When I was a child, I was constantly visiting other worlds. I would seek refuge within ivy covered walls, at the bottom of damp stone wells, and in the fields of the Irish country side where faerie forts called home. I wished to be on an adventure filled with magical creatures, deceiving faerie folk, and the washed out rolling hills of some far away land. In some ways, I was able to reach those places I longed for. Through books (this one too!), films, and my own pure imagination I was transported across seas, space and time. I was constantly drifting from my own reality. I used to play a game with myself as a walked to ballet class, pretending I had walked miles and miles to reach my destination (which in reality was about a 2 minute walk). I had "lands" I would visit with my friends at school - for the entire lunch break out in our small playground we would be in another universe, one that we had created completely.
Looking back, I don't think that longing ever really left me. To this moment (in my semi-adult life) I am a complete and utter daydreamer. I can be so wrapped up in my imagination that it is necessary at this point to apologize to all those wonderful people in my life who I have had to startle myself back into the present moment with. I still dream of faerie worlds and get lost in the hot, crackling flames of bonfires. In the crisp blueness of a lake I am the most content with my back to the land, facing out at the endless murmur of waves on the horizon.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) Sebastian and I are heading out on a biking adventure. In the first stages of our plan we were going to bike from Toronto to Niagara Falls, ON to visit Baba (my grandmother). At this point, it is not realistic to bike the entire 140km since we only have 4 days to visit. Instead, we will be taking the Go Train to Burlington and biking along the lake and the hills of the escarpment to Niagara. These are the worlds I get to visit now - the lake on one side and hills on the other my mind rests in a meditative state of adventure and peace. It is the balance between what is right in front of me, and what is just underneath the surface. Hopefully next week I will be able to share some of the photos and stories from our trip <3
This summer salad is easy and fresh. The sweetness of the fruit and potatoes along with the tang of the lime provides a wonderful flavour contrast. It is the perfect dinner option for those hot summer nights when you definitely can not turn on the oven or stove (okay... so you do need to boil some water but it's so worth it), but also you really don't want anything heavy. I don't know about you folks, but I often find that I crave lighter dinners when it is hot outside.
I was going for a seasonal summer salad, but I couldn't resist adding the sweet potato. It just contributes this great earthy flavour that works perfectly with the fruit. If you are into using only seasonal ingredients however, it is still completely delicious sans sweet potato :)
Nectarine + Sweet Potato Summer Salad w/ Garlicky Lime Dressing
Serves 3 - 4
- 1/2 bunch fresh arugala
- 1/2 bunch fresh spinach
- 2 nectarines, sliced into thin pieces
- 4 mini cucumbers (or 1 large), sliced into small rounds
- 1 sweet potato
- a handful of toasted walnuts
Garlicky Lime Dressing
- 4 tbsp lime juice (about 2 limes)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- salt and pepper to taste (use generously)
Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake hard to combine. Set aside.
Fill a medium pot with water and generously salt. Cover and bring to a boil on the stove. While waiting for the water to boil, cut the sweet potato into small cubes. Cook sweet potato cubes in boiling water uncovered for about 5 minutes, until just soft enough to slide a fork in. Rinse under cold water and set aside. Wash arugala and spinach and combine in a large salad bowl. Layer on sliced nectarines, cucumbers, and sweet potato. Toast walnuts carefully over low-medium heat and sprinkle over salad.
Dress the salad generously - you will need to re-shake the dressing to make sure it is fully combined. You will have leftover dressing (this is a good thing).
Serve and enjoy! xoxo