Summer Food Ideas: Make a Real Impact With a Few Simple Tips
By Colin Smith
Summer is the time to discover the flavors and colors of delicious ingredients. I love summertime cuisine because it allows me to both be in the kitchen and out on the grill. There are also many easy opportunities to impress your guests if you have company over for a poolside get-together or a barbecue.
Here are a few things I can’t live without during the hot summer months:
They’re perfectly in season and so colorful! My best advice is to never refrigerate them and cut them in larger pieces. You don’t want them to lose their water and texture. Add them to salads, side dishes and more. Pick orange, red and green ones to add a pretty palate to your palette.
Flaked or shaved Maldon Sea Salt
I use this on everything. It’s the soft flaky texture of the sea salt crystals and the cleanness of the salt flavor that makes the difference in your cooking.
A Great Finishing California Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Again, this is another staple I can’t live without. I like the floral or fruity ones from northern California particularly. One of my favorite summertime dishes is lemon zest, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, cracked pepper and asparagus. I have provided a recipe for an heirloom tomato and asparagus salad below for you to try out.
Peaches and Nectarines
Two wonderful, glorious fruits for the season. I enjoy grilling them, and adding them into a salad, such as an arugula and goat cheese salad.
This European butter is super rich and just insanely good. Since you will perhaps be eating a bit lighter with all those fruits and veggies in season, you can indulge a little with this delicious piece of goodness.
A High Quality Vinegar
For salads, side dishes or even a delightful summer cocktail. The zing and ting are just what you need to add to your recipes.
And, here are some things I always do during the summer:
- I like grilling all my vegetables
- I always season my lettuce with salt and pepper
- I also grill fruit for my desserts
- I poach my baby back ribs in root beer, ginger, liquid smoke
- I roast fish at high temperature
- I cook my red meat in a cast iron skillet
Enjoy this recipe for an Heirloom Tomato and Asparagus Salad
You will need:
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- 1 full ounce ball of Burrata cheese
- 3- 8 oz. of heirloom tomatoes
- White balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons of olive roil
- 12 pieces of ciabatta crotons
- 1 tablespoon of micro basil
- 1 lemon
Zest the lemon on top of the trimmed asparagus
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Add 1 teaspoon of salt
Add a dash of black pepper
Toss the asparagus on the grill on high for 2 minutes
Cool off and set aside
Open the Burrata cheese and drain the liquid
Wrap in paper towels and squeeze slightly to remove excess moisture
Stem then, rise and wash the heirloom tomatoes into 4 large pieces each
Arrange on tray
Mixing the colors of the heirloom tomatoes
Slice the Burrata in half and let the cheese filling ooze out
Cut the asparagus in half and place on plate
Sprinkle ciabatta bread croutons over (see below for recipe)
Season with shaved alt and pepper
Add remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Add 1 tablespoon of balsamic syrup (see below for recipe)
Finish with micro basil
1 cup of white balsamic vinegar
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon of sugar
Put on heat and reduce by half
Cut into ¾ inch dices of ciabatta bread
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil 1 tablespoon of butter
Add 1 teaspoon of slivered garlic
Add ½ teaspoon of slat
Add a dash of cracked pepper
Add 1 teaspoon of chopped Italian parsley
Heat olive oil butter and garlic in small pan for 1 minute until garlic begins to sweat
Turn off heat, and toss in diced ciabatta bread
Season with salt, pepper and parsley and then bake in baking pan at 350 degrees for 8 minutes
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