Is anyone else wondering how it’s August already? After some morning blog reading, I’ve suddenly realized that everyone else has gone (and come back from!) a summer vacation and we somehow forgot to plan one of our own. We’ve been talking about a number of trip ideas since last winter but that’s just the problem – it’s been all talk. Talk followed by excuses, followed by projects and general life busy-ness.
So… help? What would be a fun trip for late August/early September? I’m drawing a blank and would love some suggestions. It could be near or far… preferably with temps less than 100 degrees… and of course someplace with great food!
Speaking of 100 degrees – this has become my favorite “it’s way too hot out” refreshing summer salad. Any stone fruit will work here, but lately I’ve been savoring the last of Texas peach season. I just love this combo of juicy peaches, peppery arugula and creamy greek yogurt dusted with ground coriander and crushed pistachios.
Make it a full meal by serving it next to some simply-grilled fish. Or try tossing in some chickpeas or other veggies you might have on hand. (I used thinly sliced zucchini here, but it’s also delicious with ribbons of peeled carrots). It’s also great for a quick throw-together lunch if you mix up the yogurt ahead of time.
Oh zucchini, let me count the ways… julienned, coined, grilled, sauteéd, stuffed, kabob-ed, gratin-ed, muffin-ed, pancake-d… (I know I’m missing a few)…
Right now, my zucchini method of choice is the simple ribbon. Just raw. Tossed into salads. I mean, how pretty are they? (Also – how pretty are those plates!?)
I very often make corn recipes where frozen corn will suffice – but not this time. This is the time of year where my midwestern roots shine through and I say – you need to get your hands on some fresh corn. And then don’t cook it too much.
I grilled my corn so that some of the kernels charred while the others remained crispy and raw. It’s a delicious mix of textures especially when paired with creamy avocado, briny capers, and bright herbs. (Ok, now I’m starving and wishing I had saved some leftovers for lunch).
You can serve this on a big platter at your next summer gathering, pack it up for lunch, or serve it like I did – small-plate-style on these Victorian Emblem Tapas Plates, from Q Squared. (Also pictured is this Peony Salad Plate)
Check out Q Squared and the rest of their beautiful things. Love and Lemons readers will receive 20% off! (enter code: LOVEANDLEMONS)
The frittata is one of my favorite things to throw together because, really, anything you need to use up can go into a frittata. This one is made of every vegetable I had on hand last week – a variety of tomatoes, zucchini and some really lovely sweet potato greens. (Although feel free to use spinach or another leafy green – whatever you have).
Awhile back, I used to shy away from frittatas because I thought they required lots of butter and cream. (I used to be entirely non-dairy). While I do eat small amounts of high quality cheese pretty often these days, I don’t do milk. Since almond milk is what I keep on hand, almond milk is what goes into my frittata. It works perfectly to make the eggs nice and fluffy.
You might not be able to find sweet potato greens, but if you see them at your local farmers market - grab them. They’re so soft and delicious – like spinach but with a more mild flavor.
Pile in the veggies and serve this for brunch, or better yet – breakfast for dinner!
I love a good mango salsa. (I mean, who doesn’t?) It’s so fun and versatile - some of my favorite additions have been roasted jalapeños, smoked paprika, diced avocado, and even sesame & ginger.
Today’s special ingredient: Mango Habanero Jam. I know, I know, it’s not in your pantry already, but I just loved this salsa so much I had to share it anyway. It’s sweet, juicy and spicy with a little nice kick from the jam. (A little bit goes long way).
I didn’t realize mango habanero jam was missing from my life until it showed up recently in my Hatchery Box. I’ve been loving my Hatchery subscription – it’s like mini-christmas once a month to get a box full of sample-sized artisan ingredients to try. I find that it often takes just one unique ingredient to elevate simple meals into something special.
These really couldn’t be easier - just chop and mix your ingredients – salsa, avocado, black beans, etc, and stuff them into a tortilla. (Add cheese if you want, but these are plenty flavorful without). Next time I might switch things up by adding a grilled piece of halibut or salmon.
If you don’t have mango habanero jam: try jazzing up your mango salsa with chipotle spices (either from a can of chipotles in adobo or ground chipotle powder)… or if you’re really brave try adding roasted habanero peppers (just don’t touch your eyes after you handle them!). You can also make this salsa with diced ripe peaches or pineapple instead of mango.
For now, I’m off to eat these leftovers for lunch…
I don’t know if it’s possible to have too many cherry tomatoes. But if you do, roasting them is the perfect way to eat a whole bunch at a time. They shrivel up into the sweetest, tangiest little bites – which are perfect to toss into simple bowls full of greens and grains.
Around this time last year I posted this slow roasted tomato pasta. This year, I’m cheating the slow roast. Here’s how:
1. Use little tomatoes and it’ll go tons faster.
2. Start roasting them in low heat (like you’re supposed to). Once they begin to dry (and your impatience rises), raise the temp.
At the beginning of the week I like make a big batch of some kind of grain – this time it was chewy wheat berries. Store them in the fridge and they’ll be ready to use for meals like this.
I added spoonfuls of creamy sun cheese (a creamy sauce made out of sunflower seeds – also another a make-ahead item). Some burrata or fresh ricotta would go nicely in here as well.