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.
A few weeks ago we spent some time in Chicago visiting my family. In between some pretty indulgent meals (we finally got to the Girl & the Goat!), I did most of the cooking. At each meal, my mom and my sister would ask: “So is this recipe on the site?”
And, um, well, no. They never are… mostly because I find it liberating to cook in someone else’s kitchen with no camera in sight. There are no notes to be taken, and certainly no recipes to follow. I love digging through the fridge to see what’s there and what ingredients could potentially go together.
This mango & red pepper salad was especially refreshing for the heat wave that happened to be going on. Crunchy cucumbers, red onions, fresh herbs and sweet mango… summer was made for big juicy salads like this.
We served this next to some salmon but it’s plenty filling on it’s own – chickpeas and hearty whole wheat orzo make it a complete meal. This would be especially great for picnics and make-ahead lunches. (It’s one of those that actually tastes better the second day).
I topped this with feta when I made it for my family, but I’ve recreated it here to be vegan. It’s super flavorful from the herbs, spices and tahini… even Jack approved it without the cheese (but feel free to add some if you want to).
So mom, here’s the recipe! Or, a least, a similar version of it…