Grilled Potato Salad with Sweet Corn, Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Fresh Basil

The combination of sweet corn and grilled potatoes is a hit here.

Ingredients:
3 pounds fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and halved
¼ cup minced parsley
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sweet corn kernels, cut from the cob
½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, chopped
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup toasted pine nuts

For dressing:
½ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high. Place the potatoes in a bowl or pan, drizzle with olive oil, stir to coat. Salt and pepper generously and add chopped parsley. Using a grill basket or layer in some foil, grill the potatoes until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from grill and cool to room temperature.

2. When potatoes have cooled, combine together with the corn kernels and sun-dried tomatoes.

3. For the dressing, combine the ½ cup of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Toss the potato mixture enough dressing to coat lightly. Stir in the basil and feta cheese gently, season with salt and pepper and garnish with toasted pine nuts. Serve at room temperature.

Garlic-Sautéed Kale Rapini

Rich and vibrant, beautiful kale rapini is seasoned with fresh garlic in this appealing side dish.

Ingredients:
1 large bunch kale rapini
3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Once boiling, drop the rapini into the water to quickly blanch the greens (this will only take a minute, the dark greens will become a brighter green once softened).

2. Meanwhile heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, then add the garlic, sautéing until soft and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Remove kale rapini greens from the pot and place directly into the sauté pan, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Toss all the ingredients together. Once greens are almost fully wilted, about 1-2 minutes, remove from the heat and serve.

Variation: This dish is also delightful with the addition of ¼ cup raisins, 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts and a splash of balsamic vinegar once the kale is sautéed with the garlic; serve warm or at room temperature.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Basil-Pesto Vinaigrette and Fresh Mozzarella

A beautiful twist on the classic caprese salad!

Ingredients:
2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into thick rounds
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into thick rounds
Toasted pine nuts and freshly-chopped basil leaves (optional)

For basil-pesto vinaigrette:
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2 cups lightly packed basil
¼ cup shredded Grana-style cheese
3 tablespoons white balsamic or white wine vinegar
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper


Method:

1. Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

2. On a serving platter, arrange the tomato slices and mozzarella cheese rounds in an alternating pattern. Drizzle with the pesto vinaigrette and season with additional salt and pepper as desired. Garnish with additional toasted pine nuts and additional chopped basil as desired.

Pistou

This incredibly-flavorful sauce is the perfect accent to this week’s rustic stew.

Ingredients:
1 cup stemmed basil leaves
¼ cup chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon pine nuts, lightly toasted
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. In a food processor, combine the basil, tomatoes, garlic and pine nuts. Pulse to chop, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.

2. Once all the ingredients are evenly chopped, run the processor and drizzle in the olive oil in a slow stream. Once the oil is incorporated, stop the processor and season the pistou with salt and pepper to taste. The pistou will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for several days.

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