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Welcome to June!

It is summertime in Central Florida. June is a great month, and growing up it was always my favorite month, as I knew the magic of summer was about to unfold and an extended break from studies lie ahead. As a child, I loved summer; sleeping late, swimming with friends, and hanging out on warm nights, summer days years ago seemed to stretch on forever. Now, time just flies by. Lee and I got a jump on summer this year by planting a crop of heat loving veggies in our lanai garden. Our hot and sweet peppers are growing like crazy, they are not only delicious, but they love the Florida heat; making them the perfect summer crop. Lee enjoys chili peppers and I love Florida sweet peppers; thankfully, we have two planters and every day we have a harvest. We also planted a bed of romaine, as romaine is happy in the Florida heat, plus it is an easy lettuce to grow. In years past we grew spinach and kale, and they are great summer crops too, but this year we decided to try romaine and are happy we did. Being a “Jersey Girl,” I am partial to a good tomato and have found a few great varieties of cherry tomatoes that love the Florida heat. My current favorites are the black cherry and the sun gold varieties; sweet and beautiful. These days, the only things that hang out in the summer at our house are the beautiful veggies we grow. A great garden full of flavor is our idea of fun in the Florida sun.

Lee and I hope you all enjoy our Grilled Lettuce recipe. Since we have lettuce growing in a planter this recipe is easy; we just pick, wash and grill. This makes a nice light dinner or a wonderful accompaniment to chicken or fish, especially when you serve Florida fresh fruit for dessert.


2 Heads Romaine Hearts or 2 Large Radicchio Heads Halved Lengthwise
Olive Oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup mizuna or baby mustard greens
½ cup crème fraiche
2 avocados, cut in quarters
1 fresh lemon juice
Flaky sea salt
Prepare grill on medium high heat. Brush cut sides of lettuce with a few tbsp Olive Oil, season with salt and pepper and Grill lettuce cut side down just until lightly charred, about 2 minutes.
Toss greens with 1 Tbsp Olive Oil in a medium bowl, season with kosher salt. Dollop crème fraiche on a platter, top with grilled lettuce and avocado, scatter greens over. Drizzle with lemon juice and a bit more Olive Oil, season and serve.