cultured almond ricotta

Yesterday I made this almond ricotta thanks to inspiration from my friend Frances @blissfullynurtured, and it turned out so delicious I thought I’d write it down here in the blog for easy referencing.

I’ve made ricotta many times before with cashews, and I’d assume if you are allergic to nuts you could try making it with a seed instead or even tofu.

This time, I decided to try adding a probiotic capsule and letting it culture a bit on the counter before refrigeration.  I left it out maybe 6-9 hours and tasted it when I got home from work- perfect.  The culturing just adds that little bit extra, in my opinion, to make it taste more rounded and complex.  Also, I added in lemon zest which really went beautifully!  You could flavor it any way you like- herbs, a dark strong olive oil, pepper, chiles, garlic, or go sweet with vanilla or almond extract etc.

lemon vegan ricotta almond

Spread onto toast with jam or honey/agave (my kids LOVED it like this), spread on thick cut tomatoes with a drizzle of good balsamic and basil, broil or bake or grill a peach and dollop some in the middle, mix with some pesto and toss with pasta or roasted veggies, theres so many ways to use it!

As always, I encourage you to use this “recipe” as more of a jumping off point, and adjust / play around with the consistency and flavors to make it just right for you!  There is no right and wrong and the recipe is super forgiving.  If you make it, I’d LOVE to see it- tag me on instagram @mamaeatsplants or email me mamaeatsplants@gmail.com.

peach ricotta toast vegan

cultured almond ricotta

1 cup blanched slivered almonds, soaked overnight or at least 4 hours (I found these in the bulk section, alternatively you can use whole almonds and peel in the morning after soaking, or use cashews and no peeling is required)

1/2 tsp lemon zest and 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional0 sub whatever flavorings you like)

1/4 cup water + more as needed

salt to taste

1 probiotic capsule (optional but delicious- I used a 100 billion count as that’s what I happened to have in the fridge, but really any good probiotic will do)

method:

Place almonds in the food processor.  Add in the lemon juice + zest, the water and a few pinches salt.  Blend in the food processor until creamy, stopping to check consistency and scrape down the sides as needed, or adding tiny bits of water as you see fit.  When the consistency is how you like it, taste and check for salt and other flavorings and adjust as needed.

Transfer to a jar and mix through the probiotic capsule- try to use a non reactive spoon, like wood.  I actually just pulsed it for a second or two in the food processor, purely for ease, but I know it’s said that metal can deactivate the probiotic.  I haven’t had that experience.  So, up to you.

Put the lid on loosely and wrap a kitchen towel over it (for insulation and keeping out light).  Let sit for 2-8 hours, depending on how warm it is in your house, and how tangy you want the final product.  You can smell or taste a bit as it goes to judge how its progressing.  Once it tastes right to you, transfer to fridge and keep there- should keep over a week.

ricotta almond vegan lemon zero waste

this week: eats, reads, pleasures of late august

sunflower garden

Hello!  Thank you all so very much for all the kind messages of support and encouragement and love you sent on my last post where I discussed the overwhelming feelings I’ve been experiencing regarding Instagram.  I really appreciate it so much and it’s a deep breath to know I’m not alone in feeling this way.  (you can read it HERE if you missed it).

School officially starts today, so this was our last week of summer vacation.  Today we took school pictures and picked up our materials from school (we’re trying out a hybrid homeschool/independent study program from our school district).  It’s very exciting.  I’ve been wanting to try homeschooling forever but wasn’t quite sure about it.  So this will be a sort of trial to see if this works better, or worse, for us than traditional schooling.   Anyways, here’s some snippets of our life this week.

radish zero waste shoppingbiking zero waste shopping

grocery shopping in our bakfiets cargo bike (my “SUV”)

eating:  

this week at the market, I bought: Savoy cabbage, purple cauliflower, strawberries, carrots, tomatoes, o’henry peaches, baguette, radishes, cannelini beans, olives, walnuts, lettuces arugula, leeks, shallots, onions, garlic, German butterball potatoes, parsley, turnips, parsnips, and charentais melon.  Here’s some things we enjoyed making with them:

aperitivo/apéro, the hour where my partner and I are done working for the day and transition to evening by enjoying a glass of wine (or kombucha) + some nibbles while we chat and reconnect.  We often play games together (gin, backgammon, scrabble are favorites) while doing so.  Such a pleasurable ritual.  Here we enjoyed a Bordeaux, radishes with a cashew cheese, a few bulk olives and a handful of sugar sweet cherry tomatoes from our garden.

