Tag Archives: feta

Food Matters Project #25: Greek Panzanella

I was a little excited about this weeks Food Matters Project.  The chosen recipe was great to put my own spin on it, and a way to enjoy fresh vegetables from the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market!

This weeks host is Megan, from Art by Megan.  From Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook, she chose Greek Nacho’s with Feta Drizzle.  Check out her post, or other participants interpretations.  Find the original recipe on page 75 in the Food Matters Cookbook.

I’ve been craving a panzanella salad, which tends to be a summer salad that incorporates bread and tomatoes.  So why not make a greek version of a panzanella?  Last year I had saved a recipe (more of a guide) on how to put one together from Aggie’s Kitchen and have been wanting to make it since.  This was a fairly large salad (bigger dinner and leftovers), so I hope you all have large serving bowls!

Greek Panzanella
Adapted from: Aggie’s Kitchen

3 pitas, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 cucumbers, chopped
1 bell pepper (we had green), chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup kalamata olives, halved
6 oz feta, crumbled or cubed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

In a large bowl, gently toss the pita bread cubes, garlic, 2 tbsp olive oil and sesame seeds.  Add this mixture to a hot non-stick skillet and toast for about 10 minutes.  The bread should be lightly brown, but not burnt.

Once the bread pieces are cooked, add them to a large salad bowl.  Then, add in tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, red onion, kalamata olives, feta, salt, pepper and 1 tbsp olive oil.  Gently toss all of the ingredients to combine.

Food Matters Project & Feta Veggie Salad

Another weekend has gone by, so it means it’s a new Food Matters Project post!

Unfortunately, this week my dish from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matter Cookbook did not turn out.  Although I was a bit disappointed, since it does sound delicious, every single thing you make does not have to come out perfectly!  (right?)  I think I was trying to be a bit too creative, and maybe my heart just wasn’t in this recipe- so I’ll just have to give it another try sometime down the road.

I did salvage it, by adding it to a salad.  Since I’m not too happy with the flavors my fritters had, I won’t be posting the recipe.  Lena, from Mrs. Garlic Head, chose this recipe all the way from Switzerland.  It was a great pick, so you should check out her blog post on Braised Chickpea Fritters for the original recipe.  In addition, look a the Food Matter Project website to see what everyone else made!

Instead, today’s post is a quick and easy feta veggie salad.  We don’t have much in our fridge, just some odds and ends which we’re trying to finish up.  I’m sure many of you have made salads like this before, so I’m not adding any specific amounts to the ingredients.  Check what you have in your fridge- and just throw it all together!

 

Feta Veggie Salad

zucchini
tomatoes
bell pepper (red, yellow)
tomatoes
sugar snap peas
yellow squash
feta cheese
salt
pepper
olive oil

Roughly chop all of the vegetables and mix them in a bowl.  Then add in feta to your taste, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.  Lastly, drizzle in a little olive oil.  Serve plain or with some extras (ex: peasant bread, whole wheat pitas, or croquetas)

Corn Polenta with Sautéed Eggplant

Not too long ago I was telling you about my friend Meaghin’s wonderful blog- Cheery Observations.  She posts beautiful pictures and recipes to match it.  I wish we lived closer to each other, this way I could come over for dinner at least once a week.

Back in August Meaghin posted a recipe for Sweetcorn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce.  It’s a meal full of vegetables- so I definitely wanted to give this one a try.  And I was not disappointed, not one bit.  If you do anything this weekend- please make this recipe.  Delicious!

I did make alterations from Meaghin’s recipe, but I give her full credit for finding this one!

I do have one great product for all of you to try out in your kitchen.  Around here I have only been able to find it at Whole Foods, but I’m sure other stores have them as well.  It’s tomato paste in a tube!  I have never been able to use that little can all at once, so the tube is a great way of preserving the paste until I need it once again.  Add it to your shopping list!


