Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Green Bean and Tomato Salad

Here in the Bay Area, we have over 75 Farmer's Markets open to the public throughout the week. That gives locals plenty of opportunities to shop locally and seasonally. In the summertime, the number of markets are at their peak, and so are the fruits and vegetables. I partnered up with some other local food bloggers to create a Dinner Party filled with finds from our local Farmer's Markets, and I offered to bring the salad. Take a look at what I made and don't forget to check out the other courses!

When it comes to summer, I have salads on the brain. I don't want to be cooking heavy meals when the temperature spikes. Fresh vegetables and lean proteins tossed with a tangy dressing keep you cool and comfortable, and looking good in your swimsuit. This salad is fast to whip together, and can be made ahead of time, making it perfect for your next potluck.

I took a combination of farm-fresh green beans and tomatoes, and paired it with a tangy shallot vinaigrette. For added protein I tossed in some chickpeas, making it perfect for lunch or dinner. Dress this salad ahead of time and let marinate for up to 4 hours ahead of time, or enjoy right away!

Green Bean and Tomato Salad
  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1/2 pound tomatoes
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • Dijon Shallot Vinaigrette, recipe below

  1. Trim stem end of green beans. Blanch in salted boiling water for 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Shock in ice water to stop the cooking, and drain well.
  2. Slice tomatoes into wedges. Drain garbanzo beans and rinse well.
  3. Toss green beans, tomatoes, and garbanzo beans together with vinaigrette, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Dijon Shallot Vinaigrette
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
    Combine minced shallot, mustard, lemon juice, and vinegar. Whisk in olive oil to emulsify. Season to taste.

Curious to see how the rest of our dinner party goes?

The Heritage Cook starting out our party with appetizers! See her Caprese Skewers.

Onto the main course: Crazy Foodie Stunts created a fabulous Roast Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Marsala Sauce and Nosh My Way brought her Loaded Mashed Cauliflower.

And don't forget dessert! Fearless Dining didn't take any shortcuts when she wowed us with her Vanilla Bean Infused Cheesecake with Peaches in Dark Rum Sauce.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Farmer's Market Friday #9

Welcome back to Farmer's Market Friday! I hope all of you had a fabulous and safe Fourth of July holiday and are enjoying the summer. So far we have had a hot, dry summer, typical of northern California. My tomatoes are starting to come in, and I have put in a few pumpkin plants in hopes of a fall harvest. My basil has been growing marvelously, despite being ravaged by earwigs twice earlier this spring.

Summer at the Farmer's Market means lots of squash, stone fruits, and berries, plus plenty of tomatoes, corn, and more! Besides the plum jam we've been enjoying, I made a half-dozen jars of pickles to get us through the summer. The Farmer's Markets are bustling and busy this time of year, so be sure to get out and enjoy the local harvest where you live, and thank the farmers that grow the wonderful bounty!

Farmer's Market Friday #9

Features from last week
1. Fresh Fruit Sorbets by Gluten Free A-Z
2. Easy 5-Step Window Box Tutorial by The Little Farm Diary
3. Fresh Peach Sorbet by To Work With My Hands
4. Strawberry Rhubarb Blondies by From Scratch 
Now it's your turn to add your links for a chance to be featured on next week's Farmer's Market Friday! Each week I will feature the top two clicked posts, plus a few that catch my fancy. If you would like to help co-host Farmer's Market Friday, for just one week or a whole month, let me know! If you we featured, grab a button in the sidebar, or if you would like to add this party to your link-up page, there is a party button in the side bar as well!