Looking for some inspiration for summer meals? Here are some recipes that I’ve made and turn to quite a bit during the warmer weather months. Enjoy!
30 ml brandy
40 ml freshly squeezed lemon
4 Tblsp mint-ginger syrup (see below)
Sparkling water to top up
100 g water
100 g sugar
50 g thinly sliced ginger
A handful of torn mint leaves
The zest of a lemon
Make it in a pitcher and serve or make it individually. Drop some raspberries in for color!
Peach and watermelon season are favorites in my home. Here are 2 of my “go to” starters that go quite nicely with summer aperitifs!
Peaches with Burrata on toasted Italian bread
I prefer yellow peaches for this recipe but any type will work. Depending on how many people you’re serving, pick out 4 to 5 ripe peaches.
You can either grill or sauté the peaches to a caramelized/softened state, while on the grill, cut up some rustic Italian bread or my preferred, ciabatta bread, and add to the grill to get a nice toast to it.
On a tray, place your burrata and spread the peaches and pieces of ciabatta around the outside of the tray. Drizzle the burrata, peaches and bread with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and top with chopped basil. The combination of flavors is amazing, enjoy!
Watermelon, cucumber, feta salad
This is very good as a salad with dinner but can also be used as an appetizer.
Chop up a nice, ripe watermelon and add to your salad bowl with cucumbers and feta (as much or as little based on your preference) and some thinly sliced red onions (optional) Top with either chopped mint or basil (or both!) In this image, I added some toasted ciabatta pieces to make it similar to a panzanella salad.
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and either lime juice or you can go a little sweeter with balsamic glaze.
Grilled Chicken and Vegetables
This is my summer “go to” dinner. It’s easy and very good and can be changed up each time.
Marinate chicken breasts in olive oil and lemon juice, add seasoning if you choose. I typically add chopped garlic and fresh basil and mint but in a pinch, if you don’t have fresh herbs, just season with garlic powder, dried basil, dried mint and/or oregano. I typically grill my vegetables first because i like them at room temperature.
For vegetables: (these are my “go to” but feel free to add whichever summer veggies you like!)
- Red bell peppers
If you slice the eggplant up early, sprinkle some coarse sea salt on the slices. You’ll see beads of water on them that you can wipe away. This helps with flavor. If you don’t, no worries, it will still taste great! After I grill the veggies, I put the chicken on. When everything is done, I take a tray and layer it all on then I generously drizzle extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar all over the chicken and veggies. I then crumble feta cheese all over them and some nice fresh basil. It’s super easy and very good!
Heirloom Tomato, shallots, goat cheese galette
My sister’s, nieces and I all made this recipe last summer and it was so fun to see everyone’s pictures of the final bake! I’ll share them here for you to enjoy. Click here for the recipe or see below:
- 1/2 cup Salted Butter
- 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour, sifted
- pinch of Salt
- pinch of Sugar
- 1/3 cup Cold Water – approx.
- 4 Shallots, diced (approx. 1 cup’s worth)
- 2 tsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil + more for drizzling
- 8 oz Goat Cheese
- 2 – 3 tbsps Honey
- 3 – 4 Heirloom Tomatoes, sliced
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt & Coarse Black Peppercorn – approx.
- 2 tbsps Fresh Thyme
- 1 Large Egg, beaten
Begin by preparing the dough. Using a handheld cheese grater grate butter into a small bowl, then freeze for 10 minutes (scroll this recipe for details). While butter freezes, combine flour, salt, and sugar in large mixing bowl.
When ready, whisk cold grated butter into flour mixture until a mealy texture takes hold, then slowly begin adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough takes shape. Next, gather dough in a ball and transfer to lightly floured surface before shaping into a flattened round. Tightly wrap in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 45 minutes until dough is firm and cold.
While dough chills, in small skillet combine shallots and 2 tsps EVOO. Sauté over medium-high flame until shallots are lightly caramelized (~10 minutes), then remove from heat to cool.
Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, sprinkling the top with a touch of flour.
- With a floured rolling-pin roll out the chilled dough into a 1/8″ thick sheet, then transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. Crumble goat cheese in a circular motion over the rolled-out dough, leaving a roughly 2″ border along the edges. Drizzle a heavy serving of honey over goat cheese, then evenly top with caramelized shallots. Next, liberally season sliced tomatoes with salt & pepper before layering over goat cheese and shallots. Generously drizzle additional EVOO over tomatoes, then lastly sprinkle with thyme.
- Fold up the edges of the dough around the tomatoes, then brush the crust with beaten egg. Bake galette for 1 hour* until the crust is golden and the tomatoes have begun to char, then cool for 2-3 minutes before serving.
> Every oven is different, so begin watching the galette at the 45-minute mark for doneness.
New Favorite Open Face Sandwich (could also be converted into an appetizer!)
click here for the recipe link or see below:
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- Big pinch of sugar
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar, divided
- 1 small eggplant (about 8 oz), sliced 1/4″ thick
- 1 tbsp plus 1 1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
- 3/4 cup fresh whole-milk ricotta
- 1/4 tsp honey
- 1 garlic clove
- 4 slices country-style bread, toasted
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Green leaf, red leaf, or romaine lettuce leaves (for serving)
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine red onion, sugar, a big pinch of salt, 2 Tbsp. vinegar, and 2 Tbsp. hot water in a small bowl. Let sit, tossing occasionally, until you’re ready to assemble sandwiches.
Brush eggplant rounds generously with oil on one side. Heat a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high. Working in batches if needed, cook eggplant in skillet, oil side down, in a single layer, until well browned, about 4 minutes. Brush each round with oil, turn over, and cook until other side is browned and eggplant is tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a baking dish or wide shallow bowl.
Whisk 1 Tbsp. plus 1½ tsp. oil and remaining 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar in another small bowl to combine; season with salt and pepper. Pour over eggplant, toss gently to coat, and set aside.
Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing halfway through, until golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Let cool slightly, then pile on a cutting board along with basil. Add a pinch of salt and finely chop. Transfer to a clean small bowl and add ricotta and honey. Finely grate in garlic and mix well; season with salt and pepper.
Spread ricotta mixture over toast. Top with lettuce leaves, pickled onion, and reserved eggplant.
Cauliflower, Pomegranate Salad by Ottolenghi
This is an easy salad that can be eaten as a main course or side. Click here for the recipe. I used less herbs and more cauliflower this time but I sometimes follow the recipe closely and it is a more “herby” salad.
Where do we begin with this one…So many to choose from but here are two of my favorites:
- Circling back to the first recipe, PEACHES! I love nothing more than grilled peaches over vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with cinnamon. Simple and delicious! Sorry, no pictures!!
Strawberry Shortcake with a twist. I usually make a nice biscuit for my shortcake and for my twist, slice the biscuit in half and sandwich some vanilla ice cream between the top and bottom. Top with your strawberries and lots of homemade whipped cream. We like to say “strawberry shortcake mit schlag!”
Inspired now?! I hope so! Enjoy