Olive you. Olive you more!

Cooking with this adored Mediterranean fruit

It’s difficult to describe the tastes and flavors of foods. Olives are an especially hard case. Nothing tastes remotely like them, so it’s impossible to compare them to any other food.

Olive bread

Olive bread

Novelist Lawrence Durrell did the best job of evoking them when he wrote, “The whole Mediterranean, the sculpture, the palms, the gold beads, the bearded heroes . . . all of it seems to rise in the sour, pungent smell of these black olives between the teeth. A taste older than meat, older than wine. A taste as old as cold water.”

Cultivation of the olive is certainly ancient. The gnarly trees, their green-and-silver leaves trembling in any breeze, are native to the Mediterranean. In Israel, there’s evidence of olive oil production in 6000 BC, and on the Greek island of Naxos, archeologists have discovered remains of olive oil in a jug dating to 4,000 BC.

Indeed, the olive tree was so vital to the Greeks that they embedded it in their myth of Athena. When she struck the Acropolis with her spear, the first olive tree sprang forth. This magic underwhelmed the witnesses, who grumbled that the sea-god Poseidon would have given them a better gift. But after Athena taught them how to cultivate the tree and process its products for food, light and timber, they realized its many virtues and named their city Athens in her honor.

Greece remains a major grower, producing 11 percent of the world’s olives and consuming 23 liters of olive oil per person per year. (Americans consume about one liter.)

(Source: http://www.amherstbulletin.com) Continue reading

6 Lebensmittel, die nicht halten, was sie versprechen

Schwarze Oliven

Bei schwarzen Oliven handelt es sich nicht immer um natürlich gereifte Oliven. Oft werden grüne Oliven einfach nur schwarz eingefärbt. Das muss bei loser Ware oder in der Gastronomie allerdings kenntlich gemacht werden. Auf verpackten Oliven darf dieser Hinweis jedoch fehlen. Wer es ganz genau wissen will, schaut am besten in die Zutatenliste: Eisen-II-Gluconat (E579) und Eisen-II-Lactat (E585) deuten auf dieses Verfahren hin.

wasabiWasabi

Ihr denkt, dass in Wasabi automatisch auch echter japanischer Meerrettich steckt? Dann liegt ihr (in den meisten Fällen) falsch. Wilder Wasabi wächst nur in Japan und ist äußerst anspruchsvoll. Aus diesem Grund kostet das Gewürz auch zwischen 150 und 200 Euro pro Kilo. Die im Supermarkt erhältlichen Wasabi-Nüsse oder Erbsen enthalten zwischen 0,003 und 2 Prozent des Originalprodukts.

Aufgrund der schlechten Verfügbarkeit und des Preises wird wilder Wasabi (Hon Wasabi) oft mit westlichem Wasabi (Seiyo Wasabi), ein Meerrettich-Senf-Gemisch, ersetzt. Der Unterschied: Hon Wasabi ist mintgrün, Seiyo Wasabi froschgrün.

Weiße Schokolade

Weiße Schokolade ist eigentlich überhaupt keine Schokolade. Wenn man sich die Zutatenliste anschaut, wird der weißen Schokolade das Kakaopulver und die Kakaomasse entzogen – die für normale Schoko unabdingbar sind. Zur eigentlichen Herstellung wird lediglich Kakaobutter, Zucker und Milch verwendet. Genau gesagt, dürfte sich diese Nascherei also nicht Schokolade nennen. Wir finden: Mit dieser Mogelverpackung können wir leben.

(Source: http://www.brigitte.de)

When life gives you onions, no need to cry

Karen Makowski wrote in a few months ago, looking for salad recipes to use up a bumper crop of onions from the garden. Clearly, it’s not gardening season right now, but we can dream. In the meantime, these recipes also work as refreshing winter salads.
Thanks to Linda Snider for her recipe for onion and orange salad. I also found a version that combines onions with tomatoes, cucumbers and olives.

Onion and Orange Salad

onion16 large oranges
45 ml (3 tbsp) red wine vinegar
90 ml (6 tbsp) olive oil
5 ml (1 tsp) dried oregano
Salad greens
1 red onion, thinly sliced in rings
250 ml (1 cup) black olives (see note)
Black pepper, to taste
60 ml (1/4 cup) chopped fresh chives
Peel oranges and then cut each into 4 or 5 crosswise slices. Transfer to shallow dish and drizzle with vinegar and oil and sprinkle with oregano. Toss gently, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Arrange salad greens in a shallow serving dish. Toss oranges again, arrange on greens. Arrange onion and black olives on top. Add pepper to taste and garnish with chives.

