Have salad, will travel

Today the summer potluck season kicked off, at least in our little world, with Nina’s annual birthday/prairie burning party.  I made my usual bean salad, figuring it’s something I like to eat and could eat a lot of if there wasn’t anything else available.  This year I was presently surprised, because in addition to everyone else’s bean salad, plus some guacamole and pickled asparagus, Nina had made a big pot of curried tofu in coconut milk, with herbed rice to accompany it.  Wow, was it ever good!  I’m going to ask for the recipe.  As for the bean salad, it’s three kinds of beans, olives, peppers, edamame, frozen corn, parsley, onions and artichoke hearts.  Oh, and baby corn.  For the dressing I made the only really useful thing I learned in the "kitchen science for teachers" class I took last summer, the vinaigrette.  (It’s an emulsion, see?)   Just dissolve a little salt in some vinegar (I used rice + regular commercial white, because when you’re using white beans balsamic vinegar colors it), and then crush some garlic into it and let it sit a bit.  Whisk in a bunch of mustard, the grainier the better, and then a slow stream of olive oil… it will be the perfect ratio at some point.  Anyway, taste it for acidity and add herbs if you want to.  This came out tasting great… and the prairie burn?  Well, it rained, so the burning wasn’t so successful, and I sat out in the cold damp evening with the others and just talked.  It was nice to catch up with everyone, and Callie came home just for the weekend.

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8 Responses to Have salad, will travel

  1. wei_k says:

    ooh, that dressing is something I could make! Plus, I have an almost-whole bottle of vinegar I need to use (inherited from Ivy).

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a really good salad and dressing. At Woodman’s yesterday we saw a gargantuan bag of frozen edamame. It was impressive.
    I didn’t see any organic fresh veggies, though I admit I was a bit overwhelmed by the size of the place and the somewhat chaotic display techniques.

    • wingraclaire says:

      Woodman’s gets by on less-than-beautiful presentation; more like dumping piles of stuff out for people to search through and find their desired pieces of fruit, etc. The organic stuff is in the back of the produce section by the tofu.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I love potlucks. last year I went to only 3 of them. this year it might be 4. bummer for me.
    why does the prarie need to be burned? is it grand phrasing for burning a small patch of garden?

    • wingraclaire says:

      The prairie needs to be burned for a few reasons, as I understand it….
      The dead grasses and flower stems are clogging up the landscape and burning them cleans it up, you’re right, but you just do it to grow more prairie and not a garden. Some of the prairie flower seeds open only in the extreme heat of a fire, and that’s the real reason you do it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    That salad looks delicious. Sometimes I use white balsamic vinegar if I’m making a dressing and don’t want to use the dark stuff.
    ~Felicity at thriftyliving.net

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