but then again, it’s not the first time that’s happened on a Wegetable Vednesday…
I won’t be pushing any more gazpachos your way, I promise, if you’ll indulge me this one last time. We’re feeling lucky that summer is still lingering here in Oregon (and likely where you are too.) We’re not in any way ready to give up summer eating until the choice is wrestled from us. Gardens and markets are brimming with heirloom tomatoes, fat cucumbers, fresh sweet corn, and peppers in all colors and shapes. Herbs, in one last hurrah, are pouring over borders or tilting heavily on their stems. And those California avocados are…welll…sort of perfect. So, really, did we have a choice?
Brisk on the day it’s made…a little mellower on the day after…
a soup that requires no cooking, whatsoever!
- 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped* (see NOTE)
- 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 red onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
- ½ cup fresh corn kernels (you can substitute frozen if you like)
- 3 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons fine-grained sea salt, plus more to taste
- ¾teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 3 cups (or more) low sodium tomato vegetable juice (such as low-socium V-8 or R.W. Knudsen Very Veggie juice)
- 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cp finely chopped fresh parseley
- 1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced or sliced
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
* NOTE – (about 6 – if you can find heirloom tomatoes – or if you GROW them – by all means use them – it will make an enormous difference in taste! Enormous, I tell you!) (Did you know that tomatoes peel with no argument if you mark the bottom with a little X using a sharp knife, then submerge them for 30 seconds in boiling water?)
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, bell pepper, corn, garlic, 2 teaspoons of salt and the black pepper. Stir in 3 cups of the tomato-vegetable juice, the oil, lemon juice and vinegar. Working in batches pulse the mixture in a blender or food processor until the mixture is soup but the vegetables are still somewhat chunky…kind of nice in a soup like this to see what you’re eating.
Oh what a tangled web we weave
when first we practice to conceive
a noodled salad of garden things
kitty-kimboed together, dressed with zing!
Once scattered with nuts it’s declared as g o o d
Pray tell – who then shall make it – for
clearly, easily, anyone could!
by Wilma Shakespoon
Today’s Wegetable Vednesday offering:
An entire vegetarian meal, loaded with raw fresh vegetable goodness, textured and colorful, brimming with citrusy, nutty & Thai chili flavors, tossed into a bed of cushiony yakisoba noodles.
This recipe can be endlessly adapted to whatever is fresh and overflowing from your garden, or whatever inspires you at the produce stand. (Maybe you’ll add slivers of sweet or snow peas, or thinly sliced cabbage or radishes. Or you might decide to even replace the cherry tomatoes with red grapes. You could also add cubes of fried tofu or cooked chicken breast if it pleases you.) The dressing you will love, just as it is.
Noodled & Tangled Thai Salad
Serves 4 as a meal
Simply cut the vegetables into sticks as thin and long as you can, or use a mandolin which will make quick & neat work of it.
- 1 package of yakisoba noodles
- 1½ cups very thinly sliced matchstick carrots (or grated into long slivers)
- 1½ cups zucchini (prepared as carrots above)
- ½ red bell pepper, cut into match-sticks
- ½ – 1 cup Jicama (grated into long pieces)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (cut in half if large)
- 4 tbsp (¼ cup) Peanut Lime Dressing (recipe follows)
- ½ English cucumber thinly sliced or thinly matchsticked
- chopped toasted unsalted peanuts
- lime wedges
- chopped or torn cilantro
Prepare the noodles as you like – if dry, you can either boil and simply strain, or strain and then quickly stir fry in a touch of oil (sesame or coconut are good…just go light.) OR, if you’re using pre-cooked Yakisoba noodles, quickly stir fry. Noodles can be warm or room temperature or chilled. All are equally good.
Place cooked noodles in a large, shallow serving bowl or platter.
Pile the carrot, zucchini, jicama, red bell pepper and cherry tomatoes (and/or any other vegetables) on top the noodles and drizzle with dressing. Toss.
Garnish with the cucumber, peanuts, lime, and cilantro.
You may want to drizzle with drops of sriracha sauce if you love the heat, and some might like an additional bit of tamari or soy. But most, including kids, will like it just as it is.
This dressing is delicious… Read more
I hadn’t intended to limit my posts during these renovation weeks to vegetables and salads – wouldn’t you much rather see photos all oozy, fruit syrupy, coconut-sprinkled, chocolate-slathered, honey creamy rich swallows of sweetness that you’d gladly over-consume a day’s worth of calories to sink your face into? Of course you would. And HOW I disappoint - cauliflower, of all things! (So in hopes of making it up to you, may I direct you to a couple kitchens where they’re still putting wildly luscious things on the table that will have you drooling like a toddler cutting teeth? Merci beaucoup, Movita Beaucoup! I NEVER leave your place without a huge smile on my face and dreams of hand-feeding those I love with what you’ve just baked! And Smidge, who NEVER does things by dribs or drabs or “just a smidgens” – but goes ALL out with her exquisite cakes and cake-lets! If you don’t know and love these women already, may I suggest you should?)
Still…you don’t want to forget your vegetables completely do you? And here it is already Wegetable Vednesday!
I don’t know if you knew, but cauliflower ‘s quite the pacifistic vegetable. Mild and meek, ever-open to compromise, never jumping off the fork to assert itself. It’s SO compliant in fact, we can whip it into something very closely resembling mashed potatoes. Though it can be rather bland (flat out dull when boiled) clever humans have discovered various ways to color these pale flowers delicious. Fact is, it’s child’s play since cauliflower virtually never puts up a fight.
Grill it and toss it, while still warm, in a mustard & caper vinaigrette, tumble in colorful spinach and tomatoes, toss fresh dill at it, and you have a scrumptiously hearty, fresh-as-Spring salad. (And though some are loathe to hear it, it’s chockablock full of vitamins too!)
Grilled cauliflower & Spinach Salad with Tomato, Dill & Capers
- 2 Tablespoons capers, drained & coarsely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon French wholegrain mustard
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup (120 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small cauliflower, divided into florets
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 3½ ounces (100 grams) baby spinach leaves
- 25 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- coarse sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds (black or brown) OPTIONAL
- the juice of ½ lemon – at the end
Prepare the dressing: By hand or in a food processor or blender – mix together the capers, mustard, garlic, vinegar and some salt and pepper. Whisk vigorously or run the machine while adding HALF the oil (¼ cup) in a slow trickle. What will result is a thick, creamy dressing. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Set aside.