Tester’s notes: I like the crunch and the combination of intense flavours in this easy salad. Linda continues the fruit theme by replacing the olives with blueberries. I did use olives — I like the mix of hot, sweet and salty tastes — but I cut the amount to about 60 ml (1/4 cup), using them as an accent rather than a main ingredient.

Onion, Tomato and Cucumber Salad

onion24 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
1/4 red onion, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
15 ml (1 tbsp) red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Place tomatoes, onions and cucumbers in a serving bowl. Drizzle with oil and vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste. Let flavours blend for 30 minutes, then serve.

Tester’s notes: Another easy chopped salad. Some crumbled feta cheese would be a good addition.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 4, 2015 C5

(Source: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com)

Lamb Chops with Aubergine, Feta and Anchovies

SCA_14-01-2015_OUR_MORETON_BAY_04_lamb chops_t620INGREDIENTS:
1 tbs pesto, zest and juice of 1 lemon, 2 cloves garlic, 8 lamb loin chops, fat removed
Salad: ¼ cup olive oil, 1 eggplant cut into 5mm slices, 250g cherry tomatoes, 150g green beans cut in half and blanched, 150g feta, ½ cup black olives, 4 anchovies, chopped, ¼ cup basil leaves, 1 tbs olive oil, 1 tbs balsamic vinegar, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

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Roasted Vegetable Salad With Olives and Cheese

635566601426725714-phxdc5-61j5qx1o6nb3k3wq7hf-original¾ cup olive oil | ¼ cup balsamic vinegar | 1 large red onion, cut into ¾-inch-thick rounds | 12 baby beets, stems trimmed to 1 inch, peeled, halved lengthwise | 3 small zucchini, each cut lengthwise into 4 slices | 1 small eggplant, diced into 1-inch pieces | 2 large red bell peppers, cut into 2-inch-wide strips | 6 slices country-style French bread | Additional olive oil | 10 cups mixed baby greens | 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil | 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or green onions | 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram | ¾ cup chilled fresh mild goat cheese (such as Montrachet), crumbled (about 3 ounces) | ½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 2 ounces) | ¾ cup brine-cured black olives (such as kalamata)

Heat grill on medium-high heat. Whisk ¾ cup oil and vinegar in medium bowl until well-blended. Place onion, beets, zucchini, eggplants and red bell pepper on baking sheet. Brush both sides with some of the vinaigrette. Sprinkle vegetables with salt and pepper. Grill vegetables until just cooked through, about 10 minutes per side for beets, 6 minutes per side for onion and 4 minutes per side for zucchini, eggplant and peppers. Remove the vegetables according to individual cooking requirements. Vegetables can be grilled 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Brush bread with additional olive oil; sprinkle with pepper. Grill bread until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes per side.

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spaghetti with fresh tomato, olives & tuna

INGREDIENTS
  • h300_w300_m5_bwhite375 g packet spaghetti
  • 425 g can tuna in springwater, drained, flaked
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 long red chilli, seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 80 g low-fat fetta, crumbled
  • salad, to serve
PREPARATION
  • 1Cook spaghetti in a large pan of boiling, salted water, according to packet instructions. Drain well and return to pan.
  • 2Toss remaining ingredients, except fetta, through pasta. Season to taste.
  • 3Serve pasta sprinkled with feta. Accompany with salad, if desired.
NOTES
  • This would also be delicious with pan-fried prawns instead of tuna.

(Source: http://www.msn.com)

Nut and Olive rounds

Delicious flavours of the Med transformed into crispy bites

11097954_11097959

Makes 24 rounds

INGREDIENTS
1 roll of frozen puff pastry, thawed
125ml sweet chilli sauce
125g Kalamata olives, chopped
100g hazel nuts, chopped
100g pecan nuts, chopped
100g marinated sun-dried tomatoes
250g mozzarella cheese, grated

METHOD
1 Preheat oven to 180C.
2 Unroll the pastry and spread the sweet chilli sauce over it.
3 Arrange the olives, nuts, sun-dried tomatoes and cheese on the pastry.
4 Roll up the pastry lengthways, cover with cling film and place into the fridge for half an hour to chill.
5 Once the roll has firmed up, slice it into 1cm slices and place the slices onto a greased or sprayed baking tray.
6 Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden. Serve while still warm.

