Savory Summer … Saturday

Recipes from What’s for Dinner?: The Co-op Cookbook by Rosemary Fifield. (Pasta Primavera is not technically a salad, but it is so irresistibly a summer dish that we had to include it.)

The Ultimate Greek Salad

Serves 4

Mix together the flavors of Greece, and you have a deliciously cool summer salad. If you wish, add a can of drained and crumbled tuna to the vegetable mixture.

1 cup couscous, rice, or small pasta, uncooked

1 medium cucumber, seeded and diced

1 large ripe tomato, diced, with juice

1 red bell pepper, diced

½ red onion, thinly sliced

8 Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

2 cups cooked chick peas, rinsed and drained if canned

¼ cup minced fresh Italian parsley

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbs. lemon juice or more to taste

1 garlic clove, minced or pressed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Romaine lettuce leaves, ripped to bite-size

2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Prepare couscous, rice, or small pasta as usual. Fluff couscous well; if using rice, be sure all liquid has been absorbed and rice is fairly dry, not sticky. If using pasta, rinse in cool water and drain well.

Toss together cucumber, tomato, pepper, onion, olives, chick peas, and parsley. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add to vegetables, and toss.

Arrange lettuce leaves on a platter. Mound the couscous, rice, or pasta on the lettuce. Cover with the mixed vegetables. Crumble the feta cheese over the top, and serve.

Per serving: 345 calories; 14 g protein; 45 g carbohydrates; 13 g fat; 13 mg cholesterol; 262 mg sodium

% calories from fat: 33%; from saturated fat: 9%

Pasta Primavera

Serves 4

This primavera is loaded with fresh, in-season vegetables and herbs and enhanced with the richness of sun-dried tomatoes. The ingredient list is long, but the preparation is a quick stir-fry that puts this summertime supper together in no time.

8 oz. rotini, twists, or spirals

1 Tbs. olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

pinch of hot red pepper flakes

3 medium carrots, thinly sliced

1 medium red onion, sliced vertically

2 small zucchini, sliced

2 small yellow squash, sliced

½ lb. fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces

¼ cup water

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Cook pasta in plenty of boiling water until done but still firm to the bite (al dente). Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add carrots, onion, zucchini, squash, and beans, and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add water, bring to a boil, and simmer 1 minute. In a large serving bowl, toss together the pasta, vegetables, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes. Serve with grated cheese on the side.

Per serving: 359 calories; 17 g protein; 55 g carbohydrates; 9 g fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 188 mg sodium

% calories from fat: 21%; from saturated fat: 2%

Mediterranean Salad

Serves 4

Bulgur is a fast-cooking form of wheat that is the mainstay of Middle Eastern salads, the most familiar being tabbouleh. This late-summer salad takes advantage of fresh cherry tomatoes and corn on the cob, but it can also be made any time of year with fresh or canned diced tomatoes and frozen corn that has been brought to room temperature.

1 cup vegetable stock

1 cup bulgur

1 pint cherry tomatoes or 2 cups diced tomatoes

1 cup cooked corn

1 cup diced cucumbers

½ cup chopped cilantro

¼ cup thinly sliced scallions

2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint

3 Tbs. lime juice

1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Bring the stock to a boil in a 1-quart saucepan over high heat. Stir in the bulgur. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes, or until the bulgur is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.

Halve the cherry tomatoes Add the tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, coriander, scallions, and mint to the bulgur. Toss the mixture lightly.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, oil, and garlic. Pour over the salad and mix well.

Per serving: 204 calories; 6 g protein; 38 g carbohydrates; 5 g fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 22 mg sodium

% calories from fat: 19%; from saturated fat: 3%

Lemon Linguine with Tuna

Serves 6

Hot linguine is combined with a lemon dressing to infuse the pasta with flavor, then is mixed with canned tuna, peas, and tomatoes for a light summer dish that can be served at room temperature or chilled. Fresh tuna, lightly grilled, makes a wonderful summer substitution, as do fresh peas in season.

12 oz. linguine

½ cup fresh lemon juice

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

4 scallions, sliced thin

2 tsp. dried Italian herb mix, purchased, OR 1 tsp. dried basil, ½ tsp. dried oregano, ¼ tsp. dried thyme and ¼ tsp. rosemary

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 6½ oz. cans tuna in water, drained and flaked

2 cups lightly blanched peas or frozen peas, thawed

2 cups diced tomato

Cook pasta in plenty of boiling water until done but still firm to the bite (al dente). In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, scallions, herbs, salt and pepper. Add HOT linguine and toss. Add tuna and peas and mix well. Chill until ready to serve. Add tomatoes and toss just before serving.

Per serving: 525 calories; 30 g protein; 77 g carbohydrate; 11 g fat; 16 mg cholesterol; 296 mg sodium

% calories from total fat: 19%; from saturated fat: 2%


Granny Smith Summer Salad

Serves 4

Any small pasta can be used in this quick and cool summer salad that blends the flavor of smoked turkey with fat-free mayonnaise and yogurt and the crunch of apples and celery. Feel free to add or substitute your favorite summer vegetables — raw or lightly blanched — including crunchy edible-podded peas, carrots, radishes, or fennel. If you’re a blue cheese fan, substitute blue for the feta cheese. Or try ricotta salata for a milder flavor. Pineapple or pears could replace or be added to the apple.

12 oz. ditalini, small shells, bowties, or elbow macaroni

¾ cup plain, non-fat yogurt

¼ cup fat-free mayonnaise

12 oz. smoked turkey, sliced thick and diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 medium Granny Smith apple, diced

1 head leaf lettuce, leaves separated, washed and drained

2 oz. crumbled feta cheese

Cook pasta in plenty of boiling water until done but still firm to the bite (al dente). Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.

Whisk together the yogurt and mayonnaise and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the pasta, smoked turkey, celery, and apple. Add the sauce and toss until evenly coated. Arrange lettuce leaves on a serving dish and spoon the pasta onto the leaves. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Per serving: 267 calories; 21 g protein; 34 g carbohydrates; 4 g fat; 31 mg cholesterol; 1100 mg sodium

% calories from fat: 15%; from saturated fat: 2 %

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