Bring it On :: BBQs & Fireworks!
Happy 4th! I'm looking forward to a long weekend of relaxed reading, beaching and barbecuing. Spotting some of the photos below on Will Taylor's must-read blog, Bright Bazaar, caused my excitement for summertime cooking and entertaining to run rampant. Will might be a dashing English chap, but he's got dining solutions for a very American July 4th down pat. I'm not completely sure what my friends and I will be grilling up out on the East End, but I'm definitely seeing lobster and fresh bay scallops from the local seafood shop, heirloom tomatoes and corn on the cob from Round Swamp Farm and some killer burgers from Dickson's Farmstand Meats (yes, these babies are worth taking along on the 3-4 hour car ride) on the weekend's menu.
If you're looking for a few inspiring items to serve up at your own Independence Day bash, check out a host of summertime dishes over in the Recipes section.
Have a fantastic holiday!
More Dishes you might like
Summertime Staple :: Peanut Sesame Soba Noodles
What happens when a lone gal joins a CSA farm share for the summer? Umm....her fridge is literally crammed with vegetables each week. We're talking overflow action here. Which means I've been getting pretty creative about how to use veggies in a variety of ways, multiple per dish. I've also been having loads of friends over dinner...lukcy them. What better way to use up green AND red cabbage, scallions, carrots and a red bell pepper than with a massive batch of peanut sesame soba noodles. De-lish and great for an easy, vegetable-crammed lunch or a side dish. *FYi - soba noodles are a nice gluten-free option if you're seeking to go low on the wheat given that it's bikini/beach season.
Peanut Sesame Soba Noodles :: with Scallion and Summer Herbs
Serves :: 8 to 10
6 to 8 ounces of soba noodles
1 small red cabbage, halved and finely shredded
1/2 head of green cabbage, finely shredded
2 carrots, peeled, halved and thinly julienned
1 red or yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 small thai red chili, minced
1/2 cup each of mint, cilantro and thai basil roughly chopped
4 to 5 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup light coconut milk
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 to 3 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 small garlic cloves
toasted black or white sesame seeds
toasted peanuts, crushed
Boil soba noodles 6 to 8 minutes until just tender, or according to package. Run under cold water and set aside. Place salad ingredients and noodles in a large mixing bowl.
In a blender, puree all ingredients for peanut sesame dressing. Gently toss noodles and vegetable mix with dressing. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds and crushed peanuts.
More Dishes you might like
Frittata with Swiss Chard, Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta
Insanely hot temps outside + too many vegetables spilling out of my fridge = hiding out in the A/C and cooking like a bandit (sans oven) - which apparently can be fortitutous for certain folks in my circle. Just this morning I received an email from my gorgeous ginger-haired friend inquiring if I had any good recipes for Swiss chard. Just her luck, I made this frittata over the weekend with chard from the farm share we both belong to. What do I love most about a simple frittata? They'll take to pretty much any ol vegetable you've got lying around and you can make one and get a work week's worth of breakfasts in one fell swoop. And for my ginger-haired friend, I might even toss a piece or two of bacon into this recipe for a slight shout out to her southern roots.
So without further adieu...
Frittata :: with Swiss Chard, Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta
Serves :: 6
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bunch of Swiss chard, roughly chopped
3 baby heirloom tomatoes (or 1 large)
1 small red chili (if desired)
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Whisk eggs, salt and pepper and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a 10-inch oven-proof skillet and saute shallot and garlic over medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add in Swiss chard and saute for about 3 to 4 minutes until it starts to wilt. Add in tomatoes and chili and saute for another 4 to 6 minutes. Spread mixture evenly in the skillet and pour eggs over top, then sprinkle feta. Increase heat to medium-high and allow eggs to cook until they starts to set at the outer edge. Lift frittata lightly with a spatula to allow egg to run underneath. Cook until frittata is set, about 7 to 8 minutes. Finish in the broiler for about 2 minutes.