Welcome to the Festival of Food Carnival. This month, we celebrate Recipes from the Garden! Hosted by Diary of a First Child and Hybrid Rasta Mama, you're welcome to join us next time, or if you have a previously published recipe you'd like to share, add it to the linky below.
This is one in a series of guest posts by other bloggers. Read to the end for a longer biographical note on today's guest blogger, my partner and husband, Crackerdog Sam.
Since the carnival is about using up our garden produce, I considered the elements we've always had in (over)abundance — tomatoes, spinach, garlic, and sweet onion — and had Sam share a yummy recipe that uses all four! Enjoy.
Guest post by Crackerdog Sam
A couple years ago, Lauren and I ate at a crepe restaurant where the star of the dish was something called "tomato coulis," which we'd never had before. I looked for it in stores, but couldn't find any pre-made, and when I looked up recipes online there was a vast array of options people were calling "coulis," from versions akin to chunky soup to versions resembling a smooth ketchup. Ours was more like a coarse pesto, which I couldn't find a duplicate for.
So after a great deal of experimentation, combining this and that technique, I have perfected my favorite version of coulis, which works equally well as a salad topping (presented here), a salsa (with chips), a sandwich spread (on patty melts), and a pasta sauce (over cheese tortellini). I also really like using it in a spicy version of tuna salad but using tilapia, a little mayo, and coulis. It acts just like a tuna salad would (you can do sandwiches, or casseroles, or eat it in lettuce leaves) but is much more interesting.
Coulis is a garlicky, sweet, salty and tangy intense flavor that's great to have on hand to liven up a dish.
Salad ingredients (serves 4):
- 9 oz spinach
- a few drizzles olive oil
- 4 oz feta cheese
- 1 avocado
- 1 cup (or more) tomato coulis
Coulis ingredients (makes 2 cups, so store the leftovers in a jar in the fridge):
- 3 oz package sun-dried tomato halves, dry packed
- about 24 medium-sized leaves basil (leaves from a 1.5 oz bunch)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 cup diced tomato
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup minced sweet onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Dietary/allergy notes:Vegetarian, gluten-free, grain-free, egg-free, nut-free, sweetener-free. Leave off the feta to have it dairy-free, vegan, and paleo.
Instructions:1) Layer the ingredients in a food processor, then pulse until the sun-dried tomatoes are chopped well, and the mixture is about the consistency of pesto. (These pictures are of a quarter batch, when I was testing; you'll have much more than this in your bowl.)
2) Let sit in refrigerator for two hours to let the flavors absorb. (Note that my recipe is rather garlicky and spicy. If you prefer a milder flavor, use 1 garlic clove and 1/4 tsp crushed pepper.)
3) To make the salad, separate spinach into two stainless steel pans (or you could use two shallow baking sheets, or whatever you have on hand), drizzle with a little olive oil, and toss. Add feta, and broil in the oven for 8-10 minutes or so until spinach wilts and feta is warmed.
4) Plate the spinach/feta mixture, top with 1/4 avocado each, and add a generous amount of coulis. (If serving as a main course, you can add protein by cooking four hamburgers, slicing each one into strips, and plating one underneath each salad.) Serve and enjoy!
Crackerdog Sam (that's his hobo name) is a full-time work-from-home parent.
He shares both the working and the parenting of six-year-old Mikko and two-year-old Alrik with Lauren of Hobo Mama.
He is the resident chef extraordinaire and does all the family's (delicious) cooking.
Please take a moment to visit the blogs of our other Festival of Food participants. The links in this list will be live by the end of the day, as participants are all in different time zones.
- Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares Grilled Fennel and Tomatoes with Basil! This recipe brings together some of the freshest, most vibrant flavors from her garden into a simple dish that even her wee-one adores! You can also find Jennifer on Facebook.
- Luschka at Keeper of the Kitchen shares a simple, summery salad of kale and parmesan, one of the only crops Luschka's managed to keep away from the snugs and snails so far this year. You can also find Luschka on Facebook.
- Sam in a guest post at Hobo Mama shares a garlicky, sweet, salty, and tangy topping for salads, sandwiches, pasta, and burgers and pairs it with a delightful dish that will help you use up the tomatoes and spinach fresh from your garden or farmers' market! You can also follow Hobo Mama on Facebook.
- Lindy at Poppy Soap Company shares a recipe for Grilled Peaches with Balsamic Vinegar. This easy recipe pairs well with protein heavy meals as a decadent and easy side dish! You can also find Lindy on Facebook.
- Angela from Earth Mama's World scored some 'imperfect' veggies from a local farmer's market and turned them into a perfect rosemary roasted veggie dish! You can also follow Angela on Facebook.
- Amy at Anktangle details two different methods of preserving hearty summer greens (such as kale and chard) so you can enjoy the variety—and nutritional benefits!—year-round. You can also follow Amy on Facebook.
- Destany at They Are All of Me creates low fat, healthy mock ups of some of her favorite restaurant dishes, using whole foods and ingredients from her garden. You can also follow Destany on Facebook.
Stay connected! Be sure to "Like" the Festival of Food Carnival Facebook page.