The fast for the Dormition of the Theotokos is quickly approaching. It is a short fast, only two weeks, and it is a beautiful one, if you are able to attend the Paraklesis services throughout the week. I love that it falls at the peak of summer vegetable production, making it hard to even think about breaking this quick fast. Our tomatoes are coming in, juicy and sweet, the cucumbers are plentiful and crunchy, and we have corn coming out our ears :) So, here is a favorite summer recipe of mine, adapted from a recipe Kh. Martha used to make in the summer at our old parish. It makes great use of all the wonderful garden vegetables, and hits the spot on those hot summer days. It can be served as a soup, or eat it like a salsa, scooping the vegetables up with corn tortillas. For a full meal, just add some Spanish rice and black beans on the side. Perfect for summer fasting!
garden fresh tomatoes
as many cucumbers as you like (or have) - slice in half length-wise and remove seeds before chopping
3-4 stalks celery
1 large bottle of V-8 juice
1-2 bell peppers - red or green (we have some beautiful red ones right now!)
1 red onion (I am trying to use mostly vegetables from our own garden or CSA, so I have substituted a white onion in a pinch)
juice of 1 or 2 lemons
salt and pepper to taste
Chop all the vegetables into bite-sized chunks, add the V-8, lemon, salt and pepper. Refrigerate for several hours (even better if you can leave it overnight before serving, but I rarely can wait that long to eat it). Serve cold. If you cannot get fresh tomatoes - you can used canned - but it's just NOT the same :)
Kh. Martha's recipe calls for olive oil, tabasco and jalapenos - I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to spicy, so I leave the peppers and tabasco out. And since it is a fast, I also leave the oil out.