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Summer veggies - what r u making?

lynnlato Jun 26, 2009 03:22 PM

Now that summer is in full swing I've have been eating veggies like mad! I was inpsired by a summer veggie gratin raygunclan recently posted and now I just can't get enough. Salads, gratins, tomato sandwiches, gorgeous potatoes - I'm in veggie heaven.

What are some of your favorite summer vegetables dishes? Help me keep this ball rolling.

  1. j
    Jibe Jul 27, 2009 09:24 AM

    Summer Squash Gratin recipe from 101 Cookbooks:

    http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jibe
      lynnlato Jul 27, 2009 09:31 AM

      I just made something similiar, only without the breadcrumbs. Yours looks better than what I ended up with.

    2. pikawicca Jul 26, 2009 06:32 PM

      Creamed corn:

      Fry one strip of bacon per person, chopped up in a skillet. When crisp. grate corn on the large holes of a box grater, directly into skillet, about 2 ears per person. When creamy, grind in black pepper and serve. Good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: pikawicca
        lynnlato Jul 27, 2009 09:31 AM

        Okay, yum.

      2. lynnlato Jul 26, 2009 06:16 PM

        I just made the eggplant and tomato gratin w/ feta, mint & Kalamata olives from fine living. Again, very good. The base is carmelized onions and then you stagger rows of sliced, roasted eggplant with the tomatoes, sprinkle w/ the feta and fresh chopped mint and tuck sliced Kalamata olives in here and there. Drizzle with olive oil, finish w/ fresh bread crumbs, more mint and more oil and bake at 375 for an hour. Yum!!!!

        1. Phurstluv Jul 26, 2009 02:49 PM

          I remembered another great way to do tomatoes, that is just great in the summer. Roast Provencal tomatoes. A Martha Stewart recipe I've been using for quite a few years. Take Roma tomatoes, and slice into four rounds. Chop fresh herbs, I used parsley, thyme & oregano today, but will use some basil too, if I have it on hand. Mince or press a couple of cloves of garlic, salt & f.g. black pepper, and a couple of tbsp of good olive oil. Mix herb mixture together, then place tomatoes on a rack over a sheet pan, and top each with about a tsp of the herb mixture. Put in a low (300) oven, for about a 1/2 hour, checking on them to make sure they don't dry out too much. They're delicious at room temperature on sandwiches, with a roast lamb buffet, or as a side dish to grilled chicken, which is how I'm doing them tonight. It makes the whole house smell like summer in Provence!

          1. g
            ginnyhw Jul 16, 2009 10:48 AM

            Google Calabacitas for some great Mexican themed vegetable side dishes with corn and squashes. Our favorite was in the newspaper food section a few years ago. It helps to have a mandoline.

            Slice thin one large onion, two medium zucchini and two medium yellow squash. Saute onion in 3 tbs of oil over medium heat 5 minutes, add squashes, salt and a couple of minced garlic cloves. Saute 2 minutes and cover for 5. Add a bag of frozen corn and cook until most of the liquid is gone. Stir in a can of Rotel (tomatoes and green chili), top with 1/2 pound of cheddar, cover and remove from the heat.

            1. Phurstluv Jul 15, 2009 06:58 PM

              Just grilled some Japanese eggplant rounds to make eggplant parm stacks with fresh beefsteaks, fresh mozz, briefly broil, then top with crumbled parmesan and garlic croutons and basil oil.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Phurstluv
                c
                cimui Jul 15, 2009 09:35 PM

                Ooh la la! That sounds beautiful as well as delicious.

              2. l
                lgss Jul 15, 2009 06:19 PM

                Shepherd's salad is a summer staple for us. We recently began making the potato salad recipe from Tami J. Benton's Pure and Simple cookbook. It uses cashews in the dressing!

                2 Replies
                1. re: lgss
                  v
                  Val Jul 15, 2009 06:48 PM

                  lgss, do you mean the dressing was cashew butter or made from cashew butter? I was out to lunch with an old friend today and she chose a vegan entree which consisted of cabbage "cups" or leaves filled with yellow corn that had some kind of cashew butter dressing on it..and she said she could not believe how delicious it was. Wished I'd chosen it, too!

                  1. re: Val
                    l
                    lgss Jul 16, 2009 04:33 AM

                    It is made from whole cashews, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic, salt, freshly ground mustard seed, turmeric, and water run through the VitaMix with dill and relish added after.

                2. q
                  Querencia Jun 28, 2009 01:34 PM

                  When local eggplant gets nice in the Farmers' Market I always make a big moussaka, chill it, cut into 12 squares, wrap each in foil and then in a plastic bag, and freeze. It is lovely to have on hand when I get busy.

