Monday, June 27, 2011
Hot Fun in the Summertime
Look in your garden and pick the biggest, juiciest tomatoes you can find. Surely you've planted some basil along-side? Cook some couscous, and then while it's cooling a bit, cut the tomatoes into cubes and slice the basil very thinly. You can mince some garlic too. If you have some fresh mozzarella, cut it into small cubes and let it join the party you have when you toss it all together. Here's a recipe if you're feeling unsure. You could also use orzo or even regular pasta if you didn't have couscous.
Or, take those same tomatoes, garlic and basil and chop them all together. Slice your fresh mozzarella, and then slice some french bread very thinly. Toast the slices until just golden brown, and then heap the tomato mixture and fresh mozzarella on top. Instant bruschetta! You can also broil it for a moment to melt the mozzarella if you like. I could personally live on bruschetta all summer if I had to. Unless, of course, gazpacho were an option.
Gazpacho is a family favorite. In case you've never had this chilled soup, it's basically a tomato broth with lots of finely chopped vegetables. I usually take 2 cups or so of tomato juice, blend in a handful of cucumber, red pepper, small amount of onion and garlic, a teaspoon or so of balsamic vinegar, some olive oil, and whirl it in the blender until I've created a delicious broth. Then, I add chopped cucumbers, any kind of peppers, tomatoes, oregano, until it looks and tastes good. If I'm short on time, I stick in the freezer for 30 or so minutes; better still is letting it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours so the flavors can all blend. If you're new to making gazpacho, or feel like you need a recipe, either google "Gazpacho" or look at Cooking Light's offerings. The fact that you'll get practically all your daily requirements from this wonderful soup is just a bonus to the wonderful taste.
What's your favorite hot weather recipe?