Saving the Season: 3-Ways with Sweet Corn

Adobo Grilled Sweet Corn

Living in California now for over 5 years, I’ve learned that most food produced here is just as good (if not better) than most any place else. California tomatoes, olive oil, wine, stone fruit, beans, and grains occupy a majority of our meals. However, and I’ve had arguments with people about this, the Midwest has the best sweet corn. Give me Illinois peaches & cream sweet corn any day.

Of course, I’m not so picky that I’ll refuse California sweet corn. It’s still delicious and I inevitably end up with an abundance (the $4/1 price is just too good). While I use it to make quite a few recipes during the season, I also like to save the kernels and cobs to make items I can use throughout the year.

Sweet Corn Broth/Stock

Saving the Season: 3-Ways with Sweet Corn | Sweet Corn Broth | Naturally Ella

One of my favorite items to make is sweet corn broth, primarily because it’s easy and uses the cobs once the kernels are removed. I’ll keep a bag in the freezer that I will keep adding cobs to during the season. Then, once I get a few cobs saved, I’ll make a large batch of broth to freeze.

My ratio for broth is usually 1 cup of water for 1 cob. I like to make it in 8 cup batches and toss in onions, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. This is also another recipe for broth that’s a bit more involved but also delicious.

Once you have the broth, use it in soups or risottos. I also love to make fresh polenta and use the sweet corn broth with the fresh corn- it’s such a powerful corn flavor!

Freezing

Saving the Season: 3-Ways with Sweet Corn | Freezing | Naturally Ella

For keeping the kernels past the summer months, I freeze. I’ve tried a few different methods including just sticking the corn in on the cob. However, the best method to ensure solid flavor and texture is to blanch the sweet corn, drop it in an ice bath, remove the kernels, then freeze it. For a more thorough how-to, The Kitchn has you covered.

Canning

Saving the Season: 3-Ways with Sweet Corn | Canning | Naturally Ella

Finally, canning sweet corn. Sweet corn is very low on acidity which means it’s best to use a pressure canner to can the corn. I don’t own a pressure cooker so I find ways to can sweet corn that are a bit higher in acidity (primarily making this tomato sweet corn salsa).

Of course, there are ways to can sweet corn. This is the method for pressure canning or you can also make a sweet corn relish that can be canned. There’s a few different versions but this version is solid, Mexican version, and traditional version can get you started.

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How to Make a Great Vegetarian Poke Bowl

Let’s talk about how to make a great vegetarian poke bowl. Poke is a much-loved, traditional, raw fish preparation, long popular in Hawaii. Fishermen would season bits of their catch, and snack on it while working. Poke (pronounced poh-kay) has exploded in popularity, well beyond Hawaii, in recent years. The version I’m posting today is for any of you who love the idea of poke or poke bowls, but don’t eat fish for whatever reason. Vegetarian poke bowls are particularly fantastic this time of year because they’re light, clean, filling but not heavy, You know?

How to Make a Great Vegetarian Poke Bowl

Vegetarian Poke Bowl: The Components

I typically use a watermelon poke, a version of this sushi rice (but any favorite sushi rice / blend will do), and a host of other vibrant toppings. Here you see firm, organic tofu, sliced avocado, blanched asparagus, shaved watermelon radish, and micro sprouts. The bowl is drizzled, simply, with good soy sauce. And there’s a sprinkling of sesame seeds and scallions. The other topping I really crave, not pictured here, is a showering of crispy, fried shallots. 

How to Make a Great Vegetarian Poke Bowl

Seasonal Variations

When it comes to toppings, what you see here is just a jumping off point. And I encourage you to play around with all the components. For example, you might trade in roasted squash cubes for the watermelon later in the year. And do roasted onions in place of scallions. Or, play around with the drizzle on top. For a quick poke bowl, I just do a soy sauce drizzle, but you could whip up something more complex. Have fun with it!

How to Make a Great Vegetarian Poke Bowl
Although, it can be argued, a vegetarian poke bowl isn’t a real poke bowl, it’s a great meal just the same. Keep your eyes peeled for other inspiration as well. I love seeing the creative vegetarian and vegan poke bowls on menus at poke spots all over. Lots of ideas there that you might replicate in your own kitchens!

