Zucchini Ribbon Salad

I haven’t been on as much of a zucchini binge as I’m usually on this time of year. Most years, by the end of July, I’m verging on sick of the summer squashes, having eaten them in every form, from zucchini pancake to zucchini bread. But this year, I don’t know, I just haven’t been buying them and so I guess I haven’t set the zucchini-obsession train in motion properly. Up until this week, that is. They’ve been an integral part of two dinners in the last 5 days…the train is definitely in motion now and thank goodness, because I have a couple of months to make up for!

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Strawberry Gazpacho

On Saturday, I bought 30 bucks worth of fresh fruit to make strawberry gazpacho…and then ordered cold thai noodles instead. Sounds about right.

Thank goodness there was Sunday.

Because on Sunday…

…I got to eat this

And let me tell you, ain’t nothin’ wrong with late-June strawberries, garlic-y, olive oil-y crunchy croutons, fresh cucumbers and bell peppers, all blended together…

…on a hundred-degree summer day. Just nothin’.

Strawberry Gazpacho

Adapted from Eleven Madison Park via Food 52.

This is not sweet!! Well, it’s a little sweet, but it’s also distinctly savory, so don’t hesitate to have it for lunch…and dinner. Other than toasting the bread, which is super quick, this requires no heat…..perfect for those days where turning on the oven is a sin. There are a lot of ellipses in this post.

1/2 T plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 c whole grain bread, crusts removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 sprigs thyme
6 c strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 1/4 c English cucumbers, peeled and diced
1 1/4 c diced red bell pepper
3/4 c diced green bell pepper
6 T tomato juice
3 T red wine vinegar
1 1/2 t salt
Tabasco sauce (optional)

  • In a small pan over medium-high heat, heat 1 T olive oil and 1 garlic clove
  • When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the bread cubes, stirring occasionally until they begin to brown
  • Add the thyme and continue to toast until bread is golden on all sides. Remove from heat and add to large bowl. Discard the thyme
  • Add the strawberries, cucumber, peppers, remaining garlic clove, remaining 1/2 c of olive oil, tomato juice, vinegar, and salt to the bowl; combine and cover tightly with plastic wrap
  • Marinate at room temperature for 3 to 6 hours
  • Puree the ingredients and their juices in small batches in a blender on high speed until very smooth
  • Strain through a chinois (I dont have one of these) or a mesh sieve lined with cheese cloth. Here’s fair warning that a fine mesh sieve without cheese cloth will become instantaneously clogged with teeny, tiny strawberry seeds. Use the cheese cloth
  • Chill until very cold. Season to taste with Tabasco sauce and/or additional salt or red wine vinegar
  • Drizzle with good olive oil and enjoy

Lemon-Mustard Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Feta

Well folks, it is officially picnic season, not to mention BBQ season and pool party season and dinner on the fire-escape season. Chances are, you’re going to need to bring some eats to a party or twelve this summer and I promise you, you want this recipe in your back pocket.

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