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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Vegetables/Salads/Herbs

TIP OF THE DAY: Roots & Shoots

Even when nature isn’t in full bloom, you can add interest to meals by seeking out less ordinary versions of conventional foods.

All you have to do is look for them—at specialty produce stores, farmers markets and online (check out Melissas.com and OmahaSteaks.com, among others).

What will you find? The bounty varies by region, but you can find these veggies nationwide:

  • Baby leeks
  • Celery root
  • Microgreens
  • Mixed potatoes
  • Multicolor* beets
  • Multicolor* bell peppers
  • Multicolor* carrots
  • Multicolor* hothouse cherry tomatoes
  • Specialty radishes
  •  
    *Typically, they’re available in orange, purple, red or yellow. You can also find white carrots and brown bell peppers and tomatoes.

       

    celery-root-salad-kaminsky-230

    A double salad: celery root remoulade topped with vinaigrette-dressed baby greens. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog.

     

    Purple potatoes

    Purple potatoes can be served in any style conducive to waxy potatoes. How about purple mashed potatoes! Photo by Mona Makela | IST.

     

    You may also be able to find:

  • Garlic roots
  • Garlic shoots
  • Micro popcorn shoots†
  • Pea tendrils
  •  
    Whether you use these veggies to make exciting salads, roast them for sides or more complicated vegetable recipes, most of these artisanal veggies will add color splashes to the table during the winter doldrums.

    Proteins and starches tend to be brown or beige. That’s why you need the right veggies to enliven your meals.

    There are countless vegetable recipes online; or treat yourself to a vegetable cookbook. Take a look at Williams-Sonoma’s Vegetable of the Day: 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year.

     
    *Used for many years in European, popcorn shoots are gaining popularity among top chefs in the U.S. The shoots are intensely sweet and attractive. They make a surprise garnish for any dish. Here’s more about them; click the second photo.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Black Radish

    As part of our Winter Vegetable Doldrums Series, today’s focus is the black radish*, Raphanus sativus niger. It’s a member of the anti-carcinogenic Brassica family of cruciferous† vegetables.

    Available year round, black radishes peak in winter and early spring. Significantly larger than traditional radishes, it average threes to four inches in diameter or length, and can be round or cylindrical and elongated, depending upon the variety.

    The skin is black or dark brown and the flesh is familiarly radishy, crisp, white and slightly bitter with a hot bite. A lot of the bite is int he skin, so the radish can be peeled for a milder flavor.

    SERVING IDEAS

    Black radishes can be enjoyed raw or cooked in a variety of different preparations.

  • Sauté or braise them as a side dish.
  • Cook them like turnips, and toss with butter.
  • Dice and add them to soups, stir-fries and stews. They’ll add some bite.
  • Grate or chop them into matchsticks and add to mixed green salads.
  • Slice them and add to the crudité plate.
  • Use slices as the base for canapés.
  •    

    black-radish-thechefsgarden-230

    It’s a black radish. Look for it in better produce sections (we found ours at Whole Foods) and farmers markets. Photo courtesy The Chef’s Garden.

     
    Here’s a general radish tip: If the radish has too much bite, you can tone down the peppery heat. Simply slice, salt and rinse with water.
     
    *Other names include Spanish radish, Gros Noir d’Hiver, Noir Gros de Paris and the Black Mooli.

    †Other Brassica family members include bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale and mustard greens, among others.

     

    black-radish-salad-thechefsgarden-230

    Black radish salad. Photo courtesy The Chef’s
    Garden.

     

    BLACK RADISH RECIPES

  • Baked Black Radish Chips Recipe
  • Blood Orange & Black Radish Salad Recipe
  • Black Radish & Potato Salad Recipe
  • Black Radish & Shrimp Salad Recipe
  • Sauteed Black Radish Recipe
  • Smoked Fish, Horseradish & Black Radish Terrine Recipe
  •  
    BLACK RADISH HISTORY & NUTRITION

    Believed to be a relative of the wild radish, the black radish was first cultivated in the eastern Mediterranean. An ancient vegetable, radishes were grown in Egypt before the pyramids were built.

    Black radishes are an excellent source of vitamin C and also provide iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamins A, E and B. They are known for their ability to fight off infection and promote healthy digestive function. A component, raphanin, has been shown to be beneficial in treatment of thyroid imbalances. The leaves have a liver detoxifying effect.

