There are moments when I’m awed at how beautiful life with Elie has become. Last weekend, standing in my sunny kitchen listening to the sound of laughter surround me, I was filled with awe.
The weekend held so many opportunities for thankfulness, reminding me to appreciate the simple pleasures that make life sweet. I went for a long walk with a dear friend. Elie and I helped host an event to support a new business in our community with their crowdfunding campaign. Our friend Daisy arrived to stay with us while she starts her music tour of Washington and Oregon. We went to two concerts in one night, cheering on both Daisy and our friend Shawnee as they both work to live their dreams. I held my godson, River. My brother-in-law and beautiful nieces visited for a day, and we celebrated with paddle boarding, a boat ride, dinner on the deck and a lot of laughter. We hosted a summer staff picnic for Elie’s store. We had dinner with a friend.
To top it off, Bellingham has been gloriously summery, all sunshine and blue skies and light breezes. It feels like heaven.
This weekend was a reminder that when life starts to feel too busy, it might just be abundantly and joyfully full.
When your life is too full appreciating summer and laughing to spend much time in the kitchen, here is a recipe that requires little attention or thought, but scores high on satisfaction and use of farmer’s market ingredients. Serve it warm or at room temperature with good grilled bread and a glass of wine, preferably on a sunny porch.
Warm Salad of Haloumi, Grilled Vegetables, Wild Rice and Fresh Herbs
1 eggplant, sliced about ¼” thick
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise about ¼” thick
1 yellow squash, sliced lengthwise about ¼” thick
1 large red bell pepper or several small red peppers
4 thick slices of haloumi
2 cups cooked brown and wild rice
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups fresh arugula
¼ fresh chopped herbs (like parsley, cilantro, basil and mint)
¼ teaspoon coriander seed, toasted and ground
¼ teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground
Zest and juice of one lemon
Pinch of red chile flakes
Extra virgin olive oil
Heat a grill over high heat. Brush the vegetables and haloumi with olive oil and season with sea salt. Grill the vegetables, a few minutes on each side, to desired level of doneness. Be sure and cook the eggplant for a little longer, until it’s soft and cooked through. Undercooked eggplant is rubbery and bitter.
Grill the haloumi, a few minutes on each side, until it starts to soften and grill marks appear.
Place all of the other ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss together. Add the grilled vegetables and haloumi and toss gently, being sure not to break up the vegetables.