A beautiful, bountiful salad brimming with the gifts of the season is on the menu. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

I love the refreshing taste of citrus in the summertime. It takes me back to the days of my childhood, when the juice of lemons and oranges were combined with simple syrup in a big glass pitcher and poured over ice. This beverage was served up with all the abundance of the season. Lettuces of all sorts, cucumbers and zucchini by the bushel, berries we picked ourselves, peaches snapped from the branches of my uncle’s trees, and fresh fish caught by my dad were the ingredients included in many a family meal.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at [email protected] Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

There is nothing like the bounty of summertime and we can count our blessings that all this gardeny goodness is so available to us here in Midcoast Maine. Besides our own gardens, there is also an abundance of farmers markets and produce stands to choose from. One of my favorite activities over the past several weeks has been to exercise my vehicle by driving around to visit area farms and take advantage of what’s on offer. Purchasing fresh produce right from the place where it was grown always seems to put me in a really good mood.

Grilled salmon is a frequent choice for me when I want to eat a light, healthy meal, so I have several marinade recipes stowed away that add flavor and interest to the fish. Sometimes it’s difficult to choose, but this salmon recipe goes beautifully with Summer Salad.

To make this salad a simple one-dish entrée, perch the fish on top. As an alternative, you can plate this beautiful salad with grilled chicken, or my personal favorite, seared scallops.

To add even more sunshine to your meal (and use up that zucchini you were so enthusiastic about at planting time), bake a batch of these soft, tender morsels for dessert. The icing can be thick and creamy, or add more water or lemon juice to make a glaze, but whatever you do, don’t skip this step. These old-fashioned cookies are reminiscent of tea parties with great aunts and grandma.

And since we could use all the comfort we can get during these times, that’s a very good thing, don’t you think?

Citrus–glazed Salmon

4 (6 ounce) salmon fillets
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves
1 fresh thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine all ingredients except salmon. Add salmon, seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
When ready to grill, discard marinade. Moisten a paper towel with oil and using long-handled tongs, lightly coat the grill rack or use an oiled fish rack. Place salmon skin side down on grill and cook with the grill lid down over medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Yield: 4 servings

Summer Salad with Berries and Peaches

6 cups delicate greens

2 large peeled peaches or nectarines, sliced

2 cups fresh raspberries, blackberries and/or blueberries

1 cup cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced

1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled

1/3 cup walnuts or pecans 

Dressing

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed orange juice

1 tablespoon honey

Whisk olive oil, balsamic vinegar, juice and honey together in a small glass measuring cup. Set aside. Divide greens on four salad plates. Evenly divide all other ingredients on the greens. Serve with dressing. Yield: 4 servings

Iced Zucchini Lemon Cookies

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix sugars, butter and eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Gently mix in remaining ingredients.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake until almost no indention remains when touched, about 8-10 minutes. Cool then frost with lemon icing. Yield: 3 dozen

Lemon Icing

3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon water

Mix sugar, butter and lemon zest together in a bowl with an electric mixer. Beat in lemon juice and water, adding a bit more water if necessary.

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