July 29, 2014

Lentil Potato Salad with Feta


Lentil Potato Salad with Feta




I can't resist the cartons of itsy-bitsy potatoes at the farmer's market this time of year. Tender and tasting of earth, which I guess is to say dirt, they cook quickly and pair with just about anything, such is the easy-going nature of these tubers. A quick boil, a gentle smash and they're ready to hang out with green lentils, fresh herbs, a bit of onion, a chunk of feta, lots of good olive oil and a healthy shot of lemon juice. Good warm now, even better for lunch tomorrow.



July 20, 2014

Yogurt Buttermilk Herb Dressing/Dip


Yogurt buttermilk herb dressing

Homemade buttermilk herb dressing is so good and I love to occasionally douse my salads with the stuff but it does contain a fair amount of mayonnaise which makes it kind of bad for you. Bummer.

I replaced the mayo with plain yogurt in this version and it's pretty good. Maybe not quite as good as the naughty variety but it's an excellent stand-in and maybe even better when you use it as a dip for potato chips since it's a little tangier than the original, like a sour cream dip.

I know I know—now it's healthy and I dunk chips into it? Doesn't that defeat the purpose? Naw. In the world of crunchy salty snack foods potato chips are practically healthy...just three ingredients and you can pronounce and source each of them. How's that for a rationalization?


July 15, 2014

Raw and Grilled Corn Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette





It's almost full-throated, stop at every farm stand, butter and salt dripping down your wrist, stuck between your teeth corn-o-copia time in Minnesota. Corn on the cob recalls the best summer meals and memories; steak, burgers or fish you or your sister or your dad caught in the lake and fried in a big skillet served alongside perfect corn and sliced tomatoes with black pepper and salt from the glass shaker on the table with grains of rice in it to keep the salt from caking and refusing to pass through the holes on the lid. After dinner it's endless games of gin rummy or cribbage with a little baby powder sprinkled on the cards to keep them dry and able to shuffle properly, which is to say thoroughly because these are games of skill. Skill—never luck. 

This recipe is made with corn I got at the grocery store. Not the perfect corn because it wasn't picked this morning and sold roadside in a paper sack or on a folding table outside the meat market by an older gent or kids sitting on lawn chairs looking like they have all the time in the world to sit and sell corn for a few bucks a bag. 

I left half of the corn raw and grilled the other half until slightly charred, sliced it off the cobs and combined it with a bit of red onion, red pepper, thinly sliced red cabbage, a spoonful of parmesan (feta or goat cheese would be good too) and a splash of punchy cumin vinaigrette. Great with grilled chicken on the side or cut into chunks and added to the bowl. 

July 2, 2014

The Best Granola I Didn't Make




My friend Angie makes the best granola and sells it at our local farmer's market and co-op. It's extremely tasty and full of clean, simple ingredients like dried fruit, lots of nuts, coconut, oats and maple syrup. In addition to being a granola entrepreneur, Angie is the mother of four busy kids, a runner, former peace corps volunteer and has an upbeat (but not in an annoying way) personality. I think she's written a few children's books too—I can't keep up.

She asked me to photograph her delicious product and I'm happy to do it provided I can keep my family from tearing into the bags long enough for me to take the pictures. They've agreed to keep away but have laid claim to their favorite variety so when the last photo is taken, they'll be digging in—usually with hands straight in the bag. No need for milk, yogurt or spoon. It's so good.

Buy it at the Linden Hills Farmers Market on Sundays from 9-1, the Linden Hills Co-Op or her website www.gustolagranola.com


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