Posts Tagged ‘fruit’

Summer Thirst Quencher: Sangria

New excuse for not blogging recently: We spent the past two weeks visiting family in Michigan and touring up the west coast of the state in a rented RV. We had such a wonderful time playing with the kids, cooking up some great food, and enjoying fresh Michigan corn, cherries and blueberries, we hardly noticed the unusual heat (not). It was a fun trip.

One evening, my sister Andrea and her husband Forrest made fish tacos with fresh pico de gallo for dinner. I thought a nice fruity sangria would go well with the zesty, spicy flavors of the main dish, so I made that.

Sangria is one of those recipes that can handle endless tweaking. I usually make it with pink (rose) wine, because that’s what I usually drink. For this dinner, I made two types – one with Pinot Grigio and another with a fruity red wine. Choose any fruity wine you like and add other fruits for a more complex flavor.

Sangria
This photo is from a few years ago. Makes me want to get to slicing some citrus!

Sangria

1 lemon
1 lime
1 orange
1 bottle fruity red or white wine
3 tbsp. brandy or Grand Marnier
2 tbsp. sugar and 2 tbsp. water, or 2 tbsp. honey, or 2 tbsp. agave nectar
1 cup other fruits (optional) such as white grapes or diced peaches for white or rose wine, and cherries, blueberries or red grapes for red wine
6 oz. soda water

Wash, dry and thinly slice the lemon, lime, and orange. Place in a large pitcher and top with optional fruits if desired. Pour in the wine and brandy or Grand Marnier and stir to combine.

Make simple syrup by placing sugar and water in a small microwaveable bowl and heat on high for 30 seconds. Stir till sugar is dissolved and then stir the simple syrup into the mixture in the pitcher. Using simple syrup will ensure that all the sugar is dissolved so you won’t have grainy sangria. Alternatively, you can use 2 tbsp. honey or agave nectar, which dissolve in liquid more easily.

Cover the pitcher and refrigerate overnight. To serve, stir in 6 oz. of soda water (optional). I don’t usually do this, but some people like fizzy drinks 🙂

Fruit Salad with Fig-Vanilla Balsamic Vinaigrette

I’m entering this recipe in a contest the Virginian-Pilot, our local newspaper is having – they’re looking for recipes that use fresh, tasty strawberries, since they’re in season now.

Last year, I visited my sister and her family in Temecula, Calif., and we went to The Temecula Olive Oil Company for an olive-oil tasting. They also had flavored balsamic vinegars for tasting, and as soon as I tried this fig-vanilla balsamic, I knew I had to have some.

After we got back home, I made up this recipe, and it’s wonderful, if I do say so myself. My mint is bursting out now, too, so it’s definitely time to make it again.

Fruit Salad with Fig-Vanilla Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serves 2

1/2 cup hulled and quartered strawberries
1/2 cup diced cantaloupe
4 California Mission figs, sliced
1/2 cup diced feta cheese
1 tbsp. fig-vanilla balsamic vinegar, or regular balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. fruity extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp. chopped fresh mint, plus 2 sprigs for garnish
3 cups chopped or torn romaine lettuce

Combine fruit and cheese in a medium bowl. Place vinegar in a small bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisking constantly, drizzle EVOO into the bowl. Stir mint into dressing. Pour the dressing over the fruit and cheese and let stand 10 minutes. Divide romaine between two salad plates and serve fruit and cheese mixture over romaine. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Fruit salad with fig-vanilla balsamic vinaigrette

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