• Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Quick Summer Recipes

When You Can't Take the Summer Heat in the Kitchen
By , CYJ Contributor
August 29, 2012

In summer’s prime, time is best spent anywhere but the kitchen—especially a hot one. When you’re too busy surfing, lounging poolside, playing 18 holes, or sipping a cocktail to cook a proper meal but still crave deliciousness, try out this hassle-free menu that completely avoids grills, ovens, or any source of heat. After all, the clock is ticking towards Labor Day, and any extra hours should be devoted to improving your golf swing or paddleboarding on a new beach.

Beef Carpaccio with Fennel, Orange, and Red Onion Salad


1 (3/4 lb.) beef tenderloin, trimmed well 
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 navel oranges, cut into supremes with excess juice reserved
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small fennel bulb, halved and cored
1/2 red onion
2 cups arugula
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste


Carnivores, relax. Raw doesn’t mean vegan. Freezing the meat ahead of time makes slicing it thin a lot easier. If you really love fennel, consider dusting the tenderloin with ground fennel seeds before freezing. 

Yield: 4 servings

Wrap tenderloin tightly in Saran and freeze for at least an hour. Chill 4 serving plates.

Add vinegar, mustard, and reserved orange juice to a medium bowl and whisk well. Slowly drizzle in 3 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Using a mandolin, shave fennel and onion into paper-thin slices. Add to a bowl with dressing. Add orange supremes. Mix well, adjust seasoning, and set aside.

Remove tenderloin from freezer and unwrap. Cut into as thin slices as possible.

Add arugula to fennel salad and toss gently. Divide salad between 4 chilled serving plates. Place slices of beef on plates next to salad and drizzle with remaining teaspoon of oil. Lightly season beef with salt and pepper and serve.

Herb Ricotta and Prosciutto Pockets with Shaved Asparagus Salad


3/4 cup whole milk ricotta
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon tarragon, minced
1/2 tablespoon basil, minced
1/2 tablespoon chives, minced
12 thin slices prosciutto
1 tablespoon lemon juice
16 thick stalks asparagus
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


After spending a day in the summer sun, this dish makes a nice light lunch or first course for dinner. The slices of asparagus are delicate, so toss them with the dressing right before serving.

Yield: 4 servings

Add ricotta, 3 teaspoons olive oil, tarragon, basil, and chives to a small bowl. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Using your index and middle fingers as an anchor, wrap prosciutto into a cone shape. Stuff cone with a tablespoon or two of ricotta mixture. Repeat with remaining slices of prosciutto. Wrap and refrigerate until serving.

Take bottom third of asparagus and snap off tough end. Using this as a guide, line up the rest of the stalks and cut off rough ends. Using a vegetable peeler, peel away thin strips of asparagus and add them to a bowl. Add lemon juice and remaining olive oil to asparagus. Toss well and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with prosciutto pockets. 

Littlenecks on the Half Shell with Zucchini, Chili, and Cilantro


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Thai chili, sliced thin
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 small zucchini
20 Littleneck clams, scrubbed, shucked, and kept on ice
5 lemon wedges
Kosher salt, to taste


Raw clams offer one of the best briny bites of the sea. The chili and cilantro add a bit of heat to the familiar, and if you’re in the mood, a glass of rosé complements perfectly.

Yield: 4 servings

Add olive oil, chili, cilantro, and lemon juice to a medium bowl. Using a vegetable peeler or mandolin, slice zucchini lengthwise into thin strips. Add zucchini to bowl with dressing and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Serve clams with lemon wedges and zucchini on side.

Mango Lassi


2 cups frozen mango
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons honey
healthy pinch cardamom


Not in the mood for bacon or eggs before putting on a swimsuit or hitting the tennis court? Try our spin on the traditional Indian yogurt drink, with its clean flavors and creamy texture.

Yield: 3 servings

Add mango to a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Puree for 30 seconds. Add yogurt, milk, honey, and cardamom. Puree until mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Serve immediately. 

Blueberry Coconut Sorbet


3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
1 1/2 cups coconut milk


This quick, healthy dessert is a great way to use the perfectly ripe blueberries of summer. If coconut’s not your thing, then substitute almond milk or regular whole milk without trouble.

Yield: 4-5 servings

Add berries, lemon zest, and sugar to a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Purée for 1 minute. Add coconut milk and purée until mixture is smooth. Place mixture into an airtight container and freeze overnight. To serve, top with fresh berries and mint, if desired. 

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