Posts by tag: Memorial Day

  • Tropical Summer Caprese Salad

Tropical Summer Caprese Salad

Posted on May 22, 2017

And POOF! Just like that, we have Summer.

One week ago, I was using my fireplace to keep warm at night. And then the next thing I knew, it was a balmy 90 degrees.

I guess the only thing that’s ever been consistent about the weather here in New England, is that it’s wildly inconsistent.

I think this current heat wave is just a flash in the pan, and we’ll be returning to somewhat cooler temperatures this week. But oh my gosh, it’s been SO glorious to revel in all my favorite Summer activities. I’ve been walking the beach and reading by the pool almost every single day. I’ve already managed to eat my weight in ice cream. And I’ve enjoyed several outdoor “patio beers” at sunset.

I finally feel re-charged after our long, cold Winter (and our nearly non-existent Spring). It’s like all is right with the world once again.

Plum Island, MA | www.floatingkitchen.net

Needless to say, all this warm weather has got me dreaming wildly about Summer foods. Which is how I ended up creating this Tropical Summer Caprese Salad. It’s amazing what you can invent when you refuse to turn your oven on for fear of sweating through your clothing.

On a hot day, there is nothing I crave more than a caprese salad. I could easily eat one every single day between the months of June and August. Sometimes, I like to bulk up my caprese salads with additional greens and baked almond-crusted chicken. And sometimes, I like to serve my caprese salad on skewers for easy eating at parties.

But today, we’re going super tropical. I’m mixing fresh mozzarella and basil with kiwi, pineapple, cilantro, hazelnuts (hooray for crunch!) and a little bit of heat from a dash of cayenne pepper. It’s a salad that I can just about guarantee you’ll be making (and eating!) all Summer long.

Tropical Summer Caprese Salad | www.floatingkitchen.net

Inspired by the shape of the fresh ciliegine mozzarella, I decided to use my melon baller for the kiwi and pineapple. This, of course, isn’t necessary. You could cut the fruit into small cubes. But I had fun doing it this way (and I think it looks cute!). And it was nice to dust off my poor melon baller, which is a utensil that only gets used two or three times a year at most.

Tropical Summer Caprese Salad | www.floatingkitchen.net

You don’t need a lot of dressing for this Tropical Summer Caprese Salad, because the fruit will release a lot of juice once it’s been cut. I might have added even a bit more cayenne pepper than the recipe calls for, because I like spice. But feel free to go as light or heavy as you dare with the cayenne. The heat provides a wonderful contrast to the cool, sweet fruit. So whatever you do, don’t skip it entirely.

This salad is best when it’s enjoyed immediately after making it. And it should be eaten cold. So make sure your pineapple and kiwi are chilled to start. Then just toss and enjoy!

Cheers,

Liz

Tropical Summer Caprese Salad

Serves 4

Tropical Summer Caprese Salad

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces fresh ciliegine mozzarella balls, drained
  • 2 cups chopped (or balled) pineapple
  • 4 kiwi, peeled and chopped (or balled)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Add the mozzarella, pineapple and kiwi to a large bowl.
  2. In a separate small bowl, stir together the olive oil, lime juice, agave, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Pour this dressing over the mozzarella and fruit, tossing gently to combine.
  3. Add the hazelnuts, cilantro and basil. Toss to combine. Serve immediately.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/tropical-summer-caprese-salad/
  • Beer-Marinated Grilled Chicken Skewers with Spring Quinoa Salad

Beer-Marinated Grilled Chicken Skewers with Spring Quinoa Salad

Posted on May 8, 2017
Category:

It’s been an exceptionally soggy Spring here in New England. Which wouldn’t be so bad, except for the fact that all this rain has seriously cut into my grilling time. And that makes me grumpy.

I had anticipated being fully reacquainted with my grill by this point in the month of May. But instead, it feels like we’re only on our second date. There is still some awkwardness and uncertainty when we interact. All of which can probably be attributed to me. Admittedly, I’m rusty and out of practice after the long Winter.

But I’m slowing working out the kinks (i.e. cleaning off the grates). And I’ve even managed to have a few successful grilling sessions on the days when the weather was tolerable. Out of one of which was born this recipe for Beer-Marinated Grilled Chicken Skewers with Spring Quinoa Salad.

