Tomatoes. Is there a better flavor? When it comes to summer, tomatoes are THE thing that I think of. But you’ve gotta be patient and wait for the good ones. And oh, where these good. Heirloom tomatoes are like gold this time of year.

Fried Green BLTs | Garlic, My Soul

Fried Green Tomatoes have a special place in my heart, but you can’t always find good ones. To the farmers market, to find the perfect heirlooms. Big, small, it doesn’t matter – but I love finding juicy ones that are ready.to.fry.

Fried Green BLTs | Garlic, My Soul

We were inspired by a recipe in Sheryl Crow’s cookbook, for these fried green tomato BLT sandwiches. The idea is to use your fried green tomatoes as the bread. Sheryl (and her personal chef, Chuck White) made a slightly fancier version with arugula, pancetta, and a garlic aioli. But we decided to keep it simple with regular old bacon, butter lettuce, and mayo.

Fried Green BLTs | Garlic, My SoulFried Green Tomatoes (a big batch)

Ingredients:
3 ripe, green tomatoes
flour
2-3 eggs
cornmeal
vegetable oil

Directions:

1. Slice your tomatoes into 1/4 inch rounds.
2. Pour about 1/2 inch of oil into your cast iron or dutch oven, and heat to about 350 degrees.
3. Set out flour, beaten eggs, and a mixture of cornmeal and flour that is about 2:1 cornmeal to flour.
4. Dip the tomatoes in flour, then egg, and finally the cornmeal mixture.
5. Fry the cornmeal-coated tomatoes in oil for about 2 minutes per side, and set on a paper towel lined plate to drain.

To Assemble BLT’s:

Lay one fried tomato on a plate, spoon a small amount of mayo on top, followed by a layer of bacon. Add a layer of lettuce or greens, and another layer of bacon, mayo and top with the second tomato. Serve with a tomato emulsion sauce for an extra tomato kick!

Fried Green BLTs | Garlic, My Soul

Yum, Enjoy these all summer long with your tomato bounty!


Peaches & Cream Popsicles | Garlic, My Soul

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE POPSICLES. I try not to eat them too much because #sugar, so I got stuff to make my own a couple summers back and I am obsessed. Basically an ice pop is a smoothie in frozen form, and a smoothie is just fruit and veggies in liquid form, right? So…these aren’t the worst for you. It’s summer, so ice pops are basically NEEDED to get through when you live in SoCal!

These are Peaches & Cream Popsicles. These are made of peaches, yogurt, and coconut milk. They are simple to put together, and they are the perfect after-work or after-dinner treat. Peaches at this time of year are BALLER and they make me smile wide and think of endless dessert possibilities. I am itching to make peach crisp, but for now, these will have to do.

Ingredients

2 medium peaches, roughly chopped
1 peaches, diced
½ cup coconut milk
5 ounces container of plain yogurt

Directions

1. Put your yogurt and milk into the blender, along with a cup of peaches. If you have a crappy blender, like, me, rough chop your peaches first.
2. Pour the liquid into a Pyrex that has a pouring spout (makes it easier when pouring your pops!)
3. Dice the rest of your peaches, then put those in and mix well.
4. Pour into popsicle molds, and let freeze until solid, at least 5 hours or overnight.

Peaches & Cream Popsicles | Garlic, My Soul Peaches & Cream Popsicles | Garlic, My Soul

Enjoy these while watching the thermostat climb up and up and up….keep cool, chickadees!


Pistachio Ricotta Salad | Garlic, My Soul

I’m always looking to expand my list of great salads both for main dishes and for sides. I am also trying to expand my list of go-to foods that don’t require meat, or at the very least don’t center on it. And, I think that ricotta is just plain underrated. Whenever we make calzones or my Rosemary Ricotta Dip, inevitably we have some leftover and I hate when it gets wasted. And so, I thought why not make a salad with ricotta at the center?

Pistachio Ricotta Salad | Garlic, My Soul

I have been really in to pistachios lately, and having nuts in general on all salads and dishes. It’s such an easy way to make a dish more complete, don’t you think? This salad is nice and light, and could be paired with any seasonal fruit – it doesn’t have to be blueberries, as I am nervous that batch was the last I’ll see this season. I’ll be moving maybe to citrus or figs (or both?!)

Regardless of the fruit you choose, don’t leave out ricotta – it’s worth it. The recipe can be adapted to add chicken or salmon, which is how I ate it last night – with Trader Joe’s breaded chicken that I keep in the freezer at all times. See below, and enjoy!

