Thursday, August 14, 2008

Minestrone Salad

Face it, the produce that's flooding in from the garden belongs in a steaming bowl of minestrone: Zucchini, tomatoes, basil, arugula, onions, crookneck squash, potatoes.
But who wants a steaming bowl of minestrone in 80+ยบ weather?
So it suddenly came to me. Minestrone Salad.
Purely conceptual. But we put it into reality, and, yum.
The beans were not from the garden; a nice handful of plump white beans cooked to tenderness with a pinch of salt and a rockin' bay leaf from our plant. (UPDATE: I forgot to mention the carrots, also purchased. Sliced, and gently cooked with the onion.)
Everything else was nanolocal, even if some of it was grown last year and preserved in the freezer, namely the basil/arugula pesto (oh, disclosure, the walnuts and garlic were grown by somebody else, and the cheese, though local, is not from my yard... and the olive oil too).
You take the basic elements of minestrone, cook them ever so slightly in the case of the squash and onion (fully in the case of the beans and potatoes, and completely raw in the case of the tomatoes), and then you toss together a chunky salad of still slightly warm ingredients with a little pesto thinned with olive oil and vinegar, seasoned with hotly mild chile powder. One thing we didn't add was fresh oregano leaves, but that might have been nice.
Very molto. Gonna do it again.


Anonymous said...

looks delish! Healthy in a good tasting kind of way.

Greg said...

don't know how i ended up anonymous. Must have checked wrong box. Still looks delish

Jennywenny said...

MMM very tasty. This is the kind of salad that my husband actually enjoys! And I will too. Cant wait for CSA tomorrow to see what my warm salad will look like!

el said...

Ah, now I know what to fix out of the garden for dinner tomorrow! Lots of grown-too-fast now shelly beans out there just waiting to be eaten.

thanks as usual!

cookiecrumb said...

I have to jump in here RIGHT NOW and say that I just Googled "minestrone salad."
I am not the inventor of this, it seems. And upon thinking about that, of course I'm not.
This is just my take on it.
Still. I thought it was pretty cool.

Chilebrown said...

All right, You been talking about it forever. Wood Burning Oven!. I know somebody that can digg a hole in your backyard.

Mary Coleman said...

What a great idea. Since your version is the first I've heard of it, you will always be the creator to me!!! Looks wonderful. I have a few zephyr squash that need to get eaten along with some looks like a southern minestrone salad may take place in tennessee!!

Zoomie said...

Over here, where it's freezy, I just made the soup, but the salad version looks great, too!

cookiecrumb said...

Anonymous Greg: Healthy, and filling. When you eat minestrone soup, you get all that water (broth, whatever), but here it's just nutrients. Mm.

Jennywenny: I've never had a CSA. Sounds like fun, to be surprised by the haul. Good luck.

El: I wanted shelly beans. We went all over town, but even though they were available at the farmers market the next day, we were in too much of a hurry. I hope you have a nice meal.

ChileBrown: I wouldn't need much smoke or fire for this dish. But we are *thisclose* to the Beehive, seriously. xoxo

Mary Coleman: Bingo! Use what you have. I'm jealous of your limas. How do you say Tennessee in Italian? :D

Zoomie: As well you should. I love minestrone. (We sometimes call it "cream of bottom of the refrigerator soup," for obvious reasons.)

katiez said...

I am convinced that anything in the world can be converted to salad form... And I'm working on it on this side of the pond.
Well done on your side!

Catherine said...

a great idea that could go all over the place!

Heather said...

This is a fantastic idea. I've had to just start picking zucchini in baby form to keep up with the burgeoning biomass.

cookiecrumb said...

KatieZ: It's a launching pad, I've decided. Freedom to rethink stagnated recipes. And... I really, really liked it.

Catherine: Listen -- take some soup you love, and make it salad instead. Doesn't have to be minestrone (but that's so good for summer). Fun idea?

Heather: "Biomass." You botanist.
Yes, pick those babies small. Don't need to prove nothin' by growin' them into bats.

Ferdzy said...

Ooo, brilliant!