Growing up, I was a pickle purist. The only pickle I truly liked was a kosher dill with extra garlic. But fortunately for me, I have since branched out. Chow chow or pickled green tomato relish was my gateway pickle to a whole new world. At this point, it’s difficult to find a pickle I don’t like. Bread and butter pickles and I are still touch-and-go, but other than that I’m across-the-board pro-pickle. So if I like them all why not pile them all in one place? And that place happens to be this Triple Pickle Chopped Salad with Torn Mozzarella. A salad that doubles down on what I think is everybody’s favorite parts of a salad – the pickle-y bits and the cheese. So without further ado, let’s tackle this briny wonder.
During the summer months, I lose my interest in food. I mean, not entirely. If that were the case I would have a full-blown identity crisis. But my appetite does tend to recede. It’s the humidity. My body rejects it. But as the old saying goes “you gotta eat”, so I choose to exist on salads. And while the word “salad” conjures images deprivation, putting the word “steak” in front of it totally changes the picture. Suddenly the meal sounds refreshing but decadent, cooling but satisfying – the opposite of austere. And today’s Hanger Steak Salad with Chimichurri White Beans definitely fits that description. This salad features a marinated, grilled hanger steak sliced and served on a bed of white beans soaked in a tangy and fiery Chimichurri dressing. This is such a good one, so let’s make it!
I love bowls. Grain bowls, veggie bowls, noodle bowls – if it comes in a bowl I want to hear about it. To me, they are the perfect food. They can be virtuous or overly indulgent as need be. They can be complex or blissfully simple. And they can be customized to suit any dietary restriction or overly fussy eater. In short, bowl food is the best, and I can’t let a week go by without eating one. Today’s Fried Feta Bowls are my current favorite. They feature a bed of rice piled high with romaine, tomatoes, olives, cucumber, and pickled banana peppers drizzled with a lemon oregano vinaigrette. But the true star of the show is the sesame-coated slabs of fried feta topped with honey for that ultimate salty/sweet contrast. This bowl is truly the stuff of dreams.
Last week in Toronto temperatures soared. I sat on patios, drank beer, and ate ceviche while plotting future BBQs and outdoor seafood boils. I Googled sangria recipes, whipped up an Aperol Spritz or two, and nearly bought a watermelon floaty. But just as quickly as the summer-like weather arrived it disappeared. Less than a week after we hit 30° C the city saw flurries. To say this turn of events is depressing would be an understatement. And yes, ask any Canadian and they will tell you April is a cruel, flip-flopping mistress. But even though I knew this was coming it doesn’t make it any less painful. So I’m drowning my sorrows with decidedly spring-forward food like this Asparagus Celeriac Risotto with Pickled Shallots. It may not be spring out there but it sure as sugar is in my kitchen.