Archive for the ‘Summer’ Category

Fresh Field Pea and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Kids small hands are helpful for shelling peas!

Adapted from a Southern Living (August 2009) recipe.  We are getting fresh, still light green, black-eyed peas at our Farmers’ Market right now (as opposed to the dried ones you’ll get in the autumn).   This was a very satisfying, light summery way to use Southern Field Peas, with lovely textures and little cooking.

These peas have a range of color, the greener the fresher.


In the order below, place ingredients in a jar and shake well.

1 teaspoon lemon zest

¼ cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon honey mustard

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil (plus another few tablespoons for serving)

¾ teaspoon salt

several pinches chili powder

pepper to taste

1/3 cup good olive oil


2 cups fresh field peas

4 medium or 6 small heirloom tomatoes

several handfuls of micro greens

4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)

Bring a medium pot of water to boil.  Add a generous amount of salt.  Add peas and boil for 8 – 10 minutes, until tender.  Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.  Toss with about 1/3 cup of dressing, to coat.

Cut ¼ inch tomato slices and arrange on salad plates.  Top with a small bunch of micro greens, then a dollop of peas.  Sprinkle goat cheese, bacon (if using), additional basil.  Drizzle with a bit more dressing and serve.

Printable version here:  Fresh Field Pea and Heirloom Tomato Salad



I adapted this from a “Green Goddess Salad” but I can’t find it now and I didn’t like that name.  This is a loosely measured salad, which means that you don’t need to stress about relative quantities.  But, as I learned the hard way, don’t go crazy with the substitutions (e.g. lime for lemon juice, yuck).

Super, cuz it’s got lots of high quality fats, proteins and vitamins.  It’s also got a great combo of tastes and textures.  To completely avoid cooking on a hot evening, cook the farro in the morning and let it sit in the fridge.  Let it come to room temp before using.

Anchovy Dressing:

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ small shallot, minced

juice from one lemon

2 big squirts Anchovy paste

big pinch of parsley leaves, minced

pinch sugar

1/3 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Step one:  combine first three ingredients in a jar, shake, let sit for ten minutes.  Step two: add rest of ingredients and shake well.


2 handfuls of dinosaur/Tuscan kale leaves, preferably about 6” long

1 big handful of arugula, chopped

1 handful flat leafed parsley leaves, chopped

1 palmful minced mint leaves (or basil, or tarragon)

1 palmful minced chives

1 big handful cooked and shelled edamame

1 small cucumber, diced

2 cups cooked farro*

1 hard boiled egg, diced

½ avocado per person, diced

Make dressing step one.

Stem and chop the kale leaves.  Place in a large mixing bowl.  Spray or drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Massage the kale by gathering it into your fists and gently squeezing and rubbing until it has all darkened in color and begun to soften.  Add the rest of the ingredients except for the avocado and gently fold together (preferably with your hands).  Finish the dressing and drizzle it on sparingly, mixing it in gently and adding more to taste.  Serve with diced avocado on top, as well as additional parsley or a few crumbles of feta cheese or seeds or nuts of choice.

*Cooking Farro:

Combine 1 cup pearled farro with 2 cups water and ½ teaspoon salt.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes, until al dente.  Drain if necessary.  If not using pearled farro, add another ½ cup of water and cook 40 – 50 minutes.


Our experience was slightly different from the recipe in the GARDENER & THE GRILL, because one my kids at half of the blackberries before we could use them in the dessert.  We added fresh strawberries to the plate to compensate.  We also cooked the compote on the stove as the kids were helping and have them at the grill seemed too dangerous.  This is the recipe as written; follow the link to my pound cake recipe.  The cinnamon and honey really stand out in this compote and the effect of the grilling on the cake is very pleasing.

Serves 4.

1 cup heavy whipping cream

4 cups blackberries

6 tablespoons honey, divided

juice of ½ lemon

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling

4 (1 inch) slices of pound cake

Prepare a hot fire in your grill.  Whip the cream with an electric mixer or a whisk until it holds medium peaks, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Set aside.

In a heavy saucepan that can be used on the grill or on a grill side burner, combine the blackberries, 4 tablespoons honey, lemon juice, and cinnamon.

Set the saucepan over the heat and stir to blend, cooking until the mixture begins to bubble.

At the same time, grill the pound cake slices for about 3 to 4 minutes per side until they get good grill marks.

Stir 2 tablespoons of the remaining honey into the whipped cream with a light touch.

To serve, set a slice of grilled pound cake on each plate.  Spoon the warmed berries over the cake and top with the honeyed whipped cream.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.



This is from the delightful Smitten Kitchen.  For FCA, we wanted a slightly more substantial amount, so we increased vegetables by a smidge  and used a full 12 oz. can of tomato sauce, and used an 8 x 12 inch baking dish.  It was fabulous – even for the non eggplant fans!  The trick to the presentation is finding vegetables that are all about the same diameter, and then having a detail oriented person on hand to do the arranging.

