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:)

Strawberry Balsamic Caprese Pasta Salad

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This time last year: Stuffed Breakfast Tomatoes (2013)

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This time of year, it seems as if every other week I have a potluck or a picnic to go to (because who wants to do school work when it’s so nice outside?!). I have absolutely zero complaints about this potluck schedule; however, casual group gatherings do involve some strategy regarding what dish to bring. Ie: something that might not need heating or isn’t too messy to enjoy while sitting on a picnic blanket. Choices, choices!

This recipe is one of those ideal dishes for a potluck or picnic. I introduce you to this scrumptious Strawberry Balsamic Caprese Pasta Salad! (you’re welcome).

This pasta salad is so easy to make. It only takes ten minutes, five ingredients, and two bowls max. In addition to preparation ease, this dish is also a win in flavor! This pasta salad is beautifully rich and light, with the beautiful smell of the fresh basil, sweet taste of the strawberries, and the delicious flavor of the balsamic glaze.

You can’t go wrong here folks!

Enjoy this pasta salad, and come back and see me!

Happy picnic season 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dry pasta
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 ball mozzarella, diced
  • ½ cup fresh basil, rinsed, dried, and roughly torn
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic glaze

 Directions:

  1. In a large pot, cook the pasta according to packaging instructions.
  2. Once soft, remove the pasta from the heat, drain, and immediately rinse with cold water to stop the pasta from cooking any further.
  3. Transfer the pasta back to a serving bowl and toss with the strawberries, mozzarella, and basil.
  4. Drizzle the pasta with half of the balsamic glaze, and stir to incorporate. Once incorporated, drizzle the remaining half of the balsamic glaze over the top of the pasta, serve, and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 4-6 servings
  • Source: Gimme Some Oven
  • Gluten Free? Use gluten free pasta!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes form A Rented Kitchen (Recipe links found below!):
  • Parmesan Pesto Pasta with Roasted Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes
  • Strawberry and Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Mint and Caramelized Onion
  • Balsamic Mushroom and Fruit Summer Salad

Strawberry Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Mint and Caramelized Onion

quesadillas

The World’s Most Delicious (and EASY!) Chocolate Cake (2014)

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I don’t know about you all, or if this is just a Georgia thing, but there are strawberries Everywhere! It’s awesome!

For the last few week I have been eating strawberries like they are going out of style, and I have no intention to stop.

My normal method of eating strawberries is to slice them up and put them in my morning oatmeal or on top of a bagel. However, I have grown to really love strawberries in the main course and in side dishes. People do not expect to see strawberries in their wraps or in their salad, but I have never received a complaint!

So, if you’re feeling a little springy, healthy, and like trying something new, give these delicious quesadillas a try! Strawberries on the dinner table or in the lunchbox will make everybody happy. 🙂

Come back soon!

Love, Sarah

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Ingredients*:

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 box of button mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Black Cherry Balsamic Vinegar (or regular BV)*
  • 1 pint of strawberries, rinsed and sliced thin
  • 5 sprigs of mint leaves, rinsed and diced
  • 6 ounces honey goat cheese
  • 10 whole wheat tortillas* (Use gluten free quesadillas if needed!)

Directions:

  1. Slice the onion and mushrooms into small strips/ bite size pieces.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and sauté, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and beginning to brown. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, and cook for another few minutes until the onions look slightly caramelized. Remove from heat.
  3. Assemble the quesadillas by spreading a layer of goat cheese on a tortillas. Top with sliced strawberries, diced mint leaves, and a hearty spoonful of the onion/mushroom mixture.
  4. Place in a large frying pan over medium heat, and top with another goat-cheese spread tortilla. (Do not use oil or non-stick spray! The oil will make the tortilla soggy and ruin the quesadilla!). Cook for a few minutes on each side, remove from the skillet, and cut with a pizza cutter.
  5. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • I made these quesadillas for a potluck, which is why there are 10 tortillas listed. Feel free to half the ingredient list to fit your own serving needs!
  • Looking for Black Cherry Balsamic Vinegar? I got mine at a specialty Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil store in Kansas City, however grocery stores such as Whole Foods also carry a variety of vinegars, and any fruit flavored balsamic vinegar will have a similar affect! If all else fails, regular BV will also work well!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other spring dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (recipe links found below photos!):

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!)

Balsamic Mushroom and Fruit Summer Salad

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Wow summer has flown by.  Usually summer is my season with the most cooking, because I have the most free time, however this summer has been a very different story.  My last ten weeks have been entirely consumed by three summer courses, a part time job, an internship, one week as a camp counselor, a trip to the lake house, and moving into a new house.  So much for slowing down!

I know from personal experience that when life gets too busy, cooking is often one of the first things pushed aside. Instead of taking the time or energy to cook a nutritious meal, we often end up turning to junk food, microwaveable options, and eating out.  Guilty as charged.

There is hope though! This salad is something I whipped together over my lunch break this afternoon, and was so pleasantly surprised at how quickly it all came together, and how delicious it tasted, that I knew I had to share it with you.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, and I hope your August is filled with porch swings, slow evenings, ice tea, and friends.  I’m still holding out hope for that slow summer pace  🙂

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Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 4-5 large button mushrooms
  • 2 cups mixed spinach leaves
  • ¼ cup rinsed blueberries
  • 4 large strawberries, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons crumbled goat cheese (as desired)

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon olive oil
  • Juice from ¼ of an orange
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon agave (a little more if the balsamic is too strong for you!)

Instructions:

  1. Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a small frying pan.  Rinse and slice the mushrooms, and add to the frying pan once hot.
  2. Sautee for one minute, then drizzle 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar over the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes, flipping occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the salad dressing ingredients in a small cup and whisk thoroughly.
  4. Toss the spinach leaves in a medium-sized bowl.  Add the sliced strawberries, blueberries, and crumbled goat cheese over the top.  Then add the warm mushrooms and top with a drizzle of dressing.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Try marinating your mushrooms in the dressing for a few hours prior to sautéing them for a fuller flavor!
  • Vegan? Leave out the goat cheese and replace it with a vegan cheese substitute if desired!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from ‘a rented kitchen’ and make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a thing!