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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.
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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 zucchini carpaccio salad when your summer squash is super fresh, as in, immediately from your garden or CSA box.

Carpaccio, by definition, is an Italian non-vegetarian appetizer–thin shavings of raw beef drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice.  This vegetarian interpretation uses thin shavings of impeccably fresh squash.

Use the smaller squash, saving those biggies for something else. Cut your squash slices thinly, thin, thin, using a mandoline, or sharp knife.

Not only can you use zucchini, but pattypan and yellow squash are perfect too. If you have more than one type, arrange the different varieties, and colors in concentric circles on the platter.

If your summer squash is not super fresh–try this grilled zucchini and basil tart instead.

Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something seasonal and delicious!

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*** If you make this recipe, please consider leaving a blog post comment. Your comments help other readers learn more about the recipe.

This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase products via my links, it doesn’t cost you anything and I earn a tiny commission, which helps me continue to provide free content here on Letty’s Kitchen. Thank you!! 

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Zucchini Carpaccio
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

Here's a fun vegetarian riff on the non-vegetarian classic Italian carpaccio. You can use any type of summer squash--in fact it's a very pretty presentation if you make concentric serving o 3 different varieties for 3 different colors. Slice the squash, whatever type, super thin. Makes about 4 servings.

Servings: 4 servings
Author: Letty | Letty's Kitchen
Ingredients
  • 4 small zucchini or other summer squash
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts raw or very lightly toasted, optional
  • 6 ounces fine quality aged Italian cheese such as Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Thinly sliced tips of 1 zucchini blossom optional
Instructions
  1. Cut the zucchini into paper-thin slices. Arrange slices, overlapping slightly, on a serving platter or 4 salad plates.
  2. Cut chiffonade slivers of basil leaves, and sprinkle over the zucchini. Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice on top. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Let stand about 10 minutes to soften the zucchini and let the flavors develop.

  3. Just before serving, sprinkle with the pine nuts and shaved cheese. If you have a squash blossom, garnish with slices of that.