Summer Nectarine & Tomato Salad with Feta & Mint

This salad is late summer on a plate. Is it late summer? I always assume August is late summer–even though technically September is too, right? Anyway, August makes me think of the end of summer because it’s kind of back-to-school season (school supplies are out in force and I am jealous! GIMME ALL THE PENS, PLEASE) and it’s when the tomatoes seem to be at their best. I intended to make this recipe with peaches, but I got a bunch of mealy ones and it totally bummed me out. Thus, the nectarines. Plus, they have been so good and on sale. WIN/WIN.  The tomatoes were from the cute farmer’s market near my neighborhood and every year I always forget how delicious tomatoes can be until summer rolls in and reminds me. So, so delicious and juicy and sweet. I added feta and mint to this salad because I am obsessed with that combo and I really love it with tomatoes and stone fruit. I made a quick and simple shallot vinaigrette to let the fruit shine while adding a definite savory note.

This salad ended up being the sleeper hit of the BBQ we had for Casper’s birthday. Literally every last bit was eaten and I was actually hoping for some leftovers, but it worked out because I made it again for the blog and then promptly ate it for lunch and had some with dinner in the same day. It’s good, so make it before all the lush summer produce disappears and we’re all crying over a bunch of gourds at the market.

PS, I’m on Snap Chat now! and it took me FOREVER to understand it, but I’ve been snapping (snap chatting?) probably more than I should. Follow me if you like to see babies be babies, dogs sitting under highchairs, not super photogenic food, and hear me ramble: cindyishungry  

Summer Nectarine & Tomato Salad with Feta & Mint
 
Prep time
Total time
 
This recipe celebrates late summer's bounty--you can sub peaches in place of nectarines, just use whatever looks best to you!
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 2 ripe nectarines
  • 2-3 large, ripe tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-5 mint leaves, chopped (about 1-2 tablespoons, chopped)
  • 1 ounce (about 2 tablespoons) crumbled feta
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Slice the nectarines and tomatoes into wedges--however thick or thin you like, I like them on the thinner side, like ¼ inch, and arrange on a plate. In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the shallots with the vinegar, a pinch of salt, and the honey. Add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil--you can start with 2 and add another if you like a less sharp dressing. I like it to be pretty tangy and bright, so I go for a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and oil. Shake the dressing, taste, and adjust seasonings to your preference. Drizzle the dressing over the nectarines and tomatoes, sprinkle the mint leaves over the top, followed by the feta. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Grilled Corn and White Bean Hummus

GUYS. Grilled. Corn. Hummus. It’s summer and in classic basic b. fashion, I’m eating all the grilled corn I can because that’s who I am and I am totally okay with that.

I have to be honest, I was late to the hummus game. Like, I only started liking it–for real–in the last few years. I’d eat it if it was there, using it as a dip for a pita chip or crudite but, I always sort of felt like it was a shrug-worthy food. Then I had a few versions at Lebanese restaurants–silky smooth and so addictive scooped up with warm pita–that my mind was instantly changed. Store bought versions still mostly underwhelmed me (though there is a local version, chunkier and thicker than most, that I really love) and it took me FOREVER to make my own. The thing is, I kind of didn’t intend to make my own. I actually made Casper a chickpea-carrot puree that was basically hummus and found myself eating it out of the blender. DUH! Lightbulb-moment, guys.

But, now I have hummus in my life and this version is currently my fave because of the subtle sweetness and faint smokiness from the grilled corn. I used white beans just because that’s what I was feeling, but it’s excellent with chickpeas, too. This hummus is great with some pita but, I also really love it with cool cucumber slices for some crisp freshness. PS, it makes a great at-home happy hour snack beside a chilled glass of something to sip (#rosealltheway).

