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Peach Caprese Salad Recipe For National Peach Month

Peach Or Nectarine Caprese Salad Recipe
[1] A twist on the Caprese salad, adding peaches or nectarines plus enough arugula to make it a green salad fusion. The recipe is below (photo © Colavita Recipes).

Peach Caprese Salad With Bocconcini Mozzarella
[2] A creative idea: use bite-size mozzarella balls (bocconcini) instead of sliced mozzarella (photo © Fruits From Chile).

Peach Or Nectarine Caprese Salad Recipe
[3] A minimalist, fruit-centric peach Caprese (photo © Good Eggs).

 

August is National Peach Month, celebrating the juicy stone fruit* that is one of America’s Top 10 favorites. In the U.S., the peach season begins in June and lasts until the end of August. August is when the peaches are at their peak—so gather ye peaches as ye may.

You could bake a peach pie or one of the other peach recipes below, but how about this easy Peach and Tomato Caprese Salad?

A spin on the traditional Caprese, the peaches are a sweet complement to summer tomatoes. You can substitute nectarines for the peaches.

Thanks to Colavita for the recipe.

> Here’s more about stone fruits, also known as drupes.

> You can make your own balsamic glaze from balsamic vinegar.

> Caprese salad history.

> More Caprese recipes.
 
 
RECIPE: PEACH OR NECTARINE CAPRESE SALAD

This salad can be a first course or a lunch salad.
 
Ingredients

  • 3 ripe peaches (you can substitute nectarines or use both!)
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes (ideally an heirloom variety)
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella
  • 3 ounces fresh baby arugula
  • 1 ounces blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoon Colavita Balsamic Glaze
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 10-12 small basil leaves (rip larger leaves in half or thirds)
  • Optional garnish: shavings of Parmesan cheese
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREPARE the fruit. Cut the tomatoes lengthwise into large rounds about ¼” thick. Slice the peaches or nectarines into segments, discarding the pit.

    2. SLICE the mozzarella cheese into rounds about ⅛” thick.

    3. PLACE a circle of tomato slices onto a large serving platter. Season with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Layer the slices of mozzarella cheese on top of the tomatoes. Place the peach or nectarine slices on top of the cheese.

    4. MOUND the arugula in the middle of the circle of fruit. Sprinkle the blackberries onto the arugula. Sprinkle the arugula and blackberries with the remaining salt.

    5. SHAVE the Parmesan cheese with a potato peeler and distribute the shavings on top of the arugula and blackberries.

    6. DRIZZLE the entire platter with the olive oil, then drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Scatter the basil leaves throughout. Serve!

     
    ________________

    *Common stone fruits include the apricot, cherry, damson, nectarine, peach, plum, and hybrids like apriums, plumcots, and pluots. Here’s more information about stone fruits and other drupes.

     
     

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    8 Tips For Healthy Eating, For National Wellness Month

    We feel a bit hesitant to publish this “public service announcement” on the heels of National S’mores Day, but August is National Wellness Month.

    National Wellness Month focuses on self-care, stress management, and creating healthy routines, including eating.

    So here’s our PSA.

    These eight tips for healthy eating come from the National Health Service—of the U.K.! The advice is universal.

    1. Base your meals on higher fiber starchy carbohydrates (i.e., unprocessed or minimally processed whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans).

    2. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables.

    3. Eat more fish, including a portion of oily fish (the latter include eel, herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, sprats, trout, and tuna).

    4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar.

    5. Eat less salt: no more than 6g a day for adults.

    6. Get active and be a healthy weight.

    7. Do not get thirsty (i.e., drink enough water).

    8. Do not skip breakfast.
     
     
    You can read the full article here.
     
     
    Dear reader, you may say, “I know all this.”

    Great! Happy National Wellness Month!

     

    Crudites Platter With Spinach Hummus
    [1] Spinach hummus with crudites, for a starter or snack (photo © Australian Asparagus Growers).

    Miso-Glazed Salmon With Edamame
    [2] Miso-glazed salmon atop mixed vegetables—edamame, mushrooms, onions. Here’s the recipe (photo © Chef Rita French | Urban Kitchen & Bar | Phoenix [permanently closed]).

     

     
     

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    S’mores Recipes For National S’mores Day

    S'mores Party Platter
    This party platter is a s’mores lover’s dream (photo © XO Marshmallow).

     

    August 10th is National S’mores Day. We never run out of creative s’mores recipes: Check them out here.

    Whether it’s a s’mores cake, s’mores pie, s’mores ice cream, s’mores popcorn, or the classic s’mores cookie sandwich, every bite is a delight.

    One year, we went overboard and had a s’mores party with six of these recipes. After tasting some of everything, some guests were begging for plain Greek yogurt to “detox.”

    Lesson learned: The next year we served just one (the S’mores Baked Alaska).

    Maybe next year we’ll treat family and friends to the s’mores party platter in the photo, the creation of XO Marshmallow.

