Strawberry and Cantaloupe Salad with Fresh Mint

Nathan Lyon Strawberry Canteloupe

Strawberry and Cantaloupe Salad with Fresh Mint

Yield: 2 to 4 servings

 

½ cantaloupe, seeded, rind removed, and sliced into 1-inch sections

2 pints strawberries, hulled and quartered

2 tablespoons of balsamic OR white wine vinegar*

15 medium-sized fresh mint leaves, chopped finely

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

 

1. Gently toss the cantaloupe, strawberries, vinegar of choice*, pepper, and olive oil in a large bowl.

2. Add the feta and chopped mint to the bowl just prior to serving and toss.

*Note: If you prefer the flavor of the strawberries to pop, go with a nice balsamic. If you’re more of a cantaloupe person, go with the white wine vinegar. Both work great.

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Melon Mint Sorbet

It’s a sweltering summer, so here’s a drought friendly recipe that will cool you off and make your summer fruit last. I recently got a delicious green melon at the Hollywood farmer’s market (from T&D Farms) called an Ogen Melon, originally from Israel. This is part of what makes shopping at the farmers market so fun – being able to try new varieties of fruits and vegetables. If you can’t find an Ogen Melon, you can use Honeydew. Either way, you can go wrong with this sweet, refreshing treat.

Melon1 Melon2 Melon3 Melon4 Melon5 Melon6 Melon8

Melon Mint Sorbet

Yield: approximately 2 pints

 

1 3-pound ogen melon or honeydew, cut in half and seeded

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup organic corn syrup

40 medium mint leaves

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (approximately 3 to 4 limes)

 

Scoop out melon and put in a blender. Puree and measure out 3 cups. (Drink any excess for a delicious cooling beverage!) Save the melon shell for optional service.

Add the 3 cups melon puree, sugar, organic corn syrup, mint leaves, salt and lime juice to the blender and blend on high for 30 seconds.

Transfer the blended mixture into an ice cream machine and process until firm. Alternatively, transfer to a container, cover with plastic film (pressing the film directly against the surface of the sorbet) and place into the freezer until firm.

Sparkling Rosé-White Sangría with Grand Marnier and Fresh Mint

Countdown to July 4th…

Why not make a dash to your local farmers market to grab some summer fruit and whip up this delicious beverage?

Sangria

Sparkling Rosé-White Sangría with Grand Marnier and Fresh Mint

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

 

1 medium peach, pit removed and diced small

1 medium nectarine, pit removed and small diced small

1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered

1 plum, pit removed and small diced small

1 pint red raspberries

Large fresh mint leaves, to taste

½ vanilla bean, seeds and pod: slice down the length of the pod, spread open, and scrape out the flesh by pressing with a butter knife

½ cup Grand Marnier

1 bottle Viognier white wine, chilled

1 bottle sparkling rosé wine, chilled

 

Combine the peach, nectarine, strawberries, plum, raspberries, mint, vanilla seeds and pod, Grand Mariner and Viognier in a large container.

If time permits, refrigerate for a few hours to allow the fruit to chill.

Pour into a pitcher or punch bowl, then just before serving, add the bottle of sparkling rosé.

Spring Pea Soup with Furikake

Last week, Super Sous and I participated in a phone call led by Chefs Collaborative on the California Drought to discuss the current situation, the “forecast” and how the drought affects everyone – food eaters(!) and chefs around the country. If you weren’t able to join the call, no worries because you can now listen to this conversation:

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 9.19.57 PMWhile you listen to this conversation, perhaps you would like to enjoy a Drought Friendly Recipe?! This is a Spring Pea Soup with a delicious Japanese topping called Furikake, but if you don’t have it hanging around in your pantry, you can use toasted sesame seeds. (I will make a case to grab yourself some Furikake though as it is a delicious topping on fish, soups and even popcorn.)

