Friday, August 30, 2013

A Simple & Pretty Potato Salad (Vegan)

I just couldn't resist the pretty, but pricey, colorful medley of tiny potatoes at Whole Foods.  They are perfect for potato salad (they don't get mushy), and the taste is a cut above those I've purchased from other stores.

This vegan, gluten-free potato salad is a pleasant alternative to those heavy mayo-based versions.  The dressing is a a Dijon mustard vinaigrette and produces a lovely, tangy salad that won't weigh you down.

Plus, it's incredibly easy and quick to make, perfect for that last minute holiday weekend for a few or a crowd. Make it ahead of time, the flavors just get better!

Pretty Potato Salad:

1 1/2 - 2 lbs potatoes, colorful medley
2 TBS thinly sliced scallions
1/4 cup olive oil
1 TBS champagne or white wine vinegar
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard (I used a Tarragon flavored dijon - fabulous!)
sea salt
black pepper

Place the potatoes in a saucepan with salted water and bring to the boil. Turn down to a softer boil and cook until just tender when pierced with a sharp night. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool.

Slice the potatoes in half if they're tiny, quarters if they are larger.  Place in a bowl and add the scallions.

Whisk together all the remaining ingredients and pour over the potatoes, tossing ever so gently to make sure all the potatoes are covered with the vinaigrette.  Adjust salt and pepper.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

White Bean Summer Stew in a Tomato-Caper-Olive Sauce

This was the perfect late supper dish to end a full day of summer fun.  White beans, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms and spinach in a tomato sauce flavored with capers, olives and pesto. Vegan (using cheese-free pesto) and gluten-free, this recipe makes a hearty plate of food without weighing you down.

I topped mine with feta and pine nuts to round out that Mediterranean feel. Enjoy!

White Bean Summer Stew in a Tomato-Caper-Olive Sauce:
1 tsp olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
2 tsp capers
10 kalamata olives, sliced
1 cup cauliflower florettes (cut small)
1 zucchini (I used a yellow one), sliced on the bias
3 small portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 -2 TBS wine (optional)
8 oz northern white beans (drained and rinsed)
1 TBS pesto
salt and pepper
2 cups baby spinach
feta and pine nuts as topping (optional)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and fry the sliced garlic until just browning. Add the tomatoes, capers and olives and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the cauliflower and make sure the florettes are well covered with sauce. Add some salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, mushrooms, and wine (if using - adds depth), cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover and add the white beans and pesto, stir well to combine the pesto with the sauce and other ingredients.  Cook for 5 minutes and add the baby spinach. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach until wilted.

Top with feta and pine nuts if desired.