Parade Magazine: Heirloom Tomato and Green Beans with Ginger Vinaigrette

Heirloom Tomato and Green Beans with Ginger Vinaigrette
Photo by Bill Kontzias at http://www.billkphotography.com

Farmer’s markets have many varieties of heirloom tomatoes, and they’re expensive because of high demand. However, when I see them, they bring memories of tomatoes growing in my father’s backyard. Their irregular, bulbous shape with a fresh cut strong stem indicates a juicy tomato ready for picking. It didn’t matter if they were mild green for frying in cornmeal or fiery red for a garden salad. Today, those same type of tomatoes still grow in my father’s backyard for free. Since, he lives a few states away, I purchase them for too many dollars per pound at fancy markets in New York. Regardless of price, I continue to buy them, because their sweet taste reminds me of home. As a New Yorker, I’m influenced by diverse cultures, including adding tons of ginger, a hint of fresh mint, rice vinegar and a dash of sesame oil to a vinaigrette traditionally made with a no-frill oil, vinegar, salt and black pepper that is tossed with green beans and tomatoes. Since most of the ingredients are in my pantry, the vinaigrette is cheaper to make versus the price of a large heirloom tomato. Only in New York…  Read more

Our Moms Make the Best Potato Salad in the World

Creamy Herbal Potato Salad

In Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Oprah Winfrey’s character, Gloria Gaines, the matriarch of her family, is introduced peeling potatoes. In another scene, she’s telling a friend the secret to her famous potato salad: Dill. Ironically, this Creamy Herbed Potato Salad was made weeks before the movie debuted. Although this salad doesn’t use dill, this is a recipe to experiment with your favorite combination of herbs.  Read more