Smashed Cucumber Salad with Garlic Scented Lima Beans
Fennel, Feta, Mint, Oregano, Lemon Juice, Olive Oil
Cool-crisp Persian cucumbers and creamy-buttery lima beans make a delightful summer duo. Fennel adds a bright crunch with a sweet, nutty anise flavor.
The large limas by Lompoc Beans are sold at our local Torrance Farmers Market. They are also available online. Grown in Santa Barbara County, the beans cook up beautifully smooth and tender.
Soak 2 cups of beans in water for 4 1/2 hours then drain. Place beans in a pot and add fresh cold water to cover by 2 inches. Add 4 smashed garlic cloves. Bring to a boil then turn down to simmer, cook uncovered, for one hour. Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary. Cook al dente (soft but not mushy), taste a few beans for doneness. Drain. Set aside to serve at room temperature.
It’s a fun salad to compose. Put cucumber chunks in a roomy ziplock bag and smash with a mallet. Squeeze lemon juice and drizzle fruity olive oil into the bag. Add shaved fennel and toss the bag to coat the veggies with the dressing. Let marinate for 10 minutes.
Smashed Cucumber Salad Composition
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Everything But The Bagel Vinaigrette
Farro Cucumber Date Salad
I like to make my salads from scratch, using the freshest ingredients dressed with a homemade vinaigrette. Today I took a short-cut.
Trader Joe’s sells a snappy seasoning blend with a clever name called Everything But the Bagel made with black and white sesame seeds, sea salt, garlic, onion, and poppy seeds. I put a scoop of the seasoning blend into a mixture of olive oil, vinegar, and agave syrup. It was a surprisingly good vinaigrette with sweet and savory flavors and a nice crunch. The dressing paired perfectly with my farro cucumber date salad. It was visually stunning too, with contrasting black and white seeds; ribbons of cucumber swirling around the platter; and just a few scattered edible flowers that made the neutral brown-green palette come alive.
Farro Cucumber Date Salad Recipe
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Farro, Cucumber, Radish, Fried Egg, Yogurt Sauce
The food world has gone crazy for healthy grain bowls. And with good reason. They are fabulously nutritious, easy to compose, colorful and tasty, and can be economical often turning leftovers into another great meal.
Composing a grain bowl is fun. It is a creative construction of whole grains; vegetables (fresh, cooked, pickled); a protein (meat, fish, tofu, egg, beans); a flavorful sauce; and a jaunty garnish (nuts, seeds, herbs, cheese).
I liked the idea of smashed cucumbers and radishes in this recipe from Bon Appétit. In the end it was the wild spectrum of flavors and textures that made this particular bowl a winner – chewy earthy farro, crunchy peppery radish, refreshing cucumber, crispy fried egg, tangy creamy yogurt, and bright fresh herbs.
Farro Bowl Recipe
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Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi
Oi Sobaegi 오이소박이
With Shrimp, Minari, Sesame Oil, Sesame Seeds, Gochugaru
Jupiter has aligned once again with Mars, in the blogging universe that is. Food Network’s Summer Fest features cucumbers this week. Our monthly cooking group, the Creative Cooking Club’s theme is “stuff-it.” And I planned to create another seasonal Korean fusion dish this week celebrating the honor of having my recipes featured in the Korea Herald Business.
Korean + Summer + Cucumber + Stuffed = Oi Sobaegi
My recipe for stuffed cucumber kimchi came from studying 5 Korean cookbooks in my collection, plus researching many recipes online. One thing I kept noticing, especially on google image – the final dish was not very attractive; green logs with all this stuffing hanging out. No doubt they were delicious, but my challenge was to make the dish pleasing to the eye as well as the palate.
Pairing with shrimp was a natural combination, as the kimchi recipe contains tiny dried white shrimp. My recipe also contains a good deal of ginger, it is quite zippy. Minari is a bright herb sometimes called Korean watercress which adds a fresh note. I also used the thicker Chinese chives to hold the sliced cucumber together, making for a neat pretty presentation. This, my first attempt at oi sobaegi was surprisingly successful, so I am sharing the original recipe here.
- Korean Cooking by Young Jin Song
- Seoultown Kitchen by Debbie Lee
- The Korean Table by Taeyung Chung
- The Kimchi Cookbook by Kim Man-Jo
- Aeri’s Korean Cookbook 1 by Aeri Lee
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Cucumber & Truffle Carpaccio with Bucheron
Olive Oil, Verjus, Fleur de Sel, Chives
Filet Mignon Wrapped in Speck
Duxelles with Truffle, Potato Cake, Creme Fraiche, Truffle Carpaccio
Painted Bordelaise Reduction
Jupiter aligned with Mars. Our Creative Cooking Crew challenge for the month of February was to put an imaginative spin on “meat & potatoes.” A gift of Truffle Carpaccio arrived in the mail. My dear friend and savvy cook, FA, was coming to town. Meat. Potatoes. Truffles. Sounds like a party. Dinner party.
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hot pot! swordfish, kimchi, soba noodles
in a rich beef broth
with cucumber, tomato, scallion, jalapeño
togarashi & cilantro garnish
A super-satisfying one dish meal complex in flavor and texture. Generally a HOT POT is a pot of simmering hot stock for cooking meats and vegetables, which is placed in the center of the dining table. Here, this Korean~Japanese~Californian fusion hot pot meal is composed in individual bowls. Rich beef stock adds depth and pairs surprisingly well with fresh local California swordfish fillets while kimchi adds complexity with its sour, spicy, and umami notes. Farmers Market tomatoes, cucumber, and green jalapeño add bright crisp fresh notes to the pot.
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Pan-Seared Branzino, Cucumber Salmoriglio, Borage Blossoms
Here we are on the sparkling azure Mediterranean. I’m in the cucina with Chefs Norma and Debi, cooking for opening day of our virtual ristorante Ciao Fiore! Norma is in the process making ricotta fresca for the extravagant antipasti tavola, and Debi is using sodium alginate and calcium chloride to craft the strawberry caviar which will top her lavender & mascarpone panna cotta as a part of the fabulous dessert course.
My job is to execute the main course, and with the risotto already done, imagine my delight as the fishing boat pulled up to the dock, loaded with just-caught branzino! Fresh from the sea pan-seared fillets will be served with salmoriglio, a Sicilian fish sauce made with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and herbs. For our grand opening, this particular version of the classic sauce will be enhanced with Meyer lemon confit, red chiles, cucumber, and Castelvetrano olives. Borage blossoms will finish the dish, with their sweet cucumber flavor accenting the sauce while their bright blue hue mirrors the sea.
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