Strawberry Caprese Salad

caprese

This time last year: Marinated and Roasted Eggplant with Smoked Almonds & Goat Cheese (2013)

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It is hard to believe summer is coming to a close! This happens to me every year. One day I’m perusing my cook books- picking out recipes that are in season with the summer heat, and the next second it’s fall and I’ve still got strawberry and watermelon recipes to post! Woops.

This recipe, a delicious variation on the classic tomato and mozzarella caprese salad, is a perfect summer side dish. The fact that it is served room temperature or chilled makes it ideal for that summer heat, and the addition of strawberries and walnuts makes it a creative crowd pleaser!

It may not be quite time for pumpkin and cider, but time is flying before our eyes. So, while the nights are still long, give this dish a try, in honor of summer. I promise you will not regret it.

Come back soon!

xo A Rented Kitchen

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rinsed, sliced strawberries
  • 1 bunch chopped basil
  • 1 cup bocconcini (mozzarella balls)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • Sea Salt (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Combine the strawberries, basil, mozzarella, and walnuts in a bowl. Toss gently.
  2. In a separate dish or jar, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and sea salt to taste.
  3. Drizzle the strawberry salad with the dressing and serve!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Edible San Fransisco
  • Store chilled
  • Like this recipe? Try these other scrumptious and healthy dishes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links found below:)

Honey-Roasted Pears With Lavender

pears

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So this dish is delicious. Seriously and dangerously delicious.

I know I say that about a lot of things, which I hold to be true, but THIS! This is good.

There is something really special about this dish. The pairing of the zesty lemon juice with the fragrant herb, and the sweet savory mascarpone cheese- yes please. I promise you will love it.

One additional pro, (I could go on, but I will spare you!), is that this dish is very simple to prepare, but is very elegant in presentation and appearance. Bookmark this one for the next time you have company, and come back tomorrow for one more lavender recipe!

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Lavender Week

Day One- Lavender Hot Chocolate with Homemade Whipped Cream

Day Two- Roasted Yukon Potatoes with Lavender

Day Three- Lemon Lavender Loaf

Day Four- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnuts and Lavender

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Ingredients

  • ½ Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 large, ripe pears, halved
  • ¼ cup local honey
  • 2 sprigs fresh lavender
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons mascarpone cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F, and smooth a thin layer of butter on a 7 x 11 inch baking dish.
  2. Arrange the pears, cut side up, in the baking dish. Drizzle with honey, and then sprinkle the lemon zest and lavender over top.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven, and spoon the honey from the dish back over the pears. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the pears are soft and golden.
  4. Remove from the oven and top with 1 teaspoon of mascarpone cheese, drizzle the remaining honey in the baking pan, serve warm and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Adapted from: Health
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links below):

 

Harvest Peach and Cherry Summer Salad

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There are a lot of pros and cons to moving around the country. However, one major pro to moving from Kansas to Georgia, is Georgia peaches. Holy cow, there is seriously nothing better than Georgia peaches!

Last summer my family had the opportunity to go pick peaches while on vacation, and I went a little crazy with the peach recipes. However, despite my deep love of the fruit, this ingredient combination was one entirely new to me. As strange as it may sound to combine some of these sweet and savory flavors together, the flavors beautifully compliment each other, blossoming under the dressing and making this fruit salad unique, visually striking, and delicious to eat!

If you have any summer peaches left sitting on your window sill, try whipping together this delicious fruit salad. You just might fall in love.

Not ready to be so bold and adventurous with your last sacred peaches of the summer? Try these other delicious peach recipes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’! Like I said earlier, with peaches, you just can’t go wrong.

Peach Favorites:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large yellow peach
  • 1 heirloom tomato
  • 1 cup cherries, halved and pitted
  • 2 Tablespoons basil, chiffonade (roll up and chopped into ribbons)
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon mint, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon agave nectar
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Slice the peach into thin slices, and toss, along with the cherries, into a medium sized serving bowl.
  2. Cube the tomato into one-inch chunks, and add to the peach and cherry mix.
  3. Gently stir in the herbs.
  4. In a small measuring cup, whisk together the lime juice, agave, olive oil, salt, and pepper until thoroughly blended. Drizzle over the herbs and fruit, serve, and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips:

  • Yield: 2-4
  • Source: The Kitchy Kitchen
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious treats and salads from ‘A Rented Kitchen’! (Recipe links below):

 

Strawberry Poppy Seed Kale Salad

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I often think of Kale as a winter vegetable- imagining it with warm roasted sweet potatoes, in kale chip form, and sautéed with a little agave and lemon (all of which are recipes that can be found linked below!). However, paired with this refreshing lemon poppyseed dressing, fresh avocado, and ripe strawberries, this winter vegetable can be transformed into a beautiful light and refreshing summer salad.

I have several kale recipes on this blog, however have never simply tried creating a toss salad with kale. Not sure what I have been doing with my life, but I can promise you, that a kale toss salad will not disappoint! I was very pleased with the result.

Thus, for entertaining, potlucks, or simply for the sake of your health- mix things up. Give this salad a try! Your body will thank you for those dark greens, and your stomach will thank you for the delicious flavor!

And if you’re interested in some other Kale recipes, check out these delicious options below! Veg out, it’s good for you.

Love, A Rented Kitchen

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Salad Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chopped kale, stems removed
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese

Lemon Poppyseed Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Place the kale in a large bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and use your hands to massage the leaves until the leaves are softer and darker in color.
  2. Top with strawberries, avocado, almonds, and feta cheese- toss gently.
  3. In a small separate jar, combine the dressing ingredients and shake until well mixed.
  4. Pour the dressing over the salad and serve.

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Two Peas and Their Pod
  • To make vegan, substitute in another vegan form of cheese, or simply omit the feta cheese!
  • If you like this salad, check out these other ‘A Rented Kitchen’ recipes! (Recipe links found below!)

Greek Yogurt Fruit Bites

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It is amazing how much ice cream I am capable of consuming in the summer- an absurd and embarrassing amount. I suppose it’s not really rocket science in Kansas City’s 90 degree days.

I believe the math goes something like this:

90˚ F + a sweet tooth the size of Texas = copious amount of ice cream

In an effort to be slightly healthier however, I have started concocting these sweet, yet refreshing snacks. For all you sweet tooths out there, I have good news! These Greek Yogurt fruit bites are just as sweet and refreshing as ice cream in flavor, however are much healthier for you, serving as an excellent source of protein and a much more natural source of sugar.

AKA- Dig in! It all adds up- delicious flavor, healthier choices, what’s not to love?

Happy Snacking!

Love, your sweet tooth friend,

A Rented Kitchen

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon agave
  • 2 cups vanilla Greek yogurt
  • I mango, diced
  • ¾ cup fresh blueberries

Directions:

  1. Rinse, peel, and dice the mango.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the agave and yogurt, stirring thoroughly. Fold in the fruit.
  3. Transfer into two ice trays, and freeze for 3-4 hours, or until thoroughly frozen.
  4. Transfer into ziplock baggies and save for an on the go snack! Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • If you do not have agave you can use ½ cup powdered sugar, however agave is a much healthier and natural option.
  • Feel free to have fun with this recipe! Not a fan of mango or blueberries? Sub out those fruits and replace with pomegranate seeds, kiwi and strawberries, or make a patriotic snack with blueberries and strawberries!
  • If you like this recipe, check out these other fun and healthy snacks from ‘A Rented Kitchen’! (recipe links found below):