by Christie Bok in Recipes, July 20th, 2015
by Christie Bok in Recipes, July 13th, 2015
One of the best things about making veggie-centric meals is that you can plan your dishes around seasonal vegetables. By using what’s in season, you’ll ensure ultimate freshness and bright, beautiful colors every time. Since we’ve reached zucchini season, it’s time to seize squash’s day and use it in recipes that feature its versatility, like Ina Garten’s Zucchini Gratin (pictured above). Ina sticks with the typical ingredients of a classic potato gratin, like milk and cheese, but replaces the starchy potato with zucchini as a seasonal alternative.
Just because it is summer doesn’t mean we have to steer away from enjoying comfort. A creamy sauce comes together by adding a few tablespoons of flour for thickness — just like you would use for a potato gratin — and hot milk, and it coats the veggies. Ina adds breadcrumbs and Gruyère cheese before baking her gratin to create a golden, bubbly crust.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, July 6th, 2015
Curbing your meat intake doesn’t necessarily mean you have to put away the grill. In Bobby Flay’s recipe for Toasted Israeli Couscous Salad with Grilled Summer Vegetables (pictured above), he chars up seasonal veggies that make this salad both colorful and satisfying. Plus, pearly Israeli couscous makes for a delicious and hearty alternative to mixed greens.
Just as he would when grilling a piece of meat, Bobby makes a marinade to flavor and tenderize the vegetables. He whisks together balsamic vinegar, garlic and Dijon mustard, and then tosses half of this vinaigrette with zucchini, asparagus, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes. Following his lead, allow the veggies to sit and soak up the flavors for 15 minutes, and then grill until just cooked through. Next, toast the couscous with olive oil to bring out its natural flavor. Cook the couscous until al dente and toss with the bite-sized grilled vegetables. Finally, toss the salad with the remaining vinaigrette, and garnish with fresh basil and flat-leaf parsley.
by Christie Bok in Recipes, June 29th, 2015
Since basil is in season right now, it’s no wonder that it’s often the go-to herb to feature in pesto, but it’s surely not the only something green that can star in this quick-fix sauce. Spinach, parsley, broccoli and even arugula can take its place — arugula, for example, standing in to create the base of the sauce used atop Food Network Magazine’s easy pizza (pictured above).
Thanks to a ready-to-go prebaked pizza crust, this Arugula Pesto Pizza with Zucchini comes together simply and in a hurry. Once you’ve prepped the pesto — the arugula adds a peppery punch, while capers and garlic offer welcome bite — and sliced the mozzarella and zucchini, it all comes down to assembly. Just before baking, sprinkle some nutty Parmesan atop the pie and drizzle on fruity extra virgin olive oil. After only a few minutes in the oven, the cheese will turn gooey and the crust golden.
by Christie Bok in Recipes, June 22nd, 2015
If there’s one activity that epitomizes summer, it’s packing a picnic and enjoying the outdoors. And what better time to plan a beautiful meal outside than on the Fourth of July? For a quick and portable meal this Independence Day, try Giada De Laurentiis’ Caponata Picnic Sandwiches (pictured above). You can dig into these sandwiches — made in under an hour — utensil-free.
Staying true to its classic Sicilian flavor profile, this caponata features eggplant, celery, red pepper and onion. Giada sautes the veggies in olive oil until they’re slightly tender, then combines them with diced tomatoes, oregano and raisins. After the mixture simmers for 20 minutes, add red wine vinegar, sugar and capers for a sweet-and-salty element, known in a caponata. The end result: a flavorful relish that becomes the ultimate condiment for this sandwich. Grill ciabatta bread cut-side down until golden, then rub with fresh garlic. Add a slice of mozzarella cheese for richness, and finally, top with the caponata and another piece of bread. Wrap in parchment paper or plastic wrap for a picnic-ready meal.
by Christie Bok in Recipes, June 15th, 2015
Grills don’t need to be reserved just for burgers and hot dogs this summer. Give ingredients like fruit and veggies a quick char, and you’ll find that salads and side dishes get a delicious bonus in texture and flavor. In Giada De Laurentiis’ Artichoke and Tomato Panzanella (pictured above), she grills up bread and artichokes — hearty ingredients that will make a meatless salad satisfying — as the stars of her Italian dish.
Perhaps the best part about this salad is that it’s ready to eat in just 16 minutes. Take Giada’s lead and use whole-wheat bread or any day-old variety that you have on hand. The “staleness” will actually give the salad a nice additional crunch. First, drizzle the cubed bread and frozen artichokes with olive oil and grill until golden brown. Giada adds tomatoes, black olives and basil for extra freshness and a beautiful contrast in color. The final layer: a simple vinaigrette. Whisk together extra virgin olive oil with white wine vinegar and then toss with the salad mixture until combined.
by Christie Bok in Recipes, June 8th, 2015
During the summer months, biting into a juicy piece of watermelon can feel like you’re drinking a tall glass of cold water. Crisp and refreshing, the fruit not only quenches thirst but, better yet, can satisfy a midday sweet tooth. Instead of slicing up watermelon as a side or serving it as dessert this summer, take Tyler Florence’s lead and use it as the base for Watermelon Gazpacho (pictured above).
