Summer Garden Salmon Crostini

                           salmon

We never tire of finding new combinations for salmon crostini.  This incorporates freshly chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and young red onions from your garden or the nearest produce stand.  You can brush olive oil on thick slices of french bread at your cookout, grill until golden and let your guests ladle the salmon and veggie topping for themselves.

  • 1 pound of smoked salmon, sliced and chopped
  • 2/3 cup of red onions, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups of heirloom tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup of cucumber, sliced and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh dill, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons of caper berries, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt to taste and freshly ground black pepper
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Goat Cheese Toasts with Olive Caper Relish

Nowadays none of us live far from a local cheese-maker and some of the most delicious cheeses available at your local farmers markets are the Chevre cheeses.  Pick your favorite goat cheese, toast some French bread, spread it generously, and top it with this universally appealing relish…enjoy!

  • 1 cup of stuffed green olives
  • 1/2 cup of oil-cured black olives, pitted
  • 1/2 cup of kalamata olives, pitted
  • 3 tablespoons of capers
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1/teaspoon of dried red chile pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons of good olive oil

Coarsely chop in a food processor and store in the refrigerator.  Bring to room temperature before using as a relish.

Creamy Parmesan Vegetable Dip

I used to struggle with the dilemma of preparing

tasty alternatives for my vegetarian friends, or

simply for those who enjoy lighter, healthier fare

(not that this is a fat-free recipe by any means).

All the onion dips and packaged dressings were

bland and blah. All the bottled stuff tasted like

chemicals.  So, this wonderfully creamy dip

emerged after much sampling. Try it with steamed

artichoke leaves, celery sticks, thinly sliced turnip

roots, grape tomatoes, or endive scoops…even

carnivores will eat their veggies.

3 cups of mayonnaise

1 ½ cups of buttermilk

¼ cup of cottage cheese

3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup of parmesan cheese, grated

1 teaspoon of red pepper sauce

1 tablespoon of parsley, minced

1 teaspoon of dill weed, dried and crumbled

Sea salt to taste

Combine ingredients, blend, and chill before serving

with your choice of the vegetable assortment.

Marinated Manchego, Olives, and Artichokes

This very welcome dish from the Mediterranean is

wonderful to have in the refrigerator when friends

drop by. It will probably keep longer than you can

refrain from attacking it, but you may depend on

it for at least five days as long as it is covered and

refrigerated.

1 pound of manchego cheese, cubed

1 cup of black olives, pitted

2 tablespoons of capers

1 small jar of marinated artichoke hearts, halved

1 tablespoon of italian parsley, minced

1 teaspoon of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon of red onion, minced

1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning

Freshly ground black pepper

Sea salt

½ cup of olive oil

Place bite-size cheese cubes in a flat stoneware dish,

along with the olives, capers, and artichokes. Stir the

parsley, garlic, onions, and seasonings into the olive

oil and pour over the cheese mixture. Refrigerate

overnight and bring to room temperature before serving

with cocktail spears and French bread.

Pickled Okra for your Bloody Mary

Most people enjoy a unique garnish/stirring stick

for their Bloody Marys and in the American South,

nothing is appreciated more than a crispy, crunchy

pod of pickled okra. I do about a dozen jars every

summer and they usually don’t last through

Christmas. So we will be making more this year.

Hope you will too!

Medium length okra

1 tablespoon of mustard seeds

1 teaspoon of sea salt

1 tablespoon of crushed chipotle pepper flakes

1 tablespoon of garlic, minced

½ cup of white vinegar

½ cup of water

This recipe is given for one pint jar of pickled okra. Obviously

you want to make more so simply multiply the ingredients as

you fill each jar. Wash okra and pack in sterilized pint jars.

Add seasonings to the vinegar/water solution and bring to a

boil. Pour over okra, seal jars and store upside down in a cool

dark place for a week to ten days, turning when you think about it.