     

    The black radish has long been used in folk medicine in both Europe and China, to stimulate bile function and improve gall bladder health promoting. In Chinese medicine, the black radish is also used to promote pulmonary and respiratory health.

    To store black radishes, remove the greens and wrap the bulbs in plastic. They will keep crisp if refrigerated, for up to two weeks.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Carrots & Peas

    Here’s some food fun that was created at the 2014 Roots Conference held by the Culinary Vegetable Institute.

    In Project Carrot, gifted chefs took a look at the under-utilized yet extremely versatile carrot, creating everything from cocktails to Carrot Rigatoni with Carrot Bolognese.

    While this photo looks like pasta, it is trompe l’oeil: What looks like carrot fettucine is actually made of long strands of blanched carrots. The “English peas” are an emulsion of English peas (a technique that essentially adds oil to pea purée so that it keeps the round shape).

    To create this dish requires some culinary chops. But if your kitchen techniques are less than professional level, you can still make your own version of “Carrots and Peas”—with actual carrot pasta and green peas.

    Start with some Barilla Veggie Pasta, made from puréed carrots and tomatoes (each serving has 20% of your daily requirement of vegetables). Serve it with a green pea pasta sauce an a scattering of green peas (they’re not yet in season, so go for frozen rather than canned).

    If you prefer, you can make a version of the Carrot Bolognese Sauce, adding five chopped carrots to the popular tomato sauce with ground beef. Here’s a recipe.

     

    carrots-and-peas-food-fun-thechefsgarden-230

    A new approach to carrots and peas. Photo courtesy The Chef’s Garden | Culinary Vegetable Institute.

     

    You can also use a classic tomato-based sauce, a carrot sauce (substitute carrots for peas in the green pea sauce recipe) or a simple dressing of butter or olive oil. Just scatter those peas on top!

    The Culinary Vegetable Institute (CVI), located in Milan, Ohio, is devoted to sustainable agriculture and building strong relationship between farmer and chef, is a premier venue for the finest in culinary experiences including dinners, wine tasting, weddings, events and functions. The combination of our commitment to

    Here are the other creations from Project Carrot.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Mushroom Salad

    You may be chomping at the bit for the first spring vegetables to arrive in the market (we’re waiting for asparagus and ramps). But until then, there is veggie excitement to be had; and we’ll be talking about them for the next two days.

    Mushrooms offer flavorful excitement, and are a cook’s delight: They absorb a lot of flavor quickly, and can be prepared in so many ways. For starters, consider:

  • Carpaccio (try this recipe from chef Claire Robinson)
  • Casseroles
  • Fried (try these portobello fries)
  • Omelets, scrambled eggs
  • Mushrooms Parmigiania, prepared like Eggplant Parmigiania
  • Quesadillas
  • Pasta dishes (add it to fettuccine, lasagna, ramen, ravioli, anything)
  • Risotto or pilaf
  • Roasted or grilled
  • Sauces and gravies
  • Sautéed alone (with red wine and fresh herbs!) or with other favorites (broccoli, spinach, turnips, whatever)
  • Sautéed with any protein (Chicken Marsala is a favorite)
  •    

    cooked-mushroom-salad-olionyc-230

    Mushroom salad atop a bed of baby arugula. Photo courtesy Olio e Piú | New York City.

  • Soup (try cream of mushroom with chunks of sautéed mushrooms)
  • Stews/ragouts
  • Stuffed, with vegetarian, cheese, meat or seafood fillings (try bacon or sausage)
  • Stuffing, savory bread pudding, savory tarts, crostini
  • Topping for grains or polenta and of course, pizza
  •  

    Today’s tip requires no cooking; that is, no heat. It’s marinated mushrooms, also known as mushroom salad: delicious as an appetizer, a side, a sandwich topper or as part of an antipasto.

    You can add other raw vegetables; we’ve provided options below.

    Marinated mushrooms can be made with any mushroom (here are the different mushroom types). Unless you’ve got deep pockets, go for the least expensive, which are typically white button mushrooms. Smaller are better, since you’ll be cutting them up.

    Of course, you an use any mushroom: cremini, oyster, portabello, shiitake or a mixture. We’ve even used enoki mushrooms for an exotic garnish.

    The only given is that the mushrooms be fresh. Those that are beginning to brown or wither are best used in a cooked dish.

