photos by Jim Smith, props by HiHo Home Market, text by Phoenix Trent
Summer has finally arrived, which means there’s more daylight hours for all of our favorite warm weather activities: bike riding through the mountains, refreshing dips in the lakes and streams, live outdoor music, and, of course, dining alfresco. Yes, eating outside with loved ones, whether it’s on the porch, in the yard, or at a local park, is the quintessential summertime activity.
For a crisp refreshment that will be sure to wet your whistle, chill a bottle of local sparkling white wine by tying it to a string and tree root and allowing it to chill in the natural cold of a gentle lake or stream. Serve in a durable mason jar with two split raspberries per glass for a fresh kick of berry bouquet. For a kid friendly version, simply replace the wine with berry-infused sparkling water.
Packed to the brim with fresh summery goodness, this light soup will wet your appetite with delicate notes of fresh garden-grown herbs and a proper kick of tomato, berry, and citric acidity. Serve ice-cold and prepare to enjoy the wonderful bounty of our valley.
In a food processor, puree the tomatoes, cucumber, raspberries, garlic, red pepper, oil and vinegar. Next, add the scallions and herbs, pulsing just until they’re chopped and being careful to not over blend. Finish with salt and pepper to taste. Chill overnight before serving to allow all the wonderful flavors to blend and to ensure your gazpacho is ice-cold and refreshing. Fill a thermos before you go and voilà!
Ingredients for Herbed Gazpacho
6 large local heirloom tomatoes
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves
2 chopped scallions
15 or so basil leaves
15 or so cilantro leaves
15 or so parsley leaves
salt and pepper
Ingredients for Turkey, Bacon, Raspberry, and Goat Cheese Wrap
5 burrito-sized flour (or gluten-free) tortillas of your choice
1/2 lb hearty-cut turkey*
1/4 lb fried and drained thickly cut bacon*
2 cups fresh arugula
1 1/2 cups goat cheese*
3 tbsp honey
7 raspberries finely chopped
Pinch salt and pepper
*Look for local meat and cheeses. See our articles:
For a compact and picnic-ready delight, try out these simple, yet delicious, turkey, bacon, arugula, honey and raspberry-infused goat cheese wraps. Packed with protein, essential vitamins, and minerals, these wraps will make the perfect addition to a Hudson Valley summer picnic.
Turkey, Bacon, Raspberry, and Goat Cheese Wrap
*Look for local meat and cheeses. See our articles: http://www.visitvortex.com/magazine/Our-Farms-Local-Meats or http://www.visitvortex.com/magazine/Local-Cheese-If-you-please.
Begin by combining goat cheese, honey, raspberries, and salt and pepper in a mixing bowl with a whisk. Combine until the mixture is light, fluffy, and spreadable. Next, carefully lay out the wraps on a flat surface. Spread each with an even amount of cheese through the center of the tortilla, avoiding edges to ensure that all the fixings stay inside the wrap. Next, place the turkey diagonally across the wrap. Add in about a quarter cup of fresh arugula and a dash of salt and pepper. Finish by folding the sides and rolling up tightly to avoid spillage. Wrap in wax paper and slice wrap in half diagonally to serve.
The Hudson Valley is abundant with a wide variety of pick-your-own berry farms. See the article in this issue for details, and take the whole family. Once you’ve got your berries, it’s time to make your picnic turnovers!
There is something very special about the deep crimson juice from a fresh raspberry combined with the crunchy goodness of a homemade pastry. This recipe is refreshingly easy, and once the pies are constructed, you’ll be able to eat the tasty pockets with your hands, making them super convenient to pack in your picnic basket. This turnover is one of my all-time favorite desserts and will be sure to please. Feel free to use the berry of your choice.
Homemade Raspberry Turnover
To prepare the dough, place the sugar, flour and salt in a food processor and pulse until combined. Next, add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with small granules. Sprinkle with 4 tablespoons ice water and pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when molded. Next, equally divide dough into two portions and mold each into a square that is about 3/4 inches thick. Wrap dough portions in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm. Next, prepare the filling in a mixing bowl by combining the raspberries, cornstarch, sugar, and lemon juice, and set aside. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and prepare a flour-dusted surface. Roll out each individual square of dough into 8 x 12 rectangles and then cut each into six 4-inch squares. Next, spoon pre-prepared filling onto center of each square and brush two edges of each square with a little bit of egg wash. Carefully fold these edges over filling to create a triangle and press firmly to seal by crimping the edges with a fork. Next, transfer the pockets to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush tops with the egg wash and sprinkle with a little bit of granulated sugar. Cut a small incision in the centers to create a steam vent, and bake until beautifully golden brown for about 25 minutes, being sure to rotate the baking sheet at about 12 minutes. Allow the berry turnover to cool, and pack into your picnic basket.
Picnic Props graciously provided by Heidi at HiHo Home Market in Gardiner. hihohome.com
Say so long to bland pasta salad and sad, soggy sandwiches, and make way for a gourmet meal worthy of sharing with loved ones. Hudson Valley summers are fantastically scenic, so go ahead and set up a picnic beside a babbling stream or under a shady tree or among the beautiful flowers of a vibrant meadow.
Ingredients for Dough
2 1/2 cups all-purpose (or gluten-free) flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 sticks cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
6 tablespoons water
Ingredients for Filling
2 cups halved fresh raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 teaspoons lemon juice
2 eggs beaten with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash