Archive for July, 2013

Hearty Summer Salads for July Book Club Dinner

The Menu

Hummus with Toasted Pine Nuts and Cumin Seeds
Summer Squash and Quinoa Salad and Walnuts
Kitchen Sink tossed Salad
Wild Blueberry Pie (Erin’s contribution and not included in price per person)
Beer and Wine
$11 per person

July’s book selection

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce


Away for the weekend and tuesday’s book club fast approaching, I planned to pick-up produce at a Farmer’s Market near where I was staying. I thought I’d plan the menu around the produce available. Unfortunately, the selection was limited. Several veggies looked appealing including the fava beans, russian kale and romaine lettuce but since my time was limited on tuesday — I had to work till mid-afternoon on tuesday — the fava beans although very tempting would be too time consuming. And I served Kale last month so I settled on a huge head of Romaine Lettuce as the base of my salad. Read more

Hummus with Toasted Pine Nuts and Cumin Seeds


Hummus with Toasted Pine Nuts and Cumin Seeds
Serves: 2 cups
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1½ tps cumin seeds
  • 1 15 oz can Chickpeas, rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ⅓ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup water
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • pita bread sliced into wedges as accompaniment
  1. Toast the pine nuts and cumin in a small skillet shaking occasionally so they don't burn
  2. Mince garlic in food processor. Add ½ of the beans and puree. Add tahini, lemon juice, salt, remaining chickpeas, combine and then drizzle olive oil into processor and puree until smooth.
  3. Add water a little at a time until you reach your desired consistency
  4. Put hummus in a shallow serving dish and garnish with pine nuts and cumin seeds.
  5. Serve with pita wedges.

Summer Squash and Tri-Colored Quinoa with Walnuts

Ingredients for Squash and Quinoa Salad lo-res

Summer Squash and Tri-Colored Quinoa with Walnuts
Recipe type: Salad Entrée
  • ¾ cup tri-color quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 lbs. assorted summer squash
  • 3 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • ½ cup walnuts, toasted
  • ½ cup basil leaves, torn into pieces
  1. Bring rinsed quinoa and 1½ cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until quinoa tender about 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 15 minutes, uncover, fluff with fork and cool.
  2. Cut squash into ⅛ inch thick slices, some vertically and others horizontally. Place in large bowl and season with 2 teaspoons of salt, toss to coat. Let sit till slightly wilted, about 15 minutes. Rinse under cool water, drain and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Put in a small jar the parmesan cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, sherry vinegar and olive oil, screw the lid on and shake well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl mix together the squash, quinoa, parsley, walnuts and basil. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
  5. Place on a serving dish and garnish with more parmesan cheese if you desire

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Cover


A Charming novel about recently retired Harold Fry, a man indifferent to life, who receives a letter from Queenie, a dying friend he hasn’t seen in 20 years. He sets out to mail a brief reply when after passing postbox after postbox he has an encounter with a young woman working at a convenience store that convinces him to walk across England in hopes of saving his friend in hospice. Wearing yachting shoe and having forgotten his cellphone he embarks on his unlikely pilgrimage which provides profound insights into his life, marriage and family.


Kitchen Sink Tossed Salad

Kitchen Sink Tossed Salad
  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • ½ head Red Leaf Lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • ¾ cup Cherry Tomatoes
  • 3 spears Hearts, sliced
  • 1 Kohlrabi, peeled and sliced into match sticks
  • 2 Kiwis, peeled, quartered and sliced
  • 1 handful Pepias Seeds
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss with dressing right before serving.

Pomegranate, Hearts of Palm and Walnut Salad

A salad for the first full day of summer!

My neighbor and friend, Erin, invited me for an impromptu weekend at her country cottage. We left New York City Saturday around 9:30 a.m. and got to her home in the Catskill around 1 p.m. after making a 45-minute detour to drop-off her husband. First thing after getting the dog situated with water and an umbrella for shade was making lunch. That was my contributions to the weekend’s meals. Read more