I love summertime eating -- the fresh vegetables and fruits that make simple dining come alive. Right now, I'm putting big, ripe blueberries in nearly everything. Yum! But I'm also experimenting with summer salads. And that inspired me to ask you all to share your favorite twists on classic summer dishes.
One of my favorite salads is the classic insalata caprese, that flavorful tomato and mozzarella dish. My twist, which has less fat, is to use very ripe tomatoes sliced and dressed with low-fat feta cheese, dried dill, and sea salt. Some of you purists will say that's nowhere near the same dish. True! But it is a tomato-cheese-and-herb combo that is easy to make with just the right tangy taste.
I also picked up an idea from my friend, Jennifer, who puts vanilla bean pods in her sugar bowl. The sugar absorbs the vanilla flavor and provides a smooth, rich taste in your coffee. Much better, in my opinion, than the artificial vanilla of many coffee creamers. But you just have to explain to your guests what that black thing is in the sugar bowl before they recoil with distaste!
What summer cooking secrets or favorite dishes do you have?