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Posts Tagged ‘summer fest’

Summer Fest: 5 Takes on Grilled Eggplant

From large, meaty Italian options to delicate and long Japanese varieties, eggplants abound at markets right now. Eggplant can be pureed into dips or sliced into pasta, but I like it straight from the grill.

1. Spicy Hoisin Glazed Eggplant (pictured above)

Bobby Flay puts an Asian spin on sliced eggplant by glazing the slices in a ginger, garlic and red chili flake sauce complete with hoisin, vinegar and soy sauce. Serve with a sprinkling of only cilantro so the wonderful grill marks are displayed.

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Summer Fest: Chia Seed Pudding with Peaches

It’s my favorite Summer Fest week: peaches. I find myself stocking up on this sweet fruit and just eating it straight off the pit every morning for breakfast. Because peaches are so fresh and so juicy at the market right now, I decided not to cook them but to simply slice them up over another recipe I wanted to try: Chia Seed Pudding.

Navitas Naturals had sent me a bag of the trendy superfood, and I picked up some almond milk to use for my pudding base. The chia seeds soak up the almond milk and become engorged, developing a tapioca-like consistency.

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Summer Fest: Cucumber and Mint Lemonade

A trip to my mom’s house in Westchester, N.Y., means stocking up on all of the great produce she grows in my childhood backyard. When I arrived this past weekend she was waiting to let me pick one of her prized Asian cucumbers. The variety is very long and sweet with a thin skin.

Inspired by the sweetness of this beauty, we decided to turn the cucumber into a refreshing summer lemonade. We picked up lemons at the store (no lemon trees in our backyard) and gathered mint from a neighbor’s garden.

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Summer Fest: Savory Watermelon Recipes

This market selection is going to require some heavy lifting. Watermelons are 92% water and that’s where most of their weight comes from. Before flexing your muscles, look for a firm, symmetrical fruit that has as few cuts, dents or bruises as possible. And while simply slicing up your melon and eating it straight from the rind is one of the staple desserts of summer, watermelon is a great option for savory recipes as well.

1. Watermelon Gazpacho (pictured above)

Tyler’s cold soup is all made in one blender. Puree a large ripe tomato with one serrano chile and cubed fresh watermelon. Add onion, red wine vinegar, cucumber and fresh dill. Pour into chilled bowls and sprinkle with dill, feta and chunks of fresh watermelon.

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Summer Fest: Five Fresh Tomato Salsa Recipes

With summer in full swing, what better way to spend an evening than with a few cocktails  and chips and dip? Skip the store-bought brand of salsa and use in-season tomatoes to make these fresh versions and you’ll never go back to jarred.

1. Salsa

Alton’s salsa is as easy to put together as it is to eat. Combine chopped Roma tomatoes, garlic, jalapenos, pepper, onion, ancho chiles, olive oil and lime juice along with chili powder, salt and pepper before letting the mixture sit in the refrigerator overnight to get the full flavor infusion.

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Summer Fest: Four Grilled Corn Favorites

Markets are overflowing right now with bins of fresh summer corn. Pick your corn wisely by checking inside the husks to make sure the cob fills it out properly and make sure the silks aren’t dried out. You can feature corn in all sorts of delicious summer recipes, but when it’s nice and fresh, why not just grill it solo with a few spices and, if you’re feeling indulgent, a pat of butter.

1. Mexican Grilled Corn (pictured above)

Tyler removes the husks from each cob (but not the core on the end) and tosses them directly on the grill. Once they’re charred, top them with a mayonnaise, sour cream and cilantro mixture, then sprinkle with Parmesan, lime juice and chili powder.

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Summer Fest: Quick Salads with Peas


Skip the frozen aisle and pick up shell peas or sugarsnap peas at the market right now. Shell peas need to be removed from their pod before eating. Sugarsnap peas have both edible pods and peas inside. Blanching or poaching peas lets their full flavor shine in these crunchy, summer-ready salads. You can also freeze blanched peas for up to six months so you can use them in to your favorite pea soups this coming winter.

Pea, Feta and Mint Salad (pictured above)

In just fifteen minutes you can turn blanched peas into the main event in this summer salad. Combine them with onions, pistachios and a sweet dressing then toss with mint, snow pea leaves and top the salad with the feta cheese.

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Summer Fest: Four Healthy Berry Recipes

June is prime season for cooking and eating berries. Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are all in their prime at markets right now. Blackberries are just starting to be seen, as well, though they’ll peak later in the summer. Some of the best ways to feature these berries are in simple summer desserts like cobblers, crisps or trifles. But if you still want the sweetness of these berries without the calories that these classic desserts pack on, we’ve got four light favorites to satisfy your sweet tooth.

1. Maple Berry Parfait (pictured above)

Bobby Deen adds more sweetness to blueberries, raspberries and strawberries with a touch of maple syrup. Layer them with a part-skim ricotta cheese mixture and top with toasted walnuts for a finishing crunch.

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Summer Fest: 7 Apple Desserts Beyond Pie

Our season-long garden party Summer Fest 2012 welcomes food and garden bloggers to feature garden-to-table recipes and tips. We’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. Fresh this week: apples.

Here are seven ways to cook apples into a delicious dessert:

1. Apple Crumble Bars (pictured above)
Turn a traditional apple crumble into a hand-held bar treat. Spread an apple butter and dried apple filling into an oat and flour base before scattering with streusel topping.

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Summer Fest: Giada’s Rigatoni With Eggplant Puree

Our season-long garden party Summer Fest 2012 welcomes food and garden bloggers to feature garden-to-table recipes and tips. We’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. Fresh this week: eggplant.

I’m a big fan of eggplant no matter how it’s prepared: sliced in half and grilled to charred perfection, cubed and roasted, or sliced thin and wrapped around ricotta cheese. But not everyone loves the consistency of this meaty vegetable. Giada has a great recipe for those who might otherwise be eggplant-averse: Rigatoni With Eggplant Puree.

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