Tag Archives: Summer

Scrumptious Summer Salads

July-August-2017

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association. Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2017.  All rights reserved.  Reprinted with permission.

Fresh from the Farm Stand

Fresh from the Farm Stand

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2014 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association.  Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2014.  All rights reserved.  Reprinted with permission.

Curry Lamb Chops with Mint

Mint cools off this very simple, spicy summer lamb dish.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves (I used pineapple mint from my herb garden…)

1/4 cup cilantro leaves

Extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon curry

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Sea salt

4 lamb loin chops

Rough chop the mint and cilantro and place in a bowl.  Pour in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and add the paprika, allspice, curry and red pepper flakes.  Mix with a spoon and add sea salt to taste.

Lamb Marinade

Place the lamb chops in a plate and spoon the spice mixture on both sides.  Let the lamb marinate at room temperature for one hour.  Then, grill on medium high heat for about 4 minutes per side for medium rare, and let rest for a few minutes before serving.

Consider serving with a side of grilled eggplant or ratatouille.

Rustic Summer Tart

For a simple, fruity dessert on a summer’s day, all you need is a good crust and some stone fruit…

Ingredients for the crust:

2 cup flours

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

3/4 stick chilled unsalted butter

1 egg, beaten

Iced water

Ingredients for the filling: 

4 red plums, pitted and cubed

4 nectarines, pitted and cubed

Juice of 1/2 lemon

3 tablespoons sugar

1 egg, beaten

Mix the flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  With a sharp knife, cut the butter into small cubes and add to the dry ingredients.  Rub the pieces of butter and the dry ingredients together with your fingers until the butter is broken into tiny pieces.  Make a well and add the egg and drizzle in the iced water.  Begin to knead the dough quickly into a ball.  Add more iced water until the dough is just wet enough to form a ball.  Wrap the dough in waxed paper and chill for an hour until it is firm.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and add flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and the work surface.  Roll the dough into a circle until it is about ¼ inch thick and place it on a baking sheet.

Toss the fruit with the lemon juice.  Arrange the fruit in the center of the dough, leaving the outer 1 1/2 inches of dough uncovered.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Fold up the uncovered edge of the dough and pinch so that it stays overtop the fruit.  Brush the top of the dough with the beaten egg.

Rustic Summer Tart

Bake for about 45 minutes or until the fruit is golden and the crust is lightly browned.  Cool slightly before serving with a chilled French rosé, such as Château Pesquié Terrasses (2015) from Ventoux Rhône Valley Vineyards.  This blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah tastes of red berries and pairs well with fruity desserts.

Beneath Your Feet – A Summer Tavel

Summer is the season for rosés, and my favorites are French.  Tavel wine, known as the “King of Rosé”, is from the Languedoc region in Southern France.  This wine royalty is richer in color and more full bodied than the typical rosé.  Tavels are also quite versatile – I have paired them with meals ranging from a Salade Niçoise to a crispy duck leg.  Do not permit summer to pass by without savoring a Tavel from the wine cave.

Tavel Final

In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Beneath Your Feet

Close Up – Real or Fairy Tale?

Contemplating over coffee…how to prepare these fairy tale eggplant to accompany tonight’s dinner?

Eggplant 2

These tiny eggplant are less bitter and have fewer seeds than their larger counterparts.  So, simple is best to showcase their flavor…perhaps the garlic will overpower.  I will slice them in half lengthwise and sauté in olive oil for just a few minutes, making sure to rotate in the nonstick pan.  After the eggplant become tender and nicely browned, while still on the heat, I will season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste, add fresh oregano and toss with a splash of balsamic vinegar glaze.

In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Close Up

If You Can’t Stand the Heat

…step away from the stove, close the oven door and extinguish the grill…at least while you prepare the “cool” recipes in this summer month column.  All that you will need is fresh fruit, a blender and a few other ingredients that most home chefs have on hand.

The fruit purées below make a refreshing appetizer or dessert course, and I offer two presentations for these summer sweets.  One is to spoon a portion of each purée into a shallow soup or pasta bowl – preferably, a simple, white bowl to showcase the fruits’ vibrant colors.  The purées have a rather thin consistency, so make sure that the different colors do not run together.  Drizzle heavy cream in a circular pattern over the purées, and use a knife to pull the cream out from the center in attractive rays.

