Chris’ Choice…

Summertime Recipes

Summer is a special season, a season when families and friends come together for not only alfresco dinners, but picnics, leisurely brunches, garden parties, and barbeques. When I wrote ‘The Summerhouse Cookbook,’ I included some of my favorite summertime recipes – and those of family and friends as well. The goal was to provide delicious meals, snacks and drinks without having to spend too much time in the kitchen – no one wants to sacrifice a nice swim in the pool for a hot oven! So, here are some of the recipes found in my book – the must-haves for any summer get-together!

String-Bean Salad – perfect to bring to a summer potluck!

Ingredients: two pounds fresh string beans, ¾ cup olive oil, 5 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 medium-sized Bermuda onion, 1 cup cherry tomatoes.

Wash & trim the beans, put them in a large saucepan of boiling salted water (3 to 5 quarts) and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and drain while still crisp.

Whisk oil, vinegar and mustard together and pour over the beans in a large salad bowl. Toss gently and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.

One hour before serving, thinly slice the onion and cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Add to the beans, toss, and return to the refrigerator before serving.


Cold Lemon Chicken – a favorite of mine to pack in a picnic lunch!

Ingredients: ½ cup dry white wine, 1 cup water, ½ cup lemon juice, 3 chicken breasts (split, skinned, boned), 4 tablespoons mayonnaise, 4 teaspoons finely chopped cucumber, 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper

Combine wine, water, and ½ cup lemon juice and bring to a boil in a saucepan. Add the chicken breasts, and more water id needed, cover, and poach for 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and drain on paper towels until cool.

In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise and cucumber, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Spread a thin layer over each chicken breast and wrap each one in an aluminum foil square. Chill at least four hours before the picnic.


Salmon & Cucumber Sandwiches – there’s nothing easier than a sandwich, and this one is tasty & refreshing.

Ingredients: 1 cucumber, 1 tablespoon capers, 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon chopped tarragon, 1 teaspoon chopped basil, 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, 12 slices rye bread, 6 thin slices smoked salmon

Peel and finely chop the cucumber. Drain the capers and stir in the cucumbers with a fork, along with mayonnaise, tarragon, basil, and lemon juice. Spread thickly on rye bread and place a piece of salmon on top, cover with another slice of bread. Cut in quarters for serving.


A Maddening Mélange – I love iced tea & lemonade, but sometimes it’s nice to change it up with this fruity drink!

Ingredients: 2 cups pineapple juice, 2 cups apple juice, 2 cups cranberry juice, 2 cups apricot nectar, 2 cups club soda, 1 pint lemon sherbet

Combine the fruit juices and chill. To serve, pour into a punch bowl, stir in the club soda, and float scoops of sherbet on top. This recipe will make around 10 cups.


Chilled Cream of Parsley Soup – So many of us associate a nice warm bowl of soup with the winter – so a nice chilled bowl of soup is nice in these warmer months.

Ingredients: 1 large bunch parsley, 2 ¼ cups chicken stock, 2 egg yolks, 2 cups light cream, dash cayenne, ½ cup sour cream, 6 parsley sprigs, salt & pepper to taste

Wash and thoroughly dry the parsley. Remove and discard the thick stems and mince, either in a food processor or by hand. This should yield about 1 cup parsley. Place the chicken stock in a heavy saucepan and stir in the parsley. Simmer gently for 20 minutes.

Beat the egg yolks, blend in the light cream and some of the soup and add it to the saucepan. Heat until the soup begins to boil. Add cayenne and season with salt and pepper. Strain the soup and chill for about three hours. Ladle into chilled coup bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of parsley.


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