Category Archives: lemon

Polenta Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon and Lemon-Dill “Hollandaise” Sauce

Weekend breakfasts have been out of this world lately. Just about every Sunday we sleep in, then cook up a great brunch and listen to our motown playlist while reading the paper. It makes me feel like my life is grown-up in the way I used to think about adults on tv shows as a kid, like Denise Huxtable or most of the cast of ThirtySomething. Anyway, for this, we skipped the traditional english muffin base and used polenta baked with butter and sage, which was incredible. Then, of course, Wild for Salmon’s unbeatable Hickory Smoked Salmon (and seriously, I don’t know if I can ever go back to salmon other than wild-caught like this – night and day difference between the two), gently poached eggies and the lemon-dill sauce. It’s December. Make this then snuggle up with somebody you love this weekend.

POLENTA EGGS BENEDICT WITH SMOKED SALMON AND LEMON-DILL SAUCE (makes breakfast for 2 very lucky guests)
– 4 eggs
Lemon-Dill sauce
– 4 precooked polenta circles
– chopped fresh sage, approx. 8 leaves
– 4 tbsp. butter
Wild for Salmon’s Hickory Smoked Salmon 

1. Get the polenta ready. You want to get a package of it precooked, then cut it into 1/2 inch slices.


2. Next, cut circles out of those slices with either a cookie cutter or a measuring cup (Kitchen hacks. You’re welcome). 


3. Melt the butter, chop up the sage, and combine.


4. Brush the polenta on both sides with the butter and sage mixture. Bake at 400 for approx. 30 minutes, or until firmer (crispy-ish) and golden. Set aside to cool while you make the eggs.

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Lemon-Dill Sauce

This goes with just about any kind of fish, combines some of my favorite things (lemon, dill & greek yogurt) and is super, super simple to make. It’s tangy and bright and we just love it. This becomes a kind of creme fraiche, which is terrific since I can rarely find that around here!
 
LEMON-DILL SAUCE (makes a little more than a cup)
– 7.2 oz. plain greek yogurt (usually the amount in 1 container) 

– juice of 1 lemon
– fresh chopped dill, about 1 tsp.
– pinch of kosher salt

1. In a small bowl, combine the greek yogurt and the lemon. 

 

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DIY Room Freshener


We’re still figuring out how to not have our entire house smell like whatever we’re cooking. In the meantime, this requires only 3 “ingredients” that you definitely have around your house right now, works fantastically well in covering up cooking smells, and makes your home smell totally delicious.

DIY ROOM FRESHENER
– 1 lemon, cut into pretty thin slices
– couple of springs of rosemary
– approx. 1 tbsp. of vanilla extract

1. Fill a saucepan with water. Add the lemons, rosemary & vanilla.

2. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer. The water will evaporate in a cloud of amazing smell over the course of the next 2 hours or so. Keep an eye on the pot every now and then so the water doesn’t completely evaporate. Breathe deep and enjoy.

Tzatziki Sauce

The best part about this sauce is this: it is way easier to make than to spell.

With that, the greatest Tzatziki (dammit.  every time.) sauce for anything that needs a lemony, cucumber-y, garlic-y kick to it. I used this on top of spinach and feta turkey meatballs and a mediterranean quinoa, and it was perfect.

TZATZIKI SAUCE (makes about 1.5 cups)
– 1/4 english cucumber, peeled and coarsely grated
– 1 container plain Greek yogurt (the one I used was almost 6 oz.)
– 1 tsp. fresh chopped dill
– Juice of 1 lemon
– 2 cloves garlic, grated
– a little salt & pepper

