It is a holiday week in both our home countries (Canada and the US), and we are celebrating with a long weekend with family and food. We've put together a collection of some great recipes to inspire your summer cooking. We hope you have a chance to share food with the people you love this weekend! Click directly on the photos above to go to the recipes.
Summer always finds us in a cooking frenzy with gorgeous produce coming in from local farms, we have a list of recipes a mile long we're eager to try. Here is a sneak peak of some recipes we're excited to share:
Paul 's Homemade Black Raspberry Candies
Homemade Pickles (Quick and Old School Fermented)
Sonoran Beef Navajo Fry Bread Tacos
Watermelon Chiffon Pie
Smoked Peach-Bourbon Wings
We'd love to hear from you: What is your favorite summer recipe?
Some things in nature just make your jaw drop. For me, Romanesco cauliflower does this every time. Maybe it is memories of my mathematician grandfather explaining the geometric beauty of the perfect fractal florets spiraling into a hundred mirrored pyramids. Maybe it is because Romanesco is quite frankly the weirdest looking vegetable I've ever seen. Or maybe it is that despite its unusual looks, Romanesco is also a great tasting vegetable: a firm textured, sweet and earthy cross between cauliflower and broccoli. If you are lucky enough to get a hold of one of these green fractal beauties, our Grilled Romanesco Cauliflower with Cashews is a salty smoky side that shows off every gorgeous floret. We keep the dish simple to highlight the star ingredient, while adding a little smokey char, gently tossed with lemon, sage, salt and pepper and accompanied with some seasonal vegetables and nuts. A unique and delicious side salad to match this stunning vegetable.
Flemish Beer Braised Beef & Onions, Carbonnade de Boeuf
In Pittsburgh we are beginning to see the first glimpses of spring. As I write, rain and fog are rolling over the city -- an oddly welcome change after months of snow and ice. With Saint Patrick's Day festivities this weekend, we thought it appropriate to celebrate the coming end to winter with our streamlined take on the rich and unctuous Flemish Beer Braised Beef & Onions, Carbonnade de Boeuf. This dish uses beer for 100% of the braising liquid, so pick one you really like. I used my homebrewed brown ale, which has a rich toastiness and mild bitterness. Be careful using a bitter or hoppy beer, since the cooking will concentrate these flavors considerably. While this dish takes some planning ahead (around 4 hours start to finish), it is straightforward to make and works every time. Your house will be filled with the enticing aromas of caramelized onions, braising meat, and simmering beer.
Grilling is our cooking method of choice for these early summer days, but it's not all about the meat. Actually, our summer diet has tilted vegetarian since we started making this Grilled Greek Salad. I dreamt up this colorful dish in the colder months, with longings of summer. This salad knocked our socks off and had my meat loving husband requesting more. We made Grilled Greek Salad through bitter March sleet, April winds, and May rains. And now finally, with seasonal vegetables and balmy temperatures, we can grill in the sunshine. Unlike some grilled salads, this isn't grilling for cuteness. Grilled Greek Salad is a hefty, hearty entree salad, that relies on the grill to give the peppers, onions, and tomatoes their luscious char, and to add caramel sweetness to tangy halloumi cheese. Topped with kalamata olives and a tart lemon-zest vinaigrette for contrast, this salad is dynamic. Halloumi, for those not familiar, is a hard salty sheep-milk cheese from Cyrpus, a great cooking cheese that keeps its shape and texture at high heats.
We celebrated Labor Day in Connecticut with Paul's brother and sister-in-law with lots of amazing vegetarian food. We left salty breezes behind and arrived back to the hot, humid jungly hills of Pittsburgh last night to a barren fridge yielding a dinner of either hotdogs or green beans. We opted to continue the vegetarian theme of the weekend, and whipped up a batch of these Ginger Sesame Green Beans we have been loving all summer. Spicy, tangy and gingery, these green beans are addictive! Check out our summer bounty round-up for other ideas for summer vegetables.