Monday, June 14, 2010

Summertime Eats

The end of the weekend signals the start of a new week which always brings to mind my plans for the next weekend (yes, I like to think ahead). It doesn't help that it is now summer and thoughts of al fresco entertaining are swirling in my mind. The outdoor gazebo has been set up and a new barbecue has been purchased in hopes that they will inspire me to whip up some light fare and call up the gal pals for an outdoor tete-a-tete and celebratory glass clinking.

One of my favorite things about the season, besides the less-is-more fashion philosophy, larger-than-life sunglasses and the smell of suntan oil in the air, is the abundance of in-season fruits and vegetables that scream summer. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, asparagus, artichokes and cucumbers are some of the produce pickings that will spruce up your seasonal soirees.

A fresh and fruity summer dish is Amy Cotler's strawberry yogurt soup that looks too good to be true! Cold soups are perfect for large groups because they're easy to whip up and always audience favorites. Try this recipe that uses Sicilian blood orange zest and honey to bring out the natural essence of the sweet and succulent strawberries.

Also by Amy Cotler is a recipe for one of my favorite seaside treats, oysters on the half shell. I recently became interested in the slimy and slithery creatures that provide more indulgent entertainment than olfactory satisfaction. In this recipe, Cotler pairs the oyster with nontraditional companions - apples. Mincing sweet and sour apples with spicy shallots creates a burst of flavor that ideally complements the seafood.

One of the most simple yet sensual vegetables, in my opinion, is the beet. Their rustic appeal calls to my palate and creates a sort of romance on a plate. The best beets that I have had have been roasted, sliced paper thin and served with a dollop of burrata with a sprinkling of smoked sea salt. Mmm...just thinking about it gets me giddy. Here, Monika of Crumpets and Cakes experiments with the golden and red varieties and creates the perfect summer treat for al fresco fun.


Enough has been said about juicy, meaty, gooey, pink-in-the-center burgers that truly make a summer soiree. My favorite thing about serving burgers is that I can customize each patty with traditional and not-so-traditional ingredients that will update the classic dish. There has been quite a buzz about Umami Burger here in LA and I've been dying to try it for this reason. The upscale quality of such a simple meal is fascinating to me and reflects how I (try to) live my life. I'm impressed by the artisanal look of the bread and, especially, the parmesan lace disc that looks so prim and proper atop the hearty meat loaf. Find more about Umami Burger here.

What does one do to refresh him or herself after feasting on sweet summer treats? Why, sangria, of course! Though red is a preferred classic, white sangria is so fresh and crisp on a sultry summer day that it must be consumed ad nauseum (actually, I hope not).

I hope this helps you all celebrate the start of summer. Plan a party and don't forget to send me an invite!


  1. everything looks so good!

    xo nancy

  2. Hey I like your blog, and I followed it...

    I was wondering can you follow mine too??



Merci beaucoup!

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