Shaved Fennel and Melon Salad

A mandoline does wonders for slicing the fennel and cantaloupe!
Serves: 4
Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium fennel bulb, stalks & core removed, sliced very thin
1/2 medium cantaloupe, peeled, sliced thin
1 jalapeño, sliced thin
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
feta cheese, to crumble on top
method

Directions

In a small bowl combine the lemon zest and juice, olive oil and honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a larger bowl, lightly toss together the fennel, cantaloupe, jalapeño and mint. Add the salad dressing and toss to combine. Top with feta cheese.

Sweet Tomato and Basil Salad

This fast, delicious salad captures the height of summer flavors. Takes 10 minutes to make and serves 4 people, unless you’re like me and snack while you prep. In that case, add an extra tomato.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of lettuce
  • 1-2 tomatoes
  • 1 cup of fresh basil
  • 2-3 radishes
  • 1 spring onion
  • 3 peaches
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • Handful of chopped almonds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Wash and chop lettuce, tomatoes, basil, spring onion, peaches and add those to a large bowl.
  2. Add cranberries and almonds as well.
  3. Next shred radishes and add those to the bowl.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Before serving toss with some balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.

Thai-Style Cucumber Coconut Soup

My farm box overflows with cucumbers this time of year, and I love how this recipe combines them with Thai spices to make a savory soup that can be served warm or cool.

I first found this recipe on Suzie’s Farm.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups 1/4-inch-thick slices peeled lemon cucumber (or any other cucumber)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 small tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 red Thai chiles (with seeds), thinly sliced (or other hot peppers)
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Fresh lime juice

Directions

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add cucumber. Sauté until beginning to soften, about 1 minute. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Add tomatoes, scallions, chiles and garlic. Sauté until vegetables are soft, 2–3 minutes.
Add coconut milk and honey; simmer until vegetables are cooked through, 2–3 minutes. Stir in cilantro leaves and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve warm with rice, if desired. Else, chill for 2 hours and serve cool.

Green Grapefruit Juice

Hot days often mean I don’t feel hungry, but I know that I need nutrition and hydration. I make this healthy juice and sip it during the afternoon. Substituting blood orange for grapefruit makes a sweeter version.

Ingredients:

1 grapefruit (sweeter alternate: 1 blood orange)
2 cucumbers
3 carrots
4 leafs of kale

Directions:

Process all ingredients into juicer and serve immediately or refrigerate. Keeps for 24 hours.

Makes 1 serving
Takes 5 minutes

CSA Farm Box Salad

Summer is in full swing, and my farm box overflows with veggies. This simple salad uses it all in one delicious dish that’s light enough for a side or substantial enough for a main.

Ingredients

Handful of mixed herbs, rinsed and chopped (such as: basil, parsley, cilantro, thyme, mint and rosemary)
Cutting board full of mixed veggies, rinsed and chopped (such as: lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, green beans, radishes and zucchini)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
Optional: 1/4 cup feta or goat cheese, chopped
Grilled chicken, fish or legumes

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a 1:1 ration. Whisk in the salt until thick and combined. Stir in the chopped herbs. Toss in the chopped veggies, cheese and protein.

Serves 4
Takes 10 minutes

Szechuan Green Beans

I love the crunchy sweetness of stir-fried green beans, and the dish compels me to slink into Chinese dives for a fix. This version from Whole Foods’ blog lacks the specific taste of a commercial wok, but it’s a fast and tasty rendition. Use the freshest, firmest green beans you can find for an easy side dish.

Ingredients

1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
1 teaspoon medium-heat oil (canola, peanut, macadamia, etc)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, chopped finely and set aside for 10 minutes (this maximizes the health properties of garlic)
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, skin removed and finely chopped

Directions

1. Place the green beans on a baking sheet and broil about 10 minutes or until speckled with black spots. Rotate the sheet once halfway through. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn out the beans into a large bowl. Set aside.
2. Add oil to a small skillet over medium heat. Add red pepper flakes and garlic and cook about 3 minutes until golden. Turn off the heat and immediately add the vinegar. Swirl the skillet and then stir in the soy sauce.
3. Pour the garlic-vinegar sauce over the green beans and toss well. Toss in the ginger and serve.

Makes 4 servings. Takes 15 minutes.

Cucumber Gazpacho

Hot, sticky days make cooking a sweltering chore, and this cooling soup is an antidote. Here’s an easy, cold gazpacho-style soup using seasonal cucumbers, avocados and basil from Allyson Kramer.

Ingredients

1 ripe avocado
1 medium cucumber, skin on and seeds removed
2 small bunches of basil
1 clove garlic
2 scallions, both green and white parts
2 cups water
1 and 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lime, juiced

Directions

Chill the ingredients and the blend until desired smoothness. Return to the refrigerator and chill until ready to serve. Garnish with thinly sliced cucumbers and basil leaves.

Serves 4. Takes 10 minutes.

Thai style summer berry bowl

I love this Thai take on fruit salad because it delivers all the juicy goodness of fresh berries and delivers it with a twist of salt and lemongrass. I can’t help but drink the juice left in the bottom.

Adapted from “Eating on the Wild Side” by Jo Robinson.

Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

5 cups berries or cubed fruit in season
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass
2/3 cup chopped fresh mint (or 2 tablespoons dried mint)
Grated zest of 2 limes
Optional: fresh whipped cream

Directions

Place the fruit in a medium bowl. Combine sugar, salt, and lime juice into a small bowl; and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the fruit and toss until coated. Let stand for 30 minutes. Osmosis will draw out the sugars in the fruit into the juice. Before serving, add the lemongrass, mint and zest. Best when eaten the same day.

Sesame Ginger Salad

I love how this salad disappears at every party. It’s tangy, cooling and delicious.

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 1 head lettuce
  • 4 small red or orange carrots
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 avocado

Dressing

  • 1⁄4 cup tamari
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. minced ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)

 

Directions:

  1. Chop all salad ingredients and place in a large bowl.
  2. Mix all salad dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
  3. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.

Dark Red Berry Bowl

Before you decide that the following recipe isn’t for you because there are no Saskatoon berries where you live, take a careful look around, you might be surprised. I’ve since spotted them all around the city. That said, I’m not encouraging anyone to sample unknown berries from ornamental plants, but if you’ve had them before and know what they look like, they’re easy to identify. You can also substitute any dark, red berries or plums in season.

Ingredients

Kefir Creme Fraiche (make ahead)
  • 1 Tbsp. kefir (or coconut kefir)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or coconut cream)
  • 1 cup saskatoon berries or any other dark, red berries
  • 2 Tbps. kefir creme fraiche
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp. walnut pieces (or hazelnuts)

Directions

  • To make the kefir creme fraiche, combine the cream and kefir in a flass jar or container. Let it sit, covered with paper towel or cheesecloth for 20 – 24 hours, or until set firm. This time may vary depending on the potency of your kefir culture and room temperature.
  • Combine 2 Tbsp. of the creme with maple syrup and lemon zest. Taste and adjust if more sweetness is needed. Refrigerate for an hour (optional, to let the mixture reset)
  • To make the bowl, top berries with the creme and walnuts.

The creamy white topping is kefir creme fraiche – as I will call it. It was made by putting a tablespoon of kefir into one cup of heavy cream to set for about 20 – 24 hours at room temperature. It tastes like creme fraiche with a bit of an effervescence, which is really interesting. The creme is then mixed with maple syrup and lemon zest, and tops the berries. If Saskatoon berries are indeed out of reach, I imagine this going well with plums.