With patio season nearing, Jeanine Donofrio has some unique recipes for summer meals.
Cucumber, basil and watermelon salad
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- ½ teaspoon minced ginger
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 3 cups ½ inch cubed watermelon, deseeded
- 1 English cucumber, chopped into ½ inch pieces
- 1 ripe mango, skin removed and chopped into ½ inch pieces
- ½ serrano pepper, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup sliced basil
- ¼ cup salted peanuts, crushed & toasted
- In a large bowl, whisk together the tamari, garlic, ginger, lime juice and rice vinegar.
- Add the watermelon, cucumber, mango, serrano pepper, cilantro, and basil.
- Chill for 30 minutes. Drain a little of the excess liquid before serving.
- Serve with the crushed peanuts on top.
Spring leek and lemon pasta
- 2 medium leeks
- 8 ounces whole-grain pasta
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 radishes, sliced in half
- ½ cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 cups baby kale or amaranth
- Juice and zest of ½ lemon
- Mint pesto
- ½ cup basil, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Slice the white and light green parts of the leeks into rings. Using a strainer, rinse the leeks thoroughly.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Prepare the pasta according to the instructions on the package, cooking until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water.
- In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt and pepper and stir. Cook for 3 minutes or until the leeks start to soften. Add the radishes, cut side down, along with the chickpeas, and let them cook for 2 minutes. Turn and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, greens, and lemon juice. Once the greens are lightly wilted, stir in the pasta and ½ cup of the pesto. Stir in the reserved pasta water, a few tablespoons at a time, as needed to loosen the pasta. Taste and season with black pepper.
- Remove from the heat and transfer to a platter or bowl. Top with the basil, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes.
Blackberry basil bruschetta
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 6 – 8 slices of crusty bread
- Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- ½ clove garlic
- 1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
- Place the blackberries in a small bowl and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar, a pinch of salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Use your hands to gently break them apart. Set aside to macerate for about 10 minutes, or until the blackberries are soft and juicy.
- Meanwhile, toast or grill the bread. While it’s still warm, drizzle the bread with olive oil and rub with the cut side of the garlic clove.
Top the toasted bread with slices of mozzarella, the blackberries, basil, drizzles of honey and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Swiss chard and white bean tacos
- 5 swiss chard leaves
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ cup cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 tortillas
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Handful of cilantro leaves
- Creamy tomatillo salsa
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Roll the Swiss chard leaves lengthwise, including ribs and stems, and slice into thin strips. Chop the thicker parts of the chard stems.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and a few pinches of salt. Saute the onion until soft and golden brown around the edges, about 7 minutes. Add the chard stems and stir and cook for about a minute. Add the garlic, chard leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper. Gently toss until the chard wilts down, about 30 seconds. Add the oregano and the cannellini beans. Toss to combine and then remove from the heat.
Fill the tortillas with the chard filling and top each with some feta cheese. Serve with cilantro and the creamy tomatillo salsa.
Dark chocolate avocado mousse
- 2 very ripe avocados
- 4 ounces 70% cacao baking chocolate, melted
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Sea salt
- Coconut cream
- 1 cup raspberries
- In a food processor, combine the avocados, melted chocolate, cocoa powder, maple syrup, almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and pinch of salt. Puree until creamy. Spoon the mousse into 4 small ramekins and chill for at least 1 hour.
- Serve the mousse topped with a dollop of coconut cream and the raspberries.