Showing posts with label tomatoes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tomatoes. Show all posts

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Yellow Bell Pepper Gazpacho: Cool and Refreshing for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Another humidity-combating cold soup this week. I was tempted by the bright yellow color of this Yellow Bell Pepper Gazpacho from Cooking Light. 


I also love the fact that is a no-cook soup that is quickly made, blended and chilled. No effort.

Yellow Bell Pepper Gazpacho
By Julia Levy via CookingLight.com
(Serves 4 to 6)

1 3/4 lbs yellow bell peppers (about 4 medium)
1 1/2 lbs yellow tomatoes (about 2 large tomatoes)
1 1/2 cups peeled seeded chopped cucumber
2 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
3/4 tsp kosher salt
5 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
2 Tbsp thinly sliced green onions (white parts only)

Dice bell peppers to equal 1/4 cup; reserve. Dice tomatoes to equal 1/4 cup; reserve. Roughly chop remaining bell peppers and tomatoes, and place in a blender. Add cucumber, garlic, vinegar, salt, 3 tablespoons oil, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to blender; process on high until very smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Chill 1 hour.

Stir together reserved 1/4 cup bell peppers and 1/4 cup tomatoes in a small bowl. Add onion slices and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice, and toss. Ladle chilled soup evenly into each of 6 bowls. Top each serving with pepper-tomato mixture, and drizzle evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. 


Notes/Results: A gorgeously sunny soup that is sweet, tangy from the sherry vinegar and savory and very cooling and refreshing. Very easy and fast to make--just chop, blend and season. I liked the crunch and texture of the bell pepper and tomato topping and the brightness of the lemon. I would happily make it again.


Let's take a look into the Souper Sundays kitchen and see who is there.


Simona of briciole shared this Green Bean and Torpedo Onion Salad inspired by our Cook the Book selection and said,"The family of Hamilton's husband lives in Rome most of the year then moves to Puglia for the summer, so she experiences the difference between the city and the countryside of another region also in terms of food. As I was reading Hamilton's adventures, I remembered my first vacation away from my family, a fortnight spent with a friend in her hometown of Rossano, in Calabria4. A lot of the foods I ate were either new or prepared differently from the way my mother prepared them. ... "The latter group included green beans (a.k.a., snap beans and a few other names5), which my friend's mother boiled and dressed like a salad, but with the addition of red onion from Tropea6 (cipolla rossa di Tropea). I had never eaten a raw onion before and did not think you could. I quickly fell in love with the mild, sweet onion, elongated in shape...  As green bean season has just started, I know I will make this salad a lot in the near future."



Kim of Stirring the Pot shared her Top 5 Favorite Pasta Salads saying, "As far as I'm concerned, pasta makes the world go round.  I've posted more than my fair share of pasta recipes here at Stirring The Pot and I don't plan on stopping any time soon. ...  For now, since it's a thousand degrees outside, let's focus on refreshing, light, and healthy pasta salads. I think my all-time favorite may surprise you (and give you a new recipe to add to your "to-do" list). ... Those are my favorite pasta salad recipes. What are some of yours?"



Here at Kahakai Kitchen Giada's Caprese Pasta Salad was on the menu and will definitely become one of my pasta salad favorites. Easy and full of flavor and the perfect lunch or dinner on a hot and humid summer day.


Mahalo to Kim and Simona for joining me this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...


To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Friday, July 5, 2019

Giada's Caprese Pasta Salad

July 4th might be over but it is still the holiday weekend and a summer full of potlucks and parties. Nothing says summer like good pasta salad, especially when it is a pasta salad version of a classic like Giada's Caprese Pasta Salad.


I made a few small changes to the recipe--adding capers, using marinated mozzarella balls and stirring in about 1/2 cup of artichoke pesto I had on hand for extra oomph. Easy and delicious!


Caprese Pasta Salad
Slightly Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis via TheCookingChanel.com
(Yields 6 Servings)

1 lb fusilli pasta (I used rotini)
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 4 cloves)
(I added 1 1/2 Tbsp capers, drained)
3 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered (about 1 1/2 pints) (I used local Heirloom minis)
I added 1/2 cup jarred artichoke pesto (this one)
1 tsp salt, or to taste (use less if capers are undrained)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn
8 oz fresh mozzarella, diced (about 1 1/4 cups) (I used marinated mini mozzarella balls)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

In a medium skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic (and capers) and and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. As the tomatoes cook and soften, smash them with a fork. Continue to cook until the tomatoes make a chunky style sauce, about 4 minutes.

