Thursday, July 1, 2010

First Harvest Meal

Yesterday, we harvested the first few items from our garden. The bounty consisted of a head of red leaf lettuce and a good-sized bunch of rosemary branches.  Here's what we ate for dinner that night...

Red Leaf Lettuce Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette and Parmesan shavings
Pan-Seared Rosemary Chicken
Steamed Sweet Organic Carrots

It was absolutely delicious!

So here are the recipes for you...

Pan-Seared Rosemary Chicken Tenders
6 boneless skinless chicken tenders, pounded to 1/4-inch thick
3-4 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

1) Combine the rosemary, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl.  Using a wooden spoon, mash and bruise the rosemary to release its fragrence into the olive oil.
2) Add the chicken and toss well, making sure the oil and rosemary are in good contact with the meat.  Let the chicken marinate for at least 20 minutes, preferably longer (This would be a good time to make the salad and carrots).
3) Heat a cast-iron pan on medium-high.  Once very hot, place the chicken into the pan with tongs.
4) Allow one side to brown nicely.  Flip chicken and reduce heat to medium.  Continue cooking until cooked through.  Alternatively, grill the chicken.

Steamed Sweet Carrots
carrots, cut into sticks
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
salt & pepper to taste

1) Place carrots in a microwave-safe bowl.  1 tablespoon of water.

2) Sprinkle salt and pepper onto carrots and toss to coat.
3) Spoon brown sugar on top of the carrots.  Do not stir or toss.
4) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Microwave on high 5 minutes.
5) Check carrots after 5 minutes.  If a sharp knife doesn't easily go through, microwave 2 minutes at a time until done.

Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette
2-3 1-inch strips of roasted red pepper
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon white sugar
salt & pepper to taste

1) Add all ingredients to a blender, food processor, or a tall cup for an immersion blender.
2) Process until a smooth puree is achieved.
3) Taste and adjust sugar or seasoning as you like
4) Dress and toss salad just before serving.  Dressing should just coat the leaves but should not puddle on the plate or wilt the leaves.
5) Optionally make shavings from a block of Parmesan cheese using a vegetable peeler and place on top of salad.  A hearty crouton goes well with this salad too.

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