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From the farm, market or garden, summer flavors are at their best.

Byline: Maryana Vollstedt For The Register-Guard

Someone once said, "Summer is everything good to eat." Here in the Northwest, we know this is true with all of the local produce readily available at farm stands, farmers' markets and your own garden.

After a wonderful crop of strawberries, we can now enjoy other berries, orchard fruits and the long-awaited garden tomatoes and sweet corn in addition to other seasonal produce.

Local tomatoes are at their best when eaten raw with a little salt and pepper, but they can also be served in salads, casseroles and soups. In today's recipe for a sophisticated soup, roasting the tomatoes and onions brings out a wonderful blend of flavors. Seasoned garlic croutons are floated on top for added flair.

For a vivid salad that makes an impressive presentation, try a tossed salad made with mixed greens and fresh pears. Garnish it with local berries and toss it with sweet Poppy Seed Dressing.

Fresh corn is best when eaten as soon as possible after picking because the sugar begins to turn to starch, which lessens its natural sweetness. Corn can be cooked in gently boiling water 4 to 5 minutes, depending on freshness and how you like it. It can also be steamed, grilled or microwaved. All that is needed is butter, salt and pepper, but for variety, try the recipes that follow for Herb Butter, Lime Butter and Chili Butter.

For a typical Oregon summer dessert, peaches and blueberries are combined in a fruit crisp with a topping of hazelnuts or walnuts.

Peaches are one of the most popular orchard fruits along with pears, plums, apricots and apples.

Blueberries are known for their many health benefits and are often called the "super fruit" or "brain food." They have become a staple in many households.

Enjoy some of our local flavors with today's recipes.

Roasted Tomato and Onion Soup With Fresh Herbs

5 medium tomatoes (about 1' pounds) peeled, cored and halved (see note)

1 large Walla Walla onion, quartered

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

-cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

2 cups low sodium chicken stock or broth

2 tablespoons dry red wine

'cup buttermilk, well-shaken

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top

Baked Garlic Croutons (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tomatoes cut side up in a lightly sprayed or oiled 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Add onions and sprinkle tomatoes and onions generously with salt and pepper. In a small bowl mix oil, garlic and herbs. Spoon over tomatoes and onions. Roast until tomatoes are soft and lightly browned, about 50 minutes. Cool slightly, then place tomatoes, onions and juices in a food processor and pure until smooth.

Transfer mixture to a soup pot over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients except Parmesan cheese and croutons and simmer, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes. Add more salt if needed. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and a few croutons.

Serves 4 to 6.

Note: To peel tomatoes, drop in boiling water for 30 seconds.

Baked Garlic Croutons

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 or 3 garlic cloves, halved

2 cups cubed French bread (1-inch cubes), day-old or air-dried several hours or overnight

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, minced herbs or coarse salt, for sprinkling on top (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt butter with oil. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes.

Remove garlic and discard. Add bread cubes and toss until coated. Place on a baking sheet and bake until crisp and golden, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with any of the toppings while warm, if desired. Use immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Makes about 2 cups.

Tossed Green Salad With Berries and Poppy Seed Dressing

8 to 10 cups mixed greens

Poppy Seed Dressing (recipe follows)

'cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

-cup chopped toasted pecans

1 fresh pear, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

3/4cup assorted fresh berries, such as strawberries, raspberries or blackberries

In a large salad bowl, toss greens with just enough dressing to coat. Divide equally among 6 salad plates. Sprinkle with cheese and nuts. Add several pear slices and garnish with berries around the edge of each plate.

Serves 6.

Poppy Seed Dressing

2 tablespoons honey

'teaspoon dry mustard

'teaspoon paprika

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

1'teaspoons poppy seeds

'cup vegetable oil

In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients except oil and poppy seeds.

Stir in poppy seeds and whisk in oil until well blended.

Makes about 3/4 cup.

Corn on the Cob With Three Butters

4 ears sweet corn, husks and silks removed

Herb Butter (recipe follows)

Lime Butter (recipe follows)

Chili Butter (recipe follows)

Bring a large pot of water over high heat to a boil. Add corn and return to a boil. Boil 4 to 5 minutes. Do not add salt (it toughens the corn). Drain and serve. Serves 4.

Herb Butter

This is delicious on all vegetables and on warmed French bread. Use your favorite herbs.

1 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon snipped fresh oregano

4 fresh basil leaves, torn up

4 fresh chive stems, torn up

3 fresh parsley sprigs

'cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, cut up

Wash and dry herbs. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process to blend well. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed with a spatula. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.

Makes about ' cup.

Lime Butter

'cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon grated lime zest

-teaspoon dry mustard

1/8teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Combine all ingredients in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave oven on high until butter is melted, about 30 seconds. Remove and stir until blended.

Cover and refrigerate until firm. Serve at room temperature.

Makes about ' cup.

Chili Butter

'cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

1 to 2 teaspoons (to taste) chopped chipotle chilies in adobo sauce

1 teaspoon grated lime zest

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients.

Makes about ' cup.

Blueberry and Peach Crisp?With Walnut Topping

Serve warm with ice cream, if desired.


3 cups blueberries, washed and dried

3 medium ripe peaches, peeled, halved, pitted and sliced into '-inch slices

-cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients. Place in a buttered 8-by-8-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle topping over. Bake until bubbly and top is crisp, 45 to 50 minutes.


-cup butter (' stick), cut up

3/4cup all-purpose flour

'cup brown sugar

-teaspoon cinnamon

Dash of salt

3/4cup chopped walnuts or other nuts

To make topping: In a food processor combine all ingredients except nuts and process until crumbly. Fold in nuts. Set aside.

Eugene cookbook author Maryana Vollstedt can be reached by e-mail at or at her Web site
COPYRIGHT 2008 The Register Guard
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Entree
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Recipe
Date:Aug 13, 2008
Next Article:ENTREE NOTES.

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