1 of 6Courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis (3); Amy Neunsinger
Italian chef and Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis shares five easy recipes from her cookbooks that are perfect for serving on a steamy summer day. These sandwiches and salads are delicious cold or room temperature-so you don't have to fuss with a hot oven or melt in front of grill. Whether you're hosting a casual picnic or a more formal meal, these recipes are guaranteed crowd pleasers.
2 of 6Amy Neunsinger
Brussels Sprout Leaf Salad
Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts 2 packed cups (2 ounces) baby arugula 1 Belgian endive, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted [To toast almonds, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 6 to 8 minutes, until lightly toasted. Cool completely before using.] 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon) Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/3 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
Directions: 1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Have ready a bowl filled halfway with ice water. 2. Meanwhile, if you have time, use a small paring knife to separate the leaves from the Brussels sprouts. (Reserve cores for another use.) Otherwise, you can simply cut the Brussels sprouts in quarters, which is faster. Add the Brussels sprouts to the boiling water,
cooking leaves for 1 minute and quarters for 2 minutes. Drain and transfer to the bowl of iced water. Once cool, drain well in a colander. 3. Combine the Brussels sprouts, arugula, endive, and almonds in a salad bowl. 4. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice until smooth. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the dressing to the salad and toss together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the cheese and serve. Serves 4.
Ingredients: Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 cup Israeli couscous Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons honey 1 (4-pound) piece watermelon, rind removed, flesh cut into
1/2-inch cubes 2 (4-ounce) blocks feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 2 packed cups (2 ounces) watercress or arugula
Directions: 1. In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil over medium- high heat. Stir in the couscous and reduce the heat so that the mixture simmers. Cover the pan and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the couscous is tender. Drain and set aside to cool for 15 minutes. 2. In a salad bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the cooled couscous, watermelon, feta, and watercress. Gently toss until all the ingredients are combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Ingredients: amp#149;8 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, about 8 slices amp#149;1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise amp#149;1 tablespoon curry powder amp#149;1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice amp#149;2 teaspoons honey amp#149;1 1/2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger amp#149;3 1/2 to 4 cups diced roasted chicken (from a 2-pound store-bought roasted chicken) amp#149;1 1/2 cups shredded radicchio amp#149;4 ciabatta rolls
Directions: 1. Fry the pancetta slices in a large skillet over high heat until crispy. Drain the pancetta on paper towels and set aside. 2. In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, curry powder, lime juice, honey, and ginger. Stir to combine. Add the chicken and radicchio and stir to coat with the dressing. 3. Slice the rolls in half. Spoon the chicken mixture onto the bottom halves of the rolls. Top with pieces of the crispy pancetta and the roll tops and serve. Serves 4.
Reprinted from the book Giada’s Kitchen by Giada De Laurentiis. Copyright e 2008 by Giada De Laurentiis. Photographs copyright e 2008 by Tina Rupp. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.
5 of 6Tina Rupp
Focaccia Lobster Rolls
Ingredients: amp#149;1/2 cup marscapone cheese, at room temperature amp#149;1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil amp#149;2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves amp#149;2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh chives amp#149;Zest of 1 lemon amp#149;1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice amp#149;1 garlic clove, minced amp#149;Salt and freshly ground black pepper amp#149;1/2 pound cooked lobster meat (or diced cooked prawns) amp#149;4 focaccia rolls (about 4 by 5 inches each)
Directions: 1. In a medium bowl, stir together the marscapone and olive oil until combined and smooth. Stir in the tarragon, chives, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. 2. Cut the lobster meat into nice, big chunks; if using prawns, peel them and cut into 1-inch pieces. 3. Add the lobster meat to the herb sauce and toss to coat. Divide the lobster mixture among the rolls and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Reprinted from the book Giada's Kitchen by Giada De Laurentiis. Copyright e 2008 by Giada De Laurentiis. Photographs copyright e 2008 by Tina Rupp. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.
6 of 6Jonelle Weaver
Shaved Melon Salad with Mint Sugar
Ingredients: 1/2 (about 1 pound) small seedless watermelon 1/2 (about 1 pound) honeydew melon, seeds removed 1/2 (about 1 pound) cantaloupe melon, seeds removed 1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves, finely chopped, plus mint sprigs, for garnish 1/2 cup turbinado or other coarse sugar
1. Cut each melon lengthwise into 1-inch-wide slices. Hold the melon slices at the peel end and, using a sharp vegetable peeler, shave the melon flesh in long ribbons into a large serving bowl. 2. In a small bowl, combine the mint leaves and sugar. Add the mint sugar to the shaved melon and gently toss.
3. Arrange the melon salad on individual salad plates. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs and serve. Serves 4-6.
Cook's Note: The melons are easiest to shave into ribbons when they are slightly underripe and chilled.