Food for Warm Seasons


As we transition into full summer when no one wants to spend too much time in a hot kitchen, quick and tasty food is called for.

How about a nice crisp salad with a super easy bleu or blue cheese dressing? This is perfect on iceberg lettuce which seems to be making a comeback or on crunchy romaine. Recipes from The Genius Kitchen never seem to fail.

summerrecipes1Blue Cheese Dressing for Dummies (Yield 1 cup; 8 servings or more)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup bleu cheese, crumbled or gorgonzola, crumbled
1. Combine mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, pepper, salt and half of the bleu cheese in a food processor or blender.
2. A mini food processor works perfectly for the amount.
3. Process until well blended.
4. Put in storage container and add remaining cheese.
5. If too thick, stir in a little milk or water.
6. Will keep for up to 5 days.

Potato salad spells summer. But not everyone likes a gloppy, mayo laden potato salad. Try this one-no mayo, just lots of tangy Dijon mustard.

summerrecipes2Potato Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette (Yield 8-10 servings)
3 pounds red new potato or use a variety of small potatoes including red and blue
¼ cup red wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons who grain Dijon mustard
½ cup olive oil
6 scallions, chopped
½ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped dill
Salt and pepper
1. Put potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Don’t overcook as the potatoes will continue to cook while cooling.
2. Drain and allow to cool.
3. When cool, cut the potatoes in half.
4. Combine vinegar and mustard in a large bowl.
5. Slowly whisk in oil.
6. Add the potatoes to the vinaigrette and mix gently but thoroughly.
7. Toss in the scallions, parsley and dill. Salt and pepper to taste.
NOTES: Potatoes can be cut into smaller pieces before cooking, but be careful not to overcook. Taste potato salad before serving. You may want to add more vinaigrette if you refrigerate the salad instead of serving immediately. The dressing gets absorbed into the warm potatoes and the tang of the mustard may need reinforcing by adding extra just before serving.

How about a sinfully rich tasting chocolatey dessert that requires no cooking? Chocolate parfaits are always popular. This one is also quick and easy.

summerrecipes3Chocolate Parfaits (Serves 6)
1 (1.4 oz) package fat-free, sugar free chocolate INSTANT pudding mix
2 cups low fat milk
½ cup light sour cream
1 (8 oz) container fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided
¾ cup chocolate graham crackers crumbs (about 4 sheets)
1 tablespoon freshly grated chocolate
1. Whisk together pudding mix, milk and sour cream until blended and smooth.
2. Fold in 1 ½ cups whipped topping
3. Spoon 1 tablespoon crumbs into each of 6 (4 oz) glasses and top with 1/3 cup pudding mixture
4. Repeat layers with remaining crumbs and pudding mixture.
5. Top each parfait remaining whipped topping and grated chocolate.
6. Cover and chill at least an hour.
NOTES: For a pretty look, top whipped topping with a fresh raspberry. And if you want to be decadent, use real whipped cream for the topping on the parfait. Whipped cream and chocolate-perfect together.

The next recipe column will feature additional easy to prepare summer dishes.


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