Quinoa Salad with Fruit
1 c. organic quinoa
3 c. spring water
2 tsp. salt
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 c. white Balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. high quality EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
Healthy pinch of finely ground black pepper
2 spring Vidalia onions
1 c. fresh blueberries
1/2 c. toasted pecans, broken coarsely
1 bunch arugula
5 large basil leaves
Place quinoa in a bowl and cover with cold water, let sit for 5 minutes. Strain and rinse until water runs clear. Bring 3 cups of spring water to a boil then add salt and quinoa; bring to a boil and reduce heat to low and cover for 15 minutes. Drain any excess water and cool.
Combine strawberries with lemon zest, juice and white balsamic, macerating for 10 minutes. Remove and reserve strawberries and blend oil into remaining liquid.
Roast or grill onions whole and dice once cooled.
Combine gently the berries with diced onion, quinoa, almond and arugula. Mix in vinaigrette and torn basil leaves. Serve promptly as the arugula will wilt quickly.
Summer Tomato Panzanella
4 c. tomatoes, cut into large chunks
4 c. day old (somewhat dry and hard) crusty bread (Italian or French loaf), cut into chunks the same size as the tomatoes
1 cucumber, skinned and seeded, cut into large chunks
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 bunch fresh basil, torn into little pieces
1/4 to 1/2 c. good olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix everything together and let marinate, covered, at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, up to 12 hours. Do not refrigerate or you will destroy the texture of the tomatoes. Serve at room temperature. Serves 6.
Larded Beef Tenderloin
1 each 8-9 ounce beef tenderloin filet
1/2 lb. fatty bacon
Medium ground black pepper
Larding needle (optional)
Begin with the best quality beef and bacon possible. Set oven to 375º, then slice bacon into thin square strips that resemble a French fry (approximately quarter inch by quarter inch and 3-4 inches long depending on width of filet). Place on a cooling rack with a drip pan and render in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Reserve fat. Bacon should still be pliable and not over cooked. Remove from oven, allow bacon to cool for 15 minutes, transfer to freezer for 1 hour.
Remove filets from refrigerator and bacon strips from freezer. With a sharp pairing knife, cut 2 slits in one side of filet then 2 more perpendicular and on the opposite side of the filet face. Completely insert frozen bacon into 4 slits through the tenderloin. A larding needle will make for much easier work of this process.
Coat each filet with reserved bacon fat, season with salt and pepper, then to the awaiting grill. Cook to desired temperature. Summer Sides: Bacon Cornbread Panzanella.