For summertime meals, light, fresh appetizers made of vegetables are a popular
choice. The vegetables can be raw or, for a more substantial starter, can be a
combination of raw and cooked.
Faye Levy is the author of the award-winning book, Faye Levy’s International
Grilled and roasted vegetables are
particularly suitable for such starters. Tamasin Noyes, author of Grills Gone
Vegan, adds chopped grilled red onions to her spicy Asian cucumber salad, which
she dresses with rice vinegar, sweet rice wine, sesame oil, hot pepper sauce,
soy sauce, chives, garlic, mint and grated ginger.
adds interest to Noyes’s Mexican slaw, which also contains shredded cabbage,
shredded carrot, green onions, sweet red pepper and a mayonnaise dressing
seasoned with vinegar, lime juice, hot peppers and smoked paprika. (See recipe)
These kinds of salads can be the basis for sandwiches. Noyes makes open-face
ratatouille sandwiches from grilled French bread halves spread with olive
mayonnaise and topped with lettuce leaves and grilled ratatouille (made from
eggplant, zucchini, sweet peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, Provencal herbs and
olive oil). For her portobello burger sandwiches, she pairs grilled
teriyaki-marinated portobello mushrooms with an Asian slaw of shredded Chinese
cabbage, radishes and green onion flavored with a ginger and sesame oil
One way to make raw vegetable salads deliciously different is
to dress them with nut butter, made by whirling nuts in the food processor until
they become a creamy spread.
To give pizzazz to common coleslaw composed
of shredded cabbage, carrot and mayonnaise, Robin Robertson, author of Nut
Butter Universe, adds cashew butter and fresh coriander.
dresses up the familiar American Waldorf salad, which is usually made of apples,
celery, walnuts and mayonnaise, with some “decidedly nontraditional” touches –
dried cranberries and walnut butter. She gives a salad of baby greens an exotic
flavor by adding shredded green papaya and a Thai peanut dressing made of peanut
butter, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, sugar, lime juice and soy sauce; the
salad is finished with chopped peanuts and shredded carrots.
can serve as starters or as main courses for a light lunch or supper. All that
is needed to complete the meal is fresh bread, ripe summer fruit and yogurt. ■
ROASTED PEPPER AND GREENS WITH CAPER DRESSING
Salads like this are popular
around the Mediterranean and can be made with sweet peppers of any color. In
Tunisia, they are sometimes garnished with tuna in olive oil; in Algeria the
capers might be replaced by oil-cured black olives. To make the salad more
substantial, add 1 1⁄2 cups cooked or canned white beans or
Makes 4 to 6 appetizer servings
✙ 4 sweet peppers, any color
4 to 5 cups baby greens, baby spinach or chopped romaine lettuce
✙ 2 to 3 tsp.
lemon juice or wine vinegar
✙ 2 to 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
✙ Salt and
freshly ground pepper
✙ 2 or 3 small tomatoes, diced
✙ 2 Tbsp. chopped green
onion or parsley
✙ 2 tsp. capers, rinsed and drained
To roast the peppers:
Preheat broiler with rack 5 to 10 cm. from heat source, or far enough so peppers
fit; or heat grill. Put whole peppers, with core and stems still on, in broiler
or on grill. Broil or grill peppers until their skins are blistered and charred
all over, but do not let them burn. If you don’t want the peppers to soften too
much, grill them until only slightly charred but still firm. The total cooking
time is about 15 minutes. During broiling, turn peppers with tongs about every 4
or 5 minutes so another side faces flame.
Transfer peppers to a bowl and
cover; or put them in a paper or plastic bag and close bag. Let stand for 10
minutes. Peel peppers using paring knife. Halve peppers; be careful because they
may have hot juice inside. Discard seeds and ribs, and pat dry. Do not
Cut each pepper in 6 pieces lengthwise.
Halve pieces if
pepper is long.
Put greens in a shallow bowl. Combine lemon juice, oil,
salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Spoon about half the dressing
over the greens and toss lightly.
Arrange peppers on greens. Add diced
tomatoes. Spoon remaining dressing over salad. Sprinkle with green onion and
capers. Serve at room temperature.MEXICAN SLAW
This recipe for cabbage
salad with grilled sweet corn is from Grills Gone Vegan.