                  1. tcamp Jun 28, 2009 07:35 AM

                    Oh, my gosh, I forgot one of my absolute favs. Steamed cauliflower with a marinade made of green olives, tarragon, capers, and parsley from Deborah Madison's Local Flavors. I just made this with 2 CSA cauliflowers the other night. Delicious!!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: tcamp
                      goodhealthgourmet Jun 28, 2009 01:22 PM

                      that *does* sound delicious. there's just something about cauliflower with capers - it's one of my favorite combinations!

                    2. tcamp Jun 28, 2009 06:42 AM

                      Tomato sandwiches on toasted sourdough with thinly sliced onions, caraway chedder, S&P.
                      Sauteed, sliced pattypans with garlic, chopped jalapeno, and maybe basil on top.
                      Ratatouille.
                      Chicken, pork or beef medallions pan cooked with browned mushrooms (mushroom mix from the farmers market) and cream.
                      Lightly stir fried cucumbers with garlic and chili paste.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: tcamp
                        kchurchill5 Jun 28, 2009 06:59 AM

                        Love the stir fried cucumbers!!
                        Rest sounds edible too, lol. Very nice.

                      2. lynnlato Jun 27, 2009 07:19 PM

                        Once the gorgeous big red juicy tomatoes start rollin' in we often will cut them into thick slices and fan out on plates w/ vinaigrette and crumbled Stilton, s&p. Sooooo good.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: lynnlato
                          kchurchill5 Jun 28, 2009 06:02 AM

                          My favorite is to marinade slices of mozz in a simple balsamic vinaigrette, fresh, balsamic, olive oil, s/p and oregano and a little garlic. Then I take a medium good ripe beefsteak or similar and cut 3 nice slices in it not going all the way through. Also drizzle the same vinaigrette on it and in the slices. After a hour, Put a slice of the mozz in each slice of the tomato. Drizzle with a little of the vinaigrette and top with some dried bread crumbs and a drizzle of evoo over that. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 or until the tomato is slightly cooked and the cheese starts to melt. It depends on the size of the tomato. Usually 20 or 30. It is an amazing side dish to a grilled steak or a nice grilled pork loin. It is so pretty and so good.

                          1. re: kchurchill5
                            Phurstluv Jun 28, 2009 04:57 PM

                            That would be nice with romas and the little balls, bocconcini, of mozz. Romas hold up well to heat.

                            1. re: Phurstluv
                              kchurchill5 Jun 28, 2009 07:43 PM

                              I actually use medium or large beefsteaks for this. They don't cook too long but turn out soft and perfect. I had some take 15 min and others take 30 depending on their size and how much mozz.

                              But yes, you could easily make this with romas or anything. small slices in romas would be great in the plums or romas. make a small slice on the bottom of the roma so they sit straight, but yes, any tomato will work good.

                        2. s
                          Shazza Jun 27, 2009 05:50 PM

                          I made this delicious broccoli pesto pasta tonight. I'm not sure if broccoli is a 'summer' veggie but i can certainly get it in my neighbourhood. The final product is light, refreshing and healthy - exactly what I want to eat on a warm summer night.

                          http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/ma...

                          1. o
                            onrushpam Jun 27, 2009 04:59 PM

                            Went to one of my favorite produce stands today (Thomasville, GA) and it was INSANE! The owner and a poor woman on her first day working the counter crashed into each other and white acre peas flew everywhere! When I was paying, they were backed up 21 bushels on requests for shelled peas and telling people it would be an hour!

                            I snagged my little quart of shelled butter beans, along with some awesome fresh sweet corn, a few baby yellow squash, some itty bitty new potatoes, some pole beans and a few Vidalia onions. I forgot to get the eggs! I have tomatoes from a friend's garden, so didn't need to buy any of those.

                            Thursday night, I put 12 quart bags of GA peaches in the freezer. I just took a little cobbler out of the oven and it looks beautiful.

                            1. HillJ Jun 27, 2009 04:09 PM

                              http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

                              I spotted this zucchini recipe on S.Eats and thought it looked great. Have to give it a try next week.

                              1. Phurstluv Jun 27, 2009 03:29 PM

                                Another thing I love to do is make fried red tomatoes! only when the beefsteaks are big and gorgeous, but not over ripe.

                                Slice the tomatoes rather thickly, than slather one side with softened boursin cheese. Dip in an egg wash, then panko crumbs (or any breadcrumbs for that matter) and saute in hot olive oil, in a non stick pan, in case some of the cheese melts out. They crisp up beautifully, and you have that melted garlicky cream cheese on top of a luscious warm ripe tomato slice. It is heaven. We gobble them up as appetizers, we can never keep enough on the plate.

                                Had these about 20+ years ago in the North End of Boston at a great Italian restaurant and have made them ever since! Try it, they're great!

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: Phurstluv
                                  j
                                  jencounter Jun 27, 2009 04:03 PM

                                  OH WOW, that sounds both devilish and devine.

