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- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 pounds medium asparagus, trimmed
- 4 cups thinly sliced green onions
- 3 cups 1/4-inch cubes peeled seeded Kirby or English hothouse cucumbers
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
Whisk first 5 ingredients in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature and rewhisk before using.
Fill large bowl with lightly salted ice water; stir until salt dissolves. Cook asparagus in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain, reserving 3 cups cooking liquid. Transfer asparagus to bowl of salted ice water to cool. Place green onions in another large bowl; pour hot reserved asparagus cooking liquid over onions and let stand until cool, about 30 minutes. Drain asparagus and green onions well. Transfer onions to clean kitchen towel and squeeze dry. DO AHEAD Asparagus and onions can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap separately in several layers of paper towels, then enclose in resealable plastic bags and refrigerate.
Combine green onions, cucumbers, and herbs in mixing bowl. Add dressing; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
Arrange asparagus on platter. Spoon cucumber mixture over and serve.
Vegan Onion Tart with Asparagus
To me, onion tart is a real, autumnal soul food: I know the classic from southern Germany and always associate it with the winemaking season. I just need to think about it and can already smell the sweet and sour odor of Federweisser. The great thing about onions is that they are regional and always in season. So why not cook a spring interpretation of the classic? For the seasonal touch, green asparagus will join the onions while thyme and dill add a wonderfully fresh aroma to the onion tart.
In the original recipe, onions are sautéed in a frying pan before baking, but we'll just skip that step. Instead, we simply bake our vegetables conveniently directly in the oven since it's preheated anyway. For this, asparagus and onions are added to a baking dish (size doesn't matter here) which are filled about two-thirds with water. This way, the asparagus and onions will be cooked, but also roast from the top. The powdered sugar provides additional browning and a wonderful caramel flavor.
While the vegetables are cooking in the oven, you can prepare the dough, in this case a vegan curd and oil dough that doesn't even need time to rest and rise. A liquid mixture of plant-based curd, sour cream, salt, and some chickpea flour is quickly stirred together and helps to firm the filling. Feel free to adjust thyme and dill to your taste or even use other fresh or dried herbs such as herbs de Provence or rosemary.
And with that, our savory tart is almost ready: simply arrange two-thirds of the baked vegetables on the bottom of your dough base, pour over the liquid mixture, and top it with the remaining asparagus and onions. After baking it's best to let the onion tart rest for approx. 5-10 minutes which will make it easier to cut it.
- 2 medium Persian cucumbers, split lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch disks (about 6 ounces 170g)
- Kosher salt
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 4 ounces 115g)
- 12 ounces fava beans in their pods or 4 ounces shucked fava beans (120g shucked beans)
- 12 ounces English peas in their pods or 4 ounces shucked peas (120g shucked peas)
- 8 ounces asparagus, woody ends removed, stalks cut on a sharp bias into 1-inch pieces (225g)
- 6 ounces snap peas, strings removed, sliced on a sharp bias into 1/2-inch slices (170g)
- 8 ounces broccolini, woody ends removed, cut on a sharp bias into 1-inch pieces (170g)
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) fresh juice and 2 teaspoons (5g) finely grated zest from 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (10g)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (45ml), plus more for serving
- 4 ounce arugula (115g about 4 packed cups of leaves)
- 3 ounces toasted sunflower seeds (85g)
- 6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut or torn into 1/2-inch chunks (170g)
- 8 ounces labne or Greek yogurt (225g)
Season cucumber slices with kosher salt and set in a fine mesh strainer or colander over the sink or a bowl. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the vegetables.
Meanwhile, place red onions in a 1- to 2-quart container and cover with hot tap water. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the vegetables.
If using fava beans and English peas in their pods, shuck the beans and peas from their pods, keeping them separate. Discard the pods. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Working with one vegetable at a time, blanch the favas, peas, asparagus, snap peas, and broccolini in the boiling water for 1 minute each, transfer to the ice bath to cool, then transfer to a paper towel-lined tray and pat dry. Remove and discard the skins from each individual fava bean. Set vegetables aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice and mustard. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain, rinse, and dry the cucumber and red onion. Add blanched vegetables, cucumber, onion, arugula, sunflower seeds, and mozzarella to the dressing, and toss to combine, adjusting seasoning with salt and pepper.
To serve, spread a spoonful of labne on the bottom of individual plates, or cover the bottom of a large serving platter with the labne. Drizzle the labne with olive oil, then pile the salad on top. Serve immediately.
For the coconut dressing:
In a small, dry saute pan, add the cumin seeds and toast over medium heat until fragrant, 3-5 minutes.
In a blender, add the toasted cumin seeds and the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.
