Oh, sorry blog. I neglected you for the first half of 2013. Hi, readers! Do you remember me? If you know me well, and you haven’t just stumbled across Oishii from a google search for “pork loin chops” (our most popular post), then you already know the two reasons behind this embarrassingly long hiatus. If not, welcome, and let me share our joy with you!
1. We’re expecting again! Levi is going to be a big brother in August and the gender is once again going to be a surprise. At almost 29 weeks I’m definitely far enough along that I can’t use morning sickness as an excuse for my lack of blogging, but taking care of a 3 year old definitely keeps me busy. In fact, sometimes I completely forget that I’m pregnant, until I look down and notice the absence of toes, or realize I’m craving a crisp, floral IPA but then remember that I can’t indulge just yet and reach for a sparkling water instead. Speaking of beer …
2. Our family business, Discretion Brewing, opened its doors in early March after a year + of planning, and we’ve been as busy as bees selling beer (we have 7 now on tap!) and small plates to pair with it. Despite my growing belly and inability to drink beer, I’m enjoying working behind the bar as a Beer Bestower, as well acting as our Queen of Social Media for the business. Things are going really well, and we’ve been well-received by our town, even by other micro-breweries. The beer community is an awesome one. If you’re ever in Santa Cruz, we’d love to have you!
Now you can see why our dinners at home have been quick and easy these days — and also based around random pregnancy cravings, ranging from briny olives [this salad] to cinnamon rolls [breakfast for dinner]. I’ve also been terrible at photographing or writing anything down (and, as you know if you’ve been pregnant, when you’re hungry, you’re hungry. No time for pictures). But somehow this meal DID get photographed. I guess I made it early enough in the day that I had a few moments to spare, so I’ll share it with you. Summer is upon is (eek – better get that car seat purchased and decide on a name for this baby!) and this salad is perfect for a warm evening . It also boasts of seasonal farmer’s market faire.
Summer Nicoise Salad, My Version
Nicoise Salad; the classic French salad is usually composed of tuna, green beans, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, and an anchovy dressing. This is my version.
Start with crisp romaine lettuce, wash, spin dry, tear into bite sized pieces, and pile onto your serving plates. Arrange the various components on top of the lettuce in whatever order pleases you: Quickly blanched farmer’s market green beans (just 2-3 min in boiling water until bright green and still crisp, then plunge them into an ice bath to stop cooking), halved boiled new potatoes, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced farm-fresh radishes, hard-boiled eggs, halved, sprinkled with a little salt & pepper, some pitted, marinated green & brown olives, and some jarred tuna fillets in olive oil (check out Tonnino brand – we love the jalapeno flavor, one of my favorite pantry staples, and perfect for picnics if you don’t use them in this salad).
Anchovies don’t really agree with me this pregnancy, so I’ll recommend this shallot-dijon vinaigrette instead: Whisk together dijon mustard, sherry vinegar, a little red wine vinegar, minced shallot, a little agave nectar for sweetness, salt and pepper. Add olive oil in a steady stream and continue to whisk until incorporated. Taste and adjust ingredients as necessary. Drizzle the dressing over the top of the salad and all its colorful components. Let your plate be your blank canvas and feel free to tweak things depending on what fresh produce you have available. I hope that I inspired you 🙂 Happy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone!