Beet and Goat Cheese Pasta Salad
This colourful salad is a great addition to a picnic meal as a side or as the main course. Balsamic reduction is a bottled product found in better grocery stores.
250 g (1/2 lb) dried fusilli pasta
500 g (1 lb) red beets, cut in half if large
50 ml (1/4 cup) red wine vinegar
60 ml (4 tbsp) lemon juice, divided
2 crushed garlic cloves, divided
60 ml (4 tbsp) fresh dill, divided
1 dried chili pepper, crumbled
90 ml (6 tbsp) extra-virgin olive oil
30 ml (2 tbsp) balsamic reduction (syrup)
2 ml (1/2 tsp) Dijon-style mustard
100 g (3 1/2 oz) goat cheese
In a large pot, cook pasta in boiling salted water. Add beets and cook until tender. (This will make the pasta a lovely pink colour.) Drain, separate beets and pasta and set aside.
When beets have cooled enough to handle, peel and cut into 2.5-cm (1-inch) cubes and return to pasta.
In a small bowl, combine vinegar, 30 ml (2 tbsp) of the lemon juice, 1 crushed garlic clove, 30 ml (2 tbsp) dill and chili pepper and pour over warm pasta and beets. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients except goat cheese. Pour over pasta and beets and mix well. Crumble goat cheese on top.
Makes 4 main or 8 side servings.
Source: "The New Granville Island Market Cookbook" by Carol Jensson and Judie Glick (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2012).
Easy Pad Thai Salad
The noodles, chicken and vegetables in this salad make it a natural as a tasty main course for a picnic.
250 g (8 oz) medium-width rice vermicelli noodles
75 ml (1/3 cup) fresh lime juice
50 ml (1/4 cup) each ketchup and canola oil
30 ml (2 tbsp) soy sauce
15 ml (1 tbsp) granulated sugar
750 ml (3 cups) cooked chicken breast, sliced into strips
500 ml (2 cups) bean sprouts
250 ml (1 cup) each thinly sliced carrot, celery and red pepper
50 ml (1/4 cup) each chopped fresh cilantro leaves, green onion and chopped peanuts (optional)
Soak noodles for 5 minutes in enough boiling water to cover. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool; drain well. Meanwhile, whisk lime juice with ketchup, oil, soy sauce and sugar.
Toss drained noodles with chicken, bean sprouts, carrot, celery and red pepper. Add dressing and toss to coat. Toss cilantro with green onion and peanuts, if using; sprinkle over salad just before serving. Serve with lime wedges on the side.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Tip: Use sodium-reduced soy sauce to trim some of the sodium from the dressing.
Source: Janes Family Foods, makeeverydayeasy.com
This salad can be made with fresh, cooked beans but is easier and just as good made with canned beans. It should be made at least a day ahead so that the flavours blend and is great for a picnic.
2 cans (each 625 g/20 oz) green beans, drained
2 cans (625 g/20 oz) yellow beans, drained
1 can (425 ml/15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 medium onions, cut into rings
1 large green pepper, cut into strips
250 ml (1 cup) white sugar
250 ml (1 cup) vinegar
125 ml (1/2 cup) vegetable oil
7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) salt
7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) pepper
In a bowl (preferably one with a lid), combine salad ingredients.
In a large jar with a lid, combine dressing ingredients and take turns with family members vigorously shaking contents until sugar is completely dissolved and the oil and vinegar are really well mixed.
Pour dressing over beans and stir together thoroughly. Place lid on bowl or seal with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a day.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Source: Susan Greer (old family recipe).
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version misspelled the surname of Carol Jensson, co-author of "The New Granville Island Market Cookbook," in the source line of the first recipe.