Vegetables and Fruits of Litha 2015

Litha foods are fresh vegetables of all kinds and fresh fruits such as lemons and oranges, summer fruits, honey, Summer squash and any yellow or orange colored foods. Traditional drinks are ale, mead, and fresh fruit juice. – See more at: http://ravenhawks.net/magazine/2013/06/09/correspondence-of-litha/

The following recipes incorporate traditional vegetables and fruits of Litha add these to your list of traditional dishes or make new traditions.

Fennel and Orange SaladVegetables and Fruits of Litha

Ingredients

2 medium fennel bulbs
2 medium blood oranges
 Orange juice (optional)
1/4cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
 Butterhead (Bibb or Boston) lettuce leaves
 Snipped fresh chives
Directions

Cut off and discard upper stalks of fennel bulbs; if desired, reserve some of the feathery leaves. Cut off a thin slice from base of fennel bulbs. Remove and discard any wilted outer layers. Wash fennel and cut each bulb into 1/4-inch slices, discarding core. Set aside.
Peel and section blood oranges over a large bowl to catch the juice. For dressing, in the same bowl, whisk together the reserved orange juice,* the olive oil, and vinegar.
Line four salad plates with lettuce leaves. Arrange the fennel slices and orange sections on lettuce; sprinkle with chives. Drizzle dressing over salads. If desired, garnish salads with reserved fennel leaves. Makes 4 side-dish servings.

Cinnamon Orange SlicesVegetables and Fruits of Litha
Ingredients

2 medium oranges
 Ground cinnamon and/or ground ginger
Directions

Peel the oranges, removing the white pith*. Cut the oranges horizontally into 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick slices. Remove seeds if present.
Arrange orange slices on serving plates. Sprinkle orange slices lightly with cinnamon and/or ginger.
To peel oranges:
Slice ends off oranges to expose the orange flesh. Set the orange on a cutting board with one of the end sides down. Using a sharp knife, cut the peel and white pith off the orange in strips, starting at the open end on top and working toward the bottom end.

Fresh Fruit with Citrus Mint DressingVegetables and Fruits of Litha

Ingredients
1/4cup orange juice
1 tablespoon snipped fresh mint or 1 teaspoon dried mint, crushed
1 teaspoon honey
4 cups assorted citrus fruit sections (such as blood oranges, tangelos, grapefruit, and/or navel oranges)
Directions
For dressing, in a medium bowl, whisk together orange juice, mint, and honey. Add fruit to dressing; toss lightly to coat.
Prepare as directed. Cover and chill for up to 4 hours, stirring occasionally.

Grilled Summer Squash CapreseVegetables and Fruits of Litha
Ingredients

3 pounds yellow summer squash (5 medium), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2cup fresh small basil leaves
Directions

Brush both sides of squash slices with 3 tablespoons of the oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
For a charcoal grill, grill squash, cut sides up, on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals about 6 minutes or until crisp-tender, turning once. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place squash on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as directed.)
On a serving platter arrange squash, tomatoes, and basil. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over vegetables just before
serving.
Lemony Squash and Provolone Dinner Toastlemonysquashprovolone
Ingredients

1 pound small yellow summer squash, thinly sliced and/or coarsely shredded
1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
6 1/2-inch thick slices ciabatta or country bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
 Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh lemon thyme
2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
1/4cup mayonnaise
6 very thin slices provolone cheese
Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl toss squash with lemon-pepper seasoning. Transfer to a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl and let stand 15 minutes. Discard the liquid. Squeeze squash as dry as possible.
Meanwhile, arrange the bread on a baking sheet. Brush tops with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Toast for 10 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges, turning once. Remove from oven. Preheat broiler.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook and stir for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in squash and the lemon thyme and cook 3 minutes more or until softened. Remove from heat and stir in lemon peel.
Spread bread slices with mayonnaise. Top each with a slice of cheese. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat for 1 minute or until cheese melts.
Divide the squash mixture among the bread slices. Broil 1 to 2 minutes more or until heated through. Serve warm garnished with additional thyme.
Candied Lemon Slicescandiedlemonslices
 Ingredients 
2 small lemons
 1 cup sugar 
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
3/4 cup water 
Preparation 
Cut lemons into 1/8-inch-thick rounds; discard seeds. Stir together sugar, lemon juice, and water in a large skillet over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add lemon slices, and simmer gently, keeping slices in a single layer and turning occasionally, 14 to 16 minutes or until slightly translucent and rinds are softened. Remove from heat. Place slices in a single layer in a wax paper-lined jelly-roll pan, using tongs. Cool completely (about 1 hour). Cover and chill 2 hours to 2 days. Reserve syrup for another use.[ southern living magazine] Candied Lemon Slices[Using the Oven] Ingredients 2 Small lemons 1/2 cup of sugar DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 275*F. Line a 15x10x1" baking pan with parchment paper(or wax paper). Cut 2 small lemons crosswise into 1/8-1/4 inch thick slices. Arrange in a single layer on pan. Sprinkle lemon slices with 1/2 cup sugar. Bake in at 275*F. 45-50 minutes or until lemons are almost dry and covered with a sugary glaze. While still warm, loosen slices from paper to prevent sticking.