     

    marinated-mush-tahini-yogurt-colliersmarket-230r

    Marinated mushrooms with walnut and tahini
    yogurt. Photo courtesy Collier’s Market. Here’s
    the recipe.

     

    RECIPE: RAW MUSHROOM SALAD

  • 1 8-ounce container white mushrooms (or other mushroom)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon wine or sherry vinegar (or more to taste)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh herbs (basil, chives, dill, oregano, parsley, thyme), minced (we use two different herbs)
  • Optional ingredients for color: diced red pepper or pimento, red onions, sliced green onions or chives
  • Optional ingredients for variety: broccoli or cauliflower florets, edamame, sliced olives
  • Optional heat: 1 chili, seeded and white pith removed, finely sliced
  • Baby arugula, baby spinach, mesclun, watercress or lettuce/cabbage cups
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CLEAN the mushrooms and pat dry. Place in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with the sea salt. Toss to coat thoroughly. Let stand for about 30 minutes so the salt can remove excess water from the mushrooms. Brush any remaining salt from the mushrooms.

    2. COMBINE the marinade ingredients in a bowl: olive oil, vinegar, garlic, lemon zest, pepper and herbs. Toss the mushrooms in the marinade to coat. (We don’t add salt at this stage because of the residue salt from the mushrooms.)

    3. COVER the bowl refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

    4. SERVE as desired. We enjoy it atop a bed of greens or in a lettuce cup.

    Variation

    Try this recipe for Marinated Mushrooms with Walnut and Tahini Yogurt from Kristin Collier of the blog ColliersMarket.com.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Vegetable “Raft”

    Build a vegetable “raft” to make a serving of plain grilled or sautéed protein look like fancy restaurant fare.

    This chef’s trick makes it easy to add glamor to a piece of cooked protein—beef, fish, lamb, pork, poultry, tofu. Not to mention, it gets people to eat more veggies!

    Here, branzino in padella (branzino cooked in a skillet/frying pan) from Olio e Piú in Greenwich Village, New York City gets the raft treatment.

    MAKE IT AT HOME

  • Choose three “long” vegetables of contrasting colors. For your consideration: asparagus, carrots, celery, green beans, fennel, hatch or shishito chiles or other mild chiles, leeks, long radish, okra, parsnips, pea pods, spring onions.
  • You can also cut long rectangles of other favorites: bell pepper (red or yellow bell pepper), eggplant, yellow squash, Yukon Gold potatoes or zucchini.
  • All the vegetables should be 3-1/2 to 4 inches in length. They don’t have to be even; and they’re more visually arresting if they aren’t.
  •  

    branzino-vegetable-layer-olioNY-230

    Branzino on a vegetable raft with a grilled lemon. Photo courtesy Olio e Piú | NYC.

  • The number of pieces you need per serving depends on the length of the protein. The long piece of fish in the photo rests atop a dozen individual veggies.
  • Decide how you want to cook them. Our own technique is to steam them lightly in the microwave, then coat them quickly in a sauté pan with butter (you can substitute good olive oil).
  •  

    If you want to include a grain or potato, there’s plenty of room on the plate (just move the lemon).

    In his television show “Kitchen Nightmares,” Chef Gordon Ramsay has said that he gets worried when he is presented with a plate scattered with chopped parsley. While we love Chef Ramsay, perhaps he’d agree that this plain plate would look better with a dusting of minced parsley or chives around the rim. Or perhaps, a sprinkling of pink or smoked sea salt!

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Watermelon Radish

    mahi-mahi-eggplant-puree-dueforni-230

    Roasted mahi-mahi with baby squash,
    roasted eggplant puree, pistachios and
    watermelon radish. Photo courtesy Due
    Forni.

     

    Some vegetables light up any dish; watermelon radishes are one. Thanks to farmers markets, we’re seeing a lot more of them.

    Watermelon radishes are available year-round, with peak seasons in spring and late fall (meaning they’re more bountiful and less expensive). Work them into your Valentine’s Day menu: They’re a great special-occasion ingredient.

    A large Chinese radish, its exterior is creamy white with touches of pale green. But the flesh: ooh-la-la.

    The watermelon radish has a eautiful rosy pink-magenta flesh, reminiscent of the color of watermelon. It is patterned with bright circular striations of color that are captivating whether sliced, quartered or julienned.

