Roasted Brown Butter Butternut Squash, Apples and Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Lemon Brown Butter Butternut Squash, Apples and Brussels Sprouts

A medley of fall vegetables roasted and seasoned with the nutty flavor of brown butter and all the brightness of lemon zest.

In the mix are the sweet, tart and pungent flavors of butternut squash, brussels sprouts, apples, onions and garlic. My favorite flavors of the season.… 

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Mediterranean Veggie Burgers with Lemon Caper Mayo

Veggie burgers with cannellini beans, roasted red peppers, green olives, artichokes, feta cheese and fresh herbs with a bright-as-sunshine lemon caper mayo.

I’ve been making a lot of veggie burgers lately. I’m going through a phase.… 

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Butter and Herb Cracker Crusted Baked Cod

Butter and Herb Cracker Crusted Cod Fish

Flaky, mild-mannered cod fish is crusted with saltines, Dijon mustard, dill, parsley, butter and fresh lemon juice. Flavors that love cod! And cod loves right back. The fish is baked then flash broiled to render the seasoned topping crusty and golden. Nestled underneath is the super moist and creamy fish, delicate and flaky, it falls apart to the touch and melts in your mouth.

This recipe is a cinch to make and not only comes together quickly but bakes in a matter of minutes. It’s a good dish to prepare for someone who is on the fence about fish or just a picky eater. I feel comfortable recommending it for the first timer too, if you never cooked fish before and are thinking about it, here’s a little nudge in the right direction.

Codfish-4

Butter and Herb Cracker Crusted Baked Cod Fish
(by Reeni)

1 pound of cod fillets
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 a lemon, juiced, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 clove garlic, minced
sea or kosher salt and fresh black pepper
16 saltine or Ritz crackers, crushed into fine crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper and add the fish to it. In a medium bowl whisk together the butter, lemon, mustard, parsley, dill and garlic. Taste and season with salt and pepper as well as additional lemon juice or mustard if desired. Add the cracker crumbs and combine well, the crackers should be moist but not sopping wet, if mixture seems too buttery add more cracker crumbs; too dry, add more butter in tablespoon increments.

2. Divide the crumbs between the fish and use your fingers to pat it evenly over top. Bake for 15-16 minutes depending on the size of the fish, until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F. Then broil for 1-2 minutes or until top turns golden, checking every 20 seconds. Serve immediately with additional lemon.

Makes 3 servings.

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Roasted Lemon Garlic Ginger Carrots

Roasted Lemon Garlic Ginger Carrots

Roasting carrots caramelizes their sugars so they take on a resemblance to sweet potatoes or butternut squash. The distinct, sharp flavor carrots are known for turns into something altogether different. Mild and sweet, but not overly so, they retain a savory side capable of converting any carrot hater.

When you add the brightness of fresh lemon, pungent garlic and zingy ginger to the mix they transform into something magical and irrefutably delicious! By far these are my favorite way to eat carrots. I’m convinced roasting is the best thing for them!

Roasted Lemon Garlic Ginger Carrots

Roasted Lemon Garlic Ginger Carrots
(by Reeni)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
5 cloves, garlic, minced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced or grated
sea or kosher salt and fresh black pepper
3 cups fresh carrots, peeled, sliced on the diagonal into 1 – 1 and 1/2 inch pieces*
a pat or two of butter, optional

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 8×10 or 8×8 baking pan.

2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together oil, lemon juice, garlic and ginger. Season well with salt and pepper to taste. Add carrots and toss well using your hands to massage the oil mixture into the carrots.

3. Pour into pan and spread out evenly. Bake for about 40 minutes or until carrots are tender. Halfway through cooking time remove from oven and toss again with a pat or two of butter if desired. Serve immediately, scraping up any bits left in the pan over top of the carrots.

*Cut the thicker part of the carrot into 1-inch pieces and the thinner parts into 1 and 1/2 inch pieces.

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Lemon Garlic Shrimp Scampi with Kale and Polenta

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Scampi with Kale and Polenta

Butter, lemon and garlic show-off the natural sweetness of shrimp in this simple but satisfying meal. The succulent shrimp is served on a bed of fresh kale and soft, creamy polenta spiked with salty Parmesan. It’s a meal that comes together pretty quickly and never fails to please.

I find a special kind of enjoyment in eating one-dish meals like this where the sum of all the parts equals a delicious symphony of flavors that only comes from scooping up a little bit of everything in each bite. It’s immensely fulfilling and completely comforting.

To soften the hearty kale leaves massage olive oil into them and allow them to sit for 10-15 minutes before cooking. It softens the tough leaves considerably and helps to take away some of the bitterness they might have. Fresh spinach leaves or another type of green can easily be used in place of the kale using the same technique (skip this step if using spinach).

If you can’t find polenta or have cornmeal on hand for making cornbread – use it! The two are exactly the same, the only difference being that ‘polenta’ is sometimes cut coarser. The end result will be the same. You can use grits too, if you like!

