While the rest of the country swelters, it’s been pleasantly warm here by the Russian River – hot afternoons but with cottony fog in the mornings so a sweater isn’t out of the question. As long as we close the blinds against late-day sun, we don’t even need the air conditioning. The farmer’s markets are loaded with berries and stone fruit and fat tomatoes. Shiny eggplant. Creamy sweet corn.
I shouldn’t mention it, but I baked Eggplant Parmigiana and several batches of cupcakes last week. (Orange-Almond Cupcakes, which will make an appearance here as soon as they’re perfected.) I also made this pasta salad, which is more appropriate for those who live in areas where it’s too hot to even contemplate turning on the oven.
I like the addition of juicy peaches to a typically savory dish. The sweet peaches and mellow mozzarella enhance each other, while lemon and basil perk up the palate. I marinated chicken thighs in lemon juice and garlic before throwing them on the grill; rotisserie chicken from the grocery store would be even quicker and taste equally delicious. Yet again this isn’t a real recipe but a list of things to toss together.
Peach, Chicken and Mozzarella Salad
8 oz dried pasta shells or bow ties, cooked al dente, rinsed & cooled
2 1/2 C shredded chicken
2 large peaches, diced
8oz fresh mozzarella, diced
Handful of basil, roughly chopped
Handful of arugula, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt & Pepper
Mix pasta, chicken, peaches and cheese in a big bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Toss in the herbs. Season to taste and enjoy with a crisp glass of white wine while watching the humming birds poke at begonias on the front porch.