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Grilled Corn and White Bean Hummus

Adapted from Real Simple

Even though my favorite store-bought version is a little on the chunky side, I like my homemade iteration to be super silky, smooth, and almost pourable in consistency. To get this particular texture, I think a high-powered blender and a bit of lukewarm water take this hummus to the next level. It can be made in a food processor with great results, as well. And, of course, blend it with or without the addition of water to you specific tastes.

2 ears of fresh corn

1-2 tablespoons canola or olive oil

1, 15-ounce, can white beans–drained and rinsed

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons tahini

salt to taste

lukewarm water–if needed

chives, olive oil, flaky sea salt, and paprika for garnish (optional)

Preheat your grill or a grill pan. Remove the husks and silk from the corn, rub each ear lightly with canola or olive oil. Grill the corn, on all sides, until you have a few charred spots all over–this should only take a few minutes per side. Remove and place on a plate to cool a bit. Cut the kernels off the ears of corn and set aside 1 heaping cup for the hummus. Reserve the rest as a garnish.

In a blender or food processor add the drained white beans, garlic clove, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, and the 1 cup of corn. Pulse until smooth and blended–taste and season with salt to your liking. Add water, a few tablespoons at a time, to thin to desired consistency–I like it to be just pourable. Place the hummus into a bowl and garnish with the reserved corn, snipped chives, some flaky sea salt, a sprinkle of paprika, and olive oil. Serve with pita or vegetables. [/recipe]

Ham and Chive Mini Biscuit Muffins

Guys, tomorrow we are taking Casper on his first plane trip and I am just a leeeetle bit nervous (aka, a LOT nervous). Mostly about the germs and the diseases I’m convinced are lurking everywhere and since everything Casper can get his paws on goes into his mouth, I’m just freaking out a bit. On the inside. On the outside I only look mildly freaked out. I may or may not be the weirdo in seat 20b shrouding myself and my baby with a muslin blanket while Sean tries to not roll his eyes too hard. Thankfully, the flight is a short one (1.5 hours) and we’ll be landing in Reno to a happy reception of friends and family. Casper is meeting my BFF and her family for the first time! I’m so excited! She and her sister, also my good friend, have daughters a few months older than Casper, so it’s going to be a baby party! I can’t wait to see how they all interact. I’m sure it will be hilarious.

Anyway, crazy-mom-talk aside, let’s talk about carb-babies.

It’s a biscuit in a mini muffin. Revolutionary, nope. Delicious, yup.These guys are the dressed-up version of a drop biscuit, no patting out dough, flouring surfaces, or cutting, just scooping and baking, but a little cleaned up. Even though they’re small, these two-bite babes are packed with a ton of flavor–salty & savory ham, onion-y chives, and cheese (of course!) folded into tender and buttery biscuit dough. The recipe makes about 3 dozen minis, which is a lot, but they are perfect for freezing and just take a quick 15 second whirl in the microwave to reheat. They’re great as a carb-y, cheesy side for soup, chili, or stew, but would be crazy-adorbs topped with teeny little quail eggs.

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Ham and Chive Mini Biscuit Muffins

Adapted from this recipe

Makes about 36 mini biscuits

I used cake flour for these biscuits to mimic the much coveted White Lily Flour, which I can’t find out west. I have also used all-purpose flour for these with fine results. I would reduce the amount to 2 cups if using all-purpose.

2 1/4 cups cake flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 scant teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

5 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1/4 cup finely diced ham

1/2 cup shredded cheddar

3 tablespoons finely minced chives

1 cup whole milk

Preheat the oven to 425ºF and line 1 1/2 mini muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine. Add in the cold butter and toss to coat the cubes. Using either a pastry blender, or your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until you get coarse crumbs–some sandy bits and some pieces of butter still in small chunks (about pea sized). Add in the ham, cheese, and chives and fold gently to combine. Finally, fold in the milk until just combined being careful to not over mix the dough. Using a mini cookie scoop, or a tablespoon, scoop the dough into the mini muffin cups and bake in the center of the oven for about 12-15 minutes or until puffed and just golden. [/recipe]