Sunday, October 10, 2010

Broccoli, Cauliflower, & Runner Bean Salad (with Versatility and an Award!) lemon tahini dressing.

This crisp salad makes a perfect accompaniment to an autumn meal. Or, with some chickpeas, tofu, or similar thrown in, it could double as a meal in itself.  I like to make it by blanching the veggies and then refreshing them, so it's not completely raw (which would be good too), but still packs a healthy crunch and retains the natural color of the veggies.  Alternately, you could make an oven-roasted version, which is also good...that's why this is a versatile dish (I think).

It's based on a salad from a cafe where I worked at in 03/04. If my memory serves, I think we used green beans instead of runner beans and peppers instead of red onion...but again, the little extras you decide to throw in are up to your own whimsy.

1/2 lb broccoli florets (save stems for veggie broth, stir fry, or broccomole (scroll down on the broccomole link for recipe)) 
1/2 lb cauliflower florets
1/2 lb runner beans (or green beans), large chop
1 - 2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 small red onion, finely sliced (~1/2 cup - 3/4 cup, or to taste)
1 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

Put the broccoli, cauliflower and runner beans in a large bowl. Bring a large pot of water to the boil pour over the veggies, and let it stand for 5-7 minutes. Drain the veggies and cool them off immediately by covering them in cold water and tossing in  tray or two of ice cubes.

Or, you could drop the veggies into the boiling water and let them cook for 1-2 minutes, then refresh.

I like the 7-minute happens more slowly, so you can afford to get distracted for a minute or two w/o the veggies getting over cooked.

When the veggies are cool, drain and toss in a large bowl with the red onion, cherry tomatoes, and almond slices.

Lemon Tahini Dressing:
The dressing didn't come through in the photo.  I recommend you make a double batch and drizzle more over on at the table, if you feel like you want more dressing. Depending on how thick your tahini is, you may need to add a little more or less water to achieve a good consistency. Mine came out a little thin, which is why it's not too visible in the photo. If if it were just a little thicker, it would have stuck to the veggies better.

2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, very finely minced
splash of soy sauce, tamari, or Bragg's Liquid Aminos ( I added about 1 teaspoon worth)
water to bring up to desired consistency ( I used about 1/8 cup, but depending how thick your tahini is, you may need to add more/less)

Serve with lemon wedges and black pepper to taste. Saves well in the fridge for a couple of days.

Speaking of versatility, Carissa from Coffee and Sunshine awarded me a Versatile Blogger award. Thanks Carissa! I didn't post to the blog in Sept, so I was delayed in posting this. 

The award consists in sharing 7 obscure facts about oneself, then passing it on. I found it difficult to come up with stuff, so here goes nothin':

Pierce Brosnan once touched my elbow and asked me were the toilettes were.

I taught EFL in Madrid, Spain for 6 years (in the 90's).

I'm not sure, but I think I have a little crush on Alec Baldwin.

After a beer or two, I'm a sucker for karaoke.

You know the Ad Sense things you can put on a blog? Well...

I was thinking of a plan to dye one's whiskers green, and always use so large of fan that they could not be seen....

(just kidding, that's from Through the lOOking Glass, of course)... 

I was thinking of a scheme where a large group of people get together, run ads on their sites and then click on each other's ads in order to bulk up the money they earn... Probably already been done.

I never had the chicken pox as a kid, but I got them at the age of 23, while spending a month in Paris. 

My very first real boyfriend was from Serbia; I fell for him because on our first date, he prepared a dinner that consisted entirely of Brussel's sprouts and corn was odd, but yummy.

Note to Recipients: If you're not into these blog award worries, just do with it/or don't do with it what you will :)

I'm passing this award on to the following versatile bloggers (in no particular order):

DirtyDuck (check out her most recent pics of Lilly!)
Good Luck Duck (a recent find for me...funny, clever, intriguing, and sometimes cryptic)
Mehitable Days (fun spirited, interesting, and definitely mehitable)
Blessed Vegan Life (I think you have to be versatile with 5 hungry vegans to feed)

And, because I know how much she loves these awards:
Shenandoah Vegan (just kidding SV--just messin' with ya)

Ciao for now


  1. your cauliflower is so bright white, very pretty. im going to try blanching veggies sometime. your seven facts wre really great/unusual/ and really let me know more about you. you have been to so many diferent places, and not just to visit but actualy live! what is EFL? lol one beer is all it takes to get you on stage? i dont know WHAT it would take to get me up there!!

    thank you so much, awards are so fun!! i love the lucky ducks blog too, isnt she fun? good choice. i like that its for most versatile, i think lots of people blogs start out one way and end up another. i know mine did. well thanks again! who doesnt like getting an award!!!!....(besides Shen)hahaha

  2. You're very welcome for the award MIchelle. I don't like to get too gushy, but I really enjoy your blog immensely; I think you're awesome. It's wonderful to connect with like-minded people/fellow animal lovers...that's really the whole reason I do the blogs.

    Believe may be easy to get me on stage, but people usually regret it :D

    EFL is English as a Foreign Language.

  3. That looks like a great salad - the stores always package broccoli and cauliflower florets together, and I love the colors together. I am also a new fan of tahini, so I bet that dressing is great.

    So cool Pierce Brosnan asked you a question!

