I’ve been getting into major side dish ruts lately, have you? No? So it’s just me? I usually focus too much attention on the main course and the sides get totally neglected. Poor things!
I’ve decided to spice things up a bit and really focus on incorporating new side dishes into my life, using simple recipes and seasonal produce. So far, I’ve been giddy with excitement over the results. Here are 2 examples that I’ve been loving recently:
Tomato, Corn, and Avocado Salad: Combine halved cherry tomatoes, corn (fresh or canned), diced avocado, the juice of a lime, a swirl of extra virgin olive oil, salt, and freshly cracked pepper. Toss it all together and you have yourself one delicious little concoction.
Fingerling Potatoes and Cherry Tomatoes: Saute halved or quartered fingerling potatoes in a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil on medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper. Stir every so often until the potatoes are cooked through and the cut side is nicely browned. Add halved cherry tomatoes and allow them to cook for 2-3 mins. Sprinkle in dried basil and thyme (or use fresh if you have it). Add in a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and a tablespoon of white wine vinegar. Let it cook for a few more minutes and you’re set! The result is super savory with a little punch from the vinegars.
Watermelon is to summer like Bella is to Edward. They belong together for eternity.* Err…no?
What I mean to say is that summer’s nothing without juicy, sweet watermelon. I love to take full advantage of it’s seasonality and use it as much as possible, whether it be in margarita form (recipe to come in the near future) or cubed in a fresh, simple salad.
Not only is this Watermelon-Tomato Salad a perfect compliment to any summer meal, but the recipe itself is super easy and fail-proof. It can be doubled, tripled, quadrupled. It can be made ahead of time…or eaten while prepared. It can sit out in the sun while you lay by pool. It’s so easy, I could cry.
Did I mention that the flavors meld perfectly together? We already know that tomato and basil are soul mates. Same with watermelon and mint. So why not combine the four? Let me tell you, it works. It more than works. It’s equal parts sweet and savory. And the feta cheese? It balances the flavors together with it’s sharp, salty bite.
Recipe adapted from InStyle Magazine, July 2010 Issue:
4 lb. seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pint of heirloom cherry tomatoes (Trader Joe’s), halved
6 oz. crumbled feta cheese
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
Place watermelon and tomatoes together on a plate. Crumble feta on top. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top with basil and mint.
*I clearly failed the analogy portion of the SAT’s.