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).
Since we moved, Whole Foods is the biggest, closest grocery store to us. There was a Whole Foods where we lived in Vancouver but we never shopped there because of the plethora of convenient, high-quality, cheap, small grocery stores. Even though I had been in a number of Whole Foods, walking into the one in New York was a totally different experience. I felt overwhelmed for the first time since moving to the city. There was so much stuff and so many people buying that stuff. However, once I was able to repress how overwhelmed I felt, I was definitely intrigued by the varieties of peppers, apples, pears (etc, etc) that I had never heard of. There were also a lot of fruits and vegetables that were less commonly available in grocery stores back home (I tried sunchokes for the first time!).
During my most recent trip to the store, a small punnet of fresh black figs caught my eye. Even though I have seen fresh figs, this was my first time buying them. The main reason for buying them was to make this fig and granola yogurt bowl. It has taken some time for our blender (smoothies!) and pots (oatmeal!) to arrive so my breakfast routine has changed. Other than cold cereal, I have been eating yogurt bowls. I load up the yogurt with the same delicious seeds, nuts and fruit as I tend to do with my oatmeal or smoothie bowls: figs were a perfect addition.
I am a fruit fiend at this time of the year. One of my favourite weekly rituals is to go the farmer’s market and choose the best-looking produce that I can find. Obviously, this includes a variety of fruit, straight from the Okanagan Valley. I tend to go for berries, which are beautiful, juicy jewels that make my oatmeal and yogurt so much better and stone fruit, which I love eating on their own, as a snack. Despite the fact that stone fruit are far less reliable than berries- is there anything worse than a mealy peach? – they are my absolute favourite. I typically don’t cook or bake with my summer fruit because they are so delicious raw but when I was faced with making a light dessert for a BBQ last week, I couldn’t think of anything more delicious than a stone fruit, hibiscus fruit salad.
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.