For the last few weeks my eyes have casually strayed to those magazine racks that always seem to tempt me at the checkout line. While a pretty food picture always draws my eye, I've recently been on the lookout for a particular issue, the Fine Cooking August/September issue, to be exact.
Today as I strolled my semi-filled cart towards the Costco checkout lanes, those magazines beckoned once again, and this time, the issue I have been waiting for was there. Reaching past one of those adorable food sample ladies who was taking a break, she asked, "Do you like Fine Cooking?"
"Yes," I answered. "But I've been waiting for this issue.." I commented as I began to flip through the glossy pages.
"Really? Why? Do you like summer recipes?" the sweet little lady asked.
"Well, yes. But I think I'm actually in this issue..." I mumbled as I turned even more pages. My new friend yelped and leaned in closer to peer at the pages with me.
It didn't take long, and as I flipped to page 19, there it was. Yep, it was me smiling back at me from the bottom of the page next to my favorite tomato salad recipe from last summer. The little lady clapped her hands as she squealed, "That's you!! That's really you! You're in the magazine!"
My face flushed as another passing customer stopped and also leaned in for a look. The little sample lady proudly put a hand on my arm and explained to the customer, "That's her! She's in the magazine!" At which point she and the passing customer both picked up copies to buy.
Helping myself to a copy of my own along with one for my mom, I proceeded to the checkout counter sporting what I'm sure was a very goofy grin. Coming home, even my teenage son took a double take and commented that my 1/8 of a page was "pretty cool, but did anyone really buy that magazine?" Chuckling, I told him I knew of at least three people who did today. He smiled again, even gave me a little hug and said, "Not bad Mom, not bad."
A few handfuls of cherry tomatoes get you started along with about half a can of beans. Preferring Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas) or White Beans, we toss them with the tomatoes, add in a little onion (red, white or even scallion) and toss gently with white balsamic and a little oil. Salt and Pepper bring out a little zing and the oiled arugula serves as a base. Topped with a sprinkle of crumbled blue cheese, you have a bright salad singing summer's praises!
Cherry Tomato Salad with Beans, Blue Cheese and ArugulaThe measurements below are more of a guideline... I have a friend who doubles the dressing and another who prefers more oil in the oil/vinegar ratio. Below is close to what I use, though I usually just add a splash or two from the bottle without measuring. For a higher bean to tomato ratio use the whole can of beans and you will have Bean Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Blue cheese and Arugula. Makes two hearty or three smaller servings.
2-3 handfuls cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 can beans, drained and rinsed (we prefer garbanzo beans)
1-2 slices of onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
2 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 Tbs oil (I use an herbed garlic olive oil)
oil to drizzle
blue cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium bowl place the quartered tomatoes, drained and rinsed beans and chopped onion. Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar and toss lightly to coat. Season with salt and pepper and taste... adjust seasonings if necessary.
When ready to serve take a handful or two of washed arugula and toss lightly with a drizzle of oil. Place on a serving plate and top with the tomato mixture. Top with crumbled blue cheese and serve.
Liv Life Note: On occasion we toss in marinated artichoke hearts for a change of pace.