Sunday, August 16, 2009

Potato and Green Bean Salad

Yes, it's another salad. But I can't get enough of all the goodies at the farmers market, and salads are an easy way to combine a bunch of fresh veggies. I don't know how I survive in the winter without all the delicious fresh produce. I think in the summer I could be a vegetarian because there are so many fresh things to eat.

1 1/2 pound potatoes, we have been trying all sorts of different kinds. use whatever you have.
10 ounces green beans
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, check out Bari foods, they have great oils and vinegars.
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1.4 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
4 scallions chopped thinly
2 teaspoons chopped thyme

Make sure to scrub the potatoes first.Then place the potatoes in a pan with a little salt and enough water to just cover the potatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 12-15 minutes, till you can poke a knife easily through them. Add the green beans to the pot and cook for about 2-3 minutes longer. I like my green beans snappy, so I don't cook them for that long.

In a large bowl combine the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, mustard, pepper and 1 teaspoon salt. Whisk in the olive oil and get it all mixed up. Now its time to toss in the potatoes and beans, get all coated nicely. I sort of mashed a few of the potatoes with a fork just to add some texture. Lastly you want to add in the scallions ans thyme.
You can eat this as a meal or a side. Earlier, I said I could be a vegetarian in the summer, but I did eat this as a side with a bratwurst on pretzel bread, it was so so so delicious. I didn't make the pretzel bread, but it is on my list of things I want to try!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Potato, Bacon & Leek Soup

Chris came home from the farmers market with some delicious looking potatoes and leeks. I sort of wanted to make a quiche, but I decided on a soup. I know soup in the summer is a little strange, but our summer had been really cold. It is just starting to get hot here. The other day our friend Stacie was over and we were talking about her CSA and she was saying how she loved getting all the fruits and veggies. We got to talking about how our perception of what vegetables and fruit should look like is so off. Because everything we see at the store had been altered. Stacie got some strawberries in her CSA, when she opened the box, she saw these really small and sort of white berries, immediately she thought something was wrong with them. But no nothing was wrong, just her perception has been skewed from all the altered food that we see. She said they were the most delicious strawberries. Below you will see some of the potatoes I used for the soup, they had the best shape and I guarantee you would never see them in the grocery store, cause people would think something was wrong with them.


2 tablespoons butter
4 strips bacon- chop them up, I used a scissors.
2 leeks
1/2 cup white wine
5 cups chicken stock
1 pound potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
a few sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves

Trim the leeks and make sure to rinse under water to get rid of any dirt or sand, then chop them up.

Scrub the potatoes and chop them up.

Get a stockpot out and melt the butter and then add in the bacon, cook for about 5-6 minutes. Then add in the leeks, cook until they are wilted, about 5 minutes. Now you can add the wine and bring it to a boil. Add in the chicken stock, potatoes, salt and pepper, thyme and bay leaves. Bring this all to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. The potatoes should be very soft.

Its time to make it all smooth. Now this is a little tricky, well it isn't if you have an immersion blender, but we don't. We used the good old fashioned one. But when you pour the soup into the blender you need to do this in batches, cause it won't all fit in the blender. We did not do this and ended up with a big mess.

Once it is all smoothed up, pour into bowl and top with chives and creme fraiche, if you have some!