Cold Penne Salad

This is the Cold Penne Salad from RFD's book (otherwise known in the restaurant as "Penne for Your Thoughts", I guess (says the book, so it must be so). It's phenomenal. While I was making it, I was really second guessing it. It seemed like such a loony mix of stuff. There's cooked onion, broccoli, green pepper, garlic... then chopped kalamata olives, re-hydrated sun dried tomatoes, penne, balsamic vinagrette-marinated grilled portabello and... pesto sauce (with miso!). Yet, because Ann Gentry has come up with things far more over the moon than I ever have, I followed the recipe to the letter and it payed off (whew!). It was fantastic! Oh, there's pine nuts too, which I'm convinced elevate a lot of salad, pasta and rice dishes to heights that they'd never otherwise achieve. It's also served room temp, which worked out great for my new job which doesn't have a fridge or micro (a vegan lunchtime challenge!) But, this works. It did take a long time to cook, though (a sauce, a marinade, grilling, cooking, etc)- but, as the RFD book has taught me, really amazing food usually takes time.

Jeanne's Creamy Potato Salad

This is from the Compassionate Cook p76. This is really really good tater salad. It's totally different than Flore's in L.A., and I still hope to de-code theirs one day, but this is great in a much different way. This is very Polish relative in Milwaukee style. It's white and tastes like something your gramma would make that you would totally look forward to at family get togethers. I used Veganaise and russet taters. I also used green onions versus round and some shredded carrot for color. Also, It's really better the second day when it's all been hanging out together for awhile.

Now to figure out a vegan Jello broken glass torte ;)