Arugula, Cantaloupe and Avocado Salad with Spicy Lime Vinaigrette

July 24, 2011 at 9:52 am | Posted in Fruit, Salad Dressings, Salads | 44 Comments
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With soaring temperatures and our famous Rocky Ford Cantaloupe just hitting our markets does anything sound better than a fresh salad of fruit, greens, a citrus vinaigrette with a kick and topped with a creamy avocado? No way to describe this but simply delicious. You’ll notice I didn’t have any avocado on hand but did have some hearts of palm that made an impressive stand-in appearance.  Want to make it a main course?  Just add some shrimp that’s been cooked and cooled…like you’d prepare for shrimp cocktail. Thanks to Fresh and Foodie for posting this recipe.  Let’s take a look.

Arugula, cantaloupe and Avocado Salad with Spicy Lime Vinaigrette (adapted from Fresh and Foodie):
• 5 ounces arugula, washed and spun dry
• 2 cups cubed seedless watermelon (I used cantaloupe)
• 1 avocado, cubed
• 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
• The juice of 1 lime
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. In a large salad bowl, toss the arugula and watermelon. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to taste. Add cubed avocado to the vinaigrette and toss very (very!) gently. This step prevents the avocado from browning in the salad.
3. Add vinaigrette and avocado to the salad bowl and lightly toss to combine. Top salad with freshly cracked pepper before serving.

Arugula, cantaloupe and Avocado Salad with Spicy Lime Vinaigrette…It’s What’s for a Dinner Salad.


No Recipe Required: Cauleen’s Fruit Dip

June 1, 2011 at 7:18 am | Posted in Fruit, No recipe required | 19 Comments
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One small tub of Cool Whip.

One container of pina colada flavored yogurt.

Mix together and serve as a dip for a fruit tray at your next party.

Cauleen’s Fruit Dip…It’s What’s for a Party!

One Year Ago:  Simple Glaze For Grilled Shrimp

Two Years Ago:  Cream Cheese Flan

Pickled Pineapple on Pork Tenderloin Medallions

March 3, 2011 at 7:23 am | Posted in Fruit, pork | 40 Comments
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I grew up on a farm in the middle of Kansas where the closest town of any size was Hutchinson. With a population of about 40,000 and known to locals as Hutch, it’s also referred to as the Salt City because it sits on miles of salt mines. It hosts the Kansas State Fair and the Men’s National Junior College Basketball TournamentWhen I was growing up there, we bought our groceries and shopped for clothes from stores that were owned by people who lived in Hutchinson and we relied on The Hutchinson News-Herald to keep us connected with neighboring communities of small farming towns.

For longer than I can remember, The Hutchinson News has been faithful about providing some sort of regularly published readership submitted  recipe roundup.  In recent years it’s been an insert in the newspaper, and in earlier years spiral-bound cookbooks.  The recipes were a compilation from ones published each day  in the News-Herald ‘s Favorite Recipe column. The daily women’s page feature was started as an experiment in 1948.

Each publication was overseen and recipes were judged by local business women who held titles such as  Home Service Director with the local gas company,  Home Economist with the County Extension Office, or a Home Editor with the newspaper. I look forward to sharing several of the recipes from these books, recipes from a simpler time, recipes from the heartland where ingredients were few and instructions didn’t include terms like chiffonade, saute or macerate.

I have three of these old cookbooks from my mom’s collection. The recipe I’m going to talk about today is one I found in the book with recipes collected from 1952 – 1955. The oldest edition I have was published in 1949 and as the cover indicates, sold for 60 cents. Inside it states that  it’s the 2nd edition in the series. 

We like anything pickled, so when I spotted this recipe for pickled pineapple I had to give it a try. Incredibly easy, it simply states “serve with poultry, meat or fish“. Following instructions, a week later I had a tangy sweet and sour topping for my meat course. 

I chose pork tenderloin to slice into 1 inch medallions. Using my cast iron skillet, I seared the meat well and then sautéed until just pink inside. While the meat was cooking, I fine chopped and deflamed some onion to sprinkle on the pork before topping with the pickled fruit. I learned the deflaming technique from Rick Bayless. Simply chop onion, place in a colander and then submerge the colander in a bowl of cold water to cover the onion. Let sit for a few minutes and drain. This technique takes that heat out of the onion resulting in a milder flavor. The sweet and sour pineapple was a great topping for the pork and the onion added a dimension and crunch.

Here’s the recipe as printed in the cookbook.

Pickled Pineapple:

  • No. 2 1/2 can pineapple chunks or slices
  • 3/4 C. vinegar
  • 1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
  • 1/8 t. salt
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 4-inch stick cinnamon

Drain syrup from pineapple into saucepan. Add vinegar, sugar, salt and spices. Simmer uncovered for ten minutes and then add pineapple and bring to a boil. Cool and let stand in refrigerator (covered) for one week. Serve with poultry, meat or fish. Submitted by Louise Dick, Mt. Hope, Kansas.

Served with a side of sautéed asparagus we had an easy and tasty dinner.

Out of interest I Googled Louise Dick. She was born in 1913 and died in 1967.  She is buried in the Mount Hope Cemetery.

Pickled Pineapple on Pork Medallions…It’s What’s For Dinner.

Rocky Ford Melons

August 11, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Posted in Fruit | 18 Comments
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A simple side dish of cubed yellow flesh Rocky Ford Watermelon, sprinkled with some Hawaiian Sea Salt, black pepper, a squeeze of lime and torn mint leaves. 

This past Sunday, the melon truck was offering up some smaller seedless yellow-fleshed melons. The samples were sweet, crunchy and delicious so I decided to grab one. But the real superstar of Mumm Farms Melon Truck is always the famous Rocky Ford Cantaloupe. Let’s take a look.