(Source: http://www.ahlanlive.com)

Roast Cod with Artichokes and Olives

Ingredients
fnm_120113-roast-cod-with-artichokes-recipe_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscape1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced
1 9 -ounce box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 6 -ounce cod fillets
Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus wedges for serving
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Directions
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Combine the potato slices, artichokes, olives, rosemary, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl. Spread the mixture evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet; bake until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
Brush the fish with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set the fish on top of the vegetables. Return to the oven and continue baking until the fish is opaque and the vegetables are golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Drizzle the fish with the lemon juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
Per serving: Calories 373; Fat 17 g (Saturated 2 g); Cholesterol 52 mg; Sodium 1,219 mg; Carbohydrate 24 g; Fiber 5 g; Protein 30 g
Photograph by Justin Walker
Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine

(Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com)

Easy dinner recipes: Chicken three ways in an hour or less

When you’re looking for easy dinner ideas, you can’t go wrong with chicken. It pairs well with almost any flavorings and can be cooked in so many ways. These great ideas come together in an hour or less:

Chicken and orzo with lemon and olives: This dish is one-pot perfection. Chicken drumsticks cook with a simple medley of orzo pasta, lemon wedges, olives, oregano, garlic and bay leaves in a richly flavored dish that comes together in only 45 minutes.

joweiukn-recipe-db

Cayenne Cafe chicken with pomegranate-walnut sauce: A great way to showcase fresh pomegranates in season, this simple grilled chicken dish highlights the fruit in a rich garlic-walnut sauce that plays the tartness of the pomegranate against the sweetness of dark brown sugar.

Roast chicken with fried artichokes and lemons: Tender roast chicken is served with crisp fried artichoke and lemon “chips.” The whole meal comes together in only an hour. You can find the recipe below.

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Moutabel Al Marjan

Chef Mounir Al Khatib of Al Marjan in Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah shares this simple but delicious recipe

By Mounir Al Khatib | Published: 12:44 November 18, 2014

1555056163INGREDIENTS

Carrot | Beetroot | Cauliflower | Garlic | Tahini oil | Salt | Lemon salt | Olive oil | Black olives

PREPARATION

For the moutabel carrot:

Peel the carrot and steam until cooked. Leave to cool. In a mixer, add the cooked carrot, garlic, tahini oil, salt and lemon salt. Blend to a smooth, paste-like consistency. Garnish with olive oil and black olives.

For the moutabel cauliflower:

Follow the same procedure above, but replace carrot with cauliflower.

For the moutabel beetroot:

Steam the beetroot until cooked then let it cool. Peel the beetroot and put in a blender. Add garlic, tahini oil, salt, lemon salt and blend to a smooth, paste-like consistency. Garnish with olive oil.

(Source: http://gulfnews.com)

Citrus Salad

Ingredients

12 baresane olives – 12 cerignola olives – 1 Tbsp bomba calabrese – 1/2 cup olive oil, divided – 2 navel oranges – 2 blood oranges – 4 clementines – 1 lemon – 2 ruby grapefruits – 1/2 pomegranate – Salt (we use Maldon) and freshly ground black pepper – 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves – 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

citrus recipes

Instructions

  • Smash olives with side of knife and remove pits.
  • In a medium bowl, combine olives, bomba, and half the olive oil. Stir well and set aside to marinate.
  • Slice the top and bottom off navel oranges and blood oranges. Remove the peel and white pith carefully with knife. Slice across cross-sections and set aside.
  • Peel clementines, individually segment slices, and set aside.
  • Slice the top and bottom off lemon and grapefruit. Remove peel and all white pith carefully. Slice each segment from membrane and set aside.
  • Slice pomegranate in half. Over a bowl of cold water, hit pomegranate with the back of a spoon so each individual seed falls into the water. Remove any white particles. Strain seeds and set aside.
  • On a large, flat serving plate, randomly arrange all citrus fruits and segments, and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Spoon olives over fruit and drizzle with remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and top with parsley and mint.
  • Serve immediately.

