Archive for the ‘Side Dish’ Category

Pasta Salad with Feta, Basil and Tuaca Figs

October 3rd, 2017 2 Comments

  I made this salad for my second-ever wedding that I catered on my own many years ago, it was a good mix and I’m kind of amazed I don’t cater with it more often.  Those first weddings were so memorable—I wanted to provide awesome and spectacular food but was still learning what it meant to haul everything off-site, and calling myself ‘the caterer who goes where no other caterers go’ it’s no surprise that I acquired a few stories


Riced Cauliflower Salad

September 27th, 2017 6 Comments

  Cauliflower has been experiencing quite the celebrity status over the last few years because of its sturdiness and mild flavor that make it a decent grain-substitute when ‘riced’. Pizza crusts, pilafs, salads, as pasta—cauliflower has found its way into many low-carb experiments.     I wanted to make a saffron-cauliflower pilaf so I simmered the grated cauliflower with saffron, but after tasting it I was not excited. I don’t know if cauliflower and saffron have an inherent clash tendency,


Eggplant Fritters with Honey

September 19th, 2017 4 Comments

.   My boat!  We found this cutie resting near the shores of Lake Superior in Bayfield, Wisconsin.   There is not much downtime in the summer for Scott and me but we did manage a quick trip to hang out on Lake Superior, our midwestern ocean.  We stayed at a sweet little 50’s era place in Ashland called the Bayview Motel, right on the shores of big lake.  No online reservations—you’ll have to call or email to contact them,


New Mexico Chile Lime Slaw

August 15th, 2017 No Comments

  When creating a catering menu that highlights locally grown ingredients there is a certain amount of ambiguity that is necessary, especially if the menu must be decided upon months in advance.  No one can possibly know what will be available at an exact date so I cannot promise any particular vegetable in a dish.  Even with protective measures like hoop houses there are countless factors affecting crops–things like temperature, rain, no rain, early spring, late freeze, hail, floods, bugs, slugs, deer, raccoons—the list of variables


Tamari Eggplant

August 1st, 2017 2 Comments

  Need a bacon substitute for a BLT?    Oh my, the bacon lover in me says there is no substitute for the Fruit of the Pig…but these tamari drenched roasted eggplant pack a load of flavor that gives satisfaction to the Umami Itch.  I made this little sandwich with parmesan but I’m positive a fresh ripe tomato would be a perfect match on top. I often use a marinade with equal parts tamari and cider vinegar—Roasted Tofu Skewers is another example


Black Bean Burgers

July 11th, 2017 2 Comments

  The Weavers were back! June is a full and demanding month for me but I get to end it by providing meals for a lovely group of basket weavers from around the world at the Willow Gathering.  This session I peeked in on traditional basket styles from the Catalan region of Spain, and I’ll post the photos from two other sessions later…         The fresh willow is soaked in water so it bends easily, then kept wrapped in plastic


Sesame Chicken Salad

July 4th, 2017 1 Comment

  I really didn’t intend to make a Chicken Salad, it just happened. It started because I wanted to make a chili-lime slaw as a trial run for something I might do for a catering event this summer.  I then saw the toasted sesame oil in the cupboard so I let it shift the flavors into that direction.  Rice vinegar, garlic chili paste, ginger—the dressing was tasty, but I shredded a hard green cabbage and it was not-quite-right, tasting almost bitter, and too intense for what I wanted. What to do?  Add noodles?


Carrot Quinoa Salad

June 14th, 2017 No Comments

  Cute tiny grains.  Bright orange carrots.  Summer days.  Good.   Quinoa is a relatively forgiving grain to cook.  I loosely measure 2 parts liquid to 1 part quinoa, but if you rinse it well and pour a random large amount of water into the pot you can drain off whatever liquid is left when it is cooked to your liking, or you can add more water during the cooking process if needed.  Beautifully un-fussy and un-intimidating—but ONE EXCEPTION is that you


Jerk Guacamole

May 23rd, 2017 8 Comments

  A quick jaunt to Colorado on Amtrak helped me remember that trains are an awesome way to travel.  Everyone is relaxed, friendly, unparanoid, and relatively diverse.  The leg room in coach is luxurious and the small stations have free long term parking.  Perhaps it’s time you consider an Amtrak adventure?     A sun rising over Nebraska was enjoyed by a few of us in the observation lounge.  There wasn’t much talking in that pre-dawn reverie but the appreciation was palpable as we waited for the downstairs


Pickled Cumin Carrots

May 16th, 2017 5 Comments

  I referred to this pickling recipe in the Carrot Flowers post a few years ago and the Quick-Pickled Vegetable Salad last year, but I thought these beauties deserve their own page.  These are one of my favorite stand-byes for antipasto trays—they’re surprisingly bright and zesty, and the cheery orange is great next to the often dull brown hues of olives, mushrooms and meat.   This recipe is also from one of my favorite cookbooks ever, Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.  I made

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