I once read a theory that our favorite season is the one in which we were born. Uh-huh. I’ve spent most of my life chasing summer. Moving to Washington state from Maine was like a dream come true. Sunny days. Summer that started in May and didn’t end until September (instead of those three weeks in July). The ability to grow, and harvest peaches, plums, and apricots. I don’t want to miss a day of it. In fact, now I am so spoiled that I dream of moving someplace where the summers are even longer (Hawaii anyone!). Oh yeah, my birthday is smack dab in the middle of winter. So much for that theory.
Until I can figure out how to make a living in Hawaii or some other warm place, I capture summer in a jar, or the freezer, or some other preserving method. Last week I turned some of that summer into Mediterranean inspired roasted hand pies. Eating them sent me to warm blue water, sunny skies with whitewashed buildings, and bursts of flowers framing stone walkways. As long as I didn’t look outside. So if you are suffering through another snowy winter day, here’s a good way to experience some of the summer you captured from your garden.
- Dough ( I used the yeasted olive oil pastry dough recipe from Martha Rose Shulman’s Mediterranean Harvest, but your favorite pizza dough should work well too)
- 4 cups chopped Mediterranean vegetables (I used eggplant, zucchini, winter squash, and red bell pepper)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup chopped greens (I used fresh rosemary and watercress, but spinach would be good too)
- 1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
- 1/3 cup rehydrated dried tomatoes
- 3 ounces shredded Kasseri cheese
- 2 oz crumbled goat cheese
Toss the chopped vegetables in the olive oil and salt. Spread on a large baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring at least once.
Transfer the roasted vegetables to a large bowl. Ad the greens, olives, tomatoes, and cheeses. Stir well to combine.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll each into a circle. Fill each with 1/4 of the vegetable mix. Fold over the dough to make a half-moon shape and pinch the edges closed.
Place each hand pie on a greased baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes or until browned.
Serve with a green salad or pickled peppers.
Note: My “summer in a jar” ingredients above were winter squash (still hanging on in my garage) and dried cherries tomatoes (sweet!).
So, does the theory work for you? Is your birthday in your favorite season? And even better, how do you capture summer in a “jar”?