1 onion, chopped fine

4 garlic cloves, sliced very thin

1 12 oz. can tomato sauce

olive oil

2 Japanese eggplant, about 1 inch in diameter

2 zucchini, same

2 yellow squash, same

2 red bell pepper, same

few sprigs fresh thyme

salt & pepper

4 – 6 oz. soft goat cheese, for serving

Preheat oven to 375.  Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the top opening of an 8” x 12” glass baking dish.  Pour tomato sauce into the bottom of the baking dish.  Drop garlic and onion into the sauce, stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with S & P.

Trim ends off of eggplant, zucchini and squash.  Carefully trim ends off of and core bell pepper, to make a tube.  Slice all very thin, 1/8” thick, using a mandoline if you have one.  Arrange vegetables atop the sauce, alternating between them in concentric circles, from the outer edge in, overlapping each just a bit.  You may have a few left over that don’t fit the pattern.

Drizzle another tablespoon of olive oil over the vegetables and season with S & P.  Cover with prepared parchment.  Bake 45 – 55 minutes, until vegetables are clearly cooked, but not totally limp.  Sauce should be bubbly; vegetables should not be browned.  We cooked another 5 minutes without the cover to crisp up the top a bit.

Serve with a dab of soft goat cheese on top.



This is from a class I took in NC at A Southern Season gourmet cooking store with Shellie Kark.  The class was all about cooking without heating up your kitchen too much.  I loved this idea for FCA, because she suggested that you make the bulgur salad, and set it out with bowls of toppings and the lettuce wrappers, and then let the guests fill and wrap their own.  It’s basically a tabouli, but the dressing gives it a unique taste that “pulls its own weight” in the meal, as Shellie says.


2 cups fine bulgur wheat

olive oil

2 cups boiling water

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1 cup chopped cucumber

1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses OR balsamic glaze

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon honey

¾ cup EVOO

salt and pepper

3 scallions, chopped fine

1/3 cup chopped mint

½ cup feta cheese

salt and pepper


toasted walnuts

chopped parsley

1 large head butter lettuce, leaves separated, washed, dried & chilled


Place chopped tomatoes and cucumbers in a sieve and set aside to drain off excess liquid.

Place bulgur in a medium metal bowl, lightly coat grains with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and stir in boiling water.  Cover (I use a large ceramic dinner plate) and set aside for 15 – 20 minutes.

Make vinaigrette: in a small bowl whisk together pomegranate molasses/balsamic glaze, lemon juice, and honey.  Slowly whisk in olive oil.  Season with S & P and set aside.

Gently combine drained tomatoes & cucumber with scallions, mint & feta in a large bowl.  Season with S & P and drizzle with some of the vinaigrette; stir to combine.  Stir in bulgur, adding more vinaigrette as needed, keeping the mixture somewhat dry.  Serve as suggested above.



I found this in the NC News & Observer newspaper, but it’s really from Foster’s Market.  It is served with TOMATO & AVOCADO SALSA, from the same source.  As with my ZUCCHINI LATKES, these can be made a bit ahead:  drain on paper bags (turned inside out), and then you can freeze them, refrigerate them, or keep them warm on a rack in a warm oven.


3 ears corn, shucked

1 cup flour

½ cup yellow cornmeal

¼ cup diced red onion

¼ cup basil, in a chiffonade

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

salt and pepper

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons buttermilk

2 tablespoons melted butter

canola oil for frying


(Unless making ahead) preheat oven to 200.  Cut sides and turn paper bag inside out, then use to line a baking sheet and place in warming oven.


Put about half of the corn kernels into food processor and pulse a few times, till corn is slightly pureed but still chunky.  Scrape into a bowl with the whole kernels.  Stir in flour, cornmeal, onion, basil, baking powder & soda and salt and pepper to taste.  Add eggs, buttermilk and butter and stir just till combined.  The mixture will be batter-like.


Heat oil to cover bottom of a large (preferably cast iron) skillet over medium high heat, without allowing it to smoke.  Scoop light ¼ cupfuls of batter into skillet.  Cook in batches of 4 to 5; avoid overcrowding.  Brown each side, cooking 3 – 5 minutes and then move to paper lined sheet in oven.  Once all are cooked, transfer to a wire rack to continue ot keep warm, or serve, topped with TOMATO & AVOCADO SALSA.



This is also from Foster’s Market.  Makes about 2 cups, to go with one recipe of CORN CAKES.


1 large tomato, cored & chopped

1 scallion, trimmed & minced

½ jalapeno pepper, cored, seeded, diced (optional)

1 tablespoon chopped basil

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 clove garlic, minced

juice of ½ lime

1 ½ teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 ½ teaspoons white wine vinegar

salt & pepper

1 avocado


Stir together all ingredients except for avocado and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 days.  Just before serving, dice avocado flesh and gently mix in.