By Judith Yamada, The Kitchen Maven
Memorial Day, initially known as Decoration Day, emerged in the years following the Civil War. The holiday honors those who died while serving in the United States military. By the 1860s, people in towns and cities across the country were paying spring tribute to our fallen heroes, traditionally visiting cemeteries, attending or participating in parades, and gathering to reminisce with friends and family. It has been difficult to prove the origin of the holiday, as dozens of cities have claimed it. In 1966, however, President Lyndon Johnson officially declared that the holiday originated in Waterloo New York.
This American holiday, observed on the last Sunday in May, is an opportunity to carefully appreciate the sacrifice so many have made, the birth of spring and the people we love. In these trying times, it’s more important than ever to get outside, be with friends and socialize safely. Many people throw barbecues or go camping during this long three-day weekend that unofficially marks the beginning of the summer season.
If you’re planning a Memorial Day gathering and could use some easy festive recipes, check out these – Antipasto with White Beans and Spinach and a Spicy Teriyaki Sauce for whatever you want to barbecue this weekend.
Both recipes are in my cookbook “Thrifty Comfort Cooking for Challenging Times” which will be on sale next month. All proceeds/royalties from the sale of my (very eclectic) cookbook will go to the Oregon Food Bank, Tillamook Services. Enjoying! http://kitchenmaven.org
White bean and spinach antipasto
This colorful, well-balanced recipe uses ingredients from the freezer and pantry, along with a few fresh staples. Not only is it cheap, it only takes minutes to prepare and it’s a quick, tasty and light meal for the warmer days we expect. Serve it alongside crusty bread, focaccia, garlic toast or warm rolls.
1 – 10-ounce package frozen leaf spinach
1-15 ounce can great northern beans OR other white beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 clove fresh garlic, grated or finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives OR finely chopped green onion tops
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Follow the package directions on the frozen spinach; do not overcook. Drain, squeeze dry and chop finely. In a bowl, combine the spinach with the beans, bell pepper, garlic, chives, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve chilled with crusty bread or rolls or garlic toast. Serves 6 as an appetizer, 3 as a starter.
Original source unknown
This makes enough tangy spicy sauce for 1 ½ pounds of printed ingredient. That ingredient can be salmon, chicken, tempeh, tofu, pork, eggplant, or whatever you want to bake or barbecue using the chef’s usual method.
6 Tablespoons soy sauce or Tamari
¼ cup Mirin (Japanese cooking wine) OR white wine OR orange juice
1-2 Tablespoons Agave nectar OR honey, to taste
1-2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped or grated
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
½ teaspoon ground dried red pepper flakes OR teaspoon ground cayenne
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
1-2 tablespoons water, optional
2-3 scallions, cleaned, split lengthwise and thinly sliced diagonally, crushed nori (seaweed) and sesame seeds, optional
Combine all sauce ingredients and beat well. Cook over medium heat until it boils and thickens slightly. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 3-5 minutes. Remove from fire. If the sauce is too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons of water. Spoon or brush half of the sauce over chicken or salmon, etc. during cooking. If brushing over raw fish, meat or poultry, to avoid cross-contamination, separate half of the sauce into another bowl first. Use the remaining sauce to drizzle over the egg whites after it’s done cooking.