These two recipes are something a little different from the usual summer soup or Greek salad. The use of fresh ingredients and herbs add a zesty flavor that’s just right for warm weather As I’ve written before, I like a Greek salad; this has a pretty presentation with the shaved cucumbers.
Shaved Cucumber Greek Salad
2 English cucumbers
1 lb. tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
2/3 cup pitted olives
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 1/2 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/3 cup)
2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1. Shave cucumbers into long strips using a vegetable peeler to equal about 6 cups. Arrange cucumber strips, tomatoes and olives on a large platter. Sprinkle with green onions, feta and oregano. Drizzle with oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with pepper and salt.
Serves eight at 100 calories each.
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups thinly sliced leeks
2 small zucchini, sliced into half-moons
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
8 oz. refrigerated tortellini
3 cups coarsely chopped fresh baby spinach (about 3 oz.)
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1. Process basil, cheese, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil; process until finely chopped and fully combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as necessary. Set aside.
2. Heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoon oil in medium Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in zucchini; cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is just tender but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add chicken stock, and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 8 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook tortellini in a stockpot of boiling water 3 minutes less than package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
4. Add tortellini, spinach and peas to soup.
5. Cook until spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice and salt. Ladle soup evenly into four bowls. Top each serving with pesto and sprinkle evenly with pepper.
Serves four at 354 calories each
(Source: Cooking Light)
Susan Woody has been a food writer for more than 25 years and is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.