(Source: http://canadaam.ctvnews.ca)

Agricultural exports could grow to 10 bln euros per year

By Dimitra Manifava

20140821_citrus marinated olivesThe Greek farming sector would be able to raise the value of its exports from the 4 billion euros a year it stands at today to 10 billion euros if it adjusts production to international market demand, Foodstandard chief executive Stelios Drys told a press conference in Athens on Tuesday.

Production of table olives in the last 10 years has grown from 90,000 tons to 140,000 tons per year, with 75 percent of output destined for foreign markets. A recent swing in favor of Kalamata olives, however, could see exports soar even further, Drys said. It is this kind of shift to agricultural products with high export potential that could constitute a key to the recovery of the Greek economy, the executive argued.

Another step he suggested is for farmers to switch to new crops that have high demand and high yields. A case in point is the decision by 56 farmers in Agrinio, western Greece, to swap tobacco for stevia, a plant used as a natural sweetener. They also reached a deal with a major multinational in the non-alcoholic beverages sector, which should earn them about 800 euros per 1,000 square meters.

Drys said that although the mentality of Greek farmers is gradually moving away from subsidized production to more innovative approaches, there is still a lot of work to be done to promote cooperation among various sectors in agriculture.

olives_390_1410“We need to develop what is called the domestic extroverted character. Tourists visiting Crete should be returning home with at least one liter of olive oil. With that alone the exports of Cretan olive oil could reach 3,500 tons [per year] from 1,300 tons today,” explained Drys.

There have been some food retailing and agricultural cooperations with the participation of the private and the public sector in the regions of Crete and the Northern Aegean to this end.

(Source: http://www.ekathimerini.com)

Olive bread is perfect for fall

A mix of olives with an undercurrent of rosemary makes a savory loaf that’s a perfect complement to autumn soups and stews.

If extending an olive branch is a symbol of peace, imagine the reaction you’ll get when you extend a loaf of savory olive bread, each slice an attractive mosaic of ingredients. On the other hand, if there’s not enough to go around, war may break out. Worth the risk.

ows_141339677056209As with any recipe defined by a main ingredient — in this case, olives — it’s best to seek out good quality olives. Bypass the jars and cans and peruse the olive bars found in many grocery stores, which also lets you buy only the amount you need. While Kalamata are the most common black olives in olive breads, some may prefer the smaller Niçoise with their concentration of flavor. There are a broad range of green olives, from quite fruity to deeply briny. Avoid any stuffed varieties, though; the fillings will create wet pockets in the bread and compete with the olives’ flavor. This recipe uses a mix of purple-black Kalamatas and plump, green Sicilians. Experiment! Some will ows_141339672622626favor an all-Kalamata loaf, while others go only green. The dough also incorporates some olive oil into the mix. In this case, a basic olive oil suffices because the bread bakes at a high temperature; save your spendier oil for fresh vinaigrette. This recipe also uses a kneading technique that’s becoming more popular, a bonus with this soft dough. Instead of massaging and pummeling the dough on a counter and being tempted to add more flour, place the dough in an oiled bowl, then with wet hands use a stretch-and-fold action, pulling one end up and over, repeating on all four “sides” of the bowl. Do this three times in 15-minute intervals and you’ll feel the dough start to develop its body, becoming smoother and more easily handled. It’s actually pretty cool. (And if that sounds time-consuming, it’s little different from baking several pans of cookies.) Set the dough aside to rise for about an hour, shape and let rise for another 30 to 40 minutes, then bake. Sharing such a loaf with people you love is the very definition of “breaking bread,” which is one of the most peaceable things we can do.

(Source: http://www.startribune.com)

Tapas heaven with olives – recipes

OLIVE BREAD

750ml flour | 10ml salt | 10ml sugar | 10g sachet of instant yeast | 50ml olive oil | 400-500ml warm water | 60ml chopped black olives | 60ml chopped green olives | extra oil for brushing

  • 20140821_834680664Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl.
  • Add olive oil and enough warm water to mix to a dough that is soft but not sticky. Knead well until smooth and elastic.
  • Put the dough in an oiled plastic bag and leave to rise in a warm place until double in size.
  • Remove dough and knead lightly.
  • Knead the olives into the dough. Shape the dough into an oval loaf and place on a greased baking tray, cover with an oiled plastic bag and leave to rise for about 30 minutes.
  • Brush the surface with olive oil and bake at 190°C for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove and cool on a rack.

