Batter Licker

June 29, 2011

whole wheat pearl couscous salad with pistachio-broccoli pesto

When I first discovered Bob Red Mill’s new line of whole wheat pearl couscous at the BlogHer Food Conference in Atlanta, I was instantly hooked by the nutty flavor. I even smuggled a few sample bags back to San Francisco, and couldn’t wait to play around with the wholesome, round bites of pasta. Except that I actually did wait quite a bit – two entire months – before finding the perfect opportunity to use these precious samples.

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The opportunity came in the form of an orzo salad recipe I came across while flipping through Heidi Swanson’s superb cookbook, Super Natural Every Day). I decided to substitute the whole wheat pearl couscous for the orzo to add some wholesomeness while keeping the bite of a small, salad-friendly pasta.

But the combination of a broccoli pesto with broccoli florets, avocado and crunchy nuts were what initially drew me to the recipe. I’ve been known to easily polish off several cups of broccoli – raw, steamed, sauteed, or roasted. Yet I had never tried a broccoli pesto. Clearly, the time was nigh.
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June 14, 2011

grilled chaat masala-spiced corn (corn à la Amit)

I’m no corn fanatic. I virtually abandoned the sweet, summer vegetable when it insisted on wrapping itself around the wires that slowly and painfully pulled my teeth in line during the far-too-many years I spent wearing braces throughout junior high and high school. At a time when appearance and avoiding classmates’ ridicule seemed all-important, the potato reigned as my slathered-in-butter-and-salt starchy vegetable of choice.

Even after the braces came off, it took awhile to readjust to certain foods, corn included, because several years wearing teeth cages had made me a tad OCD about keeping my teeth food remnant-free. Quite a few years later, my friend Amit introduced me to some grilled corn whose flavor finally justified the inevitable tooth-picking.

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Rather than slathering sweet, starchily rich corn in butter and off-setting the sweetness with salt, Amit grilled the corn until it was completely black. (more…)

June 8, 2011

green garlic goat cheese spread

Are you sick of green garlic already? Or have you even tried it yet? Having just discovered it a few weeks back (and in recognition of the fact that it won’t be around for too much longer), I intend to ride the green garlic wave until it becomes scarce at farmers markets. And I’ve discovered yet another marvelous use for it: goat cheese. (more…)

June 1, 2011

grilled pineapple with cinnamon-bourbon glaze

Over the three-day weekend, I partook in no less than three barbecues. Barbecuing being the most quintessentially American method of food preparation, I figured it was the least I could do to honor U.S. servicemen who make sacrifices so much braver and more meaningful than me clumsily sacrificing a pineapple slice to the ground while using wonky tongs to transfer fruit from grill to plate.

Sole pineapple loss aside, I enjoyed celebrating my freedom in the company of beloved friends and family as we stuffed ourselves full of charred food and chilled booze.

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When it came time for dessert, it only made sense to marry the black and booze flavors and watch them dance sloppily all over the pineapple. (more…)

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