We still have no running water, countertops, stove, or oven in our kitchen. BUT I did get some much-needed cooking in over the course of this month (much of which was done at a friend’s home), which resulted in the five simple recipes I’m sharing today. It felt so good to get chopping and experimenting with flavor again. Plus, the break from cooking these past few months has helped give me space to set (and get excited about) a few new culinary challenges once we move back into our kitchen SOON.
I’m sharing five noteworthy recipes from the month below, some of which have specific instructions to follow and others that have general guidelines and are meant for you to tinker and experiment with as you cook. Remember, as always, to put your own twist on things if you are feeling inspired!
Mina Stone’s Heirloom Tomato Salad from her book Cooking for Artists
This recipe, from the book Cooking for Artists, was really simple and a great way to enjoy tomato season. It was essentially thick slices of heirloom tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, then topped with chopped olives, feta, mint, pistachios, and baby greens. YUM. The recipe is not available online, but a similar recipe by Mina Stone is on Epicurious.
Smoked Beets with Shallot Vinaigrette
I had the pleasure of eating at Josefina in Wayzata in June and one of my favorite dishes was the smoked beets. With the Traeger grill, I can add a smokier flavor to my veggies so I decided to roast a large gaggle of beets on the grill. The result was really lovely! Nothing overpowering, just a light hint of hickory to compliment their earthiness.
Once the beets were done (meaning you could easily slide a knife into them) I sliced them up, then topped them with a shallot vinaigrette: one part olive oil, one part lemon juice, one small shallot (diced), and plenty of salt and pepper to taste.
Caramelized Shallot Pasta
The ingredient list is simple, but the final dish is anything but boring. This is a great recipe for a special occasion that doesn’t need to be over the top. It’s one of those dishes that tastes as rich and indulgent as something you would order in an Italian restaurant. Trust the directions and let those shallots cook down! You won’t be disappointed.
Mina Stone’s Herb Salad from her book Cooking for Artists
This is a simple recipe (also from the book Cooking for Artists) that requires quite a bit of labor, but the result is SO delicious. The recipe requires a mix of tender herbs, one bunch of each: parsley, cilantro, basil, and mint. Remove each leaf from the stem and throw into a bowl. Dress with olive oil, lemon, and some flakey salt. Eat it with grilled fish and warm bread fried in butter!
If you want more Mina Stone, Athena Calderone cooked Stone’s incredible carrot soup for EyeSwoon. The post is worth a read (and the recipe is delicious!).
Tuna Salad With Cranberries, Almonds, and Pasta
When the kids were younger, we employed a household manager/nanny who helped out a lot in the kitchen. Her main focus around food was doing the grocery shopping and cooking for the kids, but on occasion, she would make something extra for us to enjoy over the weekend. Joe and I still talk about how good her tuna pasta salad was!
I had a craving for it this month, so I tried to recreate this recipe by memory because there is nothing out there online that got it quite right. I created a recipe similar to this, but in addition to the canned tuna and cranberries, I added small pasta shells and chopped almonds. It was SO SO good.
BY Kate Arends - July 28, 2021
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.