We love kale in our house. We eat it multiple times a week and, when I planted my first garden this year, kale was definitely in the mix. (Two kinds!) My favorite is lacinato, also known as Tuscan or dinosaur kale, and green curly, both of which I have been growing, to my great delight. This preparation is one of our favorites, and when my sister-in-law’s cousin was looking for kale recipes earlier this week, it reminded me to post about it. I also served it on the 4th of July to rave reviews. This salad really couldn’t be easier. Most of this kale came from my garden, but lacinato kale is easy to find at the supermarket. I like Cindy’s Kitchen Roasted Garlic Caesar dressing, but use your favorite. The squeeze of lemon cuts the bitterness of the kale (a trick I picked up from a salad place in the city that my husband often eats lunch at) and the toasted panko acts as “croutons” giving it some extra crunch. This salad is fantastic with grilled shrimp or pretty much anything you’re grilling this season. Buy the ingredients and make it this weekend!


Kale Salad with Caesar, Lemon and Toasted Panko Breadcrumbs

1 bunch of lacinato kale

1/2 cup of panic breadcrumb

Your favorite Caesar dressing

Olive oil

1/2 of a lemon

Drizzle a swirl of olive oil into a skillet and let it warm up. Add the breadcrumb and toss until it begins to turn brown. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Remove the tough stems of the kale and tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Run them through a lettuce spinner, then put in a large bowl. Top with the toasted breadcrumb and as much dressing as you like. Toss to combine, then finish with a few squeezes of lemon. Serve immediately.


Salad is one of my favorite things to eat for dinner. We generally eat some version of salad with dinner every night, with the exception being the first trimester of both of my pregnancies when I couldn’t even look at a green without gagging. I think salads are one of my better meal preps and my party guests frequently ask me what I put in mine. That depends on my mood…what I have in the pantry…what I want to use up in the fridge. I made up this version last week when I had some leftover quinoa and a clamshell of spinach that needed to be eaten. Feta, kalamata olives and pepitas were also on hand and to finish it off, I made a quick batch of my favorite tahini dressing from Food52.com. This dressing is seriously addicting and so easy. The salad it’s featured with is also tasty, but the dressing has been my go to anytime I have a tahini craving. Anyway, this salad was super tasty so I recreated it again, making sure to write down my ratio of ingredients. (I also added some Argentinian Red Shrimp from Trader Joe’s.) But I think salads are easily modified based on your taste, so add, swap, or omit ingredients at your leisure. But definitely make this for dinner. You won’t be disappointed.


Spinach Salad with Red Quinoa, Feta and Tahini

1/2 of a 16 ounce clamshell of organic spinach

1/2 cup cooked red quinoa

1/2 cup feta, crumbled

1/2 cup pepitas

1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted

For the dressing:

1 garlic clove, crushed to a paste with a pinch of salt

3 tablespoons tahini

3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons olive oil

Toss all of the salad ingredients in a bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix the garlic paste and lemon juice. Whisk in the tahini, water and olive oil, until smooth. (If you want the tahini a bit thinner, add more water.) Pour as much dressing as you’d like onto the salad and toss to combine. Serve immediately.


Grilled Pizza with Mushroom and Fontina

by Michelle on May 17, 2016

Johnny and I started grilling pizza years ago, and every summer we try to come up with new combinations of ingredients. A few seasons ago it was white clam with bacon. Last summer, it was vodka sauce with peas and fresh mozzarella. Before that, fig, goat cheese and walnut pesto. And then there are our old standbys: fresh tomato, basil and mozz; kalamata olives, grilled chicken, roasted red peppers, red onion and feta; and pesto with mozzarella and roasted red peppers. If you’ve been to our house for a meal in the summer, chances are we’ve grilled you a pizza.

When we lived in the city, we often ordered pizza from a place down the block called Veloce. It’s not there anymore, which is a shame, because they had the most amazing mushroom pizza we’ve ever tasted. No gummy button mushrooms and congealed mozz here. This baby was topped with a mix of more exotic mushrooms, like hen of the woods, parsley, garlic and a blend of cheeses. It was fantastic. We still talk about this pizza. Which is why we wanted to recreate it ourselves. A trip to Whole Foods yielded a decent blend of mushrooms (oyster, chanterelle, shitaki, cremini) and I picked up fontina, fresh mozzarella, garlic and parsley. We were ready to begin.

I should tell you that our pizza making skills have improved vastly over the years. Our early attempts looked more like the United States then a round or square pizza. Friends are always interested in our pizza grilling technique so I took pictures of each step:


I don’t make my own dough. I could, but I really like the multigrain dough from Terranova Bakery. I get it at Whole Foods. It also comes in white and whole wheat. I buy it by the dozen and freeze it. I take it out in the morning, put it in a greased bowl, cover it with a dish towel and let it thaw and rise all afternoon.



Once the dough is ready to roll out, I place it on a floured mat and roll it out as thin as possible. Try to get it as round as possible too.


doughrolledoutonpanNext, I brush a baking sheet liberally with olive oil and then gently place the dough on it, pressing the dough into the pan, which also helps it take shape.


doughongrillAt this point, Johnny takes over. I help him carry the dough onto the grill grates, oil side down. He straightens it out with tongs, brushes the top side with more olive oil and closes the grill. We use all burners on medium high. After a minute or two, check to see that the bottom has grill marks, then flip it. Add your toppings, turn the heat down to low and close the grill.

doughongrillwithtoppingsOnce the cheese has melted and the bottom is browned to your liking, place a large cutting board close to the front edge of your grill and quickly slide the pizza onto it. Let sit for a few minutes before cutting, to let the cheese and toppings settle.



Grilled Pizza with Mushroom and Fontina

1 ball of multigrain dough (prepped according to the aforementioned directions)

1 1/2 cups fontina cheese, grated

1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound of mushrooms (chanterelle, oyster, cremini, shitaki, etc.), stemmed and chopped


Olive oil

Prep your dough. In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms in a tablespoon of olive until just softened. Set aside. Grate and slice the cheeses, and dice up the parsley and garlic. Once the dough is ready to be topped, place the sliced mozzarella evenly across the pizza and then add the fontina. Cover the pizza with the chopped mushrooms, garlic and parsley. Grill until the cheese is melted and the bottom is browned to your liken. Season with salt and pepper to taste if needed.