Pear and Blue Cheese Salad
One 5 oz. bag mixed spring salad greens
2 oz. crumbled blue cheese
1 pear, sliced
4 tblsp. pistachios (roasted, shelled and salted)
1/2 c. sweet vinaigrette dressing (I recommend Trader Joe's Chardonnay, Pear and Gorgonzola Vinaigrette)
Empty bag of salad greens into large bowl. Add crumbled blue cheese and sliced pear and toss with salad dressing. Divide into four bowls and add 1 tblsp. pistachios and fresh cracked black pepper to each.
Tip: Buy cheese in bulk and crumble it yourself. It is less expensive, fresher, creamier and tastier than the pre-crumbled kind.
Photo credit: Foodnetwork.com (all other photos in this post by Sarah)
Shallot Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes and Cajun Sausage
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
10 shallots, halved then thinly sliced
Salt and black pepper
1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
A generous handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 container grape tomatoes
Heat medium skillet with sausages, 1/4 inch water and 2 tblsp. olive oil over high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer, turning sausages occasionally, until liquid evaporates (approximately 10 minutes). Cook 4-6 minutes more for skins to crisp up, continuing to turn occasionally.
Base pasta recipe provided by Rachael Ray, foodnetwork.com, doctored up by Sarah.
Roasted Lemony-Garlic Broccoli
3 heads broccoli, cut into florets
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oiil
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread broccoli on pan and add olive oil, lemon zest and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Stir to evenly distribute flavors. Roast in oven for 20 minutes. Remove broccoli into serving bowl. Squeeze half of a lemon over broccoli and top with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Lemon Parsley Bruschetta
One loaf take-and-bake french bread
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice loaf the long way and separate into two halves. Drizzle with olive oil and then squeeze fresh lemon juice onto bread. Salt to taste. Place on cookie sheet cut side up and bake in oven for 10-12 minutes until crispy on the edges. Remove from oven and top with fresh parsley. Slice and serve.
Wines of the Night
We enjoyed a red and white wine with tonight's meal. The red wine of the night was Cosentino Legends Cabernet Sauvignon. Kevin and I bought this wine while we were in Napa. Cosentino is an up-and-coming cabernet powerhouse, and this bottle is delicious. It is a Bordeaux-style wine and is spicy and complex. Learn more about it: http://www.cosentinowinery.com/cosentino/catalog/view_product.jsp?product_id=1120.
The white wine we enjoyed was Lindeman's Sauvignon Blanc, a South African white wine that is crisp and refreshing. I particularly enjoyed the wine with the spicy sausage, and felt that it cut well through the intense flavor. I would recommend this wine for cooking and with food. It is incredibly affordable!