Five things I did this weekend (that you may or may not want to do, too):
Slept in until noon. Oh, the joys of light-blocking curtains and quiet neighbors.
Learned “Something” on the ukulele.
Took a walk despite having to wear a brace.
Found a treasure trove of heirloom tomatoes and kale with a sign reading “These are all free! Please help yourself!”
Succumbed to a Martha Stewart recipe for quick pickled cucumber.
It wasn’t a moment of weakness. She had the easiest recipe for a salad I first tried ages ago during a Fourth of July barbecue. Let’s not talk about this ever again? Thanks.
Oh wait. Guys. I also made white wine sangria with infused mint simple syrup. That one’s all me.
Above-average salads start with a mandolin slicer and crisp cucumber. And if you’re like me, here’s a word of advice: Use those little hand protector things that hold the vegetable you’re slicing. It’ll save you from getting nicked when you get too close to the blade. I…let’s not talk about it.
Thinly sliced onions. Apple cider vinegar. Salt and pepper. Tossed and marinated overnight. Martha, you got me on this one.
Oh wait, I made this, too. Am I going too far? Am I just spewing out photos of things I whipped up? It’s okay, I have some catching up to do. This bean salad doesn’t even need dressing. That’s how good it is. And yeah, those are baby heirlooms from the vegetable angels.
Of course, what Labor Day weekend would be complete without some white wine sangria? More nectarines means more reasons to cling to every last sinew of summer. And pinot grigio means fewer excuses to run to the bathroom to brush your teeth because of wine teeth. Crisis averted.
Hi. My name is Mimi. You look like a refreshing summer beverage. Let’s be friends.
Quick pickled cucumber salad
adapted from Martha Stewart
4 cucumbers, thinly sliced with a mandolin or steady hands
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
Chuck everything into a bowl, toss lightly and cover before putting into the fridge to rest over night.
Black-eyed pea salad
adapted from Didi Emmons
4 cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
6oz mozarella cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
8 large sticks of celery, chopped into 1/4 inch sections
handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
Throw everything in a bowl and toss. Eat immediately.
White wine sangria
2 bottles dry white wine, such as pinot grigio or chardonnay
1 litre club soda
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup hot water
4-5 sprigs of mint, de-stemmed and rinsed thoroughly
1/2 pint raspberries
1/2 pint blueberries
1/2 pint blackberries
1-2 nectarines, sliced
In a small sauce pan, bring the water to a near boil before turning off the heat and adding the sugar. Stir constantly until all of the sugar crystals are dissolved. Add the mint leaves and let infuse for at least 30 minutes. Sieve through a wire mesh to get the leaves out before adding to the sangria.
In a large bowl, pour in the wine and all the fruit. Add the infused simple syrup and stir gently. Let sit for at least 4 hours so the fruit soaks up the wine and vice versa.
Just before serving, add club soda and garnish each glass with fresh mint.