Mid-Summer Inspiration

30 07 2008

It’s mid-summer and the farmer’s markets are full of great fresh produce.  Luckily, when fruits and vegetables are at their peak, you don’t have to do a lot with them to make them taste good.  Here are some simple ideas for fuss-free summer cooking. 

Why don’t you:

-Shuck some corn and brush with olive oil.  Sprinkle some salt and pepper on and roast in the oven or grill on the BBQ until golden brown, approximately 15 minutes (turn part way through cooking).  Serve with fresh butter.

-Make a chopped salad with fresh veggies.  Cut up fresh peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, thin sliced onion, blanched green beans, radishes, etc.  Arrange on a platter with some lettuce.  Drizzle with a basic vinaigrette:

Basic Vinaigrette

  • 1 Tablespoon your favourite vinegar (white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, balsamic, etc)
  • 3 to 4 Tablespoons neutral oil (such as safflower, canola, etc)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  1. Put all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined.  Use on your favourite salads.

 

-Cook new potatoes in boiling water until tender.  Toss with pesto sauce and serve with grilled meats.

-Make roasted peppers: Cut a bunch of red, yellow or orange peppers in half lengthwise and remove stem and seeds.  Roast on a grill or in the oven until skin is black and charred.  Place in a large bowl and cover bowl with a plate and let them rest for 15 minutes.  Once peppers have cooled, peel off the charred skins and discard.  Serve peppers as a side dish, in salads or in dips.

-Cut the top 1/4 off of cocktail tomatoes or large cherry tomatoes.  Remove seeds.  Place a basil leaf and cube of buffalo mozzarella in each one.  Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and drizzle tomaotes with good olive oil.

-Toss cut up peaches with a splash of amaretto liqueur and top with lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Bon Appetit and Enjoy!

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