Three recipes to help you prepare for the Shelter Island 10K

10K

The start of the Shelter Island 10K, unlike almost any other foot race you can name, is at 5:30 pm.

At a time when the sun is over the yardarm, and many people are settling down with a cold beverage, 10K participants will be pounding down Ram Island Drive and up Cobbetts Lane in pursuit of their personal bests.  

For foot races that begin in the morning, pre-race nutrition is pretty straightforward. Eat modestly-sized, carbohydrate-rich meals for three days before the event, and then something easily digestible, like a bagel before the start.

Shelter Island 10K runners trying to reach their peak performance, will need a different eating strategy, one that combines three days of pre-race carbohydrate rich meals with a couple of nutritious, light and easily-digestible race-day meals.

Bluefish is a local delicacy that is terrific roasted with garlic. This recipe calls for fresh garlic or garlic scapes, which are much milder than regular garlic, and don’t need much cooking. They are the perfect flavoring for delicate food like fish, or baked tomatoes that need only a short blast of heat to attain perfection.

Young garlic is available at farm stands now, and you’ll find piles of curly green garlic scapes and tender bulbs at the Shelter Island Farmer’s market on Saturday morning at Haven’s House, and at the Sylvester Manor Farmstand on Manwaring Road.

Protein rich quinoa is actually a seed from a South American plant that was first domesticated in the Andes. Tasty and versatile, it has become ubiquitous since the United Nations declared 2013, “The International Year of Quinoa.” If you have any 8-year-old children in your life, you can amuse them by informing them that that quinoa is grown near Lake Titicaca.

Tabbouleh made with quinoa is a great choice for race-day, easy to make and even easier to digest. The seeds of the quinoa develop a white curly tail as they cook, like a Nike swoosh, nature’s way of telling you they are ready to eat.

Couscous is a type of pasta made from durum wheat, that is a staple in the North African diet. The yellow grains of couscous are steamed, and transformed into a nutty and delicious base for contrasting flavors and textures. Like quinoa, couscous is a high protein source of carbohydrates.

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Roasted bluefish with young garlic

Serves 3-4.

4 heaping tablespoons diced garlic scapes, or young garlic.

2 tablespoons of olive oil plus a little more to coat the pan

1 grind of pepper

½ teaspoon of salt

2 pounds bluefish fillets

1. Combine the garlic scapes, olive oil, pepper and salt and rub the mixture on top of the bluefish fillets.

2. Coat a pre-heated iron skillet or heavy ovenproof pan with a film of olive oil and place the bluefish fillets skin side up. Nestle most of the garlic under the fish, leaving a few on top to brown.

3. Roast in a preheated 425-degree oven for 10 minutes, or until the skin just begins to char on the edges and the flesh flakes when tested with a fork. 

Baked tomatoes

Serves 4 as a side dish.

2 large tomatoes split in half

2 tablespoons diced garlic scapes or young garlic

2 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs

Pinch of salt

2 generous grinds of pepper

1-tablespoon olive oil

1.Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2.Place the split tomatoes halves, cut side up in a lightly oiled baking dish.

3.Combine the garlic scapes, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a bowl and toss lightly.

4.Cover each tomato half with the breadcrumb mixture.

5.Drizzle a little more olive oil on each tomato.

6.Bake for 15 minutes, until the tops are browned and the tomatoes are soft, but not collapsed.

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Quinoa tabbouleh

Adapted from Ina Garten

2 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup quinoa

8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved

½ red onion finely chopped

¼ cup minced parsley

¼ cup minced mint

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup rice vinegar

½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

1.Heat water to a boil. Add salt and quinoa, cover, and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. You will see small, curly white swirls in the quinoa grains, which shows that they are cooked. Drain any water that has not been absorbed.

2.Combine the tomatoes, onion, parsley, and mint in a serving bowl.

3.Fold the olive oil into the quinoa, add the rice vinegar.

4.Fold the quinoa mixture into the serving bowl and combine with the feta.

5.Serve at room temperature.

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Couscous Salad

Serves 4.

2 cups water

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup couscous

1/3 cup golden raisins

½ cup garlic chopped scallions

½ cup diced carrots

½ cup slivered almonds

½ cup minced parsley

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons curry powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1.Bring the water to a boil, stir in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and couscous.

2.Remove from heat, fold in the raisins, cover, and let it steam for 15 minutes.

3.Drain any excess water, fluff the couscous with a fork, and combine with the scallions, carrots, and almonds.

4.Mix the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, with parsley, the rice vinegar, curry powder, salt, and pepper.

5.Serve at room temperature.