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September 10, 2013

Recipe for barley, artichoke, sun-dried tomato and feta salad with zahtar dressing {vegetarian}

Barley, artichoke, sun-dried tomato and feta salad.

For years -- well, for decades -- I cooked barley only one way: in soup, with mushrooms and carrots and rich beef or chicken stock. So I missed out on decades of amazing warm and cold barley salads, and now I'm making up for lost time. Or for lost tastes. This barley, artichoke, sun-dried tomato and feta salad came together after a quick pantry raid and a short hop to the herb garden for some of the curly parsley I'm growing this year for the first time. The strong, salty flavors of the artichokes, tomato and cheese, plus the lemony flavor of a zahtar-based dressing, provide just the right counterpoint to the creamy barley. For a vegan salad, omit the cheese, and add some kalamata olives.

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September 8, 2013

Recipe for savory Southwest cornmeal waffles {vegetarian}

Savory Southest cornmeal waffles, with fried egg and salsa.

In the house where I grew up, my dad took charge of weekend breakfasts. Every Saturday, he made challah French toast, with rich, eggy bread left over from Friday night dinner. The surprises came on Sundays, from a repertoire that included "spit in the ocean", fried eggs and salami, and eggs scrambled with cheese or, if we were very lucky, leftover spaghetti and meatballs. I still eat eggs for breakfast on most mornings, and I like something sturdy to hold them up. When Cousin Martin visited a few weeks ago, we made these savory Southwest cornmeal waffles with red cornmeal from Rhode Island's iconic Kenyon's Grist Mill. I much prefer heat to sweet for breakfast, so we topped our slightly crunchy waffles with fried eggs and some spicy habañero salsa. You could go the maple syrup route, too.

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September 7, 2013

The Pantry Quiz #51

Spice rack

One from Column A

Match one from Column A with one from Column B (sorry I couldn't get the columns side by side, but I know you forgive me):

Column A     
Turmeric
Vanilla
Nutmeg
Cinnamon

Column B
Root
Bark
Nut
Seed pod

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September 5, 2013

Recipe for roasted shrimp tacos with avocado peach salsa

Roasted shrimp tacos with avocado peach salsa.

Here in New England, summer -- and everything in the garden -- comes crashing down, literally, in the first two weeks of September. Ripe peaches plop from the trees, and we hurry to scoop the last tomatoes off the vines before they fall and rot. No one wants to give up on summer, so if you're in denial, like I am, try these roasted shrimp tacos with ultra-fresh avocado peach salsa. Juicy tomatoes and peaches, and creamy avocado, dribble down your chin, in a way that makes you believe that summer can go on forever. I always have shrimp in my freezer, but if you have scallops or salmon or other mild fresh fish, go ahead and substitute. A few pickled jalapeños on top, or extra cilantro, would be great. Pack these tacos to go, for an end-of-summer beach party or picnic.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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