes I prefer the consistency of mashed with a meal. Here, I thought the mashed would be great with the lemon butter sauce from the fish. So then I put the roasted cauliflower in a food processor. Add some thyme and olive oil (about a tbsp of each per head of cauliflower), and process. Don’t think you can just steam the cauliflower if you are going to mash it. I’ve tried that and it is not nearly as good as when you roast it first.

The broccoli is just tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted at 375 for 30 minutes. Roasted broccoli is the best. So much more flavor than steamed! And it stays nice and crisp instead of getting soggy.

Sorry I’m lacking measurements, but I don’t actually do a lot of measuring when I am cooking. Especially for an easy meal like this.

This meal has so much more flavor than you would ever expect for how simple it is. So good with a glass of white wine.


Beautiful Veggies on the Grill

This is pretty much how I cook all summer…just change up the protein to go with it.


My Tomato Savior

I’ve been seeing stuff for a while now about how bad it is to eat canned tomatoes with the BPA lining and the acidity of the tomatoes causing all that BPA to get into them. Honestly, I’ve been ignoring it. I use canned tomatoes in my cooking a LOT. I even eat them for breakfast with my eggs. I just couldn’t even think about not using them. But then I read more about it…and more. Finally, I thought it was time to give up my canned tomatoes. I tried Pomi in the carton, but I didn’t like them. Their “diced” tomatoes seemed more crushed than diced to me. I like my diced tomatoes chunky, Pomi wasn’t cutting it. But now what? I figured it would be jarred tomatoes. Guess what? They don’t exist. I searched health food stores, I searched online, I couldn’t find jarred tomatoes. I figured I would just have to use fresh tomatoes. Now, the extra effort of peeling and dicing fresh tomatoes isn’t my problem with this. It’s the taste. They are fine for some things, but they very much do not have the same flavor as canned tomatoes. And, here is where I draw the line. I am not canning or jarring my own tomatoes. I’m sorry, it’s just not happening. I already spend enough time in the kitchen. So…the different flavor of diced fresh tomatoes or accept the BPA-soaked canned tomatoes? Then I found them….Muir Glen Organic canned tomatoes. My tomato savior. Starting this year, Muir Glen is using a BPA-free liner in all of their canned tomatoes. And it turns out they are readily available in my local grocery store. Thank you, Muir Glen!