Doesn’t it just seem like the summer season always flies by too quickly? When I sit outside, there is a golden hue to the landscape. The occasional leaf is falling, and the evening air is a bit more crisp than a few weeks ago. Dusk is much earlier now, allowing us to see colourful sunsets followed by bright twinkling stars and the glow of the moon. And who cannot enjoy the melodic chirping crickets?
Fresh summer produce straight from our gardens or local markets are bursting with flavours that cannot be replicated any other time of year. Indulge in these garden to plate offerings.
Spinach bacon and egg salad
- 1/2 c. salad dressing (i.e. Miracle Whip) 125 mL
- 1/2 c. coleslaw dressing 125 mL
- 1 tbsp. fresh cut dill greens 15 mL
- 1 tbsp. milk to thin 15 mL
- dash of sugar for sweetness
- 1 large bunch of spinach washed, dried and torn
- 1/4 c. grated cheese of your choice 60 mL
- 1 c. fresh sliced mushrooms 250 mL
- 6 cooked, cooled and crumbled bacon slices 6
- 2 hard boiled eggs 2
- 2 green onions, chopped 2
Place the spinach leaves in a large salad bowl. Sprinkle with grated cheese, followed by the mushrooms, crumbled bacon, eggs and onions. Serve dressing on the side or drizzle over the salad just before serving. It is best to make the dressing ahead of time so that flavour is enhanced. Serves six.
Add fresh blueberries and/or cooled roast-grilled chicken pieces to make it a meal salad. This is filling and refreshing.
Classic pot roast
With all of the fresh produce coming into season, try roasting these offerings in a large cast Dutch oven or roaster. The roast makes for a delectable flavour combination. It’s an easy one dish meal that makes for a quick clean up. Serve with a side salad and/or with pickled beets.
- 1 tsp. olive or vegetable oil 5 mL
- 1 3 lb./ (1.36 kg) beef roast 1
- 1 tsp. salt 5 mL
- 1/4 tsp. pepper 1 mL
- seasoning salt to taste
- 2 c. chopped onion 500 mL
- 1 c. red wine 250 mL
- 4 sprigs of fresh herbs such as dill, parsley or thyme 4
- 3 minced garlic cloves 3
- 2 c. beef broth 500 mL
- 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into about 1 inch pieces 4
- 1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into about 1 inch pieces 1
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into about 2 inch pieces 4
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
Return the roast to the pan and add the wine, herbs, garlic and broth. Cover and roast in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours. Then add the vegetables and bake for an additional hour. The dish is done when a meat thermometer tests to the right internal temperature and the vegetables are tender. Either shred the meat with a fork or pull out and slice, depending on the beef cut. If desired, use the roasting liquid to make a gravy. Serves six.
This recipe can also be prepared in a slow cooker. After browning the beef roast, place in a slow cooker over the vegetables and cook on low for approximately eight hours.
You can be creative and add a few additional vegetables into the mix if desired, such as fresh sliced mushrooms or some yellow pepper. Every vegetable is welcome in this dish. Source: www.myrecipes.com
Strawberry angel food roll
This is a light summer dessert that is bursting with fruity flavour.
- 1 Angel food cake mix 1
- 1/4 c. + 3/4 c. icing sugar divided 60 mL + 175 mL
- 8 oz light cream cheese, room temperature 250 g
- 1 1/2 c. whipping cream 35% 375 mL
- 1 tsp. vanilla 5 mL
- 4 c. fresh sliced strawberries or berries of your choice such as blueberries or raspberries, alone or in a combination 1 L
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C) and line the bottom of a 10 x 15 x 1 inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Make sure that it lays flat on the bottom. Do not grease the pan.
Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, until the top is golden and the edges start to crack. The batter will rise up high. However, even though it gets high, it should not flow over. To prevent a mess, slip an extra baking sheet or a piece of foil underneath to catch the batter.
Loosen cake from the edges of the pan while it’s still warm. It may seem stuck, but with some gentle pressure, it will separate from the pan.
Spread out a clean kitchen towel and sprinkle evenly with 1/4 c. icing sugar. Flip warm cake out onto the towel, peel off the parchment paper and immediately roll up, starting at the short end, with the towel inside. Let cool completely (at room temperature for one to two hours) or place the roll in the fridge. The cake must be cool when the filling is added.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add 3/4 c. powdered sugar, vanilla and cream and beat on low until combined and then on high for three to four minutes until fluffy and stiff peaks form.
Unroll cooled cake (you can just leave it on the towel) and spread with the filling. Carefully roll back up without the towel and place on a serving plate. Sprinkle the top of the roll with icing sugar. When ready to serve, slice roll and top with berries. Serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Variation No. 1
Instead of the cream cheese mixture, use a lemon pudding base for a different flavour.
- 1 package of lemon pie filling (not instant pudding mix) 1
- 1 c. whipped cream or whipped topping ( I prefer real whipped cream) 250 mL
- 2 c. fresh strawberries, tipped and sliced and blueberries 500 mL
Prepare the pie filling according to directions on the box. Once cooked, thickened and cooled, mix gently with the whipped cream. Spread over cake when cooled. Top with fresh blueberries.
Variation No. 2
Sprinkle fresh berries to add colour to the inside of the roll when the cake is rolled out and the filling has been spread. You just have to roll a bit more gently with fruit on the inside. Use firm berries if they are inside the roll. Serves 12. Source: www.thereciperebel.com.
Blueberry lemon cake
This is a beautiful baked summer sweet that is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the taste buds. It’s great for coffee breaks or in a packed lunch.
- 2 large eggs 2
- 1 c. granulated sugar 250 mL
- 1 c. sour cream (8oz) 250 mL
- 1/2 c. light olive oil or vegetable oil 125 mL
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract 5 mL
- 1/4 tsp. salt 1 mL
- 2 c. flour 500 mL
- 2 tsp. baking powder 10 mL
- 1 medium lemon zest and juice, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp. corn starch 7.5 mL
- 2 c. fresh blueberries 500 mL
- Powdered sugar to dust the top optional
Lightly butter a nine-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and the sugar with a whisk attachment or fine beater on high for about five minutes or until light in colour and the mixture is quite thick.
Add the sour cream, oil, vanilla and salt until mixed well.
Combine the flour with the baking powder and then add to batter one-third at a time, beating on low to medium with each addition. It is important not to over mix in order for the batter to be of the correct consistency. Then add 1 tbsp. of lemon juice and 1 1/2 tsp. of lemon zest.
Rinse blueberries and drain well. In a medium bowl, toss blueberries with corn starch and 1 tsp. lemon juice, stirring until well combined and no dry white cornstarch remains.
Pour half of batter into prepared springform pan and spread evenly. Top with half of the blueberries. Spread with the rest of the batter and then sprinkle the rest of the blueberries over the top, pushing them gently into the batter so about half of the berry shows. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove and cool until the springform pan can be opened safely. Serve dusted with powdered sugar.
This recipe can be made with frozen berries by simply thawing and draining. Then, instead of tossing with 1 1/2 tsp. of cornstarch, increase the amount to 1 tbsp. and leave out the lemon juice. Do not add more than 2 c.(500 mL) of blueberries or the batter will not bake properly. Serves 10 to 12. Source: www.NatashasKitchen.com.
Jodie Mirosovsky is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.