I love this tangy and refreshing soup in the summer! You can serve it as a light lunch or serve it as an appetizer at your next summer BBQ. This is my version of the recipe I recently found in The NY Times from Chef Brian Streeter at Cakebread Cellers. Here it is!
Serves 8 (or 12 if appetizer portions)
1 lb tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped*
3 cups watermelon, cut in 1 inch cubes
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 large red pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 bulb fennel, coarsely chopped
1/4 – 1/2 small red onion, coarsely chopped
2 T. Extra virgin Olive Oil
3 T sherry vinegar, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 T finely diced watermelon (optional for garnish)
To make tomatoes easy to peel, fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Fill a separate bowl with cold water and a few ice cubes to create an ice bath while water boils. Make a small X with a sharp knife in the bottom of the tomatoes just enough to penetrate the skin. Gently place the tomatoes in the boiling water and boil for 1 minute. Remove the tomatoes from the pot and place in the ice bath. You can now easily peel the tomatoes. Next, seed and coarsely chopped them and place in a large bowl. Place all the other fruits and vegetables in the large bowl together.
In a blender, in batches, puree all the ingredients except the last two ingredients (salt and watermelon garnish). add a little bit of ice water (about 1 cup) to achieve a soup-like consistency. Season with salt, taste and add a little more vinegar if necessary. Chill Thoroughly.
Divide the soup among eight cold bowls or 12 small appetizer cups. Garnish each serving with a spoonful f diced watermelon. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil if desired and serve.
I recently went blueberry picking for the first time while visiting my sister and her family in VT over the summer. We stumbled upon the Organic Sunshine Valley Berry Farm right off the Vermont Route 100. They gave us a blue bucket and pointed us to the rows of blueberries just ripe and ready for picking.
You may not know this but blueberries have several health benefits along with being a tasty treat. They boost memory, support heart health and are a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K and fiber. That little adventure to the Berry Farm inspired me to share one of my favorite pizza recipes that boasts beautiful and sweet blueberries. This savory pizza is oh so good! I often make it for special occasions during blueberry season because it both pretty and tasty. But don’t feel you have to reserve it for just special times – It’s easy, has just a handful of ingredients, and is delicious too.
Blueberry, Feta and Carmelized Onion Flatbread
1cupthinly sliced red onion
pinchred pepper flakes
1/2cupfeta cheese, crumbled
1cupblueberries, rinsed and dried
micro greens or baby arugula
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the naan/flatbread on the baking sheet and lightly spray or brush with water. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a medium pan over medium low heat. Add the onion and season with a pinch of salt to taste and red pepper flakes. Cook the onions until it is wilted, about 3-5 minutes and stir in the honey, and continue to cook a fe more minutes letting the onions caramelize. Remove from heat.
While the onions cook, stir the ricotta and feta cheese in a small bowl. Spread the ricotta mixture over the naan/flatbread, and top with the honey caramelized onions. Sprinkle the blueberries on top.
Place the naan pizzas into the oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until the blueberries are just about ready to burst, the cheese has softened, and the naan is toasted. Remove from oven, cut into squares or slices, sprinkle with arugula and enjoy immediately.
1/3 cupGreek yogurt or sour cream (low fat is fine)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
Make the walnut topping: In a small bowl, toss the nuts with the honey and cinnamon until the nuts are evenly coated (the mixture will be sticky). Set aside.
For the Muffins: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and honey until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if necessary. At medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating until fully incorporated between additions. Add the mashed bananas, vanilla, and yogurt (or sour cream) and beat until blended (the batter will look grainy; that’s okay). Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until well blended.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin (the cups will be very full) and sprinkle evenly with the nut topping. Bake the muffins until the tops are golden and domed, 25 to 28 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a rack and let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Adapted from Once Upon a Chef’s Jennifer Segal
Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The muffins can be frozen in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag for up to 3 months. Thaw for 3 – 4 hours on the countertop before serving. To reheat, wrap individual muffins in aluminum foil and place in a preheated 350°F oven until warm.
These tasty protein-rich appetizers are delicious served fresh and hot from the oven but are also great served cooled, or after having chilled in the fridge. They also make a great on-the-go quick breakfast treat for those rushed mornings when made the night before.
1 12 oz. jar Trade Joe’s grilled marinated artichoke hearts, chopped (approx. 1 cup) -Don’t forget to reserve the liquid
3-4 green onions, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
8 crispy crackers, (I like Ritz toasted original crackers) crumbled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 1/4 cups of your favorite cheese, shredded (I use sharp cheddar cheese – approximately 8 oz.)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley plus a sprig for garnish
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Pour 1/4 cup of artichoke marinade into a skillet and set aside. Chop artichoke hearts into roughly 1/2-inch-sized pieces and set aside. Heat marinade in skillet and add onions and garlic. Sauté until onions are tender (about 3-4 minutes). Remove from heat.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs until thoroughly beaten. Add crumbled crackers, salt and pepper, cheese, parsley, artichoke mixture and stir to combine. Pour mixture into a 8×8-inch baking pan prepared with nonstick cooking spray). Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until set and very slightly browned on top. Allow to cool in pan, then cut into 16 bite-size squares.
I adapted this recipe from one I found in Celebrate Cookbook by Sheila Lukins. I love her deviled eggs and make them every year at Easter. This modified recipe allows you to enjoy this vegetarian delight for lunch or as a snack. Continue reading →
¼ cup chopped onions
1 jar (8oz) drained artichoke hearts, cut up
1 cup grated cheese (any kind you like, I like Sharp Cheddar & Monterey
1/4 cup Bisquick
1 cup milk
½ tsp. fresh rosemary (or ¼ tsp. dried rosemary)
salt and pepper to taste
fresh shaved or grated Parmesean cheese (optional)
light and healthy, no-cook meal for a warm summer night.
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2-3/4 pound cooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
3/4 pound cherry tomatoes diced into 6ths (I used a combination of red and yellow ones and rinse off most of the seeds)
1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/4-1/2 inch dice
1/2 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped into a 1/4-1/2 inch dice
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2-1 large jalapeño chili, minced
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) V-8 spicy tomato juice, chilled