1. This is tough. Ready?

2. Combine everything. Taste, season, chill & enjoy.


Shaved Apple & Fennel Salad with Lemon and Toasted Walnuts over Arugula

Oh, Gwyneth Paltrow. She seems to get a lot of shade thrown her way for the Goop blog, the way she can do things like ask her celeb friends not to do interviews with a magazine that’s threatening to expose her, her kids’ names, her “conscious uncoupling”…etc. I get it to some degree, but come on – she’s freaking Gwyenth Paltrow. She’s been in serious relationships with Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck and Chris Martin. She’s an Oscar winning actress. Her mom is Blythe Danner and her godfather is Steve Spielberg. She’s run in some pretty heavy circles probably since she was born, so can we really blame her for thinking it’s normal for everyone get a wood-fired oven in their backyard? I think  her ‘I am who I am” attitude is judged as not apologetic enough, but honestly, if I were her I wouldn’t be apologetic for what I grew up in and what things I enjoy either. I think she just is who she is, and frankly, that seems pretty cool. To summarize: Get it, girl. Now, Anne Hathaway, on the other hand…  Anyway, the recipes on Goop are awesome – super super clean, healthy and delicious. This salad is adapted, and I’m going to be making it alllllll the time. Brendan even said it was the best salad he’s ever had.


SHAVED APPLE AND FENNEL SALAD WITH LEMON AND TOASTED WALNUTS (serves 2-4)
– 1 bulb fennel, top parts cut off (but leaves saved), core removed.
– 1 tart apple
– Juice and zest of 1 lemon
– toasted walnuts, approx. 1/3 cup
– approx. 3 tbsp. EVOO
– kosher salt & pepper
– Arugula (optional)

1. With either a julienne slicer or a Cuisinart food processor with a slicer attachment, shave the fennel bulb and the apple into paper-thin slices (this really makes a difference in the overall salad). Put into a bigger bowl.


2. Over medium heat, toast the walnuts, shaking the pan every minute or so and making sure they don’t burn.


3. Zest and juice the lemon, then add to the bowl with the apple and fennel shavings. Add kosher salt & pepper, mix well to combine.


4. Add EVOO and walnuts, mix. Top with the toasted walnuts and a couple fennel leaves.

5. If using arugula, I just arranged some on a plate, juiced a little lemon over it, then added the apple/fennel salad on top of the arugula leaves. The apple/fennel dressing will work as enough dressing for the arugula.

6. We had this with salmon burgers with a simple lemony dill sauce on avocado toasts. So good.   

Detox Herb & Romaine Salad

This is just about the most detoxifyingly delicious salad I can think of. It’s perfect for winter and feeling like it won’t be snowing forever. There’s an equal mix of lettuce and herbs, and a light lemon dressing is, as always, my fav. Thanks for Colly Doll for the recipe – enjoy!

HERB & ROMAINE SALAD (makes as much or as little as you want)
Equal parts:
– Romaine (the freshest you can find)
– Parsley
– Mint
– Green onions
– Dill
– Juice of 1 lemon
– Splash of EVOO
– Good quality Kosher Salt

1. Pull apart (don’t chop, this will be prettier) the herbs into equal amounts.




2. Add everything to a big bowl, then add romaine – torn, if you want.


3. Juice a lemon over the salad, then add EVOO. Top with Kosher salt and gently mix all together.



Simple Lemony Dill Sauce


This couldn’t be simpler or more delicious. I use this for salmon burgers, but you could use it as a Greek tzatziki sauce too. It has bright flavors and it’s even better when it sits in the fridge for a couple of hours to blend. 

SIMPLE LEMONY DILL SAUCE (makes about 3/4 C., which is a lot for a topping)
– 1/2 C. sour cream
– juice of 1/2 lemon
– 1 tbsp. dill
– 2 tbsp. chopped scallions
– 1 tsp. garlic powder
– kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper to taste

1. In a bowl, combine the sour cream with the lemon juice, dill, garlic powder, kosher salt & pepper,  and scallions.

2. Mix everything together and refrigerate for at least an hour if possible. This keeps about as long as your sour cream would. It’s awesome. 




Tortellini Salad with Red Bell Peppers, Parsley, Parm and a Lemon-Artichoke Tapenade (and also, “Cousin weekend”)

Cousin weekend. <3


Every summer my cousin Erin and her husband Brian host our little group of cousins on my dad’s side at their weekend place in Brigantine, NJ.  We’re all super into cooking, so the weekend is usually a little bit schmorgasboard, a lot bit Erin’s amazing margaritas, beach, boating, catch-up, recipe swap. It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year and this year was no exception.  Even when the power went out (in AC. In the casino. Slot machines were the only thing that didn’t miss a beat).

