Apricot Bean Salsa

8 08 2012

Salsa comes down to a few key ingredients: jalapeno, lime, and cilantro.  From there, the possibilities are endless, making it the perfect setting to use summer’s ripest fruits.  Adding beans takes it from side dish to main course.

2 cups cooked yellow eye stueben beans

2 large apricots, diced

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

1 lime, zest and juice

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

To make salsa:  Combine all just before serving. Enjoy in bibb lettuce cups.

If making a day ahead, layer all of the ingredients in a large bowl, with the beans and cilantro on top.  Toss just before serving.  If you toss any sooner, you beans and apricot will get mushy.


Cool Watermelon Salsa

2 07 2012

This beautiful, fresh salsa highlights some of summer’s sweet melons.  Watermelon is a go-to favorite, but you can also use cantaloupe, canary, or buttercup melons for different colors and flavors.

Makes 3 cups, serves about 12 for appetizers


2 cups seedless watermelon, diced

1 seedless cucumber, diced

1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (for help on choosing one, check this video)

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 lime, zest and juice

1 head radicchio (for serving)

Toss together watermelon, cucumber, jalapeno, cilantro, lime zest, and lime juice.  Chill for at least 30 minutes (or better yet, overnight) for flavors to come together.  Portion into radicchio cups and served chilled.

Puree extras for a refreshing gazpacho.


Quinoa Stuffed Anaheim Peppers

4 06 2012

Quinoa Stuffed Anaheim Peppers

Serves 4

Anaheim peppers get their name from Anaheim, California. Their long, slender shape make them the perfect size for stuffing and snacking. Experiment with different varieties of peppers like Cubanelle, Poblano, or even just plain ‘ole bell.

8 Anaheim peppers (or 4 bell peppers)

½ cup tricolor quinoa, raw

1 bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

1 red onion, diced

1 tablepsoon paprika

1 tablespoon chile powder

1 teaspoon cumin

½ cup corn kernels

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lime, zest and juice

Heat oven to 350. Make like the Queen of Hearts and decapitate the peppers “Off with their heads!” Use your fingers to remove the seeds. Place on a baking sheet and pop into the oven to soften, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place quinoa and 1 cup of water in a small pot on the stove. Cover and simmer until quinoa is soft, about 20 minutes.


While that is all happening, prepare the rest of your stuffing. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the bell pepper, jalapeño, and onion and saute. Cook until the peppers and onions start to brown, about 5 minutes. If they begin to burn, add a couple tablespoons of water to slow the cooking. Once the peppers and onions start to brown, add the paprika, chile powder, and cumin. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until you can smell the spices, about 5 minutes. Again, add water as needed to prevent burning. Add the corn kernels, and garlic. Cook just until garlic softens, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the lime zest and juice.

At this point, the quinoa and roasting peppers should be ready. Add the quinoa to your stuffing mixture. Spoon mixture into Anaheim peppers. Return peppers to oven to finish cooking, about 5 more minutes. Enjoy with fresh tomato salsa or guacamole.

To make extras, simply stuff all of your peppers and place in the fridge. Reheat in an oven or microwave just before enjoying. These also freeze really well for future snacking.