Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fresh Herbs

Dinner Tuesday June 18th.
I often will make a dinner around just one ingredient in the fridge. Tonight that would be the fresh herbs from the farmer's market; Italian Parsley, Tarragon,  and Lemon Balm. After some "research" on Pinterest I see that tarragon is used a lot in vinaigrettes and in chicken salads. I'm going to run with that idea and see what I have to make it happen.

What's in the fridge for the vinaigrette:
-Artichoke hearts in oil

These all go into a little mini chopper, or chop master, and come out as an amazing fragrant lemony, garlic herb paste. Tempted to eat it with a spoon.
I don't have chicken so I'm going to have to substitute tofu.
What's in the fridge for the tofu salad:
-Little less than one cup of quiona (the last bit in a bag)

I cook the quiona and do a quick sauté on the tofu to give it a crunchy crust. As these are cooking I cut up the tomato and cucumber into a large bowl. When done they get added to the bowl and the herb paste goes on top. I let it sit in the fridge for about 30 min to get the flavors to meld and for the tofu and the quiona to soak it all up.

While it's melding I'm going to make a green salad to have with the herb tofu quiona.
What's in the fridge for the green salad.
-Lettuce, Spinach and Radishes from the farmer's market.
-Pear rescued from left over school lunches
-Blue cheese
-Last few olives in the jar

At this point it is just a matter of chopping, plating and assembling the two salads together. It is hard to make a bad salad with fresh local produce and to keep these veggies in the staring role I do a simple squeeze of lemon and dash white balsamic as dressing.
Totally blown away at the beauty of these radishes. 
The tofu took on the flavors of the herb paste and the slight crunch of the quiona and the cucumbers add a nice texture to the dish.  The lemon flavor from the balm ties in with the greens and the light flavor or parsley is in every bite. The radishes and thinly cut white onions are spicy but are balanced out by the pear, olives and the blue cheese. This dinner makes me happy.
P paired his dinner with Loser Pale Ale from Elysian Brewing Co

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