By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be cruising down the Bull River on a pontoon boat headed for Little Tybee Island. We’re looking forward to hosting my family for Father’s Day weekend — my parents, brother and sister-in-law and three little nieces are coming for a visit to celebrate summertime and have fun.
I’ll be cooking Father’s Day dinner for my Dad, and I’ve got to be honest, when I asked him what he might like to have, I never could have predicted his answer. I called him on my way home from work one evening earlier this week — he was in the middle of working to clear up some termite damage at the house, and he stopped, thought for a minute, then said, “Hell daughter, I like turkey and dressing.” So, there you have it folks, we’re having Thanksgiving in June.
His menu choices were very specific — he told me he’d like unsweet tea, black-eyed peas, baked sweet potatoes, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, and for dessert, coconut custard pie. I’m excited to cook a meal he thought up, and hope it makes his taste buds happy.
In other exciting news, I wanted to share my latest culinary adventure with you. I’ve signed my first book contract with Reedy Press! A guidebook publisher and member of the Society of American Travel Writers based in St. Louis, Missouri, Reedy Press publishes books on cities throughout the U.S., and I’ve been selected to author the Savannah installment of their popular Unique Eats and Eateries series. I’ve got a year to write it, and I can’t wait to get started.
Unique Eats and Eateries serves up stories of original and iconic food establishments, highlighting the people and stories behind the food and revealing the distinctive food culture and tradition of the city. I’ll be on a mission to find Savannah’s best old fashioned confectionaries,
artisan meat markets, ethnic cafes, classic chophouses, eclectic bistros and neighborhood grills. And that’s where you come in — I’d love to hear from you. If you’ve experienced a really unique and delicious dining experience at a local restaurant, please send me your suggestions by emailing SKGFoodBlog@gmail.com. As with all my culinary adventures, I invite you to come along for the ride, and there are a couple of ways you can do that. Follow my blog, which signs you up to receive a free e-newsletter, visit my website or connect with me on social media. I welcome your comments and feedback. It’s sure to be a fun and enlightening project.
For those of you cooking at home this weekend, who are not featuring Thanksgiving classics, you must try this easy and Some Kinda Good Tuscan Tomato Bread Salad, featuring summer’s finest fruit: red ripened tomatoes. My garden is in full harvest mode and the flavor is just spectacular. Wishing all the fathers out there a very happy and relaxing Father’s Day!
Tuscan Tomatoes and Bread Salad
This garden fresh salad is inspired by Ina Garten, and is a mash-up of two classics: caprese and panzanella. The star ingredient is the toasted bread and summer’s finest fruit.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
- 1 Italian baguette, cubed
- 3 - 4 medium tomatoes, quartered
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cubed
- 20 fresh basil leaves, torn
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil, plus 3 tbsp. for toasting bread
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the tomatoes and mozzarella in a large bowl. On a large baking sheet, toss the cubed baguette with 3 Tbs of olive oil and season well with kosher salt and black pepper. Toast the bread for about 15 minutes, until the bread is evenly browned and crisp. Add the warm bread to the tomatoes and mozzarella. Combine the balsamic vinegar and ½ cup of olive oil, mustard and garlic in a measuring cup to make the vinaigrette. Add enough of the vinaigrette to moisten all the ingredients. Add the basil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss carefully, adding more vinaigrette if necessary. Serve at room temperature.
Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a private chef and the author of the best-selling memoir “Some Kinda Good.” Featured in Forbes, on Food Network and ABC, she writes about Southern, coastal cuisine, locally sourced and in season.
Connect with her on social media by liking Some Kinda Good on Facebook, or follow @SKGFoodBlog on Instagram and Twitter. To learn more, visit RebekahLingenfelser.com.