outdoor eats part two

Now with the weather getting hotter and sunny days are in abundance (love) and cooking anything complicated is out of the question. You want something healthy, quick and fresh. One of my go to things especially if you have people coming over and you're firing up the grill but you don't want to go the meat and potato salad route is to gather up some veg and grill some ciabattas. I love using jarred roasted bell peppers and sun-dried tomatoes for things like this. Add a few other favorite things, top with cheese and your ready to go.
Another of my favorites is out of the ordinary salads. Forget the caesar or garden salad and op for something different, maybe with roasted butternut squash? Which tastes great cold too if you want this salad portable. Maybe too fall? You could always do watermelon.
Last we cannot forget about dessert. Hot days require something cold and light and oh so refreshing. Ice pops are perfection on days like this.



pina colada ice pops

100% pineapple juice
1 can coconut milk
juice of 1/2 a lime
3 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 tsp desiccated coconut
(coconut rum optional)

In a bowl mix the coconut milk with the honey, vanilla, lime juice and coconut. Set aside. In a popsicle mold or small paper cups fill the mold half of the way with the pineapple juice. Place in the freezer for 1-2hrs, place a popsicle stick in if using the paper cup mold just before it it fully frozen. Let that freeze. Add the coconut mixture and freeze for about 2-4hrs or over night. Makes 4-8 pops depending on size of the mold.

Grilled open-faced ciabatta's
(or add all your favorite things to a slice of thick bread and grill it)

First half (sweet and earthy): Red chili jam, dijon mustard, arugula, shallots, radish, roasted yellow bell peppers and cherry tomatoes. Top with mozzarella or goats cheese and a drizzle of olive oil or sesame oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place on a grill or roast in the oven until cheese has melted and the veg is slightly soft.
Second half (smokey and salty): Basil pesto, arugula, roasted yellow bell pepper, sun dried tomatoes (in oil), cherry tomatoes and prosciutto. Top with white cheddar, mozzarella or goats cheese (your choice) and drizzle with olive oil and pinch of pepper.

Butternut squash and feta salad

1 medium size squash
50g greek feta
arugula and spinach leaf mix
roasted sunflower seeds
for the dressing
2-3 tbs olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 clove garlic finely chopped
2-3 tbsp rice wine vinegar

Heat oven to 350 F. Cut up the squash in to medium size chunks, drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper and place on a pan in the oven. Cook for 15-20 min or until soft. Let cool. Meanwhile mix all the ingredients together for the dressing. In a bowl add the arugula and spinach mix, the cooled squash, and the sunflower seeds. Add as much dressing as you need and lightly toss. Top with feta and a pinch of pepper.

Have an amazing weekend and happy father's day to all the father's out there!


Rivki Locker said…
Healthy, quick and fresh! Love it! The salad looks especially refreshing - what an innovative combination of ingredients. Thanks for sharing these great summer dishes.
Elizelda said…
Hi! I saw this recipe I'm so going to try this! But I was wondering, do you have the exact amount of pineapple juice and coconut milk needed for this recipe?
Thanks :)
Ash said…
Elizelda: Hi! for the pineapple juice I just bought a carton and used as much as I needed, which was probably only about 1 1/2 to 2 cups and the coconut milk was a 398 ml can, and I still have a bit left over.
Hope that helps!
Anderburf said…
That salad sounds great! I recently got some Himalayan pink salt and organic peppercorns from Sustainable Sourcing https://secure.sustainablesourcing.com and I'll have to try them out in this recipe. Thanks for sharing!
Elizelda said…
Ash: Thanks, that does help! I don't usually cook/bake/make things to eat so I'm not very good at approximating values very much. Thanks again :)
ChichaJo said…
I would so love to be invited to your picnics :) What delicious and gorgeous food!
Tash said…
I will be making these recipes Ash! The butternut squash and feta salad sounds amazing and your pina colada ice pops are going to make me think of my recent trip to Mexico :) Minus the rum of course ;)
Gorgeous photos as always!
Elizelda said…
Heya! Just wanted you to know that I tried the popsicles and they were yum! Definitely going to make them again sometime.
Aiman said…
Your work is amazing, love ur sandwich and popsicle. You are surely enjoying ur summer to its fullest. Thanks for sharing such wonderful recipes.
cookingmesoftly said…
we love your blog and your images
ciao from Italy
El said…
It all looks delicious and sounds wonderful. Great shots!
Ash said…
Thanks all!

Elizelda: Awesome! So glad you like em!!
what a prefect outdoor menu, just reading it makes us forget the rain today!
Ash, your beautiful food is making me crave summer! It's winter here now in Brazil and those pops and open sandwiches are calling out my name. :D
butiksofie said…
These pics are really great! I love Ruccola salad!!!! Hughs Anja
Looks delicious and easy to make. I'm going to try this at home especially the Popsicle one and the sandwich..Well done and great shots!
I couldn't agree more... I just love making things that are simple and that use natural ingredients. A quick salad, a summer pasta dish, even just a platter of cheese and apple. Oh how refreshing it all is!
I really like your recipe, it's a great help for me. I don't eat much salad but I really like the pina colada ice pops.
Chef Chuck said…
Now that sandwich would be "so good" for lunch, I am sure it has been long gone!
Lucy said…
It's been a really hot day here today and your ice pops look perfect. So refreshing!
Bella said…
Hola me han encantado tus recetas y decoraciones. Las voy a probar si no te molesta :) jaja
Bueno te dejo mi blog por si quieres pasar.
Valeria said…
So fresh and cooooool!

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