New Seasons Market + Harissa Watermelon-Tomato Salad


This week, I got to visit a beautiful new grocery store near me in Sunnyvale, CA: New Seasons Market. If you live nearby, lucky you! Meet your new favorite place to shop.


There are several New Seasons Markets in Oregon and Washington, but the store is new to California and I am excited to have one in my community. Apart from the gorgeous local produce, amazing flower selection, and natural food heaven, what was perhaps most impressive about this place to me was the company's ethics. They were the first grocer in America with a B-Corp certification, which means they have to meet rigorous social and environmental standards. Their employees seemed happy, fairly paid, and well taken care of, and they try to work with suppliers that have a similar philosophy.


For example, in the front of the store, they had a tomato tasting for shoppers (who doesn't love that?!). My favorite was a big, beautiful, yellow Brandywine tomato from Pinnacle Farms, which is about an hour from the store– a farm that's known for treating its workers well. New Seasons employees regularly visit this organic farm to see where the produce is coming from. The farm is committed to treating not only its workers, but also the land, community and environment with utmost respect.


I got to have lunch at the deli and there were some really creative dishes on display. I had a watermelon salad that was so good that I decided to go home and put my own twist on it. I loved the addition of harissa (a red chili paste often used in Middle Eastern cuisine). I took home one of those yellow Brandywine tomatoes and had to include it! We are having a heatwave in the woods right now, so this is all I want to eat. Perfect for your Labor Day BBQ!


Harissa Watermelon-Tomato Salad

inspired by a recipe found at New Seasons Market's deli

1 large yellow tomato (look for an Heirloom or Brandywine variety if possible)

2 c cubed seedless watermelon

1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced (I used a mandoline)

3 T chopped mint 

3 T crumbled feta cheese 

for the dressing: 

1 T harissa (mild or spicy...your choice. I went spicy!)

2 T olive oil

1 T fresh lemon juice

1 t agave (or honey)

a pinch of cumin

salt & pepper to taste

Slice the tomato and watermelon into big chunks and lay them out on a platter. Sprinkle the red onion, mint and feta on top. Mix the ingredients for the dressing well with a fork in a cup. Drizzle the dressing over the platter. 


If you're in the Sunnyvale, CA area, I encourage you to stop by New Seasons Market. You'll love it! There's also a store opening this winter in Emeryville, CA.

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This post was done in partnership with New Seasons Market, and all opinions are my own. This is a great grocery store, and I was excited to work with them. Thanks for supporting the businesses that keep The Forest Feast going! 

New Seasons Market, 760 E. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA. @newseasonsmarket #newseasonsmarket

Strawberry-Maple Fizz

I'm so happy it's summer!! We are just back from a 3-week road trip on the east coast that started in New York City (where we had cocktails on the Hudson and saw the Broadway play Come From Away, so good!) and ended with a family wedding in Maine, where we stayed in a beach house and had sunset dinners on the water.

But in between, we went to the family house in Vermont, which was so relaxing. We BBQed dinner, went swimming in ponds and lakes and went strawberry picking.

After eating as many strawberries as we could, we decided they needed to be a part of daily cocktail hour on the deck. And what's more Vermont than maple syrup?! Combine the two and you have a surprisingly refreshing (and simple!) drink for a warm evening. 



makes 1 drink, but is easily doubled or tripled, or...

3 whole strawberries, hulled, the riper the better!, plus one extra for garnish

1 shot (about 3 T) Vodka

1 t maple syrup (or more if you like it sweet!)



Place the trimmed strawberries in a small bowl with the vodka and syrup. Muddle by mashing it all together with the bottom of a cup. Strain this mixture and pour it into a glass, over ice. Top it off with seltzer, garnish with a fresh strawberry (sliced or not) and enjoy!

(note: this is a great way to use strawberries that are getting overripe, ugly, and extra juicy! Also, I imagine this might be delicious with whiskey or rum. If you try something different, let me know how it turns out!)


Cucumber Noodle Salad

I love my little hand spiralizer and use it all the time for zucchini, but I just recently started using it for cucumber, and it's so good!

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Recipe below...

CUCUMBER NOODLE SALAD with sesame dressing

2 cucumbers

1 handful basil, chopped

1 handful pepitas (pumpkin seeds, roasted & salted)

For the dressing: mix equal parts sesame oil, olive oil, soy sauce, plus a sprinkle of sesame seeds

Trim the cucumber ends and use a spiralizer to make noodles out of them. You may want to flip the cucumber halfway through and spiralize it from the opposite end since the seedy part in the middle can get tricky. I try to make these noodles just before serving, as they can start to leak some water over time. Spiralize them over a strainer if you can.  If they do get watery, just drain the bowl a bit before serving– but a little water in the bottom of the bowl is no big deal.

Sprinkle the noodles with the pepitas and chopped basil, then add some dressing to taste  before serving. You can make individual plates and spoon the dressing over, or serve in a bowl and toss. Other fun additions are avocado and feta, but be creative! Any type of nuts, cheese or herbs are welcome here. Enjoy!

Serves 4 as a side

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Fashion Feast: Floral Summer Dresses + Salads

I'm starting a new series on this blog called FASHION FEAST! I love the idea of pairing seasonal clothing or accessories with "matching" seasonal dishes, so here goes! I saw these  food and fashion mash-ups on Bon Appetit years ago and have always wanted to do something similar.

If I could spend every day of summer in a floral dress, I probably would! So to kick things off, here's my list of 10 (affordable!) Summer Floral Dresses and Summer Salads to eat while wearing them:

>> Click on each dress pic to shop, and each salad pic for the recipe <<

Cheers to sun dresses and salads for the warm days ahead!


Salad from Miramar Farm

Jonathan, baby Max and I visited the most inspiring farm recently in Half Moon Bay, on the coast near where we live called Miramar Farms. It's a stunning spot created by Jayne and Mark Battey that hosts groups for learning programs, meetings and workshops. I was moved by the beauty and quiet of this farm overlooking the sea. Guests must leave feeling so renewed and rejuvenated! After spending just an hour there, I sure did.

 Miramar Farms. The ocean at Half Moon Bay is in the distance.

Miramar Farms. The ocean at Half Moon Bay is in the distance.

 A labrynth for personal reflection

A labrynth for personal reflection

 Jon &amp; Max walking the Labrynth

Jon & Max walking the Labrynth

 Visitors can sit in the tea house for some quiet time.

Visitors can sit in the tea house for some quiet time.

 The farm beds

The farm beds

Food is grown at the farm specifically to be served to the guests. We met Miramar's chef, Robin, and farmer, Liz, who work together with others to create amazing meals throughout the week. They sent us home with a huge bag full of the most beautiful greens: lettuces, a spicy salad mix, kale, radishes, turnips, herbs and flowers. There's really something about seeing where a vegetable is grown, picking it, and eating it on the same day. It tastes SO much better!! (Because it is!) Knowing exactly where it came from, and meeting Liz who had spent weeks cultivating it, made me appreciate the flavor even more. 

 Lettuce we got to take home

Lettuce we got to take home

 Liz holding baby Max

Liz holding baby Max

We went to a friend's house for dinner that night and I made a giant salad, with nothing but the lettuce, radishes and the spicy salad mix Liz had picked for us. I served it with this citrussy dressing below (that I created recently for Buzz + Bloom honey) and it was the best salad I'd had in a LONG time. 

Get the salad dressing recipe here.