Tuesday, February 25, 2014



1 loaf stale sourdough bread, cut into 1" cubes
2 tbsp avocado oil
1 carton tiny pear tomatoes, halved
1 English cucumber, sliced
1/3 cup chopped basil

1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt

In a large non-stick skillet, toss together the bread and avocado oil. Cook over medium heat, tossing often, until the bread is slightly golden, about 8-10 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine your tomatoes, cucumber, basil and toasted bread. Toss with the dressing*. Enjoy!

* To make the dressing:
In the cup for an immersion blender, combine your olive oil, garlic, red wine vinegar and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy. Season to taste.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Steamed Mussels with Garlic and Lemon (Non-Alcoholic)

I threw together a massive pot of these for a potluck, and changed a few minds about the scrumptiousness of frozen mussels.  We get most of our seafood straight off the boat in a dock sale- one of the perks of living in a port town in the Northwest!

One pound frozen, pre-cooked mussels
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 or 3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup water
1/4 of a large lemon
Pinch of salt (I used a locally-smoked sea salt.  Very fun $3 splurge at our store's deli!)

Bring to a boil in a pot and let simmer for about six minutes to steam. I made four pounds of mussels, so at this point I gave it a good stir and let them steam a bit longer.

You can use any kind of vinegar, but I chose white vinegar for its clean flavor profile.

The cooking juice (pot likker?) is delicious- dip a crusty bread in, make it into soup the next day, thicken some with roux to make a sauce to pour over rice with your dinner....but don't waste it! 


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Quick Pickled Daikon Salad

The other day, my mother in law picked out some beautiful daikon for me at the Asian market, and put them in my cart. They were young, and tender, so full of promise. I love daikon, but have no idea how to cook it so it doesn't come out bitter and nasty. I planned on having her cook them for me, but then...Life. My kids got sick, which got her sick, which meant we didn't see her for a few days, and before I knew it I was in danger of losing my daikon and PANIC! Google to the rescue - since daikon are simply really big white radishes, as far as I can tell, they can easily translate to other cuisines. I found a recipe that made a salad from daikon and carrots. Well, it sounded tasty enough, so I tweaked it for what I had on hand...and it was delicious. I mean, it was tasty the day I made it, but when we finally finished it off today (three days later), it was divine. Kids? Go find some daikon. You will thank me.

Daikon come in varying sizes, depending on how old they are. The daikon I used were on the skinny side, meaning they were younger. They were so sweet you could eat them raw and plain. Older, fatter, daikon isn't tasty raw, or plain. It is spicy and a tad bitter. Those daikon are delicious stewed, which is another recipe for another day. 


Quick-Pickled Daikon Salad

3 young daikon (about 2" across and 18" long)
1 Tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger (grate on a microplane, if possible)
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tsp. lime juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. sugar (optional)
1 green onion, chopped

Peel the skin off the daikon with a vegetable peeler, and then slice them into 1/4" thick rounds. (Taste the daikon first - if it is sweet, go 1/4" thick. If it is extra spicy or bitter, go thinner. You can also choose to shave the daikon with a food processor or your vegetable peeler.) 

Put the sliced daikon into a colander, toss it with 2 pinches of salt, and set it aside to drain. It won't lose a lot of water, but set it in the sink to be safe.

In a large mixing bowl, combine your grated ginger, rice vinegar, and line juice. While whisking, slowly drizzle in your olive oil, then your toasted sesame oil. Add your daikon rounds, and stir to coat. Add sugar, to taste. Add the green onions and stir to combine. 

Can be served immediately, or left in the refrigerator to further blend the flavors. Eat within 3-4 days. Stir well before serving.