Friday, June 28, 2013
Cherry season is an anxiously awaited event in my household. Even though the price is dear, I can't resist stocking my refrigerator with the luscious ruby-red orbs, and keep a bowl on the counter for popping in my mouth every time I pass by. In addition to being delicious, they're a nutrition powerhouse, fiber rich and full of antioxidants. Way better than bon-bons for you, but with the same "curb appeal."
This summer rice salad showcases both sweet (fresh) and tart (dried) cherries. I don't even know where to start describing it. Saffron and curry scented rice, tangy and sweet cherries, crunchy pistachios and cashews, bursts of celery and chives, citrus and ginger dressing- it all comes together perfectly to make a mouthwatering bite. It pairs perfectly with grilled chicken or pork, but will easily stand alone as a delightful vegan (and gluten free!) main dish.
Jeweled Golden Rice with Cherries
from Eating Well, June/July 2006
1 cup brown basmati rice
1 can (14 oz.) reduced-sodium chicken (or vegetable)broth
1/3 cup water
1 Tablespoon curry powder (your favorite)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 generous pinch crumbled saffron threads
3 Tablespoons canola oil (I used walnut oil)
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon freshly grated orange zest (I used dried)
1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger (I grated the ginger)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped celery
3/4 cup coarsely chopped dried cherries
1/2 cup chopped scallions or chives, divided
1 cup fresh dark sweet cherries, pitted and chopped
3/4 cup unsalted nuts, chopped -pistachios, almonds and cashews recommended- divided
1. Combine rice, broth, water, curry powder, turmeric and saffron in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil,stir once, cover with a lid. Reduce heat to low (simmer) and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.
2. Combine oil, lemon juice, honey, orange zest, ginger and salt in a large non-reactive bowl. Stir in the cooked rice, celery, dried cherries and 1/4 cup chives or scallions. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (up to 2 days)
3. To serve, fold fresh cherries and 1/2 cup nuts into the rice mixture. Serve at room temperature, garnished with the remaining 1/4 cup scallions/chives and nuts.
Saturday, June 22, 2013
Some of my berries were lucky enough to find their way into this buttery pound cake that is currently tempting me from the confines of its cake dome. Those beautiful bursts of blue make each slice of it just as hard to resist as the berries themselves. I'm taking it to my Mom's tomorrow for Sunday dinner- hope I can wait!
Fresh Blueberry Sour Cream Pound Cake
recipe from Taste of Home
6 eggs, separated (room temperature)
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
3 cups all purpose flour
8 oz. (1 cup) sour cream
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (may use frozen- do not thaw!)
1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add extracts and butter flavoring.
2. Combine flour and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition.
3. In a separate bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter. Toss blueberries with about a tablespoon of flour. This keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the pan as the cake cooks. Fold blueberries into batter.
4. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 10 inch tube pan. Bake at 350F for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan to a rack to cool completely.