Balsamic Green Bean Salad

Balsamic Green Bean Salad | Lattes & Leggings

Wow it’s been awhile. I took a mini vacation from writing in this space and did some traveling and gave my tiny apartment a much needed makeover. Sometimes all you need is some sunshine, warm weather, and fresh new bed linens to make everything feel new again. Similar to this salad. It’s an old and familiar recipe revamped to feel new and exciting again. Since green beans are in season, I figured it was the perfect time to share this summer salad with you. It travels well in a tupperware making it perfect for a picnic at the park or a barbecue.

roasted red peppers Balsamic Green Bean Salad | Lattes & Leggings

The original recipe is a Mediterranean farro salad of green beans, red peppers, and olives. I decided to switch it up with quinoa instead of farro which can be hard to come by for many people. Also I scaled back the amount of quinoa to compliment and showcase the green beans. Instead of serving the peppers raw, I roasted them to add a texture contrast against the crunchy beans. Lastly, I decided to leave out the olives, and use balsamic instead of red wine vinegar making it not so much a Mediterranean/Greek salad. Crumbled fresh parmesan really brings this dish together and rounds out the flavors. So if you can, try to get your hands on a nice block of fresh parmesan.

Balsamic Green Bean Salad | Lattes & Leggings

Balsamic Green Bean Salad

adapted from Giada’s Kitchen

Crumbled fresh parmesan really brings the flavors of this dish together. So if you can, try to get your hands on a nice block of fresh parmesan.

serves 4

Ingredients
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup crumbled parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
course sea salt and black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Arrange the red peppers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until tender and black around the edges. Set aside to cool.

In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa, give it a quick stir, and cover with a tight fitted lid. Simmer for 15 minutes over low heat. Turn off the heat and allow the quinoa to steam covered for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a spoon. All of the water should have absorbed. Transfer the quinoa to a serving bowl to cool.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until vibrant green. Drain and transfer the green beans to an ice bath to cool for 2 minutes. Drain again.

Add the green beans, red peppers, parmesan, chives, and almonds to the serving bowl with the quinoa. Stir to combine.

In a small bowl, add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and dijon. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk together until combined. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad. Gently toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.

Crunchy green bean salad tossed in balsamic vinaigrette with roasted red peppers, parmesan, and quinoa.

Soba Noodle Vegetable Salad

Soba Noodle Vegetable Salad | Lattes & Leggings

Lattes & Leggings is moving to a new home at the end of the month. A new space with more creative freedom which means I’m leaving WordPress. To my email followers, you’ll continue to receive posts by email so no worries there. To my 6k+ WordPress followers, you’ll no longer see new posts in your newsfeed. I hope you’ll continue reading via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. Your comments really bring this space to life and hope we can continue on this cooking journey together. I know it’s been pretty quiet around here. I’ve written less and less over the past several months. It’s been a rough first half of the year personally, but now that I’m getting back into the swing of things, I hope to write more and share more recipes with you. Enough about that. Let’s talk about soba noodles!

savoy cabbage

I have to admit, I cook mostly with Mediterranean and Italian ingredients, but this is one of my favorite salads to make for lunch. Savoy cabbage technically is a winter vegetable, but I love it for its texture and ability to hold up well to a dressing…even sitting two to three days in the fridge. The savoy cabbage’s green leafy texture is similar to tuscan kale. I love kale, but I cannot eat it raw. The raw flavor is not as delicious as a lightly sauteed version with garlic and olive oil. However, raw savoy cabbage is mild in taste and coats the ginger dressing nicely. I also love savoy cabbage for its nutrition. It’s rich in potassium, vitamin A, C, and fiber. Lately I’ve been incorporating fresh minced ginger into veggie sautees to help with B’s high cholesterol.

soba, scallions, ginger
cabbage, peppers, cucumbers
soba salad

The rest of the salad is spring-like with cucumbers, carrots, and scallions which add crunch and freshness. As for the soba noodles, I use a 100% buckwheat kind for a wheat-free, gluten-free option. The almond butter adds body to the dressing while the lime provides a punch of acidity and cayenne adds a hint of heat (depending how much you add). It’s a great salad to have in the fridge to pack for a work lunch or for a warm day as summer approaches. I toss everything in a giant stainless steel bowl and cover the leftovers with saran wrap to keep it crisp for a few days in the fridge. This salad is a good start to getting back into the groove of the things.

Soba Noodle Vegetable Salad | Lattes & Leggings

Soba Noodle Vegetable Salad
loosely adapted from Giada’s Feel Good Food

serves 4 to 6

Ingredients
1 pound savoy cabbage, cored and shredded
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
1/2 cup shelled edamame
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/4 cup toasted slivered or sliced almonds
4 ounces soba noodles (100% buckwheat)
3 tablespoons black sesame seeds

Dressing:
5 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
5 tablespoons sesame oil
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 tablespoon honey
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions
In an extra large bowl, add the cabbage, peppers, cucumber, carrots, edamame, scallions, and almonds.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

In a blender, add the soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, almond butter, honey, ginger, garlic, and cayenne pepper. Blend until smooth.

Add the noodles to the salad. Pour the dressing over salad and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve at room temperature or cold. Leftovers will hold up well in the fridge for a few days in a stainless steel bowl.

Fresh Pea and Fennel Soup

Fresh Pea and Fennel Soup | Lattes & Leggings

The last time I had fennel soup was at Dirt Candy last spring in the East Village. It was out of this world good pureed and topped with a swirl of mustard green pesto and pickled mustard seeds. I may be one of the lonely few that adores fennel, but the fennel in this soup is subtle. It’s meant to compliment the peas and not be overpowering. B doesn’t like fennel at all and actually enjoyed this soup.

fennel and fresh peas

It may be too early for shelled peas at the farmer’s market, and of course I wasn’t patient enough to wait, so I settled on fresh shelled English peas at Whole Foods. Fennel is at peak season right now through Fall.

butter lettuce

The butter lettuce and almond milk add body and richness to the soup. You could leave out the almond milk and add more broth if preferred. The butter lettuce is local and grown in Brooklyn at a place called Gotham Greens that make high quality lettuces and basil. It’s a soup that is light and could be served at room temperature which is perfect for the warmer days on the horizon.

Fresh Pea and Fennel Soup | Lattes & Leggings
Fresh Pea and Fennel Soup | Lattes & Leggings

Fresh Pea and Fennel Soup
loosely adapted from Giada’s Feel Good Food

serves 4

Ingredients
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped
2 shallots, chopped
sea salt and black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups torn butter lettuce leaves
2 cups shelled fresh peas
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
pea shoots, for garnish

Directions
In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat until melted. Add the fennel and shallots. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Add the garlic and lettuce. Cook for about 1 minute until wilted. Add the peas, broth, and almond milk. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes until peas are tender.

Stir in the fennel seeds and remove pot from the heat. Puree the soup in batches in a food processor or blender. Return the soup to the same pot and warm over medium-low heat. If the soup is too thick, thin it out by adding more broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with pea shoots.