What says summer more than grilled foods, fresh corn and local tomatoes? My husband cooked the other night- another swelteringly hot and muggy day. He grilled a ribeye steak that was simply prepared with salt and pepper. He chooses to grill over hardwood charcoal not gas because he likes the added smokiness of the wood. We used to get the charcoal from Trader Joe’s but they only sell the briquettes now, which have been treated with something that imparts an unsavory smell. He grilled some blanched garlic scapes too to go with the meat. My youngest eats them cut up like little green beans.
Served with that was Bread and Butter corn and tomatoes both fresh from the farm that day. Since my 6 year old has another couple of loose teeth, we did our corn per usual then sliced the kernels off the cob. Reheated with butter, salt and pepper. A little of all three can go a long way, and just enough to enhance the corn’s flavors by adding the other taste dimensions. (As previously mentioned I usually only use sea salt now. We always grind fresh peppercorns because the pre-ground pepper from tins have lost its punch and flavor by the time it reaches the food).
Red tomato, basil (fresh from our garden), and goat cheese salad is another summer staple. Though last year it seemed as it was just my husband and I eating it, this year, we can hardly get a bite in before my oldest two are hogging it all for themselves. My middle son was even dipping his meat and potatoes into the left over dressing after the tomatoes were all gone.
Arrange sliced tomatoes on a plate, chop basil in small ribbons (chiffonade), top with chunks of goat cheese (we get TJ’s own brand log), sparinglydrizzle with balsamic vinegar (we use a 50 year old one), a good quality olive oil, and ground pepper to top. We usually use French Grey sea salt or Hawaiian Red sea salt, but we’re out. We used a Himalayan pink (obviously not sea salt) and. But use whatever good quality sea, or mined salt in this case, you have.
All Blue potatoes we received from our CSA bin. They look like Peruvian purple potatoes, but I guess since there are thousands of different kinds of potatoes, these are from elsewhere. Unlike the “magic” purple beans, these are purplish-blue inside and out even after being cooked. We simply boiled them and served as is. They were firm and had a lovely sweet and earthy taste. The kids loved the color. I believe one way to get kids to try foods that might otherwise be seen as healthy (and undesirable) is to add the colorful veggies and not just green ones. It’s also good for them to get the different colors because they have different nutrients.
Lastly we served green zucchini (courgettes) and yellow summer squash. Again my middle son wouldn’t touch them last year, but this year he gobbles them up gladly.
My sons have favorite colors. When my eldest was 2-3 his favorite was red, then a couple of years later it was green, then turquoise, then “rainbow”, now he’s got several. My middle son loved “lello” when he was 2-3 then blue, then green, then turquoise and now back to blue. And my youngest’s favorite was orange and white, then green, now blue. In such a short period of time their favorite colors have changed. Well, so have their favorite foods. They still love certain things but they keep adding foods to their repertoire and all of a sudden (Now kohlrabi is my middle son’s favorite food. My youngest asked for salmon or “snapping” for dinner two nights ago. My eldest still loves spaghetti, but sushi and tacos have taken top spot.) I believe if you understand that kids change their favorites, their tastes, their interests as they grow you will find that given the opportunity they may actually like that food they had no interest in eating previously. Give them a chance to try it, eventually they may like it… or even love it!
“Here try it” , “ok” — before he asked for more and more…