Thursday, August 20, 2015

Spinach and Artichoke Quiche

Confession: I spend way too much time in my life coming up with new flavors of quiche. Now that I've admitted that, may I introduce to you the Spinach and Artichoke Quiche, my take on spinach and artichoke dip in quiche form. The combination is a classic and so delicious and I've already given you cheesy pasta with spinach and artichoke and the oh so amazing warm spinach and artichoke dip so it was only a matter of time before it came in quiche form and it does not disappoint! The same creamy goodness, the same hints of lemon and the same cheesiness all baked in a crust. Mission accomplished. Enjoy!

2 9 inch pie crusts
2 10 oz boxes frozen chopped spinach or a total of about 560 grams frozen spinach, defrosted
9 oz or 250 grams frozen or canned artichoke hearts, defrosted
one medium onion, diced small
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 Tablespoon oil
6 eggs
2 cups half and half or light cream
1/2 cup sour cream
zest of one lemon
1 tsp granulated garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups white cheddar or mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350.
Squeeze the water out of the spinach and artichoke hearts.Finely chop the artichoke hearts by hand or in a food processor.
In a frying pan heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
In a big bowl whisk the eggs, half and half, sour cream and lemon zest well. Mix in the spinach and artichoke, and season with the garlic powder and salt and pepper. Divide the mixture between the two pie shells and top each pie with 1 cup of shredded cheese. Bake for about 45-50 minutes until the filling has set.

(Please pardon the hideous bright blue birthday party tablecloth background)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Kale and Red Quinoa Salad with Figs and Toasted Almonds

I know, I know, kale and quinoa are officially overdone. Too bad. The more I dream up things to do with them the more I will make them. So there. In this case I am using the lesser used Red quinoa which I actually prefer- its color brightens dishes and its texture is a little chewier. Baby kale, red quinoa, plump dried figs (fresh would be equally delicious here if you could get them), and hefty amounts of toasted almonds with a light and refreshing orange vinaigrette. In my dreams this salad is supposed to have beautiful pomegranate arils but the price for them was so outrageous I could not bring myself to add them. If you can get them, add them, they will add beautiful color, texture and tartness. Perfect summer eating in my book! Enjoy!

1 cup red quinoa, rinsed well, cooked according to package instructions and cooled
1 pound (450 grams) of baby kale or baby spinach, washed, dried and ready to go
1 cup dried figs, sliced. (I used already moist and plumped dried Calimyrna figs but if yours are dry let them steep in a little orange juice before slicing to re-plump them)
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 cup pomegranate arils or sweetened dried cranberries

Place all salad ingredients in a bowl, toss with the dressing and serve.

For the dressing:
zest of one large orange
1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tbl maple syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all together and serve over salad.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Gingered Red Cabbage and Mango Salad

Mango has got to be one of my favorite fruits. At the end of mango season in Israel you can get these giant football size mangoes that are sweeter than sugar and can easily feed 4 people. Every year I eagerly await their arrival to my supermarket. Feeling nostalgic, I bought some mangoes at the farmer's market recently. Though they don't compare to my delicious Israeli mangoes they were pretty darn good and I concocted this salad with them to accompany some steaks I was grilling. The salad is lightly dressed with just a little heat from the chili and a little warmth from the ginger and so fresh and summery tasting.This would be so perfect piled high on top of a fish taco but equally delicious on you summer shabbat table. Enjoy!

1 small head of red cabbage, shredded
1 large mango, peeled and cut into thin slices or cubes
4 scallions, sliced
1 small jalapeno, Anaheim chilli or any green chilli, finely diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley)

Place all the salad ingredients in a bowl and toss with the dressing. Let the salad sit for a minimum of 20 minutes before serving.

1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1-2 Tbl honey (depending on how sweet you want it)
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all the ingredients to emulsify.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Garden Herb Wheat Berry Salad

This past week was the annual shindig to celebrate my daughter's birthday. Every year the guest list includes more adults than kids, many who are shlepping a couple of hours to get there- and pizza and ice cream just doesn't cut it. I try to make different things each year, though I always end up with Mac and Cheese, some type of quiche ( I try new ones each year, stay tuned for this years) and a bunch of salads. This years salads included Caeser, a yummy quinoa kale salad with figs (keep you posted on that one) and this wheat berry salad whose inspiration was taken from my salad drawer. Lots of fresh veggies, lots of fresh herbs and the addictive, chewy texture of wheat berries all bound together with a refreshing lemon vinaigrette- what could be bad? Add some crumbled feta or goat cheese on top and you've got yourself a meal! Enjoy!

2 cups wheat berries (called "chitah" in Israel)
2 cups lightly blanched broccoli
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 carrots, sliced
1 yellow (or any other color) pepper, diced
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
4 scallions, sliced
1/4 cup sliced fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Place the wheat berries in a pot and cover with triple the amount of water. Add salt as you would to pasta and boil the wheat berries until tender but still a little chewy-around 40 minutes. Drain. Place the wheat berries in a bowl and mix in 1/3 of the dressing while the wheat berries are still warm. Once the wheat berries have cooled add the rest of the vegetables and herbs. Mix and season to taste with salt and pepper.

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbl Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all together to emulsify.