This year, I have no New Year’s resolutions… (I made a few last year that I still haven’t gotten around to).
I say… lets not be healthy because it’s January, let’s be healthy because it tastes good. Soups always steal the show in the wintertime (rightfully so), but lets not count out salads… especially vibrant, hearty ones full of interesting colors and textures. Here are a few from around the web that have inspired me lately. Check out my Winter Salads board to see more.
This Monday, like no other, calls for a healthy start. We got home late Saturday night after spending the week in Chicago. We ate way too many things at way too many places… which is generally how our vacations go. The difference this time is that because we’re food blogging now, I’d make the excuse that we were eating in the name of “inspiration”, or even more ridiculous “research.”
While I might have brought home a few new ideas, I also brought home probably a few extra pounds. So this week is gonna be a healthy one. Yesterday we went to the farmers market and loaded up on fresh vegetables. Light, simple, refreshing food is on the agenda (along with some pilates).
I’ve gone on about my love of midwestern corn before. Sweet, juicy, crunchy… the quintessential taste of summer. I’m in Chicago visiting my family this week, and that corn is every bit as good as I remembered. Salt, a little bit of butter, that’s it.
This succotash, I made a few weeks ago at home with what I call “pretty-good” local Texas corn. It’s the kind of that I don’t feel guilty about mixing it up with other things… crunchy colorful vegetables, spicy jalapenos, and some bright herbs. I love a succotash that is rich and creamy, but to keep this on the lighter side I splashed in just a bit of coconut milk.
Serve this room temperature by itself or as a side dish. We managed to have a tiny bit leftover, and it was absolutely delicious cold the next day.
This one has moved to the top of my list for favorite summertime dishes. Sweet grilled peaches, spicy arugula, creamy fresh mozzarella, crunchy pine nuts, and herb-y pesto… It’s simple enough to put together for a light weeknight meal, but fancy enough to serve as a starter at your next dinner party.
I love charred bread, but I haven’t always. When I was younger, my dad ate all the family reject burnt food. Overdone toast, accidentally burnt pancakes, cookies we left in the oven too long… my sister and I had a preference toward underdone and doughy food so whatever we messed up and overcooked, we’d pile on a plate for my dad. And he’d always say “this is the best kind.”
The first time I put burnt toast on a plate for Jack, he looked at me and said “what’s this, am I your dad now?” I had just always assumed that burnt food equalled man food. So over time, I selflessly became the eater of the black toast… not quite as black as my dad would eat but I’ve come to love bread with a nice deep char. Especially in a salad like this.
Toasty garlicky bread cubes kick up your average panzanella… that char offers such a delightful contrast to the juicy tomatoes, sweet basil and fruity olive oil.
Make it a full meal by topping it with a poached egg.