I admit, summer has taken my attention away from cooking.
The mornings are perfect for a walk around the neighborhood, followed by water aerobics. (Today I spotted two hot air balloons drifting by.) The garden then needs weeding and harvesting early veggies like sugar snap peas and fava beans. Planning for our trip to Italy in the fall has taken some priority (oh, maybe we could hot air balloon travel in Italy?). And the heat has finally hit the Portland area, so I’ve been engrossed in several good summer reads. Where does that leave cooking and experimenting with new recipes? Obviously it has slipped down the list of things-to-do temporarily.
Summer is a great time to get together with friends and family for a barbecue or dinner on the deck. Let’s take a look back at a few recipes to put a nice dinner together.
Hummus and veggies make a great before-meal snack. It’s quick to make, blending all the ingredients in the food processor and serving with your favorite veggies and crackers. These two recipes are my favorites and let the flavor of fresh veggies of summer shine. Two Bean Hummus and Avocado & Feta Hummus. If you want a wonderful cracker recipe, check this one out. Crackers – Not Referring To A State Of Mind.
A crisp salad is always a complement to a good meal. If you are looking for something different than the traditional lettuce salad, this Citrus salad is refreshing on a hot evening. Another non-traditional salad that is easy to make and fun to serve, Salad rolls. And one more great salad that is light and highlights the garden harvest is this summer salad.
If barbecuing is the method of cooking on a pleasant summer evening, these ribs fill the bill. This pork tenderloin can be cooked in the oven or on the grill. If you want a simple burger, the gorgonzola burger is a hit with everyone. Or if chicken is your top choice, the Caprese Stuffed Chicken is an impressive main dish. But wait, we don’t want to leave out fish lovers. Robyn Feldberg’s Vercruzana-Style Mahi-Mahi might be more to your liking.
What comes to mind when you think of a side dish? Veggies? Potatoes? Beans? Pasta? Grains? Here are a few side dish recipes that our favorites in our household.
Vegetables: Roasted Vegetables, Peppers & Onions, and Hasselback Zucchini. When barbecuing, we just throw veggies like sliced zucchini and onions on the grill – makes for an easy cooking experience and clean up. For me, the list of veggies could go on and on, as I can often make a meal out of vegetables and skip the meat all together.
Beans: Because my hubby grows these beans, I have to include them. Scarlett Runner Beans are the best kept secret to a hardy bean that absorbs flavors well. And if you like pintos, this recipe generates great results in a bean dish. Pinto Beans.
Grains: There is such a variety of grains available to us today that recipes could cover many blogs or an entire website itself. However, for today’s post I’ll focus on risotto with two of my favorites: Primitivo Risotto is worth a try, with or without the sausage, as well as Eggplant Risotto.
Did someone mention dessert? In some households dessert could mean an after-dinner liqueur like Limoncello or Fennel Digestif. But if cookies are your favorite you might want to make a batch of one of these: Limoncello Ricotta Cookies, 3-Ingredient Almond Cookies, or the old-fashioned Oatmeal Cookies.
For more recipes, just type in a keyword into the search box in the column to the right and recipes with that keyword should appear. Then scoll down to see them all.
Okay now you have various options to make several meals. You do the cooking this week — I’m going back to reading my book.