heirloom caprese w/ mint pesto

heirloom caprese with mint pesto / @loveandlemons heirloom caprese with mint pesto / @loveandlemons

And the season of simple recipes continues…

“What are you going to do with these?” asked the farm-stand man as I was fixating on these 3 gorgeous golden tomatoes. This question always flusters me… I should have an answer, but truthfully, I buy things on a whim and usually decide what to make later. And in this case, these tomatoes were so spectacular that knew I wasn’t going to “do” much.

heirloom caprese with mint pesto / @loveandlemons

“Um… I’m probably just going to slice and eat them…” He looked at me with a huge grin as if I had just given the right answer. I could tell he was pleased that his tomatoes would be heading to a good home. Then he told me they would be perfect tomorrow, but only tomorrow.

This is what I love about summer.

heirloom caprese with mint pesto / @loveandlemons

Here’s the plate of beautiful sliced tomatoes that we enjoyed last Sunday night… elevated (just slightly) with slices of fresh mozzarella and a bright mint pesto.

A little pesto goes a long way – save the extra for simple meals throughout the week. If you make this tag #loveandlemons or @loveandlemons on Instagram!

vanilla peach pops

vanilla peach pops / @loveandlemons

There’s only one thing more summery than juicy, ripe peaches: Juicy, ripe peaches frozen into sweet, melty, almond milk popsicles! It’s summer on a stick, friends.

vanilla peach pops / @loveandlemons

First, you need to get your hands on some really good peaches. If you can’t find good peaches, use whatever juicy peak-season fruit you do have. (Sliced strawberries would be excellent here).

vanilla peach pops / @loveandlemons

For the base, whisk Vanilla Almond Breeze, with a touch of coconut oil and maple syrup. You could also use plain (sweetened) almond milk and add a bit of vanilla bean. (I’d stay away from vanilla extract this time).

These are pretty lightly sweetened, which is my personal preference. Feel free to add more maple syrup if you wish. Or get fancy and simmer your peaches into a peach purée.

Because its summer, and I was lazy, I kept it simple…

vanilla peach pops / @loveandlemons

Fill a popsicle mold with chopped peaches and pour the almond milk mixture over top. Don’t worry, if you don’t have a popsicle mold, you can use little cups instead. Just let them freeze for an hour or so before placing the sticks.

vanilla peach pops / @loveandlemons

Now the hard part: waiting. Let them freeze overnight (or about 10 hours).

vanilla peach pops / @loveandlemons

Try to take the photo quickly before they melt all over your countertop!

If you make these, tag #loveandlemons on Instagram so I can see!

red & white summer wines

red and white summer wines / @loveandlemons

Happy almost 4th of July!

Jack and I just got back from a long week in Chicago so didn’t have time to get my flag-cake on… (not that I’ve ever made a flag cake, but there’s always next year). Since the internet seems to be blowing up with food coloring, I thought I’d take a different approach to “red and white” and share a few of my favorite summer wines.

These are all very food-friendly. I’ve made some pairing suggestions but, really, they’re very versatile – perfect for any weekend picnic or cookout. (Also, they’re all under $20). Available at (wine-carrying) Whole Foods stores, now through mid-July:

red and white summer wines / @loveandlemons

Innovac!ón Chenin-Chardonnay 2013, Argentina $9.99
I’ve been a fan of Innovac!ón wines for a long time. This 70% chenin/30% chardonnay has notes of white flowers, apple, pears and tropical fruits. The flavor is fresh and soft with well-balanced acidity. (It’s also 1 liter bottle so it’s a super bargain).

pair with:
Heirloom Tomato Avocado & Chickpea Salad
Grilled Veggie Skewers
Edamame & Corn Succotash

Frey Agriculturist Organic Blanc 2013, California $11.99
This one wins my award for “prettiest bottle.” Frey Vineyards is America’s first maker of certified Biodynamic® wines. This organic white is a blend of chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and riesling. It has notes of honeysuckle, tropical fruits and orange blossom.

pair with:
Mango Zucchini Lettuce Wraps
Grilled Peach Salad w/ Mint Pesto
Strawberry Quinoa & Feta Salad

Les Hauts de Bel Air Bordeaux Blanc 2013, France $10.99
A beautiful pale yellow Bordeaux Blanc… This white has delicate aromas of sandstone, rosemary and thyme backed up by pepper, fresh peaches, and grapefruit zest.

pair with:
Quinoa Apricot & Arugula Salad
Anna’s Tomato Gazpacho with Mango
Chickpea Niçoise Salad with Roasted Potatoes

red and white summer wines / @loveandlemons

Soleil des Garrigues Ventoux 2012, France $10.99
This one is our favorite red lately – it’s made up of 70% grenache, 15% syrah, 10% carignan, and 5% cinsault. Its aromatic bouquet features red licorice, white pepper, raspberry and sweet cherry fruit.

