I made this easy salad the other day not because I wanted to cook a vegetarian dish, nor because I was too lazy to make anything complicated – but because I was missing my mom. A lot. I haven’t been feeling well lately (I’m going to see a doctor tomorrow) and I really need my mom: I miss her touch, her comforting warmth, her unique way of caressing me and of helping me to feel better. She is in Romania at the moment and she’ll fly back to Chicago in early July. We’ve got everything planned for a wonderful summer vacation after she gets here. Less than two months to go, and time can’t seem to go fast enough.
I just love the vibrant symphony of colors in this salad! The mini peppers bring in a delicate touch of sweetness, while the olives give it a firm flavor and an exotic twist. The feta cheese holds the salad together and adds an undisputed creamy wholesomeness. I love the flavor of the feta cheese, and whenever I eat it my mind wanders off to the bucolic pastures of the Greek islands.
UPDATE: Relished has recently been rebranded as Home Chef.
I’ll be the first to admit it: I love to cook, yet cooking fresh meals every night is not always possible. I wish I had more time to go to the local fresh markets and to find culinary joy and inspiration in the fruit and veggie aisles, or lean sources of protein over in the meat aisles. Sadly, more often than not, my job and my school get in the way. So when Relished contacted me and wanted to send me some fresh ingredients to prepare a few of their dishes, I jumped at the chance.
This is a dish I grew up with as a child, and I absolutely love it. I remember my mother and my aunt making this regularly during the summer months, and freezing lots of eggplants in plastic bags for the winter. Back then, we did not have a food processor or a blender, and my mom used to spend a lot of time mincing the roasted and peeled eggplants with a knife, in an attempt to turn them into a puree. The process was time-consuming and the result was far from perfect: despite my mom’s best efforts, the salad usually had lumps in it. Thankfully, modern kitchen gadgets make this dish a breeze to prepare.
I love eating salads in the summer. As days are getting warmer I like to feel my skin breathing through its pores in the sunshine, and I crave easy, colorful meals to match the lightness of the world outside. My body – exhausted by the comfort food of seasons past – is screaming for relief. I give it salad. Lots of it.