First published in July 2006, this updated pantry ingredient post features new photos, links, and tweaks to the recipe. I've been making these veggies for more than twenty years, and I've never tired of the fresh flavor and crunch of lightly-cooked vegetables in a pan vinaigrette. All of the ingredients are available year-round, so you can bring color to the table even in mid-winter.
Kalamata, picholine, frantoio, arbequina, souri ... I've never met an olive I didn't want to take home, but good old black olives in a can are the only ones that merit a permanent place in my pantry.
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After too much holiday eating and one birthday celebration after another in January, I'm atoning for my culinary sins by indulging in lighter meals like soups and salads. This spinach salad with honey mustard vinaigrette sits halfway between a traditional spinach salad and a Cobb, with big chunks of avocado, bacon and hard-boiled egg atop a bed of dark leafy greens. To go more Cobb, add some diced cooked chicken. Omit the bacon to make it vegetarian; omit the egg, substitute chunks of roasted zucchini or winter squash, and swap agave nectar for honey for a vegan variation. I serve this salad as a main dish for lunch or dinner, with crusty bread on the side.
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When I saw a recipe for raw beets and butternut slaw on Apron Strings, the vivid colors grabbed me, and I knew the idea of beets with a maple syrup dressing would grab my husband Ted. Though I've eaten many a raw beet, I was a bit skeptical about the squash. Shame on me for not trying it sooner; crispy, crunchy raw butternut rocked my world. This salad debuted on our Thanksgiving table, and it's been a wonderful low-calorie addition to the meager winter salad repertoire. Squash can be treacherous to break down on a box grater or with a mandoline, so use a food processor fitted with a shredding disc. Remember not to toss the slaw with the dressing until the very last minute, or the beets will turn everything pink.
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Farro, I owe you an apology. I didn't mean to bury you in the back of the pantry cupboard and forget all about you for, oh, a couple of years, but I did. To make amends, I've created this salad to showcase your nutty wheat taste and texture. You have great company: white beans, slow-roasted tomatoes, pecans and kale, and a mustardy balsamic vinaigrette drizzled over everything adds a bit of glamor. One of the ancient grains, you are easy to prepare (especially pearled farro, which has the outer husk removed and cooks more quickly) and versatile, pairing well with savory vegetables and spices, or with honey and fruit. This salad makes a great vegetarian main dish -- add some crumbled feta cheese if you wish -- and a perfect picnic take-along. Farro, everyone will love this salad, so I hope you forgive me for neglecting you.
Continue reading "Recipe for farro and kale salad with white beans and slow-roasted (or sun-dried) tomato" »