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Walnut Paella Salad {vegan, gluten-free}

Back when I was in language school in Cuernavaca Mexico, my host family‘s next door neighbor invited us to his catered 50th birthday fiesta. I spoke enough Spanish to graciously accept shots of their 100% agave, but not enough to carry on a conversation. As I enjoyed their hospitality, out of the corner of my eye I watched the caterer stir saffron seasoned broth into round starchy rice. She layered in various meats and shellfish as the rice plumped. It’s true, rabbit tastes like chicken. Unlike this walnut paella salad, a saffrony summery twist on classic, the paella that night was decidedly not vegetarian. Continue Reading…

Green Bean Salad with Summer Savory Vinaigrette

We have found fresh wax green beans the last two weeks with our Ranui Gardens CSA box. Today we got summer savory. It’s the vinaigrette we vary–this green bean salad with summer savory vinaigrette showcases both the savory and the beans.

I change up the acids and there are many possibilities, like key lime juice, rice wine vinegar or red wine vinegar.

And I switch around the oil—maybe using part walnut or hazelnut oil for some of the usual olive oil.

Changing the ratio of oil to acid changes the taste as well–follow your preferences.

That makes me feel really good about dressing my green bean salad with savory vinaigrette.

Deborah Madison, author of The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, writes that savory is so closely associated with fresh beans, it’s nicknamed the bean herb.

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Green Bean Salad with Summer Savory Vinaigrette
Serve on a hot summer day.
  • Green or yellow wax beans
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped savory leaves or other herb
  • Real Salt and freshly ground pepper , as needed
  • Mixed salad greens , as needed
  1. Snap the tips and tails off the beans. Blanch them in boiling salted water about 5 minutes, keeping them firm to your bite but no longer raw. Drain and “shock” the beans in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and guard the bright color. Drain when cold.
  2. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and savory. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Just before serving, toss the cold beans in some of the vinaigrette dressing.
  4. Arrange on top of salad greens.

Ginger Coconut Rice

Serve this delicious rice with grilled, baked, or sautéed tempeh. I adapted the recipe from one given on the USA Rice Federation website.

1 (13.5-ounce) can lite coconut milk

Continue Reading…

Zucchini and Tortellini

I bet we all wish Trader Joe’s would open a store in Utah, and, thinking about all the liquor they sell at Trader Joe’s, I can also bet we will never have a store here.

So I shop and stock up when I can. I buy their dried tortellini with mixed cheese filling because it travels and keeps well, and is a cut above in quality over similar products found locally.

John says we have “tons” of zucchini this week. This recipe, here to make a dent in your prolific green cylinder supply, uses Trader Joe’s tortellini instead of spaghetti. It is a Deborah Madison recipe, from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Use the entire amount of olive oil—it cooks the zucchini slowly and gently. The evaporated milk is from my pantry; Deborah calls for half-and-half or milk.

Continue Reading…

Zucchini Carpaccio

Make this salad when your zucchini are very fresh, like immediately from the garden or the CSA box, and use the smaller ones, saving those biggies for something else.  Cut the squash slices thinly, thin, thin, with a sharp knife, or a Japanese Benriner slicer or a French mandolin. Carpaccio, by definition, is an Italian appetizer–thin shavings of raw beef drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice.  This is a vegetarian interpretation–thin shavings of garden fresh zucchini. My friend Ginger serves three types of impeccably fresh squash– zucchini, pattypan and yellow, artfully laid in concentric circles on a platter, served family style, to guests at outdoor summer weddings. Ginger owns Orchard House Catering in Hood River Oregon, and works at Deer Valley in the winter.

4 small zucchini

1/3 cup loosely packed basil (and/or cilantro) leaves Continue Reading…