Kitchen Wit and Wisdom: Keeping it light

Summertime is the time for lighter fare and Cathi Litzenberger offers two recipes that fit the bill

Summer is in full swing, and with it comes warm weather, vacation time and a natural world in full bloom that you can take advantage of.

It’s easier to eat healthily in the summer, with loads of gorgeous fruit and veggies in season.  Between your own garden, farmers’ markets, roadside stands and the produce section at your local grocery store, there is never a better time to pick up inexpensive fresh produce than the peak months of summer.

This time of year we are looking for lighter and quick meals to prepare, and the two recipes I have for today are just that. This quick salmon dish is perfect for a week night dinner. Serve with a side of sautéed spinach or the salad below, and a glass of pinot blanc — yum! The salad recipe is chock full of nutrients and taste, with a slight sweetness from the watermelon, and is sure to be another favourite this summer.

Tomato Basil Salmon

2 (6 ounce) boneless salmon fillets

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 tomato, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Line a baking sheet with a piece of aluminum foil, and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the salmon fillets onto the foil, sprinkle with basil, top with tomato slices, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven until the salmon is opaque in the centre, and the Parmesan cheese is lightly browned on top, about 20 minutes.

Can be baked in a barbecue on indirect heat as well.

Watermelon and Feta Salad

with Arugula and Spinach

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups arugula

2 cups baby spinach leaves

1 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 cups bite-sized watermelon chunks

Whisk the olive oil, white balsamic vinegar and salt together in a small bowl; set aside.

Combine the arugula, spinach, onions and tomatoes in a large salad bowl.

Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad mixture; toss to coat.

Add the feta cheese and watermelon to serve.

Cathi Litzenberger is The Morning Star’s longtime food columnist, appearing every other Wednesday and one Sunday per month.