Summertime is ideal for breaking out the picnic baskets and planning those parties. For a refreshingly light starter, try whipping up one of these recipes, courtesy of Chef Justin Timineri from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
- 16 ounces arugula, rinsed and drained
- 1 dozen strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced
- 1 cup blueberries
- 2 oranges, peeled and segmented
- 8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- *Candied pecans
In a medium-sized bowl, add arugula, lemon juice and olive oil. Lightly toss and season with salt and pepper. Serve on four chilled plates, then add the citrus, berries, and crumbled goat cheese, and garnish with candied pecans.
- 2 cups pecans
- 3/4 cup natural sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
*Preheat oven to 400° F. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast, tossing once, until fragrant, 6-8 minutes; transfer to a bowl. Once the baking sheet is cool, line it with parchment paper. In a large skillet, combine the sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons water. Simmer, swirling the pan occasionally, until the liquid is amber colored, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the nuts and then spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet, separating the nuts as much as possible. Let cool, and break up any large clusters before serving.
- 4 cups fresh corn kernels (from 4 ears), roasted
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 small jalapeño, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 6 medium radishes, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
- Arugula, rinsed and dried
To make the dressing, puree the lime juice, jalapeno, honey, and cumin in a blender. With the machine on, add the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside. In a large bowl, toss the corn with the radishes, parsley, red onion, and dressing. Season the salad with salt and pepper. Arrange arugula on plate, top with salad, and serve.
Fruit Salad with Lime and Honey
- 2 mangos, peeled and diced large
- 1/4 seedless watermelon (depending on size), peeled and diced large
- 1 pint blueberries, rinsed
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, hand torn
- 2 limes, juiced
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 small pinch sea salt
- Fresh citrus for garnish, sliced
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add lime juice, honey, and salt. Stir the lime juice mixture to get the flavors working. Add all of the rest of the ingredients, and gently stir to combine. Keep fruit salad refrigerated until use. Garnish with fresh sliced citrus.
*This dish can be made a day ahead.
Summer Potato Salad with Honey and Dijon
- 1 ½ pounds potatoes, evenly cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, rinsed, dried and chopped fine
- 1 bunch green onions, rinsed, dried and sliced small
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Hot sauce to taste
- 5 slices bacon, cooked crispy, crumbled
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Add cut potatoes to a medium-sized pot of room temperature, lightly salted water. Heat pot on medium-high until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook. While the potatoes are cooking, mix the vinegar, oil, honey, mustard and hot sauce in a small bowl. When the potatoes are almost all the way tender, drain them in a colander. At this point, you can either cool the potatoes all the way down under running water or choose to serve them hot. In a large bowl, add bacon, parsley, green onions and honey mixture to the potatoes. Lightly mix all ingredients. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper. Serve warm or cold.
Watermelon and Blueberry Salad
- ½ watermelon, peeled
- 1 pint blueberries, rinsed
Cut peeled watermelon into 1-inch cubes. Place cubed watermelon on a platter and garnish with blueberries. Serve chilled.