                                  1. re: jencounter
                                    Phurstluv Jun 27, 2009 04:08 PM

                                    Trust me, it is!!

                                  2. re: Phurstluv
                                    kchurchill5 Jun 27, 2009 04:34 PM

                                    I totally agree, I do a similar dish but not like that. I love this idea spreading the cheese on it. That will definitely be a try

                                    1. re: Phurstluv
                                      goodhealthgourmet Jun 27, 2009 05:40 PM

                                      ok, that's just obscene...but in a good way ;)

                                      1. re: Phurstluv
                                        c
                                        cimui Jun 27, 2009 06:12 PM

                                        Oh my goodness... I just drooled a little bit on my keyboard. That does sound amazing. (To reference a different thread... this sounds like a worthy reason to deseed a tomato!)

                                        1. re: cimui
                                          Phurstluv Jun 28, 2009 04:56 PM

                                          I never really thought about it, but then the cheese would melt thru the holes and crisp up on the other side - wow you may just have come up with an improvement!!

                                      2. chicgail Jun 27, 2009 02:00 PM

                                        I'm getting ready to make a picnic salad with cucumber, red onions, pea shoots and baby beet greens in a balsamic vinegarette. Lots of color, lots of flavor; lots of crunch.

                                        1. Channa Jun 27, 2009 09:58 AM

                                          Escarole and beans -- an Italian classic, and proof that simple is usually best.

                                          1. HillJ Jun 27, 2009 09:29 AM

                                            grilled portabellos and eggplant for lunch in about 10 mins.
                                            Now that we have a grill setup at work...I'm only happy lady!

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: HillJ
                                              Phurstluv Jun 27, 2009 01:12 PM

                                              That reminds me that I'm due to make portobello burgers on the grill for lunch! I love marinating them in olive oil, balsamic, s&p and roasting or grilling them then topping with cheese and toppings like a hamburger. The kids like them, also. Definitely next week!

                                              1. re: Phurstluv
                                                HillJ Jun 27, 2009 03:00 PM

                                                oh yum, Phurstluv! Delicious!

                                                1. re: HillJ
                                                  kchurchill5 Jun 27, 2009 04:30 PM

                                                  Ok, HillJ and Ph ... here is my version. still a grilled port, tomato and arugula, but a twist.

                                                  Ever make a burger or grilled port and have the onion, tomato and lettuce slip out because of the mayo or sauce? Well the nice beefeaters were not ripe enough and I didn't want to use 3 slices of a small plum so ... this was my answer.

                                                  I marinaded the mushrooms brushed with a good balsamic vinaigrette. Then I sliced thick slices a small onion and I grilled it. Chopped it and added it to 4 chopped plum tomatoes and a 1 teaspoon minced garlic. I grilled the portabello bottom side down for just 1-2 minutes flipped over and stuffed it with the tomato, onion and garlic mix. Also through in some parsley. Grilled for 5 or so minutes and then topped with a fresh slice of mozz and presto.

                                                  Used a good grilled chibatta bread and my arugula mayo.
                                                  3 tablespoons each mayo and plain yogurt (yogurt makes it less heavy but you can use all mayo if you want), 1/2 cup arugula chopped fine, 3 teaspoons dijon, a few chopped roasted red peppers. Mix all and spread on the sandwich.

                                                  Note I have also stuffed the mushroom with the onions and tomatoes and didn't bake, just melt the cheese is you like a more fresh taste. I done both methods.

                                                  It is so so good!!

                                                  1. re: kchurchill5
                                                    Phurstluv Jun 27, 2009 04:36 PM

                                                    First of all, you are a MAD WOMAN!!! It is only 7:30 in FLA (I just got of fthe phone w/mom dishing about chowder recipes!!) and you are blogging about your port. sandwiches with a salsa on it??!! (Which is brilliant, btw!)

                                                    Why aren't you drinking at your party? Already cleaned up? You are good, GF!!

                                                    1. re: Phurstluv
                                                      HillJ Jun 27, 2009 04:39 PM

                                                      What she said!!! And, yum to all of the above! I gotta get back to the market tomorrow! Port's with pesto is a fav of mine also. I forgo the bread and just keep add'in the port's to my plate.

                                                      1. re: HillJ
                                                        goodhealthgourmet Jun 27, 2009 05:38 PM

                                                        ever use the portobello AS a bun? it's more of a knife & fork eating experience because using your hands to eat it that way is an extremely messy proposition, but it's a delicious, healthy (and gluten-free!) alternative to bread.

                                                        i also love to stuff them. i saute the chopped stems with red onion, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes & a splash of balsamic. cool slightly, combine with chopped spinach, goat cheese, and ricotta or cottage cheese. fold in some fresh torn basil and season with S&P to taste. stuff mixture into pre-grilled caps, return to the grill for a few minutes until filling is warmed through. drizzle with balsamic before serving. yum!

