Cooling Summer Salad w/ Za'atar Pesto by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

we've been stuck in one of the worst heatwaves i can remember here in nyc.  the heat index has been over 100 degrees for the past few days, and while our apartment is staying pretty cool as long as we don't turn the oven on, there were times where me and my 8 1/2 month pregnant body shut down.  there was one particular night where i dramatically cried myself to sleep and frank placed ice packs around my extremities to sooth my overly emotional reaction to a warm bedroom.  if you haven't already noticed, he's a trooper, guys.  but aside from tears and ice packs, the heat has brought us back to the basics. and by that i mean a ton of cool, fresh summery salads!

we've been making this PACT salad (get it? peach, avocado, cucumber & tomato salad!?) at least 2 nights a week.  depending on what we're eating with it, there's 2 variations i keep in constant rotation.  there's a spicy version where there's minced cilantro, a good bit of lime juice, california olive ranch olive oil (always!), some flaky sea salt, and a couple dashes of ground cayenne pepper. it's the perfect hot weather salad, especially when the veg has been chilling in the fridge for a bit.

the other variation is the recipe i'm sharing today.  it has the same salad components, but a totally different flavor profile thanks to some good old za'atar.  if you're not familiar with za'atar it's typically made up of thyme and marjoram, mixed with toasted sesame seeds, and ground sumac which gives it a tangy kick.  frank and i had a similar salad the other week at a restaurant.  it was a tomato and peach salad served with toasted pine nuts and a za'atar pesto, and it was amazing!  i knew immediately that i needed to recreate the it for a homemade version, one we could enjoy whenever we wanted.  the pesto is super simple and aside from the prepared za'atar, it doesn't require any other herbs.  it's blended up with toasted pine nuts, some added lemon juice, a clove of garlic, and my favorite of california olive ranch's olive oil, their rich and robust flavor, offering the pesto, and the salad, just the right flavor which has already become the staple in our kitchen.  so whether you use the za'atar pesto on this particular salad as a marinade, or schmeared on a piece of crusty bread, it's a must-try!   

this post was created in partnership with california olive ranch.  all thoughts and opinions are my own.  thank you for supporting the sponsors that help keep dolly and oatmeal running! 

cooling summer salad w/ za'atar pesto | v

the za'atar pesto makes just enough for the salad, so if you're wanting leftovers, i suggest doubling or even tripling the recipe.  

| serves 4-6 |

za'atar pesto


  • 2 pounds mixed tomatoes, cored and sliced into wedges
  • 2 ripe peaches, sliced into small wedges
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium cucumber, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • flaky sea salt
  • extra za'atar, for garnish


  1. make the za'atar.  in a food processor, pulse the za'atar, nuts, lemon juice, and garlic until roughly ground.  with the motor running, drizzle in the oil until everything is combined.  season with salt.
  2. in a large bowl, gently toss together the tomatoes, peaches, avocado, cucumber, and nuts.  add the za'atar pesto and give it all another good toss.  taste and add more salt if needed.  serve and sprinkle with za'atar.   

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Sprouted Quinoa & Ramp Sliders w/ Garlicky Cucumber Slaw by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

this time last year i was in full on meltdown mode.  we were just about to move and i was in the middle of finishing up the manuscript for my cookbook.  there was a month long dispute with our new landlords over the apartment we were supposed to move into, and we were essentially forced to move into the adjacent apartment.  all the things worked out, but the apartment was the smaller unit, so aside from our couch taking up what you would call a living room, everything worked out quite nicely.  if you've followed along here you know i've talked about some of the work we've done to our backyard.  but after some gnarly finds in the soil (oh, hello rusted metal, and partially broken down plastic randomness!) we decided that if we were going to grow any edibles this year they were going to have to be in pots or a raised bed.  

frank took on the challenge and whipped up a pretty sizable and impressive raised bed (all the muscle arm emojis!).  and since the weather's been super lovely we've been gardening and sprucing everything up!  i say this every year, that spring is just the best feel-good season! the market is alive with all the green things, birds so chirpy, flowers popping up, buds, and sprouts - too much to love! and is it just me or are you so much more inclined to be a happier cook?  there's such a difference when the windows are cracked, the door to the backyard is open, and you feel that pulse of life in the air.  

while we've had some days that reached temps in the 80's (!!!), there are also the days where it's cool in the morning and evening, so a nice warm breakfast or supper is still in order - be it spring veg pasta, or roasted strawberry breakfast bowls.  but i'm enjoying mixing those springy greens, especially one of the first greens that hits NYC, ramps.  they're a great mix of spring onion meets spring garlic - subtle but flavorful and fragrant.  

these sliders are mix of a recipe i developed for a client and these falafel sliders from a few weeks ago.  they're made with sprouted quinoa which really helps on 2 levels: one, because sprouted quinoa is awesome for digestion; and two, because i'm terrible at remembering to soak my grains and even worse at sprouting beans and grains : /  so, thank goodness for truRoots who has a really awesome line of sprouted and germinated grains, among other products!  these sliders are super tasty, fluffy but firm, and so easy to put together; and the coating of breadcrumbs makes them less mushy veggie burger, and more crisp, sturdy burger. plus, the quinoa adds just enough protein to make these a substantial meal on their own, and adds such great texture and a sweet nutty flavor.  sometimes i forgo the bun altogether on plop these guys on a bed of greens with a good drizzle of the garlic tahini yogurt sauce. i see them as a forever go-to adding whatever seasonal produce available :)

happy spring! xo. and you can follow me over on snapchat for some garden snaps, pup photos, and daily life :) @dollyoatmeal

* this recipe was created in partnership with truRoots, all opinions, as always, are my own.  thank you so very much for supporting dolly and oatmeal's sponsors!

