Side Plates Archives - Percolate Kitchen

Grilled Peach, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

 I love this simple grilled salad of peaches, tomato, and mozzarella as a side for barbecues- or when you just want to take advantage of perfect summer produce!

Grilling brings out an inherent sweetness in tomatoes, and it highlights the sugars in peaches. Rounding out the entire dish is creamy, milky mozzarella, drizzled with a zing of balsamic vinegar and garnished with chopped fresh herbs.

Grilled Peach, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad highlights summer produce like none other! This grilled salad is a perfect barbecue side, and the grill highlights a sweetness in the tomatoes that works perfectly with the perfumey peaches, topped with creamy mozz and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Here’s how good this grilled salad of peach, tomato, and mozzarella is:

I ate it standing at the counter in my kitchen, using only my fingers. It’s one of those, “Ok, one more bite – and then I’ll stop” kind of salads. But… I didn’t stop.

The combo practically sings together at the end of a fork; a grilled salad of caramelized tomato, sweet, perfumey peach, topped off with milky mozz and a splash of vinegar and I swear, it’s like your taste buds threw a party. A party with a smoky bbq, a radio of summer tunes playing in the corner, and friends standing around gripping sweaty glasses of cold drinks while the sun beats down.

In other words, summer.

Grilled Peach, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad highlights summer produce like none other! This grilled salad is a perfect barbecue side, and the grill highlights a sweetness in the tomatoes that works perfectly with the perfumey peaches, topped with creamy mozz and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Perfect, delicious summer. It’s the start of August and that makes me feel panicked that I only have one month-ish left of summer to enjoy!

So with that in mind, head to the farmer’s market for sun-ripened produce, fire up the bbq, and make this grilled salad. Your taste bud party will thank you.

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Grilled Peach, Tomato, and Fresh Mozzarella Salad
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

Grilling brings out the sweetness in peaches and tomatoes, and the milky creaminess of mozzarella with a zing of balsamic vinegar brings it all together. Great salad for summer evenings on the grill!

Servings: 2
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
Ingredients
  • olive oil for brushing
  • 1-2 ripe peaches pitted and sliced into rounds
  • 1-2 heirloom tomatoes stem removed and sliced into rounds
  • to taste large grain sea or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 oz fresh mozzarella torn or sliced into rounds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or basil leaves torn
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Instructions
Instructions
  1. Line a grill with aluminum foil and brush with olive oil or spray with nonstick cooking oil.
  2. Brush each slice of peach and tomato with olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Arrange the slices on the aluminum foil, leaving a little space between each slice.
  4. Grill for about one minute each side, until grill marks appear and the fruit has softened slightly.
  5. Place the grilled slices on a plate and scatter with fresh mozzarella. Sprinkle with the oregano or basil, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and serve immediately.

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Super Creamy, Extra Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese

There's only 15 minutes standing between you and the creamiest, dreamiest macaroni and cheese! This is way better than anything you'd get out of a blue box.

There's only 15 minutes standing between you and the creamiest, dreamiest macaroni and cheese! This is way better than anything you'd get out of a blue box.

There's only 15 minutes standing between you and the creamiest, dreamiest macaroni and cheese! This is way better than anything you'd get out of a blue box.

There's only 15 minutes standing between you and the creamiest, dreamiest macaroni and cheese! This is way better than anything you'd get out of a blue box.

There's only 15 minutes standing between you and the creamiest, dreamiest macaroni and cheese! This is way better than anything you'd get out of a blue box.

Macaroni and Cheese is the ultimate in comfort food, and this recipe does not disappoint!

Creamy, cheesy, delectable- this is not diet food, make no mistake. I sincerely hope you’re not making this super creamy macaroni and cheese if you’re planning on having a bikini ready body soon!

But we can all afford a little indulgence here and there, right? Bonus, this is a perfect quick weeknight dish to make, and easy enough to throw together when you’ve got hungry little people clinging to your legs and whining for graham crackers.

I know this, because that is my life most nights at about 6pm, and this mac and cheese rivals anything out of a blue box. It’s also a great way to use up some leftover cheese, if you have any laying around!

