Broccoli pesto and green beans w/ tomatoes

The broccoli pesto is from Super Natural Every Day, by Heidi Swanson, who also blogs at 101cookbooks where there is a similar recipe. I never have any really great ideas of what to do with broccoli, though Rachel makes some tasty soups, so it was fun to try something unique and even summery. This broccoli had a little bit of a bite to it which made the leftovers seem a bit too broccoli-ish if that makes sense.

The beans and tomatoes are from our yard and the CSA (yes this is from a while back – so what) and were super delicious. I love to throw this little business together, though Rachel maybe doesn’t quite as much since she doesn’t really like tomatoes, except cooked, and these are only cooked a wee bit.

Start with some red onion slice thinly and toss in olive oil warmed over medium heat. Cook until soft then turn up the heat and toss in the beans along with some salt and pepper. Cook that together a few minutes – sorry I’m not good at specific times or markers – just cook them until they are nice and warm and perhaps you even see a few spots where they are browning. Then throw in the tomatoes cut into chunks along with a pour of red wine vinegar and then a pinch or two of red pepper flakes. I suppose I should try this recipe with some fresh peppers sometime, but I think maybe I just want a tiny kick without overpowering with pepper flavor. Cook and stir until the tomatoes break down a little bit and you’re done. Eat it.


Summer salmon salad

Okay, so this is just some leftover smoked salmon, but we are anticipating a healthy load of salmon fillets, courtesy of Iliamna Fish Co,in August. Iliamna is essentially a ‘CSA’ but the bounty is the Chinook Salmon they catch each year in Alaska. Our friend from college fishes there with his family and they have set up this company to purchase fillets directly from them in Portland and Brooklyn. Pretty terrific. It is too late to join this year, but definitely check out their site for info if you are in the area, or buy fillets online at Hearst Ranch.

Incidentally, the salad is thrown together with what was left from our regular ol’ CSA – some super sweet carrots, lettuce and radishes. I think the shelling peas our from our garden, but we have doubled up a couple times after harvesting our own peas and then picking up more from the CSA too. I think fresh shelling peas are probably my new favorite thing. They are so incomparable to anything one can buy the rest of the year. I know that is true of a lot of things, but the peas are really surprising me with how flavorful they are. Good raw like this in the salad, but Rachel swears by those that are cooked a wee bit. I think she is right.

Oh yeah, there is also a wee bean salad on the plate made from some dried flageolet beans. They are so pretty when dry and still kind of cute cooked up – pretty good with just some sweet vinegars and olive oil.


Spinach and Fava Bean Salad

This was a fun little experiment which involved:

  • one bunch of spinach
  • several springs of mint – we have some in pots, but around here at least, it grows just about everywhere
  • about a dozen fava beans – remove seeds from pods, blanche, then peel outer skin from seeds – this double peeling makes favas ‘famously difficult,’ but its really not that bad when not handling too many
  • dressing of squeezed lemon, olive oil, salt
  • oil-cured black olives – I like these because they’re not too tangy, but still have a nice, crisp flavor (I accidentally got olives with pits though, and didn’t realize until after serving –  oops)
  • fresh mozzarella

Might have been tasty with some toasted walnuts too, but we had along with some barbecued hamburgers, so keeping this nice and zippy was a good balance.


Cannellini Bean Salad

This little bean salad came together quickly from some odds and ends I found in the fridge. It came together really quickly and I was happy it ended up so tasty. This little combo is super adaptable, but this is what I used:

  • one can of cannellini – sometimes labelled white kidney beans
  • one medium slice of white onion diced and placed in cold water for a few minutes to tame the spiciness
  • a handful of kalamata olives
  • about equal parts oil from the olives and cider vinegar plus a dash of tarragon vinegar (because I thought it was too sweet), and a pinch of salt

After mixing everything else, I stirred in some fresh parsley from the garden and some feta cheese then cracked a bit of pepper on top.