Making your own ketchup may seem a bit over the top but it’s worth it. It’s easy to make, and the homemade version is so much more delicious than supermarket varieties, which are loaded with corn syrup.
Makes 2 cups (500 mL)
Blender or food processor
1 can (28 oz/796 mL) crushed tomatoes 1
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 30 mL
1 onion, chopped 1
1 tbsp tomato paste 15 mL
2⁄3 cup lightly packed brown sugar 150 mL
1⁄2 cup apple cider vinegar 125 mL
1⁄2 tsp sea salt 2 mL
In a blender, purée tomatoes until smooth.
In a heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened and translucent, about 8 minutes.
Add puréed tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar and salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 1 hour. (Stir more frequently toward end of cooking to prevent scorching.)
Add ketchup to blender in 2 batches and purée until smooth. Let cool.
Buffalo Blue Cheese Dressing
Here’s a rich and fresh creamy dressing with chunks of blue cheese.
Makes 11⁄2 cups (375 mL)
4 oz cream cheese, softened 125 g
1⁄2 cup buttermilk 125 mL
1⁄4 cup mayonnaise, store-bought or homemade 60 mL
1 tsp dried onion flakes 5 mL
1⁄2 tsp garlic salt 2 mL
1⁄2 tsp hot pepper sauce 2 mL
1⁄4 tsp hot pepper flakes 1 mL
2 oz blue cheese, crumbled 60 g (see Tip)
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process cream cheese, buttermilk, mayonnaise, onion flakes, garlic salt, hot pepper sauce and hot pepper flakes until smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and fold in blue cheese.
Tip: If you process the blue cheese in the food processor instead of folding it into the dressing, it will be become an unattractive gray/blue color.
All-Summer Potato Salad
Serve this zesty salad alongside red meats or poultry.
1 cup mayonnaise, store-bought or homemade 250 mL
1 cup onion, minced 250 mL
1⁄2 cup chopped green onions 125 mL
1⁄4 cup Dijon mustard, store-bought or homemade 60 mL
3 tbsp rice vinegar 45 mL
2 tsp sea salt 10 mL
1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon 5 mL
1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 mL
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped 2
3 lbs white fingerling potatoes, cooked and cut into quarters 1.5 kg
2 cups diced celery 500 mL
In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, onion, green onions, mustard, vinegar, salt, tarragon and pepper. Add eggs, potatoes and celery and toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours prior to serving or for up 3 days.
Avocado and Corn Pasta Salad
Bright colors, combined with contrasts in textures and flavors, make this salad a crowd‑pleaser.
8 oz fusilli pasta, cooked and drained 250 g
11⁄2 cups Roasted Corn (see below) 375 mL
2 ripe avocados, diced 2
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 5 mL
1⁄2 cup diced red bell pepper 125 mL
1⁄2 cup black olives, pitted and chopped 125 mL
1⁄2 cup chopped green onions 125 mL
1⁄2 cup Sherry Vinaigrette (see below) 125 mL
1⁄4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, 60 mL finely chopped
In a large bowl, combine pasta, corn, avocados, lemon juice, bell pepper, olives, green onions, vinaigrette and sun-dried tomatoes.
I enjoy roasted corn kernels shaved from the cob and sprinkled on top of a spicy salad with a peppery dressing. (I’m especially fond of the frozen roasted corn at Trader Joe’s)
In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add corn, stirring until completely roasted, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and cayenne. Let cool. Transfer to a covered dish and refrigerate until ready to use for up to 4 days.
I like to pour this tart vinaigrette on fresh garden tomatoes.
Makes 1 cup (250 mL)
1⁄4 cup sherry wine vinegar 60 mL
1⁄4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese 60 mL
1 tbsp Dijon mustard, store-bought or homemade 15 mL
1 tsp minced dried shallots 5 mL
1⁄2 cup canola oil 125 mL
1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil 60 mL
In a bowl, whisk together vinegar, Romano, mustard and shallots. While whisking, pour in canola and olive oils in a thin steady stream until emulsified.
Asparagus and Bacon Salad
You can serve this as a main dish for lunch or as a side for dinner.
1 1⁄2 lbs asparagus, sliced on the diagonal 750 g
8 oz smoked bacon, preferably 250 g applewood, sliced
2 cups chopped Belgian endive 500 mL
1⁄2 cup Creamy French Honey Dressing 125 mL
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
Fill a shallow saucepan or skillet with 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add asparagus and cook for 3 minutes. Have a bowl of ice water nearby. Drain asparagus, then immediately submerge in ice water to set color and stop cooking, about 3 minutes. Transfer with tongs to a bowl.
In same pan over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon.
In a salad bowl, toss together endive and bacon. Add asparagus. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.