Cucumber, Corn and Tomato Salsa

My co-worker gave me some cucumbers she and her husband had grown in their garden. I wanted to use them right away as they were so fresh. This is a variation on a classic cucumber and tomato salad. I added charred corn for sweetness and smokiness. I also added poblano and jalapeno for spice. 

2 small or 1 medium cucumber, diced
2 ears corn
3 vine tomatoes, diced
1 poblano, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbls apple cider vinegar
2 tbls olive oil
2 tsps dry dill
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsps salt

I wasn't about to turn on the broiler to cook the corn. It's been in the 90's here. Instead, I used the same technique often used to char bell pepper. Put the shucked ears directly over a gas flame on the stovetop. If you don't have a gas stovetop you can broil them or use an outdoor grill. 

The corn will pop and make a bit of a mess on your cooktop, but it's worth it. 

Char the corn evenly all around. Allow to cool and them cut the kernels off the cob. 

Stir together all i…

Curried Risotto Rice and Lentils

I decided to try something different and yet familiar. I wanted to do a risotto, but without arborrio. I also wanted to do a curry. So I went with a hybrid of sorts that turned out quite satisfying. If you like a little heat and a lot of spice, you'll enjoy this. Tender rice and meaty chick peas round it off.

1/3 cup lentils
1/2 cup white rice
1 can vegetable broth
1 can plain petite cut tomatoes
1 can drained, rinsed chick peas
7 cloves of garlic sliced thin
1 jalapeno pepper minced
3-4 tbls curry powder
2 tsps cumin seed
1/3 cup frozen cauliflower
juice and zest from one lemon
olive oil

In a large chicken fryer type saute pan heat lentils, cumin seed and broth until it just begins to come to a boil. Add 2 tbls curry powder and rice. Stir often, simmering over medium heat. Keep covered when not stirring.

Let rice and lentil mixture simmer in liquid until mostly absorbed. Add can of tomatoes juice and all. Continue stirring and simmering and letting the rice and beans absorb the liquid.

When that has also been absobred add 1/2 cup water. chick peas and 1 tbl more of curry powder. Continue stirring and cooking until most of the liquid is gone. Taste to determine doneness of lentils and rice.

When they are just on the verge of being done add olive oil, garlic, lmeon zest/juice and jalapeno. And more curry powder if desired. Stirring and cooking at least 3 minutes more. Adding more water in 1/4 cup incrememnts as needed.

Once finished cooking turn off heat and add cauliflower to hot pot, stir, cover and let sit at least 5 minutes more or until the veg is warmed through.

Serve with pan sauted potato chunks and fresh crostini for sopping up the sauce.