Transfer the tomato sauce to the bowl with the pasta. Toss to combine. Add (the pesto if using), basil leaves and mozzarella. Stir to combine. Add the reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, until the pasta is moist. (Note: I also added some of my marinade from my mozzarella balls to moisten the pasta, adding extra flavor.) Serve.
 

Notes/Results: If you love pasta and you love caprese salad, you will enjoy this recipe. The mix of flavors--sweet, savory, garlicky, briny and the texture of the pasta, cheese and chunky tomato sauce make it a winner. I think the capers and pesto are the perfect touch but you could omit them or add a drizzle of your favorite balsamic for another flavor punch. Fresh and good mozzarella, tomatoes and basil make this salad sing and taste like summer in a pasta bowl. I liked this salad at room temp best, but chilled is nice too. Easy to put together and really good, I would happily make it again.


Linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is I'll Bring the Pasta Salad. Any pasta salad from any of our nineteen featured chefs.
 

I'm also sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.


Finally I am linking up this pasta salad to Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays, right here at Kahakai Kitchen and where any of the above dishes are welcome. ;-) Here's the link to this week's link up.
 


 

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Orange-Scented Chilled Tomato Soup & a Tomato Sandwich with Basil Mayo for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

It has been so muggy and hot this week that although I eat hot soup year-round, it was time to roll out the first cold soup of the summer. I wanted something tomato-based but not gazpacho and thought I would give this Orange-Scented Chilled Tomato Soup from Giada a try, liking the unusual combination of the orange and tomato. Since the soup seemed like it needed an accompaniment and I had tomatoes, bread and fresh basil, I paired it with Ina's Tomato Sandwich with Basil Mayonnaise.


I did make a few changes to the soup recipe--mainly quantity changes to fit my tastes and lessen the sweetness of the soup just a bit.


Orange-Scented Chilled Tomato Soup
Slightly Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis via FoodNetwork.com
(About 4 Servings)

For Soup:
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (I reduced to 1 1/2 Tbsp)
2 medium carrots, diced (I used 2 large carrots)
2 large shallot, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups low-sodium broth (I used veggie non-chicken broth)
2 cups orange juice (I used 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped basil
1 Tbsp maple syrup (I used 1/2 Tbsp)
2 tsp tomato paste (I used 1 Tbsp sun-dried tomato paste)
1 (28 oz) canned chopped tomatoes

For Topping:
1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
2 tsp maple syrup (I omitted)
zest of 1/2 orange

For the soup: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, shallots, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the carrots are softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the chicken broth, orange juice, basil, maple syrup, tomato paste and the tomatoes (with juice). Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. 

Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup until smooth. (do in batches carefully if using a blender) Cool the soup to room temperature until ready to serve, about 1 hour. Season the soup with salt and pepper.

For the yogurt topping: In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, maple syrup and orange zest until smooth.

To serve: Ladle the soup into chilled bowls and top with a dollop of the yogurt mixture.


Tomato Sandwich with Basil Mayonnaise
From Ina Garten via FoodNetwork.com
(Yield 1 Serving + Plenty Extra Basil Mayo)

1 cup good mayonnaise
10-15 basil leaves, chopped sea salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp good olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
2 slices country white bread
1 tomato, sliced

Whisk together the mayonnaise, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Spread the mayonnaise mixture on the top of 2 slices of bread. Place the sliced tomato on top of one bread slice. Place the remaining slice of bread, mayonnaise side down, on top of the tomato. Cut the sandwich in half and serve.


Notes/Results: This soup and salad combo made for a perfect lunch on a warm and humid Sunday. I scoffed initially at the "orange-scented" part of the recipe name thinking that with that much orange juice it would be a stronger part of the flavor and maybe overpower the tomato but it doesn't. I did lessen the orange juice by 1/2 cup--mainly because I had a 12-oz bottle and although the orange is there, the citrus notes really complement the tomatoes and make for a good tasting soup. I tried it both hot and chilled and I like it both ways so I think if you aren't a cold soup fan, it's worth making to eat warm. It also paired really well with the tasty tomato sandwich. Basil mayonnaise is a good thing and you get a cup of it so you will have plenty left over even if you lavish it over the bread. The best looking local tomatoes at my grocery were Roma tomatoes and they were very good. I think in a few weeks when heirlooms are more out and about it will be even tastier. Giada and Ina made a good pairing--I will happily make both of these recipes again.


