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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Pesto Potato Salad

Warm-Red-Potato-Salad (1)

This Pesto Potato Salad requires no mayonnaise so it travels well. As a side dish with chicken, pork, or beef it’s perfect. The fresh basil pesto in this Pesto Potato Salad adds so much flavor. The sweet multi-colored bell peppers add a burst of color. A few really good ingredients make this potato salad a winner.

I’m never shy about taking help from the grocery store. You can now find fresh basil pesto in the refrigerated section of your grocery store, where they display the fresh pasta and marinara sauce. This pre-made fresh basil pesto is a huge time saver. Add basil pesto to warm potatoes and they’ll soak up all those delicious flavors.

Mini Sweet Bell Peppers

Warm-Red-Potato-Salad

Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes (depending on potatoes and size, time may vary slightly)
Total Cook Time: 25-27 minutes
Equipment: cutting board, chef’s knife, 6-quart stockpot, strainer, large mixing bowl. spatula or long-handled spoon, plastic wrap.

Ingredients:
2 pounds of red bliss potatoes, quartered (waxy potatoes work best)
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1 cup of multi-colored mini sweet bell peppers, finely diced (red, yellow, and orange)
1 7-ounce container, Rana fresh basil pesto (found in the refrigerated section by the fresh pasta)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
Wash and scrub the potatoes from any grit. Cut them into large, bite-sized chunks. transfer the potatoes to a large stockpot. Add enough cold water to cover the potatoes by 1-inch.

Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Adjust the heat to keep the water at a gentle simmer. Add a good sprinkling of Kosher salt. Cook until the potatoes are tender all the way through when pierced with a fork, 10-12 minutes. Exact cooking time depends on the size of your potato chunks and the type of potatoes.

Drain the potatoes, then return them to the same pot they were cooked in. Do not set the pot back on the heat. Let any water that may be on them evaporate from the hot pot, about 1to 2 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl add the diced red onion, diced sweet bell peppers. Next, add the cooked, still very warm, potatoes, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Start with half the prepared pesto, using a rubber spatula, toss gently to combine. If more pesto is needed, add an extra tablespoon at a time toss to combines.

 

 

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Toasted Quinoa Salad

 

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I brought my Toasted Quinoa Salad to a graduation celebration and it was a hit! Something as simple as a salad, using a few fresh ingredients had friends asking me for this recipe. I knew I needed to post this recipe ASAP!

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Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes (add 5 minutes cooking time if you’re toasting the quinoa)
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 3-quart saucepot with a tight-fitting glass lid, mesh sieve, whisk, serving bowl

Ingredients:
1 12-ounce package (equivalent to 1 1/2 cups of uncooked quinoa)
3 cups of unsalted vegetable stock, HOT (substitute water or unsalted chicken broth)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1/2 red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
2 cups of feta cheese, diced
1 1/2 pints of grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups of a hothouse (English) cucumber, diced
1/4 cup of fresh basil, Chiffonade style
2 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh Italian Parsley (dried 1 tablespoon)
zest of 1 lemon
1 lemon juiced
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
*E.V.O.O.

Directions For Toasting And Cooking Quinoa:
Start by rinsing the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve.

Directions:
If you’ve never made quinoa, it’s really easy. First, you always want to do a quick rinse of the quinoa first. The outer coating is called saponin and it’s bitter. Place quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water for a few seconds.

In a large heavy bottom 3-quart saucepot on medium-low heat add (or leave) some water to the quinoa so that it’s moist, add the quinoa to the heated pan. Make sure not to overcrowd. using a whisk, quickly stir the quinoa around in the pan as it begins to toast.

Once the water is absorbed and the quinoa begins to pop, you’ll know it’s drying out. Continue whisking until the grains of quinoa begin to brown. The aroma will begin to smell nutty, around 5 minutes.

In another pot bring the 3 cups of vegetable stock up to a boil and salt. Pour the hot vegetable stock into the pot containing the quinoa. Give the quinoa a good stir, cover (with the glass lid). With the heat still on medium-low, simmer until all the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside off the heat for 5 minutes, uncover and fluff with a fork.

While the quinoa is cooking (during the 15 to 20 minutes) dice the vegetables and feta, zest, and juice a lemon. Place all the ingredients into a large bowl. Add in the cooled cooked toasted quinoa, season with salt and pepper. Finish by adding in the chopped basil and parsley and toss. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Before serving my Toasted Quinoa Salad, I like to add a drizzle of really good *E.V.O.O.

*E.V.O.O. is extra virgin olive oil.

 

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Two-Heirloom Tomato Salads

Photo May 26, 6 31 09 PM

Orzo And Heirloom Tomato Salad

Heirloom tomatoes are in season right now, so I’m buying them fairly regularly. I have, two, really easy and delicious salads here that can be a main coarse or a side dish with any protein you like. The second one is completely vegetarian. Let’s talk about my first salad.

Photo May 26, 6 28 40 PM

Heirloom Tomato Salad With Bocconcini And Sopressata.

Photo May 26, 6 31 09 PM

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients:
1-1/2 heaping cups of diced Sopressata  (or diced Genoa Salami)
8 cups of heirloom tomatoes – halved and wedges ( depending on whole or grape size tomatoes)
1- 8 ounce package- herb marinated Bocconcini (mini mozzarella balls or pearls)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup e.v.o.o.
2 tablespoons Agave nectar
1-1/2  tablespoons Kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup of freshly chopped tarragon leaves

Dressing For Salad:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup e.v.o.o.
2 tablespoons Agave nectar
1-1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons of freshly cracked black pepper
Directions:
Place all ingredients in a “2 cup” measuring cup. Whisk all the ingredients together until well combined.

Marinate For Bocconcini:
1-8 ounce package of mini Bocconcini
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried parsley leaves
Pinch of Kosher salt
Pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup of E.V.O.O

Directions:
Separate all the the mini mozzarella balls and place them into a small bowl along with the other ingredients. Using a spoon, gently mix together.

Direction For Heirloom Tomato Salad:
In a large salad bowl, place all the halved and tomato wedges. Add in the marinated mozzarella balls. Next, add in the chopped fresh tarragon leaves. Pour the dressing over and toss all the ingredients together. Serve with your favorite bread.

Orzo And Heirloom Tomato Salad

My second tomato salad called, Orzo And Heirloom Tomato Salad. This on is a vegetarian salad, totally meat free!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients:
1 pound of cooked drained and cooled orzo pasta
2 cup of arugula leaves
4 cups of diced and halved heirloom tomatoes ( depending whether whole or grape size)
1-14.6 ounce jar of long stemmed artichoke hearts, halved
1-8 ounce package of Bocconcini ( mini mozzarella balls
1 lemon juiced
2 tablespoons of Agave nectar
1-1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley

Directions:
Place the halved and diced heirloom tomatoes, cooked and cooled orzo pasta, halved artichokes hearts, mini mozzarella balls arugula leaves, Kosher salt, black pepper, and chopped parsley into a large salad bowl. Squeeze the juice of one lemon and drizzle the two tablespoons of agave nectar over the top. Toss through gently. Next, refrigerate until your ready to serve as a colorful and tasty side dish.

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