Carrot Salad with Red Beans, Miso Dressing

Shredded Carrots, Napa Cabbage, Red Beans,
Snap Peas, Scallions, Sunflower Seeds, Cilantro
Miso Dressing

These beans are Salvadorian Red Beans, quite similar to kidney beans, but smaller. I cook them in water over medium-low heat with a bay leaf, salt, and a smashed clove of garlic. These beans do not need to soak, so they can be ready in about an hour.
Perhaps you’ve participated in The Well-Seasoned Cook’s My Legume Love Affair event? Now in its 14th edition! I am sending my Carrot Salad with Red Beans over to Susan along with hearty congratulations for her on-going super successful event. If you are looking for bean inspiration, My Legume Love Affair is the place to go! It was my pleasure to host the event last May, so many unique and tasty legume dishes were shared here.


  • 2 t. Miso (I use Akamiso, red soybean paste)
  • 1/2 c. Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 2 T. Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 t. Soy Sauce (low-sodium)
  • 2 t. Fresh Yuzu (or lemon) Juice
  • 2 t. Minced Ginger
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste, and adjust ingredients to your liking as some miso is more salty than others, you might even want to add a little sugar. Toss with shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, red beans, snap peas, sliced scallions, sunflower seeds, and cilantro.

I brought this salad to my friend
Sal The Real Estate Gal’s
Orange House Party
A nice but unfortunately-painted house went on the market. And although the house has many fine features, including a porch with an ocean view, it is, alas, bright orange. My friend Sally McDonald is a fabulous realtor (I bought and sold a house with her) and she is terrific at marketing and entertaining. Here, instead of ignoring the fact that the house was orange, she held an Orange Party, where everyone brought orange food and wore the color orange. She served mimosas and apricot beer. We had a blast, and I especially enjoyed meeting lots of new people from our neighborhood.

A sale is now pending on the orange house!
Could it be as a result of the Orange Party?
Thanks for the great time, Sal!
And hello to all my new San Pedro friends!

Super Summer Soirée

Baked Ricotta
Summer Soirée Menu
Grilled Lamb Steak over Baby Arugula
Grilled Corn on the Cob
with Mayonnaise, Cayenne, and Parmesan
Baked Ricotta
Salvadorian Red Beans with Herbs and Hazelnut Oil
Grilled Ciabatta
Vanilla Ice Cream, Rhubarb Jam Parfait
Amaretti Cookies dipped in Chocolate with Cashews
Vertical Tasting Wild Horse Pinot Noir, 2006 and 2007 

Grilled Lamb Steaks with Herbs de Napa recipe by Michael Chiarello can be found here. Herbs de Napa is a combination of dried rosemary, lavender, fennel, thyme, savory, and bay – an amazing combination with lamb steaks!

“Lamb steaks aren’t in many supermarket meat cases, so you’ll need a friendly butcher to make this dish. But every butcher will know what you mean if you ask to have steaks cut from the top of the leg, using the band saw. It’s the same cut as a ham steak, and like a ham steak, it has a bit of the leg bone in it. Grilled until crusty and medium-rare, these thick steaks make much more satisfying eating than a butterflied boneless leg of lamb. I like to serve them with undressed greens and let the flavorful juices from the meat dress the greens,” Michael Chiarello.

Pour accumulated juices over the steak and arugula.
Father Adam grilling by candelabra light…

Tom’s excellent idea was to grill corn on the cob, then brush hot corn with mayonnaise, dust with cayenne pepper, and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Chef Allison
The baked ricotta recipe is from Suzanne Goin’s Sunday Suppers at Lucques. You can read the recipe straight from this fabulous cookbook, page 186, at Amazon here. The baked ricotta is from her Summer Menu collection made with fresh whole milk ricotta, olive oil, and herbs.

Salvadorian Red Beans are cooked until tender with a couple bay leaves and smashed garlic cloves. Drain off any water. Sauté a generous amount of minced garlic and shallot in olive oil. After about a minute or two, add the beans and heat through. Add lots of minced fresh herbs; we used parsley, basil, chives and a minced jalapeño pepper. Finish with a drizzle of hazelnut oil and sea salt to taste.

Wild Horse Winery & Vineyard
2006 and 2007 Central Coast 
California Pinot Noir 
Aromas of seasoned wood, rose petals, dried cherry, and alpine forest floor, with flavors of pomegranate and Asian spices, with a rich lingering mouthfeel. A versatile wine, this Pinot Noir complements meals of salmon, lamb, poultry and grilled vegetables. $25


Aromas and flavors of bright raspberry, ripe strawberry, and dusty spices leading to a rich, juicy, well-balanced mouthfeel. A food friendly and very approachable wine, enjoy this Pinot Noir with baked penne, roasted vegetables or pork short ribs. $25
Consensus: We all found the 2007 to be a more lively, bright, fruity, and overall a more enjoyable wine paired with our summer meal. Thank you to Father Adam and Kirk for bringing the wines!

“I like this baked ricotta warm and slightly underbaked to a soft, creamy consistency. Avoid the grainy, flavorless commercial ricottas from the supermarket, and seek out a fresh artisanal version. Bake the cheese in a Spanish style cazuela or small attractive casserole and serve it at the table so your guests can help themselves,” Suzanne Goin.


Layer vanilla ice cream and confiture de rhubarbe in small clear parfait glasses. This delightful complex green jam was one of my souvenirs from our trip to Paris. Having fallen in love with rhubarb jam, it is now on our list to make from scratch. Perhaps you have a recipe to share?

Lauren dipped amaretti cookies in melted chocolate and chopped cashews, which were served with the parfaits. 
Consensus: We all agreed that this was one super summer meal! 
Thank you to my dear friends and excellent cooks:
Father Adam, Allison, Kirk, Tom, and Lauren
It is always an adventure and great fun to cook with you!