Green Bean Salad

If you can’t tell, I love a good salad. You can never have enough salad recipes. This green bean salad is pretty awesome. Love the combination of toasted walnuts, fresh green beans and vinaigrette – plus it was really pretty! Would be delish to add a little feta or goat cheese in as well if that’s your bag. Green beans are prefect this time of year and I have my favorite little sous chef to help me break the ends off, when he’s not eating them, that is.

Sous Chef Oliver

I found this easy Ellie Krieger recipe on Foodnetwork.com (I doubled her recipe below, I don’t think 1/2 lb green beans would really serve 4 people). Served with halibut and walnut pesto and quinoa. Lovely summer meal.

Green Bean Salad

courtesy of Ellie Krieger
Serves 4
Total Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves (I left this out, didn’t miss it)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water with a steamer basket to a boil, add green beans and steam for about 4 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  2. Toast the walnuts in a small dry skillet over medium heat until they become fragrant, about 2 minutes, and then transfer them to a small bowl to cool. Add the parsley and onion to the walnuts and stir to combine.
  3. In another small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar and mustard. Toss the dressing with the green beans, top with the walnut mixture and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature

If you love green beans as much as we do, you’re gonna love this salad!

 

 

Horiatiki Salad & Chicken Souvlaki – Perfect Summer Dinner

I developed my love of horiatiki salads and chicken souvlaki when I visited Greece on a month long Europe romp with my 3 college bf’s over 15 years ago (we were actually there at this very time in 1998!). We visited France, Italy, Spain and Greece and as much as I love pasta, nothing beat the Greek cuisine. The vegetables in the horiatiki salad (a Greek salad minus the lettuce) were so fresh and delicious, the perfect combination of crunch and vinegar and feta. Mmmmm. And PS, in Greece (or maybe it was just Ios, the little island that also had salt water coming out of the sinks/showers), they serve their gyros with French fries inside. Amazing.

I am honestly in disbelief that I have never recreated this entire dinner. I’ve done the salad plenty of times, but never added the souvlaki. Well, after a little bit of research to find the perfect chicken souvlaki recipe, I found this little gem on Epicurious. Definitely going in the regular rotation. So easy, quick (other than the marinating time), and flavorful – just plain delish. I served with some pita and tzatziki from my neighborhood Greek restaurant, Nikos Gyros, because any tzatziki I make will never be as good as theirs. I had my friend Courtney for dinner, we both had seconds, total winner.

Horiatiki Fixins

Marinating ChickenHoriatikiChicken Souvlaki

Chicken Souvlaki

courtesy of Epicurious

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp fresh oregano
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
  • 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1.5lbs
  • wood skewers

Preparation

  1. To start the marinade, first crush the garlic and finely chop the oregano. In a dish large enough to marinate the chicken, add the garlic, red wine vinegar and lemon juice. Whisk in the olive oil and add the oregano, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Cut all of the chicken into approximately 1½-inch cubes.
  3. Place the chicken into the marinade and mix to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or even overnight.
  4. Prior to cooking, make sure to soak the wood skewers in cold water for at least 2 hours.
  5. To cook the chicken, preheat your oven to 375º degrees (or you can grill).
  6. Slide 3 or 4 pieces of meat onto each skewer.
  7. If baking in the oven, cook for about 10 minutes, turning once, or until cooked through. You might need to broil for the last few minutes to get the meat nicely browned.

Horiatiki Salad

  • 1 Cucumber, peeled and sliced into half moons
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeded and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced into slivers
  • Feta cheese, crumbled, as much or as little as you like
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
  • For the dressing – olive oil, red wine vinegar, chopped fresh oregano, salt & pepper – I like to go about 50/50 for my oil/vinegar ratio, I definitely like my dressing on the tart side. I eyeball all of this and don’t measure, but you can’t go wrong if you taste it along the way and make it how you like it!

