Vegan

Summer Veggie Salad

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Asperge Sauvage, absolutely stunning both visually and in taste

I came across some wild asparagus at the green grocer’s this weekend and I couldn’t help but buy it. Wild asparagus tastes vaguely of the kind that is usually found in stores, but it is much more delicate, and needs to be prepared carefully so as not to mask the flavor. If you aren’t lucky enough to get your hands on wild asparagus, young asparagus stalks will work perfectly in this recipe.

This bright summer salad goes great as a side with seared fish, chicken or as-is for a vegetarian/vegan meal. The recipe is very versatile and can be done with a variety of ingredients. The lightness of the salad means that the flavors of the vegetables stand on their own, so be sure to select the freshest ingredients you can. I usually don’t make measurements for my dressings, so don’t hesitate to add seasonings to taste as you need, you can also make a bigger batch of dressing to keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks.

Summer Veggie Salad Recipe:

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Dressing:
1 clove of garlic, minced
½ lemon juiced
2 tbs whole grain mustard
4tbs of good quality olive oil
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1-2 tbs basalmic vinegar (or more to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

Veggies:
2 large zucchinis peeled into strips*
1 bunch of asparagus cut into 1” pieces, blanched
2 cups fresh fava beans or English peas, blanched
½ 14 oz can of garbanzo beans**
Crumbled feta***

  1. Mix together dressing ingredients, and set aside.
  2. Peel zucchini into long ribbons with a vegetable peeler, and place in a bowl.
  3. Blanch asparagus and fava beans or peas for 1-2 min in salted water, drain and shock in ice water in order to maintain a vibrant green color.
  4. Mix everything but the feta together and let sit for 30 min.
  5. Toss in feta and serve as is, or over a bed of greens.

*In place of zucchini you can also use any summer squash variety

**I always keep homemade garbanzos ready for use in salads. To make your own check out this recipe.

***To keep the recipe vegan, omit feta and make sure you use a plant-based mustard.

White Bean Stew

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As a kid, I hated leftovers. I knew that as soon as I heard the ding of the microwave, I was sentenced to a bowl of a sadder, soggier version of the dinner I had eaten the night before. The flavors were sure to be muted, and the center of the bowl was most certainly going to be just lukewarm. I was a child with very high standards.

I wasn’t picky, I would eat almost everything (except Chicken Cacciatori, sorry mom). I just valued food diversity. So, when my mom told us that it was “fend for yourself night,” I would experiment in the kitchen to avoid leftovers. This meant that I only had the contents of the fridge and pantry to work with, and really forced me to be creative.

As an adult, I don’t have the same aversion to leftovers, because no one truly has the time or energy to cook a full meal every day. So, I have learned how to make dishes that actually improve with age. I have found that braising is the best technique to produce a dish like this, and although it takes time to cook in the oven. It can always be made the night before, and be gently reheated in the oven for a relatively quick weeknight meal. This dish is one of my favorites, and is a perfect alternative to the more traditional braised dishes that tend to be very heavy and hard to eat as the weather gets warmer.

I also like that I can make this as a vegetarian meal, but I usually add swiss-chard, spinach or kale. This recipe is pictured with a saffron tagliatelle that I found at a local Italian market, but it can be served with your favorite pasta, or some crusty bread and a light green salad. The dried white beans can also be substituted for 2 14oz cans of white beans if you are in a rush, but I really urge you to use dried beans.

White Bean Stew
with Garlic Sausage, Fennel, Onion and Carrots

8 oz dried white beans (preferably Cannellini or Great Northern)
1 clove garlic, whole
1 bayleaf
4 tbs olive oil
1 lb Italian or Toulouse sausage*, crumbled
1 onion, sliced ¼”
1 bulb fennel, sliced ¼”
2 carrots, peeled and sliced 1″
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c dry white wine
3 c bone broth and 1 c water**
salt and pepper to taste
Parsley, chopped (optional)

Soak Beans:
Boil 4 c water with whole garlic clove and 1 bayleaf Rinse dried beans and add to boiling water. Turn off and cover for 1 hour.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°f, with rack in the middle.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a dutch oven until it is shimmery and add the sausage, cook until just browned. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Reduce heat to medium, and add the onion, fennel, garlic , and carrot. Cook until the onion is just barely translucent.
  4. Add the wine and scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, reduce heat to low.
  5. Drain beans and discard the garlic clove, be sure to keep bay leaf. Add soaked beans and bay leaf to the pan, mix together.
  6. Add the sausage, or greens if you are making a vegetarian version.
  7. Pour in the broth, water, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.
  8. Place dutch oven in the middle of the oven, and let cook uncovered for one hour.
  9. Stir and let cook another 30 min- 1hour, or until the beans are finished.
  10. Serve with chopped parsley over buttered pasta or crusty bread.***

To reheat: place in a 350°f oven until warmed through (about 30 minutes) or bring to a simmer on the stove.

*To make the dish vegetarian omit the sausage, and coarsely chop 1 bunch of spinach, swiss chard, or kale

**For vegetarian version use 4 cups vegetable stock. If you don’t have bone broth use 4 cups chicken broth.

***Try quinoa or brown rice pasta for a gluten free alternative or use a nice olive oil instead of butter to keep the dish vegan.