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Vegetarian Recipes

Pluot Summer Salad

Fruit salad this time of year is often sweet. Juicy, ripe, fragrant fruit tossed with sweet dressings. It’s summer salad bliss, bite after bite. That said, I often feel compelled to snap these fruit salads out of dessert-land and lead them over to the savory side of the neighborhood. And that’s what we’re doing today.

Savory, Fruity Summer Salads

One of the more popular examples of this genre of salad is the (always popular) combination of watermelon, feta, and mint. You probably know it well. You get sweetness from the melon, salt from the feta, and the tingly herbaceous-ness of the mint. That’s one example, but there are many other ways to explore this realm. And there are many ways to accent and play off the soft sweetness of summer fruit. I thought we might work through some other ideas on the path to today’s recipe. Let’s brainstorm!

Summer fruits are often tender, so bringing crunch and texture to a preparation can be good. You might use fried onions, shallot, or toasted nuts. I think we can agree, few things aren’t improved by introducing deeply caramelized shallots – they’re a favorite component in this salad (or many salads, really). Beyond that, the introduction of a medley of green notes is often welcome and you can use a wide range of herbs, sprouts, or salad greens. 

Today’s Pluot Summer Salad

This salad is all about the pluots. They are peak in the markets right now, so this recipe centers around them. If you can’t find great pluots, you might try a version with another stone fruit, or a blend of them. Plums, cherries, nectarines and the like are fair game. Here the fruit is set off with toasted ginger, garlic, and shallots. It is drizzled with a simple lime soy sauce dressing, and is generously flecked with herbs – mint, basil, and cilantro. Also, lots of toasted peanuts.

It’s also super adaptable. Bri noted in the comments below, “…right now, asian pears, persimmons, and pomegranates are in season, but no pluots or plums. I made a substitution with those three, minus the dried fruit, and it turned out wonderfully…”

A Couple of Notes

Make an effort to source good ginger. I can often find organic Hawaiian ginger, or locally grown ginger, and tend to stock up on that.

The recipe below features a soy sauce/shoyu dressing here, and I love it, but you can make the dressing substituting salt instead. The flavor of the fruit will come through more directly. It’s just a slightly simpler take. In that case, add the honey to the lime juice, as called for, then whisk in sea salt until the dressing tastes balanced and delicious to you.

Pluot Summer Salad Recipe
Here’s where you can find more salad recipes. On the summer salad front, be sure to check out the Summer Melon Salad, this Simple Red Fruit Salad, and forever these Slushie Cocktails!

Continue reading Pluot Summer Salad on 101 Cookbooks

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Vegetarian Recipes

CAULIFLOWER BOLOGNESE

“I want you to come watch the movie with us ON the couch, not be in the kitchen!”

I’ve been filling out this one-question-a-day journals for moms that I received for Christmas. It records a little thought or memory over the last year, and then starts again, so you can see how your answers change over a few years. One of the recent ones, prompted me to jot notes about what I am learning as a mom, and I found the question so general I was basically annoyed. I am a romantic, and also wildly pragmatic. In the span of a day I can tear up over the depths of love I feel for my kids, and also wish for them to have a mute button. We all have worlds within us; mothering pushing me into the corners of myself I am sometimes proud of or other corners ashamed of, but am I learning? Yes, every single day. Sometimes in the moment and other times after a particular season. But in 2021, my answer in the bullet journal was that I see my kids are wanting me to play with them. They aren’t registering all the service and shuttling and laundry and what it takes to pull off a week, they just want to play WITH me. It’s natural for me to move within lists and tasks and responsibilities and hustling, but playing is something I have to pay attention to. For them and for me. We usually do a family movie on Friday nights and my son (6.5), see quote above, pointed out that I don’t actually watch the movie, I tinker in the kitchen and he wants me in the couch cuddle. Flattered, and found out that I’d rather make granola than watch The Croods 🙂 So from annoyed, to passing on the question to fellow parents, what are you learning? Try not to be annoyed. Maybe circle back to it.

I published this recipe over on SKCC a few weeks ago and wanted it to live here. We’re trying to find more family-friendly vegetarian recipes (it’s easy for me to fill up on roasted veggies and big salads, not so much for the kids). This batch lasts us two meals – once with noodles, maybe half zoodles, and the second round on toast or english muffins with cheese melted on top, like a pizza sort of thing? It freezes well and is great to deliver to new parents.

CAULIFLOWER BOLOGNESE

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion – roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic
sea salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 head of cauliflower (about ¾ lb. or 12 oz. riced)
1/2 cup of raw walnuts pieces
1/2 tsp. of Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. of fennel seeds – crushed
2 Tbsp. of tomato paste
2 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of red wine (or broth of any sort, and double the vinegar to mimic the wine’s acidity)
28 oz. of canned, crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup of red lentils
red pepper flake to taste

For serving

12 oz. of pasta or choice, zoodles, etc.
parmesan
fresh, torn basil

Directions

In a large Dutch-oven or stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium low heat.

In a food processor, pulse the onion and garlic into smaller bits. Add them to the pot with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté to soften, about 3 minutes.

Pulse up the cauliflower florets to get a rice-like texture. Add the riced-cauliflower to the pot and sauté to soften, about 5 minutes.

Pulse the walnuts in the processor and add those to the pot along with the Italian seasoning, fennel seed, another few generous pinches of salt and pepper, tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. Sauté until fragrant.

Add the red wine, cook about 3 minutes, then add the crushed tomatoes, ½ cup water, lentils, pinch of pepper flakes and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low, put the cover ajar and let it simmer gently for 30-35 minutes. Turn off the heat, taste for seasoning and adjust.

Cook your pasta or zoodles according to instructions. Top with cauli Bolognese, grated cheese, fresh basil and enjoy!

The Bolognese will keep in the fridge for a week and can be frozen for a few months.

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