…A Red Zebra tomato that is. I spotted them at the farmer’s market and just had to have some. What is so special about them? They are gorgeous! But more than that…they are good for stuffing because their insides have very little pulp and are nearly hollow. It is easy to scoop out what little pulp there is and stuff with your favorite fillers.
Speaking of favorite tomato fillers, here’s my recipe for Spinach Stuffed Tomatoes. These make a great summer accompaniment to grilled chicken, fish or steak. You can make them ahead and bake later in the day. You can make the spinach stuffing two days in advance but don’t stuff them. Do that when you are ready to bake them.
Spinach Stuffed Tomatoes, Zebra Style
4 Red Zebra Tomatoes
Sugar, about 2 teaspoons
8 cups fresh spinach, washed
4 ounces cream cheese
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped scallions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or fresh herbs of your liking
Cool summer sips are perfect for relaxing — whether it’s herbal iced tea, freshly-squeezed lemonade or something more potent.
Mix up some Jalapeño Margaritas and invite some friends over. Add some chips, salsa and sour cream to munch on and you have yourself a G.T. (Get Together).
Chilled Jalapeño Margarita
Kosher salt, for rim
1/4 jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped, or to taste
1 lime, cut into wedges (reserve 1 wedge or slice for garnish)
Ice, for serving
3 ounces sour mix, available in grocery stores
2 ounces tequila, or to taste
Chill margarita glass.
Pour some salt out onto a flat plate.
Rub 1 lime wedge around rim of glass. Dip rim in salt and set aside.
Place jalapeño and 2 lime wedges (or 1/2 lime) in a cocktail shaker. Muddle until slightly mashed. Add ice, sour mix and tequila. Cover and shake vigorously. Strain into chilled glass, garnish with lime wedge or slice and serve cold.
The weekend’s almost here and watermelon is a plenty. There’s nothing like a cool summer drink to welcome friends. Here’s a new one by Karen Covey, author of The Coastal Table, just released this summer. Karen teams up with photographer Cassandra Birocco to give recipes for home cooks who yearn for New England flavors all year round.
Serve this with salted nuts and relax on the porch, deck, or by the water. Most of all, serve it with a smile.
1 tablespoon simple syrup
1 cup diced seedless watermelon
2 ounces white tequila, or to taste
Juice from 1/2 lime
Fresh watermelon wedge, for garnish
Make simple syrup. Place 1/4 cup sugar in a saucepan along with 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
When cooled, add 1 tablespoon simple syrup to a cocktail shaker (Reserve extra in a well-sealed bottle in the refrigerator for later use).
In a blender, purée watermelon until smooth. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing gently to extract as much juice as possible. Discard pulp. Add watermelon juice to cocktail.
More of Karen’s drink recipes can be found in the summer issue of Celebrate Home Magazine. Download all issues for free here.
Having fruit for dessert is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth. When paired with this sweet mascarpone-yogurt topping, this dessert just melts in your mouth. You won’t even realize that this is actually a virtuous dessert at less than 200 calories per serving. Chef Emily Doerman created this dessert with summer in mind. For more of her light, summer recipes, see the summer issue of Celebrate Home Magazine. (Download it for free here.)
3-1/2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
2-1/2 tablespoons plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tbsp vanilla vodka
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
4 peaches, soft but not overripe
1 tablespoon canola oil
Heat grill on high heat.
Mix together mascarpone, yogurt, vodka, lemon juice, and sugar. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Cut peaches in half lengthwise and remove pits. Lightly coat the inside half of the peach with canola oil. This is to prevent the peaches from sticking to the grill.
Reduce heat on grill to medium. Place peaches on grill with the flat side down. Let peaches cook 5 minutes, until you see grills marks on the peaches.
Remove peaches from grill. Serve 2 halves, each topped with 1 tablespoon mascarpone mixture and a sprinkle of hazelnuts on top.
Summer is time for the garden’s bounty, so why not put out a platter and enjoy fresh vegetables for dinner? Have them alone or with some grilled meat or fish.
Here I used a variety of fresh vegetables, some I lightly seared in olive oil and seasoned simply with salt and fresh pepper. I added a few deli items such as stuffed Peppadews with artichokes, marinated beans, pickled mushrooms and olives. Lay it all out on leaf lettuce and endive. Add some fresh mozzarella if you like. Pass around some vinaigrette dressing and everyone enjoys a fresh salad.
Fresh vegetables included:
Yellow peppers (use any variety)
Asparagus, lightly steamed then immersed in cold ice water
So what if you are landlocked and can’t get to the ocean too easily. Get the look of the sea by setting a summer table with all the elements of the ocean. Find one inspiration piece to drive your design. Here we used a driftwood candle holder from Home Goods. Other elements: