Here is a perfect summer side dish using all the wonderful colored string beans you can find in markets this time of year. The special ingredient that makes this salad so delicious is the peppery taste and earthy aroma of cumin. It lends an exotic note to a simple dish.
From by the bay, wishing you exotic food memories!
Mixed String Bean Salad
- 1 pound mixed string beans
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Blanch the string beans in a large pot of boiling salted water for 3 minutes until crisp-tender. Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water. When cool drain string beans and place in a large bowl. Prepare dressing by whisking the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Pour dressing over string beans and mix well. Serve at room temperature.
Guess what the new spinach is ? Kale! That’s a quote from a recent episode of “Modern Family” when Mitch, just returning from shopping the farmer’s market, asked Cam. Kale, an under appreciated green vegetable is having it’s moment to shine in the food world. I have joined the legion of fans of Kale and have started to make this vegetable a more regular guest on my dinner table and yes it is the new spinach. Mitch is right! I’m sharing two kale side dishes today, one is preparing kale the way I would broccoli rabe and the second is replacing kale for romaine in my favorite Caesar Salad recipe, using a dressing that doesn’t include raw eggs but packs the same taste! So get on the kale bandwagon and try it tonight!
From by the bay, wishing you tasty and new green leaf memories!
Sauteed Kale with Garlic
1 1/2 pounds kale, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
sea salt and pepper to taste
Place saute pan on medium heat add kale and wine and cover , stirring occasionally until kale is soft, about 10 minutes. Remove kale and strain off any liquid left. Place pan back on medium heat and heat up oil , add garlic and chili flakes saute a minute then add kale, let cook 2-3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
This is a great side dish , but I also use this at room temperature on toasted bread top with fresh ricotta and then the kale and lastly a shaving of pecorino cheese or also as part of a pizza topping as just a few other serving ideas.
Today Febuary 3rd is National Wear Red Day. “Go Red for Women” is in celebration of women bonding together to create awareness and fight heart disease. It’s a good time for each of us to reflect on how we might change our lives in order to lead happier, healthier lives. It doesn’t always have to be big changes, we can make several small changes to our lifsestyle that can result in being healthier. For example, I have decided to walk to work twice a week. It may not seem like a lot but in my case that is 5.2 miles per week, 270 miles a year and 27000 calories a year. Another small change you can make is increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet. I do this and limit the amount of fats in my diet and focus on eating lean protein. I suggest cooking with olive oil which is a monosaturated fat which is the healthiest one to incorporate into your diet – besides the fact that it tastes better. So in honor of day I am sharing a few of my favorite heart healthy dishes! Think about how you might lead a healthier life today!
From by the bay wishing you healthy food memories!
Green Spring Vegetable Salad
4 cups assorted blanched green vegetables ( fava beans, asparagus, scallions, peas)
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fine grey salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh mint chopped
Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix well, Serve at room temperature.
To blanch vegetables:
Fava beans – to pan of simmering water add shelled fava beans. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove and place into cold water. Drain beans and remove bean from waxy casing. Use for salad.
Fresh Spring Peas – to pan of simmering water add shelled peas. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove and place into cold water. Drain and use for salad.
Asparagus – snap off woody ends of asparagus. Cut into 2 inch pieces and to pan of simmering water. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove and place into cold water. Drain and use for salad.
Scallions- cut off ends with roots and tops using just the white and light green part of the scallion. Cut this into 2 inch pieces. Add to pan of simmering water and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove and place into cold water. Drain and use for salad.
Tip: to make this process easier I use a strainer to remove the vegetables from the simmering water leaving the heat under the pan and keep reusing the hot water.
Celebrate Spring with this minty fresh salad using early spring vegetables- peas and ramps. This salad is lightly dressed with a little olive oil and champagne vinegar so that the taste of the fresh vegetables shine through.
From by the bay wishing you minty food memories!
Minty Spring Pea and Ramp Salad
1 bunch ramps
2 pounds fresh or frozen baby peas
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
fine sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
Trim roots from ramps; finely chop white bulbs. Slice green leaves into 1/4-inch strips. Blanche peas by adding into a pot of boiling water for 1 minute, strain and place into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Once cooled, strain peas and place into a bowl. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add white part of ramps and cook 1 minute. Add ramp greens and saute until greens are slightly wilted about another minute. Remove from heat and add to peas. Stir in remaining olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Add mint and toss. Serve immediately or at room temperature.