This week, I was invited to a very special dinner at Grafton Street in Harvard Square where their chef, Eric Gregory, and bartender, Morgan Carney, created a menu pairing dishes with cocktails using gin from Berkshire Mountain Distillers.  As a fan of BMD and the folks at Grafton, I was excited to see what they would present.  I was struck by how naturally the cocktails worked with the food, in particular the first drink that incorporated muddled watermelon.  It was a bright, refreshing beverage that worked beautifully with the smoked salmon.  Neither overpowered the other, and that’s an impressive feat especially when working with such delicate flavors.  I hope the photos show just how enjoyable the food and cocktails were… it also helped that we were sitting outside on the patio.  The perfect way to spend a summer night.

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  • July 19, 2013 - 12:38 am

    Tieghan - What and incredible night. Wow!ReplyCancel

  • July 19, 2013 - 2:23 pm
  • July 20, 2013 - 9:26 pm

    Andrew Frishman - MMnnnn… I loves me some event, especially when it has been distilled down to its essence!

    ¡Viva las bebidas! (y las cócteles)ReplyCancel

  • July 22, 2013 - 6:56 am

    Carolyn - What a gorgeous dinner, and I do love me some good gin! Nice that it’s made locally here in MA.ReplyCancel

  • July 22, 2013 - 3:12 pm

    Diane {Created by Diane} - looks like a great place and now I’m THIRSTY!ReplyCancel

  • July 24, 2013 - 2:34 pm

    Michael Lewicki - I need a place like that in my life. A watering hole that makes drinks as delicious as those look. I’m suffering from envy.ReplyCancel

  • July 25, 2013 - 1:12 am

    Shaina - Gin dinner? You have got to be kidding me. This is glorious.ReplyCancel

  • August 4, 2013 - 11:20 pm

    Shelby Linton Carney - My awesome brother-in-law the bartender! :)ReplyCancel

There was a point a few weeks ago when I just wanted to call a timeout.  What was already a pretty packed July was rapidly getting busier.  The e-mails, the requests, and the invitations kept coming in.  I have trouble saying no. This is especially true when it comes to work, but it occurs with other engagements as well. A dinner? Sure! A trip? Of course!  I want to agree to it all, afraid that declining will result in a missed opportunity.  But I hit a point when I just had to politely inform folks that I was booked for the next month.

Today, however, marks a number of deadlines for me.  I’ve been working on a few marketing campaigns and a cookbook shoot for the last month and a half and the majority of the work wrapped this past weekend.  I’m taking the day off before I gear up for three full days of work.  Despite the heat and humidity, I’m heading outdoors, picnicking in the Boston Common where a music festival is currently underway.

Before leaving you with today’s recipe (or, in this case, a link to a guest post I did), I wanted to direct you all to the summer issue of FoodieCrush Magazine.  If you don’t already know about it, stop whatever you’re doing and check it out.  It’s a beautifully designed publication from my friend Heidi and I’m so honored to have contributed photography for the last couple of issues.  Oh, and it’s FREE! Check it out here (and page 42 for the article I contributed to).

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  • July 15, 2013 - 9:06 am

    Sarah - Want. To. Eat. Please.ReplyCancel

  • July 15, 2013 - 9:40 am

    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl - I have been dying for a panzanella salad!!ReplyCancel

  • July 15, 2013 - 10:20 am

    Liren - Smart use of kale, corn and peppers! I adore a panzanella salad, and this update on the classic is just my speed. I will definitely head over to BHG and check it out.

    Get some rest, you friend :-)ReplyCancel

  • July 15, 2013 - 10:27 am

    Tieghan - This looks incredible!! I love the kale and all the corn!ReplyCancel

  • July 15, 2013 - 12:29 pm

    Katrina @ WVS - This looks so tasty! And I love the new issue of Foodie Crush so far. I’m going to spend my evening reading the rest of it :)ReplyCancel

  • July 15, 2013 - 1:02 pm

    Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch - Lovely and delicious!!!ReplyCancel

  • July 15, 2013 - 1:37 pm

    Eileen - Ooh, what a great way to change up the classic panzanella! Ad who doesn’t want to cram as much summer corn into their mouths as possible right now? :)ReplyCancel

  • July 15, 2013 - 4:10 pm

    cassie - Totally mouthwatering! I happen to have a bunch of fresh kale ready for a salad like this!ReplyCancel

  • July 15, 2013 - 4:17 pm

    Joshua Hampton (Cooking Classes San Diego) - What a beautiful panzanella. I love all the bright colors in it, and it looks so tasty.ReplyCancel

