Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's summer!...well...almost!

It's the first week of spring, but I think we're all thinking the same thing: it's almost summer!! I have been LOVING the glimpse of sun and warm weather lately and my food has been feeling the change too. As we've been eating up the last of the split pea soup and winter squash, more raw fruit and veggie dishes have been showing up! I've especially enjoyed using up the last of my cilantro from making ceviche a few weeks ago in this fast, easy Cilantro Lime White Bean Dip from  Jessica of How Sweet It Is. Paired with pita bread, tortilla chips, or loads of raw veggies this is a great way to start getting some lighter snacks in after a loooong winter.

§  1 (15 oz) can white beans*, rinsed
§  1-2 cloves garlic
§  ¼ c chopped cilantro (leaves AND stem can be used)
§  1 tsp lime zest
§  1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
§  Salt, to taste
§  Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
§  (optional) 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
* Cannellini or butter beans are fine. I also tried pinto beans, which lended a darker, creamier dip. Just try and use light-colored beans so the green of the lime and cilantro can shine through.

1.       Place the beans, garlic, cilantro, and the lime zest and juice in a food processor and process until nice and smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
2.      Taste the dip and then season with salt and pepper and more lime juice or cilantro if needed. Process again. If the dip is too thick, add a tbsp or 2 of olive oil until you achieve your desired consistency.
3.      Garnish with some minced cilantro leaves, a drizzle of olive oil, and serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, or raw veggies.

Last weekend was especially gorgeous here so we were pretty excited to bring the grill out of hibernation. My mom got the potatoes going, my dad took his place making the burgers, and I went a little nuts with the fruits and veggies (what can I say? I was reeeally excited to have all my summer produce back :p).

While skimming through the Food Network magazine the other day I came across an interesting recipe for GRILLED mango that I just HAD to try out! I mean, don't get me wrong, mangoes don't need ANY help to be completely delicious, but I thought it would be a good way to kick off the grillin' season. The only problem was...well...I've never actually grilled before...yeah. So I thought starting with something that wouldn't kill anyone if I messed it up would be a pretty good idea. For my first time grilling all by myself I thought it turned out okay! I'll need to adjust the heat more next time to give the mango some nicer char marks, but it tasted great! If you're still questioning the whole "grilled fruit" thing, just remember that bell peppers and tomatoes are fruit too and honestly, I think the mango ended up tasting a lot like grilled peppers, but even more amazing! Just make sure to use mango that is really sweet and ripe, but not too soft and you are in business! Happy Spring-It's-Almost-Summertime! :)

§  3 mangoes
§  Salt, to taste
§  Cayenne pepper, to taste
§  Olive oil
§  1 lime, halved
§  1/2 cup Mexican crema (or 1/3 cup sour cream mixed with 2 tablespoons milk)
§  1 Jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced or chopped
§  Fresh cilantro, chopped

1.       Preheat a grill to medium-high.
2.      Peel the mangoes and slice the flesh off the sides, away from the pit in pieces that are as big and even as possible. Lay the slices flat on a baking sheet, season with salt and cayenne, and drizzle with olive oil. Turn the slices over and repeat. Squeeze one of the lime halves over the top.
3.      Grill the mango slices, turning once, until well-marked. This may take 2 to 3 minutes or up to 10 minutes, depending on the strength of your grill. Use a small slice of mango as a tester and then go from there.
4.      Transfer the grilled slices to serving plate and squeeze the other lime half on top. Spoon the crema over the mango and garnish with jalapenos and cilantro or serve them on the side.


  1. hey future chef!!! came across your blog through the jr chef. great lay out and lucky you to be in cooking school! must be tough...
    i made the white bean hummus as well!!!!! it was gooooooooood!!!! ok continuing checking out ur blog! :)

  2. hey there ICC! thanks for stopping by, hope you like what you see! yes that dip is to DIE for mmm :p hope you come back soon, i'm working on an exciting new post right now so be on the watch! happee cooking!