When I’m home – with my own full kitchen, time to spend there, and access to pretty much any food I want – I go a little crazy.
My mom sends me to the fruit/vegetable stands about 15 minutes away from our house, I spend a few bucks to fill six or seven bags with radishes, zucchini, cucumbers, bell peppers, jicama, strawberries, dates and more.
All these scrumptious seasonal supper-additions deserve way more than to be thrown in a big white bowl on top of store-bought mixed greens. They deserve a nice sauté, a light char, and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.
This is what summer is about, after all. It’s about slowing down. I have the time to connect with our local farmers, so I drive the extra five minutes to their stands. I have the energy to imagine a new dish, so I look for seasonal vegetables. I have the desire to create something mouth-watering, delicious, and healthy, so I pull new exciting ingredients from my fridge.
And then I cook, and relax. And then I eat, and savor.
Summertime is simple, and I cherish that.
This dish perfectly portrays everything I just said. I didn’t really have a plan or a recipe in mind when I made it, but everything turned out beautifully.
What I appreciate most about it is it’s simplicity – few ingredients, easy steps, and quick cooking. Yet, the crunch of the peppers, the juiciness of the mushrooms, and the char on each combined with the subtle flavor of the sesame oil and the brightness of the cilantro made me second-guess myself when recording the recipe.
Give this one a try, guys! Find a local farmer near you, turn on some Jack Johnson music, and enjoy the summer breeze with fresh food.
Makes 2 servings
2 red bell peppers, diced into 1” pieces
8-10 baby Portobello mushroom caps, sliced
2-3 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
Cilantro, for garnish
1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and coat with sesame oil. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic turns a golden brown color.
2. Toss in the peppers and mushrooms and cook until you see a char on the sides of the veggies. Remove from the pan and let them cool slightly.
3. Top with sesame seeds and cilantro and serve immediately.
Let me know what you think by commenting below, emailing me, or tagging me and #hungryhaley on instagram with your picture.