If you make a point to start boiling the noodles and then starting the sauce, there’s a good chance you’ll have everything ready at the same time. And since the sauce clocks in at just under 15 minutes, that means there’s only a quarter of an hour standing between you and the creamiest, dreamiest, cheesiest mac and cheese ever.

Want to sneak some healthy stuff in there? I’ll often toss my super creamy macaroni and cheese with wilted spinach, or peas, or chopped asparagus. My picky toddler painstakingly removes every single shred of “green”, but at least I know I’ve done what I can to pretend she’ll willingly eat vegetables.

There's only 15 minutes standing between you and the dreamiest creamy macaroni and cheese ever! This homemade stovetop mac and cheese is so easy, a great kids recipe, and quick enough to make for a weeknight meal.
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Super Creamy Extra Cheesy 15-Minute Macaroni and Cheese


Servings: 4
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 2 cups whole or 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • 8 ounces American cheese
  • 4 cups cooked macaroni pasta (about 2 1/2 cups uncooked)
Instructions
  1. In a large bottomed pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook until the flour has turned a light brown, the color of milky coffee (about 3-5 minutes) 

  2. Slowly whisk in the milk, taking care to whisk clear any lumps that might appear. Add the salt and stir to combine.

  3. Add the cheese in 2 to 3 batches, stirring well between each addition. The sauce is ready when all the cheese has been added and the sauce is smooth, with no lumps.

  4. Toss the cheese sauce with the cooked macaroni pasta until coated. Serve warm. 

  5. This macaroni and cheese will keep stored in the fridge in a tightly covered container for up to one week. 

Recipe Notes

If you use 2% milk here, make sure you use American cheese or another cheese with a high milky fat content; you need that extra fat in there or the sauce will break. 

**Please note that 4 cups of cooked macaroni and cheese is equal to about 2 1/2 cups uncooked pasta. To save time, I start boiling the pasta and then make the sauce; that way they will both finish around the same time. Make sure the pasta is well drained before stirring it into the sauce. 

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Roasted Eggplant with Creamy Tahini-Miso Dressing

This Roasted Eggplant with Creamy Tahini-Miso Dressing is packed full of nutty, tart, umami flavor! the best part? It comes together in just 15 minutes.

This Roasted Eggplant with Creamy Tahini-Miso Dressing is packed full of nutty, tart, umami-full flavor! Bonus? It comes together in under 15 minutes!

I initially made roasted eggplant with creamy tahini-miso dressing and it was perfection (cue angels singing, it is that delicious). But then I introduced some leftover dressing to a bowl of uninspiring brussels sprouts in the fridge and suddenly, true love was born. Call it a meet-cute of vegetables and umami. 

Roasting eggplant on its own turns it from a slightly bitter, tough veggies into something that is velvety and sweet. But, when paired with this creamy tahini-miso dressing, roasted eggplant really sings. 

The creamy dressing is a blend of salty umami flavors from the miso, nuttiness from the tahini paste, a touch of tart from a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and just enough light, sugary sweetness.

This Roasted Eggplant with Creamy Tahini-Miso Dressing is packed full of nutty, tart, umami flavor! the best part? It comes together in just 15 minutes.

 

Roasted eggplant the right way, in two parts

To really get a good depth of flavor into the roasted eggplant before it’s brushed with that utterly creamy tahini-miso dressing, it’s most important to make the roasted eggplant in two parts; first, just a sprinkle of salt and a light addition of the dressing, which will help bring out the creamy texture of roasted eggplant while leaving the flavor of the dressing light. Then, brush on the rest of the tahini-miso dressing and roast the eggplant little more, which deepens the flavor of each and brings the whole dish together. If you wished, you could also double the creamy tahini-miso dressing, and then drizzle it cold on the hot eggplant after the dish is out of the oven, or just, you know, drink it straight with a straw, but that’s entirely up to you.

When shopping for eggplant, look for the small ones. Not only will a smaller eggplant cook faster than a large one, but the sweet, roasted flavor is easier to come by than the big ones, which sometimes take a while longer in the oven to lose the bitterness.