Although gazpacho is traditionally a cold Spanish soup that combines tomatoes, vegetables and spices, the watermelon in this version gives it an unexpected twist while retaining that classic red color. Perhaps the best part about this dish is that there’s no stove necessary. Simply prep the ingredients, puree in a blender and it’s ready to serve in just 15 minutes. In addition to the two cups of fresh watermelon that act as the star in this soup, Tyler adds a dash of red wine vinegar — this acidity helps offset some of the sweetness — and half of a serrano chile for a spicy kick. Add tomato, red onion and cucumber for your veggie element. Before serving, garnish with fresh dill and crumbled feta cheese for contrast in color and a tangy bite.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, June 1st, 2015
If you’re a true carnivore, curbing your meat intake might seem like an impossible task — even if it’s just for one day of the week. That’s why it’s a good idea to start with pasta. Not only can it be ready to serve in a jiff, but it also can easily be made with pantry staples. When you combine the starch with vegetables, cheeses, and hearty ingredients like olive oil and nuts, pasta quickly becomes a satisfying meal.
Just as bright as it is flavorful, Ina Garten’s Broccoli with Bow Ties and Peas (pictured above) is the perfect pasta to make this summer. The vitamin-packed veggies — broccoli and peas — are certainly the stars of this dish, but fresh lemon zest and Parmesan cheese give it a tang, and are perhaps what makes it a crowd-pleaser. By infusing a mixture of olive oil and butter with garlic, Ina ensures a delicious base for this dish. Once the pasta is al dente, add it to the lemon-and-garlic base along with the broccoli and peas. Next, add a healthful serving of cheese and watch as it gently melts against the warm bow ties. Garnish with pine nuts for extra heartiness and crunch — you won’t miss the meat with this one.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, May 25th, 2015
With Memorial Day officially behind us, summer has (unofficially) kicked off. If this season is all about striving for easy, stress-free days, then there’s perhaps no simpler dish to make than a fresh salad. You could opt for a classic preparation of fresh greens, veggies and your favorite dressing, but in true Barefoot Contessa fashion, Ina Garten takes the traditional to the next level in her Arugula, Watermelon and Feta Salad (pictured above), featuring a craveable combination of peppery greens and juicy seasonal fruit.
Since watermelon is a sweet fruit, Ina balances out those natural sugars with plenty of savory tastes in the other ingredients: The olive oil-based dressing features a duo of bright citruses, plus minced shallots for a subtle bite, while crumbly feta cheese rounds out the salad with hefty richness and welcome tang. For an added burst of freshness, Ina mixes in fragrant mint leaves, which complement the fruit and the arugula alike. Click the play button on the video above to watch her make the salad.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, May 18th, 2015
With Memorial Day falling on a Meatless Monday, it may seem like there are only two options when it comes to eating at today’s barbecues: 1. Forgo vegetarianism and perhaps embrace a Meatless Tuesday instead. 2. Be relegated to the buffet’s potato and pasta salads simply to maintain a meat-free plate. But it turns out that those aren’t your only choices. You can indeed dig into to a hearty grilled dish at today’s picnic — and at bashes all summer long — by opting for a mushroom burger.
Every bit as hefty as a beef burger, Food Network Kitchen’s Grilled Portobello Burger with Onion Jam (pictured above) boasts the signature charred flavor you crave from grilled meats. And since these earthy portobellos are coated in a garlic-balsamic oil before cooking, they’re full of satisfying flavor too. To round out the mushrooms and add even more bold taste and textures to this between-the-bun creation, pile on the toppings, including soft and sweet honey-laced onions, crisp lettuce, and horseradish-spiked yogurt for a light yet creamy finish.
Quinoa may be the ultimate superfood seed, but when it comes to versatile grains, farro — a hearty, chewy wheat — deserves its moment in the spotlight too. The beauty of farro is that, like quinoa and barley, it can be prepared once on its own, then kept on hand and mixed with your choice of add-ins to create an array of quick-fix salads.
Giada De Laurentiis starts with a batch of cooled farro, then adds to it fresh tomatoes and half a sweet onion for an Italian-focused salad (pictured above) that’s a cinch to pull together. She opts for a duo of fresh herbs — chives and parsley — for a fragrant note, while a garlic-laced balsamic vinaigrette promises a tangy bite and a bold punch of flavor. Since this recipe can be assembled the night before (just let it come to room temperature before enjoying it), it’s a go-to pick for make-and-take lunch salads.