Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Green Bean, Chickpea & Potato Salad

I think potato salad is great. I love it fancy, like I made it last summer, served warm with asparagus and dressed with tahini. I like the kind you can buy at Safeway made with mustard. And P and I can both eat embarrassing amounts of my Aunt Kathie's version, which includes pickles.

Since this summer was a whirlwind and September is just a few days away, I figured I better squeeze some in before it is time to move on from summer salads. You know, move on to preparing fall soups while I pretend it is NOT over 110 degrees F outside. Sigh.

Because I was making this for the work week, I wanted it to be healthy and a good lunch option. You'll need the following:

2 medium sweet potatoes
8 small yukon gold, red, or purple potatoes
Several large handfuls green beans, ends cleaned
1 can chickpeas, drained
16 oz. plain greek yogurt
2 lemons
3 cloves garlic, diced
Fresh parsley
Good quality mustard

Place your potatoes in a big pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Cook until they are soft but still firm. While the potatoes are boiling, blanch your green beans. (Bring water to a boil, add green beans, cook briefly, then run under cold water.)

After the green beans are cool, dice into small pieces. Add garbanzo beans. In a separate bowl, mix most of the greek yogurt, the juice of both lemons, minced garlic, and several generous squirts of mustard. Mix well, tasting as you go. Add salt, pepper, and minced parsley.

Once the potatoes are done, run under cold water. After cool, slice into smaller pieces. Add to the dressed beans and toss well. Season with more mustard, parsley, salt, pepper, or lemon as needed and enjoy.

Considerations for food allergies and ethics: Gluten free and vegetarian.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Chickpea-Celery Salad

Mostly lifted from Heidi, but soooooo yummy I can't help but share.  I made this once a few weeks back and couldn't wait to get more CSA celery and do it again:

Group One:
2 large handfuls shelled pistachios
1 handful dried currants
1 drained can chickpeas
2 TB lemon olive oil

Group Two:
1 bunch fresh celery (incl. leaves), finely chopped
1.5 cups finely grated parmesan
juice of 1 lemon
handful parsley leaves, chopped

Toss together and bake Group One ingredients in a bread pan in the toaster or oven at 300 until chickpeas begin to brown.  While still warm, toss with parmesan until it melts slightly, then toss in other Group Two ingredients.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer Tomato Soup with Jalapeño, Corn, and Peaches

Every summer since I moved to Phoenix, sometime around August I have become obsessed with hot foods prepared at high temperatures. After P and I returned from a 3,000+ miles road trip through Arizona, Utah, Montana, Idaho, and Nevada last week, I immediately made this delicious tomato and zucchini rice gratin. (Highly recommend it. A little labor-intensive, but I did everything in my cast-iron skillet which helped.) Then I baked some savory zucchini and sun-dried tomato muffins that I had hoped to post about, but sadly I didn't really like them.

Keep in mind it was 115+ for the past several days in Phoenix. Even our amazingly high-performing 1970s chiller was having a hard time keeping up. Lucky for me, and for you, on Tuesday the temperature dropped to around 106.  With that wave of cool air, haha, I was brave enough to go for heat again and make this delicious summer tomato soup. I've had it in my mind ever since we bought some roadside peaches from farmers in New Meadows, Idaho.

1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 jalepeño, cleaned, de-seeded, and chopped
1 leek, thinly sliced (this was leftover from another dinner, you could leave it out)
2 ears of corn with kernels sawed off
1-2 peaches, sliced
Roughly 56 oz. of canned or jarred fire-roasted tomatoes (if using cans, look for cans free of BPA)
1 can coconut milk
3 Tablespoons butter
Juice of  1/2 lemon
Ground ginger
Sea salt
Crushed red pepper

Avocado, for garnishing
Sharp white cheddar, for garnishing

Melt the butter in your soup pot. Add onion, garlic, jalepeño, and leek (if using), with a good shake of salt and crushed pepper and several good shakes of ginger. Cook on medium heat for 10 or so minutes.

In the meantime open all of your jars or cans of tomatoes. Pour into your soup pot, along with about 1/2 the can of coconut milk. Squeeze 1/2 lemon over the soup. Simmer for 10 or so minutes. Taste. At this point I used one of the empty cans to add water, and also added more spices and the rest of the coconut milk.

Add your sliced peaches and simmer for another few minutes. Then, immersion blend until the soup is fairly creamy, but with some texture. Add the corn kernels and stir well.

Serve with avocado slices and a good sprinkle (or blanket, ha) of sharp white cheddar.

Considerations for food allergies and ethics: Vegetarian and gluten free. Replace the cooking butter with olive oil and skip the cheese if you are vegan.