Caprese Skewers

Caprese Skewers
Yield: Six Servings

Ingredients
2 Tbsp.      Greek Taverna Blend
2 Tbsp.      Water
2 Tbsp.      Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp.      Honey
1/4 Cup     Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Cup     Olive Oil

As Needed     6 Inch Skewers
1 Pint              Cherry Tomatoes
1 Bunch          Basil – Torn into 1 Inch Pieces
1 Log               Fresh Mozzarella – Sliced & Cut into Cubes
As Needed     Cracked Black Pepper

Procedure
1. Mix the Greek Taverna Blend and water together in a mixing bowl.
2. Mix in the Dijon mustard, honey and balsamic vinegar.
3. Whisk well.
4. While whisking, slowly add the oil until combined.
5. Set the dressing aside.
6. Prepare the skewers by adding a cube of fresh mozzarella, followed by a basil leaf, followed by a cherry tomato.
7. Drizzle a little of the balsamic vinaigrette over the the skewers.
8. Top with some fresh cracked black pepper.

Tasting Tomorrow at the Orenco Station Farmer’s Market

Grilled Walla Walla Sweet Onions with Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, and a Balsamic Greek Vinaigrette

Today I was inspired when traveling through Walla Walla Washington to make tomorrows tasting.  I picked up some sweet onions from a small stand alongside the road.  They were just picked a couple of days ago.

Ingredients
5 each    Walla Walla Sweet Onions – Sliced
3 Tbsp.  Olive Oil
1 Tbsp.   Hartz Greek Taverna Blend
5 each    Roma Tomatoes – Seeded & Diced
10 each  Leaves of Fresh Basil – Chopped
1/4 Cup  Balsamic Greek Vinaigrette (see Farmer’s Market Salad with Balsamic Greek Vinaigrette below)

Procedure
1. Heat a grill on high.
2. Season the onions with the olive oil and the Greek Taverna Blend.
3. Grill the onions until slightly charred.
4. Allow the onions to cool.
5. While the onions are cooling combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and toss well.
6. When the onions are cool, toss in the tomato mixture and mix well.
7. Serve at room temperature.

Note
* This would be great served over steak, chicken, or fish.

Grilled Mediterranean Relish

Grilled Mediterranean Relish
Yield: 1 Quart

Ingredients
1/2 Bunch  Fresh Asparagus
1 each          Red Onion – Sliced
3 fl. oz.       Olive Oil
2 Tbsp.       Hartz Greek Taverna Blend
8 each         Roma Tomatoes – Seeded & Diced
2 each         Roasted Red Bell Peppers – Diced
4 oz.            Fresh Mozzarella – Diced
4 fl. oz.       Greek Balsamic Vinaigrette (see Farmer’s Market Salad with Greek Vinaigrette below)
4 each         Fresh Basil Leaves – Chiffonade

Procedure
1. Heat a grill to high.
2. Season the asparagus and red onion slices with olive oil and the Greek Taverna Blend.
3. Grill the asparagus and red onions until slightly charred.
4. While the asparagus and onions are cooling down toss the tomatoes, roasted peppers, and mozzarella in a bowl.
5. When the asparagus and onions are cool dice them and toss them into the bowl with the tomatoes.  Toss well.
6. Add the vinaigrette and mix well.
7. Garnish with the basil
8. Serve at room temperature.

Note:
* This relish will go well with chicken, fish, and pork.
* This also works well as a dip served with chips or topped on a salad.

 

 

Farmer’s Market Salad with Balsamic Greek Vinaigrette

Yield: 4 Servings

It’s Farmer’s Market season and there are many good finds to be found.  Strawberries, raspberries, many assortments of lettuces, wildflower honey, and even farm stand cheeses.  Find a market close to you and enjoy the extraordinary selection of produce and other goods.

Greek Balsamic Vinaigrette

Vinaigrette Ingredients
2 Tbsp.       Hartz Greek Taverna Blend
2 Tbsp.       Water
1 Tbsp.       Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp.       Honey
1/4 Cup      Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Cup      Olive Oil

Vinaigrette Procedure
1. In a small bowl combine the Greek Taverna Blend with the water.  Set aside for a couple of minutes.
2. In a blender add the spice and water mixture, Dijon, honey, and balsamic vinegar.
3. Place the lid on the blender and turn on high.
4. While the blender is still running slowly add the oil through the center of the lid to emulsify the dressing.

Salad Ingredients
8 Cups     Fresh Lettuce (Such as Arugula, Lola Rosa, Bib, and / or Mixed Greens)
1/2 Cup   Toasted Pine Nuts
1 Pint       Fresh Strawberries (Such as Hoods) – Quartered
1/2 Pint   Fresh Raspberries
1/2 Cup    Diced Fresh Mango
1/2 Cup    Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese

Salad Procedure
1. Toss the lettuce with some of the vinaigrette.
2. Top with the pine nuts, strawberries, raspberries, mango, and Gorgonzola cheese.
3. Serve and enjoy.

Note
* Add grilled chicken dusted with Hartz Moroccan Moorish Blend for a more substantial salad.

 

Coconut Moroccan Basmati Rice with a Hint of Lime

Coconut Moroccan Basmati Rice with a Hint of Lime
Yield:  8 Cups

Ingredients
2 Cups       Basmati Rice
4 Cups       Liquid (1 Can of Coconut Milk (about 1 1/3 Cup of Coconut Milk) about 2 1/3 Cups of Water)
1 1/4 tsp.  Hartz Moroccan Moorish Blend
1 tsp.         Kosher Salt
1 each       Lime (Peeled using a Vegetable Peeler, Zest the Remaining of the Lime, and Juiced)

Procedure
1. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear then drain.
2. Bring the coconut milk, water, Moroccan Moorish Blend, salt, and lime peel to boil in a pot.
3. Add the rice and bring back to a boil.
4. Reduce to a simmer and cover.  Simmer covered for about 15 to 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
5. Once the water is absorbed, remove from the heat and keep covered for about 3 minutes.
6. Remove the rice from the pot into a shallow dish using a fork.
7. Add the lime juice and fluff using the fork.
8. Serve and garnish with lime zest.

Note
* Serve with chicken, fish or pork and fresh pineapple.

Black Bean Hummus

This is a healthy version of hummus using Greek yogurt instead of oil.

Black Bean Hummus
Yield: 4 Cups

Ingredients
3 each        Canned Black Beans – Rinsed & Drained
1 each        Garlic Clove
8 oz.           Roasted Red Bell Peppers (about 2) – Drained
1 tsp.          Hartz Garlic & Herb Spice Blend
3 each         Lemons – Juiced
1 tsp.          Kosher Salt
1/4 Cup       Plain Greek Yogurt
1 tsp.          Ground Coriander
1/2 tsp.       Ground Cumin
1 1/2 Tbsp.  Tahini Paste

Procedure
1.  Combine everything in a food processor.
2.  Puree until smooth.
3.  Serve with pita chips or fresh vegetables.
4.  Can be refrigerated for up to five days.