  4. Jessica,

    The pre-packed stuff would make this super quick! Great idea. The tahini is really good with the broccoli and cauliflower; I think it's just something about cruciferous veg and seeds/nuts, go so well together.

    Yeah, I was sort of shocked took me a minute to register who he was...but it wasn't completely out of the blue: I was working in a fancy restaurant, and we all knew he and a group of people had come in to the place for lunch...only the managers took over and wouldn't let any of the other waitstaff near his table...I just happened to be walking by when he got up to use the loo.

  5. Love that you didn't even bother to throw in lettuce in this salad...something that can be somewhat empty in vitamins compared to all the other goodies you threw in yours. Broccoli is my fav but I am still getting used to cauliflower haha

  6. Good joke, Rose;-) I'm still haunted by that last award.

    Alec Baldwin is one of those people I am just thankful exists. I always watch 'Miami Blues' whenever it's on.

  7. Mmm, what a pretty salad! I can practically taste the snappy, crunchy deliciousness of it from here! We often make a meal of a salad, especially in the summer. I often have to explain that I'm not talking "iceberg lettuce and pale tomatoes" when I talk about our salads, but I'm confident neither you nor your readers need that explanation! ;-)

    Another award! :-)))) Thank you so much! Expect it and the Happiness 101 Award to appear on a blog post soon (now that our vacation posts are finally done!)

    I love your list of 7 obscure facts! You are such a world traveler, I'm not surprised to hear you experienced the chicken pox in Paris! Or taught English in Madrid, had a boyfriend from Serbia (that was an intriguing meal!)...or married someone in Ireland, either! You should write an autobiography!

    So what songs do you like to sing in these karaoke bars you frequent? And where are they, so we can all come listen to you perform? ;-)

    I knew Pierce touched your elbow once, but didn't know he also asked you a question! I think in some cultures. that means you're engaged. ;-) Too bad it wasn't Alec Baldwin, huh?

    Thanks again, Rose! Your blog deserves a huge stack of awards, it's so fantastic! xoxo

  8. What a vibrant salad. It looks so beautiful and satisfying. I enjoyed reading your "facts." While we don't have karaoke in common, we do have chicken pox. I got the pox while I was in college - horrible.

  9. Jacklyn,

    Yeah, I know what you mean. I guess this is a salad insofar that it's a bunch of veggies in a dressing...but not necessarily lettuce. I think it would be good with just the broccoli if cauliflower is not your thing. :)


    I'm not the sort to get crushes on celebs, I've never seen Miami Blues, but I've been watching 30 Rock on Netflix and he is a cutie...that show is full of cuties though, in my humble opinion.

  10. Laurie,

    The less anyone knows about my bouts with karaoke, the better (for them)...I've been known to do "Come Sail Away" by Styx...that's probably enough said. :D

    As for boyfriends...I've never actually dated an American guy...maybe Alec Baldwin would be a good place to start...LOL...ok, enough silliness on that front, I am a married woman after all.

    I hope you have some fun with the awards...I'm sure your facts and features will be very fun and interesting indeed!

  11. Andrea,

    You got the pox as a young adult too? It was awful wasn't it? I was quite scared because I heard that when adults get it, it can be a lot more serious than getting it as a child. I heard horror stories about people going blind from it and their faces being covered in pox scars. Thankfully, none of that came true.

  12. Congratulations on the award.

    - an entire meal prepped with sprouts - Interesting.

    Your broc and cauli looks so crunchy!

  13. Mangocheeks,

    That was an interesting meal to say the least...and you're right, the broc/cauli is pretty crunchy and gives the old jaw a bit of a work out :D

  14. What a great looking dish, and perfect to go with the versatility award! I like your list. Did you touch Pierce back? I am very obscure, so I thank you in advance, and I'll come up with a list in a few days. :-)

  15. Blessed Mama,

    Can't wait to hear about your obscure things...I just realized that this may the second time around for you with this award; I think that's how a learnt that you did Soviet Studies and speak Russian...

    ...sorry to double award you!

    But, still can't wait to see your list.

    No, I didn't touch him back. :)

  16. No, Rose, you are the first to bestow this honor on me. We must have discussed my language studies on another occasion. I hope to wow you with my list!

  17. Hey, thanks for the award! I'm flattered!

    I had a fierce crush on Brosnan when he was Remington Steele, back when I was a fetus. Thank goodness he never asked me a question, because I was pre-verbal.

  18. Good Luck Duck,

    I remember Remington Steele. But, I think I had more of a crush on Stephanie Zimbalist..."of course" I was just a fetus too...well a college-aged one. :D

    Of course that all escaped me on the day...and I just stood there pointing towards the toilettes.

  19. hey Rose, EFL, that night( i didnt check back til today)when i went to bed i was thinking about it and thought that that might be it. thanks for writing back, and for your gushy:) words, they mean a lot to me and i appreciate your saying that.(i feel the same towards you Rose). the day after this post i went out of town so i didnt have time to write/post about it. but im going to!!! someday we will be hanging out! i jsut know it! even if its 20 years from now.

  20. Michelle,

    That day, whenever it arrives, will be so cool; hopefully, we'll be surrounded by lovely animal friends too. :)

  21. So what was your response to Pierce? You are such a neat person!!!

  22. Hi Jenny,

    So my response was: "The toilettes are on the right as you pass the reception desk." I'm afraid, I was a bit shell-shocked and didn't have the where with all to be witty or windswept. :D


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