I love summer. It really is the best time of year. The heat, the humidity, the sun, the fresh vegetables – heaven! The only downside I can think of is that it is usually (hopefully!) too nice to want to spend much time in the kitchen. I want to be at the pool, in the garden or playing bocce with friends. When I do step into the kitchen I want to create meals that are fast, seasonal and adaptable. Like potato salad. Now I’m not talking the mayonnaise loaded salad of our youth but a fresh, zingy, loaded with vegetables one that is a full on meal in a bowl.
If you’re a glass half empty kind of person you’re may be kind of miserable right now. After all, the longest day of the year has come and gone and we are already in the slow slide to winter (perish the thought!).
I try to be a glass at least a quarter full person most of the time so after a mini-moan about how we haven’t even really had summer yet this year I tried to get in the spirit and celebrate. Not so surprisingly I did it with a meal.
New years resolutions. Goals. Affirmations. Call them what you will, it’s pretty hard at this time of year to avoid them. Whether you make them or eschew the whole idea, it’s fairly common following the holidays to want to eat a little healthier. After the excesses of the last few weeks, like it or not, most of us could stand to dial it back a bit on the fat/richness/carb factor in our meals.
One of my continued goals in 2012 is to eat locally sourced food as often as possible. The problem is that the one thing I always want at this time of year is citrus. Which of course couldn’t be less local for me if it tried. Now I confess, I eat lemons like they are going out of style all year, but come the winter months I crave ruby red grapefruit and oranges. I blame it on all the ordering of Florida citrus we did as band fundraisers growing up (is that an Eastern thing?)
It was a short summer season here in Vancouver and while I had a bumper crop of tomatoes (yeah!) there is one small problem, many of them are (still) green. Very green.
Several pints of green tomato salsa, relish and chutney later I decided I needed to make something that was edible now. The answer was obvious (not fried) green tomatoes and onion. Easy beyond belief and a great addition to your dinner table. Continue reading
It is officially fall. Boo. Yet it’s hard to be sad when Vancouver is having absolutely fabulous weather and my garden is happy.
In the spirit of keeping summer alive here is a gloriously simple cucumber salad. Perfect as a side with almost anything, it is also great with some chick peas or quinoa added for a complete meal in your lunch box.
- 2 english cucumbers or 1 large field cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4c olive oil
- 1/8c white wine or rice wine vinegar
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 2 tbsps chopped fresh dill
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
- Thinly slice cucumber and red onion. A mandolin works well (and quickly!) for this.
- Toss together in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and chopped dill.
- Pour oil, vinegar and lemon over top of cucumber and onion. Toss.
- Taste test. Add more dressing, dill or salt if necessary.
This can be eaten immediately, but it’s better made the day ahead as it lets the flavours meld.
Enjoy these last glorious days of summer.