It’s summer! I love summer even when it’s scorching hot. I’ve put together ten of my favorite-make-again summer recipes. Below is a mix of salads, desserts and keepin’ kewl iced drinks. Picking berries, shucking corn, drinking bourbon iced tea - oh yeah!
Green on green on green. We’ve been eating more vegetarian meals for dinner lately. Sometimes with fish, others just vegetables and quinoa or rice. It’s been a while since I’ve looked through Ottolenghi’s Plenty, and it wasn’t hard to find something new right away. The book is front to back vegetarian dishes with amazing flavors. This recipe caught my eye because of the tarragon, I have so much tarragon growing in the garden and I don’t use it as often as I like. It works great in this salad as lemon and tarragon are a perfect match.
I skipped the nigella seeds because it sounded like one of those expensive exotic spices I might only use once. But who knows it might taste really good, people cannot even agree on what the flavor actually is. We had this last night over a bed of quinoa and a drizzle of sriracha, I skipped the red chile so this added some heat. I’ve tweaked a few things here but overall this is a great salad.
Green Bean Salad with Mustard Seeds and Tarragon
- 1 1/4 cups green beans, trimmed
- 2 1/4 cups snow peas, trimmed
- 1 3/4 cups green peas, (fresh or frozen)
- 2 teaspoon coriander seeds, roughly crushed with mortar and pestle (or 3/4 teaspoon ground)
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon nigella seeds (huh?)
- 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
- 1 mild fresh red chile, seeded and finely diced
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup baby chard leaves or pea shoots
In a small bowl place the finely chopped red onion and add the sherry vinegar (enough to cover onions) and allow to sit for 30 minutes or so. When ready drain the onions.
Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Prepare a large bowl with water and ice. Blanch the green beans for 4 minutes, then remove and place in ice bath. Drain and dry. Then blanch the snow peas for 1 minute, place in ice bath then drain and dry. Blanch the peas for 20 seconds, refresh, drain and dry. Place all the beans and peas in a large bowl.
Put the coriander seeds, mustard seeds and oil in a small saucepan and heat up. When the seeds begin to pop (after a few minutes) pour the mixture over the vegetables. Toss together and add nigella seeds, red onion, chile, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest and tarragon. Mix well and season with salt to taste. Before serving fold in the chard leaves, or top with pea shoots, or both!
Adapted from Plenty
This is really an outstanding salad considering it only has a few ingredients, but those few have a lot of flavor that all work great together. We went to Toro Bravo for Jeff’s birthday a couple weeks ago and ordered a few dishes and this was one of them. Everything we ate was amazing, they really know flavor there. If you are ever visiting Portland I would put this place at the top of your list for dining.
The weather has really improved here with more sunshine than rain, finally! This past winter was rough with 6-7 months of near constant rain and/or snow. But that’s behind us now and we’re finally getting to all the yard clean up and it feels good. I’m just so happy to feel sun on my skin that I don’t even mind the boring task of sweeping dirt. Well that’s all for now, hope you have a chance to try out this salad. Enjoy!
Toro Bravo’s Radicchio Salad
- 2 to 3 heads radicchio
- 1/4 cup good-quality balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup good-quality sherry vinegar
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1 + 1/2 cups Manchego, grated and divided
In a large bowl, add the balsamic vinegar, sherry vinegar, and chopped red onion (I used 1/2 of a large red onion). Let it sit for 1 hour and then strain out the onions. (you can keep the pickled onions for another dish if you like)
Remove core from the radicchio and chop into 1-inch pieces. Place the chopped radicchio in a large bowl, fill with cold water and some ice cubes. Let it sit for 15 minutes to remove some of its bitterness, strain and then spin in a salad spinner until dry.
Add the honey and olive oil to the strained vinegars and whisk well, I use this stick blender which works great. Depending on the size of your radicchio you may not need all the dressing.
Toss the radicchio with the dressing until evenly coated. Add 1 cup of finely grated Manchego, salt, and toss again.
To serve, top the salad in a serving bowl with the remaining 1/2 cup grated Manchego. Serves 4-8.