Som Tam with Green Beans

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Salty, sour, and a little bit sweet, this Thai-inspired salad is a pinch to make and goes perfectly with all manner of grilled meats (or even on its own, really). I tried many variations of long bean salads in Chiang Mai a couple of years ago and the peanut and lime-flecked ones similar to this one remain my favorite.

Som tam with green beans

Ingredients:

1 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1 anchovy, minced
1 bird chile, minced
Pinch of sugar
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/2 pound green beans or long beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths

1. Place the garlic, salt, peanuts, anchovy, chile, and sugar in a food processor and process to a paste. Transfer the paste to a bowl and stir in the lime juice and fish sauce. Add the chopped tomatoes and green beans, mix, and serve.

Radicchio and Arugula Salad

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This simple salad is my new go-to when the weather starts getting chilly: it hits all the right notes: savory, earthy, and bitter, with a hit of acidity to boot. Hearty radicchio adds heft and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese makes this salad go faster than you’d expect.

Make a double portion of this one and thank me later.

Radicchio and arugula salad

Ingredients:

3 cups arugula
1 radicchio, thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
3 teaspoons olive oil
Salt
Pepper

1. In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, radicchio, and Parmesan cheese. Dress with vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Lightly toss again and serve with a little bit of extra grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Grilled Endives with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

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A couple years ago, my cousins brought be a bag of plump, juicy sun-dried tomatoes from their trip to Nice, France. Wanting to make the tomatoes last, I preserved them in olive oil. I still dip into them here and there, like for this recipe.

For this winter side dish, endives are grilled to a tender sweetness and tossed with a piquant sauce redolent of summer flavors. There’s something about grilling greens that transforms them from boring to sublime.

The recipe is originally Spanish, the tomatoes are French, and the endives are, of course, from California.

Grilled Endives with Sun-Dried-Tomatoes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing

One 3-inch strip of Meyer lemon zest, julienned

1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
8 endives (1 3/4 pounds), halved lengthwise 

Salt
Pepper
Sage leaves, julienned, for garnish 


1. In a medium bowl, mix the sun-dried tomatoes with the olives, the olive oil, the lemon zest and the thyme.


2. Preheat a grill pan. Brush the endives with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until crisp-tender and lightly charred, about 
7 minutes. Transfer the endives cut side up to a platter and spoon the sun-dried tomato dressing on top. Garnish with sage leaves and serve.

Smashed Cucumber Salad with Dried Mint

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What do you get if you take the mast (yogurt) away from the mast-o-khiar (Iranian yogurt and cucumber) and replace it with a generous drizzle of olive oil and lime? You get this super refreshing, complex salad that’s sort of Iranian and sort of not. The next time you’re preparing a khoresh or some kabab, make this on the side. Trust me, it works.

Smashing the cucumbers is key, as it ensures the craggy surface absorbs all of the flavorful dressing.

Smashed cucumber salad with dried mint

5 Persian cucumbers
Salt
1 garlic clove, lightly smashed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons dried mint
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons lime juice

1. Gently smash cucumbers with a rolling pin or the back of a heavy knife just to break open. Tear into irregular 2-inch pieces and place in a bowl; season with salt. Let sit at least 5 minutes and up to 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, cook garlic and oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, turning garlic once, until golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add dried mint and sesame seeds and remove from heat. Let cool until warm and stir in lime juice; season dressing with salt. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Drain cucumbers, discarding any liquid they have released. Add to bowl with dressing and toss several times to coat. Serve at room temperature.

Smashed Cucumber Salad with Hot Vinegar

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Cue the global warming think pieces because I can’t remember a summer this consistently hot in my lifetime. It’s only August and I’m sweltering. I’ve been countering the heat with lots of seasonal like watermelon, tomatoes, and of course, cucumbers.

This Southeast Asian-inspired salad is one of my new favorite cucumber salads. Adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe, it takes only minutes to prepare. The crunchy peanuts and tangy vinaigrette add a flavorful punch to this cooling side dish.

Smashed cucumber salad with hot vinegar

Ingredients:

5 Persian cucumbers
Salt
1 serrano chile, sliced
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup roasted peanuts, for garnish

1. Gently smash cucumbers with a rolling pin just to break open. Tear into irregular 2-inch pieces and place in a medium bowl; season lightly with salt. Let sit at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, whisk chile, garlic, vinegar, fish sauce, and sugar in another bowl.

3. Drain cucumbers, discarding any liquid they have released. Add to bowl with dressing and toss several times to coat. Top with peanuts and serve.