Photo of a Waldorf Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Savour summer’s bounty

Six super fresh and easy warm-weather recipes
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Waldorf Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce wraps are the perfect summer meal. Here, a chicken salad filling gets a Waldorf twist using deep-purple Coronation grapes, toasted walnuts and celery.

Serves 6

Makes about 3 1/2 cups/875 mL


1 1/2 cups (375 mL) diced cooked chicken breast (about 2)

1/2 cup (125 mL) Coronation grapes, halved

1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped celery

1/2 cup (125 mL) diced nectarine

1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped toasted walnuts

3 tbsp (45 mL) mayonnaise

2 tbsp (25 mL) minced red onion

1 tbsp (15 mL) grainy Dijon mustard

6 large green or red leaf lettuce leaves

Salt and pepper

In a medium bowl, combine chicken, grapes, celery, nectarine, walnuts, mayonnaise, onion and mustard. Cover; refrigerate until ready to serve.

To assemble, divide chicken mixture evenly on each lettuce leaf; sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Wrap and roll the lettuce leaf around the filling.

Photo of Warm Caramelized Corn Dip

Warm Caramelized Corn Dip

A summer favourite, corn blends with sweet smoked paprika for a tasty dip. Smoked paprika is the secret spice of Spain and is available in bulk stores and spice aisles. Serve with corn tortilla chips for dipping.

Makes 3 cups (750 mL)

4 large cobs corn

2 tbsp (25 mL) butter

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 green onions, minced

2/3 cup (150 mL) reduced-fat mayonnaise

1/3 cup (75 mL) water

1/4 cup (50 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tsp (10 mL) smoked paprika

2 tsp (10 mL) fresh lime juice

1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

1/4 cup (50 mL) diced field tomatoes

2 tbsp (25 mL) minced fresh coriander leaves

Slice kernels from corn cobs to make 4 cups (1 L).

In large skillet, melt butter over medium-high; cook corn, undisturbed, for 3 minutes or until starting to brown. Stir and cook for 2 minutes longer or until deep golden brown.

Stir in garlic and green onions; cook for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in mayonnaise, water, cheese, paprika, lime juice, pepper and salt until smooth. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon into shallow serving dish, sprinkle with tomato and coriander. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Photo of Sweet Cherry Scones

Sweet Cherry Scones

Specialty coffeehouses offer a selection of delectable scones, yet cherry scones are a snap to make at home — and at a fraction of the cost. Serve hot with butter or honey.

Makes 12

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) whole sweet cherries

2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour

2 tbsp (25 mL) granulated sugar (approximately)

1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

2 tbsp (25 mL) cold butter 

2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil

3/4 cup (175 mL) milk

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla

Pit cherries and coarsely chop; drain on paper towel. In large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using pastry blender or fingers, work in butter until in small bits. Stir in drained cherries. Make a well in centre. Stir together oil, milk and vanilla; pour into well and stir just until firm dough forms.

Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead three times. Divide in half; pat each half into 3/4-inch (2 cm) thick 6-inch (15 cm) circle. Cut each into 6 wedges.

Lightly grease or coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Place scones slightly apart on sheet. For sparkle, sprinkle tops with 1 tbsp (15 mL) more sugar. Bake on rack above centre of 450°F (230°C) oven until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. 

Strawberry Maple Yogurt Bark

This frozen treat resembles chocolate bark in appearance — hence the name — but is more like ice cream. Dotted with fresh strawberries, nuts and chocolate, it is a cool and refreshing snack that is quick to prepare and to eat.

Serves 8

1 container (750 g) 0% Greek plain yogurt

1/3 cup (75 mL) maple syrup

1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla

1 cup (250 mL) sliced strawberries

3 tbsp (45 mL) white chocolate chips

2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped pistachios

Line a rimmed 15- x 10-inch (38 x 25 cm) baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together yogurt, maple syrup and vanilla. Spread yogurt mixture on prepared pan into rectangle about 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick. Scatter strawberries on top. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and pistachios. Freeze until solid, about 2 hours.

To serve, let sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes until slightly thawed. Break or cut into pieces and enjoy immediately. To store, place pieces in sealed freezer container or freezer bag; freeze for up to a month.

Variations: Try your own combinations with other chopped nuts or seeds, coconut, semi-sweet chocolate chips or granola and Ontario blueberries or raspberries.

Fresh Greenhouse Pizza

This summer-fresh pizza can be assembled faster than it takes to preheat the oven or wait for delivery.

Serves 4

1 ready-made pizza dough, about 1 1/3 lb (650 g) 

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) shredded Italian blend cheeses

2 tomatoes, sliced

Half sweet yellow pepper, thinly sliced

1/2 cup (125 mL) pepperoni slices, about 2 oz (60 g)

12 whole fresh basil leaves

Lightly grease a 15- x 10-inch (38 x 25 cm) baking sheet. Press or roll out dough to fit pan. Evenly sprinkle pizza crust with 3/4 cup (175 mL) of the cheese. Arrange tomatoes on top; top with yellow pepper, pepperoni and remaining cheese.

Bake on middle rack in 450°F (230°C) oven for 20 to 22 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with basil leaves.

Photo of Fruit Salsa with Vanilla Cream and Cinnamon Wedges

Fruit Salsa with Vanilla Cream and Cinnamon Wedges

Quick and easy, this dessert highlights juicy, sweet Ontario berries. For a dinner party, serve in stemmed glasses. The vanilla cream can also be served as a dip with seasonal fruits.

Serves 4

1 cup (250 mL) chopped strawberries

1 cup (250 mL) blueberries

1 cup (250 mL) raspberries

1 cup (250 mL) chopped pitted sweet cherries

1 tsp (5 mL) grated orange rind        

3/4 cup (175 mL) light sour cream (5% M.F.)

1 1/2 tbsp (20 mL) packed brown sugar

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla    

1 whole wheat tortilla (small)


4 stemmed sweet cherries

In a small bowl, combine strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries and orange rind.

In another small bowl, stir together sour cream, brown sugar and vanilla until sugar dissolves.

Lightly brush one side of tortilla with water; sprinkle with cinnamon to taste. Cut into 8 wedges. Place on paper-towel-lined microwaveable plate; microwave on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds or until crisp.

In 4 dessert glasses, layer fruit salsa and vanilla cream, repeating once. Serve with cinnamon wedges and garnish with stemmed cherry.

Variation: Add 1 tbsp (15 mL) toasted coconut to the vanilla cream.

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