apero

heirloom tomato salad with tomatoes all from our garden!  The simplest first course ever- just slice beautiful recipe tomatoes, arrange them nicely on a plate, sprinkle over chopped shallot and herbs (here I used parsley and marjoram), drizzle over a bit of vinegar (I used red wine), s+p, optionally some EVOO too.  It looks and taste impressive but is so easy.

tomato salad

another simple but delicious side: zucchini pan seared and tossed with a quick “knife pesto” of basil, mint, capers, walnuts, and garlic.  One of my favorites and it elevates the humble zucchini in the perfect way.  Recipe HERE.

zucchini mint basil walnut

vegetable pot au feu with carrots, savoy cabbage, potatoes, parsnips, leeks, and turnips.  I’ve made this countless times and it’s so simple, yet supremely delicious.  The delicate flavors of the vegetables really shine in this and I always add some small potatoes for substance.  We’ve been getting a cooler evening breeze, so this feels so nice.  Recipe HERE.

vegan pot au feu

With the cannelini beans I bought this week, I soaked, drained, and cooked them in the crockpot with sage, garlic, and peppercorns.  Then we ate them all week.  Here, we had them brothy, with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh parley leaves, s+p.  So simple but so good.  Add to soups, blitz into a hummus style dip (so creamy!) or cook with some greens and top with avocado, and sweet potato for a simple lunch.  Recipe for the beans HERE.

cannelini beans

With the strawberries, we ate lots fresh, I made some chia seed jam, and also this strawberry custard tart- a toasted coconut crust, creamy macadamia custard piled high with glazed berries.  The kids have been picking out a dessert to make together weekly, and this week they wanted a strawberry tart.  They were able to make it almost by themselves- some minimal help and direction from me.  Recipe HERE.

strawberry tart vegan Amy chaplin

This summer was my first time tasting a Charentais melon (French heirloom that’s gray-green and knobby on the outside) and its my all time favorite.  Here, with some grapes for a sweet ending to dinner.

charentais melon

quick lunch salads with whatever greens and veggies I have on hand + a toasted nut or seed for crunch + onion/green onion/or shallot + a creamy tahini dressing (grated garlic, lemon juice, s+p, water to thin to desired consistency and flavor) that I just eyeball- for a specific recipe its similar to this, except I don’t use olive oil (it’s plenty creamy already).

salad tahini vegan dressing oil free

I also made a delicious eggplant dish but forgot to take a photo: cook up some tomato sauce (I sautéed an onion in some olive oil till translucent, added lots of minced garlic, some s+p, and oregano, then added in a quart of canned tomatoes, pulsed to a chunky puree and simmered for 10 mins).  Layer in 1/4 inch thick slice eggplant into a layer in a small baking dish.  Cover with a layer of sauce and a sprinkle of herbs like marjoram or parsley or basil.  Repeat with remaining eggplant and sauce, making sure the last layer of eggplant is covered with sauce.  Cover with a lid or foil and bake in a 375 oven for an hour or so- I didn’t time, I just let it cook while I did laundry and enjoyed a few games of uno with the kids- its not fussy.  About 10 minutes before its done, pull it out and dollop this mozzarella sauce on top (or whatever vegan cheese you like, miyokos mozzarella is great) and return to the oven for 10 mins.  Pull it out and serve!  Great with crust baguette or rice to mop up all the delicious saucy goodness.  The cheese is optional but delicious.

reading:  I just finished David Lebovitz’s L’Appartwhich was a hilarious and quick read about his adventures buying and renovating an apartment in Paris.  He’s always been a favorite cooking inspiration, although most of his dishes aren’t close to vegan, I still find them inspiring for flavor profiles and techniques.  His carrot salad is one we have eaten regularly for year.

Now I’m diving into Julia Child’s memoir, My Life in Francewhich has been fascinating so far.  I love reading about the special details of life in ages past.  So much of that we’ve lost in the modern world- long mealtimes, writing letters, using beautiful things meant to last, savoring the moments and rituals of daily life.

Julia child book

Also, this ebook on intuition by a huge inspiration of mine, Meagan Moon, that I’ve been eagerly anticipating for ages just came out.  I’ve been reading bits early morning or late night, when I have some quiet still time to reconnect.  Intuition has been the biggest teacher for me, both with food + eating, life decisions, and personal care.

daily life:  our summer garden is still burgeoning with juicy tomatoes (jaune flamme, sun gold, red boar, green zebra, Cherokee purple), verdant shisito peppers, crunchy cucumbers (lemon, Armenian, Persian, English), spicy and heady basil (Neapolitan and purple), and my favorite little husk cherries.  The kids and I have an after breakfast ritual of going out to water, pick, and admire our little space.  Soon we’ll be preparing for the cool season and planting lettuces, green onions, leeks, kale, and more.  Many of you have asked me for gardening tips; but really gardening varies SO much depending on your particular area: the soil issues, pests/problems, weather, and even the varieties of plants that do well will wildly differ.  My best advice is to go to a local nursery and make friends and ask questions.  Any place that’s worth their salt will love to help a new gardener and offer advice and wisdom.  Seek out a small nursery, specific to your area.  If that fails, connect with neighbors or community via posting to Freecycle, Craigslist, a local Buy Nothing Group on Facebook…asking for help and guidance.  Also, search out your Sunset zone and then google “vegetable gardening in sunset zone … ”  If you’re local to northern CA, Redwood Barn (my local nursery) has a fantastic website with numerous detailed and knowledgeable articles with advice for the Yolo and Sacramento area, find it HERE.

IMG_7354

 

Now I have a question for you…is there anything I have yet to address that you would like me to?  What topics or posts would you like to see fleshed out a bit more?  It would help immensely.  Sometimes I feel like I’ve said all I have to say if you know what I mean and things start to feel a bit stale…but I suppose theres always ups and downs where one feels very inspired and then not so much.  I’m hoping to put on a zero waste meet up/”class” late September, for those who are local and interested.

Thank you, as always, for reading!  Hope you are having the best week, sending love to you wherever and whoever you are.

xx Amanda

end of summer eating

farmers market zero waste california

market haul this week: cheddar cauliflower, savoy cabbage, sheepnose peppers, okra, fresh cranberry shell beans, early girl tomatoes for stuffing.  straw bag thrifted, its actually from a lancome free gift as per the tag inside (LOL).  Cloth produce bags from simple ecology (mesh white) and ambatalia (black linen bento bag).

Hello friends!  It has been a while.  Lots of life transitions happening here lately, preparing for the school year to start next week, and getting ready to settle into an independent study routine.  In between that and working, I haven’t had much leftover time to post.  I deleted the Instagram app on my phone a week or so back, and its been the most liberating thing.  Of course, I really love and appreciate the community and am so grateful for a creative outlet to share my passions with others.   However, with the sudden influx of followers from the Buzzfeed video featuring our family and the spike in messages, comments, and emails that ensued, I increasingly felt anxiety and and a curious and uncomfortable sense of scrambling to keep up while also juggling my daily life.  Like struggling to swim back against a strong current to shore, sucking in air when you can and just trying to hurry up.  I had to take a step back and emphasize in my head that my real life is what happens now, in the moment, kids and work and partner, sharing food with friends, watching the sunset, dishes and laundry and working and all the glorious moments of daily life.

reading

I’ve been reading a lot, which is so lovely.  I just finished Toujours Provence, which was hilarious and a really fun read, about snippets of life in Provence as an expat.

It has been a real quandary to me, as my account grows, of simply how to keep up with it all without being consumed by it.  I really can’t stand social media for the way it peels me away from my people and the way I end up viewing life through a camera.  What I mean is that when things happen, like when I cook something, or when we go somewhere, or when I’m doing something, I’ve conditioned myself to think, “I need to grab my phone or camera and document this.”  But by documenting, I’m not having the same pleasurable, tactile, organic experience.  In addition, I found myself spending up to 2 or more hours, generally at night, answering messages, responding back to comments and emails and questions.  Which I love- helping people has always been so rewarding to me- but it takes up time that I would normally be spending talking with my partner and winding down for the night.  Contrary to what some think, blogging is not my job, its just a hobby, and one I don’t get paid for.  Not that I expect to- I don’t care for sponsorships, partnerships, or selling anything to anybody.  My main goal here is to spread information and be a resource for others.  I started this account simply to share, never to be an “influencer”- that word gives me the creeps.  It’s just that I have a job, and I work a volunteer job as well, so fitting in yet another thing is exhausting and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to sustain it long term.  Enough complaining, I apologize, but I just want to share my thoughts and my struggle on this.  Maybe some of you can relate to the social media struggle?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences below- have you cut it out of your life?  Have you found a rhythm or balance that works for you?  Do you love it?  Hate it?

