plum…crazy?!

stonefruit "salsa" is colorful and refreshing!

stonefruit “salsa” is colorful and refreshing!

hello friends and family,

i think you will all agree that summer is the season for simple, healthy recipes and impromptu gatherings.  taking full advantage of the vibrant seasonal fruits and vegetables and the warmer light-filled evenings lend themselves to many memorable meals shared with those we love.

we experienced one such evening last week.  our dear friends and neighbors of over a dozen years, the rick/destiny irons family, invited us over to their “temporary” beach house for a cocktail party and barbecue.  (they are in the final stages of a major remodel of their own home.)  in addition to the ubiquitous cheese, olive and wine offerings, we wanted to share a colorful dish from our garden.  for me, the fun and rewarding aspect of growing a prolific edible garden is “creating” something with the ripest produce we are harvesting that particular day or week.  as we are still blessed with juicy, sweet/tart, ripe santa rosa plums, we decided they would be the focus of our dish.  now the question begged:  plum tart, pickled plums and red onions, plum compote, plum gelato or simply a bowl of fragrant plums as an offering?

my daughter, domenica, and i came up with something using many of our favorite flavors, including the plums and limes from our garden.  here’s another “suggestion”, not so much a recipe of how to enjoy summertime stone fruit.

A SALSA OF SORTS…

ingredients:  2 cups firm/ripe santa rosa plums, seeded and chopped; 1/4 cup finely diced red onion; 1/4 cup finely diced yellow or orange bell pepper; 1 jalapeño or serano chile, tiny dice (membranes and seeds removed for less heat); 1 large firm/ripe avocado, diced; 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice.  mix fruit, onion, peppers and chile together, gently fold in chopped avocado, lime juice and salt/pepper to taste.

not many ingredients!  definitely quick and healthy! immensely flavorful!  try it yourself with:  grilled pork tenderloin, roasted/herbed tofu, over chicken enchiladas with a tomatillo salsa, as a side to seared scallops, a topping for grilled fish tacos, or simply as a salsa with some hearty chips.

that evening we shared many stories, laughs and memories.  over the course of the cocktail hour the plum “salsa” disappeared and was touted as a successful “creation”.

it’s always wonderful to grow, harvest and enjoy fresh produce, but even better than that is sharing the bounty with people whose company you cherish.  enjoy those impromptu summer gatherings and keep the ingredients simple, seasonal and refreshing…

elena

p.s.  next post:  four varieties of cherry tomatoes…my favorite!


grilled chicken greek salad

colorful, easy and healthy main dish salad

grilled chicken greek salad

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Recipe type: main course salad
Author: elena
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 4
a flavorful combination of chickpeas, tahini, grilled chicken, tomatoes, red bellpepper with a citrus twist…topped with goat’s milk feta and parsley!
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground blackpepper, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
  • 2 chicken breasts – boneless/skinless (approx. 1 lb. total)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 firm/ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 thinly sliced red bellpepper
  • 1 persian cucumber, skin left on and chopped
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, stemmed
  • 6 oz. crumbled goat’s milk feta cheese (or regular feta if preferred)
Instructions
  1. heat grill to high (450-550 degrees).
  2. mix 1 tbsp. each lemon juice and oil, 1 tsp. garlic and 1/2 tsp each salt, pepper and cumin in a medium bowl. add chicken breasts and turn to coat.
  3. grill chicken, turning once, until cooked through and browned nicely.
  4. let chicken rest, covered for 5 minutes.
  5. whisk together remaining 2 tbsp. each lemon juice and oil, 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper, and 1 tsp. cumin with the tahini in a large bowl.
  6. add chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper and cucumber and toss lightly to coat.
  7. divide among 4 plates.
  8. slice chicken on the diagonal and set on top of salads.
  9. sprinkle salads with parsley leaves and crumbled cheese.
  10. enjoy!