Summertime brings such a shift in our home- the lack of rhythms and schedules, and ways of being. The kitchen is a different space altogether. With teenagers at home and a son home from college- the kitchen seems to be in use all day and night- so much food, so many dishes, so many baking & cooking projects. The fresh produce dictates our meals, which I love. And my stack of books to read for fun and personal growth attracts any free time I have.
This salad is the epitome of showcasing seasonal produce. When I made this recipe last summer that I saw on Half Baked Harvest’s blog, I had high hopes that this unique blend of savory and sweet would be the perfect centerpiece of our meal. It exceeded my expectations. Serving it with a good loaf of crusty bread, and charcuterie was lovely. The rare combination of seasonal produce and herbs (peaches, cherries and tomatoes tossed and drizzled with an herby vinaigrette )with Burrata nestled onto the platter was a delight to the senses! It’s beautiful with it’s vibrant colors and complex tasting. [If you haven’t experienced Burrata-it’s a special cheese that is solid on the exterior and creamy and loose on the interior- it’s a fresh mozzarella ball filled with soft cheese curds- like ricotta. It’s lovely.]
I couldn’t wait to make it again this summer when the ingredients were in season. This time, I made it at the request of my son, who had just arrived from studying abroad in the UK. He also was hoping for some hot chicken. So, we picked up some hot chicken tenders from our local restaurant and made this salad. It was a lovely combination as well.
Here’s the Recipe:
from Half Baked Harvest
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic or champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, grated
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
red pepper flakes
kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2 -2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved if large
2-3 peaches, sliced into wedges
1 cup pitted fresh cherries
8 ounces burrata cheese
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (or other nut/seed)
Assembling the Salad:
To make the vinaigrette: combine all ingredients in a glass jar and whisk until smooth. Taste and adjust the chili flakes, salt, and pepper.
In a large bowl toss the tomatoes, peaches, and cherries with 1/3 of the dressing. Let sit 15 minutes at room temperature or up to 4 hours in the fridge.
Break the balls of burrata around the salad. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and top with pumpkin seeds and additional fresh herbs.
Serve with grilled or toasted bread.
A friend asked me the other day about my Summer book stack that I typically post in May or early June. I told her I was torn about it, as I have been listening to a bunch of Audio books on the Library’s app, so they aren’t on my stack, and I continue to add and pull from the stack. However, I always have a stack. So, here it is. I have read a few already and have already added and pulled some from my stack.
Not pictured: All is Grace, a memoir of Brennan Manning, that I grabbed to put in my bag for the beach and it was a gift to me that week. I passed it to my husband and then to our friend, who has it now. I also read the John Green’s YA book, Paper Towns, which was fun at the beach and on the long car ride. I listened to the audio of Wes Moore’s book, The Other Wes Moore. If you don’t know about this story, you might want to listen to this powerful conversation where Kate Bowler interviews Wes about his work and story.
I hope your summer is bringing you beautiful foods from the season and space to read books that you enjoy!