The backpacks brought home what was left in the desks at school. Crumpled papers, books with ragged covers and markers that haven’t seen their tops in some time.
The basil we grew on the counter in the kitchen is now living happily outside. Basil thrives in summer heat and is an ingredient that pairs well with summer meals. The leaves can be chopped and added to pasta dishes or as a last-minute finish to pizza made on the grill.
Pizza on the grill is a summer favorite around here. It’s easy to make and a fast way to get dinner on the table.
You can find pizza dough in the refrigerator section of your market. The key is to lightly coat the dough with olive oil before starting to shape it. This will make it easier to work with by making the dough less sticky to the touch.
Place dough on the grill and watch for bubbles to start to form on the surface. When the bubbles appear, turn the dough to the other side so that both sides are grilled. After a minute or so add sauce and cheese and slide pizza to the cool side of the grill to allow the cheese to melt into the sauce. Finish with a shower of chopped basil.
Summer is the time for tomatoes and basil is a delicious partner on the plate with some milky mozzarella and a good quality extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. You can also mix the ingredients in a blender along with toasted pignoli nuts and serve tomatoes and cheese with a pesto.
A caprese salad is a summer favorite served with a crusty loaf of bread and a glass of wine. Be sure to add salt to the slices of tomato as it brings out the flavor of the tomato. Place the tomatoes on paper towels before adding salt because the salt draws out the juices of the tomato. This simple step will help avoid a soggy salad.
The Shasta daisies are starting to bloom just in time for the Fourth of July weekend. It’s time to switch to summer schedule and menu ideas!