Yesterday for dinner, we made a salad.

I like salad.

strawberries

I like salad especially this time of year, when the weather’s crazy hot in Nashville, the kind of hot where your shirt sticks to your back and sweat beads on your upper lip and walking down a street holding your fiancé’s hand means having to wipe your palm on your pant leg afterwards. This particular year, the heat has brought with it cicadas, ugly little flying creatures with bright red eyes and loud chirping noises, camped out in the trees, on my house, and, for a tragic few minutes Monday morning, right in my freshly washed hair. It’s been something.

But thankfully, these 90-degree days have also brought with them the more agreeable experiences of popsicles, tank tops, week-long visits from my brother (which included the purchase of one very expensive white dress), homemade ice cream, flip flops, Memorial Day grilling, and, back to the original topic, giant summer salads.

(I mean, the salads don’t exactly make up for having to be swatted at on your way into a weekday lunch, but they certainly help.)

pouring oil on the salad

The idea for Tuesday’s salad came pretty simply: Tim got a block of Parmesan as a birthday gift, and we all know Parmesan works wonderfully atop a salad. We bought some berries and arugula and combined them with Trader Joe’s balsamic, olive oil, salt, pepper, honey, and big shavings of Parmesan.

adding some Parm

And while we both thought the salad needed the extra crunch of nuts—pine nuts? walnuts? toasted almonds? and Tim really liked the sound of adding a sheep’s milk feta throughout, even as it was, it made a refreshing meal. Oh and on the side, there was garlic bread: toasted rosemary sourdough topped with butter and sliced roasted garlic. Pure perfection.

garlic bread

Given that this recipe is still a sort of work in progress, two things:

1) I’d love to hear your versions or ideas for improvements.
2) I feel like I should offer you something else today.

dinner time

So. I can’t remember the last time I did a good link roundup of things I’ve been enjoying lately, which I think makes today the perfect time. Between work and wedding planning and everyday social media, I spend a lot of time on the Internet—like, I suspect, many of you do.

my plate

So here are some spots I’ve been enjoying lately. I welcome yours (especially if they have to do with wedding invitations? the next to-do):

  • Christina Heaston Photography: Even though she lives in South Carolina, Christina did our engagement photo shoot last Friday in Nashville, while she was in town visiting her sister. Last night, she posted a sneak peak, aaaand damn, she’s good.
  • Pinterest: Loving this super easy way to bookmark ideas that inspire you, especially for our wedding. Do you already know about it, and am I seriously the last person to join?
  • Instagram: OK, this one isn’t really a website but rather an iPhone app: think social media in photos. You can find me @foodloves, and I’m totally addicted.
  • Honey & Salt’s series: Dealing with a Spouse’s Illness: I’ve mentioned Joanna’s blog before, but this recent series has been so, so good. Every post, I want to pull out phrases and stick them on the wall. Powerful, authentic writing.

See you back here next week!

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. Jacqui

    I think avocado would be delicious in that salad, which reminds me of a strawberry/avocado/shaved parmesan recipe that Jess recently posted. Or maybe some radishes for crunch and added color? and I totally got into Pinterest when I was planning my wedding, too — such a great way to compile all that inspiration!

  2. Dana

    I wouldn’t do a thing to the heavenly looking garlic bread, but I’d probably go for toasted pine nuts on the salad. I’ve always had an appreciation for them in salads that include berry.

  3. Gemma

    That first engagement photo is great – such a happy shot. And the salad, that sounds very tempting too but as the boy is not a fan of sweet and savoury together I will have to wait until I’m on my own to experiment!

  4. MaryAnn

    Sounds yummy & great for a summer meal. I’ve been noshing on lots of salad, too – loving it! I checked out the sneak peek & you are right; that is a fabulous pic! Love just looks great on everybody, doesn’t it?
    I’m on Instagram, too. I just got you followed. You can find me @indianapharmgirl

  5. wandering educators

    we had a fantastic salad this weekend, with spinach and spring greens, and toasted pecans, and a gorgeous white balsamic dressing (love the white balsamic from trader joe’s!) and tomatoes and thin thin slices of red sweet onion. delish!

    i am so excited for your wedding. YIPPEE!! and HOW lovely, that your brother came.

  6. Shannalee

    Thanks, Nicole! Always nice to know other berry lovers. : )

    Jacqui, Yum. I love avocado in just about everything, so that sounds fantastic!

    Bianca, Ha!

    Allison, No, but I wish I lived in 12 South (I did, however, get to stay there while my brother was visiting and he rented an awesome place!). I find myself out there often, what with all the good eating. : )

    Dana, Toasted pine nuts sound perfect!

    Thanks so much, Gemma! I was wowed by that first shot, too! : )

    MaryAnn, Found you! Yay for new Instagram friends!

    Wandering, A white balsamic sounds wonderful! I already love TJ’s regular, so I’m inclined to like the white. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Sue, : ) Something to check off the list! Hooray!

  7. Vicki

    What a great idea for using strawberries! I always forget about using them in salads. It also gives me an idea on what to do with the bottle of Balsami vinegar on my counter too. Never heard of Pinterest so at the very least you are the second-to-last-person to know. :)

  8. heather @ chiknpastry

    oh, the hot humid days in the South! I remember it all from living in NC for 24 years – you get used to the sticky ickiness. Now I’m on the other side, in SF where it’s always 60 and then you sorta start to miss the stickiness. Chicago was a good in-between…

    i don’t have any sites for invitations, but I made my own and we LOVED them. we bought a lot of supplies from Papersource and they were really unique. good luck with the rest of the planning!

  9. Shannalee

    Heather, It’s so funny to think of Chicago as the good in-between weather! My whole life, we hated the cold and wished for warmer days. Looks like I’ve got them now! And thanks for the tip on Papersource! : ) I think Tim’s going to design our invites, so I’m excited to hear you loved doing that!

    Lindsay, Yum!

  10. Erin @ The Speckled Palate

    This salad sounds absolutely PERFECT for the summertime and the crazy summer heat. Thanks for sharing! (And I’m so, so sorry that the cicadas are still around. Luckily, we fled those when we moved, but they are just miserable, especially when they land in your hair.)

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