A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bean Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette

This is my favorite bean salad. It's vegan, it's served at room temperature so it's great for a potluck, and it's pretty.

Bean Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette

1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger

Make vinaigrette by processing these ingredients in blender or food processor until smooth. Set aside.

6 ounces green beans

Steam or boil green beans until lightly cooked.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 red pepper, cut lengthwise in thin slivers
1 can garbanzos, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons sesame oil

Heat oil and sauté garlic and pepper until pepper begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add green beans, garbanzos, and sesame oil and toss and heat until well blended.

¼ cup thinly sliced green onion
Chopped cilantro

Remove from heat and add Hoisin Vinaigrette. Taste and add salt or soy sauce if necessary. Serve at room temperature, garnished with green onions and cilantro.

Friday, May 20, 2011


I know we've both posted about frittata, but this one is a little different for me. I saw it in Parade magazine in last Sunday's paper. It includes stale bread cubes, which give it a little French toastie personality, and it doesn't get watery the way it can with potatoes. I used one cup of bread cubes to six eggs. Delicious for a light dinner, and very good the next day as well.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Crop Rotation in New Mexico, and a Quinoa Pilaf

We stayed at Percha Dam State Park along the Rio Grande River in southern New Mexico again last week. Last October when we visited there, the surrounding fields were full of red chile pods awaiting harvest. Now, in May, those same fields were planted with onions, with many acres of alfalfa interspersed for healthy crop rotation. If the Midwest is the breadbasket of the world, this valley is surely the salsa bowl of the world.

I made a delicious, though unrelated, dish in the camper while here. I sauteed sliced onions, garlic, sliced red bell pepper, and strips of chicken breast in olive oil in a skillet. I added 1/2 cup quinoa and stirred until lightly toasted, then added a cup of chicken bouillon, covered the pan, and simmered until the quinoa was tender and the liquid absorbed--about 20 minutes, I think.

Summer Squash with Wine Vinegar and Mint

See our zucchini plant? It's nearly ready to bloom.

I used a couple of larger yellow squashes last night to make a dish by Viana La Place. Since it is served cold, and will keep a couple of days in the refrigerator, it's a welcome change for hot weather.

Cut two summer squash in small dice. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet until quite hot. Add the squash and saute until there are brown flecks and squash is tender. Remove squash from pan and place in serving dish. Add 1/2 cup red wine vinegar to the skillet and heat to boiling. Pour over the squash.

Then add 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves (I used parsley mixed with dried mint), and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and chill before serving.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

French Potato Salad

Mary Ellen loved this last night, so I am posting the recipe for her.

Cube some red or Yukon Gold potatoes, cover with water, and boil for about 5 minutes or until tender yet firm. Eat a sample, don't just test with a fork!

Drain and let cool a little, then toss with a couple of tablespoons each olive oil and red wine vinegar. Gently fold in Dijon mustard--start with a tablespoon and add more if you like--and salt and pepper to taste. Potatoes are bland, so season generously. Add a couple of sliced green onions and some chopped fresh herbs. Parsley is okay, but fresh tarragon is best. Serve at room temperature. This is best made a couple of hours ahead.