Easy recipes to enjoy all summer long...
Well, Memorial Day has passed and for most of us, summer has begun. With summer comes vacations, outdoor concerts and my favorite--the farmers’ markets.
Usually food played a role in making summer events special. In Pittsburgh, it’s always a great way to spend a Saturday cruising the Strip District for fresh foods, specialty items and hard-to-find delicacies.
Every Saturday from April through Thanksgiving, the farmers’ markets feature locally grown vegetables, fruits and meats and other items that are fresh, seasonal, and local.
The act of shopping at farmers’ markets all across America all summer long makes for great summer memories. With that said, here are a few recipes to share and create new memories using fresh foods found at the farmers’ markets.
Tomatoes: A staple at any farmers’ market can be used and are used in a variety of ways.
Summer Squash: This exotic vegetable makes summer picnics and backyard barbecues festive and add a delicious flair.
Bell Peppers: More than just sides, bell peppers can brighten any picnic table, gazebo or pool side grill.
These three items can be easily picked-up at any farmers’ market and will make you a hit with your family, friends or that special someone!
Tomato Basil Served on a Baguette:
Fresh tomatoes (preferably beefsteak)
Salt and pepper
Chopped Red Onion (optional)
Parmesan Cheese (optional)
This is a snack that can be served cold or on a warm baguette.
- Depending on the size of your party, take a 2-3 large tomatoes (beefsteak tomatoes work best here) and chop into medium-sized pieces.
- Take fresh basil and finely dice.
- Combine the tomatoes and basil in a bowl and add olive oil.
- Gently mix the tomatoes, basil and olive oil.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Slice your baguette into disk size and top with your tomato medley.
- Slice a full baguette into sandwich size section.
- Slice each section in half.
- Top with your tomato medley and add parmesan cheese and/or chopped red onion.
Summer Squash Salad:
Summer squash any variety (best if you use different colors and types)
Spring mix (mixture of various leaf lettuce)
Goat cheese (optional)
- Wash your summer squash and dice into medium-sized pieces.
- Add your squash, olive oil and basil to a sauté pan over medium heat.
- Toss several times until the squash is hot and soft.
- Add in the (optional) crumbled goat cheese as a final step. Toss salad.
- Plate 4-5 ounces of spring mix on each plate.
- Carefully top the spring mix with the sautéed squash.
- Top with a little freshly diced mint.
“Baked on the Grill” Bell Peppers:
Bell Peppers (various colors)
Bulgur (cook before using)
- Sauté cooked bulgur, crumbled tofu, garlic, olive oil, fresh parsley, tomato.
- When the mixture is cooked, soft and crisp, add fresh mint and remove from the heat.
- Slice off the tops of the bell peppers and remove the seeds.
- Stuff the peppers with your sautéed mixture.
- Using an oven? Place the stuff peppers inside of a roasting pan that has be lined with olive oil.
- Preheat the oven at 325-degrees and bake the pepper for 20-30 minutes or until they are soft on the outside of the peppers.
- Using a grill? Replace the chop off tops of the peppers and wrap each pepper in aluminum foil.
- Place the wrapped peppers on indirect heat on the grill and grill until the peppers are soft. 30-40 minutes.
Each of these tasty items will be a hit all summer long!
Catch up with Steve at 1947 Tavern, located at 5744 Ellsworth Avenue in Pittsburgh. He's there cooking up treats all summer long!