Summer Love, Let's Make a Date!

Posted on June 23, 2014 by Rebecca Ponzi

Everything is better in the summer; the sunshine and warmth, colorful flowers, blue skies and explosion of fresh fruits and vegetables!  It seems everyone is happier with beautiful weather and food that flourishes so easily for our enjoyment.  It's not a chore to make healthy and delicious meals when flavor is at our fingertips.  With a few quality ingredients, you can make amazing dishes to sustain you on busy days or to enhance a day of leisure with the simple pleasure of good food and fine dining.  True extra virgin olive oil is a key ingredient in all my cooking and was one of the reasons why we were inspired to initiate importing our own into America.  Through my experience of living in Italy, learning about extra virgin olive oil and realizing I didn't want to live without it, became the catalyst for creating Casal Cristiana Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil (CCEVOO). 
This week I've pan seared pork medallions marinated in CCEVOO, lemon and laurel leaves which was accompanied with saffron potatoes.   Caprese salad of small sweet tomatoes and mozzarella and other salads made with crunchy lettuce, corn, tomatoes, carrots and tuna were all dressed simply with CCEVOO, white wine vinegar and sea salt. 
Chitarra pasta was flavored with Casal Cristiana Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, sea salt, parmigiano reggiano and speck that was lightly sauteed and deglazed with a dash of white wine.  Martini Chicken with a side salad was devoured quickly one evening while dining al fresco.  Hand chopped basil for a rustic and fresh pesto sauce that adorned pasta and was topped with straight-out-of-the-garden tomatoes was gone in a heartbeat by hungry tweens and teens after hours of swimming in the pool. All were easy to make, fed the family, and tasted great! 
In the summer, it's not only easy to make a meal but it's even easier to make one you can enjoy.  Cooking intuitively with the seasons expand your taste buds, your recipe collection and cooking repertoire. 
If you have high quality pantry items such as CCEVOO and natural sea salt readily available, the rest is up to you, your imagination, and what is growing in your garden or available at your local farmer's market for a fresh and fantastic meal to land on your table. Laurel and rosemary are two hardy herbs that grow well in pots or in the ground, provide beautiful greenery on a patio or surrounding a lawn, but more importantly they are also extremely handy to have near your kitchen for quick recipe innovation.  I will be in the Portland area this summer, if you would like to host a cooking class or cocktail party to learn more about how to use extra virgin olive oil, please feel free to contact me.  I am now taking reservations between July 27 through August 16th!  Let's celebrate summer with friends, family and really good food!  Connect with me via email, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Posted in Casal Cristiana, extra virgin olive oil, healthy living, Italian extra virgin olive oil, living in Italy, Ponzi Vineyards, Summer dining, The Dundee Bistro