Easy Summer Entertaining with Chef Dominique Rizzo

It’s summer time and Chef Dominique Rizzo is sharing some of her favourite summer recipes with you.  These are fabulous drinks and recipes to prepare for your guests without spending hours in the kitchen.  Easy summer entertaining in a busy schedule makes sense.

Easy Summer Entertaining – Lime and Lychee Wine Spritzer

Easy summer entertaining - Lime and lychee wine spritzer

This fresh wine spritzer is ideal for those summer days or warm nights when the zesty flavours of lime, lemon grass and a bite of chili will liven up the taste buds and with the soft sweet flavours of lychee its ideal to accompany any dish or dessert.

Ingredients:

1  bottle Lindeman’s Crispy Dry White

1 tbsp. Gourmet garden lemon grass 

½ cup lime cordial

2 Kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced

10 lychees – muddled

1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced into threads

Juice of 2 limes

1lt soda water

Method: 

  • Combine the wine with the rest of the ingredients leaving the wine to sit in the fridge for at least an hour to infuse with flavours.
  • Serve the wine half-filled in glasses and top with the soda water.

Easy Summer Entertaining – Baked Eggplant, Goats Cheese and Tomato Olive Salad

Easy summer entertaining - Baked eggplant, goats cheese, tomato olive salad

This is a light lunch or entree option full of wonderful colours and textures and a great dish to make ahead of time as all the components can be put together at the last minute.

Ingredients: 
2 medium eggplants sliced into 2cm wide slices

2 tbsp. chopped basil

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

3 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

60g goat’s cheese

60g cream cheese

3 roma tomatoes

40g green olives, pitted and chopped

40g black olives, pitted and chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

5 leaves of basil, chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

40g baby spinach

12 thin slices focaccia or Turkish bread

Method:

  • Pre heat the oven to 200c.

  • Combine the olive oil with the basil and parsley and season with salt and pepper, using a pastry brush cover both sides of the eggplant slices with the herb oil and season with salt and pepper.

  • Place the slices of eggplant onto a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, turn the eggplant over and bake for another 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

  • Blend the goat’s cheese with the cream cheese until smooth. Deseed the tomatoes and dice into 1cm pieces, finely dice the olives and mix in with the tomatoes, add in the garlic, basil and lemon zest, blend with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

  • To serve place a round of eggplant onto a plate and spread with a dessert spoon of the cheese mixture, top with some of the spinach leaves and then another eggplant round. Spoon over some of the olive salsa and serve with focaccia or Turkish bread.

Easy Summer Entertaining – Italian Crispelle with Sweet Fresh Pear and Honey Relish

Easy summer entertaining - Italian crispelle, sweet fresh pear, honey relish

This is such a fresh, fast and easy dessert or breakfast recipe and is delicious with ice cream, pouring cream or thickened yoghurt.

Ingredients: 

1 cup plain flour

Salt

2 whole eggs

280ml milk

50g butter

1 tbsp. honey

½ tsp. Gourmet Garden ginger

½ tsp. orange zest

2 tbsp. Lindeman’s Sweet Seasons Blancello

Couple of drops of vanilla or 1/8 tsp. vanilla bean paste

3 ripe pears, peeled, cored and diced into 1cm pieces

10 leaves of mint, sliced

Method: 

  • For the crispelle, pour the flour into a bowl and add in the salt. Make a well in the centre and in a separate bowl whisk the eggs and the milk together. Gradually whisk the eggs and milk into the flour and continue to whisk until the batter is smooth and lump-free.

  • Melt 20gms butter and pour this into the batter mixing to combine.

  • Heat a non-stick frypan over low-medium heat, add a little butter to coat the base then ladle in enough crepe mixture to coat the base completely, turning gently to ensure an even thickness. Cook 1-2 minutes until light and golden.

  • Turnover and cook for 10-15 seconds. Remove to plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat using the remaining crepe batter. To serve, place the folded crepes onto a plate and top with the fresh pear relish. Serve with a scoop of ice cream.

  • To make the fresh pear relish, combine the honey, ginger, zest and the Blancello and whisk until the honey dissolves, add in the diced pears and the chopped mint and toss together, serve this over the crepes.

These recipes by Dominique Rizzo were originally featured at https://www.lifestylefood.com.au/recipes/.

If they whet your appetite for more of Dominique’s food, come to Putia Pure Food Kitchen for pure food dining and cooking class experiences.  What’s on the menu? go to http://putiapurefood.com.au/current-menu/

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