I was recently in the mood for a light dinner and put together these three very easy, very refreshing dishes. You can make a meal of all three or use as side dishes for a main course.
SWEET GRAPE SALAD WITH BALSAMIC
- Arugula – okay, here’s the deal with arugula, it’s my favorite salad green, it has a slightly peppery flavor, stays crisp, and you can stir into pasta dishes easily. If you prefer romaine or something else that works too but the combination of the grapes, balsamic, and arugula are yum yum yum.
- Thinly sliced red onion
- Sweet purple grapes sliced in halves
Mix all ingredients and top with a touch of olive oil and good balsamic vinegar. Optional: blue cheese or goat cheese crumbles.
BAKED SWEET TOMATOES
I’m obsessed with tomatoes. I top almost everything with them, which is a bummer for my husband who only likes them cooked! This recipe is light yet filling and oh so easy. You can experiment with different types of tomatoes, such as heirloom varieties or my favorite the “ugly ripe”. Simply slice one large tomato (or more if you’re serving more than 2) about ½ inch thick. Lay flat in an oiled baking dish, slightly overlapping the slices. Mix breadcrumbs (I like Panko breadcrumbs), finely shredded romano or parmesan cheese, chopped fresh basil and thyme, tbsp. olive oil and coarse salt & pepper in a bowl. Sprinkle mixture on top of tomatoes and bake at 400 degrees about 10-15 minutes until crumbs begin to brown. Serve hot.
SUMMER SPLENDOR FRUIT SALAD WITH MINT
This is my favorite fruit salad recipe to date – the simple syrup with lemon keeps it from browning and the mint gives it a nice refreshing kick. If you like bananas, add them right before serving because these will brown despite the citrus. I didn’t use measurements for the fruit; just make enough for your needs. The syrup is enough for a large fruit salad.
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped mint
- 2 Tbs. lemon juice (lime works too!)
- Green and red grapes, halved
- Sliced peach
- Sliced mango
- Sliced strawberries
- Sliced kiwi
Boil sugar and water in saucepan, turn down and simmer for 2 minutes until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in mint and lemon juice. Steep 15 minutes. Strain out mint. Combine fruit in large bowl, stir in syrup. Cover and serve chilled. You may not use all the syrup, you don’t want the fruit to swim. If you want fresh mint, sprinkle on fruit salad prior to serving.