  • July 15, 2013 - 7:44 pm

    Alison Lewis - great idea! On my list ASAP.ReplyCancel

  • July 15, 2013 - 7:45 pm

    Mr. & Mrs. P - Sounds so flavorful! Best part very healthy!ReplyCancel

  • July 15, 2013 - 8:58 pm

    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com - Mouthwatering!! Love the twist of using kale here :)ReplyCancel

  • July 15, 2013 - 10:40 pm

    Elizabeth - I know exactly what you mean about a busy July. It’s impossible not to try for every ounce of summer one can get, but it certainly is tiring. Such a gorgeous kale panzanella looks like the perfect thing for a laid back picnic in the Common.ReplyCancel

  • July 16, 2013 - 12:23 am

    Andrew Frishman - MMMnnnn… I LOVES me some Panzella, expecially when I’ve tasted it.

    ¿Ensalada de pan? si, ensalada de pan.ReplyCancel

  • July 16, 2013 - 7:31 am

    Joanne - Well I’m glad i’m not the only one who has been finding summer absurdly insane! Hopefully I can carve out some time to make this panzanella because WHOA does it sound good.ReplyCancel

  • July 16, 2013 - 9:03 am

    Grubarazzi - Panzanella is always delicious, but this twist looks even better. I love massaged kale in just about anything. Definitely going to try this!ReplyCancel

  • July 16, 2013 - 10:28 am

    Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective - Amazing salad, Brian!ReplyCancel

  • July 16, 2013 - 11:05 am

    Belinda @themoonblushbaker - This looks so good, and the addition of kale is great to liven it up a bit. Some times the normal panzanella salad leaf is too bland for meReplyCancel

  • July 16, 2013 - 8:07 pm

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen - Glad to hear you are taking some time to get outside and enjoy summer despite a busy month!ReplyCancel

  • July 16, 2013 - 11:30 pm

    Taste Love & Nourish - I love panzanella salads and yours is so creative. Love it!ReplyCancel

  • July 17, 2013 - 5:45 pm

    TidyMom - I’m so glad I have kale and corn in my fridge right now!!ReplyCancel

  • July 17, 2013 - 9:12 pm

    Aimee @ Simple Bites - First, I loved your work in the Foodie Crush mag. Stellar, as always. <3

    Second, can I have a big plate of this gorgeous salad?!ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2013 - 6:48 am

    Carolyn - I have the same issue with saying no. It isn’t easy! But summer is slipping away so make sure you enjoy a little of it!ReplyCancel

  • July 19, 2013 - 10:14 am

    Jeanette - I love your rendition of panzanella – always looking for new ways to enjoy kale!ReplyCancel

  • July 20, 2013 - 4:24 am

    Weekend links | Simple Bites - […] Corn and Kale Panzanella :: A Thought for Food […]ReplyCancel

  • July 22, 2013 - 12:56 am

    Kasey - Gah! I kind of hate that about summer – all I want to do is get out and enjoy but I feel like I get bogged down in a million commitments. They’re generally all fun and awesome, but I feel you on your timeout!ReplyCancel

  • July 25, 2013 - 12:42 am

    Shaina - I am with you on the overwhelming sense of summer pounding down your throat. This is a gorgeous salad.ReplyCancel

  • August 5, 2013 - 5:59 pm

    Rachel Smith - Such beautiful photography. I LOVE kale – have been making lots and lots of kale chips with a borrowed dehydrator, but this looks like a lovely supper option….on my list of ‘things to make’ too!ReplyCancel

Isn’t it neat how the weather directly effects our eating habits?  A month ago, a dinner of soup or stew or pasta wasn’t out of the question.  But now the mere thought of turning the oven on makes me sweat.  Thankfully, I have a talented grill-master of a husband who knows how to cook fish perfectly, so we’ve taken most of our food preparation outside.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been preparing a lot of bluefish.  Caught along the East Coast, bluefish is meatier and more oily than a lot of other seafood from this region.  It’s a turn off for some, but I find that grilling it takes care of the “fishiness.”  The price of bluefish, which is usually found in local stores for $7 or $8/lb, makes it very appealing as well.  We’ll often buy an extra portion or two to make this salad, which we enjoy for lunch throughout the week.  Credit must be given to our friend, Kat, who served a bowl of this when we were together on the Cape last month and had mixed in some minced lemon slices.  It’s a wonder I hadn’t thought to do the same before, since I’m known for adding lemon zest or juice to almost everything I make.  It provides a surprising amount of zip, which is exactly what I want in summer fare.

