tomatoes

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

salad

  • 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


method

  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.   

similar recipes:


cauliflower pasta w/ za'atar and olives

cauliflower pasta w/ za'atar and olives

grilled panzanella salad w/ peaches & fennel

grilled panzanella salad w/ peaches & fennel

za'atar spiced chickpea crackers

za'atar spiced chickpea crackers

Vegan Caprese Salad (& A Giveaway!) by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal


to say that the past few days have been an adventure would be an understatement!  friday evening our nephew, nico was born in LA!!!  we had been anticipating his arrival for over a week now, so when he finally made his arrival we were up late texting back and forth for any updates on how the little guy and his parents were doing!  my parents texted us a few photos of him in his little hospital hat all swaddled up in a blanket, his eyed closed, and his cheeks pink and puffy - we were, and are, forever smitten by him.  really, just too delicious for words.  

saturday was spent doing more of the same - waiting around for texts and photos to come in, any glimpse of that little babe!  thanks to the miracle of facetime, we were able to see his little face in real time, and hear some of his precious coos and cries. 

frank and i can't help but think about how this will be us in just a few more weeks. bringing our babe home from the hospital and living in those moments that i know are somewhere between being absolutely amazing, while simultaneously feeling completely delusional. and while i'm still in the phase of thinking that somehow all the baby prep will get done and we'll be somewhat ready for him, i have been thinking about how our dinner routine, among everything else in life, will forever change! 

so many people have said that batch-cooking and freezer meals are the way to go for when the baby comes, because you have zero time to make meals.  i'm not one for planning ahead (maybe you've realized that from the paragraph above), nor am i one for cooking ahead of time - at least when it comes to freezer meals.  and to be honest, we have a a junior refrigerator that's basically the size of my toe, and doesn't fit much at all.  but when i received kristin donnellly's new book, modern potluck the other week, and was flipping through some of her recipes, i thought that so many of them would totally work as big-batch cooking that could last all week - without having to freeze anything!  this book is perfect for everyone, but i found it potentially inspiring for new parents! the contents of the book include: snacks & dips, main course salads (so genuis!), 9x13-Inch pan casseroles, supporting-role salads (another favorite chapter!), baked & savory, and desserts.  besides the salad i'm sharing today, her middle eastern seven-layer salad is all that i'm thinking about, along with her spice-roasted carrots with lentils and yogurt, and her late-summer vegetable enchilada pie are all on my to-make list!  

*the giveaway: one reader will win a copy of kristin donnelly's, modern potluck, along with a chicago cutlery 8-inch chef kinife, AND a chicago cutlery woodworks 12x18-inch bamboo cutting board! (cutting board pictured below.)

*to enter : please leave a comment (with a working email address, please!) sharing what your favorite summer potluck meals are - ones you've made, or even ones you've eaten!  giveaway is open to US residents only (sorry overseas friends!), and will close august 9, 2016 at 5pm EST. good luck, everyone!   

***UPDATE - if you left a comment yesterday, August 2nd, please re-submit, as my comments section was not working.  the comments are up and running now, and i will see all entries!  thank you so much, and i'm sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused!



vegan caprese salad | v & gf

a vegan caprese was never in my vocabulary, nor did i know it was a thing!  but the beans here almost have a melty quality that totally lend themselves to a fresh mozzarella replacement!  the dish uses vegetables that are most ubiquitous this time of year: tomatoes and basil!  the flavor really comes from the stewed garlicky beans, and the sweet tomato juices from fresh summer tomatoes.  kristin includes lemongrass in the ingredient list, but i left it out because i couldn't get my hands on any.  i also added a few greens to my dish, as well as oregano blossoms for garnish. oh! and this dish, served on toast, A+!

from Kristin Donnelly's Modern Potluck

| serves 8-16 |

  • 4 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans (or 6 cups cooked beans from about 2 1/2 cups dried) rinsed and drained
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass (from 1 stalk, optional)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 pounds mixed ripe tomatoes, sliced into rounds or wedges
  • flaky salt, for garnish
  • basil leaves, torn, for garnish


method

  1. in a medium pot, combine the beans with the garlic and bay leaves. cover with water and simmer over medium-low heat until the beans lose some of the canned flavor, 15 to 20 minutes.  drain well and discard the garlic and bay leaves.
  2. in a bowl, gently toss the beans with the lemongrass and 1/4 cup olive oil; they will fall apart a bit and that's okay.  season generously with salt and a few grinds of pepper.
  3. spoon beans onto a platter and arrange the tomatoes on top.  drizzle with more olive oil and garnish with flaky sea salt, basil, and a few more grinds of pepper, then serve.