Linking up this chilly soup with I Heart Cooking Clubs where this coming week is our June Potluck. Any recipe from any of our IHCC chefs. 

 
Now let's have a look in the into the Souper Sundays kitchen.


Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog brought Healthy Vegan Sandwich Spread and said, "This spread is one of my favorites. It's high in protein and fiber, low in bad fats, tasty, and Weight Watcher friendly. In addition, it's naturally gluten free and dairy free. It all adds up to one word- HEALTHY! Spreads can be enjoyed in so many ways. Enjoy this easy to make spread on gluten free crackers, in gluten free wraps, on gluten free bread, with lettuce leaves or just enjoy it alone. I love it with a bowl of soup of my quick and easy Italian Spinach Garlic Soup."


Thanks to Judee for joining me this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...


To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "Beyond the Point" by Claire Gibson, Served with Hawaiian Ahi Poke and a Recipe for Avocado Salsa

Happy Wednesday! I am very excited to be today's TLC Book Tour stop for the debut novel, Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson. My review of this story of three friends brought together by their time at West Point is accompanied by a dinner inspired by one in the book of Hawaiian Ahi Poke with Avocado Salsa and Corn Tortillas and Mango.


Publisher's Blurb:

Three women are brought together in an enthralling story of friendship, heartbreak, and resilience. Set at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, this is an amazing debut novel.
 
Duty. Honor. Country. That’s West Point’s motto, and every cadet who passes through its stone gates vows to live it. But on the eve of 9/11, as Dani, Hannah and Avery face four grueling years ahead, they realize they’ll only survive if they do it together.

Everyone knows Dani is going places. With athletic talent and a brilliant mind, she navigates West Point’s predominantly male environment with wit and confidence, breaking stereotypes and embracing new friends.

Hannah’s grandfather, a legendary Army general, offers a stark warning about the dangers that lie ahead, but she moves forward anyway, letting faith guide her path. When she meets her soul mate at West Point, the future looks perfect, just as planned.
 
Wild child Avery moves fast and doesn’t mind breaking a few rules (and hearts) along the way. But she can’t outpace her self-doubt, and the harder she tries, the further it leads her down a treacherous path.

The world—of business, of love, and of war—awaits Dani, Hannah, and Avery beyond the gates of West Point. These three women know that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. But soon, that adage no longer rings true—for their future, or their friendship. As they’re pulled in different directions, will their hard-forged bond prevail or shatter?

Beyond the Point is a heartfelt look at how our closest friends can become our fiercest battle buddies. After all, the greatest battles we fight rarely require a uniform.

Hardcover: 528 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (April 2, 2019)

My Review:

I jumped on this tour because having spent time at a local university and community college, I am always intrigued by books with more revered university settings, and then when you add that the three women, Dani, Avery, and Hannah, meet as plebes at the West Point just added to the appeal. My dad was in the Navy well before I was born and my nephew is in the Navy now, but military life is a world I know little about. Although Beyond the Point covers those subjects well, it is friendship that is at the heart of this novel. Dani, Avery and Hannah all play basketball, but otherwise don't seem to have much in common and each has her own reason for attending West Point and joining the Army. The book is told from their alternating perspectives and covers their final year in high school as they apply to the Point in 2000, through their four years there as their friendship forms and strengthens, then through 2007 as their lives take different paths. 

The characters are well written, not perfect, but easy to root for and the depiction of their friendship and how they come together feels realistic, as does their friendship after graduation as their lives separate and that closeness is put to the test. I found myself caught up in their stories and that the 500+ pages went by quickly, in fact I wanted more time with Hannah, Avery and Dani. There is heartache and heartbreak in their stories, but there is also humor and hope. 

This is the author's debut novel and she paints a vivid portrait of military life and the sacrifices it requires of soldiers and their families. The afterword tells of Gibson's inspiration--she grew up at West Point with her father, a lieutenant colonel, on the faculty. Her passion for the subject and appreciation for the cadets, particularly the women, shine through and there are excerpts and photos of her interviews with three Women of West Point. I found myself as engaged by the afterward as I was with the book. If you like novels with strong female characters, stories about friendship, and books with a military setting, add Beyond the Point to your reading list.  

-----

Author Notes: Claire Gibson is a writer and journalist based in Nashville, Tennessee. Born and raised at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, she grew up captivated by cadets and always dreamed of writing a story that honored her childhood home and the women that inspired her there. Her stories have been featured in The Washington PostThe Christian Science MonitorThe Tennessean and Entrepreneur Magazine, among many other publications.