The great thing about the horiatiki salad is you can’t really mess it up. Especially in the summertime, when all of these are in season (especially tomatoes!) and their most delicious. Pick some or all of these veggies, maybe get crazy and do a red pepper instead of yellow. Even crazier? Add avocado. If you don’t like onions, screw em. Bonus, this salad is even better the second day. Enjoy!

 

Sausage, Red Onion & Wild Mushroom (Almost) Homemade Pizza

I am not a baker. I am not comfortable with dough. My KitchenAid mixer has probably been used a total of 5 times in the 6+ years I’ve had it. So when I decided to do homemade pizza on Saturday night, it was a given that I would not be making my own dough. I asked around and everyone agreed that Trader Joe’s fresh pizza dough was easy to work with and pretty darn tasty. Sold.

Oliver and I were having some of our very favorite friends over for dinner and it gave me the motivation to find a few really good pizza recipes to try. I went on a little online journey and ended up at Epicurious with these 2 gems: Pesto, Fresh Tomatoes, and Mozzarella (post to come tomorrow. I made fresh walnut pesto and it was amazing.) and Sausage, Red Onion, and Wild Mushroom Pizza. This was a group effort and we did the cooking together, a sign of great friends (thanks Raff & Kim!). For the kiddos, we did a pepperoni pizza with TJ’s pizza sauce. Our pizzas may not have been perfectly round, but they were delish.

Pepperoni Pizza Sausage, Red Onion & Wild Mushroom Pizza

Sausage, Red Onion, and Wild Mushroom (Almost) Homemade Pizza

adapted slightly from Epicurious

Ingredients

  • 1 16-ounce ball TJ’s pizza dough (I used the regular crust, there is also whole wheat and an herbed one)
  • 2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, divided
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 1/2 hot Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 9 ounces fresh wild mushrooms (I used stemmed shiitake and oyster), thickly sliced
  • 1 3/4 cups coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella cheese (about 7 ounces)

Preparation

Preheat to 450°F. Lightly flour a baking sheets. Place dough on work surface; let stand until room temperature, about 20 minutes. Press and stretch out on lightly floured surface. Sprinkle with Parm, 3/4 teaspoon rosemary, and coarse salt. Roll each piece of dough out to 14-inch round, pressing in seasonings. Transfer dough to prepared baking sheets.

Cook sausage in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté until brown, breaking into 1/2-inch pieces with back of spoon, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to bowl. Add onion to skillet and olive oil if needed, there may be enough fat from the sausage to cook in that. Sauté until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes; transfer to plate. Add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add mushrooms and remaining 3/4 teaspoon rosemary; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until brown, about 5 minutes. Leaving 1/2-inch plain border, top with mozzarella, then onion, sausage, and mushrooms.

Bake until crust bottom is crisp and brown, about 20 minutes total.

Pizza was fricking delicious. Would definitely make again.

 

I Want To Tell You About This Little Boutique I Found…

It’s called the Gap. I know, you don’t shop at the Gap, except for your kids. But there is some great stuff to be found at even greater prices. If you ever shop there without a coupon, please, keep it to yourself, it’s just embarrassing. My preference is to shop online with a 40% off coupon, but I’ll settle for 25%. There is literally always a coupon on their site, today is 35%.

I have had my eye on a few pairs of their Thin Flip Flops ($24.95), which are a total knock off of TKEES. I love TKEES, but they are but are double the price. I decided that even $24.95 was too steep and being the patient coupon savvy shopper I am, I waited for my 40% coupon. The 40% off came a few times, but there were restrictions and I wasn’t able to use the discount on shoes. Some might give up, but I waited some more (like 2 days) and finally, it came. I got my flip flops for $14.97, bitches.

The price was so right, I just had to add a few more things to my basket. I found this cute eyelet top ($54.95/$32.97) and these espadrille wedges ($69.95/$41.97). If there’s one thing I don’t have enough of, it’s espadrille wedges.

Gap Eyelet Top Gap Espadrille Wedges

All of that for just $114. Love it. Now I get to look forward to my little present in the mail! If my new things don’t work out, I just take them back to the store. This is how online shopping with coupons is done. Aaaaaand scene.

Happy Friday!