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Ronnie Paul: Summer dishes worthy of a parade

Summer never looked so appetizing with this "Dilly Garbanzo Salad" from columnist Ronnie Paul.
Submitted photo by Ronnie Paul |

Instead of celebrating July Fourth with parades and fireworks, this year I lay in a hammock reminiscing about my childhood.

In fourth grade I tried out for the school marching band. Perhaps I craved the dazzle of gold trimmed maroon uniforms and plumed feather hats, or maybe it was simply a good excuse to quit piano lessons with Olga, my strict German teacher.

I wanted to play the triangle, but someone had already claimed it, and my second choice, the whistle was taken as well. I’d like to believe that because I displayed Benny Goodmanesque talent I was assigned a clarinet, but the truth was I had buck teeth that clamped a reed perfectly.



I lamented that unlike the triangle or whistle, the clarinet, with its reed, shiny pieces that came apart and slid together, and strict cleaning routine, demanded daily care.

Over months of practice, I muddled through Souza marches and tunes about America and marching saints. My hard-earned reward, my icing on the cake, was receiving the glamorous uniform.




But as we practiced for the July Fourth parade, it became obvious that my mono-tasking predisposition inhibited my ability to march and toot at the same time. With deflated spirits, I handed in the clarinet and returned my uniform.

I still haven’t paraded with a band, but I do march around the kitchen in perfect time. Please try these summer recipes.

Dilly Garbanzo Salad

Serves 6

Don’t bother bringing your usual bean salad to the next summer potluck.

1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

½ cup chopped red pepper

½ cup chopped red onion

Dressing

Whisk together:

6 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

¼ cup chopped fresh dill weed

1 pressed garlic clove

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper

Mix everything together and chill before serving.

Just Peachy Kale Salad

Serves 6 (less if ardent kale lovers are present)

Even the kale shunner in my family gobbled this up.

8 ounces kale

1 ¼ cups olive oil

¾ cup white Balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoon honey

2 ounces Feta, cubed in small pieces

½ cup thinly sliced celery

½ cup thinly slice radishes

¼ cup toasted walnuts

2 peaches, sliced

Salt and pepper

Chop the kale, put it in a bowl, and massage it for a few minutes. Those of you who didn’t get to squish food around as a baby will like this.

Whisk together the oil, Balsamic, and honey and pour it over the kale. Stir everything together so that every piece of kale is coated, cover tightly, and refrigerate for several hours or even overnight. The kale will shrink dramatically.

Toss together all the remaining ingredients and serve.

Celebrate Summer Salsa

2 cups

Dip chips, top tacos, dollop on fish or chicken: enjoy summer’s bounty with this colorful salsa.

½ cup chopped tomatoes

½ cup seeded chopped cucumbers

¼ cup chopped red onion

¼ cup chopped cilantro

1 chopped mango

1 chopped avocado

1 pressed garlic clove

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)

Mix everything together, mix yourself a Margarita, and celebrate.


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