My contribution was a Tortellini Salad – it takes about 10 minutes to make, keeps really well, and is something you can bring to the beach with you since it won’t go bad if it gets a little warm. I used to eat a version of this all the time when I lived in Bozeman, Montana – their Co-Op Market made this and I loved it – until I realized I could throw it together myself. This even passes the K. Haggs test, which for all of us who know her particular eating preferences, is saying a lot.

TORTELLINI SALAD WITH RED BELL PEPPERS, PARSLEY, PARM, and a LEMON-ARTICHOKE TAPENADE (makes an enormous bowl that will be a good side dish for 7 cousins over 2 days)
– 2 packages tortellini, cooked per directions
– 1 red bell pepper, diced
– 3 tbsp. flat leaf parsley, chopped (approx.)
– thickly grated fresh parm

Lemon-Artichoke Tapenade
– 2 cans artichoke hearts, drained, and chopped pretty thoroughly
– juice of 1 lemon
– solid 3 glugs of EVOO (or more, if the tapenade is too dry)
– freshly cracked black pepper and kosher salt to taste

1. Cook tortellini per directions. Drain and let cool completely. You can toss the tortellini with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking together.

2. Chop up the artichoke hearts, add to a small bowl. Some people pulse this all together in a food processor, but I like the little chunks of the artichoke hearts that you get by chopping them.


3. To that bowl, add the juice of 1 lemon, then the kosher salt & pepper.



4. Add the EVOO & stir well to combine. Taste & adjust. You want the EVOO to kind of bind everything, not have a pool of it in the bottom of the bowl.

5. Chop up the bell pepper & parsley.


6. Add artichoke tapenade to cooled tortellini, mix well to combine. 

7. Add the red bell pepper, parsley and parm. Stir well to combine. Add kosher salt & pepper if necessary.


Weekend highlights:

Boating on the “Cheeky Monkey”. Brian’s playlist for these rides, every time, just knocks it out of the park. Can you link to Spotify playlists from here? If anybody knows how, let me know and I’ll share the one I copied from him.

Margaritas everywhere (the one in the mason jar came with a “two drink max per person” rule):


Erin’s gorgeous garden – this is seriously one of my favorite spaces in America. She does such a beautiful job with it – there are hummingbirds everywhere, you feel like you’re sitting in the middle of the Secret Garden.


Beach – first time this summer!


Revel Casino  – unreal space




“Snacks”
 


Drive in and out – sunshower, Philly without traffic, dumplings from one of my favorite Philly Chinese restaurants, that perfect moment on the way home with the sun shining and a great song on the radio, when you feel like everything is right with the world.


Thanks Erin & Brian – I love you guys & I’ll see you soon!  xoxo



Simple Lemon Dressing

Sometimes in life, when things seem too complicated, the best things to do or consume are the simplest ones. I haven’t bought salad dressing in maybe 2 years – it’s so much simpler to make it yourself, and so much healthier too.  Lemons are one of my favorite ingredients, and I love how they make everything seem brighter. When life gives you lemons, make this dressing.  Simplify.  Simplify.  Simplify.

SIMPLE LEMON DRESSING (serves 2-4)
– Juice of 1 lemon (approx. 2 tbsps)
– 6 tbsp EVOO
– 1 tsp. dijon mustard
– Pinch of kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper

1. Combine everything in a mason jar.  Shake it up and adjust seasonings to taste.


2. Lightly salt your greens (I love Organic Seasoning Salt Herbamare, which combines healthy minerals and sea salt).  Add dressing.


3. Top with a little sprinkling of parmesan cheese, if you want (who doesn’t).


— On a side note, I just want to put out there how incredibly thankful and lucky I am to have my family and my friends in my life.  In times of transition, they’re the people who stand behind me and my choices with overwhelming encouragement, support, advice, perspective, and love. I have so many things in my life that I’m appreciative of, but these relationships are at the very top of my list. So grateful.