3-Bean Salad - a modern take Aunt Suzy says . . .

We love green bean salads in the summer here at S&SK, so when I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it. Plus, it reminded me of the long forgotten 3-bean salad of my growing up. So long forgotten that I kept wracking my brain as to what the 3rd bean was. I knew it included canned green beans and canned kidney beans, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember the 3rd bean.  So of course I googled it and saw that it was wax beans! So if you want this recipe to look like the classic but taste 21st century, you could make it with green and wax beans (at farmer’s markets up here right now) and kidney beans. 🙂  We served this with potato salad and grilled meats. Yum!

 Bean Salad - Sweet & Savory Kitchens

Margaux says . . .

We loved this recipe!  I’m always looking for new ways to prepare green beans because it is a family favorite.  The flavor in this salad is amazing, with the capers, herbs, shallot and lemon.  I used canned cannellini beans.  I served it with California burgers and corn on the cob…perfect summer weeknight meal.

BEAN SALAD adapted from Bon Appetit

INGREDIENTS

2 cups cooked beans, fresh or dried (such as cannellini, borlotti or cranberry) or 1 14-oz. can cannellini or kidney beans, rinsed
1 pound green beans (or half green and half wax beans), ends trimmed, beans snapped in two
3/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup olive oil
juice of 1/2 or 1 whole lemon, depending on how large
1 small shallot, minced
teaspoon Aleppo pepper or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Cook the dried or fresh shell beans according to directions. Drain and set aside to cool. Alternatively, open the can, rinse and drain. Cook the green beans (and wax beans if using). Place in steamer, bring water to a boil and steam for 5-6 minutes. Alternatively, cover in water, bring to a boil and simmer for 5-6 minutes. Either way, drain, place back in the pan, cover with cold water and ice to cool down and stop the cooking. Once cool, drain and dry with paper towels.

Place both types of beans in a large bowl. Add the parsley, chives, capers and lemon zest. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, the shallot, the red pepper and salt/black pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the bean mixture and mix thoroughly, best done with your hands.

Quinoa with Beets and Sweet Potatoes - Sweet & Savory Kitchens

Margaux says…

We eat quinoa like it’s going out of style in the summer.  Now it’s finally fall (I don’t know about where you live, but in Chicago I thought summer was never going to end!), and I wasn’t ready to give up my go-to dinner starter, but I’m definitely not in the mood for more salads.  So this week I tested out a couple of quinoa side dishes (or in one case we ate it as the main dish with a poached egg on top) that were amazing!  They’re based on a recipe in one of my old Martha Stewart magazines for quinoa hash, which is where I got the idea for the poached egg.  These would be great also as side dishes for Thanksgiving dinner!  Especially if you have vegetarians or vegans in your family, as quinoa has a good amount of protein and can be eaten as a main dish.  I served the beet-sweet potato one with roasted chicken, and it was delicious as a weekend meal.

Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables and Brussels Sprouts - sweet & Savory Kitchens

I see Aunt Suzy and I are on the same wavelength…her latest post is very similar to mine, with forbidden rice instead of quinoa.  Can’t wait to try that one out, too!  There are numerous combinations of things that you can toss with the cooked quinoa; these are just the two that I have made so far.

Aunt Suzy says . . . 

We are on the same wavelength! I almost put in my post that I thought the forbidden rice dish could be made with red or black quinoa! I can’t wait to try these.

Quinoa with Beets and Sweet Potatoes
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living

1 cup dry quinoa
3 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, rinsed thoroughly, and sliced thinly
1 sweet potato
2-3 beets with greens, greens rinsed thoroughly and chopped
1 tbsp orange zest
3 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and chopped

Cook quinoa according to package directions.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and chop sweet potato into 1/2″ chunks and toss with 1/2 tbsp olive oil and 1/4 tsp salt. Spread on 1/2 of a rimmed baking sheet lined with tin foil. Peel and chop beets into 1/2 chunks, toss with 1/2 tbsp olive oil and 1/8 tsp salt and spread on other half baking sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes, until tender, stirring halfway through, taking care not to mix beets and potatoes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté leeks and thyme for about 2 minutes, until they have softened. Add beet greens and sauté until wilted. Turn off heat and set aside until quinoa and veggies are done. Toss quinoa, roasted veggies, and leek mixture together in a large bowl with orange zest. Add salt and pepper if needed.

Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts

1 cup dry quinoa
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 oz. shredded Brussels sprouts
1/2 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces
2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2″ pieces
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano

Cook quinoa according to package directions.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss potatoes and squash with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt and place on baking sheet lined with foil. Roast for about 25-30 minutes, until tender, stirring about halfway through.

Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion for about 3 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and sauté about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Increase heat to medium-high and add Brussels sprouts. Sauté for about 2-3 minutes. You may want to add a little more oil to the pan by pushing the veggies to the side and adding it (I found the pan got a bit dry and added another tablespoon). Stir in oregano. Turn off heat. Combine quinoa with roasted veggies and Brussels sprouts mixture in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.

