And we’re back! On the East Coast that is. Between work, the flight to Atlanta, pool lounging, seeing Tiffany and Clarence get hitched, attending a fish fry (I resisted a taste test,) and eating a vegetarian soul food brunch at Soul Vegetarian, I haven’t had a chance to sit down and rehash a meal I made way back in Washington.
I hadn’t cooked for my mom before, so I was definitely a bit intimidated. My dear mother used to spend days digging through old Bon Apetit magazines for the right cookie recipe and routinely throws epic parties at her house for friends and family. She has always had a flair for food and entertaining, and is one of the reasons I love it too. Luckily, I had a few ideas of how to win her over.
1. Blueberries - I often tell friends about how mom would drag along my brother and I to the blueberry field in town to help her pick pounds of berries to freeze for future use. At the time I felt enslaved (don’t get me started on having to pick blackberries from the sticker bushes on our street,) but perhaps those hours in the hot sun had a positive effect on me! I nearly fainted when I saw a recipe for Blueberry Avocado Salsa and I knew she’d feel the same.
Blueberry Avocado Salsa (via Manifest Vegan)
1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, quartered
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 tbsp lime juice + extra for drizzling onto avocados
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp chopped jalepeno pepper
1 ripe avocado, cut into small chunks (I recommend two)
1/2 cup chopped red onion (I wished the salsa had a bit more bite to it, so I would add this in for next time)
Pulse all ingredients (except for avocado) a few times in a food processor. Cut up your avocado and drizzle with lime juice. Stir in chopped avocado with the rest of your salsa ingredients. Add a touch more salt if desired. Serve immediately. (no joke with the serve immediately part. It was beautiful the day I made it, but lost some of its glorious color by the next day.)
2. Brie - My family loves cheese. My brother and I would
often always snack on slices of Tillamoock when we got home from school. We were not a fruit snacks family, we were a cheese family. Our tastes have since evolved (though I still find Tillamoock at both my brother and mom’s houses whenever I am in town) and now I always find a round of brie when I visit. This time I used it in a grilled flatbread sandwich.
Brie & Apple Flatbread Sandwich
for one sandwich
1 piece of flatbread (you could make this with a variety of breads, but this is what was in the cupbaord at the time)
4 slices of good brie
1/4 of an apple, sliced thin (green apple is best for its tartness)
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tbls olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
Other things that might be good that I didn’t have:
Handful of arugula (for its pepper flavor)
Whole grain mustard
Honey (for a bit of sweetness)
Candy the walnuts with a bit of brown sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees and toast walnuts in a pan until brown.
In a small sauce pan saute red onion, olive oil and salt over medium heat until onions caramelize, stirring frequently.
Layer brie and apple one half of the bread and pile with onion and walnuts (you can add in optional ingredients at this time.) Fold in half.
Heat up pan on medium heat (or panini maker if you’re fancy) and toast each side of the sandwich until cheese begins to melt. Serve immediately.
While I love the taste of apple and brie together, next time I make this sandwich, I will likely tweak a few things (namely the items listed under “other.) I love creating combinations as I go, but sometimes they require some adjustments. If you make this and have new ideas, please share!
I’m looking forward to this week of downtime before things take off again. Montreal is in the air until my passport arrives, but Philly is on for next weekend and I’ll be going up to Boston for work at the end of the month. Perhaps it’s time to start looking at some fall recipes.