Summery September Recipes

We might have turned over the page to the month of September, but the gardens continue to ripen with an abundance of late-summer gems, from luscious heirloom and cherry tomatoes to ripe, juicy melons and peaches. Also including zucchini, sweet peppers, cucumbers and Patty Pan squash, plus a beautiful bounty of herbs and greens, this week’s lineup is accented by such provisions as Pain au Levain bread, Italian olive oil and flaky sea salt, Harmony Field’s sheep’s milk feta and chicken eggs. Enjoy!

Here are a few recipe ideas for the week:

Baked Feta with Honey
A kick of honey lends a sweet touch to the salty cheese; serve with grilled bread crostini!

Summer Peach & Heirloom Tomato Salad
Incredibly fresh and light, this colorful salad is accented by a robust heirloom tomato vinaigrette.

Grilled Heirloom Tomato Vinaigrette
In addition to this week’s salad, this bright and robust dressing is wonderful tossed with pasta, or drizzled over steamed or grilled vegetables.

Cucumber & Melon Salad with Basil
Juicy and incredibly crisp, this salad always receives rave reviews.

Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone, Pistachios & Balsamic Glaze
Peaches off the grill are a true summer delight—we particularly love this salty, sticky-sweet topping.

Classic Basil Pesto

Toss it on pasta, add it to salad dressings, drizzle over heirloom tomatoes—the possibilities are endless with this classic sauce!

Ingredients:
4 cups fresh basil leaves (from about 3 large bunches)
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
½ cup freshly grated Grana-style cheese
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Method:
1. Combine basil, pine nuts, cheese and garlic in a blender or food processor. Blend until paste forms, stopping often to push down any basil caught on the sides of the bowl. Then, with the motor running, add the olive oil in a steady stream and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt, and then transfer to a small bowl.

Heirloom Tomato & Grilled Focaccia Bread Salad

The beauty of this summery salad is in its simplicity: Be sure to use good-quality olive oil and season generously!

Ingredients:
4 cups focaccia bread, cut into large cubes
2-3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
½ cup basil-infused olive oil
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
¼ cup freshly-crumbled chevre cheese
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Toss the focaccia cubes with about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Grill the bread cubes until lightly charred, turning frequently with tongs. (A grill basket works well for this if you have it; otherwise watch that you don’t lose the croutons down the grate!) Remove from the grill and reserve.

2. On a large platter, arrange the heirloom tomato slices and drizzle with the remaining olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Garnish with the chopped basil, feta and grilled bread croutons and drizzle with another swirl of olive oil and, if desired, balsamic vinegar as well.

Heirloom Tomato & Grilled Bread Panzanella

The beauty of this summery salad is in its simplicity: Be sure to use good-quality olive oil and season generously!

Ingredients:
4 cups Pain au Levain bread, cut into large cubes
2-3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
½ cup good-quality olive oil
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
¼ cup freshly-crumbled feta or goat cheese
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Toss the bread cubes with about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Grill the bread cubes until lightly charred, turning frequently with tongs. (A grill basket works well for this if you have it; otherwise watch that you don’t lose the croutons down the grate!) Remove from the grill and reserve.

2. On a large platter, arrange the heirloom tomato slices and drizzle with the remaining olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Garnish with the chopped basil, cheese and grilled bread croutons and drizzle with another swirl of olive oil and, if desired, balsamic vinegar as well.

Variation: If you can find it, this salad is amazing topped with burrata cheese instead of the crumbled soft cheese!

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