H. Dorian is on his way and will be joining us this Labor Day weekend. Here's what to serve your guests....
California Veggie Sandwich
2 cups apple cider vinegar
½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
¼ cup kosher salt
4 cups any combination shredded carrots, sliced cucumbers, sliced red onions, and/or sliced mild fresh chiles
Dressing and Assembly
¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 ripe avocados, halved
6 ounces fresh goat cheese
6 cups mixed lettuce leaves, ribs removed if thick
8 slices multigrain bread, toasted
½ English hothouse cucumber, thinly sliced on a diagonal
2 cups sprouts
2 heatproof 1-qt. glass jars
Bring vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and 2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Meanwhile, pack vegetables into jars. Pour brine over vegetables. Cover and chill until cool.
Do Ahead: Pickles can be made 2 weeks ahead. Keep chilled.
Dressing and Assembly
Whisk buttermilk, yogurt, lemon juice, and 3 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl until smooth; season dressing with salt and pepper.
Scoop avocados into a small bowl; add 1 Tbsp. oil and lightly mash. Season with salt and pepper. Mash goat cheese with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in another small bowl until softened and spreadable; season with salt and pepper.
Add lettuce to dressing and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Spread avocado mixture over 4 slices of bread. Arrange lettuce over and top with cucumber, sprouts, and some drained pickles. Spread remaining 4 slices of bread with goat cheese and close sandwiches.
There are a number of substitutes for buttermilk in baking. For each cup of buttermilk, you can use 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to measure 1 cup. Stir, then let stand for 5 minutes. You can also use 1 cup of plain yogurt or 1-3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar plus 1 cup milk.
Corn, Radish, and Tortilla Chip Salad
4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 pound large ripe heirloom tomatoes, stemmed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
4 ears fresh corn, still in their husks
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 small radish bunches (about 16 very small radishes), cleaned and grated or julienned (about 1 1/2 cups)
About 20 salted tortilla chips (1 ounce), crushed
Soak the scallions in cold water for at least 20 minutes to crisp them up. Drain and pat dry with a clean dish towel.
While the scallions are soaking, prep the tomatoes and corn: First, slice the tomatoes into medium wedges. Sprinkle them with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and let them sit for at least 10 minutes to bring out their flavor.
Run cold water all over the corn. Microwave on HIGH until the corn is steaming hot, 6 to 8 minutes. When they are cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to cut crosswise through the husk and cob an inch or two from the wide/stem end (opposite from the end with the tassel of silk). Hold the silk end, then push the corn cob out the other end. Discard any stray silks. Cut each cob in half, then stand each half upright and cut off the kernels. (You should have 2 to 3 cups.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Add the tomatoes and their juices, corn kernels, radishes and half the scallions, and gently toss. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed (keeping in mind that the tortilla chips are also salty).
Arrange the vegetables on a large platter. Sprinkle the tortilla chips and remaining scallions on the salad, and serve.
Crudités Salad with Alfalfa Sprouts
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
8 button (white) mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 carrots, grated
Parmesan cheese, shaved into curls
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 bunch arugula
2 cups alfalfa sprouts
1/4 cup Classic Vinaigrette
1 pinch salt [optional]
ground pepper to taste [optional]
Make a lemon vinaigrette: in a small bowl, add the oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Beat well, using a fork, until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Set aside.
Prepare the mushrooms and carrots, placing them in 2 separate bowls : Thinly slice the mushrooms; peel the carrots, then shred them using a large-holed grater. Add half of the lemon vinaigrette to each bowl, then toss to combine. Shave the Parmesan using a vegetable-peeler, then add the curls to the mushrooms. Arrange the dressed vegetables in 2 separate mounds onto each individual serving plate.
Prepare the other vegetables placing them directly on the plates : Slice the tomatoes; wash then spin-dry the arugula and alfalfa sprouts. Pour the Classic Vinaigrette over the tomatoes, arugula, and alfalfa sprouts, then season with salt and pepper.
Orange Nectarine Frozen Fool
makes 4 generous servings
Ingredients: 2 medium nectarines (or peaches if you have them instead) 1 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed if you can manage it) 1/4 cup sugar, plus two tablespoons 2 cups heavy cream
Method: 1. Heat orange juice in a small sauce pan until steaming, and add 1/4 cup sugar (the point is just to make sure the sugar dissolves well). You can use less sugar if your nectarines and orange juice are already very sweet, or more if they are tart. 2. Add orange juice and pitted, diced nectarines to a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Taste the purée and add more sugar if you want it to be sweeter. (Salvage a too-sweet puree with a squeeze of lemon and a few tablespoons of water.) 3. Pour the nectarine and orange juice puree into a 9×13 or similarly shallow and wide pan, and store it in the freezer for about two hours. Set a timer for every half hour to check on it and stir the frozen edges into the middle of the pan. 4. When the granita is flaky and thoroughly frozen, whip your cream with two tablespoons of sugar (or more if you want it to be sweeter). 5. Layer granita in serving dishes with whipped cream and enjoy.
Cod with Tomato and Orange Recipe
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Yield: Serves 4-6
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 cup green olives, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 medium navel orange, peeled, segmented, membranes removed
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds cod fillets (or any firm white fish), cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup of fresh dill, chopped, or 1 tablespoon dried dill
1 Cook the onions: Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and sauté for 5 minutes, until softened.
2 Add the olives, orange zest, orange segments, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
3 Add the fish: Add the fish to the pan. Spoon sauce over the fish. Cover and cook for an additional 7 minutes, until the fish is just cooked through.
Sprinkle with dill to serve.
Chopped Salad with Grapes and Mint
1 heart of romaine, coarsely chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 medium seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup diced cooked chicken
1/2 cup halved green grapes
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper