Heidi’s 4 Essential Summer Recipes
by Heidi Eisenhour
This bountiful month of August, I just couldn’t limit myself to one recipe. So I’ve decided to share 4 simple recipes that I consider essential to summer (sun or no sun) – herb lemonade, fresh salsa, summer squash pizza, and “whatever” berry shortcake. Hope you enjoy! And while you’re cooking, pour yourself a refreshing (and oh so pretty) glass of Washington rosé.
HERB LEMONADE with Compass Rose Farm herbs print-ready format
Herb lemonade makes a refreshing pick-me-up on a summer afternoon. Steeping herb leaves in hot water so they’ll fully release their flavor is a quick way to make a delicious beverage. You can use Compass Rose Farms Summertime Tea blend – sold fresh at the Chimacum Corner Farmstand. This gorgeous blend includes pineapple mint with it’s cheerful variegated leaves. Or you can use any number of herbs you have around the garden and kitchen.
Makes one gallon
- Your favorite or abundantly available herbs: (5 sprigs of Summer Tea Herb Blend and/or big handful fresh mint leaves and/or ¼ cup dried culinary lavender blossoms and/or 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 12 cups water
- One 12oz. can thawed Organic Cascadian Farm lemonade concentrate
- Put your herbs into a bowl or pitcher that will hold 6 cups of hot water.
- Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a medium-sized pot, and pour the boiling water in with herbs. Let steep for 30-60 minutes.
- Strain herb water into pitcher.
- Add 6 cups of cold water and 1 can of thawed lemonade concentrate.
- Stir the contents of the pitcher until the lemonade is completely mixed.
- Chill the lemonade.
- Serve over ice with an herb sprig and an edible flower or two if you have them in your garden.
FRESH SALSA print-ready format
It’s time to start thinking about Summer. Isn’t it? It’s almost the end of July and some of our farmers have been delivering the first summer tomatoes to the farmers markets and corner store. No matter what your current mood is about summer 2011 on the Olympic Peninsula I don’t think you’ll argue with me that nothing says summer to me like garden fresh tomatoes turned into a quick salsa.
Makes about 3 cups
- 1 1/2 lb fresh tomatoes, finely diced
- ½ medium red or yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 jalapeño chili peppers, finely diced
- Juice of two limes
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all of the ingredients. Taste.
- The heat of salsa is VERY subjective. If the chilies make the salsa too hot, add some more chopped tomato. If not hot enough, chop more chilies and add.
- Let sit for an hour for the flavors to combine. Serve with San Juan Chips.
SUMMER SQUASH PIZZA print-ready format
A few years ago Ike and I started growing our own vegetables in earnest. Giving credit where credit is due – Ike is a cracker jack when it comes to growing what we need on our little piece of property. So, summer of 2007 (and almost every summer since) we were overtaken by summer squash. And I love them! I came across this recipe in a magazine and have been making it ever since.
Cooking notes: We used a mandolin to cut the veggies in the test kitchen and on our second pizza we thinly sliced about ¼ pound of salami and added it. Mandolin worked well for that too. We cooked our pizza at a higher heat – 650 degrees – for 12 minutes. Turn your oven on high, get creative and make a yummy summer pizza!
- 2 small summer squash – zucchini – halved and cut lengthwise or slice yellow crooknecks. You’re shooting for 1/8-inch slices
- 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- Flour for work surface
- 1 pound frozen pizza dough, thawed
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1/2 medium favorite onion (red or walla walla sweet work nicely), thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup freshly shaved or grated Parmesan
- Heat oven to 450° F or hotter if your oven can do it.
- In a bowl, toss the zucchini with 2 tablespoons of the oil and set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough in the shape of a rectangle, to a thickness of ⅛ to ¼ inch. Transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet.
- Top the dough with the zucchini, overlapping slightly and leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt.
- Bake until the crust is a light golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook until lightly golden, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Cut the pizza and serve topped with the mushroom-onion mixture and Parmesan.
“WHATEVER” BERRY SHORTCAKE print-ready format
“I am part of the Finnriver farm berry collective and get the BEST blueberries as a result”, “Red dog has super sweet strawberries”, “Spring Rain has tons of delicious raspberries right now”, “blueberries are starting to come on in the yard”, “I saw some red currants at the Food Coop” – all statements I have heard over the past couple of weeks.
So here is the easiest summer dessert solution – “whatever” berry shortcake.
- 1.5 pounds of your favorite berries or your favorite farmers current berry selections – one type or a mixture of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or even red currants
- 3 Tbsp granulated sugar + a little more for sweetening cream
- 10 oz whipping cream (and a little hint/variation – try adding 3-4 tbsp Greek yogurt)
- 8 Pane D’Amore shortcakes (or make your own using your favorite recipe)
- If you are using strawberries hull and halve or quarter them depending on their size. Sprinkle them with 3 Tbsp sugar and leave for half an hour. Mix with the other berries.
- Whip the cream and sweeten to taste with sugar. Add the yogurt to it if you like – adds a nice twang.
- Taste again. All this tasting is fun…
- Spoon on to the shortcake and arrange the berries on top.
AND A NOTE ABOUT WINE PAIRING…
Someone asked me what wine I would pair with each of these recipes. I’m not going to answer that question – I am going to suggest a wine pairing for the season – ROSÉ. I love rosé in the summer! We have three great ones at the Farmstand and I recommend them all:
- Whidbey Island Rosato – 50/50 blend of Sangiovese and Lemberger
- Charles and Charles Rosé – 100% Syrah
- And, my favorite – Rulo Rosé – 100% Syrah