Refreshing Summer Recipes

Minnesota summers always feel short so it’s important to make the best of it.  Cookbook author Susan Ritts, creator of Putting on the Ritts, has some refreshing summer recipes to share.

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Lemon Pasta
Serves 4

I am CRAZY for lemons. Such wonderful flavor – and good for you! The recipe in Cooking and Entertaining with Ease includes morel mushrooms, but as they can be scarce – and expensive – they can always be omitted, as I have done here.

2/3 box angel hair pasta
1 1/3 cup finely grated Asiago cheese
1/3 to 1/2 cup Spicy or Original CGD (or olive oil)
2 lemons
1 TB salt
1 TB pepper

Zest lemons. Cut lemons in half. Set zest and lemons aside. In a large pot, boil water. Add pasta & cook until al dente, about 5-6 minutes. Drain, add a TB of CGD & mix to avoid pasta from sticking. Set aside.

Put pasta back in a large bowl and add 1/3 cup Spicy or Original CGD and mix well with pasta. Squeeze juice of lemons into pasta and add zest, salt, pepper & asiago 9reserving 2-3 TBS to top pasta). Thoroughly combine ingredients by tossing. Top with reserved cheese and enjoy!!


French Roasted Vegetables
Serves 10-12

This is a wonderful appetizer and can be served with dipping sauce of any kind. Use all or some of the below veggies. And as I had a beautiful platter of roasted vegetables in Paris, I call them French Roasted Vegetables as it is a reminder to take the time to plate these to best show their beauty:)

2 large red onions or 4 smaller onions
2 zucchini
4 roma tomatoes or 2 beefsteak tomatoes
2 yellow or red bell peppers
8 small red potatoes
10 large mushrooms
Brussel Sprouts
CGD or olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Thoroughly wash all veggies and pat dry.

Slice potatoes in half and put on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with about 3 TBS of CGD or olive oil and mix to coat. Salt & pepper to taste. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. While potatoes are cooking, slice red onions crosswise in half, leaving skins on.

Slice peppers into quarters and remove seeds. Cut squash & zucchini into 1 inch chunks, discarding ends. Cut tomatoes crosswise in half. Leave mushrooms whole (unless extra-large, then cut in half, lengthwise).

In large bowl, combine all vegetables but potatoes and toss in 6 to 7 TBS CGD or oil. Remove potatoes from oven and putt all veggies, including potatoes, on cookie sheet (or 2 sheets) in one layer. Do not overlap.

Salt and pepper veggies and cook in preheated oven for about 30 minutes. Should be wrinkled and soft. A knife should pierce potatoes easily.  Once done, cool about 15 minutes.

To serve: Please all veggies on a large serving platter. If using dipping sauce, place in the middle of the platter. Enjoy!!!


Blueberry Crostata

I LOVE this dessert. It is so beautiful, simple to assemble and delicious. A terrific way to highlight summer fruits. NOTE – you can use peaches or cherries. Same directions!


1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 TBS sugar
1/3 cup ice cold water


3 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBS cornstarch
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 TBS butter, cut into pieces
1 egg, beaten
2 TBS sugar to sprinkle on dough

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and set aside. Place flour, butter and sugar in a food processor and pulse just to combine. Slowly add water while pulsing. Dough will form into a ball. Remove from processor and wrap in plastic. Put dough in fridge for at least 30 minutes or as long as 4 days.

In a bowl combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon and lemon zest. Pour over blueberries and mix well.

When dough is chilled, sprinkle flour on a clean surface. Place dough on surface and let sit for 30-40 minutes. After resting, roll the dough with a rolling pin into a 13 to 14 inch round. Transfer dough round to the parchment covered sheet.

Spoon blueberry filling onto dough leaving 2 inches of outer dough uncovered. Fold the uncovered dough over the blueberries – pleating, to form a flat cover leaving the center blueberries exposed.

Brush the dough with beaten egg and sprinkle with the 2 TBS of sugar. Put on center rack in oven and bake for 45-50 minute (or a bit longer based on your oven) until crust is golden brown. Cool and serve alone or with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!!!!


Strawberry Sparkling Rose

Bottle of Sparkling Rose
Pureed strawberries, about 1/2 cup
Juice from 1 or 2 lemons
Whole strawberries to garnish

Chill a nice bottle of sparkling Rose. Fill a large wine glass 3/4 with chilled Rose. Add a tsp fresh lemon juice and 1 TBS pureed strawberries. Stir until combined and add a few ice cubes. Garnish with whole strawberry & serve!

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