ck - Garden Entertaining Menu
This is a simple make-ahead recipe, ideal for summer entertaining. The longer the cheese refrigerates, the more flavor it absorbs from the herbs. You can leave it to marinate for up to two days. For optimal flavor, let the goat cheese stand at room temperature about 10 minutes before serving.
Combine first 8 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well. Coat cheese evenly with basil mixture, pressing gently to adhere. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Serve cheese with baguette slices.
Wine note: This menu boasts bright, acidic flavors and fresh herbs in both the Herbed Goat Cheese and the Lemon-Parsley Pesto, so you'll want a high-acid white that won't go flat against these zippy flavors. Try a Vermentino, made from an Italian grape of the same name found in Liguria and Tuscany. Campo al Mare Vermentino 2005 ($17) has melon and peach flavors delicate enough for goat cheese with an herbal, sagelike edge of its own. --Jeffery Lindenmuth
Similar to an antipasto plate, this composed salad combines brightly colored grilled vegetables with fresh herbs and cheese in place of a traditional vinaigrette. Serve this warm or at room temperature.
Arrange first 5 ingredients in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush vegetables evenly with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place eggplant, onion, and peppers in a single layer on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 4 minutes on each side or until charred. Remove from grill. Place peppers in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel peppers, and cut into thin strips. Cut eggplant into 1/2-inch pieces.
Arrange tomatoes, skin side down, on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 2 minutes on each side or until soft. Arrange tomatoes alternately with other vegetables on a serving platter. Combine parsley and garlic; sprinkle evenly over vegetables. Garnish with cheese.
Prepare this dish just before grilling so the pesto maintains its color.
Combine first 7 ingredients in a food processor. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to herb mixture; process until smooth, scraping sides. Set aside.
Thread fish evenly on each of 16 skewers. Brush fish with remaining 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Arrange skewers on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 1 minute on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from grill, and keep warm.
Combine orzo and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss well. Place 1/2 cup orzo on each of 8 plates; arrange 2 skewers on each plate. Top each serving with about 1 tablespoon herb mixture. Garnish with parsley sprigs and lemon wedges, if desired.
Once baked, jalapeño peppers add relatively mild heat. If you want to tame it even further, reduce the amount of pepper or omit it. Or substitute serrano chiles for a spicier version.
Preheat oven to 400°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in corn and pepper. Add buttermilk, stirring just until moist (dough will be slightly sticky).
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly 2 or 3 times with lightly floured hands. Pat the dough into a 9-inch circle on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Cut dough into 12 wedges, cutting to, but not through, dough. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
Grilling heightens the fruit's sweetness and flavor. Slightly firm fruit will stand up to the heat; if you're using ripe fruit, take it from the grill just a few minutes sooner than directed. Garnish with mint sprigs.
Combine 2 cups water and 1/3 cup honey in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Scrape seeds from the vanilla bean, and add seeds to honey mixture. Discard bean. Bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1 1/4 cups (about 15 minutes). Combine whipped topping, cheese, and 1 tablespoon honey, stirring until smooth. Set aside.
Lightly coat both sides of nectarines and plums with cooking spray. Place nectarines and plums, cut side down, on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 2 minutes on each side or until soft. Place 1 nectarine half and 1 plum half in each of 8 shallow bowls. Top each serving with 1/4 cup cherries; drizzle each with 2 tablespoons honey mixture. Spoon 2 teaspoons cheese mixture over each serving; sprinkle each serving with 3/4 teaspoon nuts.
Herbed Goat Cheese
Grilled Vegetable Salad
Salmon Skewers with Lemon-Parsley Pesto
Cornmeal, Jalapeño, and Fresh Corn Scones
Grilled Nectarines and Plums with Vanilla Bean Syrup
Chicago neighbors join Cooking Light to enjoy a special event with a garden-inspired menu perfect for end-of-summer entertaining. (Serves 8)
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