sprouted quinoa & ramp sliders w/ garlicky cucumber slaw | v + gf

look for sprouted quinoa to help save overnight soak time, if you have to use regular quinoa remember to soak overnight to start the sprouting process.  i really enjoy the cool cucumber slaw here, but any vegetable will work in its place.    

cucumber slaw

  • 1 small cucumber, julienned 
  • half of a small red onion, sliced paper thin on a mandolin
  • 1 teaspoon chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic tahini-yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • fine sea salt & fresh pepper, to taste

| makes 12-14 small patties |

  • 1 cup truRoots sprouted quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water (preferably filtered)
  • big pinch of salt
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch ramps, stems and leaves roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup sweet potato puree
  • 1/2 cup italian seasoned, gluten free bread crumbs (or bread crumbs of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sumac
  • fine sea salt & fresh pepper




  1. spread the julienned cucumbers on a dishtowel and allow the towel to soak up any moisture, let sit for about 5 minutes.  place cucumbers in a bowl and mix together with the red onion, dill, vinegar, yogurt, and oil.  season to taste with salt and pepper, and set aside.


  1. preheat oven to 375ยฐF, line a baking sheet with parchment and brush with olive oil to coat; set aside.
  2. place the rinsed quinoa in a saucepan with the water and salt.  bring the quinoa to a boil, stir, cover, and turn heat to low.  simmer the quinoa for 20-25 minutes, until the water has completely evaporated. remove from heat and let the quinoa come to room temp.
  3. while the quinoa is cooking saute the ramps.  heat a fry pan over medium heat, once it's hot add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.  add the ramps, a pinch of salt and pepper, and stir.  cook for about 1 minute, until wilted and bright green.  remove from heat and set aside.
  4. in a large bowl, thoroughly combine 2 cups cooked quinoa, ramps, sweet potato, 1/4 cup bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, sumac, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and fresh pepper to taste.  
  5. place the remaining bread crumbs in a shallow dish, set aside.  using a tablespoon measure, scoop 2 tablespoons worth of the mixture and form into patties.  dip the tops and bottoms of the patties into the bread crumbs and place on the prepared baking sheet.  gently brush tops of patties with a light coating of oil and bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping patties over halfway through, until edges are lightly brown and crisp.  
  6. schmear 1 or both sides of the bun with garlic tahini-yogurt, then top with microgreens, a slider, and some garlicky cucumber slaw. 


similar recipes:

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spring fattoush salad 

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chickpea bean bowl w/ toasted bread crumbs

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hummus + pesto veggie wraps, + parting with summer by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

the last few weeks of summer seem to be slowing encroaching in.  and while it's not over yet, i am already missing summer's colorful produce and its sweet smelling berries at the farmers' market.  i know i'm totally jumping the gun, and that we have many more days of vibrant fresh greens, and bounties of plums and apples, but to think that these beautiful summer days and beach weekends are numbered makes me a little sad.  on the other hand, i'm super excited at the thought of cool fall days, my mind perks up about apple picking, the start of a looong squash season (!), scarves, and snuggling up to my mister on the couch. nature is full of many beauties, and some exciting surprises in the fall season.  it's just letting go of summer is what's difficult; of its warmth, sunshine, its edible gifts, and the way that it never lets you down.

most summer weekends are reserved for at least one day at the beach.  me and the husband have our little routine of making our lunch, packing our beach bag with the paper or a book, and a big towel to share.  we usually head out first thing in the morning after grabbing iced coffee to go, and then we're on our way.  our usual spot at the end of the beach will be all ready for us, and sometimes, if we're lucky, it's low-tide and we get to walk out onto the sand-bar.  it's usually a perfectly simple day, just me and my love, with sunshine on our faces, wind blowing, and the sound of the tides coming in and out.  these are the days i live for.   

i made the wraps here with these last few beach weekends in mind.  they're simple to make ahead, wrap up, and throw in a container.  they're vegan/dairy free, so even if you don't have a cooler they will stay nice and fresh.  if you want, cut the time in half and buy your favorite hummus and pesto. if not, i provide a recipe for both below.  the pesto recipe was inspired by this beautiful blog post, and my new affinity for cilantro since returning from Costa RIca.  i hope you all are enjoying these last few weeks of the summer season! 

hummus + pesto veggie wraps 

| gluten free + vegan | 

| makes 6 wraps | 


  • 6 large brown rice tortillas (or tortillas of your choice)
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, de-stemmed and chopped (about 4-5 leaves)
  • 1 large cucumber, julienned 
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 ripe mango, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces roasted garlic hummus 
  • 1/4 cup sunflower cilantro pesto (recipe below)

| sunflower cilantro pesto |

  • 1/2 cup cilantro, packed (1 bunch)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/4 olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sunflower seeds
  • salt to taste ~1/8 teaspoon
  • cayenne pepper to taste (optional) 


make the pesto

  • in a small food processor, combine cilantro, chopped garlic, olive oil, lime juice, toasted sunflower seeds, salt, and cayenne.  blend, scraping down the sides.  transfer to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator until ready to use (i like making my pesto the day before, or early in the day to let the flavors really come together.)

assemble the wraps

  • one at a time, warm the tortillas between a damp cloth, or 2 damp paper towels, in the microwave for a few seconds (this helps the tortillas not break when rolling them.)
  • place the tortilla on a clean work surface.  using a spoon or small spatula, add the hummus - i used about 2 tablespoons worth.  then, add about 2 teaspoons of pesto - use more or less depending on your preference
  • next, add the mango strips and chopped chard.  top with cucumber and red onion
  • fold the bottom and top of the tortilla in towards the filling, then fold the sides in.  tightly roll one side to the other.  with the folded side down, use a sharp knife to cut in half.  repeat with remaining tortillas

grab a napkin, chow down, and enjoy!