All I know is that in this week away from all social media and blogging, I’ve played more games with my kids, had deeper conversations with my partner, gotten outside more, and generally had a happier and more content mood.

Besides all that, I wanted to so a quick check in to share a few simple things I’ve been cooking lately making use of the last of summer produce, with a few autumn items thrown in, too.  My cooking has been simple, easy, and a little indulgent if I have to say, haha.  I’ve been craving deep chocolatey flavors, plenty of vinaigrette on veggies and salads, and seasonal fruit galettes.

zero waste grocery shopping

a shopping trip.  I’m always the one taking photos of my cart, haha- I can’t help it- I love the aesthetic side of zero waste.  Natural materials are so much more beautiful than their plastic/synthetic counterparts.  Mesh shopper tote from Eco Bags– if you’re local, I bought mine at the Davis co-op.

A little while back, Miyoko switched her vegan cultured butter packaging from plastic to compostable wax paper (yay!)  Here’s the recipe if you want to make it yourself instead of purchasing.  It’s not whole food plant based, but sometimes a little butter is what I’m craving, and this is the best- truly it tastes like the real deal.   We’ve been enjoying little bit of that on toast and French style, on radishes with a pinch of salt and pepper as a pre dinner apero.  We’ve been having a later dinner- around 7 pm, because I really enjoy sitting down with Joel around 4 and talking over some tasty bites and perhaps a glass of wine.  It signals the end of working for the day, and presents an opportunity to reconnect after being apart during the day, swapping stories and kisses and laughs.  The kids usually play outside with friends during this time, having a similar ritual of their own to reconnect with their friends on our street and share a snack.  Some other bites we enjoy: blistered Padron peppers (from our garden!), olives, toasted almonds, cucumber slices sprinkled with roasted sesame seeds, salt, and chili flakes, little gem lettuce cups with herb salad or avocado slivers inside, maybe some cherry tomatoes.  Just a little bite, nothing heavy, but something to nibble on and most importantly, share.  Food rituals are my most favorite part of life.

le apero vegan california

watermelon radish with butter vegan appetizer

a first course all from our garden: blistered padron peppers, purple and green basil, jaune flamme and red boar tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper, drizzle of red wine vinegar.

shisito pepper salad vegan first course prime piatti zero waste

mini “quiches”  made with chickpea flour and whatever vegetables are on hand: here with roasted jimmy nardello peppers and first-of-the-season broccoli.  Recipe I roughly went off of can be found here.   Very easy, can be frozen, fiber and protein, pack and travel well, and they taste amazing (use black salt for that “eggy” flavor)

chickpea quiche frittata lunch vegan zero waste

pesto pasta dinner at the farmers market- travels well, can sit at room temp no problem, and tastes so good.  Bulk penne + homemade pesto with our garden basil + toasted walnuts, lots of garlic, salt, lemon, and a bit of nutritional yeast + enough olive oil to pull it together, thinly slice raw garden zucchini and red sheep nose peppers mixed in, too.  The pesto was leftover- I made a minestrone the night before with the pesto to dollop and stir through each bowl at the table.  Packed in our tiffin for the market.  Some of you asked if I’d experienced rust on this tiffin- not at all, and I’ve used it over a year many, many times.  I hand wash and dry.  My friend has the same exact tiffin and also hasn’t experienced any issues.

pesto pasta

peanut noodles (I subbed almond butter) with sautéed shiitakes, lots of cilantro, toasted sesame seeds.

shiitake noodles

potato salad- mustardy vinaigrette (shallot, red wine or apple cider vinegar, olive oil, dijon AND whole grain mustard, salt and pepper), chopped cornichons, German butterball potatoes, steamed cheddar cauliflower.

vegan German potato salad

flourless chocolate torte, gluten free and vegan, with the leftover miyokos butter.  SO GOOD and rich, you only need a smidge for an ultra satisfying chocolate treat.  I baked in an oval dish because I’ve lost my tart pan.