pair with:
Grilled Polenta with Zucchini Salsa
Rosemary Lemon Pasta
Feta & Harissa Fattoush Salad

Querciabella Mongrana Maremma Toscana 2011, Italy $19.99
A blend of 50% sangiovese, 25% cabernet sauvignon and 25% merlot, this smooth super Tuscan blend is vegan, spicy and full of juicy black fruit.

pair with:
Grilled Potato & Arugula Salad
Grilled Herb Garden Pizza
Grilled Panzanella with Poached Eggs

Sanford Flor de Campo Pinot Noir 2012, California $19.99
This medium bodied balanced wine delivers bursts of bright red raspberries and cherries with an earthy hint of pepper.

pair with:
Tomato, Feta, & Honey Toasts
Kale & White Bean Crostini
Slow Roasted Tomato Pasta

red and white summer wines / @loveandlemons

This post is created in partnership with Whole Foods.

feta & harissa fattoush salad

feta and harissa fattoush salad @loveandlemons

I have a confession to make: I’m obsessed with feta cheese. Growing up, my mom used to make spanakopita, (carefully wrapped phillo dough triangles stuffed with spinach and feta), every year for my birthday – it was my favorite thing and that tangy creamy flavor is still one of my fondest food memories.

Of course, that’s a lot of work to do for every day meals, so nowadays I get my feta fix on salads. That tangy salty bite has a way of turning on-hand ingredients into tasty cohesive meals. Sweet potato and pomegranate, watermelon and avocado, strawberries and quinoa, check check check.

One ingredient we happened to have on-hand recently was stale pita bread. I’ve made plenty of panzanella salads with stale bread, but I just love fattoush and all of its crispy flatbread goodness. Fattoush is a middle eastern bread salad made with toasted day-old pita, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta and sumac. Sumac turned out to be a difficult ingredient to source so I subbed in some spicy & smoky (dried) harissa instead. So here we have: fattoush-ish.

feta and harissa fattoush salad @loveandlemons

In a small bowl drizzle sliced sweet cherry tomatoes with a little bit of sherry vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. (This becomes so flavorful and juicy that making a separate salad dressing isn’t necessary).

Cut up the stale pita into small chips, drizzle it with olive oil, harissa spice and salt, and toss it in the oven until it’s golden brown and toasty. Set them aside and try not to eat them all as you assemble the rest of the salad. (or if you have snack-y family members like I do – toast some extra pita so you’ll have plenty left for the salad).

feta and harissa fattoush salad @loveandlemons

Toss the whole thing with peppery arugula, crispy chopped cucumbers and then – the special part - two types of cheese – Président Feta Crumbles which are tart and salty, and Valbreso Sheeps Milk Feta, which is creamy and rich, yet delicate.

feta and harissa fattoush salad @loveandlemons

Toss it all together so the juices of the tomato soak into the toasty pita. Sprinkle on more harissa, a few mint leaves, and – of course – serve with extra feta.

feta and harissa fattoush salad @loveandlemons

Win $50 worth of Président cheese. Visit ArtOfCheese.com to download a coupon and enter the Pinterest sweepstakes.

anna’s gazpacho

Anna's tomato gazpacho with mango and cucumber

You didn’t think I’d talk about all of the food from our Yellow Table dinner party without sharing a recipe did you?

We don’t do many guest posts on this site, so today I’m excited to share this (literal!) guest recipe. We had so much fun hosting Anna for the weekend, we couldn’t help but snap some photos in our kitchen while she prepped for dinner. This gazpacho was SO delicious (and also super easy) – I absolutely needed the recipe.

It was the perfect cold soup for a hot Texas evening. Trust me, you’re going to want to make this one all summer long…

Anna's tomato gazpacho with mango and cucumber Anna's tomato gazpacho with mango and cucumber

It starts with some gorgeous peak-season tomatoes that we picked up that morning at the farmers market. She added them to the blender with cucumbers, cilantro, red onion, and olive oil (among other things). I was surprised how few ingredients she used to create such a rich creamy flavor. (It actually brought me back to this one that I had a few years ago on a beach in Spain).

Anna's tomato gazpacho with mango and cucumber

Her special twist? Garnishes of sweet cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber and diced mango – yum!

This recipe, (and the others from the party), are all in The Yellow Table Cookbook. You’re going to want a copy of your own, but you’ll need to pre-order it on her Kickstarter page to help make it happen! Click over now to help a fellow food blogger out…

And special thanks to Anna for the recipe!