Remember how you suffered through the last week of school before summer vacation? You couldn’t wait for summer to begin, concentrating seemed impossible, time in the classroom dragged on forever, and you were incensed if teachers asked you to do any actual work. You just had to get through those…last…few…day.
Déjà vu. I’m one week away from being officially laid off and the hour can’t arrive soon enough. I’m anxious for the moment when my time is once mine to spend as I desire. Sign my yearbook already and let’s get on with it.
In honor of the season (although it doesn’t officially begin until Monday), today’s recipe highlights a summer produce classic – freshly-picked sweet summer corn.
I’m a planner, by trade as much as by nature. I’ve been in planning mode for my imminent Europe trip. After a plane change and two train rides, I’ll find myself in Northern Italy for a week of pasta school. School is followed by a week solo in Prague for exploring and, finally, one afternoon in Milan before heading home. I’ve created a few different guide maps for the trip – maps of the can’t-miss tourist sites, the must-visit restaurants, and, of course, maps of the local artigianale gelato shops, at least while I’m in Italy. My Italian gelato class in 2013 has converted me into a gelato elitist. This wait has become a countdown to exceptional gelato as much as a pasta school countdown. Let the trip begin.
In the interim, I’m trying to behave:
Summer Gazpacho and Bean Salad
Various colored tomatoes (heirloom preferred)
Yellow bell pepper
1 14.5 oz. can
Great Northern beans
Red wine vinegar
Hot pepper sauce
Cut tomatoes into wedges and cut wedges in half crosswise. Thinly slice celery and green onions. Dice cucumber and bell pepper. Drain and rinse beans. In a large bowl, combine beans and vegetables. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Slowly whisk in olive oil until combined. Pour dressing over vegetables, stir well and let marinate at least 30 minutes before serving.
Just in time for July 4th, this colorful cacophony of summer produce bursts with fresh farmers market flavors.
Summer Tomato Nectarine Salad
Inspired by Cooking Light Tomato Salad with Peach Dressing
Salt and pepper
Red Wine vinegar
Fresh thyme (chopped)
Salt and pepper
Large heirloom tomatoes
Shock basil and mint in boiling water for 15 seconds. Transfer to ice water to stop cooking. Puree basil, mint and olive oil in blender. Season with salt and pepper and set aside so flavors can blend. Drizzle can be made a day in advance.
Stir together red wine vinegar, thyme, and shallot. Season with salt and pepper. Vinaigrette can be made a day in advance.
Finely chop nectarine and fold into vinaigrette. Thickly slice tomatoes and arrange on platter. Drizzle with nectarine mixture. Add burrata. Drizzle basil-mint sauce around platter and on burrata.