Saturday, July 25, 2015

Summer Food Staples-- Allergy Free

Summer staples-- the foods that appear for the short summer season and are at every table and farm stand this time of year. 
Watermelon. Fresh golden ears of corn. Peaches and tomatoes galore. Cubenelle peppers -- the long thin light green ones. Sometimes called Italian peppers. Zucchini and cucumbers and every kind of salad green and radish. 
 All this bounty is perfect for your summer table. 
Cubenelles can be roasted under the broiler -- wash and dry them. Lay on a broiler pan and broil each side until blackened. Remember to do the sides too. Take out of oven and let cool a bit-- until you can handle them. Strip off the blackened skin. The pepper underneath should be soft and fragrant. These make great  toppers  for chicken or burgers. Or throw in a bowl with some olive oil and halved garlic cloves, and steep the peppers for an hour. Great alternative side dish to macaroni salad or coleslaw which many allergic folks can't eat. 
   How about grilled peaches for a delicious dessert? Halve them, remove the pit, and put on the grill inside down. They will carmelize-- turning a little black-- which means they're done. If allowed, these make nice little bowls for sorbet or ice cream. 
   Tomatoes-- cut up and drizzled with olive oil and salt-- can't beat it. But as a nice side dish, try tomato salad, Italian style. Cut ripe tomatoes (2-3 regular aize)into quarters or eighths. Put these in a bowl. Drizzle with 1/3 cup olive oil, two or three crushed garlic cloves and pepper liberally. Add a 1/2 cup of water and let this mixture steep-- that is, leave it in the counter for an hour or more. Stirring every now and again. Top with fresh basil and serve. 
  And for something different-- pickled zucchini. Scrub a medium zucchini well And cut into thin rounds. Put in a jar or glass Mixing bowl. Add two cloves snaxhes garlic. 
Mix equal parts vinegar and water-- 1/2 cup vinegar(white, rice, cider) and 1/2 cup water, 1 Teaspoon of kosher salt, 1 Tablespoon of sugar, a few black peppercorns, a few sprigs of  fresh rosemary.  Stir together and put in microwave for 1:00 minute. Pour heared mixture over zuchinni and cover lightly. let it pickle for an hour or more. Stirring occasionally.