Two Salads and a Quiche

Veggie friendly recipes for all occasions.

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I'm not a vegetarian anymore, but I'm sort of a maniac about making vegetable-centered meals — when I was in a touring band I ended up eating a lot of bread and cheese, so now I get really excited by new and classic combinations. Eight years ago I went to cooking school at the Natural Gourmet Institute and knew then that even if I didn't pursue a career change to the culinary arts, the worst case was I'd be a better cook at home and maybe have a backup plan to get a job if the world turned upside down and I needed to get out of the music business entirely. Now I have a full-time job and a toddler, so the best time to really experiment is on vacation. Recently we were on a trip to Tybee Island, Georgia, and got shut in one day due to an unwelcome visit from Hurricane Hermine. The upside was I had time to crank out some special dishes. They're all pretty easy but very satisfying. Give them a try!

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Corn, Cucumber, Tomato, and Avocado Salad with Tarragon-Sherry Vinaigrette

Serves 4 to 6

This salad is so easy and so refreshing — it's really just chop, mix, and go. It's perfect for a meal on its own or as a sharp accompaniment to something else.

Ingredients

2 ears grilled corn, kernels removed

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cubed

2 medium heirloom tomatoes, cubed

1 ripe avocado, cubed

Vinaigrette

2 sprigs tarragon, minced

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine vegetables, and set aside. In a separate, small bowl, combine tarragon and sherry vinegar, and slowly add olive oil to emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste. When you're ready to serve, combine vinaigrette and vegetables, and serve within 20 to 30 minutes.

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Barley Salad with Green Beans, Criminis, and Scallions, with Tamari, Rice-Vinegar, and Sesame-Oil Vinaigrette

Serves 4 to 6

A few weeks ago we made a trip up to Blue Hill at Stone Barns and had a wonderful lunch in the café there. This salad was inspired by one we had that featured hen-of-the-woods, shiitake, and another kind of mushroom. This is a simpler version, using criminis, but you can certainly use any mushrooms you like.

Because barley is so sturdy, this salad is perfect for a picnic or packed lunches. Store in an airtight container, and it should stay fresh and delicious in your fridge for a few days.

Ingredients

2 cups cooked barley

1 cup cooked sliced green beans

½ cup sautéed crimini mushrooms

½ cup sliced scallions

Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon tamari

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

For best results, soak barley overnight, drain, rinse, and cook in 3 cups of water with a pinch of salt for about an hour. Drain and set aside to cool. Once cool, add vegetables and mix thoroughly. Combine vinaigrette ingredients, and season to taste. Pour into barley and vegetables, combine thoroughly, and serve!

Sweet-Onion, Emmentaler, and Thyme Quiche

Serves 4 to 6

Quiches are a great way to incorporate vegetables and protein in a dish. Once you get the hang of the method, it's pretty easy! If you're not up for making pie crust, using premade crust or puff pastry can work well too. Fresh spring onions in the summer are perfect, but leeks or shallots would make a great substitute.

Ingredients

Pie Crust

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 stick butter

1 pinch salt

6 tablespoons ice water

Pie Filling

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 medium spring onions

2 tablespoons thyme

2 teaspoons salt

3 eggs

1 teaspoon pepper

½ cup whole milk

5 slices Emmentaler cheese

For crust, my go-to recipe is Mark Bittman's because it's so easy to remember: 1 cup flour and 1 stick of butter, ice water, a pinch of salt, and a little more flour when you're rolling it out. I leave out the sugar for savory crusts.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees after you've chilled the dough, rolled it, and chilled it again. Blind-bake it in the oven to get a bit of color and crispness on the crust. Reduce oven to 375 degrees. Set aside as you prepare the filling.

In a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions until slightly caramelized, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of thyme and 1 teaspoon of salt. Combine, then remove to a bowl and let cool.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Add 1 tablespoon of thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, and the milk, and combine thoroughly.

Once the crust and onion mixture are cooled, add the onion mixture to the crust, cover with the slices of cheese, and pour the egg mixture over the top. Return to the oven, and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate 180 degrees, bake for another 15 minutes, test for firmness, and remove if firm. For an extra bit of color, put it under the broiler for 30 to 60 seconds.

Let cool for at least 30 minutes, slice, and serve with a fresh green salad. Absolutely satisfying and easy to adapt the filling to whatever you like!

Molly Neuman is head of music at Kickstarter, a late-blooming mom to a fabulous two-and-a-half-year-old, and a punk forever. She lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, with her husband, Alex, her daughter, Lucia, and her two kitty children, Ayoba and Zakumi. In a former life, she was a member of Bratmobile, the Frumpies, and the Pee-Chees.

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