In the past, I would have hesitated before posting this recipe. It would have seemed too commonplace and simple. Instead, I loved how this site was a place where I could push myself to make more complicated recipes and experiment with different flavours. However, this is the kind of recipe that I am desperate for lately and I am so glad to have a place to keep it. How could I have ever thought twice about posting a recipe that gets better as it sits, is fast, cheap and easy to make, and is healthy and filling at the same time? Right now, this is exactly the type of recipe that I want to have at the ready, that I can draw on when my mind is totally blank about what to keep in the fridge for lunch. Even more importantly for me, I love that this bean salad takes up a small amount of prep space and creates minimal mess. Now that I’m working in such a small kitchen, this has become a priority for me and I am making more and more recipes that don’t result in kitchen chaos (which happens very quickly and easily these days).
It’s almost time to say goodbye to Calgary. Actually, you are probably reading this recipe
after we’ve already left. We’ll be on vacation for four weeks (yay!), before we make the actual move to New York, and I am trying to prepare some posts in advance. I suspect that most of the recipes that you will be seeing will be the perfect type of food for summer BBQs and sharing with friends. These nachos definitely fit that bill. They are just a step up from the typical chips and dips that are ubiquitous at any summer party (For good reason: everyone loves crunchy chips, guacamole and salsa!). With the addition of melty cheese, spiced beans, and pickled jalapeños, they are almost a meal in themselves. There will be a lot of goodbyes in the next couples of weeks, which is always strange and sad. But, if I have to say goodbye, I like to do it over good food.
A few weeks ago, we were leaving our friend’s apartment and she offered us a few springs of fresh oregano from her garden. Obviously, I accepted. Ever since I started my little indoor herb garden, I am convinced that there is nothing more convenient and delicious than having whatever amount of fresh herbs that you need at the ready. I never grew oregano though. I didn’t think I would use it often enough to merit it a spot on my small herb table. I was very pleased to leave with my little gift and made sure to stick the sprigs in a small cup of water in the fridge to stay fresh while I decided what to do with it. That night, I went to the store to buy the reddest tomatoes, crispest cucumbers and the best goat’s feta (which we are now completely obsessed with) that I could find. If I didn’t live with an olive hater, I would have grabbed some of those too. With all of those lovely, summery ingredients, I made a simple Greek salad. It was so good that it has become a weekly staple for us ever since, which is saying something because that rarely happens around here.
I love going to the markets and seeing the spring and summer produce slowly appear. Every year, when summer turns to winter, I miss the abundance of fruit and vegetables that are in their prime but after a few months, it’s easy to forget what a good tomato looks like. Now that peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes are back and super cheap, I feel like my dinners would be lost without them. While there is nothing better or fresher-tasting than crunching into a whole red pepper or a lightly salted tomato sometimes it’s nice to have a warm, hearty meal. In fact, there’s nothing more satisfying than applying a little bit of heat, some herbs and spices, and coaxing the best, freshest produce into an easy, weeknight dinner in under half an hour. That’s exactly what this spring ratatouille is.