                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                          HillJ Jun 27, 2009 06:26 PM

                                                          absolutely, ghg! prefer port's w/out bread (and I love bread). Gosh you gals are making me so hungry and I just had dinner!

                                                          all great suggestions, tyou!

                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                            Phurstluv Jun 27, 2009 06:39 PM

                                                            Sounds awesome, will have to try that next!

                                              2. Uncle Bob Jun 27, 2009 08:04 AM

                                                Focaccia burgers ---Fresh tomatoes, and lots of fresh basil!!!!

                                                Holey Moley...It's good!!!!!

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Uncle Bob
                                                  tcamp Jun 28, 2009 06:37 AM

                                                  What is a focaccia burger? Sounds like something I need to try.

                                                  1. re: tcamp
                                                    kchurchill5 Jun 28, 2009 06:40 AM

                                                    For me, I just use foccacia bread vs a standard burger bun. My favorite is portabellos, cheese, tomato and basil or arugla. I posted below.

                                                2. f
                                                  foodie4444 Jun 27, 2009 07:47 AM

                                                  I just did a spring onion and pea soup with mint. Simple and delicious. I added some greek yogurt to thicken. I am doing yellow squash with lots of basil from the garden tonight.

                                                  1. cassoulady Jun 27, 2009 06:42 AM

                                                    I have been grilling lots of zucchini and squash. I have made garlic scape pesto as well.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: cassoulady
                                                      LNG212 Jun 27, 2009 06:44 AM

                                                      Were you the one that posted this on the garlic scape thread? I was inspired by that thread to try it too. So I bought a bunch of scapes yesterday at the greenmarket. :)

                                                    2. v
                                                      Val Jun 27, 2009 06:08 AM

                                                      Love the grilled veggies also as so many others refer to here. That's probably our favorite.
                                                      Another is this Crisp Chipotle Shrimp with Corn and Scallions--fresh corn is so great! Stores are almost giving it away here in FL--have made this 3 times since May and will probably make it again this week for a son who is visiting:
                                                      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Val
                                                        lynnlato Jun 27, 2009 10:25 AM

                                                        Wow, Val, that looks awesome! I'm adding this to my list also. My family would love everything about this dish. Thanks!

                                                      2. c
                                                        cimui Jun 27, 2009 12:23 AM

                                                        Mmm, nice post. I'm making gallons upon gallons of

                                                        - ratatouille
                                                        - chopped salad (of green peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, corn, onion, dill or cilantro, vidalia onions and black / red beans; marinate in cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, sugar, garlic powder... sometimes with roasted, half-ground cumin seed for variation)
                                                        - gazpacho
                                                        - fresh cucumber "pickles" (rice wine vinegar, sugar, salt, dill, garlic)
                                                        - melon with prosciutto
                                                        - mint simple syrup for use in mojitos (and mojitos, of course)
                                                        - lemon/thyme sorbet
                                                        - grilled peaches and nectarines
                                                        - strawberries in cream

                                                        20 Replies
                                                        1. re: cimui
                                                          d
                                                          dfrostnh Jun 27, 2009 04:53 AM

                                                          We had our first handful of sugar snap peas this past week. There's loads of blossoms so I'm expecting a good harvest next week. It's just a short row. Have some garden lettuce, spinach and Asian greens. Looking at making Oriental noodle salads. I have to make some fresh cucumber pickles, too. Thinking about homemade bahn mi sandwiches once the diakon radishes are big enough. Can hardly wait for Thai basil to get bigger. We've had the first local strawberries and I just found an interesting strawberry/spinach salad recipe with a dressing made from strawberry vinegar. Need to try some mustard greens recipes. When local corn is ready we'll have it several times a week. Just boiled and buttered. Just made some garlic scape and parsley butter for bread but it would probably be great on baked potatoes, too.
                                                          Invited to a pig roast today and was asked to bring baked beans (homemade, of course) but I'm looking forward to a variety of salads. I hope our neighbor invited a bunch of good cooks.

                                                          1. re: cimui
                                                            LNG212 Jun 27, 2009 06:16 AM

                                                            Okay, you've both mentioned "cucumber pickles". How does one make these?? I love new pickles; are they like that?

                                                            1. re: LNG212
                                                              c oliver Jun 27, 2009 08:41 AM

                                                              Aren't pickles made from cucumbers the standard? Love pickles, hate cukes. Go figure.

                                                              1. re: LNG212
                                                                c
                                                                cimui Jun 27, 2009 10:58 AM

                                                                I've only eaten, not made, new pickles, but I think the basic idea is the same. No need to boil vinegar or add celery seed in this method, though.