    If it’s too overwhelming for you, default to these classic s’mores. You don’t need a campfire; you can melt them in the oven.
     
     
    > The history of s’mores.

     

     
     

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    How About Some Zucchini Recipes For National Zucchini Day?

    Like zucchini? Today is for you: August 8th is National Zucchini Day. (There’s also National Zucchini Bread Day on April 25th, and for fans of zucchini noodles, National Eat Your Noodles Day is March 11th.)

    Zucchini is one of the best foods to spiralize. You can make delicious, very low-calorie ribbon noodles for a cold salad or cooked for “pasta.”

    Americans use “zucchini” as both singular and plural. In Italian, one zucchini is a zucchini.

    > The history of zucchini.

    > |The different types of squash.

    > The history of squash.
     
     
    30 MORE ZUCCHINI RECIPES
     
     
    BREAKFAST, BRUNCH, OR LUNCH

  • Ratatouille & Eggs
  •  
     
    FIRST COURSE

  • Spicy Sea Bass Chowder With Zucchini & Coconut Milk
  • Summer Squash Crostini With Goat Cheese
  • Zucchini & Yogurt Blender Soup
  • Zucchini Soup
  •  
     
    MAIN COURSE

  • Cacio e Pepe With Zucchini Noodles
  • Chicken And Zucchini With Chermoula Sauce With (On Plates Or In Wraps)
  • Grilled Lamb Loin Chops With Zucchini, Walnut & Caper Couscous
  • One-Pan Lamb & Zucchini With A Greek Flair
  • Pork & Goat Cheese Strata
  • Regular Pasta & Zucchini Pasta With Crab
  • Shrimp, Corn & Zucchini Flatbread
  • Stuffed Peppers Stuffed With Rice & Cheese
  • Zucchini Linguine Marinara
  • Zucchini Pan Pizza
  •  
     
    SIDES

  • Bread Salad (Panzanella) With Zucchini
  • Bread Salad (Panzanella) #2: Mix & Match
  • Chickpea Succotash With Zucchini
  • Classic Zucchini Bread & Chocolate Zucchini Bread
  • Grilled Zucchini Salad With Cumin & Mint
  • Guajillo Chile Zucchini Bread
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich With Sautéed Zucchini & Yellow Squash
  • Marinated Grilled Eggplant, Mushrooms & Zucchini
  • Hash Brown Zucchini (Instead Of Potatoes)
  • Pasta Primavera
  • Summer Squash Cobbler With Cheddar Chive Biscuits
  • Summer Squash Sauté
  • Tian: A Beautiful Vegetable Dish
  • Zucchini Canoes: Like Pizza But With Zucchini
  • Zucchini, Mushrooms & Onions With Toasted Breadcrumbs
  •  

    Zucchini White Pan Pizza Recipe
    [1] Zucchini pan pizza. Here’s the recipe (photo © The Baker Chick).

    Grilled Zucchini Recipe With Cumin, Mint Balsamic Glaze
    [2] Grilled zucchini with cumin, mint, and balsamic glaze. Here’s the recipe (photos #3 and #4 © Good Eggs).

    Lamb Chops & Zucchini & One Pan Cooking Recipe
    [3] Lamb chops and zucchini in a one-pan recipe.

     

     
     

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    A Traditional Mochi Recipe For National Mochi Day

    Daifuku Mochi Filled With Red Bean Paste
    [1] Traditional daifuku mochi, filled with redd bean paste (the recipe is below (photo © Morgaer | Deviantart).

    Daifuku Mochi On Platter

    [2] Plain mochi dough can be flavored and/or rolled in a topping (photo © The Globetrotter Diaries).

    Green Tea Daifuku Mochi Rice Cakes
    [3] Mochi with red bean paste that’s rolled in matcha, powdered green tea (photos #3, #4, #5, and #6 © Minoan Kitchen).

    Kashiwa Daifuku Mochi Rice Cakes
    [4] Kashiuwa mochi, a style that’s wrapped in an oak leaf to impart a nuance of flavor and a lot of eye appeal.

    Sakura Daifuku Mochi Rice Cakes
    [5] Sakura mochi, wrapped in a salted cherry blossom leaf.

    Two Mochi Rice Cakes Shaped Like Rabbits
    [6] Bunny mochi, one of the delightful special shapes.

    Mochi In Many Flavors At A Bakery
    [7] How to choose? One of everything (photo by Wootang01 | CC-BY-ND-2.0-License).

     

    How about a mochi recipe for August 8th, National Mochi Day (pronounced MOE-chee)?

    We love the ancient Japanese treat, small cakes of two bites. consisting of a round pouch of rice dough, traditionally filled with red beans or other paste.

    The recipe below is just such a treat, a variety called daifuku mochi that has a center of red bean paste (photo #1—daifuku means “filled”).

    Written references to mochi go as far back as 794 C.E.

    > Here’s the history of mochi and the 1993 newcomer, mochi ice cream.

    According to Google Trends, March 2021 saw searches for “mochi” increase by 285%, the highest on record.

