Ecuadorian Garlic-Chile Dipping Oil

Ecuadorian Garlic-Chile Dipping Oil

La Casa de la Abuela is a restaurant with weathered wood tables and a big covered patio. It sits on the main road of La Union, a small town that doesn't even leave a mark on the Google Map of Ecuador. There, in that little town, I experienced the best meal I ate in Ecuador, despite the road noise.

One of the first things that was brought to the table was sliced fresh tomatoes with basil and a drizzle of garlicky, herby oil. There was something about that oil that made those tomatoes shine! Next arrival to the table was a big bowl of seemed muscles and clams, without a doubt freshly caught that morning. We drizzled the same garlic oil over each clam shell in delight. Was it the clams that were stellar or just the oil? Or both? 

Ecuadorian Garlic-Chile Dipping Oil
Ecuadorian Garlic-Chile Dipping Oil

We took turns guessing how they made the oil, until finally the owner and chef came to the table, bearing a jar full of the stuff, and the list of the ingredients. 

Just garlic, parsley, and red chiles in olive oil will give you a taste of that night in Ecuador. Drizzle it freely over seafood, dress a caprese salad, use it to make a salad dressing, or drip your favorite bread into it. 🤤

Ecuadorian Garlic-Chile Dipping Oil

Ecuadorian Garlic-Chile Dipping Oil

Published August 8, 2017 by
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Yields: 1 cup   |    Total Time: 15 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 fresno chile (in Ecuador, they would use a small red chile called Pico de Pájaro, but I am unable to find that locally)
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Mince garlic, fresno chile and parsley and place in jar.
  2. Add salt and oil, to jar. Allow to sit covered, in fridge, for 24 hours so that the flavors seep into the oil.
  3. Use as a drizzle or dipping oil.

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Easy Food Processor Pesto

After posting my eleventh recipe that called for pesto to this blog (Pesto Zoodles with Fresh Peas and Bacon), I decided it was high time I actually post a recipe for pesto itself. Watch below or click here to watch the recipe video! Scroll past the video for some images and the full recipe. 

Pesto is a glorious, glorious thing. Ancient Romans were on to something when they started mashing herbs with garlic, cheese and oil. Can you imagine being the chef to first pull out your moral and pestle, fill it with herbs and nuts, only to yield a greenish glop that looks unlike any other sauce you'd seen? And then the first bite! What do you think they thought?

Easy Food Processor Pesto

Of course, times have since changed dramatically. Basil wasn't the star of pesto sauce until 1863 (according to Wiki), and wasn't even popular in the US until the 1980s and 1990s. Which, I suppose, explains a lot: as a 90s kid, I was set up to love pesto from the beginning. And now here I am, making pesto in a food processor. (Many will tell you this is not the traditional way, and they are right: in ancient Rome they didn't have food processors... or electricity. This food processor method is the 21st century way. I've made many a batch of pesto in a mortar and pestle, but for a big batch, I always go for the food processor). 

When I have a fresh batch of pesto in the fridge, I fearless add it to every meal. A condiment for potatoes (a sauce for sweet potatoes, or just a dip for some roasted yukon golds). The creamy base for this chicken dish. Shmeared inside of a cheesy omelette. I even put the stuff straight on steamed broccoli, or stir a tablespoon of pesto with a tablespoon of lemon juice to make a vinaigrette. You get the picture. 

Easy Food Processor Pesto
Easy Food Processor Pesto

Easy Food Processor Pesto

Published July 11, 2017 by
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Serves: 4   |    Total Time: 10 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups basil
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions:

  1. Pulse garlic in food processor with salt until minced.
  2. Add pine nuts to food processor, and pulse three times. Add parmesan and lemon zest to food processor, and pulse until a meal forms.
  3. Add basil and oil to the food processor and pulse until the basil and minced evenly. Scrape the sides with a spatula and pulse again briefly.
  4. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge until ready to use. Will last up to 1 week in the fridge.

FOR NUT-FREE: Substitute 1/4 cup sunflower seeds for 1/4 cup pine nuts.

FOR DAIRY-FREE: Substitute 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast for 1/2 cup parmesan.

Easy Food Processor Pesto
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Spicy Watermelon & Avocado Salad

Spicy Watermelon & Avocado Salad

I've had a lot of mediocre watermelons in my life. You know what I'm talking about. There a little bit foamy, light pink and only slightly sweet. When I buy one of these watermelons it's because it's the first one I've seen all season. I can't help myself! It is an impulse buy. And then, a week later you are there in your kitchen looking at a half eaten mediocre watermelon. A lifeless, flavorless watermelon.

But oh! When you just wait one more month! When you start buying watermelons right around the peak of summer! That is when watermelons are heavy with juice, almost red, and as sweet as can be.

Of course, the same goes for avocados. I know you know what I'm talking about. I know you've bought one of those avocados before. Out of desperation. It was hard as a rock. But you told yourself it would alright. Just give it a few days on the counter and it'd be ready.

Needless to say, it never did quite get ripe or develop that perfect avocadoness. But, now! Now is the time to buy avocados. They are plentiful and ripe and soft. And what is better than a perfectly ripe avocado?

Spicy Watermelon & Avocado Salad

Where am I going with this do you ask? Let me tell you where I'm going. It's this salad. The first layer is soft, delicate butterhead lettuce (my favorite variety of lettuce). It's crisp and perfect in salads. I usually buy butterhead by the head, but often the outer leaves are torn or bruised by the time I make it home from the store. So I was SUPER excited when OrganicGirl announced that their next salad blend was going to be my very favorite: a pre-washed, organic blend of butterhead lettuce hearts!  And just in time for watermelon and avocado season to collide.

Destiny? I think so. 

Avocado and watermelon complement each other well: sweet and savory; creamy and crisp; fresh and bold. Both benefit from the addition of a little spice (I'm talking about you, jalapeño!)

Drizzle it with cilantro lime vinaigrette. Get out a fork and eat the whole platter yourself. Or, ok, share if you really want to. 

Spicy Watermelon & Avocado Salad

OrganicGirl provided me with product for this blog post, but the recipes and opinions are all my own. Working with brands to develop wholesome recipes is one way I keep Foraged Dish going! OrganicGirl helps me stock the pantry and keep the blog going. I only work with brands that I truly enjoy and use.  

Spicy Watermelon & Avocado Salad

Published June 29, 2017 by
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Buy watermelon and avocado in their peak season!

Serves: 4   |    Total Time: 20 minutes



Ingredients:


Directions:

  1. Spread butterhead lettuce in a single layer on a platter or in a salad bowl. Top with sprouts, slices of watermelon and avocado, and slices of jalapeño. (Optional: if you do not like spicy food, consider de-seeding the jalapeño! Wash hands thoroughly after cutting and avoid touching your eyes).
  2. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad when ready to serve. Enjoy!

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