Kale Pesto

June 9, 2013

Kale Pesto - Sweet and Savory Kitchens

Margaux says…

I love pesto, but I’ve been wanting to try new things besides basil pesto.  This kale pesto is really yummy, and can be used in a number of ways: on a sandwich, in an egg scramble, on chicken or fish, on pizza (which we did the night after we had it on pasta…yum!), or, of course, on pasta.  This recipe is enough to cover a pound of pasta, plus extra for other things on later days.  It really freezes well, too!

Kale Pesto

1 bunch kale, stems removed

1/3 cup toasted walnuts or pine nuts

1 clove garlic

zest and juice from one lemon

1/2 tsp salt

freshly ground pepper to taste

1/4 cup or more olive oil

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add kale and boil for about 30 seconds.  Immediately drain kale and run cold water over it to cool it off.  Squeeze off excess water and put in food processor, along with nuts, garlic, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper.  Process for about 30 seconds, until its all ground to a fine meal.  Scrape down the sides and pulse a few more times.  With the processor running, add the olive oil in a steady stream.  Scrape down the sides again, taste, and add more olive oil if needed (and salt and pepper), and pulse a few more times.  The consistency isn’t as creamy as basil pesto, and I found that I needed more olive oil than with basil pesto.  I think I used almost 1/3 cup.

If making pasta, cook your desired type of noodle to al dente and place it in a large bowl, reserving some of the pasta water.  Add about half the pesto to the pasta, and combine thoroughly, adding up to 1/2 cup pasta water as needed.  Serve immediately, topping with parmesan cheese, and maybe a little toasted walnuts for garnish.  It’s also really good with some halved cherry tomatoes stirred in.

Greek Quinoa Salad

June 2, 2013

Greek Quinoa Salad - Sweet and Savory KitchensMargaux says…

In the warmer months, we eat a quinoa salad at least once a week. Everyone loves it…including my picky son, it’s super quick and easy, and nice and healthy. I should really call this one “clean out the fridge” salad, because I often make it when I really need to go shopping and I have to just use up whatever is left in the fridge. We always have most of these things on hand because they’re all favorites of my son. I find that you can add or subtract any ingredient, based on what you might have on hand. Some other things that would be good tossed into this are avocado, parsley, chopped fresh spinach, mint, celery, zucchini, green onion, radishes, pine nuts or white beans.

Greek Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1/4 red onion, fine chop
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved
1/2 cup feta, crumbled (leave out for vegan)
1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 clove garlic, minced

Rinse and drain quinoa. Add water and quinoa to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as it starts boiling, cover, run down heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes. Dump immediately into a large serving bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, chop your veggies. When the quinoa is cool, add all veggies and beans to it and mix.

Make dressing: Mix together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over salad and mix well. Carefully stir in feta. Serve at room temperature with warmed pita and white wine as a main dish. Also great as a side at a BBQ, or with chicken.


Margaux says…

This is the ultimate mac n’ cheese recipe for everyone in my family.  Well, at least for me and my siblings…I suppose I shouldn’t speak for everyone, and I know my dad is really fond of his stove top recipe that he has perfected over the years.  But for me, nothing else compares, and I know many of my family members will agree.  It’s the quintessential comfort food, and always reminds me of my childhood when I make it.  Not only that, but it’s easy, cheap, quick, and is a crowd-pleaser no matter who the crowd is!

This macaroni and cheese recipe is a baked version, so it gets all crispy and cheesy on top.  You can serve it as a side dish with a roast or something for a Sunday dinner, or as the main course on a weeknight.  Double the recipe for a crowd and bake in a 9×13″ dish…this recipe serves 4-5 people.  I always serve it with a salad and a vegetable…usually frozen peas!  That makes it really feel like home. I usually use sharp cheddar, but this time I used a mix of colby and monterey jack, and it was really good. Granny always used medium cheddar.

Aunt Suzy says . . .

I love this recipe for mac ‘n cheese!  Even though it’s quite familiar to our family, I’ve never known anyone else who makes it this way.  I have experimented with other approaches over the years – primarily substituting a white sauce for the butter/milk before baking – but  I keep coming back to what I grew up with!   Back when I was at home and Granny was my Mom, we had this as a main dish with canned green beans (!).  But when Margaux and her siblings were growing up, Granny/Mom would serve it with meatloaf (plus a salad and vegetable).  For some reason, the marriage of the meatloaf and the mac ‘n cheese is perfect to me.  This makes me think we need to make and post Granny’s meatloaf recipe!

Granny’s Macaroni and Cheese

2 cups macaroni
1 cup (or so) shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp salted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have an 8″x8″ glass baking dish ready.
Bring medium pot of water to a rolling boil. Boil macaroni for 5 minutes, drain.
Pour drained macaroni (still hot) into baking dish. Stir butter and salt in until butter is melted completely. Stir in half the cheese. Pour milk over the mixture. Top with rest of cheese (I usually use a little more than a half a cup). Bake for 30-35 minutes, until top is starting to brown and is crispy.

