Wednesday, August 6, 2008

An Easy Summer Meal

Today, with a friend coming over in an hour, I was able to gather items from the farmer's market and make a fast meal. It is healthy, toddler friendly and definitely colorful.

First, a great recipe from a great website, Chocolate and Zucchini. This is a salad of grated beets and carrots mixed with oil and vinegar. However, as the author Colette points out, you can add fresh herbs and/or nuts. Since there isn't any mayonnaise you could keep this outdoors and take it to the beach or on a picnic. If her recipe seems at all complicated, just do what I did: peel and grate both fresh (raw!) beets and carrots (you could even just use one or the other) and add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to your liking.

I served it with a delicious fresh mozzarella that I bought from Fiore di Nonno at the Harvard Farmer's Market and bread from B and R Bakery.

For dessert, an incredibly simple fruit crumble from Ruth Reichl, editor-in-chief at Gourmet. FoodieDaddy and I first saw her make this on Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie on PBS. She uses a pie crust, but I eliminated to make it just a bit healthier. (I know, there is a stick of butter in here, but I can pretend!)

I had bought some inexpensive fresh apricots at the Super 88 and had a few leftover local blueberries. Although you could really use any fruit, the pleasure of apricots are many and you can find them at farmer's markets right now. You don't need to peel them and if you just cut them in half, the pit falls right out. I also think that the apricots clinched the dessert as their subtle fruit flavor and tartness prevented the dessert from being too sweet or rich.

You simply halve and pit 2 pounds of apricots (or your mix of fruits) and lay them down in a pan. I used a cast iron skillet. Then, melt 1 stick of unsalted butter in the microwave. Add 3/4 of a cup of sugar and 3/4 of a cup of flour. Mix. Crumble it over the apricots and sprinkle with cinnamon and/or nutmeg. Bake it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 50 minutes or until the top is brown.

Enjoy. It is just as good warm for dessert as it is for breakfast the next morning (if there are any leftovers!)

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