Citrus Scented Kale

It looks like summer is officially here, and to top off the gorgeous weather we’ve been having, I got my first vegetable share today! Lots of kale, swiss chard, garlic scapes and green onions, a zucchini, dill, and salad greens. Holy smokes, am I ever stoked!

My first recipe using my CSA veggies is a simple kale dish, inspired by one of my coworkers. While she uses a combination of sesame and olive oil to sauté her kale, I wanted something a bit lighter for this hot day. I opted to stick with olive oil but used the same base ingredients she recommended — garlic, green onions, and kale — with a squeeze of fresh orange juice and pulp to finish it off.

This is definitely a summery recipe! The garlic’s toasty flavour complements the brighter flavours of the greens and orange. Plus, it’s a great dish to serve hot, cold, or at room temperature.

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Oven Baked Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a quintessentially French comfort food: roasted veggies and tomato sauce come together in this zesty, comforting dish. Somehow, the French can even make comfort food sophisticated, don’t you think?!

I have loved ratatouille for as long as I can remember. The soft vegetables have loads of flavour and the tomato sauce that brings them all together is sweet and tangy. Ratatouille can be prepared on the stove top or in the oven, but I find the latter method gives the vegetables  a nicer texture and richer flavour.

I dare you to look at this and not want to gobble it all up!

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Olive Oil Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

I have already ranted about how lemony I like my lemon baked goods — very lemony. Today, I’m sharing with you another super-zesty recipe. This time, it’s for light, breakfasty lemon scones. I’ve lightened up this traditionally buttery treat by using olive oil as the fat to make it a tad healthier (OK — to be honest, it’s really because I didn’t have anything else in the house when my baking mood struck…). The olive oil flavour does come out in the scones, so feel free to substitute another oil of your choosing, or stick to butter (but double the quantity in the recipe if you do). The substitution makes the scones dairy-free, so share it with your friends who can’t handle lactose!

Crunchy, flakey, lemony goodness!

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White Bean Dip with Rosemary and Sage

I love delicious fresh recipes that literally take 5 minutes to make. This is one of them! White kidney beans (otherwise known as cannelloni beans) are naturally soft, so you don’t even need to get out the food processor to make this chunky and creamy dip; a fork and some elbow grease will do.

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Simple Bruschetta

Bruschetta is such a wonderfully fresh dish. It’s a wonderful appetizer, or works well as a light lunch when paired with a bowl of soup or a filling salad. Juicy tomatoes, basil, olive oil, crusty bread, and garlic — I mean really, what more could you want?

Granted, January isn’t the ideal season for fresh tomatoes, especially if you’re under a few feet of snow. But what better way to relive the glorious summer days than to put this on the table? It may just tide you over until June.

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Spanish Eggplant and Red Pepper Dip

My father got into his head over the holidays that it would be totally great and practical to invite friends over for a tapas night.

Now, I really like tapas. The idea of having lots of little fresh dishes to pick and choose from is seriously appealing. But making 10 dishes for as many people is kind of ridiculous.

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Roasted Garlic

Garlic is outrageously delicious. I love it almost as much as I love olive oil — in fact, I came this close to naming my blog “Don’t Forget the Garlic.”

Roasted garlic may be even better than regular garlic, because it gets soft and loses its harshness (which a lot of people dislike — I am not one of those people). As the garlic roasts, it takes on a sweeter flavour, and is amazing as a spread or incorporated into other dishes.

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