I couldn’t resist sharing one more summer meal, perhaps our last before fall is in full swing (yay!). This meal is inspired by a meal I had at Rex Hospital of all places, just after having Charlotte. I know, hospital food in a maternity ward doesn’t sound the most appetizing. Maybe it was the hormones, or the famine that can come after giving birth? I’m not sure. I was given the daily menu and saw the special was a roasted red pepper caprese salad and a tuna caper artichoke salad with whipped ricotta and baguette slices. I was surprised and excited to be offered something fresh, seasonal and a bit inventive. It was brought to me just as I lay sweet, new, still, soft and innocent Charlotte in her little rolling bed to sleep by the window. It was just us two enjoying our first meal together and I’ll never forget it. We hadn’t yet gotten to know each other and I became thrilled thinking of all the memories to come. I couldn’t help but snap a picture of her just before we sat down to eat the present meal to compare with one I had from that day. If you’re a mom, you know how much it pulls on your heartstrings to look at photos of your kids as newborns. It’s not fair how fast time goes by when you have children!
As with many of these posts, it’s hardly a “recipe,” but I know everyone’s always in need of a no-cook, make ahead, quick meal and this foots the bill. Enjoy and happy end of summer! -Addie
Roasted Red Pepper Caprese Salad:
- 3 red peppers, cored and sliced thin (we used some fresh pimento peppers that were so sweet and went perfectly)
- Olive oil for divided use
- About two handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halved length wise
- Handful of fresh basil leaves
- 1 large fresh mozzarella ball, gently cut in slices
- Balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- On low heat for about an hour, roast the red peppers until super fragrant and the strips have reduced in size by at least half. Once roasted all the way, let come to room temperature.
- Arrange the peppers, tomatoes, basil and mozzarella however you like. You can get creative! Drizzle lightly with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Serve!
Tuna, artichoke, caper salad with whipped ricotta and baguette:
- 2 cans good quality tuna in olive oil, drained
- 1 small jar marinated artichokes, rinsed and loosely chopped
- 2 heaping tablespoons capers, rinsed
- Spoonful of grainy Dijon mustard
- 1 green onion thinly sliced
- About a cup of ricotta cheese
- 1/2 loaf of french bread or any bread you like, sliced
- Combine the tuna, artichokes, capers, mustard and green onion in a large bowl and combine with a fork.
- With a hand held immersion blender or a regular one, whip your ricotta.
- Spread the whipped ricotta on the bread slices then top each with the tuna salad.
- Serve with the caprese and enjoy!