June 26, 2011

Quick Fix Dinners: French Grilled Turkey, Sauteed Radishes and Pesto Potatoes

Perhaps the most wonderful thing about summer is that good food requires so little cooking.  The best recipe might go something like this: 1. Get fresh vegetables at your farmer's market; 2. Do very little to them; 3. Serve.

That's certainly the case with these two vegetable dishes inspired by the Union Square Farmer's Market. The first is a simple but slightly unusual preparation of radishes: sauteed. Cooking radishes, whether on the stove or in the oven, makes them juicy and succulent, not something you would expect from a crisp root vegetable. Their spicy bite becomes toned down but lingers in the background. Top them off with a healthy dusting of salt, pepper, lemon and olive oil.

The second dish is potatoes with pesto.  You'll be amazed at what summery pesto can do for potatoes. This dish brings potatoes into the season with zingy pesto kicked up with plenty of lemon and parmigiano cheese. I used fingerling potatoes in this dish - but any waxy potato will do. This dish is bright and a perfect inspired potato salad. It's also great mixed with sauteed green beans or wax beans and sauteed onions.

To accompany it all, I made a simple sandwich of roast turkey, Gruyere cheese and Dijon mustard. I'm calling it the French Grilled Turkey (excellent with a side of creamy Caesar dipping sauce, btw). I've grilled in on Grandaisy Bakery's (where I now work) Sourdough Pullman Loaf.  It's a classic combination, and together with the radishes and/or potatoes, it makes for a perfect, no fuss summer meal.

Recipes below.

Pesto Potatoes

-1/2 pound waxy potatoes
-15 large leaves fresh basil
-1/2 clove garlic
-1 tablespoon pinenuts
-6 tablespoons olive oil
-1 lemon
-5 tablespoons parmigiano cheese, grated, plus more for garnishing
-salt and pepper to taste

-Place potatoes in a medium sized pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Allow to cook until you can pierce the potatoes with a fork, 15-20 minutes.

-In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, garlic and pinenuts. Then slowly add the olive oil with the processor running. Add the lemon and cheese, and season with salt and pepper.

-When the potatoes are done, drain and allow to cool for a few minutes. Cut into bite sized pieces (for fingerling potatoes, cut into thirds, for small round potatoes, into halves or quarters). In a medium bowl, mix with the pesto. Serve, topped with more parmigiano.

Sauteed Radishes

The peppery bite of arugula goes nicely with the sauteed radishes, which loose much of their bite when cooked.

-10-15 radishes, cleaned, stem removed and halved lengthwise
-1 tablespoon butter
-1/2 tablespoon olive oil
-juice of half a lemon
-salt and pepper
-arugula for serving

-In a small saute pan, heat the olive oil and butter on medium heat. Add the halved radishes and cook, flipping reguarly, until easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper. I like to turn up the heat at the end so that they get nicely charred in spots.

-Remove from the heat, add the lemon and serve at once on a bed of arugula. Drizzle more lemon and olive oil if necessary.

French Grilled Turkey Panino

-4 slices white bread
-6 slices roasted turkey
-1 tablespoon Dijon or whole grain mustard
-Gruyere cheese
-1 tablespoon butter

-Assemble sandwiches with the turkey, mustard, and a few slices of cheese. Butter the outside of the bread on each sandwich.

-Grill on a pan or in a panini maker until the cheese has melted and the outside is golden brown. Serve at once.

All recipes above serve 2.