Find out more about Claire at her website, and connect with her Twitter and Instagram.

-----

Food Inspiration:

There was plenty of food in Beyond the Point, mostly meals eaten at West Point or shared with family and friends. Food mentions included pie (like strawberry-rhubarb, pumpkin and chicken pot pie), barbecued ribs, a salad of spinach and chard with lemon-garlic dressing, crusty homemade baguettes with soft salted butter, cake, three kinds of cheese on a platter, homemade cinnamon rolls, pierogies, lemon-pepper chicken, pancakes and eggs, homemade chili, brownies and ice cream, vegetable lasagna, roast chicken with tabbouleh, grilled salmon with mango slaw, and cookie dough ice cream, pizza, Cheez-Its, spaghetti, French toast and coffee, gin and tonic, oatmeal, green juice, lemonade, cereal, Ben & Jerry's Phish Food Ice Cream, filets mignons in butter, roasted broccoli, salmon, Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, sweet potatoes, roasted corn, fresh broccoli, creamed spinach, and acorn squash stuffed with mushrooms and rice, a Middle Eastern dinner of lamb with sauces, tandori bread, yogurt sauce, chopped mint and preserved lemon, falafel, rice and steamed greens, meatloaf with red sauce, fish and chips, an undressed Caesar salad with chicken, a Nutella crepe, fettuccine noodles with butter, fried chicken, apple fritters, eggs over easy, a smoothie and Subway sandwiches. 


For my book-inspired dish, I ended up recreating an island meal shared by Dani, Hannah, and Avery and put together some local Hawaii favorites. I liked the fact that the three women were together and when poke comes up in a book, you know I am going to feed my addiction.

"Dinner's ready."

"Avery came to the patio holding a bowl of ahi tuna poke that she'd purchased from a shop on the way home from the beach. She placed it at the center of the patio table. Dani emerged from the kitchen, her hair back to a large, natural Afro. She added a bowl of mango, corn tortillas, and her famous avocado salsa to the assortment. With her strange restrictive diet, Dani had become quite the chef. Avery put a pitcher of margaritas on the table, and suddenly, a memory came to Hannah's mind."


I left out the margaritas--I rarely drink on "school" nights, and I grabbed poke from the grocery store and frozen mango (none of the fresh ones were ripe). All I needed to do was chop the ingredients for the salsa, open a bag of cabbage mix and toast some tortillas on my gas stove, and dinner was served. 


Avocado Salsa
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 2 to 4)

1/2 red onion, diced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 ripe avocado, chopped
the juice of two limes
a generous glug of olive oil
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss until well mixed. Serve and enjoy.


Notes/Results: I topped the grilled tortillas with the cabbage mix, the avocado salsa and the poke for poke tostadas which were delicious. I am not that big on fruit and fish combined, so I ate the mango on the side. Everything was fresh and vibrant and it was a very low effort meal--perfect for a busy week. My leftovers came together in a salad for lunch today as both the poke and the avocado in the salsa are best as fresh as possible.


I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.


Note: A review copy of "Beyond the Point" was provided to me by the author and the publisher, Harper Collins, via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.  
 
You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.

 

Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "The Woman in the Lake" by Nicola Cornick, Served with an Avocado Caprese Salad

Happy Thursday and the last day of February. It's hard to believe that tomorrow, March begins. Easing my way into the month, I am happy to be a stop on the TLC Book Tour for The Woman in the Lake by Nicola Cornick. Accompanying today's book review is a tasty Avocado Caprese Salad, inspired by the book.


Publisher's Blurb:

London, 1765

Lady Isabella Gerard, a respectable member of Georgian society, orders her maid to take her new golden gown and destroy it, its shimmering beauty tainted by the actions of her brutal husband the night before.
 
Three months later, Lord Gerard stands at the shoreline of the lake, looking down at a woman wearing the golden gown. As the body slowly rolls over to reveal her face, it’s clear this was not his intended victim…
 
250 Years Later…

When a gown she stole from a historic home as a child is mysteriously returned to Fenella Brightwell, it begins to possess her in exactly the same way that it did as a girl. Soon the fragile new life Fen has created for herself away from her abusive ex-husband is threatened at its foundations by the gown’s power over her until she can’t tell what is real and what is imaginary.
 
