I grew up always having meat or protein, starch, vegetable and salad. I’ve abandoned the need to check all those boxes. There are times when the starch and vegetable are the same, like in today’s trio of vegetables, sweet potatoes, corn and peas.
Actually, I didn’t realize until after I put it all together that this meal has three vegetables, all rather starchy. There is no salad, but the fresh mint and parsley in the pea smash are fresh and bright.
I’m so glad I don’t have to follow rules when I’m trying to throw dinner together to feed my gang something remotely healthy. It just goes to show that dinner can be whatever you feel inspired to serve. I love the colors of the summer season, when ingredients are fresh the recipes are often very simple. Why mess with the great flavors of the food?
So this menu is going to be a bit unconventional. More explanation and less recipe.
The corn is simply boiled until tender then finished on a buttered grill pan to bring out the sweet sugars in the corn.
The sweet potatoes are washed and unpeeled then chopped into dice sized cubes. I toss them on a baking sheet. Drizzle them with about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and kosher salt then roast them at 400°F until tender and blackened on the edges. It takes about 30 minutes.
Macho Pea Smash
- 2 cups peas
- 2 Tbs rough chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Tbs rough chopped fresh mint
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- 1 Tsp. olive oil (or melted butter)
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- Combine all ingredients and roughly mash with a fork.
- Put half the mix in a blender or food processor and blend by pulsing until incorporated but not smooth.
- Add back to the other half that was mashed roughly with a fork.
- Stir together.
This is delicious served cold, but two minutes in the microwave makes it even better. Macho Pea Smash would also be fun to make with your kids. Skip the red pepper flakes, put the peas in a bowl and let the kids smash them to bits!
Simple Grilled Salmon
- 4-6oz Coho Salmon (skin on), per person
- 1 bunch fresh dill
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
- 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 fresh lemon
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- Combine garlic, dill, olive oil, salt and juice of one lemon.
- Marinate the salmon in this mixture for about 30 minutes.
- Save a bit aside to drizzle over the cooked salmon.
This can be grilled on an outdoor grill, or as I did on a grill pan on a stovetop. Make sure that the flesh side down first until you get a nice sear from the grill then flip to cook the skin side until done. It will take about 3-4 minutes per side.