Cooking up a storm…

With Nelson away (Go Badgers!), I’ve a lot more free time, which I’ve devoted to expanding my vegan dishes repertoire.   First, to use up an abundance of tomatoes before they went south, I adapted the French Laundry’s recipe for Gazpacho.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo of this beautiful soup.  I was a little uncertain when I saw that the herb used here was thyme (what, what, what?), but if you ever needed an excuse to grow thyme in your garden, this soup is it:

  • 1 cup chopped red onions

  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber (peeled, and seedy midsection excavated)
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes (seeds squeezed out)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or 1 finely chopped hot jalapeno pepper
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • Sprig of thyme

1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, cover, and refrigerator overnight.
2. The next day, remove the thyme and blend half the batch until super smooth.  Mix back in with the chunky half and enjoy.

(Here is the original recipe, if you wanted to be more fancy, French Laundry-ish:


OK… next was this subtle, lovely dish to convince you that tarragon is another must-have in your kitchen garden.  Also, if you haven’t grown nasturtiums, add them to your 2011 garden.  They are ridiculously easy to grow, the flowers and leaves are edible and abundant, they make your late summer garden pop… need I go on?  The origin of the recipe is found on the NPR website below.

This recipe I did not alter:

Cold Green Bean Salad with Tarragon & Nasturtium

  • 1 medium shallot, very thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)

    Cold Green Bean Salad with Tarragon & Nasturtium
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon wine vinegar or sherry vinegar (I used sherry vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, very coarsely chopped
  • Salt
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 pound tender, young green beans
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 24 nasturtium flowers… if you don’t have, ok to leave out.

Toss the shallot, vinegar, tarragon and 1/4 teaspoon salt together in a large mixing bowl. Let sit uncovered for at least 30 minutes to marinate the shallot and blend the flavors.

Trim the stem ends of the green beans (you can leave the pointed tips). Halve the longer ones if you wish.

Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. While the water’s heating, fill a large bowl with ice water (using at least a dozen cubes of ice). Once the water boils, add the beans and cook briefly: 1 or 2 minutes for tiny haricots, 4 or 5 for bigger beans. Don’t walk away. Drain the beans quickly. Then shock them by dumping them in the ice water, agitating them briefly until they are quite cool (about a minute). Then drain again and set aside.

To make the dressing, stir the olive oil into the shallot mixture. Add the beans and toss well. Taste and season with black pepper and additional salt if needed. Gently toss the nasturtium flowers them with the beans. Transfer the salad to a serving platter or individual salad plates, making sure the nasturtiums are evenly distributed.


And lastly, this little gem that got better on day 2, freezes beautifully, and was just way too easy.  That being said, when I ate it the first day, I wasn’t overwhelmed… but the flavors really came together overnight.  There is a tahini dressing with the original recipe (see link) but I didn’t think it really complimented the dish.  I reduced the olive oil from the original.  I think either salt/pepper, or if you are like me who loves strong flavors… you can add a dash of tabasco, some Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acid, or whatever condiment makes your taste buds sing:

Ten Minute Tasty Asparagus and Brown Rice

2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

Asparagus and Brown Rice

1 can chickpea, drained & rinsed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch segments
3 cups pre-cooked brown rice
1 cup almond slivers, toasted
fine grain sea salt

Heat olive oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chickpeas and sprinkling of salt. Let the beans saute there for a couple minutes, but don’t over-cook or they will be too dried out. Add the garlic and onions. Stir for a minute. Stir in the asparagus with another pinch or two of salt, cover with a lid for a minute or two to steam – just until the asparagus brightens and softens up just a bit. Uncover and stir in the rice and almond slivers.


Three Angels Zinfandel 2007

Of course, complimenting your meal with wine is always lovely.  This weekend I’m drinking a peppery Zin from the Pacific Northwest from Angel Vine Wines… well worth the shipping cost of a case…

Today’s posting is dedicated to my beloved Kitty…

Beloved Kitty

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Lisa Martine says:

    Your recipes and photography are always outstanding ! You could make such a lovely food magazine….

    1. veganrose says:

      We could be co-authors… I always admire your work in the kitchen as well, especially your baking!

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