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Summer side dishes featuring North Carolina ingredients

Summer is a great season for fresh, flavorful side dishes. The beauty of a side dish is that a cook can mix and match vegetables, fruits, proteins, herbs and spices to make a delicious pairing for the main dish.

From green beans to corn to tomatoes to crab, summer is the perfect time to bring a variety of fresh food to the table.

INGREDIENTS

Courtesy North Carolina Sea Grant’s Mariner’s Menu

Crab Dip with Fresh Herbs

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound backfin crabmeat
  • ½ pound cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • ½ teaspoon pressed garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped

Directions:

  1. Combine cream cheese and mayonnaise in medium bowl. Blend in horseradish, Worcestershire, Tabasco, lemon juice, onion and garlic. Add basil and thyme and mix well.
  2. Gently stir in crabmeat, being careful not to break meat apart.
  3. Chill thoroughly. Serve with crackers or with assorted vegetables.

Courtesy North Carolina Sea Grant’s Mariner’s Menu, Vanda Lewis

Baked Parmesan Clams

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups clams, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ cup clam liquor
  • 1 ½ cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • ½ teaspoon pressed garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • paprika
  • fresh parsley, chopped, optional garnish

Directions:

  1. In medium bowl, combine clams, liquor, crumbs, Parmesan, minced parsley, garlic, oregano, thyme, basil, wine, pepper, salt and oil.
  2. Place clam mixture in ramekins. Sprinkle lightly with paprika. Bake at 450 F until golden brown and clams are done, about 20 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Courtesy North Carolina Sea Grant’s Mariner’s Menu, Vanda Lewis

INGREDIENTS

Courtesy Got To Be NC

Zucchini and Squash Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 2 squash
  • 4 zucchinis
  • 1 ½ cup onion, chopped
  • ½ cup plus 1 ½ Tablespoons margarine
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • ½ of container of 1/3 less fat garden vegetable Philly cream cheese
  • 2 cups Pepperidge Farm Dressing Mix

Directions:

  1. Boil the squash, zucchini and onion until tender; drain and season with salt and pepper and 1 1/2 TBSP of margarine.
  2. Stir in the soup and cream cheese.
  3. In another bowl mix the dressing mix and ½ cup melted margarine.
  4. Pour ½ the stuffing mixture into the squash/zucchini mixture and stir.
  5. Put in a 2-quart casserole dish or a 9×13-baking dish.
  6. Top with remaining stuffing mixture.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

Courtesy Got To Be NC, N.C. Department of Agriculture

INGREDIENTS

Courtesy Got To Be NC

Stuffed Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 6 NC tomatoes
  • 1½ cups bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup minced scallions (green onions)
  • ¼ cup minced fresh basil
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ½ cup grated cheese of choice (mozzarella, parmesan or gruyere recommended)
  • Olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the cores from the tomatoes, removing as little as possible.
  3. Cut them in half crosswise and, with your fingers, remove the seeds and juice. Place the tomato halves in a baking dish.
  4. In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, scallions, basil, parsley, garlic, thyme, and 1 teaspoons of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper (Optional: Hamburger). Sprinkle the tomato halves generously with salt and pepper.
  5. With your hands, fill the cavities and cover the tops of the tomatoes with the breadcrumb mixture.
  6. Bake the tomatoes for 15 minutes, or until they are tender. Sprinkle with the cheese, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for 30 seconds more. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Courtesy Got To Be NC, N.C. Department of Agriculture

Summer Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh NC green beans
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can (2.8 ounces) French fried onions
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts
  • ½ red NC bell pepper diced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a medium bowl combine beans, milk, soup, pepper, water chestnuts, red bell pepper and ½ can French Fried Onions; pour into a 1 ½ quart baking dish.
  3. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until green beans are tender.
  4. Top with remaining onions; bake, uncovered, 5 minutes or until onions are golden brown.

Courtesy Got To Be NC, N.C. Department of Agriculture

INGREDIENTS

Courtesy Got To Be NC

Cooler Corn with Cilantro Lime Butter

Ingredients:

  • Corn, husked and silks removed
  • Cooler, large enough to fit corn
  • Water
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 1 tsp. cilantro, chopped

Directions:

  1. Place corn in a cooler large enough to hold all the corn.
  2. Bring water to a boil and carefully pour over the corn.
  3. Close lid to cooler and leave closed for 15 to 20 minutes until corn is done.
  4. Combine all other ingredients and brush onto corn. Serve.

Courtesy Got To Be NC, N.C. Department of Agriculture

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