Tuesday, September 23, 2008
We squeezed in one more picnic on the last day of summer. The weather was warm yet mild for our street's annual barbecue and potluck. There was a bike parade for neighbor kids, live music (provided by a neighbor's band), and the chance to meet newcomers and visit with old friends. Parade, shmarade you say, what about the food?
The prettiest dish in the picnic spread was a vegan one contributed by a non-vegan! A friend made sunny yellow rice topped with flavorful black beans. The brilliant yellow against the black/purple color was stunning. And he so considerately informed me that it was vegan-friendly.
We contributed this antipasto salad, which turned out to be delicious picnic fare. The dish works well if it's prepared in advance to marinate, and later served at room temperature. The variety of vegetables makes the salad colorful and festive. I'm creating a new "potluck" tag with this recipe, since I'm always looking for dishes that travel well. Hope your last day of summer was a great one too.
Adapted from Cooking Light
16 ounces frozen green beans
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced in half
14 ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
Cook green beans according to package directions. I placed mine in a glass container and added 4 tablespoons water. Cover with a lid and microwave for about 8 minutes. Stir a couple of times during cooking. Drain.
Place green beans through artichoke hearts in a large bowl.
Make the dressing by combining remaining ingredients in a small bowl and whisk with a fork. Or shake them up in a jar. Pour dressing over vegetables. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. Check for seasoning. Serve chilled or at room temperature.