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 antoixidant 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.
Summer Garbanzo Bean Salad:
2 cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (or homemade)
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced and cut into quarters
1 pint baby tomatoes, cut in half
10-15 leaves fresh basil, chopped
1 avocado, cubed
Raw parmesean (optional but amazing), grated over the top.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or tupperware. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon, a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt and pepper. Toss to combine and serve on it’s own (delicious), over a green salad, or in endive leaves as a easy party appetizer (both pictured below).
The best part? Aside from tasting great, it keeps well in the fridge for a few days, making it perfect for a grab and go lunch option, summer picnics or an easy dinner on a warm night.