On summer mornings the chatter in the EatingWell Test Kitchen starts like this: "Guess what I got in my CSA pick-up last night? Kohlrabi! What the heck do you do with that?" asks Associate Editor Carolyn Malcoun.
Food stylist (and my sister) Katie Webster gets weekly baskets of produce that are the envy of all of us from her share in a farm that uses the community supported agriculture (CSA) model. She revels in tiny succulent strawberries, a steady supply of fresh leeks and heirloom potatoes.
I have my own vegetable garden (sloppy and a little too weedy), and am anxious to update everyone on how well my gazillion chile pepper plants are producing and the way my beastlike tomatillos are taking over the entire garden.
This banter reaches a fever pitch during July and August. That heat of summer excitement, about corn fresh off the cob or eggplant still warm from the sun, inspired these five easy weeknight suppers. These recipes will help you gather the produce that is ripe right now from your local farmers' market, CSA, garden or just your neighborhood supermarket and get it on the table in a snap. As for kohlrabi, it's not in any of these recipes, but Carolyn tells us it's great thinly sliced and tossed with peanut noodles.
MONDAY: Tomatillo Gazpacho-This tomatillo-based gazpacho is gorgeously green with a tart flavor that complements the sweet shrimp and salty olives. Make this meatless by substituting ricotta salata or feta for the shrimp.
TUESDAY: Grilled Chicken Ratatouille-We gave this classic Provençal dish a taste of summer by grilling the vegetables traditionally used in ratatouille (bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini, tomato). This delicious sauce delivers all the vitamin C you'll need for the day plus a whole lot more, and topped with grilled chicken it makes an easy main course for summer entertaining.
WEDNESDAY: Grilled Beef Tenderloin & Escarole-Lightly grilled escarole combined with tangy tomato vinaigrette makes an irresistible accompaniment to juicy beef tenderloin.
THURSDAY: Summer Vegetable Crêpes-Crêpes aren't just for dessert-they make a quick and savory weeknight dinner. Here they're filled with ricotta cheese, green beans, zucchini and corn and topped with a chive-cream sauce.
FRIDAY: Lamb Chops with Lebanese Green Beans-Simple pan-roasted lamb chops are served alongside deliciously spiced stewed green beans and tomatoes in a riff on a Lebanese favorite, lubiyeh.
By Jessie Price
EatingWell food editor Jessie Price's professional background in food started when she worked in restaurant kitchens in the summers during college. She started out testing recipes for EatingWell and then joined the staff here full-time in 2004 when she moved to Vermont from San Francisco.
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