QUINOA, ASPARAGUS & FETA SALAD

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 large ripe tomato, diced
  • 2 scallions, thinly slices
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine or champagne vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled or cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Ice

In a small sauce pan, combine quinoa  and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes, until tender, but still chewy and white spirals are visible around each grain. Remove pan from heat, take off the lid, allowing quinoa to cool. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath by placing 1-2 cups of ice in a medium bowl and adding water. Set aside. Bring another small pan of water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spider, scoop out the asparagus and plunge it into the ice water bath to stop cooking and set the color. Remove the asparagus and pat dry with a paper towel or clean dish cloth. For the dressing, using a microplane, remove the zest from the lemon and cut the lemon in half. Combine the lemon zest and juice from half of the lemon in a small bowl. Add the vinegar, olive oil, tarragon and mint. Add salt and pepper to taste. Whisk to combine. In a medium bowl, combine the peas, diced tomates, asparagus, quinoa, scallions and feta. Toss with the dressing and serve. Makes 4 servings.   

WHITE BEAN AND VEGETABLE STEW

  • 1 pound dried large white large beans, (such as lima or gigante), soaked overnight, drained
  • 1 onion, trimmed, peeled, halved through core
  • 3 ribs celery, trimmed, halved
  • 1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms (about 10 large caps)
  • 8 sprigs parsley, plus 3/4 cup parsley leaves with tender stems
  • 1 head of garlic, halved, plus 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt, plus more
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin oil, plus more for drizzling, divided
  • 3/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 1 bunch medium-size asparagus (about 1 pound)
  • 1 (10 oz.) bag frozen peas, thawed
  • 8 thick slices country or sourdough bread
  • 1 4-inch piece fresh horseradish root, peeled
  • 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges

Preheat oven to 300°. Combine beans, onion, celery, mushrooms, parsley sprigs, halved head of garlic, 1 Tablespoon salt, 3 Tablespoons oil and 2 quarts water in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, cover and transfer to oven. Bake until beans are fully cooked, tender and creamy through and through, but as intact as humanly possible, about 1 hour, depending on the type, brand and age of beans; start checking every 10 minutes after the first 45 minutes. When checking beans for doneness, stir gently and taste at least 3 beans as it isn’t finished until they’re all tender. Using tongs, fish out aromatics and discard. Season with salt generously. Let sit on stovetop, uncovered, until ready to serve. While beans are cooking, make the pistou and prepare the vegetables and garnishes. Using a sharp knife, finely chop mint and 3/4 cup parsley leaves. Tranfer to a small bowl. Add 3/4 cup oil, grated garlic and 1 teaspoon salt and stir to combine; set pistou aside. Trim and wash radishes; then slice as thinly as possible into coins. Transfer radishes to a small bowl, cover with cold water and chill until ready to use. Wash asparagus and trim woody stems by bending each spear near the but end until the place where it breaks naturally is found. Cut off tips, then cut each tip in half lengthwise. Slice now-tipless stalks crosswise into thin coins. Toss asparagus coins and tips and peas in a medium bowl; set aside. When about ready to serve the stew, return beans to a gentle simmer over medium heat with very minimal and careful stirring to avoid breaking the beans. Generously drizzle oil into a large cast-iron skillet and heat over medium until shimmering. Working in two batches, fry bread slices until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Season with salt and transfer to a plate. Oil may need to be added between batches. When beans are simmering, add reserved asparagus and peas and cook, stirring gently, until asparagus coins are barely cooked, but still bright green and crunchy, about 2 minutes. Drain reserved radishes. Place horseradish root on a plate with a microplane. Bring Dutch oven full of stew directly to the table. Serve with fried bread, pistou, radishes, lemon wedges and horseradish alongside. Makes 8 servings.

SUMMER FRUIT SALAD WITH ROSEWATER DRESSING

Fruitsalad

  • 4 cups watermelon, cubed
  • 4 peaches, sliced
  • 2 cups strawberries, quartered
  • 1 cup blueberries

Rosewater dressing

  • 2 Tablespoons rosewater
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • Fresh mint leaves, optional

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Make the rosewater dressing by mixing all the ingredidents; then add to the salad. Garnish with fresh mint leaves or serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days. Makes 4 servings.

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please send it to sheila.bergren@apgecm.com

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