“Summertime and the living is easy” We are all familiar with the line in the song by the Gershwin Brothers. Well, on Cape Cod, summertime is not so easy living. We become challenged in our most prosperous season by an influx of more people, more cars, longer lines, traffic jams and a daily practice of patience. After all, we live in a resort area and tourism is a big part of our livelihood.
We must bear in mind that the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day offers us an even greater opportunity to stay balanced in our everyday lives. A segment of the equation is to eat a healthful and supportive diet. Wonderfully enough, summer gives us an abundance of fresh-from-the-garden produce. I love the summertime for cooking because it can be very simple and delicious. It’s my favorite of all seasons. It is nature’s time for growth and maturation, with flowers, fruits and vegetables blossoming into existence, filled with energy and vitality.
The following recipes don’t necessarily go together as a meal, but they are all fun to create and delicious to serve. Bon Appetit! And eat organically grown produce whenever there is a choice! Until next time, ciao!
Panzanella (Tuscan Bread Tomato Salad)
1 lb. country bread cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large, ripe tomatoes cut into chunks
1 large purple onion, sliced thinly
1 cucumber, cut into chunks
1 cup firmly packed basil, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar salt & pepper
Combine olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a large salad bowl. Toss lightly. Add the remaining ingredients and toss again to coat lightly. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Basil Rice Salad
1- 1/2 cup short grain brown rice
1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts
1 bunch radishes, chopped
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 cup loosely packed basil
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. tamari
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 clove garlic
Cook rice in 2 cups water and 1 tsp. salt for about 45 to 50 minutes. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Spread out to cool. Toast nuts in 300-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Watch closely, and do not burn. Blend basil, oil, water, tamari, lemon juice and garlic in blender. Mix radishes, scallions and nuts with rice. Slowly add dressing and turn. Serves 4.
Marinated Fish with Pasta
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a shallow dish. Place fish in the dish and turn often for 15 to 30 minutes.
Dressing (Combine all ingredients in blender.)
1/4 cup umeboshi vinegar (health store)
1 tbsp. minced onion
2 clove garlic
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried marjoram
1 tsp. dried chervil
1/2 tsp. sea salt freshly ground pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1- 1/2 lb. fresh salmon or tuna
1- 1/2 lb. angel hair pasta or linguini
1/2 cup roasted walnuts, chopped
4 cups assorted fresh salad greens
3/4 cup sliced scallions
3/4 cup diced cucumber
3/4 cup sliced radishes
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
Cook pasta and drain. (angel hair pasta cooks very fast) Grill fish until done (about 20 minutes). Sauté garlic lightly in olive oil. Toss pasta in olive oil and garlic. Mix well. Arrange on plate starting with greens, scallions, cucumbers and radishes. Put pasta on top of greens, fish on top of pasta; pour some dressing on top of pasta, pour some dressing on fish, and top the dish with chopped walnuts. Serves 4.