August 4, 2010
Greetings! I hope everyone is having a great summer thus far. I’ve been on the go so much (note to self: practice what you preach), that I haven’t had nearly enough time to get out to the farmers’ markets and pick-your-own farms to enjoy the bounty of summer. Although, several weeks ago, I did have the opportunity to share two delicious and easy recipes at Common Good City Farm during a cooking workshop that I taught. Both recipes are nutritious and make for great summer side dishes.
The cucumber and tomato salad with sweet Vidalia onions and Italian dressing has a vibrant cool taste and crunchy texture. Making the Italian dressing from scratch guarantees that it’s only made from natural ingredients — no preservatives, and allows you to use high quality extra-virgin olive oil, which boosts flavor.
My new favorite recipe is this one for honey glazed carrots. Steaming the sliced carrots makes this dish very easy and quick to prepare, and the honey and steamed carrots tossed with dried dill and sliced almonds add a slight crunch, sweetness, and contrast of color.
Make these dishes right away while we still have delicious cucumbers, tomatoes and fresh carrots in season. Freshly picked, seasonal produce always offers up the best taste. Enjoy!
Cucumber Tomato Salad with Homemade Italian Dressing
2 large cucumbers
5 ripe tomatoes
1/2 small Vidalia onion, finely sliced
1/2 cup homemade Italian dressing
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the cucumbers into thin 1/8” thick slices. Half the tomatoes horizontally, and then quarter and core them (making 8 pieces per tomato). Add the cucumber slices, tomatoes and sliced Vidalia onion in a large bowl along with the Italian Dressing and toss all ingredients together well. Add salt and pepper to taste if needed. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Homemade Italian Dressing
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely minced and smeared
1 tsp Italian seasoning (dried herbs)
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 tsp honey
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper (about 1/8 teaspoon)
1 light squeeze of fresh lemon juice (only a few drops)
Add the vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, onion powder, salt and honey to a medium sized bowl and whisk together. Whisking continuously, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Add the lemon juice and whisk some more. Taste for flavor and add salt or pepper if necessary.
Honey Glazed Carrots with Dill and Almonds
1/2 pound carrots, rinsed and scrubbed
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon organic butter
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Bring a pot of water (fitted with a steaming basket) to a boil. Slice the carrots on the diagonal into 1/2” slices. Add sliced carrots to the steaming basket. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Transfer the steamed carrots to a large bowl, shaking off any excess water from the steaming basket and carrots. Sprinkle the dried dill over the carrots and add the sliced almonds to the bowl.
In a small sauté pan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium low heat. Once the butter is melted, drizzle the oil over the carrots along with the honey, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.