    We just checked on Google, and there were 86,300,000 results! Mochi also appears as a gender-neutral name on BabyNames.com.

    Minamoto Kitchoan, a purveyor of beautiful wagashi (Japanese confections) and our first introduction to the wondrous world of mochi.

    They have locations in Beverly Hills, Honolulu, London, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Taipei, and Tokyo. And of course, there’s online shopping.

    If you don’t want to make your own mochi, head there to look at the selection.
     
     
    TRADITIONAL MOCHI

    Traditional mochi is made from a short-grain japonica glutinous (sticky) rice called mochigome. (It’s gluten-free*.)

    It’s cooked, pounded, and mixed with water, sugar, and cornstarch to form a dough that’s kneaded and wrapped around a center.

    The result: a soft, pillowy, soft, chewy style of rice cake, each about three bites’ worth. They’re delicious with your beverage of choice or by themselves, like cookies.

    Food 101: Although mochi is called a rice cake, it’s technically a cookie. The difference: Cookies are finger food, cake requires a fork.

    The rice dough is mixed with flavorings and/or food color and molded into the desired shape.

    Round is traditional, although some pastry artists turn the balls of mochi into little pieces of art for extra delight: bunnies, chicks, peaches, and pumpkins, for example (photo #6).

    Mochi can be sweet or savory, and there are numerous varieties of both (see the bakery case in photo #7). A few examples:

  • Daifuku mochi, filled with red bean paste (azuki), with a plain coat or a coating of matcha, tea), black sesame, and other flavors.
  • Sakura mochi, wrapped in a salted cherry blossom leaf (photo #5).
  • Kusamochi, mochi, a savory favorite flavored with Japanese mugwort, an herb in the sunflower family.
  •  
    Mochi is eaten year-round but is particularly enjoyed for special occasions and around the New Year, as a symbol of good fortune—including at weddings, for happy marriages.

    It’s used in religious rituals in the Shinto religion, as well.
     
    In Japanese culture, mochi is considered a “food of the Gods” and a symbol of good fortune and happy marriages.

    (Gee, didn’t we say that two days ago about lassi?)
     
     
    WHAT ABOUT ICE CREAM MOCHI?

    Ice cream-filled mochi are a recent arrival, invented as a “mother of invention” in Los Angeles in 1993 (see the history).

    Once the word got out beyond the Asian community there, sales grew exponentially. Today, you can find ice cream mochi in many supermarkets and at Trader Joe’s, in many flavors.

    Are you ready to make mochi?

    The first step is to make traditional mochi. After you’ve gotten used to the dough, you can fill it with ice cream, PB&J, whatever!
     
     
    RECIPE: DAIFUKU MOCHI

    To celebrate National Mochi Day, the team at Meal Delivery Experts sent us this simple recipe to make at home.

    Surprise your family, friends, and/or work colleagues. Have a tea party (or an iced tea party, in this summer weather).

    This recipe is daifuku mochi, filled with red bean paste (perhaps the Japanese version of a thumbprint cookie with raspberry jam?).

    Instead of red bean paste, some people use the milder white bean paste.

    You can get the specialty ingredients at an Asian market or online. Or…

    Here’s how to make red bean paste at home.

    If you wish you can color your dough, and/or roll the finished mochi in sesame seeds (photo #2) or matcha powder (photo #3).

    In Japan, you’ll find them in a broader variety of toppings, such as kinako (toasted soy bean powder), or mixed with yomogi (mugwort herb) [source].

    Here’s a video.
     
    Ingredients

  • 1 cup of glutinous rice flour
  • 1 cup of sweetened red bean paste
  • 1 teaspoon of green tea powder (matcha)
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup cornstarch, for rolling out the dough
  •  
    Preparation

    1. WRAP the red bean paste in aluminum foil and place it in the freezer until solid, at least 1 hour.

    2. MIX the glutinous rice flour and green tea powder thoroughly in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir in the water, then the sugar, and mix until smooth.

    3. COVER the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave for 3 minutes 30 seconds. Meanwhile…

    4. REMOVE the red bean paste from the freezer and divide it into 8 equal balls. Set aside.

    5. REMOVE the rice flour mixture from the microwave. Stir, then heat, covered, for another 15 to 30 seconds.

    6. DUST a work surface with cornstarch. Roll about 2 tablespoons of the hot rice flour mixture into a ball. Flatten the ball and place one ball of frozen red bean paste in the center. Pinch and press the dough around the bean paste until it is completely covered. Sprinkle with additional cornstarch and place the mochi, seam-side down, in a paper muffin liner to prevent sticking.

    7. REPEAT Step 6 to make the remaining mochi. Enjoy them with a delicious cup of tea (or coffee, or milk, or “straight”).
     
     
    Oishī! (That’s delicious!)

     
    ________________

    *Although it sounds like glutinous rice has gluten, it doesn’t. The term “glutinous” refers to the glue-like, sticky texture of the rice after it’s cooked.
     
     

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