Store in a covered nonreactive container. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
For the salad:
In a large bowl, toss the greens, onion and cucumber with 1/4 cup of the dressing, which should be just enough to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Asparagus, Green Onion, Cucumber, and Herb Salad Recipe - Recipes
Eight years ago, my family and I fulfilled a longstanding dream of mine to visit Armenia. Forty-eight parishioners from our church travelled together and experienced a trip of a lifetime as we explored our tiny country of origin and in the process became a big extended family. I cannot do justice to the trip without the benefit of the pictures I took which unfortunately are on a computer out of my reach right now. However, I am sharing a recipe with you today that I developed when I returned home to capture one of the signature dishes we ate nearly every day. It’s one that I continue to make today and is open to variations galore.
On most days during our visit to Armenia, we went on day-long excursions to visit historical churches and monasteries, museums and other landmarks. Around early afternoon, we sat down to a large meal together as a group. Without fail, there was a platter consisting of cucumber & tomato salad, herbs, cheese and lavash bread on the table which we could eat as meze until the main course arrived.
My husband and I really loved this daily treat. Each restaurant prepared it a little differently, but they were all tasty just the same. What was so interesting to me was the prolific use of cilantro in the salad, an herb that I really don’t associate in any way with Armenian cooking or at least my grandmothers’ kitchen. But we happen to love cilantro so in creating a recipe that was reminiscent of the dish, I knew it had to be included.
Right this moment is the perfect time to be making my Armenian Cucumber and Tomato Salad. Pickling cukes and all sorts of tomatoes are bursting out of the farm stands. The salad is best made using smaller pickling cucumbers which have fewer seeds and have much better flavor than bigger varieties. You could use an English cucumber I suppose, but it’s the earthy flavor of those fresh pickling cukes that I really love here. The recipe calls for traditional tomatoes but get creative and use whatever you have on hand. A colorful selection of cherry and grape tomatoes would look gorgeous. The only limit is your imagination. Add feta to the salad if you want or perhaps some avocado. Of course then it won’t be Armenian, but it will be delicious!
I am also posting this recipe today because it needs to get on the blog in anticipation of some exciting news I will share with you all in a future post in about a month. I’ve noted that some of the photos of the salad below were taken by my friend, the photographer Matthew Mead who visited my home this past Spring. More on that in the aforementioned future post!
Here are a few of my photos:
Served with hummus, grilled flatbread and some sliced feta drizzled with olive oil and za’atar.
Now for Matthew Mead’s gorgeous shots…
Armenian Cucumber and Tomato Salad would be the perfect accompaniment to my Grilled Lamb Kebabs (or substitute with chicken) and of course, Armenian Rice Pilaf. Yummy, yum, yum.
- Skip toasted sesame oil – It’s totally fine. Use good quality extra virgin olive oil, not just “olive oil”.
- Add vinegar – Just a splash of white, white/red wine vinegar or even balsamic if you like that zippy tangy taste.
- Make it creamy – Just add plain regular or Greek yogurt and omit oils. We used sour cream in Ukraine all the time.
- Change herbs – Use parsley or green onion (skip on red onion).
- Add lettuce – It will basically become my lettuce salad. It’s more leafy and needs a bit more salt.
Oven Roasted Asparagus
1 bunch Asparagus
1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. Oregano
1/2 tsp. Lemon Juice
1 tbsp. Parmesan Cheese
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Rinse asparagus thoroughly. Chop off the tough ends.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine all spices together with olive oil. Rub the asparagus with spice mixture.
4. Arrange the asparagus in a single layer on a non-stick baking tray.
5. Roast for 8-10 minutes until crisp on the outside and tender in the center.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe | 1-Minute Video
The ingredients for the salad were pretty straightforward:
- lots of fresh cucumber (I went with an English cucumber, so that you don’t have to mess with seeding it)
- ripe cherry tomatoes (or you could use sun-dried tomatoes)
- thinly- sliced red onion (feel free to soak it in cold water beforehand if you want a less onion-y taste)
- feta cheese galore (I used reduced-fat)
- your favorite kind of pasta
Then just whip up a simple lemon-herb vinaigrette to give it a fresh and flavorful kick, toss everything together…
…and this beautiful creation will be yours to enjoy and share.
So cheers to cooling down our pasta, and soaking up these warmer days ahead! ♥
Tomato and Zucchini Salad (with a Smack of Sumac)
I’m sure we’ve all made some version of the old summer staple, cucumber salad. It’s delicious and everything, but to me, it lacks zippy flavor. Cucumbers are mostly water, you know. So this year, I decided to make something different something healthier and I don’t know zippier. (Is that even a word?) One of those zucchini and tomato recipes that you can create, take to a potluck or picnic and not worry about having to bring any leftovers home.
