first listen

{ bon iver, ‘bon iver’ – out june 21; album artwork by gregory euclide }

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a seat by the window in the morning and 10 new songs coursing through my ears — this is how i’ve been feeling these days. fresh and full of breeze and just a little bit enchanted. i won’t attempt to write about bon iver’s new album now because i’m too busy playing and playing it again, but there’s a beautiful write-up here at npr (where you can also stream all the tracks on the album).

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avocado feta salsa-salad

i love it when the sky turns this color.

the amazing thing about the wind and rain when it comes to this city is how swiftly it clears out the dregs of dirty grit and smog. the skyline gets polished up to brightness; the mountains suddenly look close enough to touch.

nights like these call for something spectacularly fresh to serve up on the dinner plate and a cold glass of something wonderful. with some barbecued chicken or grilled steak, this bright and flavorful salsa is one of my favorites to serve as a side. it’s excellent as a dip-and-scoop for tortilla or pita chips of course, but really i prefer to eat this by the forkful as a salad of sorts. i had it recently to go with some spicy marinated beef, sliced thin as could be, and a little glass of that fruity sangria – and it was the perfect thing to have while sitting under the deepening twilight and brightening stars.

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Avocado Feta Salsa-Salad
Adapted from AllRecipes.com
Makes 2 to 4 servings

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 to 2 ripe avocadoes, peeled, pitted and cut into small chunks
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice, plus more to taste
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese

In a medium bowl, gently toss all ingredients together using your hands or a soft rubber spatula. Taste, and add more lemon or lime juice as needed. The salsa is prettiest when served immediately; however if serving later, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and place a reserved avocado pit in the container as well to prevent some browning of the avocado.