We love spending time with our friends and family, enjoying the tastes of summer. There’s just something so nostalgic about these particular seasonal flavors. Next time you find yourself hosting loved ones for a special summer party, treat them to these fantastic dishes, courtesy of Casey Easton of Food Lab.
Kalamata Garbanzo Bean Salad
This is a great salad to take to a potluck, refreshing and cool. Toss on top of spinach or arugula for more of a salad. Serve with the Lemon Dill Asparagus Soup for a nice soup and salad!
At least 4 servings
1 1/2 cup garbanzo beans (if you don’t cook yourself, make sure to get the kind in a carton/can without salt)
10-15 kalamata olives, sliced
1/2 cup cucumber, diced
1/2 cup red cabbage, dice
TBSP red onion, diced small
6 basil leaves, shredded
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 TBSP olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
Combine oil and vinegar and basil in bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, stir, and eat! Keep chilled and add to leafy greens for a bigger salad.
Lemon Asparagus Dill Soup
4 small bowls
This is an easy soup that is bright and tasty, perfect for summertime!
1 bunch asparagus, bottom ends trimmed and top ends reserved, the rest chopped
1/2 bulb fennel, diced
2 stalks celery
1/2 onion, diced
2 cups cashew milk or milk
2 cups vegetable broth
2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP fresh dill
1. Heat oil in a large pot. Add fennel and onion, cook for about 5 minutes. Add asparagus and celery, toss with fennel mixture as best as possible and then add the cashew milk or regular milk and broth. Cover with a lid and let sit on a low simmer until the asparagus can be smashed easily with a fork, about 30 minutes Check on occasion to make sure you aren’t loosing all of the liquid!
2. Blend and add the salt and pepper juice of a lemon and stir in fresh dill. Adjust salt if you need more.
Stuffed Squash Blossoms
There are plenty of ways to prepare the blossom, but this is my favorite.
10 squash blossoms
1 cup ricotta
1/4 cup Parm
1/4 cup chopped basil
3 cloves garlic, blanched and chopped
Squeeze of lemon
1 cup flour
Oil for frying
1. Mix ricotta, parm, basil, garlic, lemon, and salt. Set aside.
2. Mix flour with water until you get a thin batter, a little thinner than pancake batter. Salt it as well.
3. Heat a high heat oil like grapeseed, safflower, canola in a high sided pot or pan. When the oil is hot enough, you can flick a tad of batter in it and it will sizzle in the oil immediately.
4. Stuff the blossoms. I put the ricotta in a zip lock and cut off a corner and pipe it in as to not rip the flower that much. Repeat until all are stuffed.
5. Dip in batter, shake off extra, and fry until golden. Lay on a paper towel to drain oil.
6. Serve hot with marinara or a sweet chili sauce. Or both.
Watermelon Mint Prosecco
If you don’t make watermelon juice in the summer, you should! It is as easy as blending (blend very well I will say) the flesh of a seedless watermelon, then straining it through a cheesecloth lined strainer. Store it in the fridge. This juice also makes great popsicles!
I like to make this cocktail in stem less wine glasses. Start with 1-2 oz fresh watermelon juice (you can also find this at Whole Foods if you do not want to make your own!) Muddle in 3-5 fresh mint leaves, place a couple ice cubes, and top with very cold prosecco. Garnish with lime wedge and mint. Delicious!