Summer is beginning to come to an end. Actually, let’s be honest- summer doesn’t end in Texas until October… if you are really lucky. Some of my favorite foods hit their peak during summertime: peaches, tomatoes, chicken salad, Doodles (I…miss… you!), BBQ, and many more. I’m going to share some of my favorite uses/versions of the items listed.
I saw this recipe in the August issue of Cooking Light, and immediately started making a list of ingredients I’d need to make it. I love pasta dishes, and especially those that include arugula and tomatoes (shout out to Allred, arugula lover #1). This was super fast and easy to put together and the end result was just fantastic. I love when grape tomatoes get to that burst-y stage (I’m not sure what kind of freak superhero tomatoes the test kitchen was using for their picture- mine definitely looked messier than that). The addition of lemon juice just served to brighten all the flavors and bring everything together- acid-y tomatoes, peppery arugula- and the cannellini beans meant that it is a perfectly adequate and filling main dish meal. I think I will be making many more batches of this recipe in the future. I actually made the entire amount the recipe called for (I rarely do that since it’s just me), and ate every last bit of it for leftovers for the rest of the week.
If the adage “you are what you eat” is true, then by now I would be a Caprese salad. Central Market was having a sale on their house-made mozzarella, so I bought a ball, some tomatoes (your garden variety reds and then some pretty heirlooms), and a bunch of fresh basil and then proceeded to eat the entire ball in 2 days. This is the ultimate summer dish in my opinion. Sprinkle with plenty of salt, fresh ground pepper, drizzle with olive oil, and I add a generous amount of Zingerman’s balsamic vinegar. I ended up going back for another ball of mozzarella before the sale ended (and left with the mozzarella, a peach cobbler, and Haagen Daas brown sugar ice cream… but that’s another story).
Chicken salad is one of things that I didn’t start eating until fairly recently. It’s no secret that I strongly dislike mayo, so this was a pretty big hump to get over for me to enjoy chicken salad. I still frequently find those that are wayyyyyy too mayonnaise-y. The mayo is just supposed to serve as a medium to bind the rest of the ingredients together! Not a function as a main ingredient- gah! I find that the best chicken salads are those that I make myself, that way I can control the level of mayo. For this particular version, I wanted to make something similar to Central Market’s tarragon chicken salad. I love the flavors, but in one of their only failures (in my eyes), it has way too much of the bad stuff in it.
For mine, I shredded the breast meat of a rotisserie chicken.
Cut red grapes in half
Added pecan pieces
Chopped fresh tarragon leaves
Salt & pepper
Added mayo little by little, until the mixture was combined
Sprinkled paprika over the top, and tucked it away for multiple workday lunches.
Another post coming very soon, in which LG visits a convenience store in search of a gyro! Oh, and a very special event is coming up next weekend: LG’s Pere, who happens to be LG’s most favorite foodstalking partner (no offense to others… it’s in our blood), is coming to Houston! Many MANY meals to come…