Olive You, Too (Kalamata Bread & Honey Balsamic Goat Cheese Spread)

With Thanksgiving approaching, I wanted to extend my heartfelt thanks to you for your visits here.  They make me smile.

Consequently, I carry that smile into the world and other folks benefit from it.  (Thought you should know that!)  So, thank you.

(And as the title implies… Olive You, Too!  xo)

Since everybody’s schedules are kicking into high gear (mine included), my next post won’t be until after Thanksgiving.  (Thought you should know that, too.)  Sometimes ya gotta keep it simple.

Speaking of which…

Honey Balsamic Goat Cheese Spread

(adapted from Taste Of Home)

1 c. Caprino cheese (or other creamy goat cheese)

1/3 c. mayonnaise (I used regular mayo)

2 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Combine ingredients; mix until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.

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As for the bread, it couldn’t be any simpler.

Kalamata Bread

Knead 1 1/2 to 2 cups sliced kalamata olives into this recipe and thank Ally Phillips while you’re there.  (Thanks, Ally!)

And lest I forget… lavish with Honey Balsamic Goat Cheese Spread. :)

If you don’t have time for bread baking, simply serve with baguette slices (or pita chips) and assorted olives.

Happy Thanksgiving to you ‘n yours from The Man Of Few Words n’ me.

Enjoying sharing smiles,

~ Kim

Bending The Rules (Lemon Parmesan Pasta with Grilled Salmon)

I am (and always will be) rule-oriented.  I can’t help it; it’s in my DNA.

(The Man Of Few Words teases me about it occasionally — he nicknamed me “Miss OSHA.”)

Life (for me) feels better when I follow the rules.  Except when I’m in the kitchen.

There, all rules (real or imaginary) begin to relax a little — bend a little — and I find myself embracing rebellion.

“It’s a no-no to serve fish with cheese.”  Really?

(Profuse apologies to Scott Conant, whom I admire very much.)

At my dinner table, cheese periodically finds its way onto the same plate as a creature of the sea.  Gasp!

Call me food-rule-disrespectful, but it tastes good!  Of course, I’m mindful of “which cheese” with “what fish,” so as not to overwhelm the delicate flavor of said fish (my fellow “rule followers” will appreciate the amount of research behind that statement…) and when push comes to shove, I’ll serve it on the side, like I did this Lemon Pasta.

Laced with lemon juice and laden with shredded Parmesan (cheese…), it was the perfect accompaniment for a hot-off-the-grill slab of salmon, if I do say so myself.  (Actually, I couldn’t say so myself — my mouth was too busy enjoying the flavor.)

A quick note about my pale-looking asparagus, though… I forgot to dunk it in ice water after I blanched it.  Gasp!  (tee hee)  Maybe my DNA is restructuring.  I feel more relaxed about “rules” already.

Bending the rules (or forgetting them altogether) still makes for a mighty tasty meal.

Lemon Parmesan Pasta with Grilled Salmon

(pasta recipe adapted from a very old issue of Bon Appetit)

1 salmon filet per person, grilled until fish flakes easily with a fork

2 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided

1/4 c. pine nuts

1 large onion, chopped

1 T. finely minced garlic

1/2 t. red pepper flakes (or to taste)

1/4 t. Kosher salt

1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 c. chopped Kalamata olives

2 T. capers, rinsed and drained

1 lb. pasta noodles (your choice), cooked and drained

1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese (reserve some for garnish)

Juice of 1 large lemon

1/4 t. ground thyme (or 1 tsp. finely minced fresh thyme)

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute pine nuts in 1 tablespoon olive oil until lightly browned; remove and set aside.

Add remaining oil to skillet; increase heat to medium-high.  Add onion; cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, olives and capers; cook 1 minute.  Remove from heat.

Add cooked pasta, pine nuts, Parmesan, lemon juice, and thyme; toss to coat.  Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.  And fish.

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Enjoying bending the rules now and then,

~ Kim

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It’s Greek To Me…

I generally don’t publish back-to-back posts for the simple reason that “a little lunch” was created to be a tidbit, rather than a full-course-meal.

However, some things are SOOOO good, it would be a disservice not to share.

Greek Salad

1 cucumber, peeled & sliced (I do the decorative peel thing…)

Salt, to taste

2 tomatoes, seeded & chopped (I used cherry tomatoes, quartered)

1/2 an onion, finely chopped

1 head of lettuce, washed, drained & torn

Olives (I used Kalamata, but a combo of black & green also works well)

8 oz. crumbled Feta or goat cheese

Extra virgin olive oil

Freshly squeezed lemon juice

Greek seasoning (I used Konriko, but Cavender’s is also yummy)

Combine cucumber slices and salt; let sit 30 minutes, then drain.

In a large bowl, combine lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and olives; toss lightly.

In a small measuring cup, combine equal parts of olive oil and lemon juice; add Greek seasoning to taste.  Drizzle over salad and toss again.

Add cheese (I prefer it sprinkled over the top); serve immediately.

The mysteries of the universe may elude me (yet), but it helps to ponder them over a tasty salad.

Enjoying life — whatever the translation may be,

~ Kim