By this point in the summer you've probably made your favorite hot-weather recipes several times. It's time to try something new, preferably something time-tested from someone who knows food.
Market merchants to the rescue with the following recipes: some, personal favorites; others, for summertime dishes sold at their stands. So, if you run out of time before your next outdoor cooking event, there is an alternative to doing all the work yourself! (Many merchants will prepare larger, catering-size portions of their offerings on request.)
Kale, Fennel and Red Cabbage Coleslaw with Lemon-Tarragon dressing
Meltkraft chef Rebecca Foxman says Greek tzatziki sauce and sweet and sour German salads were the partial inspiration for this variation on classic American coleslaw. “It’s really great in the summer and as an add-on to your favorite sandwich,” she says, which is exactly how this is sold at Meltkraft.
1 large head red cabbage, cored and sliced thinly
1 large bulb fennel, sliced thinly
1 medium red onion, sliced thinly
1 large bunch kale, stems removed and sliced into thin strips
1 pint mayo
1 pint Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon (about 1 clove) minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Thinly slice all ingredients through kale (a mandolin slicer works best) then place them together in large bowl.
Combine remaining ingredients in another bowl and whisk well. Dressing should be tart and sweet.
Combine veggies with dressing, making sure the two are well incorporated. Let sit in fridge at least three hours. Mix well before serving. Serves 12.
Grilled Lamb Shoulder Chops with Mint Chimichurri
This is La Divisa meat stand owner Nick Macri’s take on a recipe that accompanied New York Times’ columnist Mark Bittman’s 2013 paean to lamb shoulder, a cut that both men think is too often and unjustly overshadowed by rib and loin chops.
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups mint leaves
1 1/2 cups flat leaf Italian parsley
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
4 lamb shoulder chops, cut 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick
Salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients through olive oil in food processor and pulse 15 to 20 times. Put 1/2 cup of this mint chimichurri in a sealed bag with the chops and refrigerate overnight. Refrigerate remaining chimichurri separately.
When ready to cook preheat grill to medium high. Wipe marinade off and season with salt and pepper. Grill chops over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes per side. Serve chops with remaining chimichurri. Serves 4.
Watermelon, Feta, Mint and Olive Salad
Jill Ross of The Cookbook Stall got the idea for this recipe from Nigella Lawson’s Forever Summer cookbook. “I was living in Europe and we were hosting a barbecue and I wanted something that was very refreshing and seemed very American,” she recalls. “Funny that it came from a Brit!” It’s still Jill’s go-to summer salad.
1 small red onion, cut into half-moon slices
Juice from 4 or 5 limes
Small (about 3 ½ pound) seedless watermelon, cut into bite-size chunks
9 ounces of feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup mint, chopped
½ cup medium pitted black olives
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice the onions and juice the limes. Then put the sliced onions in a small bowl with half the lime juice. Let sit while preparing the rest of the salad. Cut up the watermelon and chop the mint. Combine watermelon chunks, cheese, mint, olives, olive oil and the remaining half of the lime juice in a salad bowl. Add the onions-lime juice mixture just before serving and remix. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 8.
Raw Kale Salad with Citrus Dressing
Marion "Tootsie" D'Ambrosio got this hearty, healthy salad recipe from her nutritionist about four years ago. “Like a lot of our dishes,” she initially put it on her Tootsie's Salad Express bar so that she could eat it herself. It became so popular that she printed recipe cards that have since run out. What makes it great for a picnic: The kale is so sturdy that even after being dressed and sitting out for a few hours, “It doesn’t get limp.”
1 head of kale, washed, dried with stems removed and then cut in small strips (like with cole slaw)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons honey
7 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup dried cranberries
Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the kale and place in a large salad bowl. Blend the juices, honey and olive oil thoroughly (in a food processor or by hand in a bowl or pitcher). Top the kale with the cranberries and dress and season to taste. Serves 10.
Citrus Angel Food Cake
Light, zesty and low in fat, Metropolitan Bakery's Citrus Angel Food Cake could be the perfect dessert for entertaining down the Shore. Though it appears frequently at their Reading Terminal Market stand and sold both by the cake and by the slice, it also can be special-ordered (by calling 215-545-6655 at least 48 hours in advance).
10 large egg whites, at room temperature
¼ tablespoon cream of tartar
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tablespoon kosher salt
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Grated zest of 1 orange
Grated zest of 2 limes
1 ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large, clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. With a whip attachment at low speed, beat the whites until foamy. Increase the mixer speed to high; beat the whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add ¾ cup of the granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. When all the sugar is incorporated, continue to beat until the mixture is shiny and just holds firm peaks when the beaters are lifted. (Do not overbeat.)
Sift together the remaining ¾ cup of sugar, the flour, and the salt onto a piece of parchment paper.
With a rubber spatula, gently fold all the lemon and orange zests, and half the lime zest into the egg white mixture. Sift one-third of the flour mixture over the whites; gently fold in with the spatula. Repeat twice more with the remaining flour mixture just until blended. Pour the batter into an unbuttered 8 1/4” x 4 ¼ angel food cake pan. Gently run a knife through the batter to remove any air pockets.
Bake the cake on the center oven rack 40 to 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and invert onto a tray to cool. This will ensure a light and airy texture.
While the cake is cooling, make the citrus glaze. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl. Add the lemon juice and remaining lime zest; whisk until smooth.
Turn the cake pan right side up; run a spatula around the sides of the pan and tube. Invert the cake to unmold. Place the cake on a serving tray or cake stand. Pour the glaze over the top. Let the cake stand 15 minutes, until the glaze sets. Serves 8 to 10.
Carolyn Wyman is the Market's news correspondent and operator of the Reading Terminal's bi-weekly Taste of Philadelphia Food Tour (www.tasteofphillyfoodtour.com).