Farewell to Summer: Roasted Tomato-Corn-Kale Quinoa Salad with Shallot-Buttermilk Dressing

tkb-corn-tomato-kale-quinoa-salad

I picked up my first basket of Honeycrisp apples and butternut squash from the market earlier this week. They were looking less plentiful than weeks before, but tomatoes and corn were definitely still present. Before they turn in to a farmer’s market endangered species, this salad is a worthy farewell to what has been a memorable summer. I’ve already made tomato sauce, tomato-corn salsa and frozen fresh corn for winter months. I’m now in the moments of just enjoying this summer produce in our daily meals.

This recipe is adapted from Sara Forte’s excellent Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon. Occasionally you find a cookbook author whose tastes and flavor preferences align so closely with your own, it’s like the recipes were written just for you. I love Sara’s work, and her husband Hugh takes beautiful photographs of her creations. I’m admittedly envious, as I’d love to have someone follow me around in the kitchen and capture images of it all. As it stands, I call everyone for dinner, then pause and turn off the lamps so we only have natural light. “Wait just a minute! I need a few photos!”

I’ve changed several ingredient amounts, swapped a couple of ingredients, added shallots to the dressing and taken a slightly different approach for roasting the tomatoes. I’ve made this multiple times this summer, and it’s a crowd pleaser – the buttermilk dressing and feta have it feeling slightly indulgent, but quinoa and veggies leave you feeling good. It’s excellent next to a piece of wild-caught fish.
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For My Mom: Grilled Chicken Tacos

chicken tacos

There are many reasons I write this blog and collect recipes in this space. One of them is my family. As I mentioned in the first “Even My Sisters Can Make It” post, I have four sisters. None of them like to cook quite as much as I do, but I’ve been quite impressed with how many recipes they’ve made from what I’ve posted so far. I also, somewhat weirdly, write this for my kids. I love family traditions and passed down histories. The thought of my children, or even my grandchildren, pulling up this blog to make dinner for themselves or those they love brings me joy. Then, of course, there is my own mother – the one who taught me to make the best tomato sauce that exists and perfect pancakes. She’s the one who made me eat curry when I was little and literally almost always had carrot sticks on the table, no matter what was for dinner. You know what they say – the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I’m now serving my kids up curry, like this favorite one, and forever chopping raw veggies to serve next to our meal.

My mother, who spoils us often with freshly baked bread (another one of her specialties), texted me a couple of days ago. “Any chance you’ll be posting the grilled chicken package recipe soon?” She went on, “(Instagram…)” in case I needed a reminder.
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Roasted Peach, Fresh Mozzarella and Chive Salad

The Kitchen Beet - Peach, Mozzarella, Chive Salad

When I think of a quintessential summer food, I often think of sun-ripened tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, mixed with torn basil and a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I eat that combination so frequently during the warm months, you’d think I was more of a tried-and-true type than a variety-lover in the kitchen. Fresh mozzarella has many other delightful uses, of course –  a couple of my favorites are homemade pizza and vegetable sandwiches. However, the market has rosy, juicy peaches now. And what the market has is what I eat.

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