Think Fresh: Salsa

Picky Princess eating fruit salsa and crackers

I cannot BELIEVE it! There’s this big yellow ball glowing in the sky and the world feels…warm! Amazing! Summer is upon us and I’m desperately hoping for long sunny days and all the fun they bring with them! Summer food is my favorite. Winter comforty food is great, fresh green veggies of early spring, also wonderful, fall smells of cinnamon and pumpkin pie, always sensual. But summer food: summer food seems to be alive! We eat a lot of raw food in the summer and my food processor is busy busy busy chopping up vegetables and fruit for salsas! I put salsa on bbq’d meat, on crackers or tortilla chips, on salads, on anything! Here are three variations to try this summer. The process is the same for all of them, chop up ingredients nice and small and stir together. I usually use a food processor, but be careful to pulse slowly and stop before everything combines into mush. Usually the flavors blend together nicely after sitting for a while. Which is perfect. Make your salsa early in the day and you’ll be ready for supper that much faster!

1. Every day go-to Salsa: 4 tomatoes, half a sweet onion, little bit of hot pepper, handful of cilantro, dash of sea salt, juice of 1 lime.

2. Tex Mex salsa: 4 tomatoes, 1/2 cup corn kernels, 1/2 can black beans, 1 avocado, handful of cilantro, dash of sea salt, juice of 1 lime.

3. Fruit salsa: 2 nectarines, handful of ripe strawberries, 1/4 of a purple onion, handful of fresh mint, juice of 1 lime.

These are my favorites but there really are no limits! Try a melon salsa! Salsa is a great way to top salad instead of salad dressing, a great condiment for bbq’d chicken, and a great way to eat lots of fruits and veggies.

Recipe: Rhubarb Shortbread

Rhubarb Shortbread

…brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things…particularly if the brown paper package is filled with rhubarb straight from the garden, delivered by a friend, and still with the slightest bit of dirt on the stalks.  Just such a package arrived for me this week from a Beautiful Soul and I’ve had a great time making rhubarb inspired meals. We had rhubarb compote on chicken breasts, strawberry rhubarb crumble, and tonight’s experiment: rhubarb shortbread. This recipe is loosely taken from a Smitten Kitchen recipe that is one of my summer favorites. A few changes and voila. The sweet and nutty brown sugar spelt shortbread with the tang of the rhubarb is absolutely delicious. It all tastes a bit like…summer!

Rhubarb Shortbread

makes a lot

3 cups spelt flour(or regular unbleached flour)

1 cup brown or raw sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 egg

2 cups thinly chopped rhubarb

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 and butter a 9×13 baking dish. Whisk together all the dry ingredients. Add butter and egg and work together with a fork until mixture resembles coarse meal. Tightly press 3/4 of mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle the rhubarb over the shortbread. Top with remaining shortbread mixture. Bake for about 30 mins until edges are turning golden. Cool completely in pan and cut into squares.

Think Fresh: Portobello Mushrooms

portobello salad

Wow! How did 2 weeks of no blogging sneak past me? I’ll tell you how: cookbook production! The cookbook is coming along at a snails pace but you must know that there is love in every recipe and every microscopic text change.

The girls and I have been walking to the park(in our rain gear, don’t get me started) every day before dinner and one things is clear: it’s bbq season. The smell of bbq’d meat fills the air, competing with the perfumey May Day trees. It means summer must be close. We love to bbq(we as in all of us right?). We bbq all sorts of things, not much of which is meat. We do the odd chicken breast, some sausages and maybe even a steak once or twice a summer. But we do a lot of bbq’d veggies, bbq pizzas and my all time favorite, bbq portobellos. These giant meaty mushrooms are delicious grilled and give the satisfaction of bbqing without the meat. There are many great ways to eat portobellos, like a burger is probably my favorite way. But here’s an easy little recipe for a light dinner, that is filling and satisfying. Enjoy!

Portobello Salad

Drizzle portobellos(1 per person) with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and sea salt. Grill until softened and juices release. Carefully, without spilling the juices, transfer to a baking sheet and slice. Prepare salad: pile up any greens you like, add some thinly sliced pears and some shaved parmesan. Top with mushroom slices and pour juices over as the dressing. So easy, so delicious!

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