Monthly Archives: June 2012

Black Bean Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, and Croutons

This easy and appetizing bean and tomato salad adds color and crunch to any meal. Use gluten-free croutons if need be, or replace with sautéed cubes of prepared polenta. It’s delicious with grain dishes and pastas, or simple quesadillas or soft tacos. Add some sautéed greens or steamed broccoli and you’ve got a great weekday […]

Baked Polenta, Zucchini, and Spinach Marinara

This combination of prepared polenta, zucchini, and spinach, smothered in marinara sauce, is almost so embarrassingly easy, but it’s such a crowd-pleaser. Use a really flavorful prepared marinara—roasted tomato, garlic, mushroom, or chunky vegetable. Photos by Rachael Braun.

Eggplant Caponata

Caponata is a relish-like eggplant salad that’s a classic Italian appetizer. Its other characteristic ingredients include fresh tomatoes, celery, and olives. Serve on fresh bread or slices of Italian bread that have been baked until crisp (bruschetta) for a first course before serving a pasta dinner.

Vanilla Fruit Cup Soup

This soup is basically a colorful fruit salad transformed into an appealing dessert soup or a lovely first course. Use the lushest fruits of late summer for best results— choose from among blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapes and stone fruits. Photos by Rachael Braun.

Sesame-Ginger Salad Dressing

Savory and tangy, this sesame-ginger dressing is perfect for salads served with Asian-style meals. It’s also good on wilted greens and on cold noodle dishes. Thanks to Progressive International for providing the salad dressing shaker shown below.

Thousand Island-Style Dressing

This is the first dressing that enticed my kids to try salad when they were young. It’s a good bet for young children, though it’s a pleaser for any age. It also makes a good dressing for veggie burgers and other sandwiches.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Everything about this butternut squash and apple soup says “fall harvest,” from its warm golden color to its slightly sweet, fresh flavor. Once you’ve got the squash baked, it cooks fairly quickly.

Basic Vinaigrette

Here’s a basic, all-purpose olive oil and vinegar dressing for salads, slaws, and marinating. Increase the proportion of vinegar if your prefer a more pungent taste.