Do you ever make a meal out of sides? Whether at home or at a restaurant, I tend to like side dishes and appetizers way more than committing to a full meal. I often make meals out of side dishes and little bits of this and that; I find it satisfying, a good way to sneak in a variety of nutrients, and also a good way to use up leftovers and to avoid waste. I have been loving a few simple sides lately and thought that since they all utilize delicious summery ingredients, I would share them.
I borrowed the first concept from a recent amazing dinner at Myers + Chang. Jazz up your corn on the cob with sriracha butter. Simple cook your corn however you normally do, boiled, grilled, whatever method you like best. Once nice and hot, add the corn to a baking dish with a few pats of butter and a couple of teaspoons of sriracha. It is such a simple idea but it is oh-so-good.
Summer also means tomato season, and I love to dress flavorful tomatoes with a simple drizzle of a really good olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, and a grind of black pepper. The flavors all work well together and really bring out the best in each other. It is a perfect option for someone like me who often arrives home STARVING and needs to eat something right away. Better a bowl of tomatoes than a bag of chips, no?
A couple of weeks ago in my first Wines from Where post, I mentioned that in addition to some great Assyrtiko wine, I also received some other Greek treats. They included a jar of Santorini capers and a crown made of vines. Because of the winds and loose soil on Santorini, the vines are trained to grow in a crown shape. The extras were a nice touch, and since I love cooking with capers (see Mezzetta caper recipe here), I put on my chef’s hat and got to work with one of my farmer’s market finds.
Thinly chopped pattypan squash, olive oil, garlic, and capers, all sautéed together until the squash was soft. Then I topped it with a little bit of feta, and voila, another side that actually is pretty filling as its own little meal.
I love how brightly colored summer foods are!
Boy, being back in the office after a long weekend is tough. It makes me even happier that we are leaving for Napa and Sonoma later this week for a long weekend!
How do you ease into the work week again after some time off?
I try to schedule fun things and a couple of relaxing evenings that week. I find that packing really delicious lunches or making a lunch date with a friend also gives me little things to look forward to if I HAVE to go to work