Jun 30

For a tropical twist on the summer cherry pie, make it with kiwi. The cherry-kiwi crostata recipe below is perfect to serve for your upcoming July 4th celebration or anytime this summer.

cherry kiwi crostata

Cherry-Kiwi Crostata

If you aren’t a fan of cherries, you can substitute them with another summer fruit, strawberries.

1 frozen premade pie crust
7 ounces dried beans for weighting
3⁄4 pound cherries
2 kiwis
1⁄2 cup cherry preserves

Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare the crostata: Follow the package instructions for cooking the crust, making sure to line the dough and weigh it down with the dried beans during the cooking process. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Meanwhile, wash and pit the cherries. Slice in 1⁄2 through the seams and set aside. Then peel the kiwis and slice into half-moons. When the pie crust has cooled, spread the preserves and arrange the cherries and kiwi in a circular pattern, alternating between the fruits. Serve immediately or transfer to the oven on a baking sheet to warm the fruit. Serves 6 to 8

Jun 23

If you think it’s too hot for pizza, then think again. Try this special pizza recipe that uses fresh mozzarella and raw vegetables as toppings, for a cooler, healthier version of this beloved food.

summer pizza

Fresh Summer Pizza

1 1⁄4-ounce package active dry yeast
4 cups bread flour, plus extra
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
1 pound tomatoes, cut into wedges
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
freshly ground pepper
1 bunch baby arugula

In a large bowl, combine 1⁄4 cup of water and the yeast and set aside for 10 minutes.

Add the flour, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and 11⁄4 cups of water. Mix until the ingredients come together, then transfer to a floured work surface. (This can also be done in a food processor.) Knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic, about 3 to 4 minutes, adding more flour or water if needed. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a clean cloth. Set aside to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 500°. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and form each one into balls. Set them aside on a floured surface, cover with a clean cloth and let rise another 30 minutes. Roll out each ball of dough into small circles about 1⁄3-inch thick. Place each circle on an oiled baking sheet. Drizzle the top of each with olive oil and place in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until crisp and golden.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the tomatoes, mozzarella, the remaining olive oil, and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Spread the tomato mixture evenly over each baked pizza shell and top with the arugula. Serve immediately. Makes 4 individual pizzas

Jun 16

Celebrate the first day of summer with this beautiful looking salad.

Summer glory salad

Summer Glory Salad

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 head radicchio
2 heads Belgian endive
4 ounces mâche, also known as lamb’s lettuce, or substitute mesclun greens
1 head frisée lettuce
4 ounces arugula
6 sprigs parsley, leaves only
6 sprigs basil, leaves only
6 sprigs tarragon, leaves only
1⁄2 bunch chives, chopped
edible flowers, such as nasturtiums or pansies

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and olive oil, season with salt and pepper and whisk together until well combined, then set aside. Discard the outer leaves of the radicchio, cut it in 1⁄2 lengthwise and remove the core. Wash and dry the leaves, set aside a few whole leaves and slice them thinly on the bias. Discard the outer leaves of the endive. Pull off the inner leaves and wash and dry them. Remove the roots from the mâche and trim the frisée and arugula if needed. Wash and dry all the salad leaves and place them in a large bowl. Add the parsley, basil, tarragon, and chives to the bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss well to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with edible flowers and the reserved whole radicchio leaves. Serves 4

Jun 10

Whether you’re grilling steak, seafood or veggies, start with a marinade for extra flavor.

Marinade

1. Marinade ingredients usually include oil, a touch of acid in the form of lemon juice or vinegar, fresh herbs and aromatics such as garlic or onions. Experiment by adding yogurt, vegetable juice, chopped fruit, honey or liquor.

2. For thick cuts of meat, prick the meat with a skewer or cut slashes into the surface to let the marinade soak in.

3. Place the meat and marinade in a plastic freezer bag or covered bowl and refrigerate. Fish and seafood should marinate for about 30 minutes, while beef and chicken should soak 4 hours to overnight.

4. Strain the leftover marinade and bring it to a boil for at least 5 minutes to kill any harmful bacteria. Use it to baste the meat on the grill, or cook it down even further to make a sauce.

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