Salad Niçoise can be made and plated in a variety of ways. (photo from pxhere.com/MariaPolna)
Summer meals should be easy and, ideally, quick to make after a long day at work or having fun – or when it’s really hot outside. When you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, salads and pasta are perfect options.
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound trimmed green beans
2 cups arugula (optional)
1 thinly sliced red onion
2 tomatoes cut into wedges (or equivalent in cherry tomatoes)
1/2 cup pitted ripe olives
1 2-oz can anchovy fillets
2 7-oz cans drained tuna, broken into chunks
2 sliced hard-boiled eggs
For the dressing, place the olive oil, vegetable oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper in a jar, close the lid and shake vigorously.
For the salad, place green beans in a saucepan with small amount boiling, salted water, cover and cook 17-20 minutes. Drain. Turn into bowl. Add half cup of dressing, toss, cover and refrigerate two hours.
After the two hours, turn beans into a salad bowl or plate layered with some arugula (if using). Add a few onion slices, tomato wedges, olives and anchovy fillets. Add tuna and egg slices. Garnish with rest of onion. Drizzle remaining dressing.
CAESAR ON THE LIGHT SIDE
(This Food & Wine recipe is by Jamie Oliver. It makes 4 servings.)
1/3 cup low-fat or nonfat Greek-style yogurt
2 mashed anchovy fillets (optional)
1 minced garlic clove
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
salt and pepper to taste
1 large head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
In a small bowl, whisk yogurt with anchovies (if using), garlic, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk in the oil and half the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Toss the romaine in a large bowl with half the dressing and the remaining cheese. Serve, with the other half of the dressing on the table, for guests who would like a little more.
Oliver turns this into a main course by adding broiled salmon or, if you don’t keep kosher, grilled chicken breast.
CHEESY MEDITERRANEAN ARTICHOKE PASTA
8 oz cooked and drained penne pasta
1 14.5-oz can drained diced tomatoes\
1 14-oz can drained, quartered artichoke hearts
1 2.25-oz. can sliced, ripe, pitted olives
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Place tomatoes, artichoke hearts and olives in a saucepan. Add olive oil and hot pasta and warm until thoroughly heated, about five minutes. Add cheese and serve immediately.
3 to 4 tbsp olive oil
2 or 3 minced garlic cloves or 2/3 cup chopped onion or both
3 1/2 cups or so chopped ripe tomatoes
pepper to taste
4 1/2 cups penne
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
3/4 to 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup cubed mozzarella cheese
Heat three to four tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan. Sauté garlic for 15 seconds. If using onion, sauté for five minutes.
Add tomatoes and salt and cook 10 to 15 minutes. Remove one-third of sauce to a bowl. Add one tablespoon basil to frying pan and stir it in.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook eight or nine minutes. Drain and add to frying pan. Coat with sauce.
Remove from heat and add one tablespoon basil and the grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well. Add mozzarella and toss until it starts to melt. Pour into a bowl and add remaining oil and pepper.
Toss gently and add the remaining one tablespoon of basil. Serve immediately.
Sybil Kaplan is a Jerusalem-based journalist and author. She has edited/compiled nine kosher cookbooks and is a food writer for North American Jewish publications. She leads walks of the Jewish food market, Machaneh Yehudah, in English.