Summer Recipes

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Cold Asparagus Soup with Grilled Watermelon Recipe

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I live for asparagus. I’ve grilled it, made risottos, meat dishes and more in the past. I’ve made soups before as well, but given that it’s still summer, I figured a cold asparagus soup would fit the bill.

I chose to cook with baby green asparagus spears because they're ultra tender and the color looks attractive. I kept the tips for a simple side dish of pan-fried fish fillets in butter and capers. The asparagus were grilled with olive oil so they were fragrant, then softened in vegetable broth until tender. I finished the soup by blending the asparagus with a little crème fraîche. The cold summer soup is refreshing, tasty, simple, yet very festive.

For a complete vegetarian presentation, I paired the soup with white balsamic grilled watermelon, which is in season. You could also add quail egg Niçoise salad or crab salad.

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Gorgonzola Pear Pizza Recipe Recipe

Gorgonzola Pear Pizza Recipe

08.23.11 by Jackie

It's almost the end of grilling season. If you’re looking to make the most of the little sunshine and few warm days we have left, I would suggest making a pizza on your grill. To start the pizza, I grilled flat bread until it almost turned into a cracker. I decided to go with blue cheese and pear flavors, because the two pair incredibly well. I would have used Gorgonzola as a topping but my local market only carried Fourme d'Ambert, which is a raw French blue cheese (equally delicious). I broke the traditional rules for pizza and spread béchamel sauce along with caramelized onions in place of the standard tomato sauce.

This is an easy, light meal and it's a perfect recipe for a warm, summer day. Enjoy!


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Tuna Nicoise Salad with Goose Eggs Recipe

Today, I made a French salad recipe called nicoise salad. I filled the salad with a combination of salad greens, capers, tuna and goose eggs. I was testing the recipe because school is about to start, and I'm not a big fan of the ready-made all-inclusive food trays. They don't contain much except a few crackers and small pieces of cheese and cold meat that are usually packed with salt, sugar and fat.

The salad received two thumbs up from my little munchkin. She loves hard-cooked eggs, which makes folding in the other ingredients much easier. As an added bonus, hard-boiled eggs are easy to pack. If you're planning on making this for your kids, the nicoise salad dressing can be packed separately so the salad is still crunchy and fresh when lunch time finally arrives.

A Pham Fatale reader named Karen left a wonderfully insightful comment last week where she described the challenges of preparing lunches for her kids. While my little munchkin hasn't experienced the teasing from her classmates (yet) even though her lunch box is different from her friends, I understand the issue. It has inspired me to come up with back-to-school recipes that covertly sneak nutritious ingredients into dishes that are familiar to kids. What could be more femme fatale worthy than that?

 


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Beet Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe Recipe

Beet Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe

07.25.11 by Jackie

Orzo salad is an easy one-dish, summertime meal. You could add anything you like, so you can adapt the recipe to fit whatever you find at the market. The most labor intensive work involved in preparing the salad is chopping all the ingredients. For this version, I added cherry tomatoes, broccoli, sugar snap peas, pickled carrots and canned black beans. The main event though, was the addition of the roasted beets. I prepped them in the morning and let them cool to room temperature.

We spent a very low-key, relaxing weekend and I didn't feel like cooking a ton, raising the temperature in the kitchen with the stove and oven during the afternoon, as the temperature got higher. This cold pasta dish was light, complete but still flavorful, and we got to enjoy it by the scoopful in our garden.


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Picnic Menu Ideas Recipe

Picnic Menu Ideas

07.09.11 by Jackie

It's getting very hot in the San Francisco Bay Area. It's the perfect weather to enjoy as many outdor meals as possible. I love barbecues, but I find that picnics require less prep and are far more relaxing since all of the food is ready to serve.


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