Continue reading How to Make a Great Vegetarian Poke Bowl on 101 Cookbooks

Ricotta Toast with Butter-Fried Peppers

Ricotta Toast with Butter-Fried Peppers

I’ve noticed an increase of toast offerings at local coffee shops. Avocado, vegetables, and fruit are all popular items but what caught my eye at the last coffee shop was the ricotta toast. Good ricotta is delicious (and better yet, it’s actually quite simple to make at home). Add it to toast and you have one delicious breakfast. Take it sweet (peaches, pears, berries) or take it savory, like this ricotta toast with peppers.

So why peppers? This time of year is the best for peppers, especially my favorite: Jimmy Nardello. Most of the non-bell varieties have amazing flavor. I’ve given two options for this recipe: tame and spicy. If you’re not a heat fan, find the Jimmy Nardello peppers (or in a pinch, bell peppers). If you like a kick, use the Fresno peppers- you won’t be disappointed.

Read more and see the recipe.

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13 Grilled Pizza Ideas for this Weekend

Great pizza is the result of good dough and intense heat. Your creativity dictates the rest – from the shape, to the toppings. Perfecting great pizza at home is one of the most satisfying activities a home cook can master. That said, keeping your oven at 500°F for an hour during peak summer turns your kitchen into a sweaty zone of sad. If you are grilling in your backyard this weekend and are tired of kabobs, veggie burgers and corn on the cob; consider making grilled pizza. Here are thirteen ideas for grilled pizza that go beyond margherita. If you have any favorite pizza grilling ideas (or favorite toppings), let me know in the comments! 

Grilled Pizza Tips

  • If you already have a go-to pizza dough recipe that you know well, use that. This is the best pizza dough I know, from the master baker, Peter Reinhart. If you are short on time, try a fresh dough your local store offers, Trader Joe’s has a good one in both regular and whole-grain.
  • As with the oven, you want to achieve the maxiumum heat. Pre-heat the grill as long as possible and check the temperature before starting the pizza.
  • If you have and use a pizza stone in your oven, you can also use it on the grill.
  • Grilled pizza differs from in the oven in that you generally flip the dough once before your add your toppings.
  • Consider pre-cooking any veggies or other toppings, if needed, knowing they aren’t going to spend as much time in heat as they would in an oven.
  • Use a wash of olive oil to prevent the first side from sticking on the grill.

Grilled Pizza Ideas

1. Greek Summer-Squash Grilled Pizza (Eating Well)
This pizza broadcasts summer with a bright yellow color, and is perfect for the grill. The feta adds a nod to Greece.

Grilled Pizza Ideas

2. Mushroom Pizza with Havarti Cheese, Fresh Herbs, and White Truffle Oil (A Beautiful Plate)
A lot going on here, in a good way! This recipe calls for shiitake and baby bell mushrooms, Havarti and fontina, rosemary, thyme and a touch of truffle oil.

Grilled Pizza Ideas

3. Grilled Flatbread Pizza with Artichoke, Ricotta and Lemon (Pure Wow)
Artichokes are one of the best things summer offers. This is a great combination of artichokes, lemon and riccotta. If you have extra time and can source some fresh artichokes, that will make this pizza even better.

Grilled Pizza Ideas

4. These Gorgeous Pizzas Are the Best Way to Use Up Your Farmers’ Market Haul (Bon Appétit)
The Bon Appétit test kitchen guide to grilling pizza focuses on the placement of dough on your grill (especially if you are using charcoal). Many good tips and suggestions here. What I want to try first? Squash blossoms, mozzarella, fontina, and chive blossoms.

Grilled Pizza Ideas

5. Grilled Shakshuka Pizza (The Modern Proper)
I’ve seen plenty of pizzas topped with eggs, but for some reason I associated it with shakshuka, until now. Cumin and paprika alter the traditional red sauce flavors to reference shakshuka.

Grilled Pizza Ideas

6. Charred Corn with Rosemary Grilled Pizza (Naturally Ella via Foodie Crush)
Along with summer squash, corn is perfect match for a summer pizza on a grill. (Check out our recent look at some great corn on the cob recipes). There are other summer pizzas that call for corn, but check out the flavor combination of this one, corn paired with gorgonzola.

