Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer! Welcoming the Season With Two New Recipes, One Old Recipe and Two Poems; Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Sounds Good To Me

The lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer have finally arrived and I won't complain if summer 2011 fits the title of the 1963 Nat King Cole hit tune. Winter was too cold and seemed endless. Spring was too rainy and seemed endless. Summer if we're lucky might seem endless but somehow I suspect it will pass all too quickly.

Vacation plans have been made, weekends are mostly booked and I have a stack of must-read books for entertainment. A couple of promising movies are due to open (and by that I mean "Cars 2"!) and our backyard deck is officially open for business.

Last weekend we had guests for dinner and I served a sangria that I made last year. I'll repeat that recipe because everyone seems to enjoy it...and it's easy! Tonight we had a lemony summer potato salad and string beans with tomato and red onion. The recipes follow.

But first the poems, two favorites, one by Shakespeare and the other, Robert Louis Stevenson.

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
(Sonnet 18) by William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

At the Sea-Side
By Robert Louis Stevenson

When I was down beside the sea
A wooden spade they gave to me
To dig the sandy shore
My holes were empty like a cup.
In every hole the sea came up
Till it could come no more.

Summer Potato Salad
Note: I found this a bit lemony for my taste but light and perfect for a summer side dish. I might cut back on the zest next time around but will see how it tastes after a night of refrigeration.

1 1/2 pounds red new potatoes, sliced 1 inch thick
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh herbs, such as a combination of basil, parsley, and tarragon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • On stove top, steam potatoes tossing occasionally, until tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, place lemon zest and juice; season with salt and pepper. Transfer potatoes to bowl and toss with lemon juice. Refrigerate until cool, at least 1 hour.
  • Toss herbs and oil with cooled potato mixture; season with salt and pepper.

String Beans With Tomatoes and Red Onion

1 pound whole fresh string beans
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1/2 lemon, juiced
Coarse salt and pepper

  • Steam green beans for 3 or 4 minutes. 
  • Thinly slice onion and tomatoes .
  • Cold shock beans by running under icy water and drain well. 
  • Place beans in a bowl and combine with onions, cucumber and tomato. 
  • Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil and the juice of 1/2 lemon. 
  • Season with coarse salt and pepper, to taste.
Rosé Sangria
Mix together:
1 bottle inexpensive rosé
1 cup white cranberry juice
5 ounces Framboise
1 tablespoon sugar
sliced fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, oranges, watermelon

Serve cold on ice

No comments:

Post a Comment