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Market Day : Dinner From the Market

August 12, 1993|MARIE SIMMONS

In high summer, tomatoes and corn stop being side dishes and turn into the stars of the dinner table.

If vegetables are going to be the main course, plan on serving at least three ears of corn and one large tomato per person. If you don't want to bother making a special dipping oil, such as basil oil, simply set out a bottle of fruity extra-virgin olive oil or a stick of butter.

Potato salad is a natural with this seasonal summer menu. One of my favorites is made with quartered new potatoes (no need to peel off the tender skins) and fresh green beans. I cook them simultaneously in one big pot to cut down on clean-up.

Traditionally, vinaigrette dressing is made with three parts oil to one part vinegar or other acid. But in this version I use less oil, more vinegar and a tablespoon or two of water, which makes it less caloric.

For dessert, simply serve a bowl of icy cold watermelon--both red and yellow--that has been cut into large chunks.

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The quickest way to make just one cup of coarse bread crumbs is to use a large knife to finely dice the day-old bread. If you use a food processor, trim the hard crusts from the bread first. If fresh oregano and thyme aren't available, use a dash of each of the dried version.

HERB- AND CRUMB-TOPPED BAKED TOMATOES Extra-virgin olive oil 4 large tomatoes, cored, each cut into 3 thick slices 4 large leaves fresh basil 1 stem fresh Italian parsley 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves 1 clove garlic 1 cup coarse bread crumbs, made from 4 slices day-old Italian bread Salt Freshly ground pepper

Lightly brush some olive oil on large jelly roll pan or other large baking pan. Arrange tomato slices, cut side up, in single layer.

Finely chop together basil, parsley, thyme, oregano and garlic. Combine bread crumbs and half of herb and garlic mixture in bowl. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to blend. Sprinkle tops of tomatoes with crumb mixture, distributing evenly. Bake at 375 degrees until crumbs are lightly browned, about 25 minutes.

Transfer tomatoes to large platter. Sprinkle with remaining herb and garlic mixture and drizzle lightly with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 4 servings.

Each serving contains about: 185 calories; 269 mg sodium; 1 mg cholesterol; 8 grams fat; 24 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams protein; 0.91 gram fiber.

GREEN BEAN AND POTATO SALAD 1 1/2 pounds small to medium round white unpeeled new potatoes, scrubbed and quartered 1 pound fresh green beans 1/4 cup slivered red onion Vinaigrette

Place potatoes in large saucepan filled 3/4 with water. Cover and cook over medium heat until potatoes are almost tender when pierced with fork, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile line up 1 handful of green beans and trim off stem ends. Cut beans in half crosswise. Repeat with remaining beans.

When potatoes are almost cooked, add green beans to same saucepan. Cover and cook until beans are tender, about 5 minutes. Drain in colander. Rinse with cool water.

In medium bowl toss potatoes, beans and red onion with Vinaigrette. Serve while still warm or at room temperature. Makes 4 servings.

Each serving contains about: 236 calories; 195 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 7 grams fat; 40 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 2.03 grams fiber.

Vinaigrette 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 to 2 tablespoons water 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/4 teaspoon salt Freshly ground pepper

Whisk together vinegar, oil, water, mustard, salt and pepper to taste in large serving bowl.

CORN ON COB WITH BASIL OIL 12 ears fresh corn on cob, husked and trimmed 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves Dash salt 1/2 cup olive oil

Select large broad saucepan and place collapsible steamer in bottom. Add just enough water to come up to steamer and heat to boiling. Add ears of corn (in batches, if necessary). Cover and steam over medium-high heat until cooked tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Arrange on large platter.

Process basil and salt in food processor until finely chopped, about 30 seconds. With motor running, add oil in thin stream. Transfer to small bowl. Serve with steaming hot corn on cob. Makes 4 servings.

Each serving contains about: 473 calories; 99 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 30 grams fat; 52 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams protein; 1.89 grams fiber.

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