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the grass over here

August 15 2013 by Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Recipe,Salad » 6 comments

Chopped Salad with Nectarine, Corn & Feta

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this, but since we moved to Seattle, I’ve been working from home.  The situation is a little odd—my colleauges are all in Chicago and my daughter naps in the room right next door.  And in some small ways, it’s challenging.  I keep central time zone hours, so my day starts very early in west coast-terms.  And I can no longer pop next door to bounce an idea off a co-worker, or grab lunch or drinks with friends from work.  Worse yet, when Avery cries or giggles, I can hear it and ache to be there for it, but I try to stay out of the way of her and her sitter.  But all of these things have upsides, too—my day ends early in west coast-terms, I have a lot of autonomy (and my commute is a dozen steps down the hall), and I get to pop in on Avery throughout the day.

Chopped Salad with Nectarine, Corn & Feta

I concentrate on those upsides as much as I can, and I also try to appreciate the many other benefits of my current arrangement.  When it’s lunchtime in Chicago, I can easily head out for a jog or do yoga, smack-dab in the middle of the work day.  The other day, I ran along the shipping canal that connects Lake Union and Puget Sound.  I stopped to stretch at the point where the canal spills into the lake (or is the other way around?), and the sun threw sparkles across the lake as float planes took off and landed, and boats cut through the water.  I felt so grateful.

I feel the same way when I sit at my desk by an open window; the breeze that floats in carries the scent of the lavender that grows in the backyard.  Or when my workday ends and I have a couple of hours to spend with Avery before Kevin gets home from work.  And I definitely feel that way when lunchtime rolls around, and instead of opening my brown bag or heading to the corner deli, I can just go downstairs to the kitchen to poke around for a lunch that suits me.

Chopped Salad with Nectarine, Corn & Feta

Now, with a just-one-year-old around, our fridge is full of small portions of many things, which makes it a treasure trove for throw-together lunches.  An extra quarter cup of quinoa, say, or a third of a nectarine clinging to its pit and a half-ear of corn.  I found exactly these things as I surveyed the fridge at lunch today.  My eyes also landed on a few leaves of romaine and a half-slice of crisp bacon, leftover from last night’s BLTs (first of the summer!  what were we waiting for?!).  Along with some non-negotiable staples that we always have on hand—feta, olive oil, lemon—a summery chopped salad came together quickly.

Yes, I suppose the grass over here is pretty green.
Chopped Salad with Nectarines, Quinoa, Corn, Bacon & Feta
Serves 4
This salad was one of my best throw-together lunches yet.  Since it’s a keeper, I’ve scaled it up to serve four.  I think it would work well with any kind of stone fruit, and you could certainly change up the greens, cheese, grain, and/or dressing.  And with the salty feta and the gentle crunch of the quinoa, I don’t think you’d miss the bacon either.  In other words, this is a very loose recipe, meant to be adapted based on what you’ve got on hand.
1 head of romaine lettuce, sliced thinly
2 nectarines, chopped
2 ears of cooked corn, kernels shaved from the cob
2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup crumbled feta
juice of 1 lemon
extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
kosher salt, to taste
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Combine romaine, nectarines, corn, bacon, quinoa and feta in a mixing bowl.  Drizzle the lemon juice and oil over the salad.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Toss to combine.  Taste and adjust the oil, salt and/or pepper, to taste.

6 comments so far. »
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  1. annie @ foodierobots.com says on August 15 2013 at 1:56 pm:

    These are my favorite kind of lunches! What a good idea to add the nectarine. I can’t wait to try it for lunch tomorrow! thanks for sharing

  2. Whitney says on August 15 2013 at 2:18 pm:

    That is pretty awesome that your firm managed to work out this arrangement for you and I sometimes dream of working from home when I am wasting 2.5-3 hours a day on the Eisenhower.

    Looks like a lovely salad! And I will have to make BLTs soon…I still haven’t had one either and I have lots of roof garden tomatoes to eat!

  3. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on August 15 2013 at 3:46 pm:

    annie: Mine too! Hope you enjoy.

    Whitney: Yes — I feel very lucky! And double yes to BLTs. Sounds like we both need to make up for lost time. ; )

  4. Mary says on August 17 2013 at 6:01 am:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few years, and I find you more charming with each and every post. Thank you for these little escapes that make me appreciate my day to day surroundings. I look forward to reading your lovely prose for many years to come!

  5. Diane erdahl says on September 01 2013 at 5:19 pm:

    This looks great, love the new posts!MOM

  6. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on September 10 2013 at 9:04 pm:

    Mary: So sweet! Thank you so much.

    Mom: You’re the best. Xo.

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