Dinner will be served on the patio tonight

The nighttime temperatures are lovely and make the outdoors a peaceful, fun place to eat and enjoy the evening.

The nighttime temperatures are lovely and make the outdoors a peaceful, fun place to eat and enjoy the evening.

by Joanne Henning Tedesco — 

Early summer is a wonderful time of year to use our patios, especially if we have ceiling fans to move the air and keep the bugs away. The nighttime temperatures are lovely and make the outdoors a peaceful, fun place to eat and enjoy the evening. Keep the lights dim and light several candles. Classical music, perhaps along with the sounds of a water feature, makes a great final touch.

During this time of year, we want lighter and cooling foods that are easy to digest. To increase the nutritional content of your food, be sure to visit your local farmers’ markets, which still have good summer selections, and the fruit is very plentiful.

 

Tabbouleh Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup chopped, seeded plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 large green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:

Whisk oil, lemon juice and garlic in small bowl to blend; set aside. Place bulgur in large bowl and mix in 1 cup boiling water. Let stand until bulgur is tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Mix in tomatoes, parsley, green onions and mint. Add oil mixture; toss to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand at least 30 minutes to blend flavors. Cover; chill. Can be made one day ahead. Yield: 6 servings.

 

Lime Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, split (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Preparation:

In resealable food-storage plastic bag, mix lime juice, cilantro, salt and black pepper. Rub chicken with oil; place in bag, turning to coat chicken in lime mixture. Refrigerate two hours. Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Cover and grill chicken 4 to 6 inches from medium-high heat about 10 minutes per side, or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion reads 170°F and juices run clear. Yield: 4 servings.

 

Dill and Lemon Asparagus

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preparation:

Clean and dry asparagus. Mix together lemon, dill and butter in a bowl. Place asparagus on grill and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until just tender. Serve with a dollop of lemon butter on each spear.

 

Rainbow Slaw

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 small green cabbage, thinly sliced (about 8 cups)
  • 1 small red cabbage, thinly sliced (about 8 cups)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, grated
  • 1 small yam or sweet potato, peeled, grated
  • 1 large unpeeled Fuji apple, cored, grated
  • 1 large unpeeled Golden Delicious apple, cored, grated
  • 1 medium-sized green pepper, cored, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • Paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:

Whisk mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar and maple syrup in small bowl. Place green cabbage and next seven items in very large bowl. Pour dressing over and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill one hour. Can be made eight hours ahead. Sprinkle with paprika and serve. Yield: 8 cups.

 

Arugula and Peach Salad with Creamy Chive Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 2 large ripe peaches
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives
  • 12 cups (loosely packed) arugula (about 6 ounces)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:

Wash peaches, rubbing to remove fuzz. Cut in half; remove pits. Thinly slice peaches and place in large bowl. Add 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice; toss. Whisk 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice and olive oil in small bowl. Whisk in cream, then chives. Season with salt and pepper. Add arugula to bowl with peaches. Add dressing and toss. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired, and serve. Yield: 6 servings.

 

Sources: bonappetit.com, gourmet.com and Joanne’s recipe box.

 

Joanne Henning Tedesco is editor of AzNetNews.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 32, Number 3, June/July 2013.

 

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