In my ideal world, there would be a magical little fairy that would supply our refrigerator with a handful of rotating salads. But, the salad fairy seems to have not found our house quite yet, so I’ve resorted to making some simple salads that hold up well to a few days in the fridge. Here is one of my recent favorites. It’s great right after it’s made, but gets even better as it marinates. It’ll last 3 or 4 days.
For the herbs, use a mix of whatever you have around that veer toward provincial flavors. I used mostly parsley and thyme, with some rosemary and a wee bit of mint. I really liked the addition of the mint, but I wouldn’t go too heavy on it. If you don’t have fresh herbs, you can substitute with 1 T of dried herbs de provence.
For the beans, I used some cannellini beans that I cooked from the dried beans, but any canned white bean will do just fine.
It’s high time for a salad post to balance out the booze and baked goods. Especially since it’s that corn and tomato time of year. So, here’s a simple salad I made the other day for a friend. Mid-bite she said, “See, this is the kind of stuff you should be putting on your blog! It’s so easy.” Or something like that. I agree.
In this recipe I use white balsamic vinegar, which my step-mom introduced me to a little while back. It’s really nice on corn, since it conveys a sweet flavor without discoloring the salad. It used to be pretty hard to find, but now Trader Joe’s stocks it and I’d imagine Whole Foods has it, too. If you don’t own a bottle, I think it’s worth adding to your vinegar collection. Just don’t show it to your cultured Italian friends, who will stare and say, “There is no such thing as white balsamic in Italy.” (Hi, Christina!)
I also used some neat-o lemon cucumbers I happened upon at the farmer’s market. They’re kind of funny looking, but a cute little kid behind the stand assured me that they were good. I’m glad I took his word for it. I really liked them. But, this recipe will work with whatever cucumbers you have around.
I knew I wanted to make something with zucchini and corn. I also wanted there to be leftovers — something I could easily eat for lunch over the next couple days. For the first time in my life, it occurred to me that a casserole might be the answer. So I made one. And it will definitely, definitely not be my last casserole. It hit the spot.
This dish is total comfort food. It’s particularly nice when you wake up in August with a cold that’s left your head in a cloud (colds in August = not fair), or even when all the news stories are just so miserable that it feels good to make something simple and grounded.
Contrary to my previous thoughts on casseroles, this is a light dish. You could eat it as either a main or a side course. If it’s a main, you may want to pair it with a tossed green salad. Also, this recipe isn’t fussy. If you have little bits of leftover grains around your house, you might mix them in place of or in addition to the rice. I can picture something with millet, quinoa, farro or wheat berries being totally yummy. Continue reading
While my body’s been back in the US for two weeks now, I think my head was still in Thailand until a couple days ago. A trip to the farmer’s market finally transported me back home. I was so excited about all the produce, I just wanted to go rush home and cook in our California kitchen! No more longing for scooters and noodles. At least, for now.
So, here’s a recipe that, to me, is quintessential California: light, fresh and healthy. Maybe it’s a little heretical to eat squash blossoms raw (the Italians wouldn’t approve), but they’re good, so why not? Continue reading