|Jae's Potluck Idea|
Recipe by Jae and Robin
A few years back, I was completely socially inept. Not only was I unable to make conversation at parties, I was absolutely clueless about what kind of food to bring to these gatherings. So many foods seemed unacceptable: chips and salsa were brought by too many people already, anything with meat was a faux pas if a vegetarian accidentally ate it, shellfish was suspect by individuals who thought it might not be cooked sufficiently, beer was assumed to accompany something else, and the ramen and veggies that I largely subsisted on rapidly deteriorated in texture as the evening progressed. Because I wanted to mingle with others, I asked my few girlfriends what to do.
|Variety in Tastes and Textures|
|Break String Beans into Pieces before Steaming|
Jae’s original recipe included a bottled dressing, and often I bring along a bottle of Paul Newman’s Light Balsamic. For today’s feast, I’ve made a simple Dijon vinaigrette. You can experiment with different sorts of dressings.
Be sure to plan this salad with enough time to cook and cool the eggs, artichokes, and string beans. Baby spinach saves a lot of preparation time, but you can substitute a large bunch of fresh spinach, making sure to allow time to remove the stems and wash it thoroughly.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
serves 8 - 9
1 pkg. frozen artichoke hearts
7 oz. string beans
½ small red onion, 1.5 oz. or less
1 medium yellow bell pepper
3 - 4 small tomatoes
10 oz. baby spinach leaves
Wash and dry spinach using a salad spinner. It’s best if leaves are thoroughly dry for this salad.
Hard-cook the eggs and cool. Cook frozen artichokes according to instructions on box (usually microwave for about 5 minutes with stirring) and cool. Break string beans into 1-inch pieces. Partially cook by steaming for 4 minutes, then immersing in cold water to stop cooking. Drain, cool, and dry. Chill eggs, artichokes, and string beans in refrigerator.
Slice red onion very thin. Julienne the bell peppers into 1-inch pieces. Slice artichoke hearts in quarters if they’re not pre-sliced. Slice tomatoes into small wedges. Slice eggs into 4 – 6 slices each.
Add spinach to salad bowl and arrange veggies and eggs on top. If you’re using a glass bowl, you can make layers of various veggies.
Serve as is with dressing on the side, or toss first and add HALF of the dressing, serving the remainder on the side. There will probably be leftover dressing, which can be used on any green salad.
makes 1 cup
6 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 ½ tsp. sugar
4 tsp. smooth dijon mustard
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ cup water
¼ cup good olive oil