It’s officially summer! Which means it’s officially time for summer foods. It’s felt like summer for at least a month here but I’m still celebrating it’s calendar arrival. I think my favorite food is summertime food: grilled chicken or fish, kabobs, fruit salads, grilled veggies, peach cobbler. Yum!
To enhance our summer experience, this weekend we are building a deck in our backyard. And by we, I mean Matthew and my father-in-law. I’ll make them some lemonade. I’m really excited about the deck because the spot where it is going to be is currently a pit of mud, which doesn’t do much for our backyard. Homeownership is definitely a discipline of contentment. There are about 1,000 things I’d love to do to our house, but it’s good to save and plan and do one thing at a time. I’m so thankful for our home and I’m excited to have summer dinner parties on our new deck!
Speaking of summer foods, this black bean dip is exploding with flavor and super easy to make. This is my mom’s
recipe that she always brought to summer swim parties and cookouts. It’s quite limey, so you can definitely tone that flavor down if you prefer. This dip is healthy and takes about five minutes to make which is a plus in the hot summertime. It’s great with chips but we also put it on tacos and I think it’d be a great topping for grilled chicken or fish. Enjoy!
Zesty Lime Black Bean Dip
Makes about 3-4 cups worth of dip
1 16oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup of chunky salsa*
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and allow to sit in the fridge for an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld and soak into the beans. Serve with tortilla chips!
*make sure you use chunky salsa, smooth salsa won’t work well for this dip. You can make your own or buy it. My mom always used jarred picante sauce. I bought some fresh chunky salsa from Whole Foods. Pico de Gallo would work well too!
Whew! It’s been a crazy couple months! Summer is normally a bit overloaded, but this summer is even crazier than usual. We went on a trip to Indonesia and that trip was bookended by weddings, friends in town, and several important meetings for Matthew. We’re off again this weekend to a wedding in Austin and are excited to see Texas family.
In the midst of the craziness, I’ve still been cooking and especially enjoying summer fruit! Have you had any peaches yet? They are to die for! I haven’t been able to get enough peaches or blueberries and I’m hoping to visit a blueberry farm to pick my own in the next couple weeks. Growing up, every summer we would drive to Tyler, Texas to pick blueberries. After picking pounds and pounds in the hot summer sun, we’d go to a nearby state park for a picnic and swimming. When we got home, my mom would make blueberry muffins, blueberry pancakes, and freeze lots of the fresh blueberries for later use. I love those summer memories!
Today, I’m sharing an easy summer fruit salad that is refreshing and a little out of the ordinary. It’s great on it’s own or paired with Greek yogurt for breakfast or with ice cream for dessert. I definitely recommend eating this the day you make it as berries don’t like to be wet for long and this salad had a sweet dressing with a little extra zing.
Happy cooking and happy summer!
Summer Fruit Salad with Minty Lime Dressing
4 small, ripe peaches or 2 large, ripe peaches, slice
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup sliced raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
2 Tablespoons water
1 Teaspoon honey
1 Teaspoon lime zest
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
12 mint leaves, finely chopped
Wash your fruit and slice peaches and strawberries. Place all fruit in a bowl.
In a small jar or bowl, combine water, honey, lime zest and juice, and finely chopped mint leaves. Pour over fruit and stir gently. The dressing will mostly fall to the bottom, but that’s ok. Allow fruit to refrigerate for 30 minutes to soak up the dressing. Before serving, give a stir and top with toasted walnuts. (Don’t add the walnuts too soon or they’ll get soggy)
My mom always made homemade salad dressing. Her caesar dressing is absolutely delicious! She made it all the time when we were younger and when it was my job to make the caesar salad I added tons of dressing and tons of parmesan cheese with a little bit of lettuce. I’ve never been able to find a bottled dressing that tastes as good as homemade plus it is so much cheaper to make your own.
Ok, so on to the salad dressing for today. Guys, I really don’t think I’m exaggerating. This truly is the best salad dressing I’ve ever tasted. I discovered Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette (is that really how you spell that word??) during the summer at a wonderful blog called Our Best Bites which has tons of great recipes. But don’t head over their quite yet as I want to show you a little spin I put on the dressing: I added a bit of chipotle in adobo sauce and OH MY GRACIOUS. Y’all, this is the tastiest salad dressing I’ve ever had! Zesty is the best word to describe it. Full of flavor but not rich or heavy. Tangy. Refreshing. Drinkable. Also it’s great as a chicken or vegetable marinade, a sauce for enchiladas, mixed with some black beans and guacamole, really anything. I even somewhat randomly poured it over a salad of spinach, roasted butternut squash and parmesan cheese. I could literally drink this stuff!
Just look at how lovely and green it is!
I recommend making this as soon as you can because it will add a zesty kick to whatever you choose to put it on.
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2-3 juicy limes)
2 tablespoons cup white wine vinegar
4-5 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro, stems removed
1 chipotle pepper-seeds removed + 1 teaspoon adobo sauce (add seeds or another half chipotle for more heat)