The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

COOKING ON DEADLINE: Recipes for sangria, roasted red peppers with feta and farro salad

  • Print

When it comes to summer entertaining, it's not hard to impress. But it's easy to get yourself in over your head trying to do so.

Which is why I have a few rules about summer gatherings. About all entertaining, actually. But this menu is better suited to summer, so we'll call it that. My rules are thus:

— I don't bake. Not even seasonally appropriate berry pies, or cupcakes or muffins or quick breads. Baking is a fall and winter activity. In summer, that's what bakeries are made for.

— I don't fuss with individual cocktails. If I can't make it by the pitcher or in a blender, or if it doesn't pour directly from a bottle into your glass or your mouth, it doesn't get served.

— I make judicious use of the grill. It's kind of a no-brainer, but still. There's no cleanup!

— I don't worry about mains and starters and sides and such. I make what I feel like making. I put it out. You eat it. Done. If that means we nibble on five starters and drink a bunch of wine, that works. If it means we graze over several slabs of juicy meat off the grill while tearing hunks of baguette to sop the juices, that works, too.

— Anything that can be prepped ahead should be prepped ahead. A summer gathering is for chilling out, not getting hot and bothered in the kitchen.

To show you how it all looks in action, I've recreated a recent menu I assembled — mostly on the fly — when I found out a bunch of family was coming over on a toasty Saturday afternoon. It was simple, delicious, effortless and everyone left satisfied. Depending on the size of your crowd, add some chips, hummus or guacamole, maybe a hunk of cheese and some fruit, and you're good.

___

SANGRIA

Make this in the morning in a large pitcher and refrigerate until ready to serve. The flavours get better with a few hours to meld. I'm not picky about the wines I use. I grabbed whatever bottles happened to be open on my counter at the time. Use whatever you like, but don't spend a fortune.

Start to finish: 5 minutes

Servings: 8

2 cups rose wine

2 cups red wine

2 cups peach juice

1/2 cup lime juice

1/3 cup orange liqueur

1/3 cup rum

1/2 cup superfine sugar

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Refrigerate for several hours, then serve over ice.

Nutrition information per serving: 310 calories; 0 calories from fat (0 per cent of total calories); 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 38 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 29 g sugar; 0 g protein; 15 mg sodium.

___

ROASTED RED PEPPERS WITH FETA

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Servings: 8

Two 16-ounce jars roasted red peppers, drained

4-ounce block feta cheese

Ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

Extra-virgin olive oil

Baguette, thinly sliced

Use paper towels to pat dry the red peppers. Cut the peppers into strips, then arrange them on a serving platter. Thinly slice the feta cheese, then arrange the slices over the peppers. Season with pepper. Sprinkle with the rosemary, then drizzle olive oil over everything. Serve with the sliced baguette.

Nutrition information per serving: 210 calories; 90 calories from fat (43 per cent of total calories); 10 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 15 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 7 g protein; 780 mg sodium.

___

FARRO AND ARUGULA SALAD

Start to finish: 25 minutes

Servings: 6

1 cup pearled farro

2 medium shallots, thinly sliced

6 Peppadew peppers, thinly sliced (or about 1/4 cup jarred banana pepper slices)

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

5-ounce container arugula

4 ounces crumbled feta cheese

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Ground black pepper

6 slices bacon, cooked until crisp

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the farro and cook until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl toss the shallots, peppers and tomatoes. Add the arugula and feta, then toss to combine. When the farro has cooled (to speed cooling, place the baking sheet in the freezer for 5 minutes), add it to the bowl and toss well. Add the vinegar and toss again. Season with black pepper. Crumble the bacon and sprinkle over the salad. Serve immediately or chill.

Nutrition information per serving: 290 calories; 140 calories from fat (48 per cent of total calories); 15 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 30 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 11 g protein; 410 mg sodium.

___

J.M. Hirsch is the food editor for The Associated Press. He blogs at http://www.LunchBoxBlues.com and tweets at http://twitter.com/JM_Hirsch . Email him at jhirsch@ap.org

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Cheapskate: Home buying

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Winnipeg’s best friend the dragon fly takes a break at English Gardens in Assiniboine Park Wednesday- A dragon fly can eat  food equal to its own weight in 30 minutes-Standup photo- June 13, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Young goslings jostle for position to take a drink from a puddle in Brookside Cemetery Thursday morning- Day 23– June 14, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What should the legal drinking age be?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google