End of Summer Recipes: Color & Crunch

The recipes below reflect the colorful vegetables you see at the Farmers’ Market and supermarket. I have not included fruits, since I prefer to enjoy them out-of-hand. However, watermelon is delicious now as the simplest of snacks or desserts. So, please add fresh, colorful fruits to your end-of-summer menus. You can also go back to my fruit recipes in the previous June posting of Sun-Kissed Foods.


This chilled soup recipe is based on one from my cookbook, The Whole Foods Experience. Click on Products and Services and scroll back to July 2006 to learn how to order a copy for yourself.

Ingredients (Organic whenever possible)
1/2 cup tomato juice or tomato-based veggie juice
1/2 cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
2-3 chopped tomatoes
1/4 tsp. fresh oregano
1/4 tsp. fresh thyme
salt & pepper to taste
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped coarsely
Garnishes: sliced scallions, chopped parsley or dill, diced cucumber

1. Place all the ingredients, except for garnishes, into the blender and puree until smooth.
2. Chill in the ‘frig. When serving, add garnishes of your choice, any or all.

Chilled Alphabet Soup

This ABCD soup made from avocados, basil leaves, cucumbers, and dill leaves.

2 small avocados (I used Haas), washed & peeled, pit removed
one medium to large cucumber, washed & peeled, seeds removed (optional)
approximately 10-12 basil leaves
approximately 1/2 cup water*
dash of sea salt
one tsp. ground cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

1. Take peeled and pitted avocado and cut into chunks. Place in blender
2. Take peeled (and seeded) cucumber and cut into chunks and add to avocado.
3. Add water and blend. (If you donâ€t remove the cucumber seeds, you may need less water.)
4. Add fresh herbs and puree again, until soup is smooth. Serve chilled, garnished with a small tomato and some extra dill leaves.

Tri-Colored Pasta with (Purple) Pesto

This summer I grew purple basil and regular basil on my patio. Either will do in this recipe.

One 10 oz. pkg. tri-colored pasta
1/2 cup virgin olive oil (approximate amount)
2-3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
one cup basil leaves, washed with stems removed
dash of sea salt
1/4 cup pine nuts, smashed with a rolling pin (Put nuts in plastic bag first.)
tiny tomatoes and/or sliced black olives

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. While pasta is cooking, place olive oil in the base of the blender or food processor. Add garlic, basil leaves and sea salt to the blender and puree until smooth.
3. Add smashed pine nuts. (If your food processor has strong action, this may not be necessary.) Pulse for a few seconds so pine nuts will blend into the rest of the ingredients.
4. Drain pasta, rinse with cool water. Then toss with pesto. Add olives and/or tomatoes as a garnish and serve. Can also be serve chilled.

Savory Sweet Potato Salad

I was able to use many of my patio garden herbs in this recipe, which features sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes, although either will work.

2-3 medium-sized sweet potatoes or yams
3-4 Tbl. olive oil or other oil of your choice (I mixed walnut with olive oil.)
2-3 Tbl. mixed savory herbs, washed and stems removed. (I used tarragon, rosemary, and sweet marjoram.)

1. Scrub sweet potatoes and peel. Cut into bite-sized chunks.
2. Toss with olive oil and herbs. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender, but not mushy. Check every few minutes, if necessary, by poking a fork into potato chunks.
3. Remove potatoes and place in an attractive bowl garnished with sprouts or lettuce leaves. Can be served right from the oven or chilled and served the next day at room temperature. (Olive oil tends to congeal, so you need to remove the potato salad a few minutes before serving.)
Note: If you are using dried herbs, you need half as much as the recipe calls for. Also, for a more pungent salad, you can use oregano, garlic, thyme, and parsley instead of the savory herbs above. These herbs may work better with white or tiny red new potatoes, which need not be peeled, especially if they are organic.

Summer Squash Stir-Fry

Summer squashes, which include green zucchini and yellow squash, are totally edible, skin and all. The summer squashes
are unlike winter squashes such as acorn, so please buy organic summer squashes without pesticide residues on the skins.


One-two small zucchini, washed & grated
One medium yellow summer squash, washed & grated
One bell pepper, washed, cut in half, seeded and cut into slivers
1-2 tsp. fresh herbs, such as dill, oregano, thyme, etc.
1/2 pkg. firm tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes (optional)
one Tbl. oil (olive, walnut, macadamia, toasted sesame)
Braggâ€s Aminos or low-sodium soy sauce/tamari

1. Pour water into a large fry pan until it reaches about 1/2 inch on the side of the pan. Add sliced red bell pepper, herbs, and tofu, if using. Allow to cook about 5 minutes on a low flame.
2. Add grated squashes and cook another 5 minutes or less, depending on how crunchy you like your veggies. Add water only if needed. The squashes are quite watery and you may not need it.
3. Toss all the veggies with oil and then serve immediately, using a slotted spoon to remove the excess liquid. Garnish with some dill or sesame seeds, if you wish.
Note: The addition of tofu makes this an entrée. Without it, this is a side vegetable dish. Feel free to substitute cooked fish or chicken in place of the tofu.

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