Easy Summer Dinner

Courtesy James Pierce

Summer is the perfect time for a barbecue. Grilled filet mignon is always a favorite. My 90 year old father, his lovely wife, Vicki, and my nephew all came this weekend for a visit. My nephew loves photography, so he was behind the camera capturing food and fun.

Easy Summer Dinner

Courtesy James Pierce

I’m a great believer in easy, healthy dining, so this evening was no exception. Vicki brought beautiful orange, red and yellow heirloom tomatoes. She prepared sliced tomatoes with homemade salad dressing.

Easy Summer Dinner

Courtesy James Pierce

There’s one rule in my kitchen. All salads have a combination of at least 3 to 4 chopped, fresh herbs. So, tonight’s tomatoes were topped with chervil, parsley, tarragon and chives. During the winter, I still buy fresh herbs at the grocery store, but they are never as good as freshly picked.

Next, the filets were pulled from a ziplock bag with garlic infused extra virgin olive oil*. (I poke a few holes with a fork into the steaks to tenderize).These had been placed in the ziplock about an hour before starting the salad.  Then onto a red hot barbecue with a pinch of  salt and pepper.

Next,  it was time to blanch some haricot verte (green beans), as well as saute some Walla Walla sweet onions (any sweet onion will do) in a large frying pan. While onions are cooking until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes on medium heat, I added some black sesame seeds. I warm these in a pan with no oil just to bring out the flavor while the onions are sauteing. Once the beans were drained, I added the haricot verte and the black sesame seeds to the onions and lightly tossed.

Easy Summer Dinner

Courtesy James Pierce

Time to pull the steaks off the grill and prepare plates. Again, it’s those fresh herbs. Love them. A few sprigs of fresh sage and rosemary  are aromatic and provide an elegant garnish.

After dinner, I fudged a bit. Don’t tell anyone, but I always keep a container of Toll House cookie dough in the fridge and voila – warm cookies out of the oven. No fuss. Throw in some great wine and there you have  a perfect summer evening!

-The Gourmet Review

.   .   .   AND BEYOND

*I keep a container of olive oil, to which I add a handful of freshly peeled garlic cloves, close at hand  (of course I’m lazy and buy at the store already peeled). I’m always reaching for this, as the combination of extra virgin olive oil and garlic  is great in salads, fish, meats or essentially anything you want to prepare.

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