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One of my favorite summer pasta recipes of all time is Ina’s Linguine with Marinated Tomatoes. In the dregs of March, when I can’t bear to even look at another root vegetable, it’s this dish I fantasize about. I’ve essentially taken that same dish and subbed out the pasta for grilled bread. You might be thinking…. “This looks great, Clara, but like, I totally want to add some mozz to that tomato party.” I feel you. I get you. But please don’t do that. And I say that as a mozzarella/burrata fiend. There’s just something about the tomatoes and the way their garlicky marinade soaks into the grilled bread that is, one, to die for, and two, needs to remain untouched. Trust me (and then you can thank me).

And speaking of thank yous, thank you all SO much for your warm welcome back on Monday! It’s definitely nice to be missed, and I’m so glad to be back. Let’s do this, Wednesday.

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Grilled Baguette with Marinated Tomatoes

  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 4 medium or 3 large heirloom tomatoes (you should have
  • large bunch of basil, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • one whole baguette, cut in half and the each half cut lengthwise

Combine the tomatoes, olive oil, basil, salt, red pepper flakes, and ground pepper in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate for at least 1 hour before serving.

When ready to serve, brush the cut side of the bread generously with olive oil and place on a heated grill, cooking until golden brown and slightly charred (Note: My NYC digs does not allow access to a grill, so I just pan fried the bread cut side down in some olive oil). Cut the grilled bread into smaller pieces and arrange in a single layer on a large tray. Spoon the tomatoes over the bread and serve.

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Guys don’t fret, that blogging sabbatical was totally planned. #saidnooneever

To be completely frank, the whole turn of life events at the beginning of 2014 has made blogging straight up hard. I’m in awe of bloggers like Grace and Jen who moved so gracefully through parallel personal transitions, barely missing a post. I reached a serious mental road block a few weeks back and had to put this space aside for a while. There were moments during that period where I didn’t know if I’d ever pick it back up again. And through that, the lifecycle of a break up became blatantly clear to me. My whole notion that the farther you got from it, the easier it became, was pretty flawed. Luckily I’m in a much brighter spot now, but I don’t doubt it’s going to take several more months for this whole experience to sort itself out. Recognition of the process, though, is really what got me to that brighter spot. Surrendering myself to the fact that life is simply not going to look at all like it did before is, in a way, a huge relief, and very liberating.

So with that fact in mind (and on the wise advice of a dear friend), I decided to spend the past week focusing solely on the basics. Eating, sleeping, exercising, and working. That’s it. Only those four. As someone who likes to take 24 hours and cram what couldn’t get done in one week into one day, this was hard. But I was determined. I needed to get back to my life roots- homemade food, consistent workouts, placing a priority on sleep, and not staring at the screen past 10 pm. In a way it makes perfect sense that I found myself back in this space this week. Life felt kinda right again. It felt so darn good to pick up my camera and style some food again this weekend. And if I learned anything, it’s that focusing on only the basics is exactly where I need to be right now. That and I should never give up my yoga practice, even if it means only practicing once a week. Seriously, someone yell at me if I do that again, ok?

Oh and one more life lesson- scones are one of the loveliest things ever. Add summer corn and basil and they’re even lovelier. When I pulled out my standmixer to make these yesterday, it was seriously like hugging an old friend! Yep, that’s real life. Clearly Kitchenaid mixer activity needs to be part of my weekly basics, too. Bring on the baked goods…

Thanks for hanging with me during this time. Have a great week! xx Clara

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Savory Summer Corn & Cheddar Scones  loosely  adapted from Ina Garten

Makes 8 large scones

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour (separated)
  • 1/2 cup corn meal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 lb sharp cheddar, small dice
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • corn cut from one ear

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Mix the eggs and buttermilk and quickly add them to the flour-and-butter mixture. Combine until just blended. Toss together the Cheddar, basil, corn, and 1/2 tablespoon of flour and add them to the dough. Mix until they are almost incorporated.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it for 1 minute, until the cheddar, corn and basil are well distributed. Roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. Shape in to a disc, cutting first in half, then in quarters, and then in eights. Brush the tops with egg wash. Bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 20 to 25 minutes, until the outside is crusty and the inside is fully baked. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

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Like seriously, is there anything better than watermelon right now? This watermelon salad pic slays me. It’s definitely prettier than mine (let’s just call a spade a spade.) Here’s the kicker though, a whole watermelon is a lot of watermelon. A lot, in particular, for one 28 year old gal. I’ve started toying with a new nutrition app where you’re paired with a personal nutritionist and submit pictures of everything you eat (a whole other discussion entirely), and given my diet the past few days this woman must definitely be thinking… “Does this girl eat anything other than watermelon??” She’s also probably confused as to why my weekday lunches are so perfectly plated.

