The world beckoned, and we both left the kitchen for passports that took us on wild adventures away from home. After four months apart and with a new year upon us, we’re ready to roll out new recipes, new love, and good ju ju to share. Our tummies are about recovered (blood tests still pending!) from the exotic tastes our brothers and sisters in Latin America, Africa, and Asia sure do enjoy. We missed Happyolks and can’t wait to be knocking elbows around the sink again. If you want to see what we’ve been up to since the summer of 2010, check out our respective travel/career blogs: www.seekelseygo.com and www.shaunphotography.com … CHEERS!
Shaun and I took our first stab at integrating some creative media to the cooking process. If you haven’t checked out our short video yet, scroll to the bottom of this post. This recipe was inspired by the two lovely tomatoes that we’ve had on the kitchen table, ripening to perfection, for the past few days and some micro-basil that I picked up at the North Park Farmers Market yesterday. I went looking for ‘regular’ basil, but a friendly representative from Suzie’s Farms encouraged me to try the mini version and I must say, what a treat! I had honestly never tried/seen anything like it before, and I encourage you to be on the look-out!
This recipe is honestly so easy. It has all the qualities of a fancy expensive restaurant entree, but is even better when you have the freedom to stuff it with what you really love.
Here’s what I used for my stuffing, feel free to get creative though and play with the flavors of the season.
1 large heirloom yellow summer squash, grated
1 bunch of rainbow chard, deveined and finely chopped
1/2 of a spring onion, finely minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups micro-basil
1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons chevre cheese
(optional: 1/4 cup pine nuts)
1 cup plain Israeli cous cous
2 extra beefy tomatoes
This is what you didn’t see on the video:
1. In a medium sized pot, bring 2 cups of water and 1 cup of cous cous to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer uncovered for 8 minutes. Check frequently that the cous cous is not sticking to the bottom of the pan, stirring when necessary. Remove from heat, add a little water and olive oil, and let sit covered for 4 minutes.
2. On low heat, begin to saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. After a few minutes add the chard, olives, grated squash, basil and pine nuts if you’re using them. Grind in a little salt and pepper. Stir slowly to coat, do not let the contents start to “sizzle.”
3. Add cous cous to the veggie mixture and stir to coat. Cover and let sit over low heat while you prepare the tomatoes.
5. To see a demonstration on how to carve out the tomatoes, see video below.
6. Bring tomatoes and stuffing to the same work surface, and a gently spoon in mix until about 3/4 full. Add a small dollop of the chevre, then add another heaping scoop to fill and cover the top opening.
7. Sprinkle with fresh basil and a little salt. Bake for 10 minutes at 300′ in the middle rack of your oven. Serve immediately, and enjoy! You did it! Go you!
Summer is finally here! Shaun will continue the whole 5 day work-week gig while I spend a few weeks at home in Northern California. In July, we’ll reunite when I return to San Diego for an internship with the International Rescue Committee. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, though. In the meantime, we’ll post recipes remotely. Shaun will tackle more kitchen time, and I’ll have to tackle more camera time and Happyolks will bear with us (smiles). I’ve been slow to post this dill recipe, but the photos and recipes are piling up and I don’t want to let this one (like many others) slip away. I got the idea for this spread to be used with the salmon sandwiches, but ended up favoring it as a dip for crunchy raw veggies like carrots, red bell peppers, and cucumbers. If you’re looking for something light for an afternoon backyard soiree, this is one is a keeper. I will warn, because there is Greek yogurt involved, the dish would need to be kept chilled!
1 cup Fage 0% Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup red onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1/8 tsp salt
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
juice of a few lemon slices
Super easy — combine ingredients, stir and serve! Fresh and basic, it won’t take away from the taste of your fabulous crisp veggies.