I absolutely love serving food that is as beautiful as it is delicious. There’s nothing better than heading into summer with a kitchen full of gorgeous recipes that are light, easy to make, and bursting with flavor. All of these are instant crowd pleasers – visual, elegant, and yummy! Enjoy!
Fresh Papaya with Lump Crab & Paprika
This is one of my favorite dishes as it is delicious and extremely impressive to serve! I like to garnish the dish with pistachios for an added crunch, brightly colored berries or edible flowers – anything that adds an amazing pop of color!
3 ripe papayas
¼ cup light mayonnaise
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
1/8 tsp paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large tomato, diced
1 lb jumbo lump crabmeat (picked over for cartilage and shells)
Berries and micro greens to garnish
1. Cut each papaya in half, then cut a strip off the opposite side so the papaya will sit flat on the plate without rolling around. Scoop out the seeds.
2. Mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, chives, paprika, salt, and pepper together. Carefully fold in the crabmeat and tomatoes.
3. Scoop into papaya halves, sprinkle with salt and pepper, garnish with mint and berries, and serve.
Blackened Ahi Tuna over a Mandarin Salad
This is one of my favorite salads and has quickly become a weekly staple! Light, crunchy, and flavorful, the salad is delicious on its own – but throw in a lightly seared blackened Ahi tuna steak and it becomes a fabulous dish for entertaining or a simple weekday dinner – and it literally takes 10 minutes or less. Enjoy!
2 Ahi tuna steaks (4-6 oz each)
6 handfuls mixed greens
1 cucumber, sliced into chunks
15-20 mandarin slices
2 handfuls cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1 fennel bulb, white part sliced, green part discarded
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup balsamic
Pinch salt and pepper
Use blackening seasoning or mix together 1 tsp each of: paprika, garlic powder, dried thyme, pepper, salt, dried oregano, dried basil
For the Tuna:
1. Season your tuna steaks liberally with the blackening seasoning.
2. Coat a pan with olive oil and set over a high heat.
3. When steaming hot, sauté the tuna quickly, about 30-40 seconds a side, until still rare but crunchy on the outside. Remove and let sit.
4. Slice (cutting with the grain of the tuna) and serve over or alongside the salad.
For the Salad:
1. Toss the mixed greens with the cucumber, onion, fennel, tomatoes, and mandarins (reserve a few of each for garnish).
2. Toss in the dressing and then top with the Ahi tuna slices.
3. Garnish with the ingredients.
This cocktail is gorgeous, fruity, and extremely potent. Essentially a strawberry martini, the fresh, bright flavors are delightful this summer. Add in the fact that it’s bright berry red and deliciously refreshing, and you have the perfect summer cocktail. Cheers!
2 strawberries, sliced
1 lime wedge
1 lemon wedge
Splash simple syrup (to taste)
2 oz Vanderpump Vodka
½ oz Triple Sec
2 strawberry slices as a garnish
1. Muddle the strawberries, lime, lemon wedges, and simple syrup in a shaker.
2. Add the vodka and triple sec to the shaker.
3. Add ice.
4. Shake vigorously. (Taste and add more simple syrup if too tart!)
5. Strain into a martini glass and float the strawberry slices on the top.
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Contributed by Pandora Vanderpump