Posts by tag: nuts

  • Autumn Kale Salad with Sautéed Pears

Autumn Kale Salad with Sautéed Pears

Posted on October 16, 2017

In the last two weeks, my taste buds have taken on a slight preference for comfort foods. But leafy green salads are still very high on my priority list. I crave salads all year long, not just in the warmer months. Especially when they’re filled with local, seasonal ingredients.

This Autumn Kale Salad with Sautéed Pears is my current obsession. It incorporates so many of my favorite Fall flavors, like fresh apple cider and maple syrup. And it highlights what I consider to be one of the most underappreciated Fall fruits: pears.

Autumn Kale Salad with Sautéed Pears | www.floatingkitchen.net

Pears always seem like they are playing second fiddle to apples. I mean, I love apples. Who doesn’t!?!? And admittedly, I’ve been on a bit of an apple spree myself these days. But pears deserve to be taken seriously once in a while, too. So I always make it a point to give them the spotlight in a couple different recipes over the course of their season.

For previous pear perfect recipes (say that three times fast!), check out these appetizers, this cake and this breakfast essential!

Autumn Kale Salad with Sautéed Pears | www.floatingkitchen.net

For the base of this salad, I used tender, baby kale. But you could use whatever greens you love (baby spinach would be excellent!). I added in red grapes, pecans and blue cheese crumbles. But the real showstopper in this recipe is the sautéed pears. Slightly softened, flavored with both apple cider and maple syrup, and so gosh darn pretty that it seems like a shame to chop them up, they are the perfect topper for all your leafy green bowls this Fall.

Choose pears (I used Bartlett pears for this recipe) that are ripe, but still a bit firm when pressed. Because you don’t want them getting too soft and mushy when you cook them. That would be no bueno.

What are your favorite ways to use pears this time of year? I would love to hear your ideas!

Cheers,

Liz

Autumn Kale Salad with Sautéed Pears

Serves 2

Autumn Kale Salad with Sautéed Pears

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 pears, halved and cored
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • About 6 cups baby kale
  • 1 cup seedless grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

Instructions

  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, bring the apple cider and maple syrup to a simmer. Add the pear halves to the cooking liquid, placing them cut side-down. Then sauté the pears for about 5 minutes, or until slightly softened, occasionally spooning some of the cooking liquid over top as they cook.
  2. Carefully remove the pears from the skillet and place them on a clean plate. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the olive oil, mustard, salt and black pepper into the remaining cooking liquid. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  4. Add the kale to a large bowl. Pour some of the warm dressing over the kale, tossing until the leaves are well coated. You may not use all the dressing, depending on your taste preferences.
  5. Divide the kale between two bowls. Top with the grapes, pecans, blue cheese and the sautéed pears. Serve immediately.
https://www.floatingkitchen.net/autumn-kale-salad-with-sauteed-pears/

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

  • Grilled Eggplant with Goat Cheese Polenta and Basil Pesto

Grilled Eggplant with Goat Cheese Polenta and Basil Pesto

Posted on September 5, 2017
Category:

I’m currently experiencing some post-Labor Day Weekend blues. It’s really starting to sink into my brain that Summer is wrapping up. And frankly, I’m not ready for that to happen.

I still have so much ice cream to eat!!!

Luckily, there is still an abundance of late Summer produce to be enjoyed. And that’s helping to elevate my mood. I know people are going crazy for pumpkin-everything right now. But here in New England, early September is one of the best times for local produce like tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers, corn and more! So I’m diving headfirst into all of these things.

Grilled Eggplant with Goat Cheese Polenta and Basil Pesto | www.floatingkitchen.net

Last week, I found the most precious baby eggplants at the farmer’s market and I knew instantly that I wanted them to become the focus of my September Eat Seasonal recipe post. So I grilled them up and served them on top of a creamy bed of goat cheese polenta. And then I finished off the dish with some homemade basil pesto and a handful of sliced plum tomatoes. It’s a recipe that totally celebrates Summer. But also has a bit of a “cozy” feel, too. In the past, I’ve treated polenta as one of those food items that I only make and eat during the cooler months. But now, I’m really digging this version with its Summery spin! And I can see myself using it more frequently in my kitchen throughout the entire year.

The other great thing about this recipe for Grilled Eggplant with Goat Cheese Polenta and Basil Pesto is that – for such a hearty dish – it’s relatively fast to prepare. You can have everything done in just about 30 minutes. Which is always a win in my book!

Grilled Eggplant with Goat Cheese Polenta and Basil Pesto | www.floatingkitchen.net

For more September cooking inspiration, check out my friend Becky’s monthly produce guide, which is filled with tons of great recipe suggestions and tips. I hope it will help make your transition into Fall a little bit easier. And if you make any of our #eatseasonal recipes, give us a shout out on social media. We would love to hear about it!

Cheers,

Liz

Grilled Eggplant with Goat Cheese Polenta and Basil Pesto

Serves 4

Grilled Eggplant with Goat Cheese Polenta and Basil Pesto

Ingredients

  • For the Pesto
  • 1 cup firmly packed basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • About 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • For the Polenta
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • About 1/2 cup milk

  • For the Eggplant
  • 4 baby eggplant (about 3-5 inches in length)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • About 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • For Serving
  • Plum or cherry tomatoes, halved

Instructions

  1. To make the pesto, add the basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts and salt to the bowl of your food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Then with your food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and process until well combined. Transfer the pesto to a clean container. Cover and refrigerate it until you’re ready to use it.
  2. To make the polenta, bring the water to a boil in a heavy bottom saucepan. Slowly whisk in the polenta and turn down the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook the polenta for 15-17 minutes, whisking frequently so it doesn’t burn. You may have to reduce the heat further as it cooks to prevent the polenta from splattering and bubbling. Once the polenta has thickened and the water is absorbed, whisk in the goat cheese and the salt. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Then whisk in enough milk to thin it to your desired consistency. Cover to keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, pre-heat your grill to medium-high.
  4. Slice the baby eggplants in half lengthwise and sprinkle the cut-sides with the salt. Let sit 10-15 minutes at room temperature. Then pat the surfaces dry with a paper towel. Drizzle the eggplant halves with the olive oil, turning to coat them on all sides. Then add them to your pre-heated grill. Cook for about 5-7 minutes per side, until softened and well darkened in places. Remove the eggplant halves from your grill and place them in a large bowl or baking dish. Drizzle with some of the pesto while they are still warm.
  5. To serve, divide the polenta between bowls. Top with the grilled eggplant halves, tomatoes and additional pesto, if desired. Serve immediately.
https://www.floatingkitchen.net/grilled-eggplant-with-goat-cheese-polenta-and-basil-pesto/

September Eat Seasonal Recipes

September Eat Seasonal Recipes

Small Batch Cherry Tomato Jam by Flavor the Moments

Hazelnut Zucchini Bread by Vintage Mixer

Balsamic Sausage Tortellini Bake by JoyFoodSunshine

Baked Enchilada Style Veggie Burritos by She Likes Food

Peach and Tomato Salsa with Pan Seared Tofu by Letty’s Kitchen

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Send this to friend