Our delicious mouth-watering Rocky Ford watermelons and cantaloupes have been available in our Farmers’ Markets for a couple of weeks now. They are grown around the little Southeastern Colorado town of Rocky Ford, in the Arkansas Valley of Colorado which refers to the River Valley which runs from near Leadville through Colorado, continuing through Kansas. 

The small town of Rocky Ford hails itself as the “Sweet Melon Capital of the World”. That’s because hot days, cool nights and a relatively high elevation help farmers grow some of the sweetest cantaloupe on the planet  And believe me, every single bite is lush and cherished.

Did you know that most of the Rocky Mountain Region and the United States receive their melon seeds for planting from here? Rocky Ford melons recently gained international notoriety with Barack Obama’s public endorsement.

Plain and simple, you just haven’t lived until you’re tasted the super sweet juicy Rocky Ford Cantaloupe. The orange meat of these melons is “perfecto”.

It’s easy to pick out a good cantaloupe,  just look for the fruit that’s orange or yellow all over in between that white netting. If it’s green between the netting, it’s not ripe yet. The fruit should be a little soft to the touch. And if it smells like honey, you can be assured it’s going to be sweet and juicy.

Take a look at the brown scars on this melon. The melon man told me that those marks are caused by bees trying to get at the sweet meat. So if a melon has a lot of those, it’s guaranteed to be sweet. Have you ever heard that?

Rocky Ford Melon,

It Screams Colorado Summer!

Watermelon and Feta Salad

July 15, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Posted in Fruit | 20 Comments
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Watermelon, can you imagine a summer picnic without it?  I remember as a kid mom giving us big old slices of juicy watermelon and making us eat it outside so we wouldn’t make a mess in the house.  So juicy you’d have to lean forward to eat it so it wouldn’t run down your arms or get all over your clothes.  And then there was the seed spitting mess.  Hurrah for all the delicious seedless varieties now available to in our markets.

 I found this recipe a couple of years ago, tweaked it a bit and now it’s my “take everywhere all Summer long” dish. I love a sweet and salty combination. When I was in my 20’s and didn’t care what I ate, I used to pile potato chips on top of a candy bar to get my sweet-salty fix…ah, those were the days. 🙂

Let’s address a healthier combination, how about sweet watermelon, salty olives and creamy feta. I think you’ll find it addictive and a real crowd pleaser.  Take a look:

Watermelon and Feta Salad:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp harissa or other hot sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 lbs seedless watermelon, rind removed, fruit sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup pitted Moroccan or other oil-cured black olives, coarsely chopped
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)

1. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with the lemon juice and harissa and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the watermelon slices on a platter and sprinkle with the onion, parsley, olives and feta. Drizzle the dressing on top and serve.

Servings: 4

Sending this to paradise for Deb’s Souper Sundays!

Watermelon and Feta Salad…

It’s What’s For Summer.

Grilled Watermelon, Curry Shrimp with Mache Salad

June 15, 2009 at 12:55 am | Posted in Fruit, Salads, Seafood | 5 Comments
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 I finally found the time to run over to Whole Foods for some mache and one of those small seedless watermelons, (which are currently very good and on sale), for this dinner recipe I’ve been wanting to prepare.

This is easy and delicious and we love it.  Once you plate this, the juices from all ingredients seem to make their way into the dollop of Greek yogart waiting underneath, marrying flavors  into a wonderful combination.   Be sure to swirl each bite in a bit of the yogurt to get the whole effect of the flavors.

I also love how the shrimp taste after their bath in the olive oil and curry.  Delicate and delicious with a lemon yellow color to match.

Curry Shrimp

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 t. curry powder
  • 16 large shrimp, deveined, peeled, tail left on

In a bowl combine curry powder and oil and mix well.  Add shrimp and marinate in refrigerator for one hour, covered.  Heat a large fry pan over med-high heat.  Add some of the oil marinade, add shrimp and saute about 1 1/2 minutes per side.


Grilled Watermelon

Sprinkle two slices (about 1 inch thick and peeled) watermelon with sugar on one side only.  Place sugared side down on hot grill.  Grill for 2 – 3 minutes peeking underneath until you see good grill marks on the cooking side..  Don’t turn, just grill on one side and serve.  We’ve had rain downpours every afternoon, so I grilled the watermelon in my Le  Creuset  grill pan, stove top.  I brushed the pan with olive oil, got it nice and hot and the watermelon grilled beautifully.

007 (2)Mache Salad

  • 1/2 English cucumber coarsly chopped 
  • 1 tablespoons coarsely chopped mint
  • 1 T.  fresh lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 C. mache
  • 1/2 cup Greek-style whole-milk yogurt


    Combine all ingredients except yogart in a bowl and toss well.


    To plate the meal

    Swirl a large dollup of the yogart on each plate.  Arrange a slice of watermelon, the shrimp and the mache salad on top.  Serve and enjoy.  Serves 2

    Mangos Gone Wild

    June 12, 2009 at 1:49 am | Posted in Fruit | 5 Comments
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    Mango - living on the edge

    Mango - living on the edge

    Got an mango sitting around on your kitchen counter?  Not sure what to do?  Try this:  pit, peel, sliver,  place in a bowl and gently toss with olive oil.   Plate and top with slivered jalapeno pepper, slivered sweet onions.  Dress with a generous amount of ground black pepper, squeeze lime juice over all and sprinkle with salt.

    This is a great side dish served with offerings from the grill:  asparagus and Norwegian salmon.  Think about that  presentation:  bright crisp green of the asparagus,  the off pink “salmon” color of the salmon, and the yellow-orange of the mango.  Not to mention the combination of flavors. ohmygosh good, and an easy and healthy dinner.

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