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Recipes, resources and food inspiration from people and places in Kitsap County. By Kitsap Sun Web Editor Angela Dice.
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Archive for the ‘Salads’ Category

A Last Taste of Summer: Caprese Salad

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

This summer, I had the joy of watching the little seeds and starts I plopped into my little edible garden stretch and blossom. As a new vegetable gardener, I expected that not everything would go as planned. A “cabbage” grew up to be a giant Brussels sprout that took over a corner of the garden, shading out a few things planted a little to closely. Some purple radishes never really plumped past a skinny root, carrot seeds never quite figured out that summer had come. I had squash blossoms aplenty, but little in the way of actual squash.

But oh, the tomatoes. A couple plants snaked their way through the garden, bloomed and were produced prolifically. Also on the garden’s plus side were basil, sage and lettuce that added fresh flourishes to summer meals.

And with some of the little that remains, I recently made my favorite summer meal.

Caprese salad is a somewhat new-found taste. Though I may have had it before, the first time I remember it clearly  was eating it at a North Kitsap fire station. I’d been invited to a meal there, and among the other great dishes was caprese salad. (Side note: I learned from being a crime and public safety reporter was that firefighters make some darn fine meals, so if you ever see a chance for such a meal, jump at it.) Though wary at first, from the first bite I was in love. The combination of basil, tomatoes, olive oil and Balsamic vinegar was a simply beautiful bit of summer in my mouth.

So, in honor of the waning days of summer, this is what I made. I drizzled olive oil and dropped 12-year-old Balsamic and shook some coarse salt and freshly ground pepper over it all.


Celebrating Warm Weather with A Simple, Homemade Potato Salad

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009
potatosalad

I made my first potato salad this weekend. You’d think with something so easy, I would have done it before, but those clear little plastic grocery store containers just seem so easy.

Well, with the spectacular sunshine this weekend, I made a go of it as a side dish with some burgers.

I read up a little on the basics and whipped together one of my own. I got a few tips from Barbara Lauternach’s “Potato Salad”, which reminded me that there really are hundreds of variations on a potato salad (her book as 50) that range from ones with vinaigrette-style dressings to things way fancier than I’m likely to put with a burger. I also searched around the Internet for various recipes and settled on making a basic version of my own, noting that most have some sort of vinegar, mayo and of course potatoes. I also made good use of fresh herbs growing in my garden.

Other folks add sugar and more crunchy items like relish, parsley and/or celery. I stuck with some very basic and quick ingredients, but did change it up a day later by adding a boiled egg, mustard and paprika to make it a more filling lunch.

I wrote down the basics of what I used below. What are some of your favorite additions? Or do you have a different basic recipe?

(more…)


Simple Yet Satisfying Warm Weather Salad: Tabouleh

Friday, May 1st, 2009

When I went looking for a side dish for kebabs, I thought of one of my favorite warm-weather salads, Tabouleh.

This Mediterranean salad is pretty satisfying yet fresh-tasting and it just happens to be both healthy (it uses whole grains, vitamins from fresh herbs). I could eat the stuff all day, by the spoonful. Other folks prefer it in a little more moderation as a dip for pita bread.

Recipe variations range from ones that run heavy on the hergs, such as you’ll often find in Middle Eastern restaurants to ones that treat the parsley and mint like coloring for the grain. Though it’s usually made with bulgar, variations on the grain also include barley, couscous, buckwheat (if you’re going for gluten-free), or rice. To give the dish a more exotic flavor, you can add cumin cinnamon and/or a touch of allspice. I’ve also seen variations that include tomatoes, apples cucumbers and other veggies.

I chose a basic recipe from a book through which I’ve recently been browsing, New York Times cooking guru Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food, listed below:

Tabouleh

(from How to Cook Everything)
1/2 cup fine- to medium-grind bulgur
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (adjust according to taste)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups roughly chopped parsley leaves
1 cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup shopped green onions

Soak bulgur in hot water to cover until tender, 15 to 30 minutse. Drain well, squeezing out as much water as possible. Toss with oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Just before serving, add remaining ingredients and toss gently. Taste, adjust seasonings and serve.


Edamame, Haricot Vert and Orange Salad

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

With all the fresh veggies about to come out in the farmers markets, salads are going to be making more appearances with dinner (and lunch).

I couldn’t quite wait, though, and utilized some frozen veggies to dress up a salad this weekend.

I ate this before I managed to take a photo, but with the green and orange and touches of red from the onion and the lettuce, it was pretty. Well, since you can’t see it, it was downright gorgeous, I mean you’ve never SEEN a prettier salad. Really. I swear.

The recipe below reflects how I  served it up. The next day I ate the leftovers for lunch, and it was even better after the bean mix had marinated for a night and I added some chopped avocado.

Edamame, Haricot Vert and Orange Salad

Serves 6

Dressing:
3 Tbs rice vinegar
2 Tbs walnut oil (or olive oil)
1-2 Tbs sake
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp grated orange zest
1/4 tsp pepper

The salad
1 1/2 cups shelled edamame*
2 cups haricots verts (small green beans)
1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
1-2 oranges, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
Mixed salad greens

*If you’re using frozen edamame and/or green beans, make sure not to fully cook them (only leave them in the boiling water a few minutes) and rinse them with cold water so they stay cool and crunchy for the salad.

Toss together beans, onion and orange. Leave out the greens until you’re ready to serve.

Whisk together all dressing ingredients. Pour half over bean mix and marinate for an hour or overnight. Before serving, toss remaining dressing with greens and beans mix.


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About This Blog

The Food Life covers people, place and events involved in the food community on the Kitsap Peninsula and surrounding areas.
Written by Angela Dice. You can contact me at angela [at] angeladice.com.

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