Margaux says

This dish is a staple in our household.  The chicken is perfect: juicy, flavorful and perfectly cooked every time.   The carrots are super delicious…my husband, who doesn’t like cooked carrots, even loves them.  It’s also very easy to make, and can be a relatively quick weeknight meal.  You need to have the preserved lemons in order to make this (I made it without them once and the chicken wasn’t nearly as good!).  If Meyer lemons aren’t available (and they’re not right now…they’re only in season from February-April), you can use regular lemons.   And you can buy preserved lemons in some stores, like Whole Foods, but they’re not NEARLY as good as homemade.

Aunt Suzy says

I also love this recipe and Margaux is reminding me that we have not made this in a long, long time!  I just noticed carrots available for the first time at the farmer’s market last weekend, so I have a hunch this will be on our menu soon.  The original recipe for this did not call for preserved lemon, instead calling for thin slices of lemon placed over the chicken.  I’ve made it both ways and like it with the preserved lemon better – but then I love preserved lemon!!  Sparkle Rice seems to be a perfect match for this dish, but I’ve been thinking of experimenting with Isreali Couscous lately as a side dish.  The original recipe suggested an off-dry riesling or a rose – either is perfect!

MOROCCAN-STYLE CHICKEN WITH SPICED CARROTS

Serves 4

The Carrots

6-8 large carrots

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon coriander seeds

¼ teaspoon cumin seeds

pinch cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste

Peel the carrots.  Using a study vegetable peeler, cut carrots into lengthwise ribbons.


Toast the cumin seeds lightly and then crush in a mortar and pestle.  Toast the coriander seeds. (I toast them together and crush both.)   Toss the carrots with all remaining ingredients and place in a 9×13 baking dish.  Bake at 500 degrees in the upper third of the oven, uncovered, for 7 minutes – stir after 4 minutes.

The Chicken and Finishing

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs OR 4 boneless, skinless breast halves (we always use breasts)

1/8” wide strips of preserved lemon (or thin slices of whole lemon, cut cross-wise)

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (we always use more, but then we’re cilantro lovers!)

Brush the chicken lightly with olive oil and place on top of the carrots after they have baked per above.  Place the strips of preserved lemon or fresh lemon slices on top of the chicken.  Put back in the oven for about 10-15 minutes more (depending on thickness of the breasts), until the juices run clear.  Don’t overcook.  Place chicken on a platter.  Toss the carrots with the cilantro and place beside the chicken on the platter.

Sparkle Rice

Sauté in a little vegetable oil until soft – 2-4 garlic cloves, minced; 1-2 tablespoons chopped ginger; 1 medium onion, diced; 2 carrots, diced.

Add 2 cups white basmati rice and sauté till translucent.  Add a little less than 4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth and 5 whole cloves and a 2-inch piece of cinnamon.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer till the broth is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Let sit for a few minutes, then remove the cloves and cinnamon and stir to blend.  Add some golden raisins if you wish.

Margaux says…

This is the potato salad that I grew up with and that my mom grew up with.  Actually, I can’t really say that  its Grandma’s recipe, but its pretty close.  My mom changed some things, and then I’ve changed some things.  I’d never even seen the recipe until I asked my mom to email it to me last week so that I could submit it to food52’s “best potato salad” contest this week.  I thought I’d actually take a look at the original recipe, to use as a reference for quantities and such…I pretty much wing it every time I make it.  It turns out that Grandma didn’t even follow the recipe either.  So I just went ahead and made it last night, and kept track of what I was putting into it.  Here’s what I came up with:

Ripe Olive Potato Salad

  • 3 cups new red potatoes, cut into 1 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup oil cured black olives, pitted and sliced
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 cup pimento or roasted red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • paprika for garnish
  1. Boil potatoes in salted water until just tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Place cooked potatoes into a 9×13″ glass baking dish, and pour olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper over them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.
  3. In a large bowl, combine marinated potatoes, olives, celery, cucumber, pimento, onion, and one of the eggs. Gently mix in the mayo. Top salad with the other sliced egg, and sprinkle with paprika.

Some side notes:

We usually just use canned black olives, but its really way better when you get oil-cured black olives from the olive bar at your grocery store.  Also, Grandma, my mom and I have always put radishes in it, and omitted the pimento.  But when I saw the original recipe, it had pimento and no radishes, so I tried that version and loved it.  I thought it went really well with the olives.  I also got the pimento at the olive bar instead of jarred (they’re thinly sliced roasted red peppers).  My mom thinks that Grandma just didn’t like pimento, so she substituted the radishes to keep the splash of red color.  I’m wondering if she also did it because radishes were always in the garden, pimento is not.  But if you agree that pimento isn’t your thing, the radishes are also quite good in it.