Enjoying the summer bounty with these fresh flavours

One of the eating joys of summer is the abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. This summer many people have become more interested in gardening and are looking for interesting ways to enjoy the fruits of their labours.

Basil Tomato Pizza

The mayo mixed with the garlic and basil makes a wonderful flavour combination with the tomatoes. A great alternative to a tomato sauce based pizza.

Pizza crust

This makes enough crust for two medium pizzas. Freeze one crust for a quick pizza on another day.

  • 1 1/4 c. warm water 310 mL
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil 30 mL
  • 1 tsp. sugar 5 mL
  • 1 tsp. salt 5 mL
  • 1 tbsp. instant yeast 15 mL
  • 3 – 4 c. flour 750 – 1000 mL
  • 1 – 2 tbsp. cornmeal 15 – 30 mL

Mix flour, sugar salt and yeast in mixing bowl. Add oil and warm water and mix to form a soft dough. Knead dough until smooth and elastic then cover and let rise until nearly double in bulk. Or use a bread maker to mix the dough.

Grease large pizza pan or cookie sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. The cornmeal will keep the crust from getting soggy.

Roll out dough on a floured board to a size to fit the pan. Place on prepared pan and turn up edges.

Basil tomato topping:

  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise 125 mL
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese 125 mL
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 1 – 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil 15 – 30 mL
  • Or 1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves 2 mL
  • 1 tsp. fresh chives or finely chopped green onions 5 mL
  • 3 – 4 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced and seeded
  • 6 – 7 slices crisp cooked bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 2 – 3 c. mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated 1 – 320 g pkg. shredded cheese

In mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, garlic and basil until well mixed.

Spread on prepared crust.

Arrange tomato slices over topping and sprinkle with bacon, chives and grated mozzarella.

Bake at 425F (220C) for 15 minutes or until bubbling and cheese is just begins to brown.

Note: Removing the juice and seeds from the tomatoes prevents the crust from getting soggy. To save time use a purchased prepared pizza crust. Adapted from www.mennonitegirlscancook.ca

Snow Pea Salad With Sesame Dressing

  • 3 c. fresh snow peas or edible pod peas 750 mL
  • 2 c. cauliflower , separated into small florets 500 mL
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into sticks
  • 3 tbsp. canola oil 45 mL
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce 30 mL
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Asian sesame oil 22 mL
  • 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger 10 mL
  • 1 tsp. sugar 5 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard 2 mL
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp. thinly sliced green onions or chives
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds 5 mL

In a large saucepan of boiling salted water blanch cauliflower and carrots one minute. Add snow peas and blanch all of the vegetables an additional 30 seconds. Quickly drain vegetables and place in a bowl of ice water and cool for three to four minutes, then drain well.

Stack several snow peas and slice on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Repeat to slice remaining peas.

In a large bowl, whisk vegetable oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, sugar, mustard and garlic until well combined. Add sliced snow peas, carrots and cauliflower and one tablespoon green onions; mix to coat. Cover and chill until cold, at least one hour, or up to one day.

Just before serving, mound salad on a platter and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon green onions and the sesame seeds.

For a crunchier salad don’t blanch the vegetables, just cut peas and toss altogether with the dressing. Chill eight hours to marinate the vegetables. Serves 8.

Garlic Dill New Potatoes

  • 8 medium red potatoes
  • 1 tbsp. butter 15 mL
  • 3/4 c. water 175 mL
  • 1 tbsp. butter, melted 15 mL
  • 1 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped 15 mL
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic 10 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 1 mL

Scrub new potatoes to wash but don’t peel. Cut into chunks and place in a large frying pan with one tablespoon of butter and water, cover pan with a lid. Cook until potatoes are just tender, five to 10 minutes. Remove lid and boil off the water and allow potatoes to brown a bit.

In a small bowl, stir together the butter, dill, garlic, and salt. Transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl, and pour the seasoned butter over them. Toss gently until they are well-coated and serve immediately. Serves five. Adapted from allrecipes.com.

Preserving dill:

The feather green leaves of the dill plant are known as dill weed. To preserve dill weed for year round use pluck the fine leaves from the wood stems, rinse in water and place in a colander drain. Use a food chopper to make fast work of cutting the dill weed into small pieces. Use a large knife to scoop up the fine pieces and place in a plastic freezer container. Chopped frozen dill has a fresh flavour and can easily be added to a recipe.

Honey Lemon Vinaigrette on Peach Cucumber Salad

This vinaigrette dressing can be used on any salad that has summer fruits and berries like peaches, plums, strawberries, raspberries or saskatoons. Add chicken, fish or slivered steak for a satisfying meal.

Vinaigrette:

  • 3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice 45 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. finely minced lemon zest 2 mL
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 30 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 1 mL
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper .5 mL
  • 1 tsp. honey5 mL
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or other fresh herbs 5 mL

Salad:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • diced cucumber
  • slices fresh peach, plums or berries
  • crisp-cooked chopped bacon
  • or diced chicken or slivered steak

Whisk together all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette or shake together in a covered jar.

Assemble salad ingredients, pour dressing on, toss and serve immediately. Adapted from rockrecipes.com.

Betty Ann Deobald is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact: team@producer.com.

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