Monthly Archives: August 2011

25 Aug 2011 Shrimp & Avocado Salad

Adapted from Moosewood Collective. Simple suppers: Fresh ideas for the weeknight table. (2005). New York: Clarkson Potter. p. 167.

shrimp and avocado salad

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson

My Comment: I know, I know…. not strictly vegetarian. But once in a while I enjoy fish. Our CSA share this week included a bag of baby greens, garlic, and several beautifully ripe tomatoes. What could be better than fresh produce picked that morning?

There is something wonderful about the combination of lemon and tarragon; I think I’d enjoy this salad even without the shrimp.


1 pound peeled & deveined shrimp
2 TBSP vegetable or olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced


juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 TBSP chopped FRESH tarragon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup olive oil (I use about half that amount)

2 avocados
2 tomatoes
6 cups baby greens or torn lettuce


 1. Warm oil in skillet, add the garlic and shrimp. Saute until the shrimp turns pink (2-4 minutes). Set aside.

2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Toss the cooked shrimp with about 1/4 cup of the dressing.

3. Peel and pit the avocado and cut into wedges. Cut the tomato into wedges. Arrange the shrimp, avocado, and tomatoes on the greens and drizzle on more of the dressing.

Serves 4. Nutrition: Calories 470. Fat 36.5, Carbohydrates 12, Fiber 7.7

22 Aug 2011 Summer Panzanella

Adapted from: Moosewood Collective. Simple suppers: fresh ideas for the weeknight table. (2005). New York: Clarkson Potter. p 108.

My Comment: This is one of my favorite parts of the summer – when all

Summer Panzanella

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson

 the tomatoes ripen at the same time 🙂 Not only do I have some heirloom tomatoes growing in my own garden, but we received some delicious orange-colored cherry tomatoes from our CSA and our neighbor shared some yellow and red cherry tomatoes too. What’s a cook to do except locate a tomato-friendly recipe and use them all up!


1/2 loaf of crusty French or Italian bread (about 8 oz) (I used 1/2 of this amount)
4 tomatoes (see note above)
1 large ball of fresh mozzarella (about 5 oz)
1/2 red onion
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup pitted olives (used Kalamata)
1 TBSP red wine or cider vinegar
1 TBSP olive oil
salt and pepper (fresh ground)
Optional: extra vinaigrette


1.  Preheat the oven to 350. Cut the bread in half lengthwise and place in the oven until crisp – 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients and place them in a serving bowl: Cut to tomatoes and fresh mozzarella into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups of tomatoes and 1 cup of mozzarella), peel and thinly slice the red onion, cut the basil leaves into thin strips and chop the olives.

3. Add the vinegar and oil to the bowl and toss well.

4. Cut the toasted bread into 1-inch cubes (7 to 8 cups). Add the bread cubes to the bowl and toss well. Let the salad sit for at least 10 minutes to allow the bread to soak up some of the juices. Add salt and pepper to taste (pass extra viniagrette on the side – but we found it didn’t need any extra dressing).

Serves 4.  Nutrition information: Calories 282, Fat 15.3 g, Carbs 23.9, Fiber 3.6

18 Aug 2011 Zucchini Tomato Curry

Adapted from Meatless Monday: Zucchini Tomato Curry. Downloaded from the web on 08/16/2011.

My Comment: Although this recipe filled our house with the delicious fragrance of cumin, coriander and ginger, the finished product – in my humble opinion – needs a tweak or two.  First of all, the zucchini rounds should be cut again so that they cook up faster. Or maybe I just need to by skinnier zucchini 🙂  We both expected a bit more of a sauce; not sure how to accomplish that. I served Adrien some basmati rice with his portion –  mine without. Note – the directions on Meatless Monday’s site left out the garam masala even though it is listed in the ingredient list, so if you use the download, be prepared to punt.


zucchini tomato curry

Copyirght © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

1 TBSP olive oil for preparing the pan
2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 TBSP garam masala (make your own, or I used Whole Foods brand)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
salt and pepper to taste
3 zucchini, sliced into rounds (see my comment above)
2 ripe tomatoes, pureed
juice from 1/4 lemon


1. Place olive oil in frying pan over medium-high heat. Add fresh garlic, ginger and onion. Saute for 3-5 minutes or until fragrant.

2. Add pureed tomatoes to the pan and stir until well incorporated. Season the tomato-onion mixutre with the cumin, coriander,  Garam Masala, salt and pepper (to taste). Mix well to ensure all seasonings are evenly distributed.

3. Toss in the zucchini and stir well to ensure the zucchini is thoroughly coated in tomato curry sauce. Cook for 3-5 minutes (I think this should be a LOT longer), stirring occasionally, or until the zucchini is cooked through.

4. Squirt the 14 lemon over the curry. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serves 3. Nutrition information: Calories 108.3, Fat 5.6 grams, carbs 13.7 g, fiber 3.8 grams, protein 3.7 grams.

09 Aug 2011 Eggplant Agnolotti With Tomato Sauce

Adapted from Madison, D. Vegetarian cooking for everyone. (1997). New York: Broadway Books. p. 472.

09 Aug 2011

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

My Comments: After a summer hiatus, I hope we’re back into the routine of cooking together — lots of salads lately. 

So, there I was with a giant eggplant from our CSA. Adrien & I have different views of eggplant: I would happily eat it several times a week and he only wants to eat it when it is heavily disguised.  As we were going through all our cookbooks, Adrien found this recipe and since he found it, I figured there was a better probability he’d like the result.

I substituted  wontons for homemade pasta dough. I would have purchased a sheet of pasta dough, but that seems to be an item only found at our local Whole Foods. I also did not make the simple tomato sauce. If you have the time and want to follow the recipe suggestions exactly, feel free – but this unadorned version was very tasty!

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

Ingredients (for everything but the tomato sauce)

1 pound eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced
Vegetable or olive oil as needed
1/3 cup walnuts
1 cup ricotta (I used part skim)
1/2 cup grated pecorino Romano (plus extra for garnish)
2 eggs beaten (I left these out)
2 TBSP chopped basil
2 TBSP chopped parsley
4 tsp chopped mint
Salt and freshly milled pepper

1-1/2 lbs fresh pasta (made or purchased) OR wonton wrappers

Freshly made simple tomato sauce if you desire)


1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with oil, set on a sheet pan and bake until browned on the bottom (about 20 minutes). Turn and brown the other side – about 20 minutes more.

2. Grind walnuts in food processor, then work in the eggplant until fairly smooth. Remove the mixture to a bowl and add the cheeses, eggs (I did not use these), and herbs. Season to taste with sal and pepper. Set aside to cool.

3. Meanwhile either make the pasta dough and fresh tomato sauce if you are using it.

4. To form agnolotti, roll out the pasta dough and cut out 3-inch circles with a fluted biscuit cutter.  If you are using wontons (as I did), go directly to step 5.

5. Place filling on one half of a circle OR wonton, brush edge with water, fold in half and press together.  If you are using the circles, you should then use fingers to bend the half-circle to form a crescent.

6. Cook them in gently boiling salted water for 4 or 5 minutes. Scoop onto a platter interspersed with the sauce (if using), basil and additional grated cheese.

Serves 4 to 6.

Nutrition information from Calorie Count on

585 calories, 9.9 g fat (sat. 2.7 g), carbs 100, fiber 6.1

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