Summer is officially here. Sometimes the hot and humid weather (where I live, at least) slows my appetite and inclination to cook.
As the winner of the June Culinary Smackdown ("Picnic Baskets"), it's my duty and pleasure to select next month's theme and serve as host/judge. So, without further ado, the theme of the July Culinary Smackdown is:
Summertime (Veggies) - and the Livin' Is Easy
I encourage you to take your inspiration from whatever's in season in your corner of the world and spotlight a veggie or two. Maybe from a local farmers market, or your own garden?
here). But I do favor the philosophy of La Diva (two-time winner and last month's host/judge) that these Culinary Smackdowns are a great opportunity for us to challenge ourselves. Perhaps you'd like to experiment with a veg or variety new to you? Or try out a new preparation for an old summertime fave? Whatever you choose, I'm confident we'll all pick up some tasty suggestions from each other.
Here are the rules:
1. Prepare at least one dish, featuring at least one summer vegetable, yourself (and include photo of same). You aren't required to cook/heat your veggie, but for the purposes of this contest, you need to do more than, say, slice a lovely tomato, put it on a plate, and snap a photo.
2. Any dishes you enter may include more than one vegetable, along with any proteins, grains, legumes, condiments, etc. of your choosing. Just remember that the point here is for at least one summer vegetable to play a starring role.
3. The deadline for entries to be posted is midnight E.D.T., Saturday, July 24.
4. I'll post my own submission on that date (not a contender in this competition). Please add a comment to let everyone know "you're up."
5. I'm trying to give everyone plenty of time, to accommodate whatever weather, vacation, summertime laziness, or other issues may impact your schedule. If you post your entry before July 24, please come back here on the deadline date and post a comment with a link to your entry so we can all find you and no one is overlooked. I'll check out all the entries and announce the winner on my blog.
6. To paraphrase Gershwin, even if your daddy ain't rich or your ma all that good-lookin', ANYONE can enter, and NEWCOMERS are welcome! (I'm pretty much of a newcomer here myself.) If you don't have your own blog and want to join in the fun, I'd be happy to feature your dish on my blog - just send me a photo and description, and please email me in advance to give me a heads-up.
7. Opportunities for "bonus points" have sometimes been mentioned in these Smackdowns. Without quite going there, I'll say that what I'm hoping to find - and usually do - is inspiration from everyone's contributions. I will also mention that Eggy loves some fresh herbage.
Have at it, and I look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!