SUMMER DELICIOUSNESS FROM OUR LOCAL NUTRITION - ”NESS”
Summer is here and the weather forecast for local Fourth of July celebrations predicts a partly cloudy day with a high around 80o F. Perfect! After all of the parades are over, back yards will be filledwith the heavenly scents of hot dogs, burgers and BBQ ribs on the grill, and picnic tables will beladen with deviled eggs, baked beans, macaroni and potato salads, pies and cakes and homemade icecream. No doubt, Brooks BBQ will be making the local rounds as well. But don’t forget that summeralso brings us a mouthwatering array of fresh fruits and veggies at our local farmers’ markets thatcan add some variety and balance to the heaviness of the aforementioned foods on the table.Add some fresh, cool colors from dark green lettuces, watercress, beet greens, kale, with green onionsand garlic scapes, and sweet, snow and sugar-snap peas along with a few of your favorite nuts orseeds for a healthful and simple salad. Use blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, or coldcantaloupe and other melons as a topping on shortbread. Put chunky pieces of green, red, yellow andorange bell peppers on the grill along with thick slices of onion, zucchini and tomato. And don’tforget the counter-intuitive cooling action of red hot peppers and spicy lettuces such as arugula,radishes, and spearmint, peppermint, paprika and black pepper. Here is my favorite summer recipefor cold tomato soup (Gazpacho), which can lightly add balance to the picnic table bounty. It can bequickly and easily prepared in a food processor, but I often enjoy taking the time to chop eachingredient by hand in a wooden chopping bowl. Use all organic ingredients for the best flavors.
Combine these ingredients in a wooden bowl (or processor) and chop.2-3 large ripe tomatoes (peel, remove seeds and membranes), or ½ to 1 can of diced tomatoes1 med clove garlic2 large sweet red peppers (seeded)½ to 1 C fresh herbs (chives, basil, dill, parsley, tarragon and others of your choice)Add:¼ C cold-pressed olive oil3 tablespoons of lemon juice3-4 C of water or preferably R.W.Knudsen’s Very Veggie juice or V-8 juicePrepare and add to the above:1 sweet Spanish onion, chopped2 eight to ten-inch cucumbers (peeled, seeded and chopped)1 tsp salt (or to taste)½ tsp paprika (or to taste)Chill the soup for at least 4 hours before serving – overnight is best. Garnish with parsley or chives, andserve over an ice cube in each bowl. YUM! Makes 8-10 cups
I am sure that this recipe is a revised version from an early copy of the Joy of Cooking cookbook (I.S.Rombauer & M.R. Becker). Use your imagination to make this recipe yours and to complete thenutrient palate of your picnic table.Linda H. Keller, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Nutrition Educator, Counselor and Consultant