Healthy Summertime Recipes


Healthy Summertime Recipe:  Marinated Cucumber Tomato Salad


Cucumbers are 95% water which makes eating them a great way to stay hydrated during the hot summer months when they’re in season. Maura Beaufait, Community Health Specialist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, provides this healthy, easy recipe for the perfect dish for a summertime picnic.


Storage Instructions

Cucumbers are most stable at 45-50 °F. However, refrigeration is necessary to retain moisture.  Store cucumbers in the hydrator drawer of the refrigerator. They will keep up to 1 week.  A cucumber refrigerated after being cut or peeled will deteriorate quickly. Use up leftovers as soon as possible.


Marinated Cucumber Tomato Salad


Preparation Time: 10 minutes plus time to marinate   Servings: 6-8


•2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced into rounds
•4 large tomatoes, sliced into rounds
•½ cup thinly sliced red onion
•½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
•¼ cup red wine vinegar
•1 Tbsp. sugar , salt and pepper
•1 Tbsp. slivered fresh basil strips
•1 Tbsp. chopped parsley

1.Arrange cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions in shallow serving’s dish.
2.Mix oil, vinegar, and sugar in small bowl and pour over vegetables. Season well with salt and pepper.
3.Cover and let marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
4.Sprinkle with herbs just before serving. (The leftover marinade makes a good dressing for salad greens.)



Healthy Summertime Recipe:  Fresh Basil Pesto


Basil is an annual herb that adds flavor and aroma to many Mediterranean dishes. Maura Beaufait, Community Health Specialist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, provides a healthy, easy recipe with basil as the main ingredient.


Storage Instructions


Fresh basil deteriorates quickly.  Use as soon as possible.  For short-term storage, wrap in a lightly damp towel and refrigerate. Do not wash prior to refrigeration.


Fresh Basil Pesto


Preparation Time: 10 minutes


•2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
•½ cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Pecorino cheese
•½ cup extra virgin olive oil
•1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
•3 garlic cloves, minced
•Salt and black pepper to taste


Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.



Preservation Techniques

1.Freeze fresh leaves whole in a plastic sip-lock bag. Remove air, seal, and freeze. Do not thaw before use.

2.Pesto freezes very well in an airtight container. Some people freeze it in an ice cube tray. When well frozen, pop out pesto cubes and place in either a zip-loc bag or freezer-safe container. Take out only as many cubes as you need at a time.

3.Basil can be dried easily by tying with a string and hanging in a well-ventilated, dry area.