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  • Freshen the table with in-season vegetables, fruits

  • Summer fruits and vegetables abound this time of year. Here are a few recipes using some of that bounty.
  • Summer fruits and vegetables abound this time of year. Here are a few recipes using some of that bounty.
    Summer Squash and Asparagus Farfalle Dish
    2 cups uncooked Farfalle pasta, cook according to package directions
    pound fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch diagonal pieces
    1 medium yellow summer squash, cut into inch coins
    1 medium zucchini, cut into inch coins
    orange Bell pepper, cut into thin strips, then cut in half crosswise
    cup chicken broth
    cup half and half or cream
    1 tablespoon fresh sweet basil chopped
    1 cup shredded Pepper Jack or Mexican mix cheese
    Cook farfalle according to package directions. Add asparagus to the boiling water the last 2 minutes of cooking; drain. Set aside.
    In a large skillet with a little oil cook pepper strips, and zucchini and squash coins until crisp tender, stirring frequently, about 2-3 minutes. Add pasta mixture, broth, and half and half, stir mixing well. Cook for about 4-5 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in sweet basil. Sprinkle top with cheese and cook for 2 more minutes. Serve hot.
    Caprese Tomato Salad
    Heirloom tomato mixture makes a nice presentation for this recipe.
    2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut into inch wedges
    1 pound mozzarella cheese, cubes or balls
    3 stalks celery, chopped
    cup fresh sweet basil, chopped
    1/3 cup EVOO, olive oil
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
    In a large bowl toss together tomatoes, celery, sweet basil, and mozzarella. In a cup stir together oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, pour over tomato mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate if not serving immediately.
    Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries
    Serves 4.
    1 teaspoon EVOO, olive oil
    2 thick slices smoked bacon
    1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
    Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
    cup dried cranberries
    1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon butter
    cup chicken broth
    Cook bacon until crisp, remove from pan and drain on paper towels; cool and crumble, set aside.
    In a large skillet heat oil and 2 tablespoons bacon drippings over medium heat. Add Brussels sprouts and cook stirring often, until beginning to soften about 5-7 minutes. Lower heat and add onion and butter; cook, stirring often until onion is soft about 3 minutes. Add broth to skillet, increase heat, and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Lower heat to medium low and simmer until broth has evaporated about 2- minutes. Stir in cranberries, crumbled bacon and season to taste with salt and pepper.
    Shrimp Salad
    Page 2 of 3 - Serves 4. If shrimp are large cut in half.
    pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and flash cooked
    Old Bay Seasoning
    1 stalk celery
    1 carrot
    4 hard cooked eggs, chopped
    2 carrots, shredded or grated
    medium sweet onion, finely chopped
    1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
    Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
    1 cup good mayonnaise
    1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
    3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    teaspoon Dijon mustard, optional
    Lettuce leaves
    Flash cook shrimp in boiling water with a pinch of Old Bay Seasoning, one celery stalk cut into 2-inch pieces, and one carrot cut into 1-inch pieces. When water boils, add shrimp and let cook for 2-minutes until shrimp just turn pink. Drain and rinse shrimp off with cold water. Place shrimp in a bowl of ice water to chill; let sit for about 5 minutes then drain. Set aside.
    In a bowl whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, parsley, and mustard; set aside.
    In a large bowl, gently stir together shrimp, eggs, carrots, and onion. Add mayonnaise mixture to shrimp and toss until coated. Toss in cherry tomatoes. Chill for 5 to 6 hours or overnight. Serve over lettuce leaves.
    Peach Salsa
    Makes 2 cups. Nectarines may be substituted.
    2 cups peeled and cubed fresh peaches (about 3 large peaches)
    cup red onion, finely chopped
    cup Vidalia or sweet onion finely chopped
    cup green or red Bell pepper, finely chopped
    2 teaspoons lime zest
    Juice of one lime or to taste
    cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
    In a bowl combine peaches, onion, cilantro, peppers, and lime zest, toss to mix. Add lime juice, stir gently and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
    Cantaloupe-Cottage Cheese-Blueberry Boats
    1 ripe cantaloupe, cut into four large wedges, seeds removed
    1 cup fresh blueberries
    2 cups cottage cheese
    Dash of ground cinnamon, optional
    Wash cantaloupe under cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut cantaloupe in quarters, making 4 boats, remove seeds and place on four serving plates. Place one half cup cottage cheese in each cup of cantaloupe. Top with cup blueberries and a dash of cinnamon, if deisred. Chill before serving if desired.
    Peach and Raspberry Treat
    2 packages fresh raspberries
    4 medium ripe peaches, peeled and sliced, about 2 cups
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    1 8-ounce container peach yogurt
    teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 8-ounce container whipped topping, thawed
    3 tablespoons Orange liqueur, I use Grand Marnier (Optional)
    1 rectangular sponge cake ( about 12 ounces) cut into 1-inch cubes
    In a saucepan stir raspberries and cornstarch until coated. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Strain raspberry seeds through a strainer, cover and refrigerated.
    Page 3 of 3 - In a large bowl mix yogurt . orange liqueur, and vanilla extract; fold in whipped topping.
    In a large bowl layer half of the cake cubes, yogurt mixture, and peach slices. Repeat layers. Refrigerate covered at least 4 hours before serving. Serve with raspberry sauce.
    Hope Cusick has won awards at the North Carolina Strawberry Festival in 2012; The North Carolina Blueberry Festival, winning first place for her Blueberry Cheese Danish Pastry in 2012, and placing on her blueberry spinach salad and dressing; and has won various other contest awards for her blueberry cheesecake, breads, cookies, brownies and jams. She resides in Hampstead.
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