Green tomato gazpacho

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Oy vey. Moving with a toddler is no joke. Sorry for my long absence, but the transition from city mice to country mice has not been smooth. There have been tumbles down the stairs, back injuries (not from the stair tumbles), and one almost oven fire that has rendered our fancy-schmancy range useless until further notice. However, we've had incredible support from our families who have driven hours and hours to stay with us on air mattresses and barely-made beds in rooms with no curtains. If you're reading this family: THANK YOU.

If you're in any situation in which you can't/ won't/ don't want to use the oven or stove, but have a blender on hand, make this soup. It's so fast and tasty and a great way to eat a huge amount of veggies without making a salad. This is literally a 10-minute meal, which is helpful when you want to eat something healthy in the shortest time possible and using the least amount of brainpower to prepare.

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Green tomato gazpacho

3 large green tomatoes, (about 1.5-2 lbs)
1 large zucchini, (about ¾ -1 lb)
5-6 scallions (green and white parts)
½ cup olive oil
7 Tbsp red wine vinegar (1/3 cup +1 Tbsp)
½ tsp salt

Roughly chop all ingredients and add to a blender. Blend on high for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. If you want a really thin soup, add water 1 Tbsp at a time until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Conversely, if the soup is too thin, add small chunks of extra zucchini, stale bread, or avocado and blend until you’ve reached your desired thickness.

Yield: 6-7 cups of soup (about 3 lbs)

Farmer's market bread salad

What a week, friends. We're staring down the barrel of a huge house move and the world seems to be devolving into complete chaos. To combat all of this uncertainty, I'm organizing. Or, organizing as much as possible when life feels like a giant snow globe: One flick of the universe's wrist and everything that makes me feel grounded will be flying around every which way.

As someone who claims to be unsentimental about "stuff" and who has become pretty cutthroat about culling after 15 years of living in one, two, or three-room (not bedroom, room room) apartments, we still have a lot of unnecessary crap. Why do I have receipts for jeans I bought two years ago? Why are there face creams I've never used in my medicine cabinet? I'm not terribly worried about getting rid of things because we're moving to a house with plenty of space, but seriously future self: STOP BUYING PARENTING BOOKS YOU WILL NEVER READ. No one has space on their nightstands or in their brains, house or no house. 

I've also been trying to keep the food easy and nutritious since we don't have time or energy to cook anything complicated and I don't want to feel terrible after a heavy meal when we have so much to do. Enter, bread salad with fresh raw veggies from the farmer's market and a quick basil dressing. I am the queen of buying bread that looks great, forgetting about it, and realizing it's there a week later when it's hard as a rock. Bread salad is the perfect way to resurrect stale loaves and is a great alternative to leafy salads. You can make a huge batch of bread salad and eat it all week without worries about wilting. Also, I've never met a toddler who wanted to tear into a salad of leafy greens. But a salad that features bread and tomatoes and can be eaten with your fingers is a win with my kid.

A couple of notes: I tend to make this salad with heavy, thick whole grain bread, but it can easily be made with a stale baguette or something lighter. Use your discretion with the amount of dressing you add to the bread: A thicker bread will require more dressing while a lighter, airier bread will turn to mush with the same amount of liquid. The goal of adding dressing to the bread is to revitalize it with liquid without turning it into a liquid. So, start with 1/2 of the dressing and add more depending on how dense your bread is.

I like to eat this salad as is for lunch, but for dinner, feel free to add cheese, grilled chicken thighs, shredded rotisserie chicken, hard-boiled eggs, or grilled shrimp to make this into a more well-rounded meal.

 

Farmer’s market bread salad

8 oz very stale bread
2 ears corn
1 medium zucchini or other summer squash
½ large red onion
1 pint cherry tomatoes

For the dressing:
2 large handfuls of fresh basil leaves (I used about 75 leaves, or about 1 cup slightly packed)
½ cup olive oil
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 large garlic clove
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt

Make the dressing: Blend all dressing ingredients in a food processor until you’ve reached the desired consistency. Check for seasoning and set aside.

Chop the bread and place in a large bowl. Add ½- ¾ of the dressing (See note above to determine how much dressing) and toss. Set aside.

Chop the rest of the raw veggies and add to the bread mixture. Mix well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. When ready to eat, drizzle with leftover dressing before serving.

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