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It’s summer! You know what that means, getting friendly with the great outdoors and soaking up a little sunshine. Whether it’s biking, swimming, hiking, or Missouri-style-floating, I bet you’ll want something refreshing and light after being active in the heat. And what about all the family picnics and summer bbqs? What are you going to bring that will satisfy everyone?

My answer: Greek panzanella, a “bread salad” loaded with the best ingredients from summer’s harvest. You’ll find that nothing tastes better than a sun-ripened tomato or the crunch of a bell pepper because right now they are at their peak of freshness and taste. Take advantage of your farmer’s market and make this summer salad for a light dinner or a crowd-pleasing side at your next outdoor gathering.

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You must know that at least once a week I have to get the greek salad for lunch at Wheatstone Bistro, the take out eatery on Mizzou’s campus. It’s really delicious, super convenient, comfortably filling, and so inexpensive that I actually pay more for a grande caramel macchiato at Starbucks than I would for this lunch (At $2.98 with tax, it’s a steal). I wouldn’t be surprised if the workers there knew me by order, because every Wednesday at 2pm it’s like clockwork. The deliciously briny kalamata olives, the crisp texture of the lettuce, the bite of red onion, and the feta. Oh the feta. Best cheese in the world? I say yes! That’s coming from a St. Louisan, where provel is the end-all-be-all of cheeses that no one born outside of the city limits could understand. But feta, it’s one of those cheeses that is so packed full of flavor that you don’t need a lot of it in any dish to make it shine. Plus, it’s lower in calories than most provided that it’s made from goat’s milk.

Okay, so now that you’re aware of my addiction, trust in the fact that when I say I have discovered the best greek dressing that this world has to offer, I mean it with every fiber of my greek salad loving self. You see, I have a problem when it comes to cheese distribution. Whenever I eat a salad, my mouth is full of greens more than halfway through eating and at the end I discover all the missing cheese at the bottom of the bowl. With this dressing, there is no hidden cheese problem. Every little leaf is very lightly covered in feta, the way it should be. It’s not heavy like you would expect, and since feta has such a strong flavor, a little goes a long way. When you do make this dressing, I bet that it will sneak into just about anything savory you find yourself eating. Even plain bread… It’s that good! And since it takes just a minute to whisk up, I think it’s safe to say that Wheatstone may have lost my business to David Lebovitz’s genius dressing.

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the idea

I've always been a lover of food: it's capability to comfort the hard days, to encourage imagination and messiness in a world of order, to explore different cultures through cuisine, and to weave the invisible thread that brings people together around the table.

I started this blog for myself.

As a college student, cooking became a way to release the stress of impending finals, to be creative when I felt unoriginal, and to breathe life into my sometimes discouraged self.

Each week I'll post a new dish, masterpiece or fiasco, to keep record of my continuing education in food and life.

the student: a foodie who loves to learn

Kimberly Aumer

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