Summer Weeknight Menu

This is a change of pace this week. Instead of diatribes, lectures, musings and general advice generation, I'm just going to share a simple, fresh summer menu and the recipes.

  • Greamy Gazpacho
  • Grilled Tuna
  • Pasta with Basil, Corn and Fresh Mozzarella

Gameplan: Put salted water for corn / pasta on to boil. Make gazpacho next, to let the flavors develop. Add corn when water boils. Put spice mixture on tuna. The remaining steps - cutting corn, cheese, herbs, draining pasta are simple. This took one hour and 5 minutes end to end in my kitchen this week, including interruptions from children.

Creamy Gazpacho
Adapted from New York times 7/14/2010 issue. Orignal recipe is available on NYT website.

1 pound tomatoes, cored and seeded
1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
2 scallions, green and white parts, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
10 ounces greek yogurt (or any plain yogurt). More or less yogurt can be used to taste.
1.5 teaspoons good quality Sherry vinegar
1.5 teaspoon Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
Pinch of cayenne, to taste, optional

-- Blend all ingredients (stick blender or regular blender).
-- Thin with a tablespoon or two of water
-- Chill in coldest part of fridge while making rest of dinner. At least 20 minutes.
-- When ready to serve, strain soup through a chinois or strainer, pressing on the solids with a wooden spoon. Scrape the outside of the strainer with a clean spoon.
-- Serve with additional basil, olive oil, bread, etc.

Grilled Tuna
Adapated from Cuisine Rapide

4 tuna steaks, 1" thick, approximately 2 pounds
Kosher Salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
Pinch of cayenne
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
1 lemon, zested and juice squeezed
1-2 tablespoons olive oil

--- Sprinkle both sides of fish wtih salt and pepper
--- Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and mix well
--- Spread seasonings on both sides of fish. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 20 minutes at room temp,refrigerated if longer.
--- Grill steaks for 2 minutes per side over high heat.

Pasta Corn and Mozzarella

1 pound Barilla "cut spaghetti" (great shape/taste)
2-3 tablesppoons olive oil.
1/4  cup basil leaves, finely chopped
Two ears cooked corn, cut from cob (cook in water for pasta water first, if needed)
8 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2" cubes
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

--- Cook pasta, drain, toss with olive oil. Allow to cool slightly
--- Add corn, basil, S&P and combine. Add cheese.
--- Serve warm or at room temp.

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