Thursday, August 5, 2010
Hot Days...Cool Eats!
The second entree is one of my favorites--Chilled Cantaloupe Soup. This is the simplest to make and I can attest to how refreshing this is on a hot day. Even though I used cantaloupe today, you could easily substitute casaba or honeydew. So, when it's hot, think cool...and satisfying.
1/4 cup water
1-2 T balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. brown mustard
1/2-3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cups bread chunks, approximately 1" cubes
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped
1 1/2 cucumber, peeled (seeded if not using an English cucumber) and chopped in 1/2" pieces
2 cups chopped tomatoes, seeded and in 1" pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped in 1/2" to 1" pieces
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped in 1/2" to 1" pieces
4 T fresh basil, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, Italian flat or Curly, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Whisk water, balsamic and mustard together. Add salt and pepper to taste, then, continue whisking and add the olive oil to emulsion. Place bread chunks in a large bowl and pour the vinaigrette over the bread. Let set about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, start chopping vegetables. Drain any vinaigrette that hasn't been absorb by the bread (you really shouldn't have that much). Add the vegetables, minced herbs and taste for seasoning.
Add additional salt and pepper as needed.
The colors are so vibrant and appropriately represents the Italian flag. Optionally, you can add some chunks of fresh mozzarella or a Greek version, with feta and black olives. Let the salad "marinate" for at least an hour before serving, but as I say, "this salad is like a woman...it gets better with age!"
1 cantaloupe, cut and seeded to give you approximately 3 cups of cubed cantaloupe
1 naval orange, peeled and halved to remove any membrane
2 T. fresh lime juice
1 8oz. container of Greek yogurt, I used a honey flavored*
Put all the ingredients in a blender and set to puree. Refrigerate at least an hour or two to blend flavors and chill completely. To serve, grate some nutmeg on top. Enjoy!
*You can also use unflavored or vanilla yogurt; add 1 T honey to the mixture.
Lastly, I wanted to share with you a wonderful day I had yesterday with a dear friend, Ellen Hutson. Ellen has an online craft store and a spectacular online classroom where she shows her followers the most innovative products and ideas. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to take the time out from a busy week to spend the day creating and showing off my paper flowers with her; a day to cherish!
Take a peek at what we created and feel the joy of nature.
On a personal note, the hydrangeas I created for the project was Kelly's favorite. She carried a bouquet of blue hydrangeas for her wedding in 2006. I loved sharing this with Ellen and am blessed to have such a strong, supportive friend in my life. Take time to tell your friends you love them...life is short.