Sunday, July 11, 2010

Grilled Chicken and Peaches Salad

So I kind of stole from was inspired by my cousin's yoga/health/beautiful blog for this recipe, which looked so simple that I thought there had to be a catch to it.  I made it and was really pleased with the bright, fresh mix of flavors.  There's sweetness from the peaches, a little bite from the onion, some tang from the blue cheese, and some pepperiness (is that a word?  my spell check doesn't think so) from the arugula.  Put it all together and you've got yourself on seriously good, filling, summer salad.

You can cut up the chicken breast into cubes and serve it in the salad, or leave the breasts whole and serve the salad as an accompaniment.  I used baby arugula, but if you're using fully grown, remove the hard stems.

Grilled Chicken and Peaches Salad

ingredients for one serving (multiply as necessary)

  • 1/2 fresh peach, sliced
  • 2 slices of red onion, rings separated
  • 1 chicken breast, pounded flat and even throughout
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 handful arugula 
  • blue cheese crumbles, to garnish
Place the peach and onion slices in a bowl.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and a little salt and pepper, and stir to coat evenly.  Place on a hot grill and cook, about 2 minutes a side or until soft with obvious grill marks.  Remove them and place them back in the bowl, allowing the juices to collect at the bottom.  Add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and gently stir to combine with the juices and coat the peaches and onions.  Add a little more olive oil if desired.

Coat the chicken breast with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Cook on the grill, about 4-5 minutes a side, or until done in the middle.  Take the chicken off the grill and coat evenly with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.  Add back to the grill for about a minute on both sides.

Top the arugula with the peaches, onions, and a little blue cheese.  Serve with the chicken breast.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tomato, Mozzarella Bruschetta

Okay, people, I know.  You don't have to tell me.  The last recipe which I posted 2 measly days ago was a tomato, mozzarella, basil recipe, and here I am, giving you another one.  I will remind you that I warned you I would do this.  And in my mind, I had planned on saving this recipe for later, putting a little buffer of other zucchini or squash recipes (as my garden is mass-producing them at the moment), but I couldn't wait.  This stuff is good.

You also don't have to tell me that it doesn't look that pretty, because I know that it doesn't.  I also didn't really get a chance to take a great photo of it all fancy on little toasts (that look like this), so you're not getting the full effect.  However, trust me.  I may have led you astray a time or two before, but stay with me.  This was made with tomatoes from the vine, and basil that had been attached to a plant 2 minutes before it was served.  Tomatoes are in season, so go buy (or better yet, pick) a million and eat them up.

Tomato, mozzarella bruschetta

  • 2 French baguettes
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling on the bread, plus about 1/4 cup for the tomatoes
  • About 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 pound fresh, firm tomatoes (you can certainly use more and adjust the proportions, as you like)
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 can great northern beans, drained
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves
Slice the baguettes on an angle about 1/2 inch thick.  Place on a cookie sheet, and drizzle with olive oil.  Broil in the oven for a few minutes, until golden (my broiler on low took about 4 minutes, so watch carefully to not burn them).

Put the pine nuts in a dry frying pan on the stove on medium heat.  Shake the pan every so often until the pine nuts are golden.  Don't let them burn.  Remove from the heat, and let cool.

Dice the tomatoes and cheese to about 1/4 or 1/3 inch cubes.  Drain some of the water from the tomatoes, if necessary (you don't want too much liquid in the mix).  Place them in a large bowl with the beans.  Add up to 1/4 cup olive oil (enough to coat everything without puddling at the bottom), and salt and pepper to taste.  Let  come to room temperature.

Tightly roll the basil, and slice it very thinly.  When ready to serve, add the basil and pine nuts, and stir to incorporate.  Serve on the baguette slices.      

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Caprese pasta salad

I love summer, and it's not just for the pool and no school and the beach and contagious happiness and all that jazz.  I love being able to walk to my not-so-little tomato plant, pluck off a big ole' tomato, and then eat it within the hour.    

I had long considered how I would eat my first tomato from the vine, and I decided on this old favorite.  I wanted something simple that wouldn't distract from the tomato's own flavor, and this combination of tomato, basil, and mozzarella never gets old (I will warn you, I'm not done with it this summer, either, so get excited for a few variations).  It was even a better plus that I could grab some fresh basil from the garden. too.

Caprese Pasta Salad


  • 1 pound dry pasta (I used mini Farfalle)
  • 1 pound ripe tomato (I used an heirloom tomato, because that's what I was growing)
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 handfull fresh basil leaves
  • about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, to garnish
Boil the noodles in salted water until al dente (don't let it get soggy).  Rinse in cool water, drain, and set aside to cool.

Chop the tomatoes and mozzarella in an approximately 1/3 inch dice.  Roll the basil leaves tightly like a cigarette and slice thinly, making long strips.  Combine the tomato, mozzarella, and basil in a large bowl with the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Stir to combine and coat.  Let sit for a few minutes, while the pasta continues to cool.

When the pasta reaches room temperature, shake to ensure it's dry, and then combine it with the tomato mixtures.  Stir to coat.  Add more olive oil if necessary to coat everything.  Taste for seasoning, and adjust if necessary.  Top with the Parmesan cheese, and serve at room temperature.