Summer is almost over here. I can’t believe it. I keep telling myself it will still officially be summer until late September, but next Wednesday Joshie starts first grade and everything will change.
So, with soooooo little time left I’ve pulled out a page from blogs I love—101cookbooks and asweetspoonful—and made a list of favorites. My list is a collection of my favorite summer foods that I want to eat more of before they are gone and some quick preparation suggestions.
Corn. Keep it simple. Remove the kernels from two corncobs, toss put in a nonstick pan with two tablespoons of butter and heat over medium heat until the corn is warmed through and the butter is melted. Season with sea salt and pepper. Or, try this corn salad from 101cookbooks.
Eggplant. Cut four small eggplants in half lengthwise. Toss with lots of olive oil and chopped garlic in a bowl. Grill over medium heat until soft, but not mushy. Add back to the bowl and stir in whole bocconcini, diced piquillo or roasted red peppers, a handful of arugula, balsamic vinegar and more olive oil. Season generously with sea salt and pepper. (Pictured above.)
Tomatoes. We eat tomatoes every night when they are in season, but one of our favorite lunches is a simple tomato sandwich. Just slice and layer them between toasted white bread slathered with mayo. Sprinkle with semi-coarse sea salt to make your mouth think you’re eating bacon.
Blackberries. Thaw a piece of puff pastry and set on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Toss two pints of blackberries with two tablespoons of honey, spread over the puff pastry, leaving a one-inch border. Brush the border with beaten egg and bake at 400°F for 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, cut into squares and top with a dollop of crème fraiche.
Zucchini. I LOVE zucchini and eat it year round as an ingredient in pasta or on its own sauteed with olive oil and garlic, but only in summer do I eat it in breads and other dishes. For baked goods I look to others so here’s a chocolate zucchini bread recipe from asweetspoonful I’m going to be trying this weekend.
Lemon Cucumbers. Like tomatoes, we can’t get enough cucumbers in the summer. Supermarket versions just can’t compete with fresh off the vine cukes. And lemon cucumbers disappear all together, so we eat our fill in July and August. Peel and cut three to four into wedges. Then toss with one tablespoon of rice wine vinegar, a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Or, add one to two tomatoes cut into wedges and crumbled feta cheese and serve. (When I have leftovers, I add a can of tuna for a lunch salad the next day.)
What to drink: Riesling. With racy acidity, fresh fruit flavors and a tiny bit of residual sugar, Riesling is great with almost any kind of summer vegetable dish. And, most are priced in the $10-$20 range. Some of my favorites are from Dashe Cellars($20), Gainey Vineyard($15) and Joel Gott($12).