Type: Salad, Vegetarian
Author: Jennie
Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time: 5-7 minutes
Servings: 1

Ingredients

  • 2 cup mixed greens
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • 1/3 cup ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Directions

  1. Toss the mixed greens, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil together.

  2. Top with blueberries, pistachios, and ricotta.

  3. If desired, add a protein - perhaps some salmon or chicken.

It’s been like 105 here in LA, but that hasn’t stopped me from wanting to make a big batch of Corn Chowder. There are a handful of dishes that just make me feel like summer’s here – and this is one of them (alongside Ice Pops and Ice Box Cake and Mac Salad.)

I’m starting to see more and more corn available and it is making me very excited for summertime grilling and perfect dishes full of sweet corn blistered on the grill.

I might have to fill my freezer with some soup before the baby comes – I’m about to enter my third trimester and I think I am going to be slowing down a bit soon as the heat turns up and the belly grows OUT. Anyone else really pregnant in the summer? How did you survive the heat?

Type: Soups
Author: Jennie
Difficulty: Intermediate

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 ears corn, sliced off cob
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 medium red potatoes, diced
  • 3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1.5 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • s/p
  • fresh parsley, garnish

Directions

  1. Chop all things: celery, onion, corn, bell pepper, potatoes.

  2. Place olive oil (about one tablespoon) into your pot or Dutch oven, and heat over medium heat. Add onions and allow to sweat for about ten minutes.

  3. Add your potatoes, celery, and stock. Then, add all our spices. Allow to simmer for about five minutes (until potatoes soften.)

  4. Add your bell peppers and corn, and cook for another five or so minutes. Do not fret if you feel like this will not be enough liquid; it will be.

  5. Take about a third of your soup and place it in your blender; add your yogurt to this mixture, and blend until smooth, and return to the pot.

  6. Add your milk to the pot, stirring to combine. Salt and pepper, and allow to simmer until you're ready to serve, but no less than 15 minutes. Serve with parsley, bread, and sour cream.

Summer’s the very best time for all the fruit. I can’t get over just how much I am in into berries right now, you guys. I originally was going to make this a cherry cobbler, but then I saw the strawberries and blueberries and thought, “Oh, yeah” and before I knew it, I was putting all the berries into this.

Pitting cherries can be quite satisfying. Now, you can do it with a wine bottle and chopstick, like we used to, because as I have mentioned before I’m not that into one-use tools; however have a cherry pitter does make these that much easier to eat. (PSST that’s not the one I have, but I am sure it’ll work just fine.)

Cobbler is great because you can adapt it to whatever fruit combo you’re into. I am not a huge fan of raw strawberries, for example, but they’re pretty delicious when cooked, so I like them in a cobbler. Use whatever you want – raspberries would also be PERFECTO in this.

I used the dough like biscuits on top, but you can use it to make one big piece, if you want. Whatever you feel in your heart. The recipe is adapted from King Arthur Flour, so you know it’s perfect. I used my cast iron, but you can use a casserole dish if you want – just make sure the sides go up high enough so the cobbler insides don’t bubble over.

Recipe below – happy summer baking, my friends!

Type: Baking, Treats
Author: Jennie
Oven Temperature: 350°
Difficulty: Intermediate

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Summary

Adapted from the KAF All-Purpose Baking Cookbook.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds (8 cups) blueberries, cherries, strawberries
  • 1 cup sugar (white or brown)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg

Directions

  1. Rinse fruit, and pit your cherries.

  2. Grease a cast iron - I used a 12-inch cast iron that has 1.5 inch sides - you need the sides so that your insides don't bubble over.

  3. Put your fruit, cornstarch, and 1 cup sugar into a bowl and mix well. Let sit, and meanwhile make your dough.

  4. Measure flour, then add remaining dry ingredients - 1 tbsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tbsp baking powder. Then, cut up your butter and add in the butter until it looks like course cornmeal.

  5. In a wet measuring cup, measure out 3/4 cups of buttermilk and add your egg. Mix well. (Hint: if you don't have buttermilk, add 1/2 tbsp white vinegar to milk and let sit for 10 minutes then use as buttermilk.)

  6. Add your wet to your dry, and mix together quickly. Turn your oven on now - 350 F.

  7. Now, turn out your dough onto a floured surface and "fold over gently until it's reasonably cohesive" (what a great quote, right?)

  8. Shape your dough into a ball. Dump your fruit into your cast iron, then cover with your dough. I broke my dough into 4-5 dumpling-sized balls; do what you feel in your heart.

  9. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the top is browned. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.