GREEN OLIVES IN CHEESE PASTRY (Makes 12)

250ml grated Cheddar cheese | 100g butter, softened | 310ml flour | 5ml dry mustard powder | 2ml salt | 12 large green stuffed olives, drained

  • 20140821_Olive PastryPut the cheese, butter, flour, mustard and salt in a food processor and process until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Remove from the processor, wrap in cling film and set aside for 30 minutes. Break off pieces of pastry and mould around an olive. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  • Repeat with remaining dough and olives. Bake at 180°C for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove and cool. Delicious served as a cocktail snack.

CITRUS MARINATED OLIVES

250ml olive oil | 300g green olives in brine | 300g black olives in brine | 4 bay leaves | 4 sprigs of rosemary | 1-2 red chilies, seeded and sliced | a few strips of lemon rind | a few strips of orange rind | 60ml red wine vinegar

  • 20140821_citrus marinated olivesPour oil into a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until just warm. Divide olives, bay leaves, rosemary, chili, rind and vinegar between sterilised glass jars. Pour over warm olive oil. Seal.
  • Turn jars upside down and stand for five minutes. Turn upright.
  • Allow to infuse for one week, turning once daily.

OLIVE TAPENADE (Makes 125ml)

250ml black olives, pitted | 50ml chopped parsley | 5ml chopped garlic | 2-3 anchovy fillets | 30-60ml olive oil

  • 20140821_834680664Put the olives, parsley, garlic and anchovies into a processor and process until finely chopped.
  • With the machine running, add in the olive oil. Process until smooth.
  • Store in a jar in the refrigerator and serve on slices of toasted baguette.

(Source: http://www.iol.co.za)

* For household queries, recipes and tips, call The Angela Day Helpline at 011 836 7181 from 8.30am-12.30pm weekdays, or e-mail Janice at angeladay@inl.co.za

* See www.angeladay.co.za

Baked fish with tomatoes, olives and capers

Serve up dinner in 15 minutes with this simple and satisfying baked fish with olives, tomato and capers.

181796-aug19_taste

Ingredients:

  • 4 x 175g ling fillets (or other firm skinless white fish such as blue-eye or snapper), skin removed
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 100g pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups mixed salad leaves, to serve
Step 1
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the fish in a roasting pan, scatter with the tomatoes, olives, capers and thyme sprigs, then drizzle with the olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper, then bake for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven, cover with foil and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
Step 2
Divide the fish, tomatoes and olives among 4 warmed plates. Stir the vinegar into the pan juices and spoon over the fish. Serve with salad leaves.

Olive Tapenade Crostini | Friday Night Bites

When it comes to appetizers, simplicity is sublime.  Often the limited number of ingredients combined together creates the most spectacular flavor profiles.  My Olive Tapenade Crostinis are a perfect example of this theory.  Between the salty, savory tapenade and the smoky flavor from the red pepper along with the sweetness from the reduced balsamic on top of a crunchy carbohydrate – this is heaven in a two bite delight.DSC00572

Hubby and I attended a holiday party last weekend in San Franciscowhich was rather beige unfortunately, but one that we needed to attend. We had great guests at our table, so the event was several shades more enticing.  With any type of mass catering, sometimes the finesse of tasty food is lost in production and as hard as they tried, it was a lack luster attempt.  Perhaps because I have such an affinity for food, I am being a bit too critical and I am sure others were thrilled and I am hapy for them.  Be that as it may, there was one bright light shining at the event and it was on the appetizer portion of this party – thus my inspiration for this week’s Friday Night Bites.  I always try to find the positive in any situation.

My positive was this delightful little two bite Crostini filled with salty tapenade, mozzarella and roasted red bell pepper.  I added the reduced balsamic and a garlic rubbed Crostini.  This can’t be more simple to make and will WOW your guests.  This is a perfect appetizer to bring for any holiday party or enjoy on New Years Eve with a chilled glass of your favorite bubbly.  Cheers! Continue reading

Roast string beans for an unexpected burst of flavour

We’re used to seeing green string beans as a side dish, but the white variety is often forgotten. Similar in taste and texture, I like changing it up with this uncommon pick.

