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Summer is the best season for enjoying fresh, locally-grown produce, flavorful herbs, and mouth-watering meat from the grill. Using these ingredients and limiting the amount of time spent hovering over a sweltering stovetop will help you make the most of the season.
For a burst of fresh, seasonal flavor, prepare one of the following simple summer recipes.
CHILLED GAZPACHO WITH CRAB AND WATERMELON
Make the most of seasonal fruits and vegetables like watermelon, tomato, and zucchini by enjoying this refreshing chilled gazpacho and simple home-prepped garlic toast.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Wait Time: 4+ hours of refrigeration
Makes: 4 servings (main course)
2 pounds of fresh, ripe tomatoes
5 cups of cubed, seedless watermelon (comes from 3 pounds of whole watermelon with rind)
1 cup of lump crabmeat
1 small zucchini
2 cloves of garlic
¼ cup of fresh basil leaves, packed
12 additional basil leaves (for garnish)
¼ cup of red wine vinegar
⅓ cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sliced bread or baguette
1.) Using a food processor with a knife blade, blend the tomatoes, 4 cups of the watermelon, 1 garlic clove, red wine vinegar, basil leaves, ⅓ cup olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper together. Blend until pureed.
2.) Using a medium bowl and medium-mesh sieve, extract all of the liquid from the puree, discarding the remaining solids.
3.) Place the puree in the refrigerator, leaving it there for a minimum of 4 hours. If desired, the puree can be left in the refrigerator overnight. Put the remaining 1 cup of watermelon and the chopped zucchini in a separate bowl and refrigerate.
4.) Before serving, slice the remaining garlic clove in half. Rub the clove halves on the bread slices. Brush the remaining tablespoon of olive oil onto the bread. Toast the slices until they are golden-brown.
5.) To serve, pour the soup into four bowls. Divide the zucchini, crab, and watermelon amongst the bowls and garnish with the remaining basil leaves. Serve the soup.
GRILLED CHICKEN WITH FRESH CORN AND NECTARINES
Juicy, chargrilled chicken is perfectly complimented by an abundance of sweet produce in this simple summertime dish.
Prep & Cook Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 4 servings (main course)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ cup fresh corn kernels
1 small pickling cucumber
½ small red onion
½ cup coarsely-chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1.) Clean your grill and lightly oil it. Set the heat to medium-high.
2.) Mix the white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Slice the red onion and nectarines and add them to the mixture. Set this mixture aside.
3.) Rub the chicken with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Season the chicken with approximately ¼ teaspoon pepper and ½ teaspoon salt.
4.) Grill the chicken for 4 to 6 minutes on each side or until it is thoroughly cooked. Look for internal temperatures of approximately 165°F/74°C.
5.) Use a vegetable peeler to cut the cucumber into long strips. Mix the cucumber slices, corn kernels, and basil into the nectarine-onion mixture. Place this mixture over the chicken and serve.
SIMPLE RED CABBAGE COLESLAW
Enjoy this colorful, appetizing slaw as a light lunch or as a side dish to a heartier dinner.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Wait Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 12 servings
1 medium head of red cabbage
1 red onion
½ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup canola oil
1 tablespoon honey
1.) Whisk together the orange juice, oil, vinegar, and honey in a large bowl. If desired, prepare this dressing up to two days in advance.
2.) Chop the cabbage and onions and add them to the bowl. Toss the ingredients until they are well-mixed. Add the cilantro leaves,1 ½ teaspoons salt, and roughly ½ teaspoon black pepper.
3.) Let the slaw sit for at least 20 minutes at room temperature. Alternatively, cover the slaw with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to 4 hours. When done, serve the slaw.
By using fresh produce and making the most of grilling season, you can enjoy a flavorful and nutritious diet this summer. Stay hydrated and make the most of the season’s bounty!
Photo: (c) /fotolia.com
Editor , 06/01/2017