Sizzling Summer Recipes

Summer in the Pacific Northwest means al fresco dining, sizzling barbecues and picnics galore. It’s also an excellent time to make the most of our local produce—fresh fruit, ripe tomatoes, fragrant herbs and more—all looking and tasting their best. So when the sun is out and friends and family are over, celebrate the occasion with these enticing dishes that are beyond delicious. They’re inspired by a recent trip to Argentina—a land of scrumptious food, where it’s all about grilled meats and an abundance of cheesy dishes that are guaranteed to rock your taste buds.

 

Provoleta with Cherry Tomatoes & Fresh Herbs

A thick slice of provoleta (or other similar cheese like provolone) is cooked over hot coals until browned and bubbling. It’s then topped with fresh tomato and herbs and served with a toasted baguette. I like to think of it a bit like fondue or queso fundido but not as molten and melty. Use a five-inch round cast-iron pan because most large cheese rounds fit snuggly into this size and melt perfectly. One cast-iron portion is generally enough for two to four people, depending on how much everyone likes cheese. This dish is best served hot, so have everything prepped and ready to go, then cook the cheese just before sitting down to eat.

Wine Spritzer with Strawberry & Citrus

A dry, crisp wine like a Torrontés is perfect and elegant because it’s light on the nose and contains enough tropical-fruit aromas to entice. Make sure to prepare the wine and fruit ahead of time so the wine has time to chill while absorbing the lush fruit flavors.

Rib Eye with Rosemary Chimichurri

For this recipe, I prefer USDA prime beef. I also like grass-finished meats. “Grass-finished” means the animal ate nothing but grass or forage for their entire life span, resulting in a beefier texture and flavor. Think of it like wild game, raised on what is most natural to the animal.

Provoleta with Cherry Tomatoes & Fresh Herbs

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, more for oilling pan
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped, divided
  • 1 (1/8 inch thick) round of provolone (or provoleta) cheese
  • 1 toasted baguette, sliced into rounds

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to broil. Meanwhile, prepare a five-inch cast-iron skillet by rubbing a small amount of olive oil to season it, then set aside.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add the remaining olive oil. When hot, add the garlic and shallots and sauté, stirring often, until translucent.
  3. Add the tomatoes and salt and let simmer. Once the tomatoes start to break down, add the oregano and half the basil. Turn off the heat but keep the pan on the burner to stay warm.
  4. Next, place the cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add the round of cheese. Cook until the cheese begins to melt and crisp on the edges.
  5. Remove from the heat and quickly transfer to the oven. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until fully melted and golden.
  6. Remove from the oven and top with the warm tomato salsa and remaining basil. Serve immediately with a toasted baguette.

Wine Spritzer with Strawberry & Citrus

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 6 orange slices
  • 4 lime slices
  • 4 strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 bottle Torrontés (or other dry, crisp white wine)
  • 8 oz sparkling water
  • fresh basil or mint for garnish

Preparation

  1. Add the sliced orange, lime and strawberries to a large pitcher.
  2. Pour in the entire bottle of wine and stir to combine.
  3. Place the pitcher in the refrigerator until chilled. When ready to serve, prepare wineglasses with some ice.
  4. Add the sparkling water to the pitcher at the last moment and give it a light stir. Pour in the prepared wineglasses and garnish with fresh basil or mint.

Rib Eye with Rosemary Chimichurri

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 (32-oz) 2-inch thick bone-in rib eye
  • olive oil, as needed
  • kosher salt, as needed
  • 1 shallot
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 bunches of fresh italian flat-leaf parsley, stems removed
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary, stems removed
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano, stems removed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 cup olive oil, divided

Preparation

  1. Coat the rib eye with olive oil and kosher salt, rubbing the salt into the meat. Use half the Rosemary Chimichurri and coat and rub into the meat.
  2. Transfer the meat to a container with lid and let marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. When ready to cook, remove the meat from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare an outdoor barbecue or gas grill to high heat (450°F to 500°F).
  4. When hot, add the meat. Grill each side of the rib eye for 9 to 10 minutes, then allow it to reach an internal temperature of 130°F for medium rare.
  5. Remove the steak and let rest for 5 to 7 minutes so the juices can reabsorb, resulting in a juicier bite.
  6. To serve, thinly slice the meat perpendicular to the bone, arrange on a carving board and drizzle with the Rosemary Chimichurri.
  7. For the Chimichurri, place the shallot, garlic, parsley, rosemary and oregano in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
  8. Remove the herbs from the food processor, place in a large bowl, and mix in the salt and lemon zest.
  9. Divide the herb mixture into two bowls. If you are not serving the meal right away, keep one bowl without oil and add the olive oil right before serving. For the second bowl, add the olive oil to create a paste-like texture and use this to marinate the meat.

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