Grilled Shrimp and Cauliflower with Romesco Dipping Sauce

Cauliflower & Shrimp with Romescu
The first thing you need to know is that this sauce is A M A Z I N G.  Put it on your sandwich, toss hot pasta with it, fresh veggie dip or meat skewer dip …. it wins every time.  Today’s appetizer included these grilled cauliflower florets, lightly marinated shrimp and green onions.

Ingredients for Romesco

1 1/2 CUPS SERVINGS

  • 1 large roasted red bell pepper from a jar
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup tomato purée
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Pulse first 8 ingredients in a food processor until very finely chopped. With motor running, slowly add oil; process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Romesco can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.

romescu

To use as a dipping sauce, heat through until easy to stir and warm.

 

Shrimp and Vegetables

  • 1 head of cauliflower – cut into florets
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 lb jumbo shrimp – tails and shells on
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 bunch green onions

Lightly steam cauliflower until just tender crisp – be careful not too overcook it.

Season with salt.

In a large bowl, toss shrimp with vegetable oil and lime juice.  Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes.

Grill cauliflower, shrimp and green onions just until heated through (and shrimp is fully cooked) – try to get some pretty grill marks on there!

Arrange on a serving platter with the Romesco and dip merrily away.

 

 

Warm Kale Salad

I wanted to credit Joni for this delicious salad – served warm or at room temperature, but she insisted I give the credit to her sister Brita, who originally came up with this – regardless of who gets credit, I will happily take it now as I post it and recreate it in my own kitchen! So delicious, and like lots of salads it is easy to adapt with whatever you have on hand or in your fridge.

This delicious salad is equally great served warm or at room temperature.

This delicious salad is equally great served warm or at room temperature.

Kale (chopped and massaged)
spinach
pears (bite size pieces)
dates (diced)
almonds (roasted and roughly chopped)
feta

onion, garlic, asparagus & cherry tomatoes

Saute onion until translucent, then add garlic and asparagus and cook only until asparagus is tender crisp, add cherry tomatoes, stir and remove from heat.

Dressing:

1/3 cup olive oil
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup Bragg’s
salt and pepper to taste – be cautious with the salt tho as both feta and Bragg’s will be a bit salty

Combine all ingredients – tossing in a large bowl with warm onion/garlic mixture and dressing.

This salad is so delicious and packed with nutritious bites that it can easily be a full meal – if you like add shrimp or cooked chicken, maybe a little quinoa??

Sundried Tomato and Almond Pesto

Such a great taste, easy to have on hand and in the freezer.  You can use this in a variety of ways – toss with pasta, use it for a burger topping – blend it with mayonnaise for a quick dip – spread on baguette – blend with cream cheese to serve with crackers – top grilled meat … really, so amazing to eat in so many ways.  Have fun trying, and let me know if you come up with more creative ways to get that taste of sun drenched tomatoes!

Don’t you just want to taste this?

1 cup slivered almonds, toasted until golden

4 cloves garlic

2 cups dry pack sun dried tomatoes (soak in very hot water for a few moments, then drain)

1 tsp salt                                          

1/2 tsp pepper

2/3 cup olive oil

This is easiest if you use a food processor, but possible in a mortar and pestle … just be prepared to work hard!

In food processor, pulse roasted almonds and garlic until a coarse grind.  Add tomatoes, salt and pepper.  Pulse until a smooth paste.  With the motor running add the oil in a slow, but steady stream.  Finish with any leftover tomato water from soaking them.

This can be used within a few days in the fridge, or frozen in smaller containers to use all year long.

If you can’t get the dry pack sundried tomatoes, just use the oil packed ones but drain well.

Asparagus with lime, feta and almonds

There is nothing like asparagus season!  During that brief time we eat it most days … for our Fathers Day Mexican Fiesta I wanted to give it a Mexican twist – complimented our main of Pork in Salsa Verde –  just the way we wanted it to.

Asparagus – break off woody parts at the end

lime

feta cheese

extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

juice of 1/2 a lime

Asparagus is best if you dress it after it has been grilled or roasted.  If you are able to grill it – so much the better.  Just grill on the surface of your grill until just fork tender.  This does, of course, require a grill master – someone who actually stays with the grill and looks after it!  If you don’t have either that luxury or the weather – preheat an oven to 375 and then roast it for about 20 minutes – just until fork tender – do not overcook.

When you take it off the heat, arrange on serving dish, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, then sprinkle toasted almonds and feta cheese over top – finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Delicious!

Moroccan Quinoa Salad

SALAD

3 cups cooked quinoa                                                                         

1 cup canned black beans, rinsed well

1/2 cup finely diced red onion

1/2 cup each finely diced red, yellow and orange peppers

1/3 cup diced sun dried tomato

1/2 cup olives

GARNISH

1/4 cups chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

DRESSING

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

Toss cooked quinoa with vegetables into bowl.  Drizzle with dressing, and just before serving mix in the fresh herbs, garnishing with the toasted almonds.

Serve with Moroccan Spice Chicken

Red Rice Rocks

There are plenty of one bowl dishes to be found – but we think this one is simply the best!  The dressing makes more than you will need but it is amazing in so many ways – I also love to toss vegetables in it before grilling them 

DRESSING

1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

2 generous tbsp tahini paste

2 cloves garlic, crushed

red chili flakes (optional)

1 1/4 – 1/2 cups vegetable oil

Your favorite hearty rice – we like red rice but brown would work well too.

lots of toasted almonds

spring pea shoots

Put the first 6 ingredients in a blender and give a good whiz until blended well – add oil in a slow but steady stream.  Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.  On those days when I feel the need for a little extra winter warmth I add 1/2 – 1 tsp chili flakes.

SALAD

Spinach, grated carrot, grated beet, and honestly – whatever items in your fridge look appealing to you!  Spinach is a great green to use in this dish because it holds up so well with the hearty ingredients.

To make this a whole party on a plate, I also serve it with cooked chicken, sauted tofu or prawns.

Stir all the ingredients together: rice, vegetables and whatever protein you have decided on (if you want one!) and garnish with plenty of toasted almonds and spring pea shoots.