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A Recap of Summer Recipes

"Summer Recipes"

Summer recipes. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com

The kids are back in school, Halloween paraphernalia is making its way to the store shelves and cold-weather fashions are hitting the runways. All signs are pointing to fall… except the local thermometer.

Yes, it is hard to envision candied apples, carved pumpkins and crisp air when peaches, basil and 90-plus degrees of soul-sucking humidity linger over the city.

But just as some area pools plan to remain open to relieve us from the late summer heat, we want to hold onto summer and provide you with a recap of some of our favorite summer recipes to help you utilize September’s fresh produce throughout these transitional weeks.

Summer Avocado Salad

"Summer Recipes Borderstan"

Summer Avocado Salad. (Namita Koppa)

Ingredients

  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
  • ÂĽ bunch cilantro, chopped
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp black pepper, preferably freshly ground
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 2 medium Haas avocados, ripe and cut into bite-size pieces
Directions
  1. Combine first six ingredients and mix until cumin and black pepper are thoroughly incorporated.
  2. Gently add avocado.
  3. Serve immediately.

Grilled Corn – Frijolita’s Way

"Corn Borderstan"

Grilled corn. (Alejandra Owens)

Ingredients

  • Fresh corn
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cholula dry seasoning
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Tabasco sauce (if you are daring)

Directions

  1. Place one cleaned ear of corn in the middle of a piece of aluminum foil large enough to completely wrap around it.
  2. Splarge (a very technical term) 1-2 tablespoons of mayo (yes, I said mayo) onto the corn and evenly spread it over the whole ear of corn.
  3. Sprinkle Cholula dry seasoning evenly all over the ear of corn. Sprinkle finely grated parmesan all over the ear of corn, completely coating it in cheese. Feelin’ like something spicy? Add a few dashes of Tabasco sauce!
  4. You’ll probably want to wash your hands at this point…then wrap it all up in the foil and place on a hot grill (300-350 degrees) for 15 minutes or so.
  5. Unwrap corn and devour.

Sugar, Spice and All That’s Sorbet

"Sorbet Borderstan"

Sorbet. (Namita Koppa)

Ingredients

  • 2 pints of washed, pitted and de-stemmed fruit (of your choice)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup of water
Directions
  1. Make sure your fruit is refrigerated prior to making this! Wash, pit, and de-stem your fruits. You probably want to use about 2 pints of fruit per quart of sorbet.
  2. To your cut fruit, add sugar (1/4 to 1/2 cup), depending on how sweet you’d like it), a little water (1/4 to to 1/3 cup) and let it macerate (rest!) in a bowl for about 10 minutes. If you’d like a little kick, you can also add one minibottle of your favorite liquor or ¼ cup wine at this point.
  3. Put everything in your blender and puree! If you’re seed-averse, you can run the blended fruit through a sieve. Otherwise, churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions if you are using one. If you’re not, go to step 4.
  4. Freeze. Scoop out, enjoy.

Salty Chocolate Zucchini Cake

"Salty Zucchini Cake Borderstan"

Salty zucchini cake. (Rachel Nania)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ cup of unsweetened cocoa, sifted
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt (plus a little more for sprinkling on top)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups of shredded zucchini (about 2 large zucchini)
  • 1 tbsp of quality vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter, melted
  • 12 oz package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease two round cake pans.
  2. In a food processor, shred fresh zucchini until you have enough for 2 cups (about two large zucchini).
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. Mix together with a spoon and set aside.
  4. In a separate large bowl, mix together the following ingredients with a large spoon: the melted butter, the sugar, the brown sugar, the eggs and the vanilla.
  5. Combine the bowl of wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon. Spoon in the shredded zucchini and continue to mix the ingredients. Once the wet and dry ingredients are fully incorporated, add the bag of chocolate chips and continue to incorporate.
  6. Divide the batter and pour into two round cake pans.
  7. Sprinkle the tops of the cakes with a pinch of sea salt.
  8. Bake the pans in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
  9. Eat plain or serve warm with a scoop of ice cream!

Pesto With Garlic Scapes 

"Garlic Scapes Borderstan"

Garlic Scapes. (Chelsea Rinnig)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. garlic scapes (about 15 scapes)
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice from half a lemon
Directions
  1. Roughly chop the garlic scapes before combining all ingredients into a food processor or blender.
  2. I also like to add a little zest for the lemon before I juice it as well.
  3. Serve immediately over cooked pasta or store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Fresh Pesto and Roasted Veggie Sandwiches

"Sandwiches Borderstan"

Roasted vegetable and pesto sandwiches. (Rachel Nania)

Fresh Pesto Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups of tightly packed basil leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup of shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ÂĽ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pesto Directions

  1. In a food processor, blend the basil, the garlic and the cheese for a few seconds (10 to 15).
  2. Scrape down the sides and start the machine back up. While the mixture is blending, slowly drizzle in about ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil until it all starts to come together. Stop the blade again and scrape down the sides – add salt and pepper to taste. (Be careful with the salt! Parmigiano-Reggiano is a salty cheese and already provides a lot of salt to the pesto.)
  3. Continue to mix until the pesto has reached its desired taste and consistency.

Roasted Vegetable Sandwiches Ingredients 

  • 1 small eggplant
  • 2 small zucchinis
  • ½ of a white onion
  • 1 jar of roasted red peppers
  • Olive oil and salt

Sandwich Directions

  1. On a baking sheet, layout thinly sliced pieces of eggplant, zucchini and onion.
  2. Brush each piece with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
  3. Roast in a 375 degree oven for about one hour or until the veggies have reached the desired “roasted” color.
  4. Halve a fresh ciabatta loaf length-wise and spread the two sides with the pesto. Layer on the oven roasted veggies, as well as the jarred roasted red peppers.
  5. Cut and enjoy!

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Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania; email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

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