Boredom as muse

Trying to shake things up in the kitchen brought this recipe to life.


It seems culinary inspiration comes and goes around my house. Sometimes I get very energized, and spend all Saturday afternoon planning and prepping and shopping. Other Saturdays I’m boiling up some pasta and dumping a jar of sauce on it, and calling it a day. Because I’ve had so many weekends with less-than-spectacular options, I decided this weekend that I’d try something new.

As usual, I didn’t have every single ingredient I needed for a salad recipe chock-full of veggies, a little protein, and tasty goodness. I made do with what I had, the Jacques Pépin way. I had a package of colorful little tomatoes — the yellow, red, and orange kind — about 6 ounces of mozzarella cheese (the ball, not shredded), two cans of chickpeas, a medium-size zucchini, and a container of Pam’s Pesto. All I really had to do was slice and dice the zucchini, tomatoes, and cheese. After the knife work, all I did was add about half of the container of pesto and stir it all together. It was such a pretty salad that you almost hated to eat it. But we did, of course.

The first time I make any dish, I don’t double it, because you never know how it will be received around here. This time, we ate the entire bowl between the three of us at dinner that night. (Although my son Dan was not a fan of the zucchini, and kept repeatedly calling it cucumber.)

My first thought was that this would be a great side to bring to a Chilmark Potluck Jam. (Am I the only one who watches to see if everyone chows down on the dish I bring?)

In any event, I’m definitely adding this little gem to my stack of recipes. And if you see it up at the Chilmark Community Center some Saturday night, do me a favor, and dig in.