Summer is officially here in Seattle.
Well, for the week at least.
Let us pretend.
The season for boating, picnicing, fresh cocktails, and less time in the kitchen in general.
In my kitchen, anyways. I, like many Seattlites, have the intense tendency to want to be outside at every possible moment when the weather is nice. So much so that I get anxious when I’m inside, even to make something for dinner.
I call it my accidental cooking season. Things that just get thrown together because I bought way too many vegetables at the farmers market or store, or there’s a last min dinner somewhere and I need to make something quick.
Now, I know me using the phrase “I just threw it together” will undoubtedly annoy some of you. But you are one of those people, you probably need to try it more often. Let loose and get crazy.
It’s true. Not everything is going to turn out great. But that doesn’t mean it will turn out bad.
Especially if you are using good, fresh food. And summertime is full of fresh food, if you let it be. If you’d like a Sarah tip for the season, it would be to get out of your grocery store rut and stop by a produce stand or farmer’s market at least a few times this summer.
Forgo the daily banana habit and embrace some berries or plums instead. And don’t buy boxed or bagged lettuce every week. You haven’t known lettuce until you try a fresh summer grown one. There’s a huge difference in taste, an even bigger difference in price, and much more nutrient and antioxidant value. A easy win-win. The hard part is doing something different than your normal routine.
Most of the time, accidental cooking will give you some good combinations that you can tweak for the next time, until its something you love. But you have to take the risk in the first place. I promise you, it’s worth it, but you just have to trust yourself a little bit more in the kitchen. That’s where the great things happen.
In true perfect timing, the first accident of the season happened a few weeks ago for me. And its a good one, for wherever your summer adventures take you- the summer garbanzo bean salad. Garbanzo beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, basil & avocado with lemon and olive oil drizzled on top. Perfection.
The Photoshoot Salad:
Makes 6 servings
2 cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 English cucumber, peeled with the seeds scooped out with a spoon
½ pint baby tomatoes, halved, or 1 red bell pepper, cubed
10 leaves fresh basil, finely chopped
1 avocado, cubed
¼ cup parmesan cheese (optional)
1 lemon, juiced
drizzle of olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, except the avocado and parmesan. Add dressing and gently stir. Add avocado and parmesan when ready to serve. Garnish with extra chopped basil.
This recipe keeps well in the fridge for a few days, making it perfect for a grab and go lunch option, spring or summer picnics, or an easy dinner on a warm night.
Also, be sure to grab my 5 free summer recipes you need to LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE this season here!