Monday, August 31, 2015

Roasted Red Pepper Salad Dressing

This dressing comes out so thick and creamy that you'd think it was bound together with cream. Don't be fooled - it's simply red pepper whirled together with oil and vinegar, along with a few other ingredients! In addition to creaminess, the pepper gives this dressing a depth of flavor that you'll be sure to appreciate.

Ingredients:

1 red pepper, roasted and peeled
zest of 1/2 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon, about 1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. agave or honey
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp (pinch) garlic salt

Directions:  Cut the pepper in half, then remove the seeds and membranes. Place the pepper skin side up on a cookie sheet. Place under a broiler and broil for about 5-7 minutes, until the skin is well blistered. Remove the cookie sheet, and place a lid or a piece of foil over the pepper and let sit for about 10 minutes. Remove the skin from the pepper, it should slide or peel off easily. It's okay if a few pieces of the skin remain. Cut the pepper halves into strips. Place the red pepper strips, along with the remaining ingredients into a blender and blend until well combined. Add additional olive oil if the mixture is too thick.

Stealthy Cooking Tip: I like this dressing best on salads that have some red peppers in them, the dressing echoes the taste of the salad. This dressing is also a good dip for veggies. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Quick Pickled Green Beans


I've been craving pickled green beans, and luckily have a large batch of green beans freshly harvested from the garden. Just add a few spices, and voila - here's a way to keep those green beans fresh in the frig for the next few weeks!

Ingredients:

1 pound green beans

1 cup water
1 cup rice vinegar
1 Tbs. sea salt
1 Tbs. agave

2 small bay leaves
2 cloves peeled garlic
2 small red chilies
1/2 tsp. peppercorns (pink, black, or mixed)
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. dill seeds
Directions:

Remove the stem ends from the green beans. Trim them so that their length matches the depth of the jars. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add the green beans and boil for 1 minute, until they turn bright green. Drain the beans in a colander, running them under cool water to stop cooking. Add the water, rice vinegar, sea salt, and agave to the empty pot and bring to a boil. Pack the spices and beans into two pint jars. Place 1 bay leaf, 1 clove garlic, 1 small red chili, 1/4 tsp peppercorn, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, and 1/4 tsp dill seed in each jar. Roll the jar on its side and pack the beans into the jars. There should be enough green beans to completely fill each jar. Turn the jars right side up and fill to the top with the vinegar mixture. Cover the jars, let cool, then refrigerate for one or two days before using. These will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Makes 2 pint jars (easily doubled)


Stealthy Cooking Tip: These beans are good as a topping on salads, as a side dish, on a pickle and cheese plate, or in mixed drinks.  I used rice vinegar in these beans, and have included a photo of the vinegar above. Rice vinegar is a mild vinegar, and works nicely in these beans.