Tonight was supposed to be tomato sauce to use up the last of this week’s massive tomato haul. And we made the sauce, don’t get me wrong – I’m not letting those tomatoes go to waste. But we had spent the entire day canning various kinds of peach jam, and then spent an hour peeling and seeding tomatoes for spaghetti sauce, baking zucchini yeast rolls, and washing hundreds of loads of dishes – and it was 106F outside in the shade. (Seriously.) So we did all that in the heat, and had a lovely time doing it, but neither of us were hungry at all. So at the time we’d normally be cooking dinner, we put on a movie (Pink Panther, naturally – the only Steve Martin movie I’ve ever found funny), and waited until we were hungry and it had cooled down a bit outside. I ended up throwing together a gazpacho with some random leftover veggies and letting it chill in the fridge for a bit, and it was the tastiest thing I could imagine being able to eat on a day like that.
- 2-3 cups cucumber (peeled and seeded if necessary – this was the last of that monster cucumber from last week)
- 1 green pepper
- 1 red pepper
- a handful of cherry tomatoes (of course, I would normally use more tomatoes in gazpacho, but all the tomatoes had just gone into the spaghetti sauce)
- 1/4 cider vinegar
- a little water
Blend, and chill. I could also have added slivered almonds, but didn’t. Green grapes would have been nice. We added some hot-smoked salmon for garnish when we ate at like 8:30 that night, and it was perfect.
Sidenote: there’s a new European grocery store in town, called EuroMarket, over in the Town Plaza center behind the mall. It’s surprisingly full of Russian foods, with lots of amazing cured meats, a huge range of cheeses, great breads, amazing tortes and desserts, and a section of stuff the owners make themselves, including the massive piece of hot-smoked salmon they sold us. If you’re in the area, it’s totally worth checking out. Greg was nearly in tears, he was so happy.
Zucchini Yeast Rolls
Another winner from Simply in Season – I don’t think this book has let me down yet, everything I’ve ever made from here has been a winner. The recipe headnotes say, “A combination of different summer squashes, coarsely shredded, result in lovely soft rolls flecked with yellow and green. Shape bigger portions to make sandwich rolls, which are perfect for tomato sandwiches.” I couldn’t agree more – the idea of a zucchini roll with fresh tomato and maybe a little ricotta is making me drool.
- 2-3 C summer squash, shredded (I used two small zucchini, and three tiny little summer squash)
- 1 C water
- 1/2 C sugar
- 3 T oil
- 2 t salt
Mix and heat in the microwave or in a saucepan until warm, stirring to blend.
- 1 C bread flour
- 1 C whole wheat flour
- 1/3 C dry milk powder
- 2 T active dry yeast
Combine in a big bowl, and add the wet ingredients. Mix well until smooth.
- 1 3/4 C – 2 1/2 C bread flour
Stir in enough additional flour to make a soft dough (note: it will still be sticky, especially if your kitchen is full of humidity from canning all day. Ask me how I know this.). Knead 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl, turn to grease both sides, cover, and let rise until double in bulk. Punch down and let rise again for 10 minutes. Shape rolls and place on a greased baking sheet (note: I made cloverleaf rolls in muffin tins, and it worked beautifully). Cover and let rise again until doubled (because my kitchen was so warm, this took about 15 minutes). Bake at 350F until golden brown, 25-35 minutes. Brush with milk for a soft crust and let stand for 5-10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.