Week 4 and 7 more

How fun is this paint chip table runner? It’s what I found when doing a Pinterest search for all things tomato, the fruit/veg that’s seemingly/happily part of ever dinner these days. Paint chips are always made into new things like garlands and at least 32 other projects, so it’s nice to see them left as they should be–albeit in the form of a table runner!

Now on to Week 4 of the 101 Salads challenge. I’m still having fun with it! There are a few that were chosen because they have cilantro and I have some leftover from last week’s list and hate throwing it away (which happens a lot with cilantro, I’m afraid). Otherwise, I tried to stick with things that are in season, including all the delicious tomatoes up for grabs at the farmers’ market.

6. Sichuan slaw: Toss bean sprouts, shredded carrots and celery, minced fresh chili, soy sauce, sesame oil and a bit of sugar. Top with chopped peanuts and chopped basil, mint and/or cilantro. (The full trio is best.) [postponed to week 5]

20. Shred Napa cabbage and radishes. The dressing is roasted peanuts, lime juice, peanut or other oil, cilantro and fresh or dried chili, all whizzed in a blender. Deliciousness belies ease. [also postponed to week five...grrrr]

19. Mix cooked cannellini or other white beans, chopped cherry or grape tomatoes and arugula or baby spinach. Lightly toast sliced garlic in olive oil with rosemary and red pepper flakes; cool slightly, add lemon zest or juice or both, then pour over beans. [update 8/20: made this for a little dinner party and we had it as an appetizer. So nice...the warmed oil wilted the greens just slightly. And there's always something about white beans and rosemary. Will make again.]

56. Salade niçoise, sort of: On or around a bed of greens, make mounds of olives, cooked new potatoes and green beans (warm or at room temperature), good tomatoes, capers, fennel slivers, hard-cooked eggs and good quality Italian canned tuna. None of these is crucial; you get the idea. Serve with vinaigrette or aioli. [update 8/20: made this in honor of Julia Child. Was nice but nowhere close to Balthazar's version. Once you've had a nicoise at Balthazar, you're pretty much spoiled, I hate to say...]

50. It’s puttanesca-ish: Egg salad with pitted black olives, chopped tomatoes, capers, anchovies (optional), a tiny bit of garlic and some red onion; mayonnaise as needed. [update 8/20: Also made this last week and found it to be nice, but careful with all the salty things...I used too many olives, I think. And I went overboard with the anchovies, but that seems to happen a lot with me.]

89. Soak or cook rice noodles, drain and rinse; toss with cubed unripe mango, chopped peanuts, shredded carrot and minced scallion. Make a dressing of rice vinegar, fish sauce, lime juice, chili and a bit of sugar. [update 8/20: Made this on Saturday and it was a nice combination of flavors, even though I used ripe mango instead. I also wrapped the salad in rice paper just to change things up a bit.]

91. Cereal for grown-ups: Start with puffed brown rice; toss with chopped tomatoes, scallions, a minced chili, cooked or canned chickpeas and toasted unsweetened coconut. Dress with coconut milk and lime juice. [Postponed. Double grrrr.]

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