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It's officially summertime, which means sunny vacations, backyard cookouts, and — our favorite — some of the best produce of the year. To help you celebrate the season, we've whipped up a few tasty recipes that could even help you impress company at your upcoming Fourth of July holiday! 

Just a few months ago, we shared some tomato planting tips from our staff over at the Heifer Urban Farm. And now that enough time has passed, we're getting to relish the fruits of their labor. Literally. Even though we can't share the produce that's being grown unless you happen to be a local, we figured the least we could do is share the recipes we're turning to time and again. 

First up is a caprese salad from Chef Tyler at the Cafe@Heifer. It features fresh tomatoes and another summer garden staple: basil. Just find some fresh mozzerella and bam! (thanks, Emeril) you've got yourself a perfect summer salad.

Insalata Caprese

  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • fine sea salt or kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions: On a large platter, alternate and overlap the tomato slices, mozzarella cheese slices, and basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil & balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
Yield: 6 Servings
Note: Your salad should look something like the picture above. Credit to The Larder. 


Up next is a recipe from our very own President and CEO, Pierre Ferrari. He shared this recipe with staff for Father's Day, but we think it's just as appropriate to share with you all for any July 4th cookouts that may be planned. 

COFFEE-BASED RUB

  • 2-3 Tbs.    Finely ground coffee
  • 1-2 Tbs.    Garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs.       Sugar
  • 2 Tbs.       Paprika or smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbs.       Ground pepper
  • Salt          to your taste
  • A dash     Cayeene if you like a little heat

Directions: Rub and rest for 30 minutes; adds nice crust to steak

And we couldn't leave out that summer classic: the BLT. It's hard to beat a recipe for hot food that doesn't actually require use of the oven — especially in the summer. Save yourself time, enjoy seasonal produce and stay cool with Chef Tyler's BLT recipe. 


Classic BLTClassic BLT

4 slices bacon 
2 leaves crisp red leaf lettuce
2 slices tomato
2 slices bread, toasted 1 tablespoon mayonnaise 

Directions: Cook the bacon in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Arrange the cooked bacon, lettuce, and tomato slices on one slice of bread. Spread one side of remaining bread slice with the mayonnaise. Bring the two pieces together to make a sandwich. Instant classic!
Yield: 1 Serving





Author

Annie Bergman

Annie Bergman is the Global Communications Director and helps plan, assign and develop content for the nonprofit’s website, magazine and blog. Bergman has interviewed survivors of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, beekeepers in Honduras, women’s groups in India and war widows in Kosovo, among many others in her six years at Heifer.

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