                                                                I cut up skin-on hothouse cucumbers into a 1/4 to 1/3 inch dice and then soak in the rice wine vinegar solution (salt, sugar, minced garlic and, if you like, fresh dill, to taste) for a few hours before eating. Leftovers are wonderfully garlicky and really soak in the flavors after a few days. Minus the dill, variations of this preparation are served all over Asia. They're very refreshing in the summertime and incredibly easy to throw together. I make them any time I have cucumbers languishing in the fridge.

                                                                1. re: LNG212
                                                                  Caitlin McGrath Jun 27, 2009 01:33 PM

                                                                  For another variation on quick refrigerated pickles, I like these saffron cucumber pickles: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/sa...

                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                    c
                                                                    cimui Jun 27, 2009 07:50 PM

                                                                    Very interesting, esp. the addition of white wine.

                                                                    Do you actually taste the saffron in this version? I have to admit that I've only cooked with saffron a few times in my life because it's so expensive and the flavor so faint.

                                                                    1. re: cimui
                                                                      goodhealthgourmet Jun 27, 2009 07:56 PM

                                                                      cimui, you may need to find a different source for your saffron...the flavor is far from faint. in fact, it can easily overpower a dish.

                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                        c
                                                                        cimui Jun 27, 2009 08:08 PM

                                                                        really? the most recent time i attempted paella, i bought my saffron in thread form from kalustyan's. (other times, i used powdered stuff from my FIL's spice racks, so i don't know the original source.) the saffron thread had a strong scent before i added it to paella, but i could detect barely any flavor in the paella after cooking. any places you'd recommend (other than penzey's, of course)?

                                                                        1. re: cimui
                                                                          goodhealthgourmet Jun 27, 2009 08:21 PM

                                                                          actually, i'd typically suggest Kalustyan's. assuming you didn't get a bad (i.e. old or stale) batch, it's your method that needs tweaking. did you just add the whole, dry threads? if so, there's your problem. next time, toast for a minute or two over low heat just until they become really fragrant (you don't want to brown them!), then crush (i use a mortar & pestle), add to warm broth, and let steep for about 10 minutes. use the broth to cook the rice/paella. HUGE difference, i promise.

                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                            c
                                                                            cimui Jun 28, 2009 07:27 AM

                                                                            wow, thanks, all three of you. i appreciate the troubleshooting help.

                                                                            GHG, i didn't toast the saffron threads, though i did crumble it, Caitlin. the recipe i used called for adding the saffron along with broth and herbs to sauteed aromatics, chorizo and rice. you boil this mixture until the liquid is absorbed. i also wonder if other, strong flavors in the dish (chorizo, smoked paprika) might've overwhelmed the saffron. in any event, i'll definitely give the toasting method a try.

                                                                            kchurchill, my FIL's saffron powder may definitely have been too old... i've found spices in his spice cabinet from 1985, when he first moved into the house. :)

                                                                            1. re: cimui
                                                                              kchurchill5 Jun 28, 2009 07:35 AM

                                                                              Ouch 85? I have some old too. If you can get the small pouches they work great. I get them for most spices I don't use on a regular basis.

                                                                              I get small pouches of Badia for 59 cents of many herbs bottles for 1-3 dollars. I love them. This is a link where to get them.
                                                                              http://www.badia-spices.com/cooking/c...

                                                                              You can order online too. I love the spices for most cuz some I just don't use all the time so a small pouch works great.

                                                                              1. re: cimui
                                                                                Caitlin McGrath Jun 28, 2009 12:15 PM

                                                                                Smoked paprika will certainly overwhelm saffron, in my experience.

                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                  kchurchill5 Jun 28, 2009 07:40 PM

                                                                                  I agree, I use some but not a lot with saffron. I didn't think about that. Nice catch.

                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                    c
                                                                                    cimui Jun 28, 2009 08:19 PM

                                                                                    thanks, y'all. further experimentation is definitely in order.

                                                                          2. re: cimui
                                                                            Caitlin McGrath Jun 27, 2009 08:16 PM

                                                                            You do taste the saffron, and it lends a pleasant and interesting flavor.

                                                                            Steeping saffron in hot liquid before adding to a dish brings out its flavor, as does crumbling the threads a bit. How was the saffron that goes in your paella handled? Might want to look to a place that handles lots of Spanish products, and has high turnover, for purchasing.

                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                              kchurchill5 Jun 28, 2009 05:57 AM

                                                                              I agree, saffron can be very strong but a nice flavor. Hot liquid does bring out flavor. I made saffron rice for my tapas party and steeped in a little hot water and then to the rice and it was very fragrant and a great yellow color. My publix or local grocer carry Badia spices, inexpensive, but they have a small little container of just a few saffron threads very cheap which work perfect since I don't cook with it that often. I've always found mine to be fresh and it never sits in my cabinet that way. A small spanish store up in Tampa sells it in very small packs too which I enjoy getting when I am up that way. I think you got old or a bad batch.

