July 29th, 2015

Summer on the Move


Puttering in the garden. A dip in the pool. A day trip to the country. Stirring a pot of blackberry jam. Tomatoes, and more tomatoes, at every meal.

That’s the summer in my mind.

I’ve caught glimpses of that idyllic summer, even taken the occasional dip and day trip. For the most part, that slow carefree pace has eluded me. It’s not a complaint, don’t get me wrong. In the life of a food writer-educator-recovered caterer-grandmother, you gotta roll with whatever assignments come your way! From cooking camps to grandson care, life has been full.

But, here I am. And, I have hopes for a languid August. Beautiful produce is coming into the markets; look at that bounty. I haven’t stopped cooking. Here are a few summer dishes I’ve enjoyed.



Have your heard of Juliet tomatoes? They are a paste variety that look like mini-romas. I really like them for certain applications. Thick sauces. Salsa. Ketchup. And, they slow-roast into meaty ovals of sweetness.

I used them, in their slow roasted state, to make this frittata. The process started on the stovetop in my cast iron skillet, and finished in the oven.

A frittata is a fast and versatile recipe to have in your repertoire. You can find numerous variations here. I served this for an impromptu brunch for friends–it couldn’t have been simpler, and more satisfying.


1 tablespoon butter
6 eggs
1 cup cream (you may substitute half-and-half or whole milk if you prefer)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 pound roma or paste tomatoes, roasted
1/2 cup fresh basil pesto
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Coat a 9 inch cast iron (or oven safe) skillet with butter.
Beat eggs, cream, salt and black pepper together until no traces of yolk can be seen.
Place skillet over medium heat.
Pour in the egg mixture.
Add the tomatoes, dollops of pesto and shredded cheese. Cook on the stovetop for about 5-7 minutes.
Place the skillet into the oven to finish—about 15 minutes.

Serves 4-6



One of the teen cooking camps I taught at the food bank was all about “Street Eats.” We explored cuisines around the world, from the standpoint of what you’d buy from a street vendor, pushcart, food truck: some times the most delicious dishes ever! One day, we made Mexican fare—grilled fish tacos, pickled cabbage, churros dusted with cinnamon sugar, and elotes—those spectacular ears of grilled corn slathered with lime-and-chili spiked mayo.

We had a few extra charred ears which I brought home. They soon wound up in this salad that celebrates summer yellows: wax beans, sweet bell pepper, onion, sungold tomatoes and crookneck squash. I blanched the beans (fresh picked from a friend’s garden!) in water seasoned with garlic and bay leaf. I sauteed the peppers, onion and squash. I scraped the grilled and slathered kernels off the cob, and mixed the whole she-bang together. Finished with a scatter of sungolds, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. Mercy. Summer in a bowl. It was so so good.


1/2 pound yellow wax beans, trimmed
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 yellow squash, cut into julienne strips
1 golden bell pepper, cut into julienne strips
1 small onion, sliced
2 ears of corn, cooked: grilled, oven roasted, boiled
1 cup sungold tomatoes, cut in half
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
Elote Dressing (recipe below)

Fill a skillet with water and place over medium heat. Add the garlic, bay leaf and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Cook the wax beans ( a few at a time–do not crowd) until tender-crisp–about 4 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Empty the skillet, dry it, and place over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add the squash, peppers and onions. Saute for about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, place the wax beans and sauteed vegetables. Scrape the corn kernels into the bowl. Add the sungold tomatoes, cilantro, and Elote dressing. Toss well and serve.

Serves 2-4

“Elote” Dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4-1/3 teaspoon cayenne
lime juice from 1 lime
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup grated cotija or parmesan cheese

Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined.
Makes a scant cup.



What do you do when you have a ripe mango, a pint of blueberries, a container of plain Greek yogurt and a lime? This is the answer. Easy-Pretty-Tasty-Healthy.


This one is barely a recipe.

2 cups plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons of your favorite honey
1 lime—juice and zest
1 pint blueberries, rinsed and stemmed
1 ripe mango, peeled and sliced

Place the yogurt into a bowl. Add lime juice, zest and honey. Stir until well combined. Taste and adjust for sweetness, if desired.

Set up 4 glasses (or whatever serving vessels you’d prefer.) Place a dollop of yoghurt in the bottom of each. Follow with a handful of berries, a few slices of mango, and repeat the layering until the glass is full. Garnish with basil or mint leaves and serve.


Posted in Breakfast, Desserts, Egg/Cheese Dishes, Fruit, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegetables, Vegetarian Dishes

14 Responses to “Summer on the Move”
  1. Gerlinde @ sunnycovechef Says:

    Nancy, all those dishes look divine, can I can over for lunch ? Summer can be so much fun. I hope you have a lot of fun with your grandson.

  2. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Gerlinde–Come on over! :)
    We did have a great time with our 2 1/2 year old grandson. He’s a loving AND very busy little person.

  3. ernestine Says:

    Wonderful recipes
    I now know what a breakfast will be,
    love frittata’s
    and always have the yogurt, blueberries and a mango on hand and usually eat the mango separately..
    I have no garden this year, a couple of tomaoto plants that have not done well but local Farmers Market supplies my small needs…

  4. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Thank you Ernestine. This year, I am relying on the farmers markets, friends’ gardens, my potted herbs, and the random volunteer tomato and squash plants in my yard!

  5. heather Says:

    Beautiful! These recipes are delicious!! Thank you Nancy for sharing I’ve got to make them all, really good.

  6. Maggie Says:

    Hey Nance! To use your word, I just enjoyed a lanquid lunch on the front porch; tomato and cucumber panzanella. I wish you had been here to enjoy it with me! I’ve lately whipped up a frittata or two, and yours looks wonderful! See you soon!!

  7. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Heather, You are so welcome.

    Hey Mag–I wish I’d been there with you too. Like today! there’s shockingly No Humidity. perfect for those languid summer lunches.

  8. Barbara Says:

    Most of my languid lunches in South Florida are NOT outside on the porch, Nancy! Which is sticky hot at the moment. Nonetheless, I do try for those lazy unbusy days….when I can catch up with my life. Your frittata sounds like the perfect answer. And the yogurt and fruit dessert is right up my alley. Those barely recipes are the best.

  9. Beth Says:

    What a delicious post! I would happily eat everything you’ve featured. I’m a big fan of frittatas, and that vegetable salad looks amazing.

  10. Michele | Cooking At Home Says:

    It all sounds lovely to me, Nancy.

  11. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Barbara–Right now I am in NYC helping a friend move, and talk about sticky hot! no languid lunches in Manhattan…

    Hi Beth, I forget about how easy and delicious frittatas are. I should make them more often.

    Michele! So nice to see you here. I hope all has been well in your world.

  12. Teresa Blackburn Says:

    Oh Mercy! How yummy this all looks. Summer personified in every bite. Hope to see you soon and catch up on all your adventures this summer….D.C. with Zack, NYC, the House….Languid moments to share!

  13. Tammy Says:

    I think I will make that “barely a recipe” tonight!

  14. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Tammy! Like Barbara has commented above, those “barely a recipe” dishes are the best ones.

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