Anyway, this salad is straight up good and succinctly reflects how I like to eat in the summer. Simple dishes with a big hello to fresh produce. Not a ton of fussing. That’s my jam. The other thing that would be really good is if you took the remaining watermelon and made a version of this cocktail. Consider me ON IT, friends.

Ps: This recipe is part of a whole host of epic picnic recipes over on SELF.com- head over to see them all!

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Watermelon & Butter Lettuce Salad with Feta & Crushed Marcona Almonds
Serves 4

  • About 16 leaves of butter lettuce (one standard package should be sufficient)
  • 16 watermelon triangles (a quarter melon will be sufficient)
  • 1/3 pound feta cheese cut into triangles (about 2 per bowl)
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh pepper
  • generous 1/2 cup of marcona almonds, roughly chopped (don’t chop too fine!)
  • extra fresh pepper and flaked sea salt for serving

Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp fresh pepper and set aside.

Divide the butter lettuce among for shallow bowls. Layer the watermlon wedges, cheese, and crushed almonds on top. Divide the lemon vinagrette among the four bowls and top with extra freshly cracked pepper and flaked sea salt. Serve immediately.

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Foooood. A food post! I bet ya’ll can barely believe your eyes. It’s been a while, that’s for sure. But there’s no looking back, only forward, so let’s dive into this dish. First and foremost, it’s not very complicated, which is the general theme of what I’ve been cooking and eating as of late. I fell in love with soba noodles while traveling in Japan a few years ago, and yet up until earlier this week had never made them at home. Shameful! They cook up so quickly and beautifully sop up a soy based sauce.  I created a simple scallion ginger sauce, pulling together items I had on hand in the pantry, and then topped it all with a fried egg. When topping Asian inspired dishes with eggs, I fry them in canola oil over a low flame, and then place a lid over the pan towards the end to fully cook the egg while keeping the yolk yellow (as opposed to flipping it).

A friend commented on my Instagram feed earlier this week, remarking that it looked like I’d been having a lot of fun. It honestly couldn’t be more true. I’ve been extremely focused on having a lot of fun, which has candidly meant time away from this space. I’m working to strike a balance, but right now my personal life has taken priority. After all, it’s summer! SUMMER. Doesn’t it feel so good?

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 Ginger Scallion Soba Noodles inspired by simply reem

  • 9 oz soba noodles
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp harissa (or chile oil)
  • 1 tablespoons sesame seeds for sauce, 1 tablespoon for garnish
  • 4 eggs
  • canola or sesame oil for frying the eggs

Stir together all ingredients for sauce and let rest in fridge for at least 15 minutes.

Cook the soba noodles according to package directions. Rinse immediately in cold water. Top with the sauce and toss well to coat.

Divide the noodles into four bowls. Fry eggs in canola oil and place on top of noodles in each bowl. Top with additional sesame seeds, scallions, and  a bit of salt. Serve immediately.

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I was first introduced to Lulu & Georgia through my wildly talented graphic designer, Erika. I always had a thing for their beautiful aesthetic, so when the time came to outfit my new apartment, I knew I had to weave in a few things from their gorgeous products! One of the things I love most about the online shop is the breadth and depth of their selection. You can find everything from rich rugs to beautifully scented candlesfun office accessories for your home, and more…

I’ve always had a thing for their mirrors, so I started there, and settled on this stunning Rusted Wheel Mirror. It really brings my entire bedroom together- and also makes it feel about 10 times larger. Key!

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I then honed in on the details. I’m not one for a ton of accessories, but I really fell for L&G’s Wishbone Ring Holder and Make a Wish Bauble. The first is sweet but functional, serving as a spot to collect the jewelry normally strewn all over my dresser. And the second brings a little character to my window sill. Isn’t it darling? And lastly, their Oceano candle. It has such a soothing scent, perfect for lighting while I’m reading in bed and getting ready to turn in for the day.

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Now here’s the most exciting part friends- L&G is offering 20% off to Clara Persis readers for the next WEEK with the code “CLARAPERSIS20.” I’ve got my eye on this gorgeous rug for my living room and a handful of their fun prints. What would you guys choose? Do tell, and remember you have until Wednesday June 4th to take advantage of the code. Happy shopping!

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Photographs by Lydia Hudgens. Huge thanks to Lulu & Georgia for providing me with all these pieces. They’re a brand I truly love, and I’m thrilled to support them through my site!