Mélange of fruit purées with heavy cream.

Mélange of fruit purées with heavy cream.

Another option for serving these colorful treats is to spoon them into clear espresso glasses.  Make the most of your herb garden by garnishing each purée with a different herb.  I used basil for the kiwi, lavender for the cantaloupe and mint for the strawberry.

Flight of fruit purées.

Flight of fruit purées.

You do not need to adhere to the flavors below.  Feel free to substitute your favorite summer fruits – cherries, apricots, plums, honeydew…’tis the season.  Each of the below recipes makes approximately 2 1/2 cups of purée.  Simply combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth, and remember to stir the purées before serving.

Cantaloupe Purée

1 cantaloupe, cut into small chunks

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of nutmeg

Strawberry Purée

1 quart strawberries, hulled

Fresh lemon juice to taste

Sugar to taste

Kiwi Purée

12 kiwi, peeled and cut into small chunks

Fresh lemon juice to taste

Sugar to taste

White Peach Purée

6 white peaches, peeled and cut into slices (If the peaches are not quite ripe, soften them by blanching.)

Lemon juice to taste

Sugar to taste

So, stay in the kitchen and start puréeing!

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2015 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association. Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2015.  All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

An Herb-Filled Day

From breakfast to dinner, make the most of your herb garden this Saturday or Sunday…

Breakfast: Add herbs to your scrambled eggs.  In a bowl, crack two eggs per person and whisk.  Stir in a generous splash of milk or cream and add as many roughly chopped herbs as you would enjoy.  Consider different varieties of basil, Christmas basil (with purple flowers) and sweet basil, for example, chives and hot and spicy oregano.  In a nonstick pan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and scramble the egg mixture.

Eggs and Herbs

Lunch: Slice some colorful heirloom tomatoes and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar glaze.  Season with fresh ground pepper and sea salt.  Then sprinkle with a chiffonade of basil and oregano.  Savor with some crusty bread.

IMG_1650

Dinner: Stuff a whole fish, such as sea bream, branzino or steelhead salmon, with a generous bunch of fresh herbs.  Lemon thyme, lemon verbena and rosemary are all good choices.  Grill the fish in a pocket of aluminum foil after drizzling with olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon or lime.

Steelhead salmon

Strawberry Rickey

For a twist on this classic cocktail, try a Strawberry Rickey featuring one of summer’s most beloved fruits.  This recipe also includes Crème de Frais de Bois – the liqueur made from France’s sweet, wild strawberries.

Ingredients

3 strawberries

2 ounces vodka

1 ounce lime juice

1 splash Crème de Frais de Bois (I enjoy the G.E. Massenez brand.)

Seltzer water

Lime slice

Hull the strawberries and muddle in the bottom of a highball glass.  Fill the glass with ice.  Then add the other ingredients, except for the lime slice, and stir.  Garnish with the lime slice.

Strawberry Rickey

Wax Beans and Fingerlings – A Crisp Summer Side

One of my favorite vegetables is the wax bean, and I am happy to see them appearing at local farm stands and produce markets.  Last night, I prepared these lovely pale yellow string beans, along with fingerling potatoes, to accompany Provençal stuffed tomatoes.

My recipe is straightforward – simply slice off the ends and steam the beans for about three minutes (just enough for them to retain their crispness).  Then, run the beans under cold water to stop the cooking process.  Arrange the wax beans down the center of a large, flat serving dish, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.  Season with fresh cracked pepper and sea salt.

To prepare the potatoes, slice on a bias and boil until soft enough to put a fork through; then, drain and toss with extra virgin olive oil, fresh cracked pepper and sea salt.  Arrange the fingerlings along both sides of the wax beans.

For some color and enhanced flavor, I garnished the vegetables with herbs from my herb garden…chives on the potatoes and lemon thyme and a sprig of rosemary on the beans.

Serve at room temperature for a cool, refreshing side to meat or fish.

Wax beans