    The texture is crisp and firm yet succulent. And the flavor is mild, lacking the peppery profile of conventional radishes. Instead, it tastes more like daikon, the white Japanese radish.

    The Chinese name is shinrimei, and the radish is known by several other names including Rose Heart and Beauty Heart.

    Depending on when harvested, watermelon radishes can range in size from golf ball to soft ball—up to three inches and more in diameter.

     

    The color and mildness of the watermelon radish make it a lovely surface for hors d’oeuvres (and a better-for-you alternative to a bread or cracker base). It perks up a green salad. It makes a beautiful garnish on anything savory.

    But there’s so much more you can do with watermelon radishes.

    Watermelon radishes can be served fresh or cooked, hot or cold. They pair well with apple, bacon, butter, citrus, egg dishes, cheeses such as feta and chèvre, cucumbers, creamy based dressings and vinaigrettes, fennel, mild salad greens, noodles such as soba and udon, white fish and a variety of seasonings, especially cilantro, mint and tarragon.

    That’s a lot to work with!

     

    WAYS TO SERVE WATERMELON RADISH

    You can cook radishes like turnips, but these beautiful radishes deserve to be enjoyed in all their bright color and crispness.
     
    Salads

  • Make a Radish “Caprese”: Serve slices of watermelon radish in lieu of mozzarella with sliced tomatoes, basil and balsamic vinegar—a change of pace that saves calories and fat. You can substitute slices of actual watermelon for the tomatoes.
  • Make a sophisticated salad: Toss thin slices with mâche or microgreens in a special vinaigrette—sherry or honey-dijon, for example.
  • Use as a salad base: Thinly slice large radishes, spread on the plate and use them as a base for other salad ingredients.
  • Try this Sesame Peanut Cucumber Salad recipe, an artistic delight of bright red radish matchsticks and shaved cucumber ribbons.
  • Pair with mushrooms in this Radish, Mushroom & Watercress salad recipe with a sherry-honey vinaigrette.
  • Pair with fennel in this Watermelon Radish & Fennel Salad with Lavender Vinaigrette recipe.
  •  

    blood-orange-watermelon-radish-lincolnbarbour-230

    A simple citrus salad with blood orange and watermelon radish. Here’s the recipe. Photo courtesy Lincoln Barbour.

     
    Sandwiches

  • Add sliced watermelon radish to sandwiches for color, flavor and crunch, instead of lettuce tomatoes.
  • Try watercress and radish tea sandwiches (or full size sandwiches) with unsalted butter or fresh goat cheese.
  •  
    STORING WATERMELON RADISHES

    To store watermelon radishes, discard the leafy tops and wrap the radishes in plastic. They’ll keep for several weeks.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Beets For Valentine’s Day

    Beets are an unsung Valentine’s Day food. Not only are they deep red but they’re punny, as in “My heart beets for you.”

    Our tip today includes three beet recipes: a hot side dish, a first-course salad and a beet-and-quinoa side.

    The first recipes is from Williams-Sonoma. It’s adapted from the cookbook Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Vegetables, by Jodi Liano.

    Beets and fresh goat cheese, garnished with fresh herbs, are one of our favorite ways to enjoy beets. Orange—juice, zest or both—is a wonderful complement. In this recipe, the ingredients combine in a most delicious way. Enjoy it as a side dish with any protein, or on a vegetarian plate with barley, brown rice, quinoa or other whole grain.

    RECIPE: ROASTED BEETS WITH ORANGE &
    GOAT CHEESE

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 orange
  •    

    roasted-beet-salad-orange-goat-cheese-ws-230

    Beets and goat cheese as a side dish. Photo courtesy Williams-Sonoma.

  • 6 beets, about 1-1/2 pounds, in assorted colors, greens removed
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh chives
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F.

    2. FINELY GRATE the zest from the orange and set aside. Halve the orange and place one half in a baking dish just large enough to hold it and the beets in a single layer. Add the beets and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the garlic cloves, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and toss well. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and roast until the beets are tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 45 minutes.

    3. STIR together in a small bowl the goat cheese, chives, parsley, tarragon and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Refrigerate until serving.

    4. REMOVE the beets from the oven and let cool. Using the dull side of a paring knife, gently scrape off the beet skins, then cut the beets into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Arrange the slices on a platter. Reserve the cooking liquid.

