Posts Tagged ‘balsamic vinegar’

by Sarah Steimer

Blueberry balsamic vinaigrette

Looks like a smoothie, right? I served this vinaigrette over spicy greens and grilled salmon. What to do with the rest? I’m thinking a salad with chicken and goat cheese, or perhaps even as a dip with a cheese and baguette plate?


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by Caitlin Saniga

Herbal balsamic vinaigrette

I serve this dressing drizzled over fresh beet greens, roasted beets, and toasted walnuts. Use whatever herbs you have — dill, mint and tarragon might also be nice.


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by Sarah Steimer

Red pepper relish over sweet potato and kale

I was so happy to have leftover relish from this meal. I can see it being used over chicken, fish or — if you’re like me — added to a simple cheddar grilled cheese sandwich. I’d like a jar of this relish in my fridge at all times this winter!


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by Sarah Steimer


Pretty much every ingredient you see here had just made its way to our apartment from the farmer’s market. Have more veggies or a different bean to throw in? Go right ahead. The idea is to use fresh produce and your favorite flavors (garlic!).


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by Sarah Steimer

I'm fairly certain that one of the first few lessons in learning any new language relates to food. I remember French lessons about cuisine almost always mentioned steak frites --- steak with French fries. I had a skirt steak in the freezer recently and was trying to come up with some ideas for it, and it dawned on me that it was time to try the ever-mentioned steak frites.

This might be my third post relating back to my middle school French classes. I may not remember how to perfectly conjugate verbs, but I sure haven’t forgotten the food. It’s easy to think crepes or escargot when it comes to French cuisine, but the meal I remember popping up most in my French textbooks was steak frites — or steak and French fries.


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by Sarah Steimer

I’ll admit I didn’t grill this. I took the easy way out (because I didn’t feel like powering up the grill for lunch) and just popped the kale under the broiler for a couple of minutes. Do keep an eye on it, though. It crisps up quickly. Also – this dish has some of the best textures in all the land.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 medium plum, halved, pitted, thinly sliced
  • 6 medium curly kale leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh ricotta

Whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, thyme and honey. Season with the salt and pepper. Toss the plums in the oil and vinegar mixture to coat and set aside.

Brush the kale leaves with olive oil and season with salt. Grill the kale over medium-high heat OR take my short cut and put the kale on a metal pan and pop in the broiler. If grilling, be sure to turn after a few minutes. Either method only takes a few minutes to darken and crisp the kale, to keep a careful eye on the leaves.

Once the kale has a moment to cool, remove the large stems if you did not do so before. Toss the kale in the oil-vinegar dressing.

Place the ricotta on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Top with the kale, plums and drizzle with the remaining dressing.

Makes one serving.

Recipe adapted from: Bon Appetit

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by Sarah Steimer

If you don’t have a pasta roller or if you just don’t have enough time, you can purchase fresh sheets of pasta at some grocery or speciality stores.

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yolk whisked with 1-2 tablespoons of water for egg wash
  • 6 small balls of mozzarella, cut in half OR quarter-sized pieces of mozzarella cut from a larger ball if you cannot find the small mozzarella balls
  • 12 cherry tomatoes (can pre-roast the tomatoes, but that is optional)
  • 12 basil leaves
  • pesto, for serving (need any ideas? Take a look back at our pesto guide!)
  • balsamic vinegar, for serving
  • shredded Parmesan, for serving

    Always lay everything out in advance so you aren’t racing all over the kitchen.

In the bowl of a food processor, fitted with the dough blade or an electric mixer, fitted with the dough hook, mix together the flour and salt. Add the eggs, one at a time and continue mixing. Drizzle in the olive oil. At this point the dough should begin to form into a ball. If this does not happen, add a little bit of water at a time until the dough begins to stick.

Once the dough has formed itself into a ball in the mixer, turn onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is elastic and smooth. Wrap with plastic wrap and let sit for at least a half hour.

When the dough is ready, separate it into about three even and rectangular pieces, flattening each with your hands. Feed the dough through a pasta machine about two or three times at its widest setting. Continue to move up the settings until the dough is rolled through as thin as possible. Cut out the ravioli shapes using a cookie cutter or a drinking glass. Continue will the rest of the dough until you have 24 pieces of ravioli.

I only used half of the small mozzarella balls because my cookie cutter did not make a very large round. If you have a larger cutter, use the full ball.

Place the pieces in sets of twos, making 12 pairs. Brush one side of one piece of dough with the egg wash. Arrange one half of the mozzarella ball, a cherry tomato and a basil leaf on the egg-washed side of the dough. Cover with another piece of dough and press closed using the tongs of a fork. Flip and press with the fork on the other side as well. Continue this until you have 12 filled raviolis.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on the stove. Place about six of the raviolis in the water and let cook for about 10-12 minutes. Remove the ravioli with a slotted spoon and cook the remaining pieces.

Serve with pesto, balsamic vinegar and shredded Parmesan.

The finished product!

Makes 12 pieces of ravioli, which serves 3-4.

Pasta recipe from: Tyler Florence via the Food Network

Filling recipe from: Proud Italian Cook

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by Sarah Steimer

This is one of my favorite bruschettas to make on a whim. I always have balsamic vinegar, a basil plant and tomatoes in the summer. I also don’t have to think about the mozzarella, Bill makes a bee-line to the cheese sellers at the farmer’s market every week.

  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella, cubed or torn
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, torn
  • 3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small baguette or another hard-crusted bread, sliced

Combine the tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and vinegar in a bowl. For the best flavors, let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Bruschetta works well as an appetizer, but also as a quick side dish for dinner.

Serve the mixture, cold, over the bread.

Makes about 3 cups of bruschetta mixture.

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by Sarah Steimer

Reuben sandwiches are a great, portable option to corned beef and cabbage when you need to eat on the run while you bar crawl this Saturday for St. Patrick's Day. Or whatever it is you do.

  • corned beef brisket, with spices
  • sauerkraut
  • rye or marble rye bread

For the sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup or so ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill pickle relish (I just added a little dried dill instead)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

    Cooking corned beef is the easiest. You just throw it in the crock pot with a little water and wait for it to fall apart. Make everything in advance and just heat it all up on a panini maker the day you plan to eat it.

  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all sauce ingredients and let sit overnight.

Cook the corned beef brisket in a crock pot with enough water to come about halfway up the brisket. Cook on low for 5-7 hours, depending on the size of your brisket. It will shrink to about half of its size. Let the brisket rest before cutting it. Remove the fat on the outside of the meat and cut, going against the grain, into about 1/2 inch-wide slices.

Lightly toast the rye bread before assembling the sandwich. Top the corned beef with a handful of sauerkraut and a nice schmear of the sauce (which, yes, is just a homemade Thousand Island dressing).

Makes about four sandwiches – or more, depending on the size of the brisket.

Sauce recipe adapted from: Food.com

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by Sarah Steimer

A lot of people probably assume that eating local and in season means giving up a nice, fresh salad when it gets cold out. Not so with kale and sweet potatoes - both of which I grabbed at a winter farmer's market.

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh kale, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (I did have this in mine but forgot to photograph the salad with them – whoops)
  • 2 tbs onion, minced
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Boil the sweet potato in a pot of lightly salted, boiling water until tender. Allow to drain.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, sweet potato, sage, kale and cranberries. In a small bowl, add the onion, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper, stirring to combine. Drizzle over the quinoa salad, tossing to coat (I added even a bit more balsamic to mine).

Serves four, with the sweet potatoes warm or cool.

Recipe adapted from: Domestic Fits

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