Tagged: herbs

Salt & Vinegar Potato Salad

Salt & Vinegar Potato Salad
Week 2 of farmers market season and the pickings were just as slim as week 1. Please forgive my complaining. I know I am being impatient. I did see a stand that had Sun Gold tomatoes, so it won’t be long before all the leafy greens and asparagus transform into everyone’s favorite rainbow of fruits and veggies.

I left the market with a few things including a paper bag filled with fingerling potatoes. Instead of roasting them, I boiled the potatoes and threw them on the grill. I tossed those charred spuds with pickled red onions, champagne vinegar, olive oil, parsley and potato chips to make this salt & vinegar potato salad.
Salt & Vinegar Potato Salad
Salt & Vinegar Potato Salad

Adapted from Food & Wine June 2017

Serves 8

3 pounds fingerling potatoes (I used Red Thumb potatoes.)
Kosher salt & black pepper
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup lightly packed parsley leaves, roughly chopped
2 cups kettle-cooked salt & vinegar potato chips, crushed

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan filled with salted water. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the potatoes to a plate to cool. Halve the potatoes lengthwise.

While the potatoes are cooking, combine the onions and vinegar in a small bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Heat a gas or charcoal grill on medium high heat. Place the potatoes on the grates cut side down and grill until they are slightly charred and grill-marked, about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, onions, vinegar, olive oil, parsley and chips. Season with salt and pepper.

Asparagus, Cannellini Bean & Sourdough Salad

Asparagus Cannellini Bean Sourdough Salad1
Last Friday I had trouble sleeping. It wasn’t because my mind was racing with anxiety or nerves. Nope. It was actually just pure excitement. Saturday morning was the official start of outdoor farmers market season in Chicago. It was a day I had been waiting for since the last market of 2016. Yes, stands appear indoors in the slog from November to April, but it isn’t the same feeling.

I joined the early crowd—before 8am. The almost glove-worthy weather was windy and cool, but I didn’t mind. The selection was dominated by greens with a few pops of color here and there. I bought a couple bunches of slender asparagus. They were so fresh they didn’t require much fuss. When I got home I made an asparagus, cannellini bean & sourdough salad with Parmesan & scallions.
Asparagus Cannellini Bean Sourdough SaladAsparagus, Cannellini Bean & Sourdough Salad

Serves 2-4

6 ounces sourdough bread, torn into rough pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for serving
1 teaspoon black pepper pus more for serving
1/2 lb. asparagus, bottom ends trimmed
3/4 cup cooked cannellini beans (I used canned beans.)
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh chives
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Juice of half a lemon

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the bread on a sheet pan and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bake the bread until it toasted and deep golden brown, about 15 minutes, stirring halfway through baking.

For the asparagus, preheat a grill pan over medium high heat. Toss the asparagus with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Lightly grill the asparagus, until it is warm, but is still a bit crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Slice the asparagus into 1-inch pieces

In a large bowl, combine the toasted bread, asparagus, cannellini beans, scallions, chives and Parmesan. Stir in the remaining olive oil and lemon juice. Taste and season with additional salt & pepper before serving.

Rainbow Carrot Salad

Rainbow Carrot Salad
My closet and my pantry have two very different color schemes. I am an interior designer who works at an architecture firm, so I tend to stick to the unofficial uniform of black and gray. It’s been this way for so long that I don’t think I look good in anything other than cool neutrals anymore, and when I wear the one of the few pieces of colored clothing that’s still hanging around I don’t feel like me.

When I shop for ingredients, it’s the complete opposite of my wardrobe. I can’t get enough brights, the more saturated the better. I nearly cut off someone at the grocery when I spotted multihued carrots across the produce department. I made a crunchy rainbow carrot salad by peeling them into ribbons and tossing them with pistachios, chives and scallions in a cumin-spiced vinaigrette.
When I shop for ingredients, it’s the complete opposite of my wardrobe. I can’t get enough brights, the more saturated the better. I nearly cut off someone at the grocery when I spotted multihued carrots across the produce department. I made a crunchy rainbow carrot salad by peeling them into ribbons and tossing them pistachios, chives and scallions in a cumin-spiced vinaigrette.
Rainbow Carrot Salad

Serves 4

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 rainbow carrots, peeled
1/4 cup chopped salted roasted pistachios
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 scallion, thinly sliced

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, cumin, salt, pepper and olive oil. Using a vegetable peeler, cut the carrots into long ribbons. Toss the carrots with the vinaigrette, pistachios, chives and scallions.

Green Minestrone Soup

Green Minestrone Soup
I know spring is official when these two trees in our neighborhood start to bud and reveal their delicate pink blossoms. It seems like it happened earlier this year than in the past, but they are hearty trees. Those flowers manage to hang on through the ups and downs of early spring before they fall off, covering the sidewalk and making way for lush green leaves to take their place.

Soup still feels appropriate right now, but its days are numbered. This past winter I made classic minestrone, but I revisited this hearty bowl turning it into green minestrone soup. Each bite was filled with spring veggies like peas and carrots. It was comforting for the chill that seems to be lingering, but it was light enough not to feel like I was being dragged back to those short, dark January days.
Green Minestrone Soup
Green Minestrone Soup
Adapted from Bon Appetit

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, finely chopped
1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, thinly slices
4 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
2 small carrots, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise with a mandolin
1 cup shelled peas, fresh or frozen
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup fregola, cavatelli, ditalini or other small pasta
1-1/2 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
Shaved Parmesan for serving

Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks, onion & celery and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the carrots and peas and continue simmering until the carrots are tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

In a medium saucepan, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al denté, according to packet instructions. Add the pasta to the soup.

While the pasta is cooking, place the parsley, shallots, garlic and remaining olive oil in a food processor and process into a paste. Stir into the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the soup into bowls and top with with shaved Parmesan before serving.

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