P.S. You can see a video of me making this soup on YouTube.

peasinpot

Right before the blender!

peasoup1

The more topping the better

peassoup2

Spring Pea Soup with Furikake (or toasted sesame seeds)

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

 

3 cups water

1 (10-ounce) block frozen spinach

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced small (1 ½ cups)

3 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped roughly (1 tablespoon)

1 medium Yukon Gold potato (1/2 pound), peeled and diced medium

4 cups vegetable stock

3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 (16-ounce) bag frozen peas

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

10 medium mint leaves

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Nori Komi Furikake, for garnish (If you don’t have this, use toasted sesame seeds)

 

In a small saucepan bring water to a simmer. Add the spinach and stir until it can be easily separated with a fork. Drain into a strainer over the sink, and cool with cold water. Once cool, squeeze out as much of the water from the spinach as possible and set aside.

Add 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil to a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the diced onion to the saucepan and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and beginning to color. Add the garlic, stir and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.

Add the diced potato, vegetable stock, and thyme to the saucepan, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes until the potato is cooked through.

Stir in the peas and cook for 3 minutes. Add the spinach.

Using an immersion blender or blender puree until smooth.

Add lemon juice and mint leaves. Puree until smooth, thinning with a splash of water if it looks too thick.

Season to taste with salt, pepper or additional lemon juice as needed.

Serve in bowls and sprinkle over Nori Komi Furikake (or toasted sesame seeds).

Mint Ginger Watermelon Ice Pops

After using 1 cup of watermelon for the ice pops, grab a spoon and eat watermelon until you consume it all. Yup. This pretty much sums up my summer so far!

Mint Ginger Watermelon Ice Pop

Mint Ginger Watermelon Ice Pop

Yield: 6 ice pops

 

1 cup watermelon, deseeded

1 ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger

8 mint leaves, finely chopped

¾ cup water

6 tablespoons granulated or cane sugar

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

 

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 1 minute.

Pour into ice pop molds and freeze.

Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. This ice cream is dangerously good. Equally refreshing (the fresh mint does the trick) and delicious at the same time. And when you put it between two of my chocolate chocolate chip cookies?! Game over, my friend. Yes, you’ve been warned.

Oh, and get the good chocolate for this recipe. It’s gonna make all the difference. 

Mint Choc TCHO

TCHO 70% Chocolate

Mint Choc Chip Mixing

Mixing in the chocolatey goodness

mint choc chip4

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. The real stuff.

Chocolate Cookie Ice Cream Sammy

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich with Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies. Oh. My. Latte.

 

Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Yield: Approximately 2 pints

 

¾ cup sugar, divided

1 tablespoon organic corn syrup

3 cups half-and-half

2 very packed cups fresh mint leaves

6 egg yolks

8-ounces good quality dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, chopped roughly

 

Place ½ cup sugar, corn syrup, half-and-half and mint leaves in a medium saucepan over medium heat and heat, stirring occasionally, until temperature reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat and let mint continue to steep for 5 minutes. Pour contents of saucepan into a blender and blend on low for 10 to 15 seconds. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pressing the mint leaves with the back of a spatula to strain as much liquid as possible. Discard mint leaves.

Pour liquid back into the medium saucepan over medium heat. Using a rubber spatula, making sure to scrape the bottom of the saucepan, stir continuously until the liquid reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the egg yolks and remaining ¼ cup sugar on medium speed until the mixture is canary yellow in color, thick, and doubled in volume.

Reduce the speed to medium-low and very slowly stream in 1 cup of the hot, sweetened half-and-half mixture to the whisked egg yolks.

Pour the mixture into the original medium saucepan with the rest of the warm sweetened half-and-half. Pressing a spatula gently against the bottom of the pan, stir slowly and continuously and cook over medium-low heat until the custard thickens slightly and just reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Take your time.

Immediately remove from the heat and pour liquid into a wide medium bowl.

Place this bowl into a slightly larger bowl that is filled ⅓ of the way up with ice and water. Slowly stir until it is cool to the touch. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 8 hours. Cooling the mix before churning will give a smoother texture.

Pour the chilled mixture into the ice cream machine and churn until a soft-serve consistency is achieved.

Transfer to a large container and stir in the chopped chocolate.

Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap to the surface of the ice cream, and freeze until very firm, at least 5 hours.

Scoop and serve or sandwich between 2 chocolate chocolate chip cookies and savor each bite!