Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Saying Goodbye To Summer - Two Simple Starters

We are counting down the days until fall is upon us, and there aren't many to go. Still, I can't help but feel that for me, there's really nothing like summer. When that pleasant warmth is in the air, the living really does seem easy, and as far as food, everything just tastes a little bit better. I'm sorry to see the season go. 

One of our favorite summer vistas, Photo: NK 
The number one thing I love about cooking and eating in summer is that the absolute simplest ingredients really seem to shine and require minimal fuss. This also means that entertaining becomes even more of a breeze. Picking ingredients at the height of freshness and ripeness is the key to cooking in any season (and Autumn's no slouch when it comes to amazing seasonal produce). 

So we're sending off Summer 2014 by highlighting two ingredients that peak in the month of September- Tomatoes (as we discussed in a recent post) and beautifully fragrant Honeydew Melons.We'll show you a pair of INSANELY simple serving ideas for these late season gems. 

Get them while you can because soon we'll be talking pumpkin everything

Here goes:

Tomato & Onion Stack, Steakhouse Style - This is how they serve the Tomato and Onion Salad at the iconic Brooklyn Steakhouse, Peter Luger. It's so easy to recreate at home using a bottle of their famous steak sauce, available in most grocery stores. 

Tomato & Onion Salad a la Peter Luger, Photo: NK
Easy! Slice up super ripe Beefsteak Tomatoes and then cut equally thick rounds of Vidalia Onion or other White Onion. Layer as pictured, adding a very light sprinkle of Salt and Pepper a few times throughout. To finish, drizzle with Peter Luger Steak Sauce. I like to embellish this simple side with a quick sprinkle of Basil Ribbons, but the folks at Peter Luger serves this as-is and it's just great. Enjoy - and keep an eye out for our forthcoming post, Bringing the Steakhouse to Your House, where we explore the enumerable wonders of the Iceberg Wedge Salad. 


Honeydew Melon & Mint Appetizer  - (*pairs deliciously with a dry Rose)

A quick Melon starter. Unexpected and refreshing! Photo: NK 

HOW TO: For this incredibly easy and striking nibble, I like to slice long, thin wedges of Honeydew, and then slice them in half once more. Slice up some thin ribbons of Mint and sprinkle throughout. If your melon is perfectly ripe as it should be, this will be a light and refreshing way to kick off a meal. No one ever expects to see melon as a starter, but it's always a hit. If you prefer to be more traditional, throw some Prosciutto alongside this on the platter for a classic sweet/salty combo.  

And there you have it - two starters, both easy and delicious, as a farewell to a great season. May fall bring you many great meals ahead. Be sure to check back for plenty of seasonally inspired autumn eats. 

See you soon! 

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