A Savory Summer Menu

A Savory Summer Menu

Pizza Rustica

1 pound sweet Italian sausage

1/2 cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 package rapid rise yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water (120 - 130 degrees

2 teaspoons butter, softened

1/2 pound mozzarella, cubed (about 2 c)

7 ounces roasted red peppers, chopped

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Remove sausage from casings and crumble into a large skillet. Saute until brown, adding onions and garlic. Drain off fat and set aside to cool. Combine 1/2 cup all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, corn meal, sugar, salt and yeast. Stir in hot water and butter and mix well. Stir in remaining 1 cup of flour to form a soft dough. Cover dough in bowl and let rest for 10 minutes. Grease a 9 inch spring form pan. Stir down dough. With buttered fingers, press 2/3 of dough in bottom of pan. Add cheese and peppers to sausage mixture and spoon into center of dough. Spread and press filling toward edge of pan, leaving a 1/2 inch rim of dough around sides. Drop remaining dough by tablespoons over filling. With the back of spoon or buttered fingers, carefully spread dough to cover and enclose filling. The top will be rough. Cover with a cloth and let rise until doubled in size, about 20 - 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush top of loaf with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake loaf at 400 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes, or until loaf pulls away from sides of pan and is golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Can be served warm or room temperature. Yield: 6 servings.

Country Cobb Salad

Serves: 4 to 6

1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into bite-size pieces

2 packages (10 ounces each) cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

1/2 cup real bacon bits

1 large tomato, coarsely chopped

1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped

3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

4 green onions, thinly sliced

1 package (4 ounces) crumbled blue cheese

Salad dressing (any variety)

Arrange lettuce on a large serving platter. Place cooked chicken in the center of the lettuce. Place bacon bits in a row on one side of chicken. Place tomato in a row beside bacon bits and avocado in a row beside them.

Place eggs, green onions, and blue cheese in rows on the other side of the chicken. Serve immediately with salad dressing.

White Chocolate-Mint Tart with Strawberries

Makes One 9-Inch Tart; 6 to 8 Servings

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs

4 ounces white chocolate

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon pure mint extract

1 pint fresh strawberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in the butter warmer or saucepan. Combine the sugar and graham cracker crumbs in the medium-size bowl and stir in the melted butter. Press the graham cracker mixture evenly across the bottom and all the way up the sides of the tart pan, packing it tightly with your fingertips so it is even and compacted. Bake until crisp and golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside to let cool.

2. Finely chop the chocolate and place in a large bowl. Heat the heavy cream in the saucepan until almost boiling. Whisk the hot cream into the chocolate until smooth. Whisk in the mint extract. Refrigerate until completely cooled.

3. Whip the chocolate mixture with the electric mixer until it holds soft peaks. Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 3 hours. Spoon into the cooled tart shell and smooth with the spatula.

4. To serve, slice the tops off the strawberries and slice thin. Place wedges of the tart on 6 individual dessert dishes and spoon some strawberries alongside each wedge.


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