I love chicken wings. They are one of those things that I can somehow manage to keep eating far past the point where I should have stopped. These wings are spicy and a bit sweet. Both the spiciness and the sticky sweetness can be easily altered to taste.
Time: 1 hour
Makes: 2lbs chicken wings
You will need:
- 2lbs chicken wings
- 1 tbsp harissa spice*
- 2 tbsp honey
Lay wings in a single layer on a stoneware baking pan, or on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle harissa spice over top, then flip wings and sprinkle remainder of harissa spice on the other side.
Bake in a 400F oven for 45-55 minutes, flipping every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle 1 tbsp honey over wings, flip and drizzle with remaining honey. If you like them sweeter and stickier, use more honey. Return to oven for 5 more minutes.
*I’ve been using the PC brand Harissa Spice Blend. I would say it’s fairy spicy, but 1 tbsp over 2lbs of wings results in no more than sort of a ‘medium’ spice level. You can of course increase this to taste!
Zucchini is one of those vegetables that I only eat in the summer when it’s in season. It’s called summer squash for a reason!
I like to use yellow and green zucchini for this as I just think it looks prettier 🙂 You can of course use whatever colour you happen to have on hand, it makes little difference in taste.
I usually do this in the amount listed below, however, in the photos I had halved the recipe since I only had 2 zucchini.
Serves: 4-6 as a side
Time: 15 min prep, about 35-45 minutes cook
You will need:
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 large onion diced
- 1-2 cloves of garlic minced or pressed
- 4 medium zucchini
- 10 slices of prosciutto
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary minced
- 3/4 cup chardonay
- 1/2 cup of fresh parmesan or asiago cheese
Preheat oven to 350F.
Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook until softened- about 5 minutes. Add the chardonnay and reduce by half. Add the minced garlic and rosemary. Add half of this to a 9 inch baking dish.
Cut the ends off of the zucchini and slice lengthwise about 1/4 inch thick.
If using both green and yellow zucchini, place a slice of each, and then half a slice of prosciutto. Continue in this manner until all zucchini and prosciutto are used and your pan is full. Put the rest of the onion/wine/herb mixture on top.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. At 30 minutes, remove from oven, testing doneness with a fork. I like my zucchini to stay fairly firm, but you may wish to bake for an additional 10 minutes before adding the cheese. Add the cheese for the last 10 minutes of cooking, if needed you can put the oven on broil for the last minute or two to brown them up.
This is a bit of a garden miscellany recipe that will work with whatever fresh veggies you have, in basically any amounts that you have them! Don’t have snow peas? Use snap peas instead. No chard? Try kale or spinach. No garlic scapes? Use some fresh garlic at the end- or if your pesto is quite garlicky, pass on the garlic altogether! You can serve it on it’s own finished with a drizzle of balsamic as a side dish, served on top of rice, or mixed into pasta.
Time: about 15 minutes
You will need: some mix of the following, though substitute according to availability!
- about 10 oz, 300g cherry tomatoes *
- 3-5 leaves of chard
- small/medium zucchini
- 1 cup of snow peas
- a few garlic scapes if you have them!
- 2-4 tbsp of your favourite jarred pesto
- 1/4 cup fresh grated asiago or parm
- drizzle of good quality balsamic to finish
- 1 tbsp of canola, olive oil or butter
- rice or pasta for serving if desired
If making rice- prepare first.
Add oil to large pan on medium/high heat. Chop zucchini into thin rounds or half moons. If the peas you are using are large, you can halve them, otherwise leave them whole. Trim flower end from garlic scapes if it seems tough or dry, then give a quick chop into small pieces. Thinly slice chard. Add vegetables to pan in the following approximate order, giving them a minute or two in the hot pan before adding the next ingredient. First tomatoes, then peas, followed by zucchini. When these veg are getting hot and a bit softened and maybe browned, add the scapes. When veggies are done to your taste- I like things more crisp, but to each his own so cook accordingly, add a few tbsp of your favourite pesto and stir until all veg are covered. Add the chard and cook 1-2 more minutes until still bright but softened.
Finish by adding the fresh grated cheese and a drizzle of balsamic.
*note- if your cherry tomatoes haven’t ‘burst’ while cooking (which is fine) be careful when you eat them as they will be hot juicy tomato bombs if you pop them into your mouth whole!
Cilantro seems to be one of those things that people like or REALLY dislike. The people who like it always seem to like it a lot. To me, cilantro tastes fresh and almost a bit citrusy. The people who hate it usually describe it as tasting like soap. That all being said, this black bean dip is for sure for the cilantro lovers! The ingredient list is short, and it’s a nice complement to salsa.
