FOOD FOR THOUGHT—Summer’s Bounty

By on June 30, 2015
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By LYDIA BOLEN

I love summer! This is the time of year my refrigerator is full of produce choices. My husband and I enjoy venturing out to our favorite local farmer’s markets. We love to see what Mississippi growers have in store for us that week. It is pure bliss!

July in Mississippi is an extraordinary time of year to enjoy the pick of warm weather fruits and vegetables. In honor of summer, I have selected three of my favorite produce to celebrate their peak in the month of July—tomatoes, blueberries, and zucchini.

Heirloom tomatoes paired with fresh peaches, goat cheese, and pecans make a fresh and unusual side dish.

Abundant blueberries can be used in a decadent coffee cake. Zucchini, which is plentiful, can be served in many dishes. I recently purchased a Veggetti. It is a fun vegetable cutter that turns veggies into pasta in seconds.

HEIRLOOM TOMATOES

  • Heirloom-Web1 /3 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 /8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large peach, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 /2 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Whisk together balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, brown sugar, olive oil and salt. Stir in diced peach and chopped fresh basil. Spoon over sliced heirloom tomatoes. Top tomatoes with crumbled goat cheese and chopped toasted pecans. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper to taste.

Yield: 6 servings

 

 

BLUEBERRY COFFEE CAKE

  • BlueberryWeb1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 5 /8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 /4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 /2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 /2 cup chopped pecans
  • Confectioners sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch Bundt pan with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then stir in the sour cream and vanilla.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into the batter. Fold in blueberries.

Spoon half of the batter into prepared pan. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Sprinkle half of this mixture over the batter in the pan. Spoon remaining batter over the top, and then sprinkle the remaining pecan mixture over. Use a knife to swirl the sugar layer into the cake.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Cool in the pan over a wire rack. Invert onto serving plate.

Dust with confectioners sugar just before serving.

Serves 12

ZUCCHINI NOODLES

  • Zucchini-Web10 ounces grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon safflower oil or grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 pounds zucchini, spiralized (Use Spiralizer or Veggetti)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss together the grape tomatoes, oil, oregano, and salt on a baking sheet.

Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the skins move away from the flesh.

Remove tomatoes from the oven and cool slightly.

Place the zucchini noodles in a large serving bowl.

Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, lemon zest, and garlic. Pour over the zucchini noodles and toss to coat. Add the roasted tomatoes and pine nuts and serve.

(Tip: Drain zucchini noodles and blot with paper towels to get moisture out before tossing)

Serves 4

Lydia-Bolen

Remember to make memories through the kitchen—”the heartbeat of the home.” Email me at lbbolen@gmail.com for any questions.