J:

When I was in San Francisco, I was reading some of Denise's
cookbooks and two that she had were particularly good. The
first was _The Greens Cookbook_, from the Greens Restaurant in
San Francisco. I actually went there last month and it was
terrific. It is all vegetarian, but not hippie-tofu-brown-rice
vegetarian. They have real dishes that have no meat. The
cookbook is really good too, so I bought it.

The second book was _Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home_. I
have _The Moosewood Cookbook_ but this one was better - more
ethnic stuff and more flavorful. So, I bought it too.

I'm not sure when I made this meal, but it was definitely after
my trip to San Francisco so it had to be this year; I'm not too
far behind. Both dishes are from _Moosewood Restaurant Cooks
at Home_. I'll type them in verbatim, because that's how I
made them.

Greek Diced Vegetable Salad

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 large ripe tomato, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 scallion, finely sliced or minced
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive iol
juice of 1/2 lemon (or more to taste)
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1/4 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
8 black Calamata olives, whole or potted and sliced
salt and ground black pepper to taste

romaine lettuce leaves
crumbled or grated feta cheese (optional)

Combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, scallions,
parsley, oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and olives in a
large bowl. Add salt and pepper, and toss well. Although you
can serve the salad immediately, it is even better if it sits
for about 30 minutes before serving. Mound the salad on the
lettuce leaves, and top with feta if you like.

[I doubled this, at least. I also chopped the letuce and mixed it
with the rest of the stuff, after letting it sit with the dressing
for about 30 minutes.]

Winter Vegetable Stew

2 onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium carrots
2 parsnips
2 large potatoes
10 oz green beans (about 2 cups trimmed and halved)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill (1 tsp dried)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh marjoram (1 tsp dried)
1 cup beer or vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups water
1 green or red bell pepper
2 cups sliced mushrooms (about 6 oz)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard (or more to taste)
1 Tbsp molasses
salt and ground black pepper to taste

In a heavy pot, saute the onions and celery in the oil until
the onions are translucent. While the onions saute, peel and
coarsely chop the carrots and parsnips. Stir them into the
pot. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes, and stem and halve
the green beans. Add them to the sauteing vegetables along
with the dill, marjoram, beer or stock, and water. Bring the
stew to a low boil. Coarsely chop the bell pepper, and stem
and slice the mushrooms; stir them into the pot. Add the
mustard and molasses and continue to simmer for about 10
minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Add salt and pepper to
taste, and serve.

[I doubled this. I needed to add a little more liquid. I used
a combination of beer and stock. Also, the parsnips were a
little overpowering, so I'd cut down on them next time.]

Bruce