Panzanella For The Perfect Weekend Salad

Throw back Friday! Panzanella Salad. What better way to use produce than to make a Panzanella salad. Which is a traditional Italian “bread salad.” Crispy croutons made from toasted baguette cubes along with fresh, crunchy veggies bring this powerhouse salad together. Drizzle with a little dijon vinaigrette love, and you can’t go wrong. Gardening is such a joy to my family and me. Nothing beats growing something with your own hands and watching it flourish. We’ve created so many delicious recipes using various tomato plants, cucumber, zucchini, and watermelon. Along with so many amazing fresh herbs. Start your own garden! It’s a fantastic way to get the kids involved too. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy!

Xo- Ayesha

Panzanella Salad

1/2 cup olive oil
1 long baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
One orange bell pepper, seeded and cubed
Onered bell pepper, seeded and cubed
One English cucumber, halved and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
1/2 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 Handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons capers

For the vinaigrette:

1 clove finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
1 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk together all ingredients for the vinaigrette and set aside.

Spread cubes of bread onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Baked in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden all around. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, mix tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle with vinaigrette. Toss well.

Serve immediately, or allow the salad to sit at room temperature for 25-30 minutes. (The longer it sits the better it gets!)

A Deliciously Simple Pasta With A Fancy Name “Cacio e Pepe”

A Deliciously Simple Pasta With A Fancy Name. “Cacio e Pepe” is a classic dish that utilizes simple ingredients and turns them into something so delicious. A Roman dish that means “cheese and pepper.” It’s tossed with olive oil, cracked black pepper, butter and grated cheese. Here I threw some sauteed mushrooms over the top but that’s entirely up to you. Traditionally the recipe wouldn’t call for that. I’m all for adding extra flavor. A meal that is perfect for a late night craving or when my kids want something quick to eat. They can handle the peppery taste and my kids really LOVE pasta of any kind! Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy!

Xo- Ayesha

Oops almost forgot my mushrooms!!

Cacio e Pepe Pasta (Cheese and Pepper)

1/2 pound pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter, unsalted.
3/4 cup Pecorino-romano cheese, grated.
3/4 cup Parmigiano-regiano cheese, grated.
Coarse ground black pepper (About 1 1/2- 2 tablespoons)
Kosher salt to taste
Sauteed sliced mushrooms. (optional)

In a large pot bring water and bring to a boil. Salt your water with about one tablespoon of salt. Add in pasta and cook according to the cooking time on the box. Reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid (water) from the pot and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add olive oil and black pepper. Heat until the pepper begins to sizzle. Add in 2-3 tablespoons of water along with butter and stir well. Transfer hot pasta into the pan and coat with pepper mixture.

Add in cheese and toss until all of the pasta has been coated and doesn’t stick. Season to taste and serve.

I added some sautéed mushrooms over the top of mine. They were just baby portabello mushrooms that were sauteed in butter with a little salt.

**Make sure you serve with the option of extra black pepper and cheese if wanted.**

Green Goddess Mayonnaise

Green Goddess Mayonnaise. A deliciously herby mayonnaise mixture that is the perfect condiment to jazz up your next meal! Its a play on the green goddess dressing you would typically find drizzled over a salad. It’s vibrantly green with a big punch of flavor. And a ridiculously easy way to transform a plain old turkey sandwich (Or a grilled chicken sandwich, burger, etc.) into something drool worthy. This creamy and herbaceous mixture can be used as a dip or a spread. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

I smeared a nice amount of this green goddess mayo on two slices of my favorite bread (Daves Killer Bread) with some sliced turkey, sprouts, and heirloom tomatoes. So goooood!!

Have a great weekend everyone!

God Bless,

Xo-Ayesha

Green Goddess Mayonnaise

1/4 cup fresh basil, packed.
Two tablespoons parsley, roughly chopped.
Three tablespoons green onion, chopped.
Two garlic cloves, roughly chopped.
1/2 cup mayo
1 teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste
freshly ground pepper

Combine everything BUT the lemon juice in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add-In lemon juice and blend about 1 minute more. Season to taste and serve. It can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to four days.

Pasta With Quick Kale Sauce

Pasta With Quick Kale Sauce. I’m in love with this quick and easy no-frill pasta dish. It has Kale in it which is a highly nutritious vegetable. It has numerous health benefits and happens to be pretty darn tasty. And for those of you that are scared of anything green. Give it a try! It turns out to be a smooth and silky sauce, so delicious, and a great side dish for almost anything. What’s your favorite way to eat kale? Leave a comment below.

Enjoy!

Xo-Ayesha

Pasta With Quick Kale Sauce

12 ounces favorite pasta (I used orecchiette pasta)
1/2 white onion, roughly chopped.
1/2 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped.
2-3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts
2-3 cups fresh kale, ribs and stems removed.
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste (I used about a teaspoon each)

 

Cook your pasta according to the package directions.

Remove the pasta from the boiling water and set aside. Add your chopped kale to the water and quickly blanch for 1-2 minutes and remove.

In a blender or food processor add blanched kale, garlic, onion, parmesan, lemon, and nuts. Stream in olive oil and puree until smooth.

Add kale sauce to your cooked pasta and toss to coat! Serve immediately!