Tag Archives: basil

Watermelon, Feta, and Basil Bites

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I am not the cutesy type but these little bites are a pretty perfect addition to  a 4th of July BBQ.   I added blueberries simply to make them more festive but if you are making this for another occasion, you could leave them out.

The recipe takes about 10 minutes to assemble.  It doesn’t get much easier than this.

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Watermelons are so refreshing on a hot day.  Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice on top and it brings it to a whole new level.

These bites look like tomatoes and might confuse someone (my husband, possibly) as they wonder how a tomato could possibly be so crunchy.   A curious and confused expression might paint their face until they realize (or are told) that they are eating a watermelon.    Confusion clears up and a content smile appears.   Ah.   That’s good.

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That little round cookie cutter pictured above is what I used to make my watermelon circles.  It’s about 2 inches in diameter.

If you really want to get cutesy, use a star shaped cookie cutter.   I just couldn’t go there.

Crested Butte might be a tiny town, but we throw one heck of a parade.  It used to be so small that all the floats would go around twice.    There’s everything from Rocky Mountain Biological Lab scientists covered in leaves dancing down the street to people biking through a circle of fire.  It’s entertaining for sure.

The 4th is a hang out type of day.   Wherever you are hanging out for the day, these little bites are perfect to bring along.

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To chiffonade the basil, stack about 5 piece of basil on top of each other and roll lightly.  Thinly slice the roll and you will get lots of thin strips of basil.

If you don’t like basil (gasp!  Who doesn’t like basil?try substituting mint. Read the rest of this entry

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Quinoa Salad with Beets and Cucumbers

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Happy Fathers Day!   I hope you are all celebrating the amazing father’s and men in your life.  After a filling family breakfast and looking at all the cards the kids decorated for Eric, we sent him off for a long hike with some of his good friends.   The kids absolutely adore their dad, as do I.

I think about my father often, but especially today.  This is my fourth father’s day without him.   I picture him playing bridge somewhere and passionately discussing politics while eating chinese food, or maybe a big plate of onion rings.   To this recipe he would say keen-what?  And I would reply, Keen-WAH, Dad – Try it, it’s really good for you.  You’ll like it .  And by the way, you would have loved the hike I went on today.   The Lupine were just incredible.  If only I could tell him about it.   If only he could hike with me again.

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I am not sure if I had even heard of quinoa four years ago.

This is a great summer meal.  It is perfect for lunch, dinner or potlucks.  It keeps well so you could make it on Sunday and take it to work for lunch over the next several days.  Also great to take camping for the weekend.

I had just roasted some beets and hadn’t decided what I was going to do with them yet.  I looked in the index under beets in this fabulous cookbook called La Tartine Gourmande by Beatrice Peltre and came across a beet and quinoa tabouli, as she calls it.   Perfect.

Roasting the beets takes about an hour and the quinoa needs to cool down so this is not a last minute type recipe.   You need about an hour and a half- even though it’s really only 15 minutes of active cooking time.

I changed some of the ingredients, adding basil and cucumbers, and omitted a few others, but otherwise  followed her recipe.   This cookbook is truly one where every time you turn the page another delicious recipe appears after another.  I used red quinoa because it is what I had on hand but I think it would look prettier with white quinoa  (as Beatrice uses) and the beets would turn it a light pink.

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Enjoy!

Summer Quinoa Salad (serves 6)

adapted from La Tartine Gourmande Cookbook

1 Cup Quinoa (red or white)

2 Cups Water or Vegetable Broth

1 Large Beet, Roasted and diced

1 Cup diced Cucumber

1/4 Cup Feta crumbles

2 TBSP Pine Nuts (optional)

Vinaigrette

Zest of 1/2 lemon

Juice of 1/2 lemon

4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

2 TBSP Basil, chopped

1 TBSP Mint, chopped

1TBSP Parsley, chopped

Pinch of Salt

Pinch of Pepper

Wrap the beet (unpeeled) in tin foil and in a 400 degree oven and roast the beet for 45min.-1hour.   Let cool and then peel off the skin with your fingers and dice it. 

Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa well in a fine mesh colander.  Add it to a pot with 2 cups of water or vegetable broth and a pinch of salt.   When it comes to a boil, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until all the water is absorbed.  Remove from heat, let it stand for 5 minutes and then put it in a bowl to cool. 

In a small bowl, add all the ingredients for the vinaigrette and stir well. 

Add the beets and cucumbers to the quinoa and stir well.   Pour the viniagrette over the salad and mix together.   Then add the feta crumbles and pine nuts on top.

 

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