August 8, 2011

Summer Yum

If you're anything like me, you have a kitchen drawer (or two) filled with seldom used gadgets and gizmos that you thought you really needed, but didn't.  They kind of mock you from a twisted jumble of spoons, tongs and zesters that are rarely never used.  These, however, are different.  This is a gadget that's actually going to become an indispensable friend.  Girls, meet the new magic kitchen scissors....
As many of you are aware, several of the Clever Girls around here are absolutely no slouch when it comes to the cooking department: If they say it's good, it is. These herb scissors have the "CG" stamp of approval all over them.  The multi-blades make quick, neat work of even the most tender herbs; and this is the perfect tool to assist you in putting the summer's delicious and bountiful yield to good use. Snip the herbs you need neatly, quickly and right where you want them with this great gadget.  Basil, scallions, parsley, mint and dill are our summer favorites; but these babies work on just about anything.
To get you started, two of our top clever, culinary girls offer you some recipes to get cookin' with.

  • Ingredients
  • 1 (5-pound) watermelon
  • 1 Vidalia or other sweet onion (I use red, and a bit less than this calls for)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (use the scissors!)
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 6 whole mint sprigs
  • Directions
  • Remove the melon from the rind.  Discard rind.  Remove seeds from melon and cut into bite size pieces.
    Peel and slice the onion into paperthin rings or finely chop. 
    In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt and pepper and whisk until salt is dissolved.  Slowly whisk  in olive oil, a few drops at a time.  Add in the chopped mint, and adjust seasonings.   
    In a large bowl combine the melon, onion and feta.  Pour the dressing over the melon mixture and gently toss until coated.  Garnish with mint springs. 
    *Note, this does not keep well.  I'd recommend making only the amount you will be enjoying at the time.  Also, I cut back on the oil just a little.
    Perfect during this upcoming hot August!
  • ~Lynn D.
  • ************************************
  • Michelle offers this scrumptious, herb infused dish (use your new scissors!) and it is a perfect way to serve up some of the seasons delicious, sun-ripened tomatoes ...

  • 4 large, ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4c. good quality olive oil
  • 1 1/2 T. good quality red wine vinegar (St. Julian)
  • 2 T. chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 T. chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 T. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 T. chopped fresh chives
  • 2 T. minced garlic
  • 1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Directions
  • Arrange the tomato slices in a shallow casserole dish.  Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, thyme, oregano, parsley, chives and garlic in a small bowl.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour herb mixture over the tomatoes, covering evenly.  Top with Parmesan cheese.  
  • *This recipe improves by letting the flavors meld together.  Be sure you have some great, crusty bread to dip into the dressing.  Enjoy!  ~Michelle M.
One last tip from  Michelle: Don't be intimidated by using fresh herbs in place of dried.   Here's her secret: Substitutions can be made in many recipes using a simple 1:3 ratio of dried to fresh herbs.  For example, if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of dried thyme, use 3 tablespoons of fresh.  
Clever, right?  Happy cooking!

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