Simple Recipes for Easy Summer Livin'

Good company, good wine, and good food, all enjoyed outside under the warm summer sun. Does it get much better?

Our book Wine Time, by Barbara Scott-Goodman is filled with more than 70 simple, and delicious recipes that not only pair perfectly with your favourite wine, but that are perfect for enjoying outside this season.  

If you're like me then you love to eat but don't particularly love to cook, especially when the weather is hot and sunny, and the outdoors are calling your name. That's why a book like this, is perfect! These recipes are quick & easy to make but so enjoyable to eat and perfect for packing to take to your next get together. Plus, there's a chapter on just Cheese...need I say more?

Here are just a couple of my favourite recipes from the book that were a hit with my friends and husband, who just happens to be a chef. 

Figs with Serrano Ham & Basil
serves 6 to 8
  • 12 small ripe figs, halved
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 oz / 115 g thinly sliced Serrano ham
  • 24 small basil leaves
No cooking required for this recipe! If you would like, you can substitute the figs for other fruits like peaches, nectarines, apricots or plums. These sweet and salty bites are perfectly paired with a chilled Prosecco or Chianti. 

In a large bowl, toss the figs with the vinegar, sugar and cumin and let stand for 10 minutes.

Cut the ham slices in half lengthwise, then wrap each slice around a fig half. Top with basil leaf and secure with a toothpick. Arrange the wrapped figs on a platter or plate and serve within 1 hour of making.

Smoked Salmon Toasts with Watercress Sauce
serves 6 to 8
Watercress Sauce:
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped and stemmed watercress
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
Smoked Salmon Toasts:
  • 6 slices grilled or toasted pumpernickel bread
  • 8 oz smoked salmon, cut into thin slices
  • 4 to 6 hard boiled eggs, cut into thin rounds
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced for garnish
  • minced fresh chives for garnsh
  • black pepper
Pairs perfectly with chilled Prosecco or Champagne
For the Watercress Sauce: put the watercress, garlic, mustards, cream, and olive oil in a food processor and season with salt and pepper. Blend until very smooth, scraping down the mixture as needed. 
Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Add the sour cream and mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
To prepare the toasts: spoon the watercress sauce onto each bread slice, and using a sharp knife, cut each slice into four triangles. Arrange the salmon and egg slices on top of them. Top each triangle with a slice of red onion, sprinkle with chives and black pepper, and serve. 

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