    5. LINE a strainer with a damp paper towel and place over a bowl. Pour the cooking liquid through the strainer and squeeze the roasted orange half to release any juice. Whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoons of olive oil and the juice from the remaining orange half to make a dressing. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Let the dressing cool to room temperature.

    6. DRIZZLE the beets lightly with the dressing, then sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Top the beets with small spoonfuls of the herbed goat cheese, garnish with the orange zest and serve immediately.

     

    An unusual but delightful pairing of beets and anchovies. Photo courtesy Love Beets.

     

    BEET SALAD, A FIRST COURSE

    From Love Beets, producers of ready-to-eat vacuum-packed beets, comes this seemingly unusual combination of beets and smoked anchovies. If you and your Valentine are anchovy fans, serve this salad as a first course.

    While there are no greens in this recipe, we served it on a bed of sliced endive and radicchio to make it more of a traditional salad. (We were looking for frisée instead of the endive/radicchio, but the store didn’t have it.)

    RECIPE: MARK HIX’S BEET SALAD WITH
    SMOKED ANCHOVIES

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 17.5 ounces of cooked beets
  • 1 can of smoked anchovies, drained
  •  
    For The Dressing

  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • ½ tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional greens: mesclun, frisée or other favorite
  •  

    Preparation

    1. CUT the beets into ¼-inch slices and arrange them on plates or on a serving dish.

    2. MAKE the dressing, combining the ingredients. Spoon the dressing over the beets. Arrange the anchovies on top of the dressed beets and serve.
     
    RECIPE: QUINOA AND ROASTED BEET SALAD

    Here’s another warm side dish that combines beets with one of today’s trending ingredients, quinoa. It’s from Alter Eco Royal Pearl Quinoa. It uses the beet greens, too: a delicious green that should never be discarded!

    Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 bunch of beets (3 large, 4 medium or 5 small), roasted
  • 3/4 to 1 pound beet greens (the greens from 1 generous bunch)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (to taste)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, lightly crushed
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled or diced (1/2 cup)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SCRUB and roast the beets. Once they are cooled, remove the skins and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Set aside.

    2. BLANCH the greens in a large pot of generously salted water or steam them above an inch of boiling water until wilted, one to two minutes. Refresh with cold water, squeeze dry and chop.

    3. HEAT the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet. Add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add the caraway, beet greens and salt and pepper to taste. Stir over medium heat for 30 seconds to a minute until the greens are nicely infused with the garlic and oil.

    4. ADD the beets and quinoa. Toss together until the ingredients are well combined and the quinoa is heated through and colored with beet juice. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Transfer to a wide serving bowl or platter, and sprinkle the goat cheese over the top.
     
    Is your heart beeting in anticipation?

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Poutine

    WENDY'S RESTAURANTS OF CANADA - Oh Poutine! Grab your forks

    Classic poutine. Photo courtesy Wendy’s |
    Canada.

     

    In Canada, the first week in February is La Poutine week.

    Poutine (poo-TEEN) is a popular Canadian potato dish: French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. It’s the northern version of cheese fries, with brown gravy instead of ketchup; and is often referred to as the national dish of Canada.

    Decades ago, it became popular in Quebec as a snack to follow a night of drinking. Of course, it begs to be accompanied by a cold beer.

    During La Poutine Week, chefs at restaurants across Canada will pull out all the stops to out-poutine the classic poutine. Last year, a Toronto sushi bar added caramelized kimchi, beef tongue and Japanese mayo; an Ottawa pub featured poutine made with pulled pork, pork meatballs and cheese with bacon bits, topped with a Jack Daniels sauce. Vegetarian restaurants did their own thing.

    Year-round, La Banquise in Montreal serves more than thirty different kinds of poutine. It’s open 24 hours daily. Here’s the menu.

     
    This recipe from French’s makes adds shredded barbecue beef and a fried egg (French’s used its company’s Cattlemen’s Memphis Sweet Finished BBQ Sauce). Make it, or create your own.

    As for a matching beer: Cold Snap from Sam Adams sounds just right. The unfiltered white ale has a snap of added flavor: fruit including orange peel, plum and hibiscus, and a peppery snap from fresh ground coriander.

