A light, fresh, healthy meal from the grill! The Basil Anchovy Dressing takes it to a new level of deliciousness!
You’re not going to believe what Scott’s been up to!
It’s been a slow process, actually something he’s been working on for well over a year, but it’s finally completed and we’re super excited to be able to reveal his project. It’s also going to be fun for you, as it will add a whole new dimension of deliciousness to The Café!
Are you ready?
I have to go back in time a bit to share where we’re at now. Twelve years ago, when we were looking for a new home, one of things that really attracted me to the house we live in, was the back yard. Looking out the kitchen window, there was a narrow strip of pretty green grass and, behind the grass, a gorgeous row of tall evergreen cypress trees. It was a beautiful sight and I knew I would enjoy it as I cooked and worked in the kitchen. I also liked the idea of the privacy the trees would provide. There were lots of other features that sold us on the house, but the back yard was definitely a biggie for me.
Over the years though, the trees not only grew much taller but also began to thin out and eventually turn brown in spots. It was no longer a beautiful sight out my window, more like a dismal and dreary view. And as the trees increased in size, they produced lots of shade, transforming my lovely green grass to a sparse, barren sight.
Scott knew long before I did (or would admit) that the trees had to go. I hated to give them up but I finally “got it” – they just weren’t going to recover. Reluctantly, but realistically, I agreed they had to come down. Looking back, I now realize that the demise of my beloved trees was the dawn of an incredible backyard renovation. It began a year ago in early spring and it’s been a step-by-step process.
I’m sharing a few pictures today of one corner of the yard, definitely my favorite part; five wonderful raised garden beds that Scott designed and built in order for us to grow our own produce and share “garden-to-table” recipes and lots of other gardening information here on the blog. In typical “Scott fashion”, he even made it look beautiful with flowers, herbs, a water feature and lights to be able to enjoy the garden at night!
We’ll be posting much more from the back yard in the weeks and months ahead, including full do-it-yourself instructions for the raised garden beds.
And lots of delicious recipes with the veggies we’ll be growing.
We got a bit of a late start as Scott was still building the beds all the way through the month of May. He didn’t get to plant until right around Memorial Day but, as you can see, everyone is quite happy in their new home. We had our first cucumbers in a salad for lunch today and will be grilling eggplant for dinner tonight. So exciting!
The wonderful folks from KitchenAid have helped us celebrate the backyard renovation with an amazing new grill. It’s a beautiful, state-of-the-art grill, much nicer and well thought out than the big name brand grill we used for years prior.
We’ve been grilling everything from salmon to chicken to steaks, even green beans. There’ll be lots of grilling recipes over the summer, but today we’re sharing a delicious Grilled Chicken Nicoise Salad that I created for the KitchenAid blog, the Kitchenthusiast.
The salad is a classic Nicoise salad with delicious grilled chicken in lieu of the traditional oil-cured tuna. Nicoise is a funny word, pronounced [niˈswaz]. It’s a French word that simply means it comes from the area of France around the city of Nice, although it’s common throughout Provence. It typically includes olives, long, thin green beans, hard-boiled eggs and sometimes, anchovies and potatoes. I included the olives, beans, eggs and potatoes in mine, but utilized the anchovies in a delicious lemon-basil dressing instead of adding them to the salad.
This wonderful French-inspired salad is perfect for a light, summer meal and would make a lovely picnic. You can learn more about this wonderful salad and find the recipe over at The Kitchenthusiast, the official KitchenAid blog.
Disclaimer: This post was written in partnership with KitchenAid. The Café received compensation for it. All opinions, however, are definitely ours!