Category Archives: Sides

Peach and Mozzarella Salad

Peach and Mozzarella Salad

Oh how I like salads like these, a few ingredients, minimally prepped, coming together to make something more than the sum of its parts.  I can’t begin to describe how much I love light summery foods that don’t require me to expend a lot of energy, yet are delicious, filling, and satisfying. 

Our house here has no air conditioning and by 10 am I no longer want to move.  I literally take cold baths to cool down. … but I still have no issues making this salad.  Its almost peach season again and I wanted to make sure I shared this recipe before I let it lapse through another season.  I implore you to make this once the stone fruits come around again. 

In this salad the creamy mozzarella compliments sweet soft peaches and bursts of lemon.  This is fantastic to make just as a dinner for yourself, hem hem.  Or it’s lovely as a starter to make for company.  I definitely lump this into company food category, but, as I’ve mentioned, it’s not too fussy!  So, gather your friends around, have that BBQ, and make this salad beforehand. 

You do use the lemon peel here, so unsprayed and unwaxed lemons are best; if you can’t find any rinse them with some vinegar and water to scrub off the wax.  Also, I prefer the smaller basil leaves for their concentrated flavor and softer texture. I substituted burrata for buffalo mozzarella because the stores were out. I’m glad they were, it’s fantastic!

Peach and Mozzarella Salad

Adapted from Borough Market

Ingredients

2 large unsprayed lemons

3/4 cup olive oil

4-6 fairly ripe peaches, depending on size

2 balls buffalo mozzarella

8 sprigs of basil

In a small frying pan heat the olive oil on medium-high heat.  While that is warming up, peel the zest from the lemons; remove any of the bitter pith still attached.  Cut the zest into thin strips.

Place a paper towel lined plate near the stove.  Once the oil is hot, add the zest for about 30 seconds.  You’re looking for the zest to curl, color, and crisp up.  Scoop and drain on the paper towel lined plate.  Allow the oil to cool.  Once cooled, juice the lemons, about 4 tablespoons, into the oil.  Add in some salt and whisk all together. 

Slice up the peaches, dividing them among plates if you’re sharing.  Sprinkle the peaches with the lemon juice and olive oil, then tear up the mozzarella (if using burrata) or cut up nicely and cleanly if you want to be more prim about it.  Spoon more dressing over the mozzarella and sprinkle with the lemon zest and basil.  Enjoy!

watermelon and feta salad

Watermelon and Feta Salad

Watermelon and Feta Salad with mint and a lemon juice and olive oil dressing

This recipe has been in my files for a while now, however I’ve yet to write it up.  I don’t want another summer to go by without mentioning that this is one of my favorite summer salads and that it pleases everyone in the house. 

Watermelon and Feta Salad is an oldie but a goodie.  It’s classic for a reason.  My favorite rendition here strictly tosses watermelon, feta, and mint in a lemon and olive oil vinaigrette.  That said, there are versions that have olives for a fruity, salty kick or jeweled pomegranate seeds for a a nice pop of flavor. Feel free to add either of those in (but not at the same time). I will say the pomegranate goes better with a lime-olive oil dressing rather than lemon, but truly both work gorgeously.

This is absolutely perfect to bring to a BBQ. It’s a crowd pleaser, but I will say, make this the same day you want to serve it or at the very least hold off on adding in the feta. The salad doesn’t age well, in terms of looks, but will still be tasty. Eat within a few days.

Watermelon and Feta Salad

1 medium watermelon, cubed 

about 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

a half clamshell of mint, chopped

1/2 – 1 lemon

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

Peel and cube the watermelon, crumble up and add in the feta, add in the chopped mint.  Using a reamer, juice the lemon over the watermelon, feta, and mint.  Your looking for a good tablespoon of lemon juice here, I usually only need half a lemon, but if yours is stingy use the whole thing. Drizzle over the olive oil.  Toss everything together to mix well.  Eat with gusto. 

Fennel and Sausage Stuffing with bacon, wine, and good things

Fennel and Sausage Stuffing

Fennel and Sausage Stuffing with bacon, wine, and good things

I wasn’t going to post this, but I feel like I owe it to you.  This is the best stuffing I’ve ever eaten.  It’s the one I’ve been making for years, but this year it tasted especially good.  Was it the wine?  Was it my technique?  Doubtful.  It’s just a good recipe.  I follow it, don’t alter it…..

Simply put this is fantastic.  This is the stuffing you want to eat on the holidays, it will make you weep because it’s that good and because you’ve been making lesser versions all your life.  There’s no breakfast sausage, no sage, no apples, no greens, no dried fruit.  Thank goodness!  There’s Italian sausage, bacon, and fennel.  The fennel mellows, so even my fennel-ly challenged husband enjoys this.  Yes, there’s both bacon and Italian sausage, but not so much that it’s overpowering.  It’s the kind of stuffing you want the next day and the day after.  Then you remember, it’s not exactly health food, so maybe it’s best to only make it for the holidays.  Yummy holidays. Continue reading

Mango and Hearts of Palm Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Mango and Hearts of Palm Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Mango and Fresh Hearts of Palm

In an effort to eat more locally….I’m doing ok!…. I made a salad with mango, hearts of palm, lime…. all local. I normally don’t buy my lettuce local but that’s another story. This was a great tropical salad.  Easy and nice to compliment a midweek dinner. It’s husband approved (surprisingly!)  Continue reading

Asparagus Hominy Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

This recipe is an oldie but a goodie.  I’ve been making it for years – it’s from Heidi Swanson, a genius vegetarian who’s taught me so much.  Spring is the perfect time to make this salad.  It’s an asparagus salad and I found lots of asparagus at the farmers market!  Yay!!!!!

Two things struck me about this salad when I first started making it.  First, hominy.  I’m not sure if I ever had hominy before this salad.  The best hominy is the dried version – when I can, I buy mine from Rancho Gordo.  The dried hominy transforms this salad into extraordinary.  You taste the corn, you taste a slight saltiness from boiling the hominy in salted water….  It’s amazing.  Now, you can use canned and its still a perfectly lovely salad.  In fact I’ve done that here… I was out of dried hominy and I wanted to put my local, seasonal asparagus to good use.  To imitate dried and cooked hominy season it well before adding it to the salad.  I may try leaving it in a salt water solution next time if I don’t have dried.  I can’t let an asparagus season go by without making this salad. Continue reading

For the Love of Buttermilk – Fried Okra and Cornbread

I recently, and somewhat unfortunately, discovered that buttermilk really does make all the difference in recipes. I used to sour regular milk with vinegar or lemon juice and call it a day. I thought it really only made a difference in texture when it came to fine cakes, but for everything else, soured milk was fine. I was wrong. And while that’s great to know, it’s something that’s hard to find and keep on hand in my current location. I’m both jazzed and a little dismayed. But, I made the best fried okra and cornbread ever this weekend and it was mostly thanks to buttermilk. Continue reading