Seasonal Recipe

Summer Solstice 2021
Midsummer, Litha, Gwyl Canol Haf

Summer Solstice 2021 will mark a freedom for many that two years ago, no one would have imagined. As the Midsummer Sun beams down may we revel in the hope and beauty that surrounds us. Gaia is bursting with green and blossoms. Herbs are at their peak. Harvest healing herbs in the soft air of morning, before they are touched by heat of the glorious Sun's rays. Turn your face to the rising Sun, lift a glass of sparkling water to catch the beams and allow the first light to charge the drink with healing energy. Sip throughout the day, each time recalling the healing powers contained within. Celebrate the longest day with gratitude for all that the Sun and Earth provide.

Summer Solstice Menu
Chilled Rose
Starter Skewers
Main Dish Potato Salad
Loaded Salad
Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake

Starter Skewers
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
8 to 10 oz. cheese tortellini
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
8 oz. mozzarella balls
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning mix
4 oz. salami
4 oz. roasted red pepper, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup fresh basil leaves
14 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and separated into bite size pieces.
4 oz. marinated green olives
package of bamboo skewers

Cook tortellini per package directions until al dente. Drain and place in large bowl with salt and pepper, 1/4 cup EVOO and balsamic vinegar. In medium bowl combine mozzarella, 1/4 cup EVOO and Italian seasoning. Set both bowls aside for an hour to marinate. Assemble skewers starting with mozzarella, salami, roasted red pepper, tortellini, basil, artichoke heart and olive. Note: if the mozzarella is already marinated cut back on the EVOO and Italian seasoning and use as is. Layer on a platter, chill until ready to serve. Drizzle with seasoned olive oil if desired.

Main Dish Potato Salad
1 lb. package baby potatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. seasoning (my favorites are Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute or Trader Joe's Herbs de Provence)
5 slices bacon, cooked and broken into bits
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
2 to 3 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup baby kale, chopped
chopped parsley and chives to taste
3 cups chopped rotisserie or grilled chicken
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. whole grain mustard
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Cook potatoes in salted, boiling water until just done. Drain and place in a large bowl. While still warm add EVOO and seasoning. Toss gently and set aside to completely cool. Whisk together mustard, mayo, vinegar and lemon juice. When potatoes are cool add veggies, chicken, bacon and dressing. Toss gently to coat and add salt and pepper to taste.

For a meatless version substitute canned beans, HB egg, cheese cubes and/or roasted nuts for the chicken.

Loaded Salad
1 large bowl of salad greens

Surround bowl of greens with small bowls containing an assortment of the following: chopped carrots, celery, red peppers, cucumbers, peas, chopped hard boiled eggs, drained canned beans, croutons, grated cheese, red onions, chopped herbs, bacon bits and favorite salad dressings.

Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake
3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 Tbsp. butter at room temperature
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 part skim ricotta cheese, at room temperature
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Combine flours, baking powder and salt in a small bowl, set aside. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl on med-high until creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time with mixer on med-low. Add ricotta, zest, juice, and vanilla until just combined. Add flour mixture in two batches. With mixer on low beat until just combined. Do not over beat. Fold in blueberries. Pour batter into 9x5 greased and parchment lined loaf pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 55 - 60 minutes. Test with a toothpick before removing from the oven. Let cake cool for 15- 20 minutes on a wire rack before gently running a knife around the edge of the cake. Turn out on wire rack, turn right side up and allow to cool completely.