Ahh, those sun-basked Ohio summer days are truly glorious at beautiful Merry Mount -- with the fast-growing kids already butting heads, abundant gardens, multi-hued flowers everywhere, warm gatherings with assorted friends on an evening patio, a bit of vino perhaps, and of course scrumptious meals served al fresco. Take a peek at a few recent gatherings and scroll down for some summery recipes.
Watermelon Salad with Arugula, Goat Cheese and Candied Walnuts
6 pieces of watermelon cut to 1 inch thickness (or multiple small slices of watermelon)
2 cups baby arugula
2 T fresh mint, chopped
2 T extra virgin olive oil
juice of one half a lemon
salt and pepper
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup candied pecans or walnuts
Place watermelon on individual salad plates. In a medium bowl, toss arugula and mint with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Top watermelon with arugula mixture. Sprinkle each salad with goat cheese and nuts; drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
Risotto with Asparagus, Peas and Basil
4 C chicken stock
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 T olive oil
8 shallots, finely chpped
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
12 oz asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch lengths
1 cup fresh peas
finely grated zest from 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
large handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
salt and pepper to taste
Heat stock in saucepan until almost boiling; reduce heat and keep until barely simmering.
Heat butter and oil in heavy Dutch oven. Add shallots and cook 1-2 min until softened but not browned.
Add rice and stir with a wooden spoon until the grains are well coated and glistening, about 1 min. Pour in the wine and stir until it has been absorbed.
Add 1 ladle of hot stock, stirring until absorbed. Repeat. After 10 min, add the asparagus peas and lemon zest and mix well. Continue to add the stock at intervals and cook as before, for 8-10 min until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is al dente.
Add reserved stock, Parmesan, basil, salt and pepper. Mix well. Remove from heat; cover and let rest for 2 min.
Spoon into warmed bowls and top with basil and grated Parmesan.