Dinner at Home: Simple, Summery, and Seasonal Steak and Salads

31 Jul

After two months of stop and go (but mostly go) traveling, from Europe back to the USA and down to Argentina and back, I admit, it’s nice to be home. It is nice to be home and see my family and eat dinner outside in the backyard on a warm summer evening.

The menu? Simple, summery, and seasonal:

-Mom’s steak on the grill
-Grilled fresh tomatoes from the garden with Parmesan cheese
-Leftover crispy oven-baked chopped potatoes
-My tomato, cucumber, and hericot vert salad with feta cheese
-My shaved zucchini salad with Parmesan and pine nuts

For dessert? Blueberry and Summer Peach Galette with Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream: Say it, just say it. I know, I am incredible.

The tomato, cucumber, and hericot vert salad with feta cheese can be made in 10 minutes or less. The salad was inspired by my stay in Paris with my good friend Alex. The salad requires no dressing; I like to emphasize the sweet flavor of the produce and the salty cheese. The salad is perfect for summer.

And yes, I used canned green beans, but hey, they’re French-style! I quite like how soft and thin the green beans are. So sue me. They taste great, even if they are from a can.

Tomato, Cucumber, and Hericot Vert Salad with Feta Cheese

serves 4, more or less

3 tomatoes, preferably from the garden
2 Persian cucumbers
1 can of French-style green beans or hericot vert
1/2 block of Feta cheese, cut into cubes or crumbled

1. Slice the tomatoes into wedges and put them into a salad bowl.
2. Slice the cucumbers in half the long way and again in half along the equator. Very thinly slice the cucumbers into a julienne. Put into the salad bowl.
3. Open the can of hericot vert and drain. Add to the salad bowl.
4. Toss the cubed or crumbled cheese into the salad.
5. Eat and enjoy.

The shaved zucchini salad is another lovely and light treat that epitomizes summer elegance and simplicity. No cooking necessary. I absolutely love all of the textures and flavors going on–long, thin zucchini ribbons contrasted with tiny crunchy nuts, delicate slivers of cheese, and a salty tangy dressing.


Shaved Zucchini Salad with Parmesan and Pine Nuts
Bon Appetit Magazine August 2010


1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon course kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

2 pounds of medium zucchini, trimmed
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Small wedge of Parmesan cheese

**RECIPE NOTE: I did not have fresh basil on hand (I know, shame on me) so I just omitted it. I also added some fresh sliced avocado because, well, I love avocados and why not?!


Whisk oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes in a small bowl to blend. Set dressing aside.

Using vegetable peeler or V-slicer and working from top to bottom of each zucchini, slice zucchini into ribbons (about 1/16 inch thick). Place ribbons in a large bowl. Add basil and nuts (and avocado if you are like me). Drizzle the dressing on and in the salad. Using the vegetable peeler, shave strips from the Parmesan wedge over the salad.


One Response to “Dinner at Home: Simple, Summery, and Seasonal Steak and Salads”


  1. Garlicky Roasted Chickpea Salad with Feta, Herbs, and Lemon « Figsinmybelly - June 1, 2011

    […] out these recipes that I made last year for Shaved Zucchini Salad with Parmesan and Pine Nuts and Tomato, Cucumber, and Haricot Vert Salad with […]

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