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  • July 8, 2013 - 12:30 am

    Sarah - These are such excellent photos. Makes me think even I could get into this, though I’m not a huge fan of oily fish.ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2013 - 12:38 am

    Tieghan - Such a gorgeous salad. I too am all about grilling, seafood and salads right now. This is just perfect!ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2013 - 8:51 am

    carrian - sooo, I’ve never even heard of blue fish, but I do love the color blue so I guess I’m good to go! Looks lovely either wayReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2013 - 8:53 am

    Jeanette - I love grilling fish in the summertime. Years ago, a friend brought over a fresh caught bluefish and it wasn’t fishy at all. Apparently, because it’s so high in oil, it gets fishy very quickly. Great idea turning it into a salad. I love smoked bluefish and would love to get a smoker to try making that.ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2013 - 10:20 am

    Bev @ Bev Cooks - Ohhhh maaaaaannnnnn!ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2013 - 10:41 am

    Liren - I can’t tell you how nostalgic I feel right now. So many summer nights we ate bluefish, as we spent many weekends boating and fishing on Long Island. Bluefish came out of our ears, and my mother would grill them whole for dinner. Sigh! Eric is truly a grill master, look how perfect they are! Love the idea of putting it in a salad.ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2013 - 3:53 pm

    Gerry @ Foodness Gracious - I’ve never seen bluefish for sale here in CA, but I’d love to! Fantastic sounding meal…ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2013 - 5:53 pm

    Greg Henry - I too usually make extra fish for salads. I wonder why I never think to do that with other grilled foods. Hmmm. I will ponder that. GREGReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2013 - 10:05 pm

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen - I’m always looking for a good excuse to not turn the oven on in summer and cooking and eating outdoors is so much more fun anyhow.ReplyCancel

  • July 9, 2013 - 12:46 am

    Ash- foodfashionparty - Grilling the fish with lemon sounds tasty and fun.ReplyCancel

  • July 9, 2013 - 12:48 am

    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. - I have not had bluefish, but this looks so good! What a perfect summer meal!ReplyCancel

  • July 9, 2013 - 4:04 am

    Diane {Created by Diane} - I was just talking to someone about bluefish today, I haven’t had it in a long time, but recall having it often when I was young. This salad looks fantastic!ReplyCancel

  • July 9, 2013 - 7:06 am

    Carolyn - i don’t think I’ve ever had bluefish. The salad looks so light and fresh, perfect for this insane heat!ReplyCancel

  • July 9, 2013 - 7:50 am
  • July 9, 2013 - 8:49 am

    Andrew Frishman - MMMnnnn… I LOVES me some Bluefish salad, especially when it’s grilled (and I get to eat it)

    Pez Rojo, Pez AzulReplyCancel

  • July 9, 2013 - 11:42 pm

    Cams - Bless you for this, and your friend Kat. I had never thought to add actual pieces of lemon in rather than just the lemon zest or a sprinkling of lemon juice. I feel like a light bulb has just flickered on, lol. I do not have a lot of experience with bluefish personally but I am game to try it. I will see if I can find it at my local market this week. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2013 - 8:13 pm

    Kellie Hemmerly - This looks amazing….I have some bluefish haters in my house. I’ll have to sub out for something else or just tell them it’s trout. :-) ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2013 - 6:57 am

    Joanne - I wish every day that living in Manhattan were more conducive to grilling, but I guess you have to sacrifice SOMETHING to live here. This sounds like such a tasty salad though, I’ll have to trek it over to my mom’s and make her let me use her grill so I can make it!ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2013 - 9:50 am

    Laura @ PassTheKnife - With the heat in NYC, I’ve been making meals derived from meals derived from other meals. Your fish salad looks fabulous – just the right note for this time of year:) Must give it a try…ReplyCancel

  • July 14, 2013 - 1:08 pm

    Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It Is - […] grilled bluefish salad. words can’t describe how badly i want to eat […]ReplyCancel

  • July 14, 2013 - 8:49 pm

    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com - Yummy!! Grilled and made into a salad definitely makes it all more delicious :)ReplyCancel

  • July 15, 2013 - 11:00 am

    TidyMom - I’m not a big fish lover, but my husband is….I bet he’d be thrilled if I made this for him!ReplyCancel

  • July 15, 2013 - 6:14 pm

    Rochelle Ramos - You make me wish we had bluefish here (we might, I just don’t know the translation for it in Portuguese yet)! That salad looks delicious, I can imagine it with grilled bruschetta on the side, mmm!ReplyCancel

  • July 26, 2013 - 4:22 pm

    Mary Frances @ LOVE - the secret ingredient - Your presentation couldn’t be more perfect. Those photographs! You are an artist.ReplyCancel