It’s that time of year again. Chilled sipping soups. Watermelon and cucumbers balance the acid for this twist on a classic.
6-8 pickle cukes, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 ripe garden tomatoes, peeled, cored, de-seeded
2 bell peppers, de-seeded, chopped
1 small jalapeño pepper, de-seeded, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 slices day old bread, crusts cut off
6 2″-cubes watermelon, de-seeded
1/4 cup olive oil
6 tbs. red wine vinegar
celery salt, ground black pepper to taste
Soak the bread in water and wring dry. Put equal parts bread and above ingredients in stages into a blender and pulse so consistency is smooth. Stir and taste for seasoning, vinegar balance. Adjust as needed. Pour each stage into a pitcher. Serve either in small glasses to sip or in bowls with chunks of veggies, onions and parsley to garnish.
Sweet out of the fertile Connecticut River Valley earth. Asparagus. From Hadley, Massachusetts. Finally here! There is nothing like it. Will they have it at UWS Farmer’s Market? We’ll find out next year.
Steam it until tender but still crunchy. Quick cold water bath. Pat dry. Oregano. Ground black pepper. Balsamic vinaigrette. That’s it.
1 lb. sweet fresh sea scallops, trimmed and dry. Peel and remove sections from a lemon. No pulp, rind or membranes. Reserve juice as well. Smash, peel 4 cloves garlic. 1/4 cup Sancerre or dry white wine. 1 tbs. capers. Sear the scallops in olive oil until golden brown on both sides. Remove. Add butter to fry pan and add 1 lb. baby spinach, garlic, lemon sections, lemon juice, capers, wine. Stir. Season with salt and pepper, red pepper flakes. Serve immediately with scallops.
Slice 2 zucchini squashes lenghwise, about 1/8″ thick. Dip each slice in milk, then panko crumbs. Sauté each slice in a large fry pan with a little olive oil until golden brown on each side. Set aside and place slices on paper towels. Put 1 leaf fresh basil, a slice of mozzarella cheese, crushed oregano, thin prosciutto on each slice and roll them up and secure with toothpicks. Place rolls into heated fry pan with a little more olive oil to a deeper brown all around. Add 2 native tomatoes seeded and diced, a little butter to finish. Cover for 5 minutes on low heat. Eat.
Breakfast for 2. In a small fry pan, sauté a quarter red onion, cut into thick slices in a little butter. Add 1/4 green cabbage cut into chunks and brown on all sides, adding another pat of butter. Add 2 eggs, broken, and stir until eggs are set on the bottom. Pop under the broiler to brown. Serve with hot sauce or salsa.
When chopping or slicing fresh veggies, it’s important that they be dry before sauté or salad. So, I place a paper towel or two into a bowl and place cut veggies on the towel in the bowl before cooking or tossing. Moisture drains out. When ready to use, slide towels away. Veggies are crunchy and dry.
My favorite. Make 2 bags Pepperidge Farm Cornbread stuffing as directed. Separately, in a large skillet, in a little olive oil, brown one sweet onion, coarsely chopped. Add 2 cups peeled, cored, chopped tart green apples, 2 cups thickly sliced celery stalks until lightly browned. Add ground black pepper, garlic powder to taste. Blend into cornbread stuffing. Put in a baking dish in 375 degree oven covered until heated through, uncover ’til crispy on top.
Cut 1 zucchini and 1 summer squash into lengthwise quarters. Trim ends. Place in a pie pan seed-sides up. Drizzle olive oil over them, sprinkle with generous amount of cracked black pepper and garlic powder. Put in oven and turn to 400 degrees convect. When oven hits 400, turn off. Take out the squash after another 5 minutes. Let cool. Cut into small bite-sized chunks.
Make couscous. Use casserole dish with tight fitting cover. Put 1 cup dry couscous in the casserole dish. Add squash chunks. Boil one cup chicken broth and a couple pats of butter. Pour boiling broth over the couscous and squash. Cover and shake a bit to distribute liquid. Let stand 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Late summer farm stand fare. Delish. Peel and quarter 4-6 local Valley potatoes. Peel and slice 3 parsnips into small diagonal chunks. Cover with water in a large saucepan. Season with a generous amount of cracked black peppercorns and a little kosher salt. Cover and bring to boil until potatoes and parsnips are very tender. Uncover and simmer until water is almost gone. Add 3+ tablespoons butter and chives to taste. Let simmer until water is evaporated and vegetables brown up a bit. Mash with a hand tool until blended. Savory side dish.
Peel and chop 3 farmstand pickle cukes into small chunks into a medium sized bowl. Add 6 shredded, trimmed mint leaves, 1 cup plain yogurt, 3 small scallions, sliced. Season with 1/4 tsp. cumin, 1/4 tsp. coriander, 1/4 tsp. celery salt, ground pepper to taste. Stir. Add a drizzle of red wine vinegar to taste. Stir. Chill for at least an hour. Serve with Tandoori chicken or as a refreshing side with any meat.