White Bean Salad with Fried Garlic Toasts

White Bean Salad with Fried Garlic Toasts

Low-effort and no-cook are ideal characteristics of a late summer, weeknight meal. Grilling is great, but sometimes you need something even easier—not to mention fresher—to put on the table. This white bean salad has been one of my favorite 15-minute dinners this summer, eaten straight, tossed with a bit of arugula, or best of all, with slices of sourdough that have been fried in butter and garlic. It’s satisfying (beans and feta cheese!) but also delivers some produce (tomatoes, cucumber, parsley). Some might call this an appetizer, but for me it’s just right as a light meal. Happy August!

White Bean Salad with Fried Garlic Toasts
White Bean Salad with Fried Garlic Toasts

White Bean Salad with Fried Garlic Toasts

Published July 30, 2019 by
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Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 15 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1 14-ounce can navy beans
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup feta crumbles
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste (optional)

  • For the toasts:
  • 4-5 slices bread of choice (such as sourdough)
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic

  • Directions:

    1. Strain and rinse navy beans. Place in a medium-sized bowl.
    2. Add diced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion, feta, and parsley. Gently stir until ingredients are well distributed. Drizzle with olive oil.
    3. Add freshly cracked black pepper to taste, then season with salt to taste (Note: the feta will also add salt to this dish, so really taste it as you add salt. I find I only need to add a little bit. If your beans were already salty, you may not need salt at all).
    4. Bean salad can be made several hours ahead of time. Cover and place in fridge until ready to eat.
    5. When ready to serve, prepare the garlic toasts: mince garlic. Add garlic, along with 1/2 tablespoon of butter to a skillet and warm over medium heat. Swirl butter in pan to cover the bottom.
    6. When pan is hot, place several pieces of bread in skillet in a single layer. (My 10-inch skillet only fit 3-4 pieces at a time, depending on size. Work in batches.) Toast on the first side for 3-4 minutes. Then, use tongs to flip bread to second side. Add an additional 1/2 tablespoon of butter if pan gets dry. Toast for 3-4 minutes on second side, then remove from pan. Repeat until all slices are toasted.
    7. Serve: top each toast with bean salad and set on serving plates.

    White Bean Salad with Fried Garlic Toasts
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    Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce

    Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce

    I’m trying something a little different today: a consolidated blog post. While I love writing, sometimes getting a blog post drafted (and published) is a chore. And, I have heard so many people—from friends to general internet chatter—say they wish it was easier to get to the damn recipe! So, here you are. This is an ingredient-heavy recipe, but once you’ve made it once you’ll see it’s quite easy to throw together. Cold rice noodles make a great lunch for enjoying in the sun, on the patio. Fresh herbs, tahini, and spicy Sriracha are bold and bright. Hope you enjoy!

    Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce
    Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce

    Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce

    Published May 7, 2019 by
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    Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 30 minutes



    Ingredients:

    For the Sriracha tofu:
  • 1 pound extra firm or super firm tofu, drained
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • For the tahini dressing:
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • For the bowls:
  • 1 eight ounce package Mai Fun rice noodles
  • About 2 cups spring greens
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1 cucumber, diced small
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1 daikon radish, julienned
  • 3 sprigs Thai basil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • Optional garnish: toasted sesame seeds and lime wedges

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 475°F and fit a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. Place Sriracha, olive oil, and soy sauce in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes and place in bowl. Use a spatula to gently turn tofu in sauce until coated. Using tongs or a fork, move tofu to prepared baking pan, leaving at least 1/2 inch of space between pieces. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Using tongs, flip tofu to the other side. Bake for an additional 12-15 minutes, then place pan aside to cool and turn off oven.
    3. Meanwhile, prepare tahini dressing: place tahini, maple syrup, rice vinegar, water, ginger, and garlic in a small bowl and whisk until fully incorporated (note: at first, tahini might not want to mix in, but eventually it will become a smooth sauce!).
    4. Cook rice noodles according to package. Place cooked rice noodles in a fine mesh sieve and rinse with cold water.
    5. Assemble bowls: divide spring greens among serving dishes. Top with rice noodles. Add red pepper, cucumber, carrot, and radish. Top with tofu, then garnish with basil, mint, peanuts, sesame seeds, and lime wedges. Drizzle with tahini sauce. Serve.

    Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce
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    Smashed Cucumber Salad

    Smashed Cucumber Salad

    I am a big cucumber fan — the type that will take a bite straight from a whole cuke - but you don’t have to be to enjoy this salad.

    Smashed Cucumber Salad is a Chinese side dish, and I’ve adapted that dish into a recipe I can make any old day. The salad base is still just cucumber (a GREAT way to mix it up when you’re in a salad rut). The dressing is where the rubber really meets the road here. You could use this dressing on other salads, too — but I never have leftovers 😁

    The perfect balance of salt, acid, and sweet: rice vinegar, soy sauce, and honey come together here. I haven’t yet watched Salt Fat Acid Heat (or read it), but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a dish that balances all of it’s flavors well. What do you think — should I jump in and watch the show?

    Either way, this dressing is golden. Garlic and chili flakes add punch. Cucumber is plain and simple; but simple is just right with the dressing.

    Smashed Cucumber Salad
    Smashed Cucumber Salad

    Smashed Cucumber Salad

    Published April 2, 2019 by
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    Serves: 6   |    Active Time: 50 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 2-3 english cucumbers 
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil or other neutral oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes 
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or white sugar)
  • 3 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger juice or minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce 
  • Garnish: 1 tablespoon minced cilantro, 2-3 small sprigs of mint (optional), lime wedges (optional)

  • Directions:

    1. Slice ends off of cucumber, and slice in half the long direction. Lay halved cucumbers seed-side down on a cutting board. Roll a rolling pin over cucumbers, smashing them just until the start to crack. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
    2. Place cucumber in a bowl and generously sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
    3. Place avocado oil, garlic and chili flakes in a small sauté pan and warm over medium heat until garlic begins to sizzle. Stir occasionally, and allow garlic to turn golden. Remove from heat.
    4. In a jar, combine honey, rice vinegar, ginger juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, and the chili-garlic oil. Stir (or close jar and shake) to combine.
    5. Toss cucumber in dressing. Top with minced cilantro, and optionally garnish with mint and lime wedges. Serve.

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