Thursday, June 30, 2011

Marinated White Beans with Tomatoes

While preparing for a recent picnic, I decided to mix up some marinated beans. After seeing this recipe on Budget Bytes, I had been thinking about a cold bean mixture to enjoy during the hot days of summer. I adapted her idea with a few tips from Jamie Oliver's salad video to create this great snack, crostini topper, or side dish.

Ingredients for Dressing
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp high quality mustard (ex: stone ground or Dijon mustard)
  • small handful fresh flat leaf parsley, minced
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
Other Ingredients
  • one or two 15 oz. cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained (for a dish with lighter dressing, use 2 cans of beans)
  • 1 small vine ripe tomato, diced
  1. In a small lidded container, combine dressing ingredients and shake well.
  2. In a separate bowl or container, combine beans and tomatoes. Pour dressing over top and stir until coated. 
  3. Let mixture sit at least fifteen minutes before serving atop toasted baguette slices or as a side dish.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sautéed Sweet Potatoes with Granny Smith Apple

After a hectic end to my school year, I am back in the kitchen. Thanks for being patient!

I write today with a recipe that could easily be part of breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Think of it as a fusion of traditional home fries and Thanksgiving dinner's sweet potatoes. The recipe, adapted from Susie Middleton's Fast, Fresh & Green, caught my eye for its excellent description of walk-away sautéing. Middleton breaks up her book by technique; other techniques include grilling, braising, and gratins.

Important tips when walk-away sautéing:
--Cut your vegetable into similar sized pieces. The closer in size, the easier it will be to avoid larger pieces being undercooked.
--Don't be afraid of caramelizing or browning the potatoes - this will bring out their flavor
--This technique is flexible, as long as you keep in mind that it works best with firm vegetables like potatoes, carrots, or even cauliflower, paired with an aromatic vegetable such as mushroom or onion.

(This recipe can easily be made vegan by omitting the butter)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • generous drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, skins on, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 medium white onion, diced
  • kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 Granny Smith apple, chopped
  • splash of apple cider vinegar
  • dried parsley, for garnish
  1. Heat large frying pan to medium heat.
  2. Add butter to melt, and olive oil
  3. Add sweet potatoes, onion, and a few shakes of salt to the pan. Cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes. Stir every once in a while but do not scrape bottom of pan.
  4. Once sweet potatoes are tender, add fresh apple and a splash or two of cider vinegar. Cook for another minute or two, until apples are warm.
  5. Dish onto plates and top with a pinch of parsley and another sprinkle of salt. Serve hot.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mixed Summer Vegetables with Feta

I love shopping for vegetables in the summer. I go to the farm stand and buy whatever is beautiful. This week, the beets and I fell in love.

I know what you're thinking: beets are gross. My question to you: on what beets are you basing your judgment? Those slimy canned discs are NOT beets - they're aliens! Grab some fresh ones from your local farmers' market, boil them, and enjoy their delicious sweet flavor.

  • 4 small/medium beets, washed and greens removed
  • 1 yellow squash, halved lengthwise and sliced (into half-moon shape)
  • olive oil
  • red or white wine vinegar
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 vine ripe tomatoes, cut into small wedges
  • 3-4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled or broken into small pieces
  1. Place beets in small pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook until tender.
  2. While beets are cooking, heat up grill or flat top griddle to medium heat.
  3. Spear squash slices onto kabobs.
  4. Place kabobs on grill. Drizzle with both olive oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook 8-10 minutes on each side, until charred.
  6. Place squash in serving bowl to cool.
  7. When beets are done, slice in half horizontally, then into small chunks. Let cool, then add to serving bowl.
  8. Add tomatoes and feta.
  9. Toss gently and serve at room temperature.