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Mama’s Kitchen: Change of Season, Change of Recipes

kale salad with fruit

I am in seasonal denial. I simply don’t want to head into the colder months and want to stay in the bliss that is summer. Living in California furthers my denial because it hasn’t been that cold. Last week we had a heat wave in California and I was swimming last weekend. So, needless to say, I have been firing up the grill (in the dark) just to squeeze out some last few days of summer eating.

We go to our local farmer’s market every Sunday morning and as much as I am denial, there is not denying the dwindling of summer fare. It’s still there but in very small quantities and instead the apples and squash are starting to take over. It’s not that I don’t like fall cuisine, I just LOVE summer fruits and veggies. That said, this week I was finishing the last of my nectarines and raspberries so I made a quick summer salad. And, to prove that I am actually heading in to fall, I made my first batch of my Nonna’s lentil soup for the fall/winter.

best lentil soup recipe

If you’re living in one of those unfortunate places that has already had snow then bookmark the salad recipe for next year.  The great part about this recipe is that you can literally put in any kind of fruit you like – I’ve made it with strawberries, blueberries, pineapple and oranges.  It’s a great way to sneak some fruit into your diet.

If you like lentil soup (or have never tried it) you must make this soup. It truly is the best lentil soup I’ve ever had and it’s my grandmother’s recipe. The recipe yields a lot of soup and usually there is enough to have for dinner and enough to freeze about 4-5 containers (for 2 people each). The lentil soup freezes really well and makes for a yummy, cozy dinner and all you have to do is reheat, warm up some bread and dress a salad (some cheese and olives on the side won’t hurt).

Click here to find my recipe for Nonna’s Lentil Soup.

Summer Salad Recipe
Kale* (or your preferred salad green – arugula works really well too)
Red Bell Pepper
Red Onion
Fruit! In the photo above I used nectarines and raspberries

One part extra virgin olive oil
Two parts rice wine vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste

*If you use Kale make sure that you remove the center vein. I also like to chop the Kale in small pieces since it can be a bit toothy.

That’s it. Buon Appetito!

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