Sun Dried Tomatoes Recipes

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Picnic Quinoa Salad Recipe Recipe

Picnic Quinoa Salad Recipe

04.14.14 by Jackie

 

My husband Lulu, baby Aria and I had a delightful time at San Gregorio beach this weekend. He took care of most of the food; I only prepared a salad. For easy transportation, I cooked quinoa and pre-seasoned it with a salad vinaigrette. I also added carrot, corn, broccolizucchini, sun-dried tomatoes and sweet cheese.

Lulu was so thoughtful and took care of the rest. He woke up early, took care of our new puppy Ernest, went groceries shopping, bought a baguette and a wonderful array of cheeses (manchego, out-of-this world truffle cheese, goat cheese, etc.) and packed the trunk of the car with our picnic bag with plates and cutlery. But I think the most beautiful surprise was when we reached the beach. He gave Aria a gift of a lovely beach sand toy set and bubble kit. You should have seen the excitement in her eyes; it almost made me teary.
 
It was such an incredible day: the weather was gorgeous; it was slightly overcast and the sounds of the waves were very pleasant. The view was spectacular with a beautiful soft sand beach and dunes to the right and a bridge to the left, complete with a creek underneath and a tunnel worn into the rocks nearby. We also enjoyed good food and stayed there for a few hours. My favorite part was watching Lulu and Aria building sand castles. Loved it!

Aria

 


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Eggplant Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce Recipe

This is my go-to winter dish. It's filling, creamy and incredibly delicious. I sautéed penne pasta with grilled eggplant and covered both in a sun-dried tomato sauce. 

Sun-dried tomatoes add wonderful color to the sauce. You don't need to add a lot because their flavor is pretty robust and concentrated with an exquisite hint of saltiness. I selected penne pasta because the shape enables the sauce to coat and penetrate the pasta so each bite is extra scrumptious.


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Brussels Sprout Salad with Marinated Feta Cheese Recipe

We're in a funny period. It's not cold enough to make soup, but we're starting to get fall and wintry ingredients such as figs and Brussels sprouts despite the hot weather. I bought some Brussels sprouts from the local market and decided to make a salad with them. I think the brininess of the feta complements the flavor of the Brussels sprouts really well. I marinated some feta cheese with lemon juice, lemon zest and pink and green peppercorns, and added it to the steamed and grilled Brussels sprouts. The result is something that in no way resembles the boiled, lifeless Brussels sprouts that are reviled by kids and adults alike. In fact, the girls absolutely love Brussels sprouts, and they completely inhaled the salad. 

This winter, I'll post a Brussels sprout gratin that no one can resist . Stay tuned!


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Mediterranean Mini Pizza with Cannellini Beans and Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus Recipe

I made a hummus pizza a few days ago and I felt like recreating a sandwich version of the dish with a bunch of Mediterranean ingredients. The problem was that I only had pita bread at home. I could have created a pocket in the bread and stuffed it, but I decided to place the ingredients on top of the pita bread to create a meal that resembled a pizza.

Following the Mediterranean theme, I made a cannellini bean and roasted red bell pepper hummus-like spread and topped it with Greek feta cheese, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula, pickled shallot, black olives and marinated artichoke hearts. For the meat lovers out there, I would add some cubes of lamb kebabs.

I'm sure you've heard of 30-minute meals, but this took me 10 minutes, tops. Try this recipe the next time you're in a hurry. Beat that, Rachael Ray!


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