A big story here in the South this week is the record high summer temperatures—as is the case with many parts of the country—and finding some way, any way, to beat the heat is a high priority.
Last night, all I wanted for dinner was something cool and salad-ish, and I already had some fresh butterbeans that I’d picked up at the market. My good friend Diane is a great cook, and one fine summer day she served me a brilliant and inspired dish called Butterbean Salad at her house, which has been my favorite way to eat butterbeans ever since. This salad made from cooked fresh butterbeans, sweet jarred roasted red peppers, red onion, fresh basil leaves and feta cheese—all tossed with a simple vinaigrette—is just plain wonderful. Cool and summery, it goes with just about anything from burgers to veggies, or even an all-salad meal.
And along the same lines of cold things to eat, I wanted to try some variations on the Buttermilk-Basil Sorbet recipe I posted last month. Remembering a unique strawberry and buttermilk ice cream I’d tasted a while back, it suddenly seemed like adding some fruit to the base sorbet recipe might be just the ticket, but all I had in the fridge was some fresh blueberries. So with a few quick substitutions of things that I think are delicious with blueberries, I came up with this variation called Blueberry-Lemon Buttermilk Sorbet, and we had it last night for dessert. The ingredients are much the same as the original Buttermilk-Basil Sorbet recipe, but with the substitution of a bit of fresh mint for the basil, lemon juice and lemon zest for the lime, and the addition of pureed and strained blueberries. Husband and I agreed that the final result was most tasty, and we lapped it up. We’ve also tried making a Strawberry-Orange Buttermilk Sorbet with Grand Marnier and Susan’s Nectarine-Lemon Buttermilk Sorbet with Bourbon which works really well, too. Although these versions are perhaps not quite as exotic as the original, they are really refreshing and delicious, and good enough to share.
Mission accomplished…I’m feeling cooler already.