Ronnie Paul: Get onboard with these summer recipes |

Ronnie Paul: Get onboard with these summer recipes

Ronnie Paul

In the summer of 1969, while awed Americans watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon and tie-dyed hippies danced at outdoor concerts, I packed my suitcase.

I had just graduated from college and planned to lounge for a few months before starting my life as a salary-earning adult. Believing that a good tan would enhance my appearance at job interviews, I bought an aluminum reflector to hold under my chin for my pool-side lazing. My mother, however, thought marinating in culture, not sun, would look better on my résumé, and signed me up for a language program in France.

Despite my complaints, a week later I walked up the gangplank of the SS Aurelia, an Italian liner rumored to be the smallest sailing vessel on the Atlantic. Unusually severe weather during the crossing drastically curbed not only passenger fraternizing, but also my appetite. Actually, that was probably a good thing considering the nothing-but-organ-meats dinners served each night.

I’ve forgotten the feeling of six seasick days, but do remember that when the ship finally docked in Le Havre, I rushed down the gangplank and kissed the earth. My safe arrival on stable land seemed as miraculous as Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon.

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I can’t claim that going to France ever looked good on my yoga teaching résumé, but I do know how to exclaim Oh-La-La when I like a recipe. I hope you’ll say the same with these.

Á La Grecque Eggplant Salad

Serves 4

You don’t need to sail to Europe to marinate in a foreign culture.

2 cups eggplant cut in one inch pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pressed garlic clove

½ cup garbanzos

1 tablespoon capers, squeezed of their liquid

1 tablespoon chopped basil

¼ cup Kalamata olives

1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts

2-3 tablespoons chopped red onion


3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Toss the eggplant, oil and garlic together and spread on a lightly greased baking tray. Roast for 10 minutes at 375 degrees until the eggplant is tender.

Let the eggplant cool and then mix it with the remaining ingredients and dressing. Chill well before serving.

Far East-Far Out Coleslaw

Serves 4

Continue your cultural travels with this recipe.

2 cups chopped Savoy or Napa cabbage

½ cup grated carrots

.1 ounce dried Wakame (an easily available dried seaweed)

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Miso Dressing

1½ tablespoons white miso

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1½ tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon sesame oil

3¾ teaspoons honey

Soak the Wakame in cold water for about 10 minutes until soft. Squeeze out the water before adding it to the salad.

Mix all the ingredients with the dressing. Chill the coleslaw for a few hours until the cabbage soaks up the exotic flavors.

Cultural Cukes

Serves 4

The full force of cuke season is upon us.

2 cups sliced cucumbers (Keep the skin, but toss the seeds)

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1 medium carrot, grated

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds


3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1½ tablespoons Tahini

1 teaspoon tamari

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1½ teaspoons honey

Mix everything together and let it sit a bit before serving.

Ronnie Paul is a Nevada County freelance writer.

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