As Fen uncovers more about the gown and Isabella’s story, she begins to see the parallels with her own life. When each piece of history is revealed, the gown—and its past—seems to possess her more and more, culminating in a dramatic revelation set to destroy her sanity.

Paperback: 320 Pages
Publisher: Graydon House; Original edition (March 1, 2019)

My Review:

This is my first novel from Nicola Cornick and I enjoyed it. I am a fan of dual stories and time periods and the the intriguing story of the malevolent yellow gown, that seems to bring out the worst in people--whether in 1765 or 2015. The Gothic feel and supernatural-horror vibe were a great combination with the historical aspects. I did feel like I wanted a deeper dive into some of the history with the house, the smuggler, the dress, etc. In  having the two eras with three different perspectives--Lady Isabella and her maid Constance in the past, and Fenella in the present, it's hard to get all of the detail in 320 pages. I did like the pacing and the twists and turns the story took. Cornick does a good job of vivid descriptions and setting a creepy tone that made for a few shivers on the windy and rainy evenings we have been having. I like that Lady Isabella was inspired by a real-life Lady Diana Spencer, an artist born in 1734, and that she had me Googling to learn more about her. If you like British history, mystery, supernatural elements and a quick, atmospheric and ultimately satisfying read, give The Woman in the Lake a try.
 
-----

Author Notes: USA Today bestselling author Nicola Cornick has written over 40 historical romances and now writes Gothic time slip for HQ and Graydon House.
Nicola’s writing is inspired by her love of history and was fostered by a wonderful history teacher and by her grandmother, whose collection of historical romantic fiction fed Nicola’s addiction from an early age. She studied in London and Oxford and works as a guide and historian in a 17th century house as well as acting as a historical adviser for TV and radio. Publisher’s Weekly have described her as a rising star and her books have been nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award and for the Romance Writers of America RITA Awards.

Nicola lives near Oxford with her husband and dog. When she isn’t writing she enjoys long walks in the countryside, singing in a choir and volunteering as a puppy walker for Guide Dogs. 

You can connect with her on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

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 Food Inspiration:

Although not a prominent part of either time period, there was food and drink mentioned throughout the book that included sweet sherry, a spaniel named "Scampi" (made me think of shrimp scampi), canned baked beans, shepherd's pie, tea and toast, champagne, crepes and croissants, bread, cheese, chicken pie, apples and pears, biscuits, coffee (including a flat white), lemonade, BLT and cream cheese and smoked salmon sandwiches, orange juice, rosé wine, brandy, hot chocolate, apple juice, French onion soup, guacamole, sour cream dip and cucumber sandwiches, and marmalade and a breakfast roll.


I ended up taking my recipe inspiration from a salad Fen made before meeting work friends for drinks, early in the story, before she opens the package from her sister containing the golden gown. I love a good caprese salad of mozzarella, tomato and basil and like to add an avocado sometimes too. It also sounded like a perfect weeknight dinner and luckily good cherry and grape tomatoes and fresh basil are plentiful year-round here, so I didn't have to wait for summer.

"As she tossed some basil, mozzarella, sliced tomatoes and avocado into a bowl and sloshed in some olive oil, Fen caught sight of the parcel, still sitting on the table, waiting."


I don't know that you really need a recipe for this salad, but this is what I did. I will say that I am not a big balsamic fan so I tend to use my bottle of champagne vinegar or rice vinegar for salads like this. Use what you prefer, cut things the size you like--you really can't go wrong here.

Avocado Caprese Salad
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 2 or more as a side)

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
8 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into chunks
2 medium avocados cut into 3/4 chunks
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp good quality extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp champagne or rice vinegar
sea salt flakes and fresh ground black pepper to taste 

Gently toss tomatoes, mozzarella, avocado, basil, oil, and vinegar together in a bowl, Season to taste with flaked sea salt and black pepper. Divide into serving bowls and serve immediately. 


Notes/Results: Just a few simple ingredients but when they are fresh, you don't need much more. My avocados were a tad over-ripe but I think it works in their favor as they melt a little into the olive oil and vinegar, making a a creamy and delicious dressing.Bread would be excellent with this salad, or like me--you can eat it from the serving bowl, on the couch, and enjoy a bit of #metime with a good book. (Thank you to TLC Book Tours for the cool bookmark in the first picture!) ;-)


Linking this salad up at this week's Souper Sundays, here at Kahakai Kitchen, where anyone can share a soup, salad, or sandwich creation.


I'm also sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.


Note: A review copy of "The Woman in the Lake" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.  
 
You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.