Grilled peach and arugula salad with mozzarella cheese, red onion, aged balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Grilled summer squash with mint and balsamic vinegar
Fregula with clams
Still dreaming of my Italian getaway, I tried my hand at interpreting a traditional Sardinian dish. Fregula or fregola is a type of Sardinian pasta that is similar to pearled couscous. It is traditionally made with semolina dough that is rolled into little balls and toasted before boiling. The outcome is nutty little morsels that are slightly firm to the bite. We had fregula a few times on our trip and it was always accompanied with shellfish.
For this dish, fennel, onions and garlic were sautéed in a little olive oil. Once the ingredients were translucent, white wine was used to deglaze the pan. Cleaned cockles and diced tomatoes (pulp removed) were added to the pot and allowed to steam. Once the cockles were partly opened, the almost completely cooked fregula was added along with about a 1/2 cup of pasta water. When the cockles were fully opened, the fregula was finished with a little coarse pepper and parsley. Although “sacrilegious”, a sprinkling of Parmesan could have really elevated this light and simple dish.
Summer is a wonderful time to swing by the farmer’s market. It is abundant with summer squash, tree ripe peaches, and the beginnings of succulent summer tomatoes. The market pickins’ were the inspiration for the two accompanying dishes. Three types of summer squash were simply grilled with olive oil, salt and pepper and were then tossed with mint and balsamic vinegar. The simplicity really showcased the freshness of the buttery squash. For the salad, the peaches were lightly grilled and tossed with peppery arugula, creamy fresh mozzarella, red onion, and a simple drizzle of olive oil and aged balsamic. Grilling the peaches really brought out the sweetness and balanced exceptionally with the smooth cheese, spicy greens, and crunchy onion. I am usually not a fruit in salad person, but this dish converted me!
Who does not love a juicy succulent peach or a nectarine in the summer? The kind that you take one bite out of and the juice drizzles down your chin, but you are in such a state of euphoria that you could care less about the sticky sweetness dripping onto your shirt. Not only does summer offer the deliciousness of berries and stone fruit, but also along with the scrumptiousness, there is a plethora of nutritional benefits. Nectarines and peaches contain carotenoids and vitamin C, which promote eye health, immunity, and protection from certain cancers. Blueberries, blackberries and purple plums contain anthocyanins, which give the fruit their hue as well as anti-aging properties, aid with memory, and urinary health.
Fruitophile’s unite and savor summers sustenance!