Summertime Eats

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.

Garlicky Spaghetti with Beans and Greens from Cooking Light

Garlicky Spaghetti with Beans and Greens from Cooking Light

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).

Ah-mazing

Ah-mazing

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

Chopped celery

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.

Voila

Voila

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…

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5 responses to “Summertime Eats

  1. Hey, I made that same chicken salad today, with more mayo (bc you know that’s the way Dad prefers it) and instead of fresh tarragon, I used the much inferior dried.

    I’m definitely going to try that pasta dish. I love arugula. I’ll send you a pasta recipe I like that calls for arugula pesto.

    You and your pops are going to have a great visit, and I cannot wait to read the next installment of your food stalking.

  2. Mmmmm…your Caprese salad looks and sounds great! And the chicken salad…you know I like all kinds of that stuff. I was in fact recalling just yesterday one of Mom’s that had pistachios in it…ummm….then she has a curry-oriented one that is really great also.

    Finally: counting down the hours til our first meal in HOU!!!!!!! Glad you thought of seafood, because I’ve been craving it since you mentioned it. Really…just ask the fam about my fish taco craving. :)

  3. I think LG’s Pere needs to foodstalk his Billy’s chicken club….

  4. Just made the chicken salad last night! YUM

  5. Lesbro, there’s another Billy’s chicken club in my future, so maybe there’s a future story after all. However, the real special ingredient at Billy’s is the excellent staff: Billy’s greatest asset.

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