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Summer Eats

With Lauren Lane Culinarian

Mixed Berry Salad

SERVES 4-6 

Ingredients

For Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons strawberry jam

  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot or green onion

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon pepper, or to taste

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (Cervasi Preferred)

For Salad:

  • 1 pint (2 cups) strawberries, halved

  • ¾ cup blueberries

  • ¾ cup blackberries

  • 5-6 cups mixed greens

  • ¾ cup or more gorgonzola, feta, blue or goat cheese

  • ½ cup pecans, pine nuts or walnuts (optional)

Method

Place vinegar, jam, Dijon mustard, shallot, salt and pepper in a large bowl or jar, then whisk in the olive oil. Place the berries and mixed greens in a serving bowl and drizzle with some of the dressing. Taste and add more dressing as desired. Top salad with cheese, and nuts if using.

Lauren's Quick Tips:

Vinaigrette can be made 1-3 days ahead and covered and chilled. • Make a double batch of the dressing if you like a lot of dressing. • Store what you don’t use in the fridge. Let it come to room temp before using. • Use as much, and any fruit you’d like. • Add grilled chicken and make it a meal.

Pasta Primavera

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (Cervasi preferred)

  • 1/4 cup minced onion

  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or chopped 

  • bundle sprigs asparagus, trimmed of ends and thinly sliced on the bias

  • 2 cups sugar snap peas, halved

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

  • 1 pound fettuccine (Cervasi preferred)

  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus some to pass at the table

  • Kosher salt and pepper

Method

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. In a small saucepot, bring cream and lemon zest to a simmer. Simmer 3 minutes to thicken then remove from heat. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil. Add onion and garlic, cook until fragrant. Add asparagus, snap peas, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir and toss to cook until tender-crisp. Don’t overcook. Add the stock. Salt boiling water liberally (about 2-3 tablespoons of kosher salt) and cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup liquid then drain. Off the heat, toss pasta, frozen peas (they will cook with the heat from the pasta), other vegetables, infused cream, and grated cheese. Add some of the reserved pasta water if needed to thin the sauce. Important, taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. Serve in warm bowls, topped with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Lauren's Quick Tips

• Cheese is key in this dish, so be sure your wedge of parmesan says Parmigiano-Reggiano to be sure you’re getting the real deal. • To make it vegetarian, sub vegetable stock for the chicken. • Use any vegetables you’d like but don’t overcook them. • For a winter primavera, sub roasted butternut squash, red onions, red peppers, and red cabbage for the spring vegetables.

Easy Lemon Bars

Ingredients

For the pastry:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 cup cold butter, cut into pieces

For the filling

  • 6 large eggs

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 4 lemons)

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 13-by-9-inch pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides. Stir together 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or fork until crumbly. Press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 25 minutes or until very lightly browned. Meanwhile, make the filling: Whisk the whole eggs and yolks, sugar and flour in a bowl until smooth. Whisk in the lemon zest and juice. Remove the crust from the oven and reduce the temperature to 300 degrees. Pour the filling over the warm crust and return to the oven. Bake until the filling is just set, about 25 to 35 minutes. Give the pan a light tap with an oven mitt to test that the filling no longer jiggles. Let the bars cool in the pan on a rack, then refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. Lift from the pan using the foil and slice. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.

Lauren's Quick Tips

• To freeze: Cut the cooled bars (without confectioners’ sugar topping) into squares, then place onto a baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour. Individually wrap each bar in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place into a large bag or freezer container to freeze. • Try subbing some of the lemon juice with orange juice.

For more recipes, follow @lauren_lane_culinarian and Lauren-Lane.com

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