Wednesday Florence farmer’s market. Coarsely chop one large onion red or white; a large native tomato; an orange or yellow bell pepper. Brown in a little olive oil in a stock pot. Add chunks of meat from a firm white fish (monk, grouper, hake), a dozen cherry stone clams from the Atlantic brought in same-day. Season with fresh chopped chives and ground white pepper. Cover with a little water. Bring to quick boil then cover and simmer for 10 minutes until clams open. Clam juice will add to broth. Blend unseeded chunks from half a honeydew or quarter watermelon until smooth. Add for a balanced sweetness. Scoop out clams from shells and discard shells and any unopened. Stir.
Serve in bowls with a fresh baguette. Or, try Cioppino Estivo. A richer version.
Hurricane Arthur Day. Watch World Cup. Go Nederlands!
Cookout will have to wait for Saturday or Sunday:
Grilled Quick Corn in Husks– Fresh corn on the cob not out yet, but there is some ‘quick corn’ around. It’s small and edible, but not as good as summer-end sweet corn. Peel back the husks and take out the silk. Put the husks back up and soak the corn in a pot of cold water until ready to grill. Place soaked corn with husks still up on the hot grill and turn as necessary on the outer edge of the grate, so as not to burn. Cover to heat and eat.
Grilled Flank Steak- 1 1/2 lb. flank steak. Pound with textured pyramid meat mallet to tenderize. Season with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, garlic powder. Cook over hot charcoals, but cover immediately so that it stays moist. 5-6 minutes on a side. Let rest for 5 minutes off the heat. Slice against the grain and add favorite barbecue sauce.
Summer Slaw- Red cabbage slaw is my favorite. I shred a small fresh cabbage into a large bowl. Toss in 3 thinly sliced scallion ends, 2 tbsp. Boar’s Head Pepperhouse mayonnaise, 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, a handful of sesame seeds, 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp. celery salt. Check for tanginess, I like it more vinaigry than mayonnaisey. Toss well to coat the cabbage. Cover, refrigerate until ready to serve as a summer side.
Cucumber Salad– Thinly slice: 6 pickle cukes, 1/2 large red onion in bowl. Dress with 3/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1 tsp. crushed oregano, tear fresh basil leaves, celery salt, black pepper to taste. Stir, cover and chill. Add chopped native tomatoes when serving. They get tough in the marinade.
Red White Blue Dessert– Fresh strawberries, sliced; fresh blueberries in small bowls. Melt Herrell’s malted vanilla ice cream and pour over the berries. Or, strawberries and blueberries on baking powder biscuits from Atkins Farms and homemade whipped cream from Smiarowski Creamy.