    RECIPE: BARBECUE BEEF POUTINE

    Ingredients

  • 12 ounces French fries
  • 2½ ounces smoked beef, shredded
  • ¼ cup Wisconsin cheese curds
  • 1 teaspoon scallion tops, thinly sliced
  • 1 fried egg, sunny side up
  •  
    Preparation

    1. FRY the French fries to a crisp, golden brown and arrange on a platter.

    2. COMBINE the beef with barbecue sauce and heat. Sprinkle over the fries.

    3. SLICE the cheese curds in half and top the fries. Melt in a hot oven.

    4 TOP with the egg and scallions. Serve.

     

    POUTINE HISTORY

    Various places claim the credit for inventing poutine, in rural Quebec in the 1950s, where numerous dairies produced Cheddar cheese curds.

    The first leg of the story is that poutine originated in a restaurant called Le Lutin Qui Rit (“The Laughing Goblin”), when a customer asked the owner Fernand Lachance to mix cheese curds with his fries.

    A restaurant called Le Roy Jucep is the first to have served poutine as we know it today—French fries, cheese and gravy—in 1964. The owner registered a trademark for the dish.

    Another restaurant La P’tite Vache (“The Little Cow”) sold curds from the local Princesse dairy. Customers would order fries and buy a bag of cheese curds to mix together at their tables in a 50:50 proportion. When gravy was added, the dish became known as “mixte” (“mixed”).

     

    bbq-beef-poutine-frenchs-230

    Fancy poutine. Photo courtesy The French’s Food Company.

     

    The name “poutine” appeared in 1982, when large restaurant chains began to sell it. While no one can explain the derivation for certain, it could be derived from the English word “pudding,” which was expressed as “pouding” in Acadian French.

    One meaning of “pouding” in Canada is “an unappetizing mixture of various foods, usually leftovers.” According to Merriam-Webster, poutine derives from a Quebecois slang word meaning “mess.” [Source]

    We vote for that one!

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Green Bean & Potato Salad

    If you’re thinking of potato salad for game day, how about upping the flavor, color, texture and nutrition with green beans, a.k.a. string beans and snap beans (more about that below).

    Fresh green bean crops are harvested year-round, but are best in early winter, early summer and early fall. Beans picked early in the season are smaller and sweeter. As they mature, they lose flavor and get thicker and tougher.

    “The combination of green beans and red potatoes, sometimes known as Green Beans Pierre, is one of my go-to side dishes,” SAYS Preci D’Silva, who contributed the recipe to Taste Of Home.

    The recipe calls for dried herbs, but trust us: fresh herbs give a much more wonderful punch of flavor. You can use a combination of fresh and dried, depending on what you have on hand (e.g., fresh basil and parsley, dried tarragon). While this recipe uses an oil and vinegar dressing, you can also add green beans into mayonnaise-dressed potato salad.

    While the recipe was developed to serve warm, it is equally delicious at room temperature. Prep time is 30 minutes.

    RECIPE: WARM GREEN BEAN & POTATO SALAD

    Ingredients For 10 Servings

  • 1 pound small red potatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon each garlic powder, ground mustard and pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon each dried basil, parsley flakes and tarragon
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  •    

    potato-green-bean-salad-tasteofhome-230r

    Add crunch and flavor to potato salad. Photo courtesy Taste Of Home.

     
    *We love balsamic vinegar so much that we often use it, even though it adds a dark color. White balsamic, created to solve this problem, isn’t real balsamic, and doesn’t taste anything like it. Here’s more about balsamic vinegar.
     

    Preparation

    1. PLACE the potatoes in a large saucepan; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Meanwhile…

    2. WHISK together the oil, vinegar and seasonings in a large bowl.

    3. ADD the green beans to the pot of potatoes; return to a boil. Cook 3-5 minutes longer or until the vegetables are tender. Drain.

    4. ADD to the dressing and toss to coat. Stir in the tomatoes and onion. Serve warm.

     

    organic-bush-burpee-2-230

    Before breeding eliminated it, green beans had a fibrous “string” atop the long ridges and were known as string beans. Photo courtesy Burpee.

     

    GREEN BEANS OR STRING BEANS: THE DIFFERENCE

    String beans got their name because they originally had a string, a tough fiber that ran from one tip to the other. The string had to be removed before cooking. The task was onerous enough that the string was bred out of most varieties. But the name, handed down from generation to generation, lives on.