Time: 5 minutes
You will need:
- 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- a generous handful of cilantro including stems-see photo below for an idea of how much- you could of course use less if that is your preference
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- juice of two limes
Drain and rinse the black beans. Give the cilantro a rinse, but don’t worry about drying it. Add beans, cilantro, 1-2 cloves of garlic, and the juice of two limes to a food processor and pulse until combined. Serve with bread or tortilla chips, or as a yummy spread on a wrap (think the way you might use hummus). This is fine made the day before, but doesn’t keep well for more than a few days because of the mass of cilantro. I used canned beans, which I usually find salty enough, but if you are using dried beans that you’ve rehydrated, you may wish to add salt.
Fiddleheads are a special spring treat. They require some work and a bit of prep, but it’s extra satisfying eating something that you’ve collected yourself. This recipe is a delicious side for anything you’ve made on the bbq.
As with anything collected from the wild, it’s important to be able to properly identify what it is you are picking. There are photos and some tips here, as well as preparation instructions.
Fiddleheads need to be thoroughly washed and require boiling before cooking by another method- again, see this post for details.
Boiled and ready for roasting
Just out of the oven
Makes: about 3 servings
Time: about 20 minutes- though it depends on if you have already prepped your fiddleheads. If using fiddleheads that are frozen and pre boiled, or fresh prepped and boiled the time is about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450F
You will need:
- 4 cups of washed and boiled fiddleheads
- 3 tbsp butter
- 4 cloves of garlic minced or pressed
- 1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
- handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste (I find with the salty cheese I generally don’t add any additional salt- though I do enjoy a generous grind of fresh pepper
Preheat oven to 450F. Melt butter and mix together minced garlic, parsley and butter. Place prepared fiddleheads on a sheet and toss with butter/garlic mixture.
Place in 450F oven for ten minutes. After ten minutes, remove from oven and flip fiddleheads. Sprinkle cheese overtop and return to oven for an additional 5-7 minutes.
Serve with anything you like! If you have leftovers, they are delicious in an omelet the next day 🙂
This salad comes together quickly and makes a delicious side. If you’re looking to make it a little more hearty, add some crumbled feta- if you do you should omit the salt until after you’ve tasted it with the cheese as feta is quite salty.
I like the cucumbers in thin half moons
I had already chopped the cucumbers like this for something else that night- but prefer them in the half moons
Makes: about 4 side servings
Time: less than 10 minutes
You will need:
- 1 long English cucumber
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 large clove of fresh garlic
- juice of 1 fresh lemon
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped dill (add more if desired)
- several grinds of fresh black pepper
- salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp)
Halve the cucumber and thinly slice into half moons and put in a medium sized bowl. Quarter cherry tomatoes and add to cucumbers. Mince or press garlic and add to the cucumber and tomato. Chop dill and add to the vegetables. Add the juice of one fresh lemon and several grinds of fresh pepper and salt. Stir together. This salad can be eaten immediately, but is best if left to sit at least half an hour before serving in order to let the flavours marry.
As the cartoon implies, when you go to buy an avocado, it seems as though they are all either over ripe or hard as rocks. I generally buy them in a bag when the price is right, and of course, they all seem to ripen at exactly the same time, leaving me needing to use up 4-5 avocados in a short amount of time.
This rice is delicious in a wrap, or with Chipotle Pepper Beef.
Time: about 25 min – 5 min prep, 20 minutes cook
Serves: 4 as side
- 1.5 cups rinsed brown rice
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1/4 cup finely minced cilantro
- 1 small clove of garlic, minced or pressed
- juice of one lime (if your lime isn’t very juicy, feel free to use two)
- half a minced jalapeño
Cook rice using your preferred method. I generally use a rice cooker, but just follow your usual method.
While rice is cooking, remove skin and seed from avocado. To do this, run a knife lengthwise along the avocado through the fruit around the seed. Twist halves apart, and use your knife to knock out the seed. I generally cross hatch it with my knife and then use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, but since you are mashing it you can just take it out in one chunk if you like. Discard skin and seed and place flesh in a bowl. I was going to take photos of this process, but sometimes I don’t feel like re-creating the wheel so to speak. There is a lovely diagram of how to cut an avocado here as well as additional information about them.
Juice lime(s) over avocado. Mince about 1/4 cup fresh cilantro and mince or press clove of garlic. Add to avocado. Use a fork to mash together. Season with a pinch of salt.
When rice is cooked, mix together with mashed avocado mixture. Serve hot.