Summer is officially here, and with it has come another slew of seasonal produce. It’s now that time of year when a few quick chops is all that stands between you and a meal of simple fresh food. The following recipes focus on quick raw dishes that can be enjoyed without turning on the stove, although I did break down and cook up some zucchini, I just missed it so much all winter.
- Fresh Cucumber with Lemon and Salt
- Fresh Kohlrabi with Lemon and Salt (June 4th post)
- Cocozelle Squash Sauté with Black Kale and Garlic
- Spinach Basil Salad
- Pico de Gallo
FRESH CUCUMBER WITH LEMON AND SALT:
Cucumber season is in full swing! Eat them whole like an apple, slice them up with lemon and salt, mince them into a salad- cucumbers are good for everything.
Summer squash and garlic are soul mates, and when they are together, deliciousness is sure to result. Many people asked me, “One head of garlic? You must mean 1 clove?” No sir, no ma’am, I mean one head! Though garlic is most commonly treated as a seasoning, I prefer to treat it as a vegetable as it provides a savory flavor that makes vegetarian dishes feel especially filling. Feel free to add as much as or as little as you wish! I used Cocozelle in this dish, a type of zucchini that has thicker skin which helps the squash maintain its form without getting mushy in the pan.
- 3 Cocozelle Summer Squash, sliced into discs
- 1/2 Willamette Sweet Onion, finely chopped
- 1 head Garlic, finely chopped
- 1 bunch Lacinato Black Kale, roughly chopped
- Olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Coat the bottom of the pan in olive oil and bring it up to medium-high heat.
- Once up to temperature, add in the chopped onion and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add in sliced squash and garlic, stirring around to coat everything in oil. Sauté for about 7 minutes.
- Stir in the black kale and add a couple pinches of salt. Sauté for about 3 minutes. Timing is somewhat key here, as we don’t want the squash to get mushy. Make sure to add in the kale while the squash is still a little bit raw so that both the kale and the squash finish cooking about the same time in the pan.
- My favorite way to eat this dish is for breakfast topped with two fried eggs and some hot sauce. However it is also delicious along side rice and chicken, or just by itself.
Spinach is not the biggest fan of hot weather, so I made this dish in an effort to enjoy it in its prime before we all have to go a month or two without its tender greens in our lives.
- 1 bunch Spinach, roughly chopped
- 2/3 bunch Basil, finely chopped
- ~6 Tbsp Olive Oil
- ~4 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1/4 Willamette Sweet Onion, minced
- Salt to taste, 2-3 pinches
- Mince the garlic and onion and place them in a medium bowl.
- Pour the olive oil, salt, and balsamic vinegar into the bowl, and mash the onion and garlic into the dressing a bit with the back of a spoon. This is the magic secret! All those onion and garlic juices will release into your dressing making it incredibly flavorful.
- Chop up the spinach and basil and toss them in the dressing.
- This salad is delicious as is, although if you let it sit 10-15 minutes before serving, the vinegar will break down the spinach a bit making for an extremely tender salad.
Pico de Gallo is one of my main dinners during the summer. All you have to do is roughly chop up the following ingredients, dump them all in a bowl, and mix them around. Serve with tortilla chips, on top of tacos, or if you’re crazy like me, grab a spoon and experience just how fresh summer can taste. You’ll notice from this picture that I like my pico with heavy quantities of onion; for those of you who prefer less onion, feel free to add less.
- 4 medium Tomatoes
- 1 medium-large Willamette Sweet Onion
- 2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1/2 bunch Cilantro
- 1/3 bunch Basil
- Lemon Juice to taste
- Salt to taste