Corn Polenta with Sautéed Eggplant
Adapted from: Cheery Observations

6 ears of corn
3 tbsp olive oil
2 1/4 cup of water + 7 tbsp of water
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium/large eggplant, cut into smaller pieces (the size of a quarter)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup of white wine (we used a dry)
2 large or 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 tsp salt
1 tbsp oregano, chopped
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
4 tbsp butter, diced
7 oz feta
2 tsp pepper

Remove the leaves and silk from each of the ears of corn.  While standing each corn on its flat tip, shave off the corn kernels.  Put all of the corn kernels into a sauce pan, cover them with the 2 1/4 cup of water and cook for about 15 minutes.

While the corn in cooking, heat up the olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add the onion, garlic and eggplant.  Sauté on medium heat for about 15 minutes- or until the eggplant turns lightly brown.  Add the tomato paste, and mix it up with the vegetables.  Once the paste is absorbed, add the wine and cook for about a minute.  Finally, add the tomatoes, water (7 tbsp), 2 tsp salt, oregano, basil  and jalapeño.  Cook on low heat for about 15 minutes.

While the eggplant is still cooking, drain the water from the corn kernels but keep the leftover liquid.  Add all of the corn into a food processor.  Process until the consistency is mushy (looks like polenta).  Return the liquid and mushy corn into the pan.  Cook for another 10 minutes while stirring it, so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

When the eggplant and corn polenta have been cooked, stir in the butter and feta cheese into the corn mixture.  Stir well until the butter and cheese have melted, and become incorporated by the corn mixture.  Finally, add 2 tsp of salt and pepper, stir some more so everything is well combined.

Finally, spoon out the polenta on plates (or bowls) and then top it off with some eggplant sauce in the center.  Feel free to sprinkle chopped oregano on top.

Enjoy it with the rest of the bottle of wine!

Asparagus & Broccoli Orzo Salad

Not having access to the Internet is a lot more difficult than I thought (well, at least when you’re not on vacation).  Last week was my first at my new job.  After rewriting my name, filling in all the special numbers, having my picture taken, and signing my name about 30 times- I am now allowed to have computer access!  Success!  I felt very out of touch with the world up until today.  Unless someone left a paper copy of an article, or was talking about a specific topic, I had no idea what was going on in the world (yes, that includes the Prince William-Kate wedding gossip).  So for all of those that have had busy days, this is a perfect salad- either to eat during your lunch hour, or enjoy when you get home and don’t have time to do much.

It’s asparagus season!  Last week I saw it for the first time at our Farmer’s Market, so it’s time to get cooking with it.  This is a great spring recipe- light, flavorful and fast.  Although I had made it for friends (when I made this dessert), we had plenty of leftovers for the two of us.  We don’t tend to buy alfalfa sprouts often, just because if you don’t use them fast enough they’ll get all soggy, but this was definitely a fantastic edition to this salad.

Asparagus & Broccoli Orzo Salad
Inspired from: 101 Cookbooks

1 cup orzo pasta, uncooked
1 lb asparagus; washed, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups alfalfa sprouts
1 cucumber, quartered and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup feta, crumbled

Bring a large pot to a boil, add 1 tbsp of salt.  Once the water is boiling, add the orzo and cook per package instructions.

This next step can be done in 2 ways:

1) About 30 seconds before the orzo is finished cooking, stir in the asparagus and broccoli.  Cook for 30 seconds, then drain and run cold water over the 3 ingredients.

OR

2) Once the orzo is cooked, drain it and run cold water of the pasta.  Then boil another pot of water, add the asparagus and broccoli for about 1/2-1 minute.  Then drain and run cold water over the vegetables.

In a small bowl whisk together the dressing: lemon juice, olive oil and 2 tbsp of salt.

Add the orzo, asparagus and broccoli to a large bowl.  Then toss those ingredients with the dressing.  Finally, add the alfalfa sprouts, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and feta.  Toss once more for all of the ingredients to mix well.