Over the past couple months, I’ve ‘borrowed’ some friends’ kitchens when the urge to cook has simply gotten too strong to ignore and cannot be solved with the single frying pan and burner that is our current kitchen set-up. One such instance happened about a week ago when I met up with my writing partner, Mary, to catch up on work for the book (it’s still coming!). We were emailing to coordinate our work date and when she suggested we cook something together, it took me all of about 2 seconds to respond with a big, “YES.” And I probably did a little happy dance in front of my laptop.
So, we did catch up on work to be done, toured a couple new farms in Loudoun, and then we cooked! Mary had a great idea and suggested buying ingredients to make two different meals together; one would be adult-friendly and one would be kid-friendly. She has two hilarious children who are picky eaters, so this cooking date was partially an experiment, as well.
The “adult-approved” version of what we cooked up was this deconstructed summer salad. I love salads with fruit in them. Something about fresh berries or peaches, in this instance, just bring a fun and colorful surprise to a plate full of vegetables.
Besides the peaches, this salad had some fresh tomato (I swear it was just off the vine and delicious!), green pepper, boiled fingerling potatoes, and raw yellow onion that was soaked in a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Soaking the onion is key here! Ten to twenty minutes in a small bath of oil and vinegar removes the sharpness from the onion, leaving a really nice, sweet flavor.
We added a fried egg on top for some protein, but you can easily leave this off if you prefer. Overall – I suggest getting the freshest tomatoes, salad greens and peaches from a local farm or farmer’s market. They really do taste so much better.
The “kid-approved” (I say this sarcastically, as I’m not sure either enjoyed what they got) version of this meal, which I did not get pictures of, consisted of two different preparations:
- Child #1 – a hard boiled egg with the yolk removed and a very small bit of salad with Caesar dressing (he was not a fan of arugula!).
- Child #2 – scrambled eggs with potato, tomato, and cheddar. I stole a couple bites of this dish (in case you forgot, I love scrambled eggs) and it was delicious, but unfortunately she did not feel the same way due to the presence of tomatoes.
Maybe next time we’ll have more luck, hah!
As a quick update on the book, for those of you who have asked, we’ve pushed our timeline back to a spring publishing date. I’ll keep you posted on everything as it continues to progress, or you can sign up here to stay updated via email on the schedule and news for it!
Lastly – for the first time in what seems like ages, I am linking up with Deborah and Tina for Meatless Monday! I’ve missed this group this summer – thank you for continuing to host, ladies! And now onto the recipe….
- 4 cups arugula
- 8 to 10 fingerling potatoes
- 1/4 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 vine-ripe tomato, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 to 2 fresh peaches, sliced
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil + more for frying eggs
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- kosher salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- Rinse arugula in a colander and set aside to dry.
- Bring a medium-sized pot of water to boil. Add a small handful of kosher salt to the water and then add fingerling potatoes (make sure to poke them a couple times each with a fork so that they cook through all the way). Boil for 8 to 10 minutes - they are done when you poke them with a fork and they slide off easily. Remove from heat when done, drain, and let cool.
- While potatoes boil, place the diced onion in a small bowl with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Stir a couple times to combine, and then set to the side for at least 10 minutes (15 - 20 minutes is better).
- Prepare salads by dividing the arugula leaves onto two large plates or bowls. In separate sections on top of the greens, place the toppings: tomatoes, green pepper, peaches, and potatoes. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- A few minutes before serving, heat a small pan over medium-high heat with a little olive oil or butter. When hot, crack two eggs into the pan. Season with salt and pepper and fry until the yolks are partially set. Remove pan from heat when done, and place one egg in the center of each salad plate.
- When ready to serve, drizzle the onion and balsamic mixture on top of each salad. Add additional oil or vinegar if you want (I personally didn't need it, but you may if you like wetter salads). Enjoy!