An (Almost) Raw Summer Dinner

For those of you who prefer to cook as little as possible over the hot summer months, here is a fabulous dinner that requires a whole lot of chopping, but no more then 4 minutes of grilling to complete. It also includes many of the summer’s best flavors; tangy heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn and succulent jumbo shrimp. As an added bonus each dish is especially easy to scale up and down depending on the number of mouths you are feeding

Marinated Grilled Shrimp (serves 6-8)

5 pounds jumbo shrimp
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup dijon mustard
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup minced shallots
6-8 cloves of garlic, diced
1 handful of parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl make your marinade. Combine all ingredients, waiting until the final step to add the shrimp. Allow mixture to sit and shrimp to marinate for at least one hour at room temperature, mixing occasionally. If you intend to marinate the mixture for longer then one hour, be sure to cover and refrigerate. When ready to grill thread onto skewers, 5 per skewer. On a hot grill sear each skewer until just cooked, about 1-2 minutes per side. Set aside and serve shrimp cold or luke warm when finished.

Panzanella (serves 6-8)

2 lbs heirloom tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 English cucumber, chopped
4 anchovies, diced
1/2 stale baguette, chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 handful basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

It is very important to use very stale bread while making this recipe. We used two day old french bread, stale enough to cut with a knife and impossible to tear with our hands. The stale bread will maintain it’s integrity when combined with the acid of the vinegar and tomatoes. Fresh bread will simply melt.

Combine all ingredients, save the basil in a large bowl and allow to sit 1 hour or until the bread is soft. After one hour if there is copious juice, add more bread pieces. By the end of the hour we added an additional 1/4 loaf of bread to soak up the addition juice. When ready to serve, add a handful of chopped basil and serve before it wilts.

Corn and Feta Salad (serves 6-8)

6 ears sweet corn
1/4 cup olive oil
6 oz feta cheese
1 large handful mint
salt and pepper to taste

In a deep bowl, carefully cut off the kernels of corn. If the corn is especially ripe, be sure to scrape the ears to remove the milk. Mix in the olive oil, feta, salt and peppers. When ready to serve add a small handful of chopped basil and serve before it wilts.