Harvest Salad with Fruit, Herbs, and Goat Cheese

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This time last year: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal (2014)

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Never have I ever truly craved a salad. I wish that was my life, but sadly, it is not. Chocolate, bread, coffee? Yes. I crave those every day. Salad? Mmmmm not so much.

However, a few weeks ago my dear friend Rachel invited me over to her house for lunch, and we whipped this salad together. The combination of goat cheese, fresh herbs, fruit, and colorful vegetables made for one of the most refreshing meals I’ve had all season! Thus for the first time, I was truly craving salad!

As the last glimpses of summer slip away, I had to dig up this recipe and enjoy the incredible combination of fruit and vegetables! No surprise- it was just as good as I had remembered it, and I am going to be enjoying it all week long!

If you’re not a huge salad person, give this a try. If you’re a huge salad person, you’re welcome for just changing your life.

Life should be colorful. Life should be healthy. Food should taste like this.

Dig in 🙂

Love, A Rented Kitchen

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Salad Ingredients:

  • 4-8 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh basil and parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 ears grilled corn, kernels removed from the cob (or one can of corn- no sodium added)
  • 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • ¾ cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 peach, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup mixed toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), pecans, walnuts, and/or pistachios
  • 1 avocado, pitted + chopped
  • 4-6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Dressing Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ -1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, basil, parsley, thyme, corn, tomatoes, red pepper, blackberries, peach, jalapeno, and nuts.
  2. In a separate mason jar or small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients until fully combined.
  3. Top the salad off with avocado and goat cheese, toss once more, and serve with dressing on the side or drizzled over top. Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Want to add more protein? Try warming up 16 ounces of chickpeas and throwing those into the mix! They are an excellent healthy source of protein!
  • Source: Half Baked Harvest
  • Like this salad? Try these other healthy and seasonal dishes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links below photos):

Peach Pesto Grilled Cheese with Smoked Mozzarella, Caramelized Onions, and Thyme

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This time last year: No-Bake Energy Bites (2012)

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My mom has this amazing tradition of going to the farmers market every Saturday morning.  I know a lot of people participate in this tradition, and that she is not necessarily unique in that, but it was new for me!

Sleep and I get along really well.

Regardless, my early-bird extremely productive mother gets up every Saturday, grabs a cup of coffee at one of the food stands, and strolls through the market, gently gathering her produce for the week.

I was home for the last few weeks of August, and managed to pull my sleepy-head self out of bed to join my mom on these early morning escapades. We strolled through the market smelling flowers, squeezing peaches, and drooling over the fresh baked bread.  It was really beautiful.

Although the calendar says that summer is coming to an end, you would not have been able to tell at the neighborhood market. The produce stands were overflowing, offering dripping peach slices into chubby children’s hands, and weighing down folding tables with pyramids of delicately balanced piles of sweet corn and ripe tomatoes.

As we gathered together fresh peaches, basil, tomatoes, zucchini, and herbs, this recipe was born.  There is something so wonderful in a simple grilled cheese sandwich. There’s something even more wonderful in dressing that classic recipe up with what’s in season- in our case, homemade pesto, fresh peaches, and thyme. I hope you like it as much as we did!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • Two pieces of thick sandwich bread (I bought a fresh loaf of cheddar and pesto bread from a nearby bakery!)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 4 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 peach, cut into thin slices
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat.  Once warm, add the onion to the pan and cook for two minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, stir, and cook for another minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Assemble the sandwiches by spreading pesto on one side of the bread. Add a layer of cheese on each piece, and top with peach slices, the balsamic onion, and sprinkle with thyme.
  3. Close the sandwich and butter the outside pieces of bread.
  4. Cook the sandwich over medium heat until the cheese is melted. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 1 Sandwich
  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious recipes from A Rented Kitchen (Recipe Links found below photos!):

Honey-Roasted Pears With Lavender

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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):

 

Spiced Peach-Carrot Bread

 

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Today feels like fall. For the First time it Really feels like fall! (YAAAAAAY!!!)

I wore a scarf and a cardigan today and am trying to restrain myself from blowing all my money on pumpkin spice lattes. So much joy, and struggle.

Although it is starting to feel like fall, September still means we can benefit from the very end of that summer harvest- aka peaches.

Thus, I bring to you, one delicious bread recipe, perfect for the in-between season slide.  Bake this bread, drink a cup of tea, wear fuzzy socks, and play outside as much as you can.

It’s the in-between season slide! So much joy.

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Ingredients:

  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ cups peeled and chopped fresh peaches
  • ¾ cup freshly grated carrots
  • ½ cup craisins

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. While preheating, toast your pecans in a single layer of a shallow pan for 8-10 minutes, stirring halfway through.  Once fragrant, set aside and allow to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugars, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg, stirring well.
  3. Add the vegetable oil, milk, and two eggs, whisking together.
  4. Fold in the peaches, carrots, pecans, and craisins until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Pour the batter into a lightly greased 9- x 5-inch loaf pan and bake for 65- 75 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Allow the bread to cool before removing from the pan.
  7. Slice, eat, and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Adapted from: Southern Living, 
July 2011
  • If you like this recipe, try these other delicious breads from ‘a rented kitchen’ by clicking on the links below!: