Can it be? Summer is almost here! Time for light and easy and fresh-from-the-garden meals… with an occasional treat tossed in to keep it interesting!
Sun-dried Tomato Bread With Feta and Olives
- 6 1/2 c. organic flour
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
- 3 c. lukewarm water
- 1/2 Tbsp. yeast
- 1 Tbsp. salt
- 1 c. crumbled feta cheese
- 2/3 c. chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/2 c. chopped oil cured olives
- 1 1/2 c. fresh spinach leaves, steamed just until wilted, squeezed dry and chopped
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
Mix the yeast, salt, spinach, cheese, sugar, red pepper flakes and sun-dried tomatoes with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container. Mix in the flour one cup at a time, stirring after each addition. Turn into a heavy-duty mixer with dough hook and knead just until smooth. (If you’re not using a machine, turn out the dough onto a floured surface and use your hands to incorporate the last of the flour.) Cover loosely and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough doubles in size collapses (or flattens on top), approximately two hours. Shape into a ball b y stretching the top across four sides and tucking underneath. Set on a greased cookie sheet and allow to rise until doubled, about 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place a pan of water on the bottom rack. Dust the loaf top with flour and slash in a tic-tac-toe pattern for even baking. Bake 30-35 minutes.
Savory Vegetable Garden Scones
- 2 c organic white flour
- 1 1/2 c rolled oats
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 c. (1 stick) very cold butter
- 1/4 c. honey
- 2 lg. organic eggs
- 1 c buttermilk
- 1/4 c. fresh broccoli flowerets, chopped
- 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 Roma tomato, seeded and chopped
- 2 green onions, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. sliced almonds, toasted
- 1 Tbsp. sour milk or buttermilk
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 1 lg. organic egg
In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture, incorporating as you go. Toss and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk honey, eggs and buttermilk, set aside. Add to the dry mixture the broccoli, Cheddar, tomatoes, green onions, garlic and almonds. Mix quickly and very gently. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, combining with hands until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms. Add more buttermilk if mixture is too dry. Chill dough at least 1/2 hour and up to 2 hours in refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Glaze: Beat egg, buttermilk and honey together, set aside. Divide dough Into equal portions on a well-floured surface. Pat each portion of dough Into a circle about 2 inches thick, and cut into 4 wedges. Place on a paper-lined baking tray and brush on glaze. Bake for 30 minutes until golden.
Easy Rustic Chicken Pesto Sandwiches
- 2 lbs. organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/4 c. pesto sauce (see recipe below)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. cracked black pepper
- 1/4 lb. arugula or your favorite lettuce
- 3 plum tomatoes sliced
- 1/4 lb. provolone Cheese sliced
- 1 1/4 c. pesto aioli (see recipe below)
- 1 loaf Sourdough Baguette cut in half lengthwise
- 1 c. packed basil leaves – fresh
- 1 Tbsp. pine nuts or walnuts lightly toasted
- 1 Tbsp. parmesan cheese finely grated
- 2-4 garlic cloves (to your taste)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- olive oil
Put all ingredients except oil and lemon juice into a blender. Pulse until combined. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a steady stream while pulsing until the pesto is just smooth. Stir in the lemon juice.
Quick Pesto Aioli
- 1/2 c. pesto
- 1/2 c. low-fat mayonnaise
Mix the pesto and the mayonnaise together. The pesto aioli can be made 2-3 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate.
Marinate the chicken in half of the pesto sauce and the other half of the olive oil for one hour. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and grill until fully cooked.
Cut the sourdough baguette in 1/2 horizontally. Spread the pesto aioli on both sides of the bread. Layer the basil grilled chicken, plum tomatoes, provolone cheese and arugula. Cut the sandwich into serving size pieces.
Fresh Fava Salad
- 2 pounds fresh unshelled fava beans (about 2 cups shelled beans)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
- 3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, snipped with scissors
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red peppers (hot red pepper flakes), or to taste
- 8 ounces soft sheep’s milk cheese such as a pecorino or a soft fresh goat’s milk cheese, cut in small cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients, and toss to blend. Taste for seasoning.
Berry season is in full swing, my favorite part of summer! Here are a few recipe ideas to use the juicy gems.
- 2 c. strawberries
- 1/4 c. water
- 2 Tbsp. strawberry juice
- 1 1/2 tsp. arrowroot powder
- 1/4 c. brown rice syrup
Cook the strawberries in a pot with the water over low heat for 20 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, stirring constantly. Simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Chill before using.
- 1 pt. strawberries, hulled
- 3 c. seedless raisins
- 1/4 c. chopped nuts
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 1 Tbsp. chopped green onion
Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl and toss together. Allow to sit at room temperature for one hour; refrigerate until serving. Delicious served with fish and chicken!
Blueberry Graham Pudding
- 4 c. fresh blueberries
- 1/2 c. organic sugar
- 3 Tbsp. flour
- 2 tsp. grated orange peel
- 1 large organic egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine berries, sugar, orange peel and flour. Pour into a 1-qt. baking dish. Prepare topping.
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 tsp. grated orange peel
- 1 c. graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 c. finely chopped almonds
Combine, mixing well. Spoon evenly over the berry mixture and bake for 25 minutes until crusty on top. Serve warm with ice cream.
Raspberry Chipotle Sauce (canning recipe)
- 5 c. mashed raspberries (fresh is best, frozen is fine)
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp. chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (available canned)
- 1/3 c. red wine vinegar
- 3 c. organic sugar OR 2 c. honey
Wash and crush the fruit using a food mill to remove the seeds if desired. Measure the sugar and set aside. Using a blender, puree the garlic and chipotle peppers in the vinegar. In a large pot mix the raspberries, chipotle pepper mixture and the pectin, stirring well to remove any clumps. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Add the sugar all at once and stir to incorporate. return to a full boil and boil for one minute. Remove from the heat and skim the foam. Ladle into hot jars, seal and process for 5 minutes in a boiling water bath. (Prefer not to can? Keep in a large jar, sealed in the refrigerator and use within two weeks.)