This Mexican Street Corn Salad is a hit at potlucks and BBQs, and always disappears quickly. It is all the best parts of Mexican Street Corn, Elote, but with less mess – grilled corn, a creamy sauce bursting with flavor from spices and fresh herbs, and salty cheese. You and your guests will want seconds!
Crisp garden vegetables, protein-rich hummus and cream cheese, and a savory bagel come together in a make-at-home version of my favorite bagel sandwich from a popular chain.
Combining #FarmersMarketWeek with my August Lunch series, I’ve brought you a quick and easy sandwich that’s amazing for breakfast or lunch. It’s my version of a sandwich I like to get at a popular bagel chain in my area. (I may or may not plan meetings around lunchtime near that location.)
Now, this might seem like a simple sandwich, but it’s one that’s full of bright flavors from the fresh vegetables. It’s best when you use whatever is freshest from your garden or local farmer’s market. If you can get bakery bagels, do it, although something like Thomas’ bagels will work in a pinch. Use your ripest tomato. I like plum tomatoes because I prefer less seeds, but the key is a RIPE tomato. A little red onion, maybe a little avocado if you have it. Concerned about the lack of meat? The cream cheese and hummus (I use my homemade hummus) provide the protein and staying power to make this hearty, satisfying sandwich.
Help Books n’ Cooks readers get out of a lunch rut. Leave a comment and tell us, what’s your favorite sandwich?
Despite it being 90° here some days, September is the start of fall for me. I start craving fewer fresh fruits and less grilling. Instead, I become eager for the weather to cool off so that I can indulge in heartier dishes and simple roasts paired with roasted vegetables. Entertaining is a breeze as I throw dishes into the oven to cook slowly, while I enjoy cocktails and easy appetizers with my guests.
This weekend Sunday Supper is celebrating the start of fall with some of their favorite fall recipes. This roasted veggie tart isn’t exactly a quick appetizer, but it’s not difficult at all. And with all of the roasted vegetables, it just screams fall to me. If it’s a little too involved for your fall entertaining, then I’d encourage you to pair it with a side salad and give it a try for a light brunch or lunch.
Recipe Note: I used about 1 c. of butternut squash, carrot, leek, and bell pepper for this recipe, but I encourage you to pick the veggies and ratios according to your own preferences.
4 c. fall vegetables, ½-inch dice (i.e. butternut squash, carrot, leek, bell pepper, cauliflower)
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
Ingredients for the Crust:
1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour; plus more for rolling
¾ c. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 oz. cold cream cheese, cut into 1-inch pieces
¾ tsp. kosher salt
Ingredients for the Assembly:
4 oz. fresh goat cheese, softened
1 large egg, beaten
Make the Filling: Ensure rack is in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375°F.
In a large bowl, toss all ingredients to combine. Spread in a single layer on a heavy baking sheet or roasting pan. Cover with foil and bake until tender, 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover, and allow to cool slightly.
While vegetables are cooling, make the crust. Increase oven temperature to 400°F.
While oven is coming to temperature, place flour, butter, cream cheese, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until the dough starts to come together.
Sprinkle flour over a clean counter. Transfer dough to counter and gently knead with clean hands, once or twice, to bring dough together.
Assemble the Tart: Sprinkle a little more flour onto a large piece of parchment paper. Place dough on parchment paper and roll out, to a rough 16-inch round.Dough should be about 1/8-inch thick. Gently brush excess flour from parchment paper. Carefully lift parchment paper, with the dough still on it, onto a clean baking sheet.
Spread the goat cheese on top of dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Top the goat cheese with vegetables. Pile a little extra in the center.
Fold edges of the dough over the filling to create pleats, about 1½-inches wide. Brush pleated dough with beaten egg.
Bake until golden brown, 35-40 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool, at least 10 minutes before serving.
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When my family comes to visit, sometimes I feel like meal planning is a real struggle. I always try to accommodate everyone’s food preferences – there is no Mexican food and limited Asian-inspired options; the meal has to be substantial enough for two big guys (salad, sandwiches, quesadillas, etc. aren’t the best options for dinner); and there are few seafood options that the majority will eat. But the hardest person to cater to is my little brother. He’s is the only vegetarian in our immediate family, and having a husband that prefers meat at almost every dinner (this Pasta with Walnuts and Parmesan is the only vegetarian dish I’ve made to date that really leaves him happy and satisfied), I don’t have much of a repertoire of vegetarian meals in my arsenal.
While my brother would happily fend for himself, he visits enough (and is so good to my daughter!) that I’ve been trying to make an extra effort to prepare new dishes (eggplant parmesan gets tiring after a while!) that he would enjoy. Last time he was in town, we tried out this warm pasta salad with grilled tomatoes and zucchini – definitely substantial enough on it’s own but paired with grilled chicken for the carnivores. I could have eaten the whole thing myself. The pasta and grilled vegetables are lightly dressed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, which lets the sweetness of the warm tomatoes and the saltiness of the freshly grated Pecorino Romano shine through. (Don’t skimp and buy buy the pre-shredded/shaved/grated stuff – the freshly shaved cheese really makes this dish).
Recipe Note: The original recipe calls for chopped thyme and chives, which is reflected below. I’ve also omitted these and made the salad with a sprinkle of Herbes de Province sea salt and chopped fresh basil (pictured here). The basil was a stronger flavor, but the pasta salad was equally amazing.
Serving Note: While the pasta salad is meant to be served warm, the cold leftovers were also good.
1-1/4 lb. small zucchini, trimmed and halved lengthwise
5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
4 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (see recipe note above)
Freshly ground black pepper
6 oz. Pecorino Romano, shaved with a vegetable peeler (about 2 cups)
1 lb. dried penne
1/4 c. thinly sliced fresh chives (see recipe note above)
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar, more to taste
Prep & Grill the Veggies: Preheat grill to medium heat. Meanwhile, toss veggies in a bowl with 2 Tbs. oil, 2 tsp. thyme, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Set bowl aside – do not empty or clean bowl.
Grill veggies, cut side down for about 5 minutes before flipping and cooking for another 5-8 minutes, until desired doneness (I like my zucchini still slightly crunchy). Remove from grill and return them to the same bowl.
Allow to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package. Drain and set pasta aside.
Assemble the Salad: Coarsely chop the warm veggies and toss with half of the cheese, 3 Tbs. chives, remaining olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining chives, thyme, and cheese.
I’ve spent the past couple of weeks trying to get used to being back at work full-time. It’s been an adjustment all around. How do I manage to balance work with not just home life – cooking, cleaning, being a wife – but also being a mom? It has been a challenge for sure, but my husband and I are beginning to find our routine, even if that means me going to sleep right after the baby to compensate for her new wake-3-times-a-night habit.
This new schedule has meant that I’m focusing on simpler meals in the kitchen. We’ve been doing a lot of grilling and pairing whatever we grill with fresh and easy sides. This southwest quinoa salad is one of our new favorites. The slight kick from the jalapeno is balanced with sweetness from the mango and red bell pepper. Feel free to toss in a little more mango and veggie than the quantities listed below, I know I do.
Southwest Quinoa Salad
Adapted from The Plant-Powered Diet by Sharon Palmer via Skinny Taste
Yields 6 1-cup servings
juice from 1 lemon
1 1/2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. ground tumeric
15 oz. can low-sodium black beans, rinsed & drained
1 c. cooked quinoa
1 c. fresh or frozen corn
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 c. fresh mango, chopped
1/4 c. red onion, finely chopped
1/2 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and tumeric in a small bowl. Set aside.
Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour dressing over salad, stirring to combine.
Serve immediately (at room temperature) or refrigerate until serving.