in partnership with Blue Diamond Almonds // photos by kristen kilpatrick
You guys know I love a good salad almost as much as I love a good taco, and when the delicious flavors of those two combine, I’m basically in heaven. This recipe was born from one of those typical summer moments when I accidentally came home from the farmers’ market with more peaches and tomatoes than one family of four could consume in a month (let alone a week.) In my desperate attempt to do something with them that wasn’t pasta, pizza, or cobbler, I decided to throw it all together in a new twist on a summer salad, make it Mexican with a zesty cilantro dressing, and the results were pretty darn mind-blowing. And it turned out to be the perfect recipe for our next post with Blue Diamond Almonds, since the Smokehouse flavor added both crunch and major dimension to my salad in one quick step.
Before I go into the recipe, I have a confession to make. I haven’t been that into cooking dinner lately. This is NOT normal for me and honestly kind of disturbing, since cooking is usually my way of unwinding at the end of a long day. I think it’s due to the fact that life has been so busy lately, and the nonstop schedule of the workdays have left me wanting to do nothing in the evening except hang out with the fam, go for a swim if we feel like it, and dive into a book or a good documentary after the kids go to bed. Only prob is that I also don’t want to end up ordering takeout every night, so my Sunday night mission lately has been to map out a week’s worth of meals that I can make from start to finish in less than 20 minutes.
Which brings me to… this salad! Isn’t it pretty? I mean, those colors are summer on a platter. And you know that a dish that’s basically a rainbow is going to be bursting with all kinds of good-for-you ingredients. Tomatoes and peaches bring the vitamin, fiber, and antioxidant punch, and avocado has all the good fat that also makes this salad satisfying enough for a main course. And since every salad’s got to have some crunch, a handful of Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds adds texture and instant layers of flavor – not to mention a plant-based source of protein, Vitamin E, and potassium.
I love to start the week by making a big pot of quinoa, so it’s ready to conveniently toss into dishes and my #MeatlessMonday grain bowl practically makes itself. Oh, and we haven’t talked about the corn, one of my favorite parts of this salad! When corn is this good (hello, August!) I find as many ways to cook with it as I can since its starring season is so fleeting. Grilling the corn before tossing into the salad complements the smoky flavor of the almonds.
The other real star of the show here is this cilantro pesto, which I’ve started using maybe a little too often. If you’ve made it, I bet you’re doing the same thing, because it’s really that addictive. This recipe makes extras, so go ahead and add these cauliflower tacos and baked salmon to your weekly menu: the pesto is an essential ingredient in those, too.
A squeeze of lime, sprinkle of cilantro and scattering of sea salt, and summer is served!
Check out the other delish recipes in our series with Blue Diamond Almonds:
How to host a smoothie bowl brunch.
I’d love to hear what recipes you guys are cooking up with your farmer’s market haul this summer. Leave a comment and let me know!
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 ears corn on the cob, husks removed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 cups arugula
- 2 peaches or nectarines, sliced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1/2 cup Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds
for the cilantro pesto:
- 2 cups cilantro leaves and stems
- 1 cup parsley leaves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup Blue Diamond Almonds (your flavor of choice)
- 1/3 cup avocado oil (or sub olive oil)
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- juice of 2 limes
- pinch of chili flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- On a grill or grill pan on the stove, grill the corn until it blackens a bit on the edges. Remove and let cool. Use a sharp knife to remove kernels from the cob.
- Meanwhile, make the cilantro pesto by adding all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and blending until well-combined. I like to leave it a tiny bit chunky so you can see the flecks of the herbs.
- In a large bowl, combine quinoa, corn, arugula, and tomatoes. Toss with a little cilantro pesto, then transfer to a serving platter. Tuck the peach and avocado slices around the lettuce leaves, drizzle with a little more pesto, then squeeze lime, sprinkle salt, and garnish with cilantro. Eat!