    The beans also got the name of snap beans, because when you bend them, they snap.

    There are two types of green beans:

  • Bush beans, which have a rounded pod (see photo).
  • Pole beans, which are usually large and relatively flat.
  •  
    Pole beans are also more tender, so if you have a choice, go for the flat beans.

    But whether bush or pole, raw green beans are tender enough to be eaten raw. They are a standard on our crudité platter, and whenever we have them on hand, we add them to green salads, other vegetable salads, grain salads and protein salads (chicken, egg, tuna, etc.).

     

    HOW TO HANDLE GREEN BEANS

    Here’s advice from Produce Pete:

  • Selection: Choose small to medium-size pods that are velvety-looking and bright green, with no signs of wilting or wrinkling. If you’re not sure of the freshness, bend one and see if it snaps. If it’s rubbery and bends, it’s past its prime.
  • Storage: Don’t wash green beans (or any produce) until you’re ready to use them. While it’s always best to use them as soon as you buy them, you can refrigerate them in a paper bag an or unsealed plastic bag for a day or two. If you’ve had them longer and they start to wilt, you may be able to revive them in ice-cold water. Otherwise, you can purée them or add them to soups or stews.
  • Preparation: To cook, simply steam or cook in a small amount of water in a covered pan for five to eight minutes (we steam them in the microwave), adding a dab of butter (or good olive oil), salt and pepper. Don’t overcook or you’ll get a canned green bean flavor.
  • Freezing: String beans freeze well if blanched for two minutes before freezing.
  •   

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Non-Ketchup Dips For Fries & Onion Rings

    baconnaise-firebox-230

    Baconnaise, bacon-flavored mayo, is good
    stuff (but stick to the regular, not the Lite).
    Photo courtesy LiteBox.com.

     

    When Chef David Venable of QVC wrote us to suggest Beer-Battered Onion Rings with Horseradish Dill Dipping Sauce—the recipes are below—we thought: What else works as a condiment with French fries and onion rings instead of ketchup?

    For a change of pace or a special occasion, try these condiments, dips and sauces:

  • Aïoli (garlic mayonnaise), the classic for Belgian frites (recipe)
  • Bacon mayonnaise like Baconnaise
  • Blue cheese dip (here’s our favorite)
  • Chipotle ketchup, curry ketchup or sriracha ketchup (recipe)
  • Ginger-sesame sauce (recipe below)
  • Homemade lemon or lime mayonnaise (recipe—grate zest into the mayo to taste)
  • Korean dipping sauce, based on tofu, red pepper paste, soybean paste (recipe)
  • Ponzu sauce
  • Saffron mayonnaise (recipe)
  • Salsa, red or green
  • Spicy mayonnaise (like chipotle or wasabi mayo)
  • Vietnamese dipping sauce, sweet and tangy, with lime juice and Thai chiles (recipe)
  • Yogurt dip—tzatziki or raita
  •  
    RECIPE: GINGER-SESAME SAUCE

    Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  •  
    Preparation

    1. WHISK together the ingredients in a small bowl.

     

    RECIPE: HORSERADISH DIPPING SAUCE

    Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoon horseradish
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped
  •  
    Preparation

    1. WHISK together the mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish paprika and dill in a small bowl. Set aside and cook the onion rings.
     
    RECIPE: FRIED ONION RINGS

    Ingredients

  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) beer
  •  

    onion-rings-horseradish-dipping-sauce-qvc-230

    Onion rings with horseradish dipping sauce. Photo courtesy QVC.

  • 3 large onions, preferably Vidalia, sliced into 1/4-inch rings and separated
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CLIP a deep-frying thermometer to the side of a deep, heavy pot. Add 2 inches of canola oil to the pot and slowly heat the oil to 350°F. While the oil is heating…

    2. WHISK together the flour, egg, garlic powder, oregano, cayenne, salt and black pepper in a bowl. Gradually whisk in the beer, stirring until a thick batter forms.

    3. DREDGE the onion slices in the batter. Using tongs, add four or five onion rings to the hot oil and fry for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown. Turn them halfway through cooking. (Cook the onion rings in batches or the oil won’t stay hot and the onion rings will be soggy rather than crisp.)

    4. USING tongs, remove the fried onions to a wire rack or paper towels to drain. Cook the remaining batter-dipped onion rings. Serve hot with the dipping sauce.

      

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