Monthly Archives: July 2011

Giant Rib-Eyes with Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette and Beet Greens (Or, How I Almost Gave Myself a Heart-Attack for Sunday Dinner)

Sweet Jesus! Were these some giant rib-eyes!  Not paying much attention at the butcher counter, I said, yeah, just give me a couple that are nice and thick…little did I notice that each steak was damn near close to a pound each!  I would like to point out that I was  not able to finish mine.  Or, it might have just been that I got suckered into my begging dog’s cute  little puppy eyes and decided to share with him.  Either way, I’m certain I exceeded my recommended daily allowance of red meat.  Oh well.  You only live once, right?

Grilled Rib-Eyes with Roasted Tomato and Shallot Vinaigrette

As for the beet greens, I’m excited to say those came from our garden.  The beets themselves turned out pretty small and pathetic; we only got a handful or so of nice big ones.  However, we had a nice big bunch of beet tops from all of the measly beets, so I sauteed those and combined them with our acceptable beets that I roasted.

How can I say no to this face?

Rib-Eyes with Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette

Serves 2

  • 2 Rib-Eyes (feel free to not go quite so over-board and get ones as big as ours)
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes (or any variety of small tomatoes – I think we actually used yellow teardrops.  The key is to use beautifully ripe tomatoes)
  • 2 shallots, peeled but left whole
  • 2 garlic cloves, left in their skin
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, separated in half
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives

Generously season rib-eyes with (preferably Kosher) salt and (preferably fresh-cracked) pepper.  Grill over a hot grill about 6 minutes per side for medium rare, depending on size for rib-eyes (a little less if you rib-eyes are smaller).  Let steaks rest after grilling for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix cherry tomatoes, shallots, and garlic with 2 tablespoons olive  oil and some salt and pepper.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for about  20 minutes.

Remove garlic from pan and squeeze garlic from thier paper into a medium sized bowl. (The roasty garlic should become all soft and squishy and mellowy-sweet tasting during its time in the oven).  Smash garlic with a fork until it forms a bit of a a paste. Add vinegar and stir up until somewhat mixed up.  Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Season with a little salt and pepper.

Roughly chop roasted shallots and add to vinaigrette.  Add tomatoes and any juices that have accumulated in the roasting pan (because those juices are delicious!)  Add chives and give it all a nice stir.  Taste to for any extra needed seasoning.   Spoon over rib-eyes.

Roasted Beets with Sauteed Beet Greens

  • About 1/2 pound or so of beets with their greens (tops)
  • Olive oil

Cut off beet tops and chop.  Rinse and drain and set aside.

Scrub and trim off root ends of beets.  Put in a roasted pan, drizzle with a little olive oil, and sprinkle with some salt and pepper.  Cover tightly with foil and roast in a 400 degree oven about 35 – 40 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the beet with a knife.  Remove from oven and let cool.

With a paper towel, wipe/rub away outer skin of beets.  Yes, this gets messy and may stain your hands and you’ll probably use a couple paper towels.  But, for me, beets are delicious and totally worth it.

After beets are peeled, cut into quarters (or a manageable size for eating, depending on the size of your beets).

For greens, heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add a good drizzling of olive oil and heat up pan.  Add beet greens and season with some salt and pepper.  Saute until beet greens get all wilted, about 7-8 minutes.  Toss in the roasted beets and give another little drizzle of olive oil and check to see if needs any more seasoning.

Beets are so pretty!


Tuna Pesto Pasta Salad

Wow, Tuna Pesto Pasta Salad is a total tongue twister…but that really has no relevance to anything else, just thought I’d point that out.  Anywho, as I’ve stated, I’ve had a lot of pesto on hand, and I am using it on everything.  Here, I mix tuna, pesto, whole wheat pasta, and just a big assorted mix of random things from my fridge to make a really tasty salad.  If you don’t have all the below ingredients, no worries.  Like I alluded to, this is kind of “kitchen sink” salad, so just work with what you have.  We usually keep quite a few “Mediterranean-ish” staples on hand, so that is what we went with, plus I had a green pepper from my garden to add!

I added some of my fancy basil oil to it.