vegan flourless chocolate torte gluten free

galette with foraged blackberries.  gf crust recipe here, oil free crust recipe here, whole wheat olive oil crust recipe here.

blackberry galette

also made but didn’t photograph: stuffed tomatoes with capers and olives, simple broiled eggplant (slice and put under the broiler till soft and golden, drizzle with vinegar and herbs-marjoram is especially good- s+p and EVOO), cucumber/ginger/red onion salad, melon gazpacho, tabbouleh, and anything else I can come up with that takes little time to prepare and does justice to the perfect summer produce.

I hope you all are enjoying these last sun soaked days of the summer before the bustle of fall.  Lots of love,

xx

Amanda

summer staple: marinated lentil salad

lentil salad

Hi friends!  How’s your week going?  Currently we (Joel) are driving to the beach with a carload of kids in the back and tons of snacks.  It’s 102 in our town and we’re escaping to the coast where it’s a cool 66 for a day of exploring tide pools and soaking up the salty air.

What we have packed for food: homemade popcorn in our simple ecocoloy cloth bag, carrots/cucumber/celery, dates, pb+j sammies for the kids + marinated lentil salad with eggplant and zucchini for me + J.  Packed in our To Go Ware tiffin, and a few spoons and cloth napkins to avoid bringing any plastic to the beach.

I’ve made the marinated lentil salad 3 times so far this month and it’s a great and delicious way to make a big batch of filling food that can last in the fridge a few days and be easily grabbed for lunches or to supplement dinner without turning on the stove again.  It also tastes better and better after sitting in the fridge.

As always, I encourage you to use your own variations based on what you like or have.  This is really more of a rough recipe.  Instead of lentils, try chickpeas, pasta, quinoa, or potatoes.  Instead of fennel seeds and basil, try cilantro and cumin.  Try green beans or roasted bell peppers or corn instead of the zucchini and eggplants.  I’ve also used thin slices of raw zucchini instead of sautéing it.  Mostly I just make the lentil base and toss in whatever needs to be used up.

Lentil salad to go lunch

When it’s time to pull out a portion for lunch, I put it in my bowl or on the go container and sprinkle a bit more vinegar and salt it or pack a lemon wedge with it.  You can take a big amount as is or use a small amount and then bulk it up with fresh extras like avocado, thick wedges of tomato, thin sliced carrot, grated beets, spinach, kale, lettuce etc.

Lentil salad

for lunch- I added sliced carrots, orange garden tomatoes and a drizzle of balsamic on top.  The jar is from Weck and I like it because the mouth is wide enough to eat out of easily.

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do and that it serves you well this summer.  I’d love to see what variations you guys enjoy!

marinated lentil salad with broiled summer veggies

2 cups lentils (I prefer french or beluga)

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano or use 1/2 tsp dried

1 small shallot or a bit of red onion, minced

olive oil to taste, optional or use up to 1/4 cup

salt and black pepper to taste

3 medium tomatoes, chopped

2-3 medium zucchini, sliced into thin rounds

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

3 long and thin (Japanese variety) eggplant, sliced on the diagonal into 1/4 inch thick slices

1/2 a bunch of basil, chopped

1/2 a bunch of parsley, chopped

Cover the lentils with water (enough to cover by a few inches) and some salt.  Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer, setting the timer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, oregano, shallot, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust as needed.  Chop up the tomatoes and add them in.  Slice the zucchini and eggplant and set aside.

At this point the timer should be going off.  Check the lentils and see if they’re tender.  If not, keep cooking and checking, up to 10 more minutes depending on the lentil.  When they’re tender but not mushy, drain them and add them to the bowl with the tomatoes and vinaigrette.

Heat up a drizzle of oil and the fennel seeds in a sauté pan (or use water if you avoid oil) and when hot, add in the zucchini.  Let sear without stirring for a couple minutes to get a little browning.  While that’s browning, arrange the eggplant on a lined baking sheet in a way that they will all be under the broiler once in the oven.

Stir the zucchini around and mix in the red pepper flakes.  Keep cooking and stirring until tender.  When tender, stir through the garlic and let cook another minute.  Add to the lentil bowl.