These beans are filled with antioxidants and can be stored for at least a week if unwashed and placed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper. Roasting the beans along with the garlic, tomatoes and black olives gives you a true Mediterranean feel. Great as a side dish or salad on its own.beans

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line two baking sheets with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
2. 
Place the garlic cloves and tomatoes on one of the foil-covered baking sheets. Place the string beans on the other sheet. Spray both sheets of vegetables with vegetable oil.
Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the tomatoes. Continue baking for another 10 minutes until the beans are slightly browned and the garlic is soft. Carefully squeeze out the garlic cloves. Continue reading

7 Easy Summer Recipes

David Leite is the publisher of the James Beard Award-winning website  and the author of The New Portuguese Table cookbook.

I don’t know about your home, but there’s a very handsome hammock in our backyard, strung between two trees, looking to all the world like a giant smile. And The One and I would very much like to spend the better part of the month in it, which is why these 7 easy summer recipes are worthy of your printer. (Now if only I could find a way to move the kitchen closer to the hammock. Time to call Contractor Dan.)rigatoni-artichokes-olives

1. Rigatoni with Artichokes, Garlic, and Olives What would summer be without pasta, I ask you? And this rigatoni recipe (pictured above) is packed with high-octane flavors. Besides artichokes, garlic, and olives, you’ll also find orange zest, rosemary, and a bit of butter. And Fatty Daddy here would never be caught melting over a pot of boiling water in August heat with guests nipping at his heels, and neither should you. What I love about this is you can make the pasta ahead of time: Cook as directed, drain it, toss it lightly with olive oil, dump it into a zip-top bag, and chuck it in the fridge. When dinnertime rolls around, whip up your sauce and add the cold pasta to the pan and stir until heated through.

2. Cantaloupe Soup with Prosciutto-Mozzarella Sandwiches  Let’s face it. There aren’t a ton of recipes that come together in minutes and have sass and surprise to spare. But this cantaloupe soup is an exception. The ingredients list: cantelopes, mint, salt, and pepper. That’s it. On the side, a gussied-up ham and cheese sammie. Boo-yah!

3. Lobster Salad Okay, before you start squirming around the kitchen howling like Woody Allen in “Annie Hall,” you don’t have perform crustacean murder to make this recipe.  Most markets will either cook your lobsters for you or have the meat already cleaned and packaged. Just ask.  Either way, you’ll love the combination of chunks of lobster, lightly dressed with mayonnaise, red onion, and basil, and the cherry tomato salad.  And the best thing for all you low-carb and/or Paleo folks, there’s nary a top-split roll in sight.

4. Tomato and Green Bean Salad Fresh, fresh, fresh. That’s what comes to mind when I think of this tomato salad. It’s called Tomatosalata me Fasolakia in Greek. Toss in toasted chunks of day-old bread that are brushed with extra-virgin olive oil, and you’ve got yourself a Greek version of the Italian favorite panzanella. And here’s a fun idea: Grab a copy of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” throw pillows around the family room for atmosphere, and invite your guests to lounge while supping on their salad. Serve grilled lamb chops as a main course and somepastelli (sesame, pistachio, and honey candy) as a sweet finish.

5. Smoky Gazpacho Sorry for two tomato recipes, but it is August, after all. Because this gazpacho, rich with smoky flavor–not from smoked paprika, as many think–but from tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, and garlic that are lightly smoked on the grill, was such a favorite of my recipe testers, I’d be strung and quartered if I didn’t include it. Serve it room temp or just slightly chilled so as not to mute the smokiness of the dish. And this concludes the tomato portion of our program. We now return to our regularly scheduled recipes.

6. Parmesan-Crusted Chicken This one’s for the kids–no matter their age. It’s a simple dip (in egg white), flip (in Parmesan cheese), and bake (in the oven) recipe. And what I like about it, besides how quick it is to make, is that it’s not first slathered with mayonnaise before being coating with cheese. Not that I have anything against mayo, mind you, but I’d rather pull it out for the aforementioned lobster salad.

7. Thai Grilled Pork If you’re like me, you just roll your eyes at any summer recipe with more than a handful of ingredients. And when I think Thai, I think bigshopping lists. But not with these little lovely pork skewers. They’re a cinch to put together. The marinade, made with cilantro root (more on that in a minute), garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and coconut cream, is what gives the pork flavor and keeps it moist.  This recipe plays nicely with a green papaya salad and sticky rice. If you can get cilantro with its roots still attached, just wash, scrape, and finely chop it. If not, plain ole cilantro leaves will do.

(Source: http://parade.condenast.com)