Summer Seasonal Eating

Crazy Caprese Kabobs
Cilantro Fennel Slaw
Easy Fish Dinner
Fruit Kabobs
Fast and Fresh Gazpacho
Main Course Green Salad
Robert’s Lemonade
Spinach Basil Pesto
Summer Farmer’s Market Vegetable Salad

Crazy Caprese Kabobs


Makes 4 kabobs

A combination of fresh mozzarella and summer cherry tomatoes rolled in pesto



12 small balls of fresh mozzarella
12 cherry tomatoes
4 wooden skewers


2 cups fresh basil
1 clove garlic, peel removed
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup + 1 TBS olive oil
1/2 tsp salt- plus more to taste


Combine all pesto ingredients, except oil, in a food processor. Turn on food processor, slowly add oil, until a paste forms; add more oil if thinner consistency desired.

Lay out tomatoes, mozzarella, wooden skewers, and kabob sticks on a table.

Arrange tomatoes and cheese in a creative design.

Place a big spoonful of pesto on a cutting board.

Roll the tomato and mozzarella kabob in pesto so that it is coated in green!

**Variation.  For “Pizza on a Stick”, cut up chunks of whole grain bagel and add to your kabob design. . . then use a marinara dipping sauce!

Recipe from Jodi Balis, Red Lentil Consulting:

Cilantro Fennel Slaw



3 fennel bulbs, stems removed and sliced
1 small sweet onion, sliced thin
2 fresh navel oranges – peeled and divided into slices (optional)
¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely minced
½ cup fresh orange juice
Juice of 1 lime
4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 TBSP maple syrup
Salt & pepper, to taste


Combine maple syrup, orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add orange slices, if using.

Pour over prepared fennel, onion, and cilantro and toss to combine. Serve immediately while fennel is nice and crisp (I like it better overnight as it marinates).

Source: Katherine Sumner,

Easy Fish Dinner



3 to 5 ounces of Alaskan Halibut (or Salmon)
butter or olive oil
vegetables of choice (carrots, leeks, peas)
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rip off a piece of parchment paper for each piece of fish you have for dinner. In the center of piece of parchment paper, place a 3 to 5 ounces piece of Alaskan Halibut.

Top with your favorite vegetables (i.e. leeks, peas, carrots); add a slice of lemon, salt, pepper, and some dots of butter; then fold the paper to enclose.

Bake on a baking sheet for about 14 minutes. (Salmon may take a few minutes longer). Enjoy!

Source: Katherine Sumner,

Fruit Kabobs


Makes 6 Kabobs


3 varieties of fruit cut into chunks; Each type of fruit cut into 12 pieces
3 cups box of whole grain “o” cereal (optional)
6 wooden skewers
3 cups vanilla yogurt

Fruit suggestions



Lay out ingredients in bowls on a table.

Choose fruits and cereal and place in individual bowls.

Take the stick and arrange fruits and cereal on a stick.

Dip in yogurt and enjoy!

Recipe from Jodi Balis, Red Lentil Consulting:

Fast and Fresh Gazpacho



4 cups low-sodium tomato juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Hot pepper sauce to taste (optional)
2 pounds tomatoes, seeded, diced
1 cucumber, seeded, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh cilantro for garnish


Combine tomato juice, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper and pepper sauce in large bowl. Stir in tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper and garlic. Cover; refrigerate at least 3 hours or until chilled and flavors are blended. Serve garnished with cilantro.

Tip if you have fussy kids: Omit the hot sauce and peppers and tone down the spices (maybe even omit the garlic if your kids are not fond of the garlicy taste.  Then try to spice things up over time!

Makes 6 servings (about 8 cups)

Cooks Tips:

To seed tomatoes, cut them in half parallel to their stem ends and gently squeeze out the juice and seeds.

To seed cucumbers, cut them in half lengthwise and use the tip of a teaspoon to scrape out the seeds.

Source: Elizabeth Matlin

Main Course Green Salad



Greens (hopefully a mix from your garden), washed and chopped
Fresh veggies, washed and chopped
Protein source (picture shows a hard boiled egg chopped over salad, but any any protein source such as cooked fish, chicken, turkey, meat, or vegetarian protein source–beans, cheese, etc.– could be included
Salad dressing of your choice (hopefully home-made)
Fresh herbs or fun edible flowers, optional (picture shows nasturtiums)


This is on the dinner table almost every night at our home during the summer.  You might be thinking, “why a recipe for a salad?”, but the point is that you can create a fast, one dish meal by simply arranging the bounty of summer on a plate along with a protein source.

Tip if you have fussy kids: Maybe your kids don’t like everything mixed together.  Keep the kids’ salads with “separate” areas for the greens, different type of veggies, and protein source.  It might look like you’ve prepared a special kids meal for them, but they are eating what you are!  This works at my house with our seven and nine year old.

Source:  Kathryn Guylay

Robert’s Lemonade



1 cup raw honey
1 cup filtered water
1 cup fresh lemon juice
4 cups filtered water
fresh mint
¼ cup organic cane sugar


To make the simple syrup – in a small saucepan, combine the water and honey, stir to combine, and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour into a heatproof container, let cool. To make the lemonade, pour the lemon juice into 2½ quart pitcher. Add simple syrup to taste. If you are using a sweet lemon, such as a Meyer, you will need less syrup. Add the water, stir to blend, and then add ice. Sugar each glass by dipping the rim of the glasses into a bowl of water then a bowl of sugar. Pour lemonade into glasses and add sprig of mint and enjoy!

Spinach Basil Pesto



1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh spinach
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 TBSP pine nuts, toasted
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine before putting in processor
Sea salt

Add by hand:

½ cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
2 TBSP freshly grated romano cheese


Wash basil and spinach in cold water then dry thoroughly. Put the basil, spinach, olive oil, pine nuts, chopped garlic, and an ample pinch of sea salt in the processor and mix well. Transfer to bowl and mix in grated cheeses by hand. Enjoy on your favorite pasta with some butter added, grilled vegetables, or a slice of sourdough bread!

Source: Katherine Sumner,

Summer Farmer’s Market Vegetable Salad



20 baby carrots, peel and trim, cut into halves
12 baby yellow beets, peel and trim, cut into halves or quarters
12 baby turnips, peel and trim, cut into halves or quarters
¼ pound green beans, trim and cut in half
2-3 summer squash, cut into sticks or rounds
12 pearl onions, with tops if possible, trim green tops to 1 inch, peel onions
1 pint mixed small tomatoes or 2-4 larger tomatoes and cut in half
Celtic salt
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus a bit more for drizzling
½ fresh lemon
Pecorino-romano cheese, grated
3 tbsp chives or parsley


Bring large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Blanch the vegetables, except the tomatoes, separately until tender (about 3-5 minutes). Bite the vegetable to see if they are done. They should be tender. When done remove with slotted spoon and drain in a colander with ice water. Cut the pearl onions in half after they are blanched. In a large bowl, toss all the vegetables together with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Season the vegetables with celtic salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Squeeze the lemon over and lightly toss.

Transfer to a large platter then with a vegetable peeler, shave pieces of pecorino – romano cheese over the top of the veggies. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and sprinkle with chives or parsley – enjoy!

**you can substitute your favorite summer vegetables or those you find at your local farmer’s market**

Tip if you have fussy kids: Keep the ingredients separate on the plate so they can see what veggies they like best.  Some kids may love beets but not like squash;  some may love beans but not like carrots.  Find out what veggies your kids like and use these most often, frequently adding new ones to expand their palate.  Don’t give up!

Source: Katherine Sumner,

Share This Post!