Litha Cookieslithacookies
Yields 36ct. 

3/4c softened butter 
2c brown sugar 
2 eggs 
1 T lemon juice 
2 T grated lemon rind 
2 c sifted flour 
1c finely chopped pecans. 
Cream butter in a large non-metallic mixing bowl. Gradually add the brown sugar, mixing well. Add eggs, lemon juice, and rind,   and pecans then mix well until mixture is well blended. 
Cover the bowl with a white or yellow towel or cloth napkin, and refrigerate overnight. The next day, shape dough into 1" balls and place approx 3" apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for abut 20 minutes. Cool on racks. 

Lemonade Cakelemonadecake
ingredients

1/3 cup butter
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups buttermilk or sour milk
Yellow food coloring (optional)
Lemon Butter Frosting
Candied Lemom Slices (optional)
directions

Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until well combined. Scrape sides of bowl; beat for 2 minutes more. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemonade concentrate and vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. If desired, stir in a few drops of yellow food coloring. Spread batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Spread cake with Lemon Butter Frosting. If desired, garnish with lemon slices (slices should be removed before eating).

Lemon Butter Frosting

ingredients

1/3 cup softened butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
1 - 2 teaspoons frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
directions

In a large mixing bowl beat softened butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the 1 cup powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in the 1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate and vanilla. Gradually beat in the additional powdered sugar. Beat in additional frozen lemonade concentrate to reach spreading consistency. Makes 2 cups.
[Midwest living]

Strawberry Iced Teastrawberryicetea
Ingredients

2 pounds fresh strawberries or two 16-ounce packages frozen unsweetened whole strawberries
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup water
2 lemons
3 tablespoons snipped fresh rosemary (optional)
 Ice cubes
1 recipe Iced Tea (see Recipe Center) or one 1-liter bottle club soda, chilled
 Fresh strawberries (optional)
Directions

In a large saucepan combine fresh or frozen strawberries, brown sugar, and water. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove strips of peel from lemons; juice the lemons (should have 1/2 cup). Add strips of lemon peel, lemon juice, and rosemary to mixture in saucepan. Bring mixture just to boiling, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Cover; cool to room temperature.
Press mixture through a fine mesh sieve; discard solids (you should have about 1 quart syrup). To serve, fill glass with ice. To each glass add 1/2 cup Iced Tea and syrup to taste (about 1/2 cup). Garnish with fresh strawberries. Makes about eight (8-ounce) servings.

Garden Tea Punchgardentea

Ingredients

1 cup water
1/3cup sugar
1 1/2tablespoons snipped fresh mint
1/2cup orange juice
1/4cup lemon juice
1 cup strong brewed tea
1/21 bottle club soda, chilled
 Fresh mint leaves or rose, calendula, or pansy petals (optional)
 Ice cubes
Directions

In a large stainless-steel or nonreactive saucepan combine the water, sugar, and snipped mint. Bring to boiling; remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes. Place a sieve lined with 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth over a pitcher or small punch bowl. Strain mixture through the sieve; discard any solids.
Add tea, orange juice, and lemon juice to the mixture, stirring to mix. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Just before serving, slowly pour chilled club soda into mixture; stir gently. If desired, sprinkle with mint leaves. Serve punch over ice.

Source: Southern Living Magazine, Midwest Living and Better Homes and Gardens

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