Tuna Pesto Pasta Salad

  • 8 ounces whole wheat pasta (we used penne)
  • Couple handfuls of mixed greens
  • 2 red spring onions, sliced thin on a mandoline
  • 1/2 cup fresh peas, blanched (use frozen peas, not blanched, if no fresh)
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, diced
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • 1 medium sized green pepper, diced
  • 1 can tuna, drained
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Cook pasta in a pot of boiling water.  Drain and drizzle with just a tad (maybe 1 tablespoon) olive oil.

In meantime, mix onions, peas, red peppers, olives, green pepper, and tuna together.  Mix with a third of the pesto.

Once pasta has cooled, add pasta to tuna-veggie mixture and combine.  Add remaining pesto and a tablespoon of olive oil.

To serve, mix greens with a tablespoon of olive oil and put on plate.  Put couple of scoops tuna pasta mixture on lettuce and top with some shaved Parmesan.

Wish I would of had radishes from my garden to toss in.

Pesto Ravioli

Ok, so I cheated on part of this dish.  I used store-bought frozen raviolis.  We have a nice Italian store, and they have lots of varieties of raviolis, tortellinis, etc, and we usually have few stored in our freezer.  However, the thing I do want to highlight here is the pesto.  Our basil did awesome at the beginning of this summer (though it has now turned to total shit after this 100 degree plus heat wave), and I was able to make several batches of pesto.  The good news is, it turned out fabulous and I used it in several things  – sauces, salads, dips.  The bad news is, I did not take a pic of just the pesto – just pics of final dishes.  I think we will all live, though.  Should you find yourself with an abundance of pesto, also remember you can freeze it, whether it be in small plastic containers, flat in freezer bags with all the extra air squeezed out, or individual squares in ice cube trays (just pop them into a plastic bag or container after they are froze.  Take them out as you need.

Portabello Mushroom Raviolis with Pesto, Oyster Mushrooms, and Peas

  • 1 package frozen raviolis of your choice (you don’t have to use mushroom), usually about 12 ounces or so
  • 1/2 pound oyster mushrooms (or some sort of mushroom, use something else is you can’t find oyster), roughly torn up
  • 1/3 cup (ideally) fresh peas, blanched (if using frozen  peas, don’t blanch, just let them thaw out)
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup pesto (recipe below)
  • about 3 tablespoons of shaved Parmesan, to pass when serving

Cook raviolis in boiling water according to package directions (usually a good rule of thumb is once all of the raviolis are floating at the top they are pretty close to being done). Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water.

In the meantime, heat some olive oil in a pan over medium high heat.  Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper and let cook for about 3-4 minutes.  Add peas and cook for about one minute.  Turn heat down to medium to medium low and add butter and toss to coat, cooking for another minute.  Taste to see if needs any more salt and pepper.

In a big serving bowl, gently toss the drained raviolis with pesto, and just a dab of the reserved cooking water, maybe a few tablespoons.  Add mushrooms and peas and gently toss until all comes together.  If looks really dry for some reason, add another tablespoon or two of cooking water.  Plate and serve with grated cheese.


  • 2 cups basil leaves, packed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

In a food processor, process the basil and garlic together.  Add pine nuts and process until everything is kinda smooth.  Scrape down sides of food processor bowl.  Add lid back to processor and slowly add oil.  Once oil is mixed in, add in cheese and process until just  combined.  Add a healthy pinch of salt and pepper and process until just mixed together.  Taste.  Does it seem balanced with salt, oil, and Parmesan?   If it seems it needs a little more of something, add it, but don’t go crazy as you don’t want to overwhelm the delicate flavor of the pesto with just one ingredient.  If you are choosing to freeze your pesto, don’t add the cheese.  Wait until you have pulled it from the freezer and de-frosted it and then add it because cheese does not freeze too well in recipes.

Pickled Cucumbers and Radishes

I love pickled foods.  I feel like I have not met a vegetable that I don’t like pickled.  I’ll even take some fruits pickled.  Last weekend at the market they had some pickling cucumbers, so I thought I’d make a quick, just kind of “standard” batch.  Next week when I get more, I’ll change up the pickling recipe to play around with the ingredients to see what works better (or, not so much better.)  I picked up a few radishes, too, and thought that the radishes with some spring onions would be a good combo as well.  Now, I’ve put these all in Mason jars, and I think they will keep fine in the fridge for about a month.  But, I did not actually “can” them, as in process them in a hot water bath.  I do hope to do that, though, for some veggies, relishes,  and what have you this summer.  Botulism be damned!

Yes, I do plan on making fried pickles with those spears!

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