Turn on the broil setting of your oven.  Rub the eggplant slices with a touch of olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Place under the broiler and let cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes.  Flip over and return to broiler, cooking about 5-7 more minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle some red wine vinegar over and let sit a minute.  Add to bowl with the lentils.  Mix through.

Add in the herbs and mix again.  Taste and adjust with more vinegar, salt, chili flakes, or garlic as needed.

Keeps well in the fridge about 4 days, a few more days if you omit the basil/parsley and add fresh as you eat it.

quick variation:  omit fennel seeds.  Reduce garlic to 2 cloves, crushed and add to the dressing.  Add the pepper flakes to the dressing too.  Instead of cooking the zucchini, slice it paper thin with a mandolin into the bowl.  Or sub cucumber.  Omit eggplant.  Sub in some rough chopped jarred (or from the olive bar) marinated artichoke hearts and/or marinated broiled red peppers.

summer staple: peach, tomato, basil salad

peach tomato summer salad

The weekend is here again, and I’m cleaning out the fridge in preparation for the farmers market tomorrow.  This week was slow, fun, and spontaneous and I really enjoyed it.  I started working even more deeply on saying “no” to commitments when I felt like it, letting go of attachments to my (self imagined) “expectations” of how my day would go, and saying “sorry” less.  These are a few areas I can really feel pressured in, I’m a total people pleaser and can feel uncomfortable asserting my own needs without feeling guilty.  Can anyone else relate?  Anyway, a huge part of being able to heal from arthritis was learning to say “no” when I needed to, without feeling bad about it.  That means not committing to things that didn’t light me up.  The SPACE that saying “yes” to those commitments was taking up meant there wasn’t room for self care, interpersonal relationships, and forging that deeper, meaningful bond with my kids.  There wasn’t room to be spontaneous, or dive deeper into healing.  Clearing this literally made ROOM for me to heal.  Learning to honor myself and say “no” when I wanted to, was so hard at first.  I felt super guilty about it.  But, as I practiced more and more, it got easier each time I did it, and this lightness came in that I had never felt before.  It’s hard to explain.  I want to encourage you, if you’re also someone that feels pressured or inadvertently says “yes” when your intuition says, “no”- to just be mindful of this tendency of yours.  And if you feel inspired, to practice saying no to something that doesn’t light you up this week.  And if you do, I’d really love to know.

Sooo… the food.  I showed this super simple salad a few times on my IG stories and a bunch of you were into it, so I thought I’d share on the blog for easy reference here.

In summer, I like to make these fruit and veggie combo salads, they’re so good and fresh and highlight the most of these perfect flavors in the juiciest time of year.  Often when it’s hot, cooked food simply does not appeal to me, especially mid day.  So I eat these salads instead.  Sometimes for dinner I’ll make a salad like this + hummus and cucs/lettuce + sautéed shisito peppers + olives for a simple mezze dinner.  Or add some avocado or chickpeas.  Usually for these I just throw together a fruit, a raw veggie, and a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, or chili flakes.  Other great combos: watermelon + cilantro + tomato, plum + arugula, cantaloupe + cucumber, apricot + mint and pistachio, mango + Thai basil + toasted sesame seeds + sesame oil instead of olive.

Lately, I’ve had the most amazing, amazing peaches and nectarines.  Floral, juicy, intensely deep flavors.  They’re so good on their own, but they also pair perfectly with dead ripe, deep red summer tomatoes.  Something about the two together is MAGIC.  Try it and let me know if you think so too.  Since this salad is so simply, use the best, ripest, juiciest fruit you can find.  I like a deep dark unfiltered olive oil here- the unctuous bitterness contrasts sharply and satisfyingly with the sweet fruit- but feel free to leave it out if you don’t do oil.  Same with the salt, a flaky salt like Maldon goes best here although any salt will do.

peaches nectarine summer

simple peach + tomato summer salad

2 peaches

1 large tomato

handful of basil, either left whole or chopped- I used both green and purple from our garden

drizzle of good, deep, extra virgin olive oil

pinch flaky sea salt

cracked black pepper OR fine chili flakes (like gochujaru or aleppo– these varieties are 100% worth seeking out or ordering online, the nuances are so rich compared to a store bought standard chili flake)

Slice up the tomatoes and peaches into similar size wedges.  Sprinkle over the basil.  Drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle the salt and pepper or chili.