When people ask me about my job and I reply "I'm a food blogger!", I'm frequently met with confused looks and comments of "Really? Do you like it?"
Do I like it? Absolutely, yes! Food blogging has opened my world bringing me friends from countries across the globe (I have a special BFF in Paris!! ;) ) and as close as down the street. I've discovered new foods and preparation techniques, mastered exciting gadgets, and learned that our kitchen is far more fun when it isn't totally clean.
Food blogging also occasionally brings me fabulous surprises in the mail, the latest being a special box from Melissa's Produce along with a challenge to me and my fellow San Diego Food Bloggers to create a dish using 3-4 of the treats in the box.
On the cutting edge of the impending summer season, a box filled with organic peaches and nectarines, brilliant stalks of rhubarb, an incredibly sweet Korean Melon, fresh fava beans, a fresh young coconut and a zesty Hatch Chili salsa was met with a shout of glee from Liv and and exclamation of "Can I have the peaches now??". Sharing just one of the fragrant peaches with my girl, I repacked the rest waiting for inspiration.
With peach being a particular family favorite, a recipe including the perfectly ripe peaches and nectarines was a must. And then there was the rhubarb. Something I've never actually used, but that I remember my grandmother making into a pie that I actually didn't like. Hmmm. Yes, I felt the need to conquer the rhubarb. As such I set out to the back yard with the fresh young coconut in hand (complete with pink cocktail umbrella for effect) along with a bag of chips and Melissa's Hatch Chili Salsa to ponder said ingredients.
The result?? This sweet yet ever so slightly spicy Rhubarb-Peach Chutney. Chutney, also something my grandmother always had on hand that I never touched, is new to me. Kind of a strange word, and many times made with ingredients that aren't always at the top of my list, I've just not taken the time to explore what it's all about.
|Rhubarb Peach Chutney... and unexpected fabulous pleasure!|
With fresh corn hitting the store shelves about the same time as my precious box arrived, it seemed fitting to bring on the summer ingredients. Grilled zucchini and peppers, met up with the fresh fava beans and of course a fresh California Avocado over a bed of couscous and the Rhubarb Peach Chutney completed the salad. Simply divine even if I do say so myself!!
A big thank you to Melissa's, a company with some of the freshest ideas in produce! While I feel particularly lucky to live within a few hours of Melissa's 280,000 sq ft warehouse in Los Angeles, this country is lucky to have their produce nationwide. As the largest distributor of specialty produce in the US, we can all enjoy quality global ingredients thanks to their efforts.
Now won't you join me as we visit some of my fellow San Diego food bloggers to see what Melissa's Produce Box inspired them to make?
Grilled Veggie Salad with Couscous and Rhubarb Peach Chutney
Summer at its best with grilled veggies and a tangy Rhubarb Peach Chutney over a bed of fluffy couscous. Fava beans, another new to me veggie, added a wonderful texture to this salad, but I will admit they are a little labor intensive. Worth the effort though for the taste and health benefits!
Grilled red peppers (or jarred roasted red peppers)
prepared fava beans
Rhubarb Peach Chutney
Place prepared couscous into a bowl and stir with 2 Tbs of chutney. Top with grilled veggies and fava beans. Spoon another 2 Tbs of chutney on top of veggies and top with sliced avocado. Salt and pepper to taste.
Rhubarb Peach Chutney
Sweet and tangy with a little bit of spice, serve this chutney over a salad, on top of a nice brie or anywhere you like!
1 1/2 cups peeled, pitted and chopped peaches and nectarines
1/2 cup chopped rhubarb
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1 tsp finely diced jalapeño
1/2 cup brown sugar (I didn't pack mine, but pack if you like sweeter)
1/4 cup raisins
3 Tbs apple cider vinegar (may use 1/4 cup)
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 Tbs minced fresh ginger
1/4 tsp dry mustard
pinch ground clove
salt to taste
Place all of the ingredients except the peaches and nectarines into a large sauce pan set on the stove over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer about 10 minutes, then add the peaches (I like my peaches to remain a little chunky). Stirring frequently, simmer for an additional 25-35 minutes or until the mixture has thickened to desired consistency.
Remove from heat and cool. Place chutney into clean jars and refrigerate for up to 10 days.
|Grilled Veggie Salad with Fava Beans and Rhubarb Peach Chutney|