Grilled Pizza Ideas

7. Grilled Heirloom Tomato Pizza (Salt Pepper Skillet)
Summer can be an embarassment of riches. You come home from the farmer’s market with a haul of heirloom tomatoes and they beg to be used in different ways besides salads. Here’s your answer. The recipe couldn’t be simpler and works with whatever tomatoes are available where you live.

Grilled Pizza Ideas

8. Grilled Gluten-free Pizza with Peas, Lemon and Mint (Bojon Gourmet)
This pizza screams: fresh. One of the tricky things about grilled pizza is you want to cook the dough before you add the toppings, which can create some timing issues if you want to cook those toppings without burning the crust. In this case, the ingredients only need a few minutes to get warm.

Grilled Pizza Ideas

9. Grilled White Pizza (What’s Gaby Cooking)
The debate about what makes a pizza different from a flatbread will never be settled. For some people sauce makes the difference. In this view, any white pizza is a flatbread, but I’d argue certain toppings indicate white pizza (carmelized onions, mushrooms). Have that debate with this pizza over a glass of very cold rosé!

Grilled Pizza Ideas

10. Grilled Summer Veggie Spelt Pizza (Wife Mama Foodie)
This is one of the most attractive grilled pizzas, popping with summer colors! You can certainly improvise with the list of bright summer veggies depending on what you have on hand. What catches my attention about the recipe itself is the sprouted spelt crust – it’s probably going to behave and taste similar to whole wheat.

Grilled Pizza Ideas

11. Grilled Peach, Basil and Goat Cheese Pizza (Jessica in the Kitchen)
If you are doing a series of pizzas on the grill, why not save a dessert pizza for last? Grilled fruit is definitely a bbq secret not everyone knows about, or at least doesn’t turn too often enough. This recipe features what looks like an amazing basalmic reduction sauce, which will provide the perfect flavor counterpoint to the sweet fruit.

Grilled Pizza Ideas

12. Grilled Fig Pizza with Balsamic Onions and Gorgonzola (Feasting at Home)
This pizza makes a lot of sense. Warm figs are great, with a tangy cheese, they’re even better. Put that on a grilled pizza and this might be a new summer classic.

Grilled Pizza Ideas

13. Vegan Roasted Cauliflower Pizza (This Savory Vegan)
Here’s a vegan pizza that would work well on the grill. Barbecue sauce acts as the sauce (here’s a bunch of good barbecue sauce recipes if you want to do homemade). The cauliflower is tossed with sirachca and red wine vinegar, so there’s going to be plenty of flavor.

Grilled Pizza Ideas

Continue reading 13 Grilled Pizza Ideas for this Weekend on 101 Cookbooks

Loaded Summer Veg Burger with Fried Egg

Summer Loaded Veg Burger with Fried Egg

Post sponsored by Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs. See below for more details.

I feel like I’ve truly hit adulthood in the past few years, marked by a love of runny eggs. I could easily eat a ghee-fried egg and toast for breakfast every morning, just swap in and out some fresh produce depending on the season. While I know runny eggs aren’t for everyone, for me they are the highlight of a meal.

Beyond just the egg, I’ve been fascinated by the concept of putting eggs on items that don’t traditionally get eggs. For breakfast, a solid bowl of oats topped with an egg is the perfect savory way to start your day. For lunch, salads are always a good option. And for dinner, pizza with a fried egg or my new favorite, this loaded veg burger.

There’s a couple things going on with this burger. I use grilled vegetables to make a smoky sauce as the base. The arugula adds a nice peppery flavor, and the zucchini brings a great way to add more vegetables. Best of all, the burger is topped with one of Pete and Gerry’s organic eggs. I love partnering with them because I know the eggs come from humanely treated, free-range chickens (and I’m supporting small farmers).

Read more and see the recipe.

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Super Green Juice

Everyone should have a green juice recipe in their repertoire, and this one is a ringer. Its heart and soul is straight green, not at all sweet, with a good amount of lemon-lime tang, and invigorating ginger lift. Like many green juices, it makes you sing from the inside, and is reason enough to invest in a juicer, or dust one off.
Green Juice Recipe
When I traveled to Paris last year, I spent a beautiful first day and night there, then came down with a (particularly miserable) cold – throat on fire, raspy cough. Being sick away from home is hard, being sick in a city like Paris, when you’re there for just a short time, is spiritually deflating. So, in preparation for my most recent trip, I became a vigilant hand-washing, snotty three-year avoiding, soup eating individual with a juicer on the counter.
Green Juice Recipe
I religiously drank a glass of this green juice every day, punctuated with a gingery version of this turmeric tea a few times along the way. It’s a variation on one of the (many) green juices highlighted in Pressed Juicery’s Juice: Recipes for Juicing, Cleansing, and Living Well, a book I purchased recently, before realizing we share the same editor!Green Juice Recipe
Juicing can be time intensive. I think that is why so many people are inclined to purchase fresh juices instead of making them at home. Quite honestly, I do both. There are stretches when I don’t get around to making fresh juice, and other times I make it regularly. I like how fresh juice makes me feel.

