Lusting Over :: Baked Lemon Ricotta with Strawberries
Sometimes I'll taste something so beyond incredible, I feel like I've won the lottery (well, a slight exaggeration, but still). I'm currently crushing over the baked lemon ricotta cheese from Bedford Cheese Shop. Imagine the amazingness of a creamy Italian ricotta + bright lemony notes + a light cake-like texture. Paired with some fresh summer strawberries and a glass Prosecco and you'll transport yourself smack in the middle of a lemon grover on the Amalfi Coast in no time.
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Fresh Start to Summer
Sometimes it's easy to get wrapped up in life and forget the little things that make your eyes sparkle a bit brighter - like the unofficial kickoff of summer. Memorial Day weekend always signifies a seasonal shift for me and this year didn't disappoint given the wave of heat that has blanketed the city. Summer has me dreaming of the beach, grilling out, relaxing in the sun with great friends and making the most of a quieter city on the weekends. Thankfully, I was able to start off the season in good form: a few days in Montauk to lay in the sand and then back to the steamy city to host a few friends for a lazy Monday dinner al fresco. I admit, it was so lazy and chill that I chose not to take full photos of the meal, so you'll just have to trust me on the menu and the two recipes noted below. I promise, this sparkler and salad also won't disappoint and may just carry you through a fantastic summer. Cheers!
Lazy Memorial Day Monday Grill Out
grilled calamari with piment d'esplette and lemon
grilled Long Island scallops with garlic scape-lemon-butter sauce
grass-fed flank steak marinated with soy sauce, sesame oil, chili, garlic, ginger & lime juice
"kitchen sink" black rice salad with sugar sneap peas, summer herbs, strawberries, mango and toasted almonds
grilled asparagus with pickled red onions and feta cheese
"Kitchen Sink" Black Rice Salad :: with Snap Peas, Summer Herbs, Mango, Strawberries & More
Serves :: 10
*Black "forbidden" rice is rich in antioxidants, high in fiber and has a nutty flavor. Look for it in Whole Foods or at kalustyans.com. This makes a vibrant gluten-free, aromatic salad that's great for large groups (or small ones).
2 cups black rice
3 cups water
2 cups sugar snap peas, blanched and chopped
1 small bunch radishes, quartered
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 pint of strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
4 to 5 scallions, chopped
1 to 2 garlic scapes, minced
1 small red chili, minced (if desired)
3/4 cup thai basil, loosely packed and torn
3/4 cup mint, loosely packed and chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
zest and juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons avocado or grapeseed oil
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
Rinse rice well until it's no longer cloudy. Place in a medium saucepan with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low - just the slightest simmer - cover and cook 35-40 minutes until water has evaporated. Remove the lid and remove from heat. Place a towel over the pot and let stand 10-15 minutes to steam. Fluff rice with a fork and transfer to a serving bowl to cool.
Add remaining ingredients to rice and lightly toss. Garnish with extra almonds and lime zest if desired.
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Rose` Sparkler with Thai Basil and Strawberries
Rose` Sparkler with Thai Basil & Strawberries ::
Serves :: 6 to 8
1 1/2 bottles of dry, crispy rose` wine
1 bottle of sparkling water or Pellegrino
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
3/4 cup thai basil leaves, loosely packed
3 tablespoons thai basil simple syrup*
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup thai basil leaves, loosely packed
To make simple syrup, bring all ingredients to a simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool.
Mix all ingredients in a large pitcher and serve over ice.