Noyes grills extra corn and notes that it can be refrigerated in a Ziploc bag up
to four days. She makes the slaw with vegan mayonnaise and flavors it with
If any slaw is left over, she uses it in sandwiches made
of grilled seitan (wheat gluten) cutlets served on grilled split French rolls
spread with mashed avocado, which is seasoned with minced chiles. Instead of
seitan, you could make such sandwiches with baked tofu, hardboiled eggs or
Makes 8 servings
✙ 3 ears corn on the cob, husks on (or
see note “a” below)
✙ 7 cups shredded green cabbage
✙ 1 cup shredded carrot
cup minced green onions
✙ 1⁄2 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
✙ 1⁄2 cup
✙ 2 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
✙ Juice from 1 lime or 1⁄2 lemon
Chopped fresh or canned chili or cayenne pepper to taste
✙ 1⁄4 tsp. smoked
✙ 1⁄4 tsp. ground black pepper
✙ Salt (optional)
To roast the corn:
Remove most of the husks, leaving just the last few layers surrounding the
kernels and keeping them attached to the stalk. If time permits, soak the corn
in cold water for 40 minutes; this will provide extra moisture as the corn
cooks. To roast it outdoors: Preheat outdoor grill to medium heat. Put corn on
grill and close lid. Cook, turning occasionally, until marked all over and the
shape of the kernels is visible through the husks, about 30 minutes. To roast it
indoors: Put corn directly on an oven rack of oven preheated to 180ºC (350 F)
and bake for about 30 minutes, turning once, until the kernels become visible
through the husks.
When corn is cool, cut the kernels from the
Put the cabbage, corn, carrot, green onions and diced pepper in a
large bowl and stir to combine.
Put the mayonnaise, vinegar, lime juice,
chili, paprika and pepper in a small blender or small bowl and process or whisk
until smooth. Pour over cabbage mixture and stir to combine. Season with salt to
taste if desired.
The slaw can be served immediately or stored in a
covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Notes: a) If
fresh corn is out of season, you can substitute frozen corn kernels. Put the
corn in a dry cast-iron skillet over medium- high heat and cook, stirring
occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes.
b) For a slightly sweeter
slaw, add 1 to 2 tsp. of agave nectar to the mayonnaise mixture.ROASTED
NICOISE SALAD WITH CASHEW GODDESS DRESSING
This recipe is from Nut Butter
Author Robin Robertson comments that roasting the potatoes and
green beans adds a new layer of flavor to this salad. A creamy cashew dressing
flavored with tahini provides a rich finish. Robertson makes the dressing with
almond milk; you can use other unsweetened or lightly sweetened nondairy milk
For soy sauce, she recommends wheatfree tamari.
✙ 450 gr. (1 lb.) small new potatoes, halved or cut into 1.25-cm. (1/2
in.) pieces ✙ 225 gr. green beans, steamed
✙ 1 1⁄2 cups cooked or a 400-gr.
(about 15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
✙ 1 cup cherry or grape
tomatoes, halved lengthwise
✙ 1⁄3 cup cashews
✙ 2 green onions, chopped
garlic clove, crushed
✙ 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
✙ 1⁄2 cup plain
unsweetened almond milk
✙ 2 Tbsp. tahini
✙ 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
✙ 1 Tbsp. fresh
✙ 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
✙ 1⁄2 tsp. salt
✙ 1⁄3 cup kalamata olives,
pitted and halved
✙ Torn butter lettuce leaves, to serve
Preheat oven to 220ºC
(425 F). Arrange potatoes on a lightly oiled baking pan and spray with a little
cooking spray. Season to taste with salt and pepper and roast until just
softened and lightly browned, turning once, about 25 minutes. Add the steamed
green beans, chickpeas and tomatoes.
Season with salt and pepper, and
spray with a little cooking spray. Return to the oven for 15
Meanwhile, make dressing: Grind the cashews in a high-speed
blender; you can use a food processor instead, but the dressing won’t be as
smooth. Add the green onions, garlic and parsley. Pulse to mince. Add almond
milk, tahini, vinegar, lemon juice, soy sauce and salt to taste; process until
smooth. Set aside.
When the vegetables are roasted, remove from oven and
cool to room temperature.
To serve, arrange lettuce leaves on 4 serving
plates. Arrange vegetables on top, top with olives and drizzle with some of the
dressing. Serve immediately.