Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why. –Eddie Cantor
I’ve alluded to this a bit in this space before, but I’m a chronic over-committer. Perhaps you can relate? Part of this I attribute to an intense people-pleasing gene, but when I look at my husband Alex, he is both people-pleasing yet balanced and sure of his footing, able to enjoy every moment without being headlong into the next. Maybe that’s why I like him so much.
Life presents opportunities, and I want to accept every single one. I’m ridden with guilt when I’m not able to say yes to a relationship or work project. The thought of not meeting a deadline makes me sick to my stomach. But gradually, life has been teaching me that I can’t do it all, or be it all. I have to slow down. Margin.
To this end, Alex has been my coach in helping me become more strategic (this, I think, is his secret). Just where am I running to, so fast? Why is it a race? What scenery might I be missing? How can I focus on working my strengths and investing in my values? How can I run at a pace to maintain balance and cultivate margin?
These answers are starting to work themselves out, but gradually, over the space of years. And in the process, I’ve been seeking to focus attention in the present, learning how to fully enjoy the space that I’m in instead of looking forward to what’s next. Heartily enjoying that glass of wine with a dear friend, that summer breeze on the patio, the bitter bite of a morning espresso, the squeeze of a we-only-see-eachother-twice-a-year-but-I-love-you-like-a-sister hug.
Recipes are one of my ways of grounding myself, too. This one has a special place in my heart since it’s a Spanish sauce, made with classic ingredients like sherry vinegar and smoked paprika that remind me of my time studying abroad in Madrid. It comes together fairy quickly, and it can be a fast appetizer to enjoy on the patio with summer veg, depending on the way you prepare them. For this variation, we used raw zucchini and peppers from the farmer’s market, and then grilled up some purple potatoes in a grill pan (you can use your grill if it’s already on). For quicker prep, use all raw vegetables, or even crackers or bread.
Alex and I enjoyed this together in a slower moment, it would be perfect with olives, bread, and cheese for a light summer meal on the patio, or as an appetizer for a dinner with guests. Cheers to slowing down and enjoying the ride, wherever your journey is taking you.
This recipe is a good option for special diets as it is gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and dairy-free. We purchased the veggies at Broad Ripple Farmer’s Market and used Muir Glen fire-roasted tomatoes.Print
Note: If made ahead and stored in the refrigerator, make sure to bring to room temperature prior to serving.
- 1 ½ cups sliced almonds
- 2 cloves garlic
- 15-ounce can fire-roasted Muir Glen diced tomatoes
- 2 large jarred roasted red peppers
- 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- In a dry skillet, toast the almonds over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Peel and smash the garlic.
- In a blender or food processor, process all ingredients until smooth. Taste and add additional seasonings if desired.
- ½ pound purple potatoes
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 zucchini
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Thinly slice the potatoes. Slice the bell peppers and zucchini.
- Lightly coat the potatoes in olive oil and sprinkle with paprika and kosher salt. Cook over medium heat on a grill pan or grill for about 12 minutes until tender and lightly charred, turning halfway through.
- Serve all vegetables with Romesco sauce.
This recipe was developed for Muir Glen Tomatoes.
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.