Get out of the greasy hamburger and hotdog gutter this fourth of July and make your guests eyes pop in wonder with some new recipes. We have one great appetizer that will be sure to make your taste buds explode in wonder, and a refreshing pair of summery drinks that are perfect for kids and adults alike.
So whereever your celebrations take you this year, indulge in good food. And most importantly, revel in America’s freedoms.
2 t fennel seeds
2 t finely grated orange zest
3 T fresh orange juice
1 t cracked black peppercorns
4 oz. feta cheese, cut into twenty-four 1/2 inch cubes
24 fresh mint leaves
12 green pitted green olives, cut in half
1/4 large English cucumber, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
24 6-inch skewers
1) In a medium bowl, combine the fennel seeds, orange zest and juice, and pepper. Gently stir in the feta and marinate for 1 hour at room temperature or up to 3 hours in the fridge.
2) To assemble the skewers, push a mint leaf about 3/4 inch up the skewer, then add a chunk of cucumber, and an olive half. Gently place a cube of the marinated feta on the end.
Strawberry-mint tea sparkling punch2 pints fresh Oregon strawberries, cleaned, hulled, and halved
1/2 C plus 2 T granulated sugar
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
6 regular-size mint tea bags, about 1/2 oz. total
1 liter San Pellegrino sparkling water
1) Put the strawberries, 2 T of sugar, lemon juice, and a good pinch of salt in a food processor or blender. Process until you have a smooth purée, pour it into a container, and refrigerate until needed.
2) In a small saucepan, bring 2 1/4 C water to a gentle boil. Add the tea bags, remove from the heat, cover, and steep for 15 minutes. Pour the remaining 1/2 C sugar into a 3-quart heatproof container. Remove the tea bags after steeping and pour the tea over the sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add 6 cups cold water and stir again. Chill until cold.
3) To serve, combine the strawberry purée with the mint tea and stir well to mix completely. For individual servings, fill stemmed glasses two-thirds of the way with the strawberry-mint tea and top off with sparkling water.
Citrus tea punch3 oz. fresh spearmint
2 large pitcher size tea bags (for iced tea), such as Lipton
1 1/2 C granulated sugar
1 C fresh lemon juice (from 4-6 medium lemons)
1 C fresh orange juice (from about 4 medium oranges)
1) Put the mint in large heatproof pitcher and pour in 6 C boiling water. Add the tea bags and let steep for 30 minutes. Remove the tea bags, strain out the mint, and stir in the sugar and juices. Let cool to room temperature, then put in the fridge until cold. Stir before serving, then serve over ice.