Savoring the End of Summer

August in our neck of the woods has been very, very pleasant. The mornings and evenings have been perfect for opening the windows, eating breakfast outside and savoring as much of summer as possible before fall arrives. Not that I don’t love fall, but there is just something so special about the time right before the seasons change. I wonder if there is a word for those times? I guess it would be the solstice and the equinox. Someone correct me if I’m wrong here.

Anyways, I’m writing up recipes for three summer salads I’ve made in the last few weeks. I can’t get enough of these fresh ingredients right now. Enjoy!

Avocado Corn Tomato Salad with Cilantro Pesto
Adapted from here

2 avocados, chopped into 1-inch pieces
3 ears of sweet corn, kernels removed
1 pound fresh mozzarella, chopped into ½-inch pieces
1 ½ pounds cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Extra cilantro leaves for garnish

Cilantro-lime pesto
1 ½ cups cilantro leaves
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice from one lime
Sea salt & pepper to taste

After chopping all of the salad ingredients, combine in medium-sized bowl. Next, put all of the pesto ingredients in a food processor, and blend thoroughly until it’s the consistency of a pesto. Combine salad ingredients and pesto in a bowl, garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.

We served ours with zucchini quesadillas and it was amazing. I think throwing a jalapeno pepper in with the dressing would yield a nice result, as well.

Serves 4 to 6 as a side.

Heirloom Caprese Salad
Adapted from a variety of sources & personal taste tests

One to two heirloom tomatoes (the more colorful the better)
8 ounces of fresh mozzarella
Fresh basil leaves, about ¼ cup
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt & pepper to taste

Slice the tomatoes about 1/4 –inch thick, and the mozzarella about the same. Slice the basil leaves about ¼-inch thick as well. The chopping can be done ahead, but arranging needs to happen right before serving.

Arrange the tomatoes and mozzarella slices alternating on a long platter. Sprinkle with basil, drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Serves 2 to 4 as a side.

White Fish Heirloom Tomato Salad

1 4-6 ounce portion of white fish, such as Mahi Mahi, cooked (I used restaurant leftovers)
Half of an heirloom tomato
Half of a pepper (I used green)
Balsamic vinegar
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt & pepper to taste
Oregano & basil to taste

Chop the first three ingredients in about one-inch pieces. Assemble on a plate. Drizzle with vinegar, oil and seasonings to taste. Serve with a piece of crusty bread.

Serves one.

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