                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                chef chicklet Jul 16, 2009 08:12 AM

                                                                                Caitlin I had a teesy vial of saffron for the longest time. Believe it or not when I used the last of it for a seafood paella, the fragrance was there. Actually for me, saffron is more about the smell than the flavor, which for me is earthy and light. The color was gorgeous, but oh the fragrance was incredible. It was very good saffron. Years ago I made the mistake of buying safflower thinking it was saffron. Properly stored it can be preserved quite well. Must be kept airtight and in the dark.

                                                                            2. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                              c
                                                                              cimui Jul 14, 2009 10:52 PM

                                                                              Caitlin, I made these pickles, finally (after sitting on my cucumbers for far too long). Thank you for the recipe! They tasted lovely, but I still didn't get a very strong saffron flavor. I'm wondering if it's because of an error in measurement: The recipe calls for 1/2 a tsp of saffron threads. I didn't pack in the threads or powder them before measuring, though I did crumble them more or less succesfully before adding to the liquid. Think the measurement method is the problem? Should I've packed in the saffron? (This is a new batch of saffron, by the way!)

                                                                              1. re: cimui
                                                                                Caitlin McGrath Jul 15, 2009 04:02 PM

                                                                                Oh, I'm glad you like them! As I recall, the saffron flavor is subtle in the recipe when I've made it. I don't think the threads are meant to be packed down when you measure (and I think it would be hard to pack it down without pulverizing first - or in the process). Because there's plenty of air in a spoonful of saffron, I do tend to use heaping measures rather than level. You could try using a bit more next time, but keep in mind that saffron is a subtle seasoning - unless you use too much, in which case it can taste quite harsh, as GHG says above.

                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                  c
                                                                                  cimui Jul 15, 2009 06:33 PM

                                                                                  Thanks, Caitlin!

                                                                        2. greedygirl Jun 26, 2009 08:46 PM

                                                                          Just got my first broad beans (favas), which I love. Serendipitously, also got radishes in this week's veg box so am going to make Ottolenghi's broad bean and radish salad with preserved lemon. It's amazing and a real taste of summer.

                                                                          http://eatseasonably.co.uk/pdfs/YO_ra...

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                          1. re: greedygirl
                                                                            goodhealthgourmet Jun 26, 2009 09:04 PM

                                                                            that reminds me, i grilled favas for the first time and it worked like a charm! i got the idea from last month's Gourmet...

                                                                            soak the whole pods in cold water for 15 minutes, pat dry, and brush with olive oil. grill over medium-hot charcoal or medium heat (covered) on a gas grill for about 8 minutes, turning occasionally, until the pods are tender & charred. serve with coarse salt and eat like edamame.

                                                                            the pods retain some of the moisture from soaking, so the beans essentially steam inside pods while picking up some of the smokiness from the grill.

                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                              operagirl Jul 16, 2009 08:01 AM

                                                                              Wow, I didn't even know you could eat the pods of fava beans. Are they only tender when they're very small?

                                                                              1. re: operagirl
                                                                                Phurstluv Jul 16, 2009 08:39 AM

                                                                                I don't think you eat the pods. You pop the beans out of the pod. It sounds like the second skin on the beans is edible, tho.

                                                                                1. re: Phurstluv
                                                                                  operagirl Jul 16, 2009 09:58 AM

                                                                                  Ah okay. The description of the pods as "tender" lead me to believe they were supposed to be eaten. But I guess that's just a gauge of when they're cooked, and not meant to mean that they're edible.

                                                                                  1. re: operagirl
                                                                                    Phurstluv Jul 16, 2009 10:50 AM

                                                                                    Right, right. It's strange enough that they're being eaten with the skins on anyway, but I've done it before w/out consequence. But not pods! Too much roughage!

                                                                          2. Uncle Bob Jun 26, 2009 07:16 PM

                                                                            One thing I've been enjoying is Caprese Salads with fresh tomatoes and basil from the garden
                                                                            I love the stuff!!!

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Uncle Bob
                                                                              c
                                                                              cimui Jun 27, 2009 12:25 AM

                                                                              I most emphatically agree: I love the stuff!!!

                                                                              Interesting variation: Use basil-infused olive oil or serve basil in the form of a sorbet.

                                                                              1. re: cimui
                                                                                Uncle Bob Jun 27, 2009 05:07 AM

                                                                                I prepare and serve it along these lines..........

                                                                                http://whatscookingamerica.net/Salad/InsalataCaprese.htm

                                                                                http://www.initaly.com/itathome/food/...

                                                                                1. re: cimui
                                                                                  c
                                                                                  cpw Jun 27, 2009 09:46 AM

                                                                                  I also make capresed with basil oil, but what is basil in form of sorbet? I am wondering how you make it.

