Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer Salad

peach plate

Last week I noticed some peaches at the market. Not thinking much other then "a peach would be nice" I bought myself two blushed beauties and thought that was that. The following day of the peach purchase, I decided to bake one of the two in a batch of muffins. But as I was cutting up the first peach, I couldn't help but pop a slice of it in my mouth. It just looked so juicy, so colourful, so appetizing. After the first slice, there went another, and another-until before I knew it the peach had vanished. Now I'm not sure if it's because I hadn't had a fresh peach since last summer, or if It was just a damn good peach, but I felt it was the best peach I had ever had. The experience was euphoric.

So today as I was passing by the same market, I felt the need to buy myself some pretty peaches again. Fate was smiling down upon me because while I found some beautiful looking peaches, an inspiration for what to do with them also hit. I acted on my instincts, grabbing a pack of baby spinach and some peppered goat cheese, then walked back to my apartment and set to work on a spinach salad. It's another hot hot day in Vancouver, which made this salad oh-so appropriate for tonights dinner. With the addition of only a few minor ingredients, this was a truly tasty salad.

peach salad

Peach Perfection on a Plate

few handfuls of baby spinach
1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 fresh peach, sliced
crumbled goat cheese (i used pepper infused goat cheese, herbed or plain would also work)
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp raspberry white wine vinegar
dash of salt & pepper
1/4 cup crumbled walnuts

Place the spinach on a plate. Mix the olive oil with vinegar, salt and pepper, and whisk until incorporated. Drizzle spinach with dressing. Slice the pepper, and peach, then lay atop the spinach. Top with crumbled goat cheese (flavored if desired) and crumbled walnuts.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Saute'd Soy'd Asparagus

After my first trip to Granville Island, I was sitting pretty with a beautiful bounty of affordable, fresh, quality fruit and veg. One of my favorite things I got was kale. It was a new green that I had always read about but had never tried. (couldn't ever find it back home!) I really loved the soup I made using Kale from that trip, but I also really enjoyed it in this simple and tasty dish when I added it to asparagus. I had never bought kale prior to moving here, but it seems to be a usual at the farmers market, and I plan on taking advantage of it's accessibility from now on.

I also struck gold with the asparagus there that first day. It was pencil thin and beautiful. The best part was that it tasted even better than it looked! Vancouver has been stuck in a heat wave since my arrival, deeming it too hot to turn on my oven, so I opted to enjoy my asparagus in a new method-pan frying.

almond asparagus kale

This recipe is almost too simple, and extremely versatile. Expieriment with whatever you like, or have on hand.

Almond and soy Asparagus with Kale

1/2 bunch asparagus
1/2 head of kale
1/3 cup natural almonds
2 tsp oil
3-5 tbsp soy sauce
1 clove of garlic
2 tsp red chili flakes

Take the asparagus and wash well. Trim the ends and chop into one inch pieces. Heat up a small pan with oil and add the garlic. Let saute' for about a min. Add the asparagus and soy sauce. Stir over medium high heat until asparagus starts to cook. Roughly chop the almonds and add them to the pan. Tear up your washed kale and throw it in there. Allow to sit for about a minuete or so. Just until the kale starts to soften a bit, but not so long that the asparagus gets over cooked. Sprinkle with some chili flakes if spicyness is desired.

Since I haven't built up a pantry for myself quite yet I didn't get to add everything I would've liked to this dish. Had I had it on hand, I would've tossed in some fresh ginger, sesame oil, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.