Quick Summer Dishes
Fort Wayne, Indiana (August 2, 2010) — The height of summer is filled with outdoor parties and evenings with friends. These quick summer recipes will help you prepare a healthy meal fast so you can get back to the fun! Made with fresh summer vegetables and the best fruits of summer, and featuring heart-healthy nuts, these dishes are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
About our featured chef: Nan Yablong has embraced the Vera Bradley Foundation as her special cause because she lost her mother to cancer 22 years ago. She has enthusiastically served on almost every committee in her eleven years as a Classic volunteer. As a graduate of LaRivage French Cooking School in Dartmouth, MA, with a passion for both cooking and baking, she was the perfect choice to help us develop healthy and delicious cancer-fighting recipes.
Mixed Baby Green Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette (Serves 4)
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen raspberries, thawed and drained (If using unsweetened raspberries, add 1 Tablespoon fine granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- ½ cup canola oil
- Dash of finely ground black pepper
- Dash of ground nutmeg
- 5 oz. Mixed Baby Greens
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup diced green onions
- 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- In a blender, pulse raspberries until pureed. Strain pureed raspberries to remove seeds.
- Return raspberry puree to the blender, add jam, vinegar and lemon juice, process until well blended.
- With motor running, add oil until emulsified.
- Season with pepper and nutmeg.
- Distribute greens among plates, divide green onions, blue cheese and almonds over top of greens, drizzle with raspberry vinaigrette, top with additional fresh raspberries (optional).
Note: Refrigerate leftover vinaigrette in a sealed container for up to one week to flavor other dishes or share with a friend.
Pistachio Vinaigrette over Steamed Haricot Vert (Serves 4)
- 1 pound fresh green beans or french haricot verts, trimmed and washed
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups water
- 1 shallot, minced finely
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup pistachio nuts, chopped
- Steam green beans until al dente, plunge in bowl of ice water to preserve color, set aside.
- In blender, add shallot, lemon juice, vinegar, Dijon mustard, parsley, pulse until blended.
- Add salt and pepper, with motor running, drizzle in olive oil and pulse until emulsified.
- Add pistachios and pulse until blended.
- Drizzle over beans and serve, dust with additional chopped pistachios and serve immediately.
Note: Sauce may be made ahead of time and stored in airtight container. Stays fresh for up to one week.
Roasted Cod with Pistachio Panko Crumb (Serves 4)
- 4 Cod fillets, 6 – 8 ounces each skinned
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon shallot, minced
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ cup panko style bread crumbs
- 3 Tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons pistachio nuts, finely chopped
- Lemon wedges for garnish
- Melt two tablespoons of butter in microwave, whisk in mustard, lemon juice, zest and parsley. In large bowl mix panko with pistachio nuts, and drizzle in liquid mixture stirring together, set aside.
- Heat 12 inch sauté pan that can go under the broiler over medium high heat.
- Add one tablespoon of the butter and olive oil to pan, allow to sizzle but not turn brown, add fish filets skin side up. Cook about 3 – 4 minutes and turn.
- Spoon panko mixture over top of fish filets evenly and place in preheated oven at 375 degrees. Finish roasting until fish is opaque and flakes apart. About 3 – 4 more minutes. Crumb mixture should be golden. Serve with lemon wedges.
Note: You can find Panko style bread crumbs at your regular grocery store. The Panko crumbs have a crunchier texture than white bread crumbs and brown beautifully for a pretty presentation.
Tropical Fruit Salad (Serves 4)
- 1 mango, diced
- 1 cup cantaloupe cubes
- 2 cups watermelon cubes
- ½ cup red raspberries
- ½ blueberries
- 1 kiwi, sliced and quartered
- 1 cup toasted coconut flakes
- Dollop of fresh whipped cream
- Prepare toasted coconut by placing in nonstick coated sauté pan. Heat over medium high heat moving constantly to prevent burn with a heat resistant spatula. Toast to light brown, remove from pan and allow to cool.
- Divide prepared fruit among 4 ramekins, place a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top and sprinkle each with the toasted coconut.
Note:If you don’t have whipped cream, you can also use yogurt, either regular or frozen. It’s just as sweet and refreshing.