                                                                                  1. re: cpw
                                                                                    c
                                                                                    cimui Jun 28, 2009 08:10 PM

                                                                                    I've only made it a few times, so I'm still trying to figure out how to tweak my recipe. (It's lovely at a NYC restaurant called Spiga.) Results are a little icier than I'd like, but that might be a problem with my ice cream maker. Here's what I've been doing:

                                                                                    Make a simple syrup by boiling 1/2 cup sugar in 1/2 cup water. Once it hits boiling point, reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. Cool to room temperature or colder. Blend with 1/2 cup of lime or lemon juice (or just use water if you want a purer basil flavor) and about 1/4 cup of loosely packed shredded basil. Pour mixture into an ice cream machine and process according to the manufacturer's directions. (Alternately, freeze in a pan until solid, but not rock hard and scrape into balls using an ice cream scoop or melon baller, to serve.)

                                                                              2. kchurchill5 Jun 26, 2009 06:43 PM

                                                                                What don't I make.
                                                                                Grilled corn with lime chili butter
                                                                                Grilled squash, eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, asparagus or a combo of all. Usually just
                                                                                with olive oil s/p. Great with the natural flavor
                                                                                Cucumber, tomato and onion salad with Nagamo Oregano rice wine vinegar, s/p Perfect!
                                                                                Tons of past dishes with roasted veggies a light sauce and fresh cheese
                                                                                Sitr fry with snow peas, squash and peppers, water chestnuts, soy and some sesame
                                                                                oil and sesame seeds
                                                                                Tons of sauteed veggies with pasta, rice, over fish and chicken
                                                                                Lots of fresh tomato, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower and zucchini soups
                                                                                Zucchini and mushroom and carmelized onion breads
                                                                                Pan fried heirlooms in a fresh breadcrumb crust with fresh melted mozz and basil
                                                                                Pan fried eggplant with a fresh tomato puree served over fresh sauteed spinach and
                                                                                grilled portabellos.
                                                                                Grilled stuff portabellos with all kinds of fillings
                                                                                Roasted corn salads with black beans, red peppers, jalapenos and a nice vinaigrette
                                                                                Fresh fruit, mango and avacados, mixed with fresh cucumbers, onions, corn, orzo or
                                                                                beans or any combinations.
                                                                                And of course paninis, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, arugula
                                                                                Kale or spinach soups, cream of spinach, cream of mushroom, squash soup, cream of
                                                                                potato with fresh herbs.
                                                                                Also salad. Endless combinations

                                                                                I cook with fresh veggies almost every night from the market. Even though tonight I just had a fried egg sandwich, sampling too much of what I am making for my tapas party ... I still have fresh mozz from the market over a fresh heirloom tomato with my egg sandwich.

                                                                                1. chef chicklet Jun 26, 2009 06:09 PM

                                                                                  With nice salad fixings everywhere, I'm craving salad like crazy. I made a really nice shrimp louie like salad tonight. hard boiled egg, red leaf and iceberg lettuce, beautiful tomatoes, avocado, and beautiful shrimp, actually just loaded with fresh shrimp. Topped it all off with homemade Thousand Island, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                    c oliver Jun 26, 2009 06:26 PM

                                                                                    You're getting tomatoes too???

                                                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                                                      goodhealthgourmet Jun 26, 2009 07:21 PM

                                                                                      until my beloved Jerseys come in, i'm living on pints of organic grape tomatoes from a PA farm that i buy at TJ's. they've been excellent.

                                                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                                                        lynnlato Jun 27, 2009 05:13 AM

                                                                                        We're getting tomatoes in NC. The farmers have had them at the market the past two weeks. Mine are still green, but this is my first attempt at growing my own and I'm struggling. :(

                                                                                        1. re: lynnlato
                                                                                          coll Jun 28, 2009 03:43 AM

                                                                                          We're getting North Carolina tomatoes here in NY the last few weeks, and they are very close to our local summer tomatoes. With this depressing weather, it's such a treat! There's a trucker that's been bringing them up to the farmstands every Weds.

                                                                                    2. Phurstluv Jun 26, 2009 05:55 PM

                                                                                      Making a lot of corn, roasted tomatoes, and salads. One of my favorite salad/salsa combos at this time of year is a fresh corn, tomato and avocado salad dressed with lime juice, salt & pepper. Boil the corn briefly or grill it, then shuck the kernels into a bowl and add sliced grape tomatoes, and chunks of ripe avocado. Delicious!

                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Phurstluv
                                                                                        lynnlato Jun 26, 2009 06:05 PM

                                                                                        Ooooh, that corn, tomato & avocado salad sounds delicious. I'm adding that to the list. Thanks!

                                                                                        1. re: Phurstluv
                                                                                          c oliver Jun 26, 2009 06:26 PM

                                                                                          You're getting corn and tomatoes already?

