DOG DAYS DINING
The intrigue, charm and folklore of the 40-day period during the summer known as “dog days” continues. Rooted in ancient Greek and Roman history, the centuries have contributed much to the lore. Dog days, a time of extreme heat, happened when Sirius, the Dog Star, rose just before or at the same time as the sun.
It was an evil time when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures came to be languid and lethargic, causing illnesses.
According to the “Old Farmers Almanac” Dog Days began July 3 and ends Aug. 11, and “snakes are blind and will strike at anything. Birds do not sing as much.”
The antidote to Dog Days: Eat and Drink Well.
Cool Lunch Salad
½ lb. fresh mozzarella cheese
2 large home-grown tomatoes
4 Tbsps. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Cut mozzarella into 12 slices. Slice tomatoes and sprinkle with salt. Alternate tomato and cheese slices on a lettuce-lined platter; drizzle with olive oil. Cover and chill 3 hours. To serve, sprinkle with coarsely-ground pepper, strips of fresh basil and feta cheese.
Dog Days Pasta Salad
1 lb. bag vegetable pasta noodles (mixed colors), cooked|
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 small jar pitted black olives
1 small jar pimiento-stuffed olives, chopped
1/2 lb. coooked medium shrimp
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
4 ozs. olive oil
Juice of 1 large lime
1/2 tsp. oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
Combine and toss all salad ingredients, except avocado and Parmesan cheese; mix dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Toss well and refrigerate. When ready to serve, fold in avocado and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Summer Patio Sandwich
1 pkg. (8 oz.) softened cream cheese
1/4 lb. cooked small shrimp
Cayenne pepper, to taste
4 medium croissant rolls
Blend together cream cheese, onion, and shrimp; add seasonings and mayonnaise. Split croissant rolls down the middle and fill with mixture. Serve icy cold with crispy chips.
Lagniappe: Survival Mojito
Handful of fresh mint leaves
Juice of 1 lime
Splash of club soda
In a highball glass, muddle the mint, raspberries, lime juice, and sugar. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice; add the rum and shake for 15 seconds. Pour into the glass and top with the club soda.
Sir Verde’s wine and drinks suggestions: Albariño from Spain and a Mojito with something extra.
Bonne dégustation. Love One Another.