Simplifying Green Juice 

– Wash, trim, and prepare your produce when you come home from the market. Then refrigerate. This way, it’s straight into the juicer when you’re ready.

– Make more then you need in one go. Certainly, fresh, immediate juice is the best. That said, I make a three day supply, and keep it refrigerated (you can even freeze it). And it’s good. With this juice in particular, you can use it as a soup broth, I even used it to make dumpling wrappers in place of water.

– Clean up as soon as you’re finished.Green Juice Recipe

Keep in mind, this is a juicer recipe, not a blender/smoothie.

Continue reading Super Green Juice on 101 Cookbooks

Grilled Pear Halloumi Salad

Grilled Pear Halloumi Salad | Naturallly Ella

Post sponsored by California Pear. See below for more details.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of driving down interstate 5 from Sacramento and seeing all the produce grown. It can be humbling to drive among the various orchards and realize just how much produce is produced on the valley floor.

I’m excited to partner again with California Pear for the harvest season. I’ll be highlighting a few new pear recipes this season. About 60 multi-generational family farms will produce about 2 million 36-pound boxes of Bartlett pears and 500,000 boxes of a variety of California-grown pears, including Seckel, Bosc, French Butter, and Comice.

The California Pear season is officially under way, making these pears the first U.S. pears to hit the market. I know pears are usually thought of as a fall treat but having them in July is pretty magical (like in this grilled pear salad!) When you head into your grocery store, be sure to look for the label ‘California Grown’ to pick up a fresh, locally grown pear.

Read more and see the recipe.

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Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Pudding

Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Pudding

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me…

I know I do this every year. I make something sweet like cake or cheesecake and I sing myself happy birthday. But hey, can you blame me? Your own birthday is kinda the best, especially when it lands smack dab in the middle of summer.

To celebrate, let’s make pudding – Peanut Butter Banana Pudding to be exact!

This 5-ingredient banana pudding is a direct result of my smashing success in making Vegan Peanut Butter Pudding!

Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Pudding from Minimalist Baker →

Easy Tomato & Pasta Salad

Tomato season is officially on from where I stand. Using a mother lode of assorted cherry, zebra, and heirloom tomatoes, I made this quick, summer-tastic pasta salad for a picnic the other day. Whole-grain pasta, baby kale, basil, and the best tomatoes you can get your hands on get a generous drizzle of strong harissa dressing (garlic, harissa, nutritional yeast, etc.). This is exactly what you want to be making during peak tomato season, and you can whip up the dressing and slice the tomatoes as your pasta cooks.
Easy Tomato & Pasta Salad Recipe
Beyond that, everything comes together in a flash, and good pasta salad is always a crowd pleaser. I’ve added some alternate suggestions below as well, building on the general concept. Enjoy!Easy Tomato & Pasta Salad Recipe

Variations & Add-ins

I’ve suggested some additional toppings in the recipe below:

  • Lentils: I was disappointed that I didn’t have any black lentils cooked and on-hand, because I would have added those for the added substance and nutrition boost. If you have some, add them!
  • Olives: Olives were a great addition, and I enjoyed pasta salad leftovers with a bit of slivered makrut lime leaves tossed in (so good!).
  • Almonds: Whole toasted almonds – yes for the crunch, and everything else that makes almonds delicious.
  • Flowers: Added a bit of pretty with some dried herb flowers.

    You don’t really need any of these, the whole thing is good without (especially if your tomatoes are on point), I guess what I’m encouraging is a bit of latitude when it comes to add-ins and flare. You could even make a nice, clear, garlic broth, and pour it over a bowl of leftovers for a beautiful soup.

Continue reading Easy Tomato & Pasta Salad on 101 Cookbooks