Sunday, July 21, 2013

Local Produce

I'm a huge fan of buying local produce. It tastes garden-fresh and with less distance to travel, you are guaranteed a fresher product. This time of year, sweet corn, tomatoes and cucumbers are great vegetables to incorporate into your favorite salads or pasta dishes.

Grilled Zucchini and Tomato Salad
Serves 4

All you need:
Marinade
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 zucchinis, thickly sliced
2 large tomatoes, cored and thickly sliced

8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
Balsamic vinegar, for topping (optional)

All you do:
1. Combine marinade ingredients in a shallow dish. Add zucchini and tomato slices and toss to combine. Cover and marinate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Preheat grill to medium-high. Place zucchini and tomato slices on the grill and cook 4-5 minutes per side, or until slightly charred. Transfer to a platter and let cool.


3. Dice grilled zucchini and tomato and place in a large mixing bowl. Add diced mozzarella and any leftover marinade and toss to combine.

4. Transfer salad to a serving platter and drizzle with balsamic vinegar, if desired.

Cucumber-Feta Toasts
Serves 8

All you need:
1 loaf fresh Italian bread
4 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 (4 ounce) container feta cheese
Juice of 2 lemons
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cucumber, thinly sliced

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 450. Split bread loaf lengthwise and lightly brush cut sides with 4 teaspoons olive oil. Bake until golden around edges, about 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mash together feta, 1 tablespoon olive oil and juice of 1 lemon with a fork. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Spread feta mixture evenly over toasted baguette and top with cucumber.


4. Season with salt, pepper, juice of 1 lemon and a drizzle of olive oil. Cut into pieces and serve.


Fresh Sweet Corn Salsa
Makes 2 cups

All you need:
1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels (from 3 ears)
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small red pepper, diced small
1/4 bunch cilantro
1/4 red onion, diced small
Juice of 2 limes
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

All you do:
1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the corn and cook until tender, 2-3 minutes; drain.
2. Mix corn, jalapeno, red pepper, cilantro and red onion in a bowl. Stir in lime juice, green chiles, olive oil, sugar and salt. Adjust seasonings as needed and serve.





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