                                                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                                                            Phurstluv Jun 26, 2009 06:45 PM

                                                                                            I live on the west coast. Most tomatoes come from Mexico, but we do have local tomatoes now. Corn is local now. We grow everything for everybody! It's a beautiful thing!

                                                                                            1. re: Phurstluv
                                                                                              c oliver Jun 26, 2009 06:49 PM

                                                                                              I live on the west coast also but NoCal. We won't have local tomatoes and corn for QUITE a while. Where exactly do you live? Must be quite east.

                                                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                Shrinkrap Jun 27, 2009 07:10 PM

                                                                                                Lot's of tomatoes at my N.Cal farmers market today, although they could come from the central Valley.

                                                                                        2. goodhealthgourmet Jun 26, 2009 05:37 PM

                                                                                          i made a fantastic grilled vegetable salad last night. i was craving the one from The Ivy in LA, but since i wasn't about to travel 3,000 miles for a salad, i had to make up my own version...

                                                                                          grilled: zucchini, corn, asparagus, scallions & avocado
                                                                                          fresh: cucumber, grape tomatoes, cilantro, parsley mint & romaine
                                                                                          homemade vinaigrette: red wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, roasted garlic, fresh lime juice, ground cumin, smoked paprika, fresh ground pepper, sea salt, & agave nectar

                                                                                          it was fantastic, and initiated the return of my annual summertime obsession with grilled vegetables. if you've never tried grilling scallions, you're missing out - it totally transforms the flavor into sweet, smoky, juicy, mellow onion deliciousness.

                                                                                          cornmeal crusted oven "fried" okra is another summer favorite.

                                                                                          and once the good Jersey Beefsteak & heirlooms arrive, i'm all about the tomatoes! my top ways to enjoy them are in gazpacho, or a Turkish Shepherd's salad or Insalata Caprese.

                                                                                          man, i love summer!

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                            lynnlato Jun 26, 2009 05:45 PM

                                                                                            I knew you'd be good for some fabulous ideas. I am so going to try that salad! Yum, it sounds delicious.

                                                                                            I sure do miss me some PA tomatoes - the best i've ever had. The maters down here in NC pale in comparison. :(

                                                                                            What is Turkish Shepherd's salad???

                                                                                            1. re: lynnlato
                                                                                              goodhealthgourmet Jun 26, 2009 05:57 PM

                                                                                              i really need to publish this to the recipes section one of these days!

                                                                                              GHG's Coban Salatasi (Turkish Shepherd's Salad)

                                                                                              4 medium tomatoes
                                                                                              1 medium cucumber (seedless, if available)
                                                                                              1 medium-size mild onion (i prefer red or bermuda)
                                                                                              2 large jarred pepperoncini (banana peppers)*
                                                                                              6 tablespoons olive oil
                                                                                              2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
                                                                                              1 teaspoon dried oregano
                                                                                              1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
                                                                                              juice of half a lemon (1-2 tablespoons)
                                                                                              kosher salt
                                                                                              fresh cracked black pepper
                                                                                              1 large handful flat leaf parsley

                                                                                              grated mizithra cheese or crumbled feta cheese for serving

                                                                                              Halve the tomatoes, squeeze gently (don't crush them!) to remove the seeds, and discard seeds. Peel cucumber, and slice in half, lengthwise. If cucumber contains seeds, remove them by scraping gently with a spoon, & discard seeds. Dice the tomato, onion & cucumber, and combine in a large bowl. Remove & discard the stems from the pepperoncini, chop the peppers very finely, and add to the other vegetables.

                                                                                              In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, oregano and mint; season dressing to taste with salt & pepper.

                                                                                              Pour dressing over vegetables, toss well, and allow to sit, refrigerated, for at least 30 minutes (the longer, the better).

                                                                                              When ready to serve, roughly chop the parsley and sprinkle over salad (don't toss - i prefer to allow each diner to mix it into their serving after it's plated).

                                                                                              Serve with cheese on the side (i always fold 1-2 tablespoons into my serving).

                                                                                              Enjoy!

                                                                                              *Note: traditionally, this salad contains green bell peppers, but i can't eat them raw. if you don't like the bite from the pepperoncini and you're okay with green peppers, feel free to omit the pepperoncini, and add 1 cored, seeded & diced medium green pepper.

                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                lynnlato Jun 26, 2009 06:04 PM

                                                                                                I make tomato & cuc salad w/ shallots, red wine vinaigrette & whatever herbs and cheese I have on hand to toss in. Similiar. Its a perfect quick summer salad.

                                                                                          2. c oliver Jun 26, 2009 03:36 PM

                                                                                            I love to take yellow crookneck squash, cut in half lengthwise, brush with olive oil, s&p, and cook on the grill.

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