Marinated veggie Salad Tip! To achieve that no leftovers allowed goal, I decided to focus in on using sumac in the dressing. It gives the salad more tart, citrus-y flavor. Fresh herbs help balance the flavors and provide extra antioxidants!
What is Sumac?
Sumac are any one of about 35 different species of flowering plants. Sumac berries are dried and turned into a powder that is used a lot in Middle Eastern and South Asian recipes (Sumac Chicken Thighs, anyone?) and it has some great health benefits, too. It’s packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, and it can help lower blood sugar levels.
So adding sumac to the tomato and zucchini salad for the health benefits was sort of a no-brainer. The fact that it adds such great flavor to the dressing gives it an extra star.
Obsessively good avocado cucumber salad
It’s been 29 weeks since I first made this avocado and cucumber salad, which means two things: it predates this news, meaning that all of my theories about this kid making me crave avocado, grapefruit, and chocolate are perhaps completely bogus, elaborate projections on my part. Two, I’ve probably made it 29 times since then and never shared it with you, which is a huge shame. I’m clearly addicted to it, but every time I went to take a few photos and write it out in recipe format, I convinced myself it was too simple to make a big deal of. You know, as if what anyone has ever asked for in their life is more complicated recipes and fewer 5-minute salads worth obsessing over.
I first spied it on the side of a plate on Instagram and my reaction was immediate and three-fold: why isn’t this in my life, give it to me, and I want it now now now. Fortunately, Julia Turshen is not only a talented food writer and recipe creator (nbd, just co-authored Gwenyth Paltrow’s cookbooks, Buvette’s, and has her own coming out next year), but a friendly human being who explained to me that she made the dressing with a mixture of mayo, lime juice and sriracha and I was pretty much in the kitchen before she’d finished typing.
There’s been so much chatter in recent years about the glories of avocado toast (I, too, am a convert but I’m also just as happy to let Café Gitane make it for me) but so much less about what an flawless combination avocados and cucumbers are. One is rich, the other is snappy, and they play off each other perfectly, like carrots and hummus, artichokes and lemon or radishes and butter. They’re as welcome piled on, yes, toast as they are on the side of a plate of tacos or grilled fish. I made a massive bowl of this for my family’s Seder on Friday night and based on how fast it disappeared, I suspect I’m not the only one who enjoyed a brimming green break from the traditional brisket, kugel and bread of affliction, rendered into various formats.
Not sick of me yet? Here are a few articles that have run recently where I talk about things slightly outside the recipe scope of this site: a bit about my kitchen in The Guardian, career advice on Cup of Jo, on why I continue to hate packing lunchboxes on Food52, how I “organize” (ha) my pantry (and baking pans) on The Kitchn, a bit about matzo crack and recipe attribution in Tablet Magazine, and an ode to the caramel cake in the archives on Food52. Okay, now I bet you are!
And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Better Chicken Pot Pies
1.5 Years Ago: Miso Sweet Potato and Broccoli Bowl
2.5 Years Ago: Apple Pie Cookies
3.5 Years Ago: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Obsessively Good Avocado Cucumber Salad
Inspired by the side of Julia Turshen’s plate
This salad is gluten-free, dairy-free, chametz-free and vegetarian… but you should make it anyway, heh, because it’s fresh and green and totally hits the spot. It also takes about 5 minutes, tops, to put together which means that you can make as much of a habit of it as we have.
There are a ton of ways to adapt it, too. Last Friday, I added some thinly sliced Romaine hearts for bulk, but still left it predominantly a cucumber and avocado bowl. I added the scallions, not Julia, but if they’re not your thing, skip them. If you’re not into lime and cilantro or parsley, try lemon and dill. If you’re not into mayo, try using yogurt. Or, skip the creamy dressing entirely. You could make a Tex-Mexish variation with minced jalapeno, olive oil and ground cumin, or a Japanese-ish version with a dressing of toasted sesame oil, miso, rice vinegar, ginger and garnished with toasted black and/or white sesame seeds. And if that’s still not enough to get you started, be warned that salads this simple might lead to you to add another dish, and then another, and then you might have as huge of a Spring feast as we had on Sunday night. Don’t worry, I told the family not to get used to it.
Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side
3/4 to 1 pound seedless cucumber, washed and chopped into chunks
2 thin or 1 regular scallions, thinly sliced
1 large avocado, pitted and diced
2 tablespoons mayonaise
Juice of half a lime, plus more to taste
Salt and hot sauce (we used Sriracha) to taste
Chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley to garnish
Combine cucumber, scallions and avocado in a bowl. Whisk together mayo, lime and seasonings, adjusting levels to taste. Drizzle salad with dressing and garnish with cilantro or parsley. Repeat again tomorrow.