Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

It is really important to taste, taste, taste when you are making this vinaigrette – each different variety of sun dried tomato will give a different flavour. This should be FULL of taste, so if not – make adjustments.

Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

1/4 cup drained, oil packed sun dried tomatoes – finely minced

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1/2 lemon (juice of)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp honey

1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Give all ingredients a good, vigorous shake in a jar and slowly add the olive oil. Taste and adjust for seasonings.

This is great on a tossed salad, and perhaps even better on a pasta salad.  If you want a smoother texture, place all ingredients (except oil)  in a blender and process for a few moments before slowly adding the oil.

pasta with sun dried tomato vinaigrette

Sun Dried Tomato Brie

brie two ways

Brie is a favorite appeitzer, whether served hot and oozing, or cold on a cheese platter.  This is one of our favorites – always a hit to take when you need a quick easy appetizer.

minced sun dried tomatoes

generous sprinkling of fresh herbs, minced  (parsley, oregano and basil work well)

finely chopped fresh chives

finely chopped fresh fresh garlic

salt and pepper

lemon

olive oil

Depending on the size of the brie wheel you have – mince up enough of the toppings to generously cover the cheese.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, squeeze a bit of lemon over, and top with salt and pepper.

Heat in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes, just until the cheese starts to bulge against the rind.  Serve with fresh baguette, toast rounds or your favorite cracker. 

This also works really well on the grill if you have a good heat resistant container to both warm and serve in.

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.

Quinoa Feta Salad

Quinoa

This one is for you Shae – hope you have fun making it!  xo

1/2 cup white quinoa

You can use either all white or red quinoa, but I love the look of the combination!

1/2 cup red quinoa

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups water (or chicken stock if you are so inclined!)

Rinse quinoa well, then combine all ingredients in pot – bring to a boil with the lid off, then turn down to a simmer, cover and allow to cook for 20 minutes undisturbed.  Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes to allow some of the steam to release.

Set aside to cool slightly.

1/2 cup feta, broken or cut into little pieces

1/2 cup colored peppers, diced

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, minced

1/3 cup black olives, sliced

1/4 cup red onion, finely diced

generous amount of fresh basil, chopped

optional:  1 cob of corn – kernels removed

I only use the corn when it is in season, and a great way to use up that extra cob you cooked!  If corn is in season … then tomatoes are too so use fresh garden tomatoes, chopped up in place of the sun dried tomatoes.

DRESSING

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp dry mustard powder

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2-2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Combine dressing ingredients, blend well and set aside

Combine the prepared vegetables with the cooked quinoa.  The flavours really come together well if you do this when the quinoa is still slightly warm.  Pour enough dressing over to coat, and give it a good toss.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Always remember to keep tasting – sometimes just that little extra bit of salt and pepper make the difference you are looking for.

Looking for a full meal deal?  Add some cubed extra firm tofu and black beans – you will have such a delicious satisfying dinner in one bowl.