May 25, 2020

The Everyday Gourmet

Hot fun in the summertime

Aug. 18, 2011

By Kim Dannies

Tired of slaving over a hot grill while the gang chats and sucks on gin and tonics? I am. For the rest of the summer, I’m prepping ahead and staying cool. That means simple salads, pre-grilled proteins, and fun pasta swimming in a pool of fresh tomato and basil. This is the perfect time of year to break out those exotic jars of sauces lurking in your pantry. Pair them with shrimp and chicken kabobs, both excellent candidates for the grill/chill prep plan. Put out wraps or pitas, tomatoes and fresh greens, and you’ve got a cool meal and some hot fun.



Tortellini caprese

Cook 2 to 9-ounce packages of fresh tortellini; drain to a prep bowl. Roughly dice 3 tomatoes, removing seeds; add to bowl. Ribbon-cut lots of fresh basil; add to bowl. Cube 3 ounces of fresh mozzarella and add. In a small processor mince the zest of one orange. Add 3 garlic cloves, mince. Add the juice from the orange plus 2 tablespoons of bottled orange juice, and 1/3 cup olive oil. Blend well. Fold dressing over the pasta. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Prep up to 24 hours ahead; serves 4 to 8.


Prosciutto di parma greens

Eight-hour do ahead: cube-cut 2 ripe/firm avocados, place in a small bowl along with one avocado nut and douse lightly with lemon juice. Remove the seeds and roughly dice 4 tomatoes. Place in a small bowl and sprinkle with kosher salt. Cover both bowls and rest at room temperature. Clean fresh field greens, measuring out a generous handful per portion. Chill greens in a plastic bag. Add a garlic clove to a small jar. Add 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper. Seal.

Assemble salad: shake dressing well and add desired amount to the greens. Toss gently until lightly coated. Pile greens on a large rectangular platter. Using best quality Prosciutto, place small mounds of meat along border of the platter, forming casual “rosettes.” Scatter tomato and avocado down the salad’s spine. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three twenty-something daughters who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to