Tag Archives: easy

Peach and Mozzarella Salad

Peach and Mozzarella Salad

Oh how I like salads like these, a few ingredients, minimally prepped, coming together to make something more than the sum of its parts.  I can’t begin to describe how much I love light summery foods that don’t require me to expend a lot of energy, yet are delicious, filling, and satisfying. 

Our house here has no air conditioning and by 10 am I no longer want to move.  I literally take cold baths to cool down. … but I still have no issues making this salad.  Its almost peach season again and I wanted to make sure I shared this recipe before I let it lapse through another season.  I implore you to make this once the stone fruits come around again. 

In this salad the creamy mozzarella compliments sweet soft peaches and bursts of lemon.  This is fantastic to make just as a dinner for yourself, hem hem.  Or it’s lovely as a starter to make for company.  I definitely lump this into company food category, but, as I’ve mentioned, it’s not too fussy!  So, gather your friends around, have that BBQ, and make this salad beforehand. 

You do use the lemon peel here, so unsprayed and unwaxed lemons are best; if you can’t find any rinse them with some vinegar and water to scrub off the wax.  Also, I prefer the smaller basil leaves for their concentrated flavor and softer texture. I substituted burrata for buffalo mozzarella because the stores were out. I’m glad they were, it’s fantastic!

Peach and Mozzarella Salad

Adapted from Borough Market

Ingredients

2 large unsprayed lemons

3/4 cup olive oil

4-6 fairly ripe peaches, depending on size

2 balls buffalo mozzarella

8 sprigs of basil

In a small frying pan heat the olive oil on medium-high heat.  While that is warming up, peel the zest from the lemons; remove any of the bitter pith still attached.  Cut the zest into thin strips.

Place a paper towel lined plate near the stove.  Once the oil is hot, add the zest for about 30 seconds.  You’re looking for the zest to curl, color, and crisp up.  Scoop and drain on the paper towel lined plate.  Allow the oil to cool.  Once cooled, juice the lemons, about 4 tablespoons, into the oil.  Add in some salt and whisk all together. 

Slice up the peaches, dividing them among plates if you’re sharing.  Sprinkle the peaches with the lemon juice and olive oil, then tear up the mozzarella (if using burrata) or cut up nicely and cleanly if you want to be more prim about it.  Spoon more dressing over the mozzarella and sprinkle with the lemon zest and basil.  Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Stars

Merry Christmas ya’ll!  It’s a beautiful day in Hawaii….somewhere in the 70’s.  Not exactly a white Christmas but a beautiful one nonetheless.  In case you need an easy cookie for a party, here’s a good one.  It comes from one of my mom’s friends.  I don’t remember her name, but I remember her food and it was all really good.  Sorry mom’s friend!   Continue reading

Nigella’s Orzotto with Peas and Pancetta (or Bacon)

You guys, this pregnancy is kicking my butt! I’m having a hard time managing to get dinner on the table. So, what’s a preggo to do? A preggo makes this. It’s easy, fast, delicious with a simple clean up.  It’s now on regular rotation at our house.  Let’s discuss: Nigella (one of my most favorite people to grace this Earth) takes orzo and treats it as risotto.  Then she adds peas, parmesan, and pancetta – bacon in my case.  It really is fast and easy.  And it’s husband friendly with the meat.  I’m sure you could substitute a sausage of your choosing if you liked as well. If I wanted to make this more Hawaiian I’d add Portuguese sausage in lieu of the bacon.

Nigella and I differ in one procedure only.  She fries up her pancetta and leaves it in the pan and adds all the rest of the ingredients, including the boiling water, on top.  But, that makes for floppy bacon – and I can’t abide by flaccid bacon.  So, I cook the slices whole, remove, and chop up.  Then add back to the pan at the end.  If you’re like some family members, Scott, and prefer flaccid bacon or pancetta, then by all means, add the water on top.  Possibly pancetta doesn’t get as floppy.  We don’t have pancetta here (even at Whole Foods!), so I don’t know.  I also fry up the bacon well ahead of time.  You could fry, chop, and refrigerate a couple days ahead of time if you wanted to.  I do this often for holiday recipes involving bacon.

So, if you’re looking for a simple meal, one that eases your weekday burden yet still treats you well, this meal is for you.  Also, if you’re Nigella, and for some reason you’re actually reading this – you’re the best and you’re well loved in this household.

Orzotto with Peas and Pancetta (or Bacon)

Adapted very lovingly from Nigellissima by Nigella Lawson

Ingredients

2 Tbs. garlic-flavored oil (I use regular)

6 oz. cubed pancetta (I use 5-6 slices of bacon)

1 1/4 cups frozen petits pois

8 oz. orzo pasta

2 1/2 cups boiling water

Salt, to taste

1 Tbs. soft butter

2 Tbs. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

Boil 2.5 cups water in the microwave – or I do it in a little pan on the stove.  Or if you’re feeling particularly British or ladylike, use a tea kettle!

Warm the oil in a heavy pan that will hold everything later. (Get that folks? One pan gets dirty!) A Dutch oven or saucepan of 10 inches diameter should be big enough – I use my big saucepan. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, until crisp or if you’re using bacon, fry until crisp. I remove the bacon after it’s all crisped and then chop on the side. Add the peas and orzo.

Pour in the boiling water. Add salt (cautiously, the pancetta/bacon is salty, as is the Parmigiano-Reggiano later); then turn down the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes, though check on it a couple of times and give a stir or two, to stop it from sticking and to see if you need to add a little more water.

When it’s ready, the pasta should be soft and starchy and the water absorbed. Add the chopped bacon back in. Beat the butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano into the pan, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. (I’ve found it doesn’t need salt and I only pepper my husbands plate of food.)

Serve immediately in warm bowls. According to Nigella, this serves 2 hungry grown-ups or 4 small children. I’ve found that it feeds two hungry adults and provides a little extra for tomorrow’s lunch. However, if my toddler were to eat this with us (can’t figure out why he won’t) there wouldn’t be extra and might not be enough he was really hungry. So, for more than two people be safe and double it. I like to serve some sautéed greens with this meal. If I can be bothered.