Summer bucket-listing and a grilled veggie meal

Monday, June 20, 2011

This morning I dropped my kids off at preschool and slowly made my way into my morning. I made the trek across town to my favorite hole-in-the-wall coffee shop. A place where people gather and lounge. Where the music is just a little bit cooler than me and where the coffee is French-pressed and the tea is loose-leaf and served in cast iron pots (love!). There are grapes growing on lattice and people chatting on a patio that is covered but already too hot on this June day.

What am I doing here? Catching up on blogging, I tell myself. Really? I am daydreaming about all things summery and the concept that I have seen floating around online over the past few weeks- the "summer bucket list". It is a bit of a misnomer as, I'm sure, none of these list-makers plan to "kick the bucket" at the end of summer. Whatever, though, I love this idea!

Being the obsessive list-maker that I am, I have collected ideas at the end of summer in the past for what I would like to do the following year. I do this for the holiday season as well. I do pretty well at following up on those lists and planning ahead for the next year too. At least at the beginning of the season. When summer is still just a feeling in the air and has not yet landed with its full weight. The intensity of my fervor tends to dissipate as the weather turns to 100+ degree days of unrelenting heat and the bright spring green of the leaves on the trees begins to fade and give way under the blaze. The late days of spring, when summer still feels carefree and romantic, is the time to do my daydreaming.

I shared a few items from the top of my mind here. But I'm still brainstorming my full list. Right now it is a notebook page full of scribbled idea beginnings.

Keeping my house cool by cooking outside and eating cold foods is on the top of my mind, though, and I'd also like to experiment with grilling all kinds of veggies this summer (like fava beans). With that in mind, I created a yummy meal last night that was centered around grilled veggies that came in my CSA box. Unfortunately I don't have any photos of the food (I was starving and didn't want to pause for photos!) but it was a great summer feast!

The menu:
  • Grilled veggies (turnips, zucchini, carrots, gypsy peppers, carrots, portobello mushrooms)
  • Simple homemade hummus
  • Whole grain flatbread
  • Indian spiced lentils (from the farmers' market) over brown rice

Grilled veggies
Mix together:
  • Olive oil (maybe 1/4 cup or so)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (or minced fresh herbs like rosemary, oregano, thyme)
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Slice veggies to about 1/4 inch thick and generously brush the olive oil mixture over them before grilling.

Simple Hummus
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed well
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp tahini (sesame seed butter)
2-4 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 -1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Water (optional, use if needed to thin hummus)

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with paprika, pine nuts, or minced fresh herbs, if desired.
What are you planning to make your summer special?

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