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Pat’s Pantry: Summer Veggies

By Pat Mills

This is about the time gardens start to produce those wonderful veggies and we need some new good recipes to use them up.  Fresh vegetables can be a meal all by themselves. I can’t get enough. – Pat

Fresh mozzarella tomato salad

3 medium tomatoes, sliced
8 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

Alternate tomato and cheese slices on a platter. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with the basil, salt, and pepper. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.

Colorful vegetable medley

2 medium yellow summer squash, sliced
4 teaspoons olive oil
1-1½ cups fresh sugar snap peas
1-1½ cups halved cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
¼ teaspoon salt

In a large nonstick skillet, sauté the squash in oil for 3 minutes. Add peas and tomatoes; sauté 2-3 minutes longer or until squash is crisp-tender. Sprinkle with parsley, lemon juice, coriander, salt, and pepper; toss to coat. Yield: 4 servings.

Italian cucumber salad

2 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup sliced red onion
½ cup chopped green pepper
½ cup Italian salad dressing

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients; cover and refrigerate until serving. Serve with a slotted spoon. Yield: 8 serving.

Bell pepper slaw

2 teaspoons butter or margarine, melted
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup half-and-half cream
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ to ½ teaspoon ground mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup finely shredded cabbage
2 tablespoons each diced sweet red pepper, green pepper, and celery

In a saucepan, whisk butter and flour until smooth. In a bowl, whisk cream and egg yolk gradually add to butter mixture. Add vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly (the dressing will be very thick). In a bowl, combine the cabbage, peppers, and celery. Add warm dressing and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Yield: 2 servings.

Zucchini and corn sauté

2 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced
1 medium green pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, optional
2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 teaspoon garlic salt, optional
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning

In a large skillet, sauté zucchini and peppers in oil until crisp-tender, amount 4 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; sauté 3-4 minutes longer or until the corn is tender. Yield: 10 servings.

FOOD FACTS

• Slicing tomatoes:  The best way to cut through the skin of a tomato is with a serrated, not straight-edged knife. Cut a tomato vertically, from stem end to blossom end, for slices that will be less juicy and hold their shape better.
• To keep parsley fresh, wash the entire bunch in warm water. Then shake off all excess moisture, wrap in a paper towel and seal it in a plastic bag.

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