Kristin notes: the salad can be assembled prior to a potluck, as the tomato juices will flavor the beans. she prefers to add the basil just before serving to make sure it doesn't darken.  the salad can be refrigerated overnight.  bring to a cool room temperature for up to 2 hours before serving.


similar recipes:


pickled corn succotash salad

pickled corn succotash salad

chickpea tzatziki salad

chickpea tzatziki salad

sprouted quinoa & ramp sliders

sprouted quinoa & ramp sliders

mellow melon salad by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal


we celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago, not with some blowout dinner or glasses of bubbly, but in a sea-breezy field on a couple of adirondack chairs with 2 crisp beers, just me and frank, and our pup, Quint. we had kind of intended to do nothing since we're planning to take a celebratory trip later on in the year, but going back to where we got married, where this whole lindsey and frank thing started turned out to be the best way to ring in the occasion. we stopped by the farm on long island where we got married , had lunch at our favorite spot, and then took Quint for his first (and very apprehensive) swim in the ocean!

it was great reliving that day with similar sights and smells, but with my life partner and all that has come to mean in the past 2 years. it was almost like looking back on that day and thinking about how long ago it felt, how much we were babies then, but also feeling that nothing has really changed. they say the first year of marriage is roses and cupcakes. however, year 2 felt a bit more like that as our first year married was a lot of figuring out some of the dynamics of what being married meant to us as individuals, and finding compromise and balance within that. 

excited for year 3? heck yes!  for i feel as though these past couple of years, through the arguments and good times, we continue to accept differences, learn each other's language a bit better, and be fiercely in love with one another - flaws and all! 

and now i'm going to awkwardly shift gears to this salad!  there's a great deal of flavor and texture highlighted in this salad, all while keeping it super light on preparation time. the corn is lightly charred for a bit of smoky flavor, while the squash is peeled into noodles giving the salad some movement and texture. this is a cool and soothing salad, with a sweet and savory flavor, perfect for hot summer days! 

big hugs! 



mellow melon salad (v + gf)

while i use melon wedges here cantaloupe would be just as delicious, as would watermelon. the leopard melon indicated in the ingredients list is not so easily accessible, and can be substituted for cucumber, as it has a similar taste and texture. this is great served as a side to any meal, or as a hydrating snack during the day.

| serves 4-6 |

dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon thyme leaves
  • 3 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 small shallot
  • salt + pepper

salad

  • half of 1 leopard melon (or 1 small cucumber)
  • 2 medium summer squash
  • 2 ears of corn, shucked
  • 2/3 cup grape or cherry heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped lemon thyme
  • salt + pepper
  • half of 1 cantaloupe or honeydew melon, cut into wedges 
  • a small handful of mint flowers 


method

  • place dressing ingredients in a mini food processor and blend until emulsified. taste and adjust seasoning. store dressing in a lidded jar in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • prepare an ice bath and set aside. peel the skin from the melon (or cucumber) and cut in half lengthwise. using a mandolin, shave each half of the melon and place the pieces in the prepared ice bath to crisp, about 10-15 minutes. drain the melon and place on dishtowel to dry.
  • using a julienne peeler (or a mandolin) peel each side of the summer squash until you reach the seedy center. place strands in a large serving bowl and set aside.
  • over a gas top stove, light a burner to a low flame. one at a time char the corn cobs rotating with tongs to evenly cook the corn. set aside and allow corn to cool. once cool enough to handle, stand the corn upright; use a large knife to cut the kernels from the cob. repeat with other ear of corn and place kernels in the bowl with the squash.
  • to the bowl, add the tomatoes, leopard melon, parsley, mint, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. remove the dressing from the refrigerator and give it a good shake. drizzle a few spoonfuls over the squash noodles, then taste and adjust, adding more dressing if needed. 
  • slice the cantaloupe or honeydew melon into even wedges, then cut the flesh from the skin. plate wedges and top with the summer squash noodles and mint flowers.    

enjoy!


more summer recipes


raw cauliflower couscous salad

raw cauliflower couscous salad

raw veggie + ginger rice bowl w/ sriracha tahini

raw veggie + ginger rice bowl w/ sriracha tahini

pickled corn succotash salad 

pickled corn succotash salad