A couple of weeks ago, I popped by Global Calgary to do a cooking segment with watermelon. Now, I love a good watermelon and feta salad like most people, as well as basically any (generally boozy) drink that can benefit from a few slices of watermelon, but what about the rinds?
This might sound a little weird, but I decided to use the watermelon rinds (flesh be damned!) to make a chutney and the result was a delicious little condiment that goes perfectly with grilled meats and vegetables.
What you’ll need…
3 1/2 cups watermelon rind (diced)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cane sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Place all ingredients in a medium pot on medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Stir until sugar has dissolved completely and then reduce to medium heat.
Continue to cook for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally until rind becomes tender and mixture has reduced by 2/3.
Let cool slightly before transferring to a container. Keep cool in the fridge and use as desired.
Yields 2 1/2 cups chutney
Total cook time…40 min
Now that it’s the time of year for fresh, local asparagus we can all look forward to enjoying it in bright, summery dishes like this salad. Roasting the asparagus adds a little depth of flavour to the green stalks and the combination of sliced radishes, crispy Chinese sausage and bulgur wheat makes for a fantastic texture.
When it starts to (finally) get warmer outside, tabbouleh salad is one of my favourite salads to have as a quick lunch during the week. It doesn’t take long to prepare and it always tastes so fresh with the crunch of cucumbers, sweet tomatoes and parsley and the bulgur wheat makes it a much more substantial meal than it appears to be. Taking those elements of a tabbouleh salad and turning them into a soup is a natural transition and basically the only extra ingredients you’ll need here is some good quality vegetable stock, tomato paste and a little honey, which most of us have in our cupboards already, right? Right!
Rain or shine, this soup might be the easiest (and one of the tastier) things you could put on your dinner table this month.
I haven’t really been able to get enough of preserved lemons lately. They’re tart, briny and work well in so many different dishes. Of course, adding an entire preserved lemon to a dish would probably be a bit much, but a few slices here and there help brighten up almost any dish.
Here’s a really simple recipe for them that was given to me by Calgary chef, Evan Robertson a year or so ago. They’re easy to make, but the hardest part is waiting for them to be finished. Hurry up lemons, god damn it!
I’m not really sure how I ever got some enamoured with making soup. I do travel a lot these days, so maybe it’s the fact that a soup sitting in the fridge for a couple days while I’m out of town for work tastes just that much better (always true) or maybe it’s just the thought that as soon as I walk in the door, I can grab a bowl, reheat and eat. Tasty convenience is always nice, isn’t it!
I primarily do soup recipes for the magazine with my column, appropriately titled “Soup Kitchen”, so here are 6 of those that you can try to whip up this week. I faithfully standby their tastiness, 110%.
I was chatting with my friend Mel the other week about the fact that green peppers always seem to suck. They aren’t great raw, they aren’t great cooked. Is there a good way to cook them? Is there? I may just be a jaded, old green pepper hater, but I’m willing to keep trying avenues where they can be more enjoyable.
Anyway…recently I spent a good chunk of time out on the east coast, so I decided to bring a few lobsters back home with me to cook up a lobster-centric dinner for some friends. I thought it would be fun to go a little old school with some stuffed mushroom caps and there happened to be a green pepper from my last Spud Calgary delivery pre-travels, staring at me every time I opened the fridge, so it was time to use it.
It’s hard to go wrong with stuffed mushroom caps, especially when cream cheese and lobster are involved, but I must admit, the green pepper was an enjoyable addition to this recipe and everyone seemed to love them, so maybe I just need to cool it on my anti-green pepper campaign…
- Bird’s Eye Chili and Apple Vinaigrette
- Watermelon Rind Chutney
- Roasted Asparagus and Bulgur Wheat Salad with Maple Olive Vinaigrette
- Spicy Olive and Sea Asparagus “Relish”
- Tabbouleh Soup
- Appetizers & Co.
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