Summer Bean Salad

Having recently returned from cooking at a bed & breakfast in Vancouver, this was one of the recipes that I promised to post when I returned home. I have been making this salad, or a variation of it, at least a few times a week this summer. It's perfect for using up veggies and herbs that are kicking around this time of year. A handful of corn, fresh off the cob. New potatoes, boiled until just cooked. Green herbs from the garden... tarragon, basil or even mint. Here is the basic recipe - now run with it!

Alison & David Bentall are the wonderful owners of the Cherry Blossom Bed & Breakfast. Located near Southwest Marine Drive and 50th, their home and gardens are impeccable and the breakfasts match the beautiful surroundings. Check out their website and make sure to say hello for me! www.cherryblossombb.com

Summer Bean Salad
1 can navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup diced cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup finely chopped green onion
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)

1 minced clove garlic
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
For the vinaigrette, combine the garlic, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk the oil into the other ingredients and whisk until everything comes together in a creamy consistency (this is an emulsion).
Pour the vinaigrette over the salad before serving.


Strawberry Pops

Back in early spring, I found a set of star-shaped popsicle molds. They make such dramatic looking popsicles, everyone loves to eat them. With the weather being so hot here, I thought, if not this week, then when?

These are so easy to make but they do take a little planning. This recipe will make about 6 popsicles, but it all depends on the size of the molds. When you want to serve the strawberry pops, simply run the molds under warm water until the popsicles loosen up and come away from the mold.

Strawberry Pops

3 cups fresh strawberries
1/2 cup berry sugar (instant dissolving sugar)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Combine all of the ingredients in the work bowl of a food processor or a blender. Puree the mixture until smooth. Taste and add more sugar if necessary. Pour the mixture into individual popsicle molds. Freeze until firm.