Beer-Marinated Grilled Chicken Skewers with Spring Quinoa Salad | www.floatingkitchen.net

Drinking beer is something I do often. Cooking with beer, however, is something I only seem to remember to do occasionally (maybe if I drank less beer, my memory would be better!). It’s been quite a while since I’ve shared a savory beer-infused recipe here on Floating Kitchen. And for that oversight, I apologize. Craft beer has so many wonderful uses in the kitchen – from tendering meats to giving rise to baked goods to imparting unique and complex flavors to any dish it’s added too – and I want to spend more time exploring all those things.

These Beer-Marinated Grilled Chicken Skewers with Spring Quinoa Salad would be perfect for a casual weekend dinner. The recipe is super simple to prepare (just be aware there is a 1-2 hour marinating time for the chicken). And you could easily customize the quinoa salad to add in whatever seasonal vegetables you happen to have on hand. I’m taking advantage of all the wonderful radishes and fresh herbs that are so abundant right now. But I also think some shaved asparagus or spicy arugula would be very welcome in this dish.

Beer-Marinated Grilled Chicken Skewers with Spring Quinoa Salad | www.floatingkitchen.net

If you follow my Instagram stories, then you know I can be regularly found hanging with my crew at the Newburyport Brewing Company. So naturally, I used one of their IPA’s in my recipe. But any IPA that you love will work great. I’m all in favor of encouraging everyone to support their local breweries!

I’m sharing this recipe for Beer-Marinated Grilled Chicken Skewers with Spring Quinoa Salad as part of our monthly seasonal produce round-up organized by Becky from Vintage Mixer. Check out Becky’s May Produce Guide, as well as the recipe links below from some of my other blogging friends, to find lots of inspiration for Spring cooking and eating. And keep your fingers crossed for better weather!

Cheers,

Liz

Beer-Marinated Grilled Chicken Skewers with Spring Quinoa Salad

Serves 4

Beer-Marinated Grilled Chicken Skewers with Spring Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • For the Chicken
  • 1.5 to 1.75 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 ounces beer (I used an IPA)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

  • For the Quinoa Salad
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups peas
  • 2 cups sliced radishes
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut the chicken breast into cubes and place them in a large zip-closure bag. Add the remaining ingredients to the bag. Seal the bag, then shake it around to make sure the marinade is mixed and the chicken is well coated. Place the bag in your refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. Once the quinoa has finished cooking, transfer it to a large bowl to cool to room temperature. Then add the peas, radishes, mint and dill. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Then pour this dressing over the quinoa salad, tossing gently to mix everything together. Cover and refrigerate until you're ready to serve.
  3. If you’re going to be using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before threading and grilling the chicken.
  4. Pre-heat your grill to medium-high. Thread the marinated chicken onto skewers (about 5 cubes per skewer) and discard any leftover marinade. Spray your grill grates with non-stick cooking spray. Then place the chicken skewers on the grill and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and no longer pink in the middle, flipping them once during this time. Remove the chicken skewers from the grill and place them on a clean plate. Cover to keep warm.
  5. To serve, divide the quinoa salad between plates. Top with the grilled chicken skewers. Garnish with extra herbs and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, if desired.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/beer-marinated-grilled-chicken-skewers-with-spring-quinoa-salad/

May Eat Seasonal Recipes

May Eat Seasonal Recipes

Roasted Rhubarb Crazy Berry Meringues by Letty’s Kitchen

Polenta with Asparagus, Pancetta and a Poached Egg by Vintage Mixer

Baked Cauliflower Casserole with Goat Cheese by Cookin’ Canuck

Date-Sweetened Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Smoothie by JoyFoodSunshine

Sea Salt Focaccia with Radish Ramp Butter by Simple Bites

Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower and Tempeh Power Salad {vegan} by Healthy Seasonal Recipes

Halloumi Salad with Beets and Blackberries by Kitchen Confidante

Spring Farro Salad with Feta, Lemon, and Mint by Flavor the Moments

Spiralized Zucchini, Quinoa and Turkey Sausage Stuffed Peppers by Foodie Crush

Chocolate Rhubarb Pavlova by Suitcase Foodist

Mediterranean Farro Salad with Arugula and Chickpeas by Aggie’s Kitchen

Radish and Asparagus Breakfast Bowls by Food for My Family

Hummus and Salad Flatbread Pizza by Completely Delicious

Send this to friend