The final result? Roasted eggplant with creamy tahini-miso dressing that’s smooth, velvety, sweet and tart. It’s practically perfect in every way.

 

This Roasted Eggplant with Creamy Tahini-Miso Dressing is packed full of nutty, tart, umami flavor! the best part? It comes together in just 15 minutes.
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Roasted Eggplant with Creamy Tahini-Miso Dressing
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425*F/218*C.
  2. While the oven is heating, cut the top off the eggplant, then slice into pieces about 1/2"/1.27cm thick. You can cut the eggplant into thick strips, or you can slice it into steaks- just make sure the thickest part of the eggplant is no more than 1/2"/1.27cm thick. Lat the eggplant pieces on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  3. Lightly sprinkle the eggplant with salt, then set aside while you make the dressing.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the miso paste, tahini paste, sugar and lime. Use a fork or a small whisk to mix well; there likely will be lumps. Add the hot water a little at a time, whisking in between each addition, until the dressing is smooth. You may not need to use all the water.
  5. Brush the tops of the eggplant lightly with the dressing, reserving the rest. Place the eggplant in the oven and roast for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the eggplant from the oven and brush with the remaining dressing. Place back in the oven and roast a further 5-8 minutes, until the eggplant is completely soft all the way through.
  7. Remove and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve warm.

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Chorizo Potato Skins

Make these super easy chorizo potato skins for your next gameday or Superbowl party! 

Hellllllo, 1980’s calling! Is that you? Yes, it’s me- bringing back a variation on the bestest “fast casual” bar recipe of the 1980s with extra crispy, melty-cheesy chorizo potato skins; just in time for Superbowl parties. When you think of loaded potato skins, don’t you just feel like you’re hanging out at a TGI Friday’s, in all its red and white striped glory, with 13 extra loud televisions playing around you? Admit it. You have a hair crimper stashed under your sink. Or at least you miss the days when you did. You know crimped hair is back in style, right?

Know what never actually went out of style? A crispy baked potato skin that splits with a crunch when you bite into it. Melty, sharp cheddar cheese that smothers spicy chorizo sausage. Creamy, tangy sour cream and all the bite of diced green onions. Basically, we’re gonna crisp the hell out of the outside of the potato, add the spicy chorizo sausage filling, and then cover the whole motherlover in melted cheese and a dollop of cold sour cream. It’s a surefire party starter, I assure you.

These extra-crispy, melty-cheesy chorizo potato skins are super simple to make and the PERFECT gameday snack! BONUS! Click through to download your totally handy copy of the "Superbowl Party Planner", complete with app recipes, grocery lists, a timetable scheduler and checklists.
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Chorizo Potato Skins
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs russet potatoes , scrubbed clean
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 lb Mexican chorizo sausage , casings removed if necessary
  • 1 cup shredded pepperjack or sharp cheddar cheese
To garnish:
  • 4-5 green onions , white part removed, diced
  • Sour cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400*. Rub the potatoes all over with the vegetable oil, then bake for one hour or until cooked through. Remove the potatoes from the oven and let cool until cool enough to handle.
  2. While the potatoes are baking, cook the chorizo sausage. In a medium pan over medium-high heat, add the chorizo and cook, stirring often, until completely cooked through. Break the chorizo apart as it cooks using a wooden spoon. Drain of any excess grease and set aside.
  3. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice each potato in half. Using a spoon, carefully remove the cooked insides, leaving a “rim” of about ½” around the outer edge of each potato. You can discard the insides or save for use later. Place the emptied potato halves back on the sheet pan, skin side down, and brush all over with melted butter.
  4. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of chorizo into each potato half. Top each half with shredded cheese.
  5. Place back in the oven and bake until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove potatoes from oven and add a dollop of sour cream to each half. Sprinkle the potatoes with green onions and serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

Rubbing the potatoes with vegetable oil first, then brushing with melted butter later gives you perfectly crisp, crackling skin. You can purchase chorizo in links or patties; if you buy in links form, just make sure to remove the casing before cooking

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