Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Taste of Summer

I don't know about you, but I love to eat light foods in the summer. We love to grow a garden and eat the vegetables from it all summer long. Our garden is just starting to produce the summer vegetables. We've had a few summer squash and zucchini, a couple of cucumbers, some beans and plenty of fresh chard. Usually the chard is the hardest to stay on top of in the summer. When it's not regularly picked, it grows large and tastes rather bitter. I know a lot of people love fresh chard cooked with butter and salt on it. We actually prefer it raw and we use it exclusively in our salads in the summer (when the spinach and leaf lettuce has gone to seed). The nice thing about swiss chard is that it will produce even in the heat of summer. It's a great vegetable to grow and very healthy! As long as it's kept young and tender chard is a great substitute for spinach in salad recipes. Here's a delicious recipe with chard that I adapted from this recipe I found.

Spinach or Chard Rice Salad
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing (I used half of a package of dry Italian dressing and the ingredients to make it)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 large green bell pepper*
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cups thinly sliced fresh spinach
5 bacon strips, cooked crisp and crumbled (optional - I didn't use)

*This recipe would also be very good with other vegetables. A few ideas are: sugar snap peas, red bell pepper, celery or olives.

We had this for dinner tonight with crescent rolls and fruit salad. Yum! The taste of summer really doesn't get much better than that! Here's the crescent roll recipe I adapted it from this blog recipe - these were AMAZING! Mine didn't poof up as much as hers probably because I got impatient and didn't let them rise quite as long, but they were still really really good.

Crescent Rolls
(makes 2 cookie sheets, 48 rolls, 24 on each pan)

4 T. yeast
½ c. + 2 T. warm Water
6 eggs
1 c. oil
1 c. sugar
2 c. warm milk (not scalding)
2 T. salt
4 C. of wonder flour
4 Tbsp. of Gluten flour

Mix together in large bosch mixer (I halved this recipe for my compact Bosch) and add:

6-7 c. white flour a cup at a time until dough pulls away from sides of bowl

Continue to mix/knead for 5 minutes on med-high speed. Allow to raise 2-3 hours.

Separate dough into 6 even balls. Roll out each ball until the size of a dinner plate on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 8 pizza wedge slices. With each wedge, roll down ward wrapping bottom skinny bottom piece down and around to make pretty crescent shape. Place 3 rolls across and 8 down, 24 on each cookie sheet.

Allow to double in size while covered with clean dish towel (about 15 minutes). While raising on top of oven, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake one sheet at a time. Bake 6 minutes on bottom rack and then 5 minutes on middle shelf until light golden brown. (Before you take them out, double check the bottom to make sure they are golden brown, not too light they could be doughy). Once they are perfectly golden brown, brush tops with melted butter once removed.

1 comment:

The Garden of Egan said...

Absolutely love your blog. I've spend quite awhile perusing your recipes and I'm so excited to try them out!

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