Friends, it is hot. I mean, really hot. So hot that all I want to do all day is hang out by the pool. So hot that I almost refuse to turn on my oven (and that’s pretty severe, since I love baking so much). So hot that I only make iced coffee at home.
So hot that I basically refuse to do any cooking that is not on a grill.
Thank goodness for salads.
Ah, salads — sweet delicious salads that don’t require heat for preparing, that are cooling and refreshing and light.
Our sweet friend Sarah Daniels, whom you can find at Loco Cafe on any given day, has graciously shared with us her favorite summer salad recipe.
And what a salad it is.
Sarah was a vegetarian for several years and really knows how to build a tasty salad that is colorful, filling and full of amazing flavors.
She made sure to include plenty of protein (energy for all the laying by the pool), and lots of vegetables that are at their peak in the middle of the summer, so that you can make the most of the goodies you gathered at the Denton Community Market.
Now, friends, don’t be alarmed by the long list of ingredients. This is all chopping and mixing — no crazy cooking techniques involved. So bust out your best knives, your favorite cutting board and a big fork to enjoy this meal for four.
ALYSSA JARRELL is an adventurer in the kitchen who enjoys giving her culinary creations to family and friends. Her website is thepinkantler.com.
ROASTED RED PEPPER TZATZIKI
2 tablespoons roasted red bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
In a food processor (or a good blender), combine all ingredients and pulse until smooth.
1 cup cucumber, diced small
3/4 cup tomato, diced small
3/4 cup red onion, chopped
3 artichoke hearts, diced
15 ounces garbanzo beans, cooked and cooled
1/2 cup Greek dressing (I prefer Newman’s Own)
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients, makes sure that everything is coated evenly with the dressing.
1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped finely
1/4 cup dried and pitted dates, chopped finely
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.
1 pita per serving
2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
Toast pita. Place a large scoop of the Greek salad on the pita, top with a small spoonful of tapenade, drizzle with the tzatziki, and top with a little bit of mint.