soup and such

simple, fresh vegetarian soups and more


Leave a comment

chévre chaud salad with dijon-shallot vinaigrette

chevre chaud salad

 

Ever find yourself in a cooking rut? Some days (or weeks) nothing really sounds good and you end up making the same old same old. When I’m lacking inspiration for meal ideas, I usually turn to this salad. It’s super simple to make but it feels like a special treat. Just the thing to get me excited about dinner again.

This isn’t so much a recipe as an idea, in case you need some inspiration of your own for dinner.

Happy salad-making!

~Inge

chevre chaud

Chévre chaud salad with dijon-shallot vinaigrette

For the salad:

  • goat cheese (at room temperature so it spreads easily)
  • baguette slices
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Za’atar (optional)
  • salad greens
  • chopped tomatoes

For the vinaigrette:

  • about 1.5 tablespoons finely minced shallot
  • about 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • about  1.5 tablespoons champagne vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • about 1/4 cup olive oil
  • good pinch of salt + freshly ground black pepper

 

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Arranges the baguette slices on a baking pan. Spread the goat cheese on the slices, then top with freshly ground black pepper. Sometimes I also sprinkle on some Za’atar. Put the pan in the oven for about 10 minutes, until the cheese melts and the bread gets a little crispy. You could also do this step in the broiler or a toaster oven.

2. In a salad bowl, combine the salad greens and tomatoes and whatever other veggies you’d like to throw in.

3. To make the vinaigrette, add the minced shallot, dijon, salt + pepper, and vinegar in a small bowl. Using a whisk, add the olive oil in a steady stream, constantly whisking to combine. Make sure to taste the vinaigrette to see if you want to add more of any of the ingredients. The amounts I listed are really flexible; I never even measure when I make this. I generally prefer my vinaigrette to be on the more mustard-y side, so you might want to start with 1 teaspoon and work your way up.

Another way to make the vinaigrette is to add all the ingredients to a small jar with a tight-fitting lid. Then just shake it up. Super easy. This is a good way to go if you’ve reached the end of a jar of mustard. Just make a vinaigrette in the jar!

4. When the toasts are ready, toss the dressing with the salad and assemble your plate. Enjoy!


Leave a comment

easy autumn salad + red wine vinaigrette

002

This semester, I pack a lunch to eat on campus three days during the week. Lately, I’ve been bringing this salad and I think it’s a winner. It’s super easy to throw together in the morning, packs well, and most importantly, it makes a tasty lunch!  I thought I’d share in case you are also looking for salad ideas to take to work, school, or wherever you like to bring your salads.

Here are the salad components:

  • hearty lettuce (I like romaine)
  • some kind of onion action (I like shallots or finely-chopped red onion)
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • goat cheese crumbles
  • pumpkin seeds (or sunflower seeds)

Add all of these ingredients in whatever container you use to transport your salads. No need to mix, just add everything in layers, starting with the lettuce and ending with the pumpkin seeds.

Next, make the vinaigrette. Combine the following ingredients in a bowl and whisk it up:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper + pinch of dried basil

This particular vinaigrette goes really well with the goat cheese and apple combo. If you want to simplify things, just skip this step and use some of your favorite bottled vinaigrette. Either way it will be tasty! Make sure to take the dressing separately in a small container and only add to the salad when you’re ready to eat.

Oh, this salad is just so good. The combination of the apple, goat cheese, and shallot is delicious. I hope you give this salad idea a try!

Happy Autumn, everyone! ~Inge


5 Comments

beets with lemon and herb vinaigrette

June has been a super busy month and it looks like it will continue to be one in the weeks ahead. I’ve still been finding time to cook, though. After a quick visit to my neighborhood farmer’s market yesterday morning, I came home and made these beets for lunch. Wow, they were good!

beets with lemon and herb vinaigrette

beets with lemon and herb vinaigrette

In my opinion, beets are best with some sort of vinaigrette, eaten cold or at room temperature, in salads or simply on their own. I think beets sometimes get a bad rap because of their appearance, but they are so tasty! I learned recently that you can even grate raw beet into a salad. This sounds like a messy affair (pink beet juice flying everywhere?), but something I’d like to try.

Yesterday, though, I simply steamed my beets, cut them into bite-sized wedges, and dressed them with a lemony vinaigrette made with a good amount of red onion, fresh parsley, and cilantro. It was delicious! Even if you’re staunchly opposed to beets, go ahead and make this vinaigrette recipe – it’s a keeper!

beets with vinaigrette over greens

Happy June cooking, everyone! ~Inge

Beets with lemon and herb vinaigrette
Adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

This recipe makes more than enough dressing for one bunch of beets (which is what I bought). Store any leftovers in the fridge and use later on salad greens or other steamed veggies.

1 – 1.5 pounds of beets
zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ teaspoon coriander
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method:

1. Clean and scrub your beets to remove any dirt. Steam the beets in a steamer basket for about 20-25 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork. Carefully remove cooked beets and place in a small dish to cool. When they are cool enough to handle, you should be able to easily slide their skins right off. After removing their skins (and washing all that pink beet juice off your fingers!), cut the beets into bite-sized wedges.

2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a jar with a fitted lid. Shake it up! Taste a little of the vinaigrette on one of the beet wedges to see if you want to add more lemon juice, salt, etc.

3. Mix some of the vinaigrette with the beets. Gobble up all the beets as is, or serve them over some salad greens dressed with a little more of the vinaigrette. Enjoy!