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Scampi with Kale and Polenta

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Scampi with Kale and Polenta
(loosely adapted from Food Network Magazine)
4-5 cups fresh kale or spinach leaves
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup polenta or cornmeal
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, plus additional for serving
4 tablespoons butter, divided
sea or kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
juice of 1/2 lemon, plus wedges for serving 
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, rough chopped

1. Add the kale leaves to a large bowl, drizzle 1-2 tablespoon olive oil over top, using your hands massage the oil into each leaf. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.

2. Cook polenta according to package directions, when cooked stir in parmesan and butter, season to taste with salt and pepper, put a lid on it to keep warm

2. Meanwhile heat a large skillet over medium-low heat, add the kale and saute until wilted and tender, remove kale and set aside, cover to keep warm.

3. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the skillet over medium heat, add the shrimp, garlic and cayenne, if using, and cook, tossing, until the shrimp are pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and parsley, toss to coat the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper.

4. To serve layer with polenta on the bottom, followed by kale, then shrimp along with lemon wedges and extra Parmesan.

Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Kale and Polenta

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Lemon Ginger Peach Cake

Lemon Ginger Peach Cake

A fresh cake recipe for you to take advantage of the abundance of sweet, ripe and juicy peaches that are available right now. One of the highlights of summer. Peaches are a winning attraction in this fail proof, easy-to-throw-together-even-on-a-weeknight cake. Spiced up with a heady mix of lemon, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, it gives off an undeniably intoxicating scent as it bakes that will quickly fill up the whole house. Perfume for a food goddess.

The cake batter is poured into a springform or cake pan first and the peach slices are arranged over top. As it cooks the peaches start to sink and the batter rises up leaving the tops of the peaches to peek out and tease you. It’s buttery and tender with a sturdy crumb. A cake that you will want to eat right away. A cake that will get you in its clutches and not let go until every last crumb is savored. It can be elegant tea party or picnic. Hot tea or sweet tea. With a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a little dab of whip cream. Or all on it’s own. No matter how you serve it I hope you find it as unforgettable as I do.

Since I first made it last summer I’ve thought of it often. And I’m not the only one. Mom and I both clearly remember the swoon-like experience. But we were in dispute over when it was. My Mom insisted it couldn’t of been that long ago. The funny thing about writing a blog is you can’t argue against the date it was posted. It was almost a year ago to the day that I made it for the second time. Surely I’ve started a new tradition. A tradition that I love with a cake that loves me right back.

Lemon Ginger Peach Cake

Lemon Ginger Peach Cake
(by Reeni)

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
2 large eggs
Lemon zest from one lemon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon dried ginger
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
A pinch of grated nutmeg
3 peaches, firm, ripe, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform or cake pan.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and 3/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in lemon, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and nutmeg. At low speed beat in flour just until combined.

4. Spread batter evenly in pan and arrange peaches over top, they will sink as they bake. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar evenly over top. Bake until cake is golden-brown and top is firm about 45 to 50 minutes. Remove to wire rack and cool 10 minutes, remove side of springform pan, if using a cake pan it’s best to slice it right in the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature with whip cream and/or vanilla ice cream.

Printable Recipe

Lemon Ginger Peach Cake

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Lemon Ricotta Penne with Yellow Squash

Lemon Ricotta Penne with Yellow Squash

This is a fast and delicious recipe for penne dressed up in a zingy lemon ricotta sauce and tossed with smoky yellow squash. It requires minimal ingredients and with fast chopping skills can be on the table in a half hour or less.

Squash slices are quickly cooked under the broiler while the pasta cooks and the sauce is whisked together using ricotta, lemon zest and juice along with a little pasta water.

Lemon Ricotta Penne with Yellow Squash

Short on time…Simple to make…But big on taste with lemon being the stand-out flavor. The milky ricotta balances out the tartness so it won’t make you pucker! But it will make you smile…it’s like sunshine on a plate.

Lemon Ricotta Penne with Yellow Squash

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Lemon Ricotta Penne with Yellow Squash
(by Reeni)(Serves 4)
2 Yellow Squash, peeled and sliced into rounds*
Olive oil
Sea Salt and Black Pepper
8 ounces Penne Pasta (like Barila Whole Grain)
1 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 Lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 cup Pasta water
Fresh Basil, chopped, for serving
Parmesan Cheese, for serving
1. Heat broiler. On a large baking pan spread out squash. Lightly drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil on second closest rack to broiler. Keep a close eye on them, checking every minute or so. When they are browned remove pan and turn slices. Return to broiler until browned.
2. Meanwhile cook the penne in plenty of salted water to al dente according to package directions. In a medium mixing bowl whisk ricotta with lemon peel and juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in the pasta water.
3. In a large bowl toss the penne with the ricotta mixture, add squash and toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with basil. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
* Slice as thick as you like. I like them them on the thin side – about 1/3 inch thick.

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Lemon Ricotta Penne with Yellow Squash

Keep your dishes for the July Showdown coming – add your links here!

I’m sending this to Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Daphne of More Than Words this week.

I’m also linking to this to Two For Tuesdays: Celebrate Real Food hosted by Heather over at Girlichef.

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