Arizona summers can make cooking at home a heated task. Santa Barbara Catering has the best summer dining recipes that don’t require you to turn on your oven. These summer dinner ideas highlight seasonal food such as juicy melons, creamy feta, and crisp summer vegetables. The summer recipes are easy to create, and are great to make as a family. These summer dishes are gluten-free and can be made vegetarian friendly.
Santa Barbara Catering, Arizona’s best caterer, was invited to cook a “Summer Dinner Party” menu on GMAZ (Good Morning Arizona, Channel 3). To create the perfect menu for hosting a dinner party during summer, the Santa Barbara Catering Executive Chef, Becky McIntyre, created recipes for a four course dinner party including an appetizer, summer salad, entrée and dessert.
Appetizer: Melon and Prosciutto Tart with Arizona Microgreens Pea Sprouts
Salad: Watermelon and Feta Salad with Reduced Balsamic, EVOO, Arizona Microgreens Basil, Fresh Cracked Pepper
Entrée: Citrus Grilled Shrimp, Cantaloupe Gazpacho, Watermelon and Honeydew Salsa with Pickled Rind topped with Micro Cilantro
Dessert: Honeydew Granita served with Micro Mint and Micro Edible Flowers and topped with Fresh Berries
Prosciutto Melon Tarts Recipe
• Cantaloupe (or melon of choice), cut into 24 one inch cubes
• Prosciutto, sliced thin – 12 slices cut in ½
• Citrus Salsa (see recipe below) – 4 oz
• Microgreen of your choice
1. Make your citrus salsa, and set aside.
2. De-skin and de-seed to cantaloupe, then cut into cubes.
3. Using a melon baller, make a crater in your melon cubes.
4. Slice the prosciutto thin, set aside.
5. Fill the cubed cantaloupes with citrus salsa, then top with a ½ slice of prosciutto.
Citrus Salsa Recipe
• Grapefruit, segments – ½ cup
• Orange, segments – ½ cup
• Red Onion, finely julienned – 1 oz
• Cilantro, minced – 1 tsp
• Lime Juice, fresh – 1 tsp
• Salt – ¼ tsp
• Black Pepper – 1/16 tsp
1. Mix all ingredients together, season.
2. The flavor will intensify if left overnight in fridge.
Recipe makes 1 cup which is more than enough for melon tarts.
Watermelon and Feta Salad Stack Recipe
• Watermelon Slices ¼” – cut into 3 Triangles
• Feta Slices ¼” – cut into 2 Triangles
• Reduced Balsamic
• White Balsamic Dressing
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Salt + Pepper
• Micro Basil
1. Begin by slicing your watermelon into ¼” thick triangle pieces. You may leave the green on, but we prefer it off.
2. Set the watermelon aside and slice your feta into ¼” thick triangle pieces as well.
3. Season each piece of watermelon with salt and pepper to your desired taste.
4. For plating, drizzle the reduced balsamic on the bottom of your plate, then drizzle with your olive oil.
5. Place one watermelon triangle in the center of the plate and top it with one feta triangle.
6. Repeat this with the left over watermelon and feta.
7. Drizzle the top with white balsamic dressing to your liking.
8. Garnish your watermelon feta stack with micro basil and enjoy.
Cantaloupe Gazpacho Recipe
• Cantaloupe, cleaned – 11 ounces
• Cucumber, cleaned + remove seeds – 2 oz
• Simple Syrup – 1oz
• Lemon Juice – 1 Tbsp
• Chili Flakes, (rehydrate in 1 Tbsp Hot Water) – To Taste
1. Combine all ingredients into a blender and mix until it comes together.
2. Use spoon to spread across plate and top with grilled shrimp.
Honeydew Granita Recipe
• 1 Ripe Honeydew melon
• ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
• 2 Tbs. Lime Juice
• 1 Tbs. Grand Marnier Liquor
• 3 sprigs of mint leaves
• Pinch of salt
Prep: 15 minutes
Freeze: 3 hours
1. Place sugar in a small pan with 3 Tbs water, lime juice, grand marnier, mint leaves and stir over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. About 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain out mint leaves.
2. Cut honeydew in half, remove seeds, peel and chop fruit. Transfer to a food processor or blender. Add reserved sugar mixture and salt. Process until slushy.
3. Transfer mixture to a 9”x13” metal baking pan and freeze for 1 hour. Stir with a fork to break up chunks around the edges. Stir with fork every 30 minutes to loosen ice crystals.
4. Shave granita with fork into chilled glass.
5. Top with micro mint, berries and edible flowers if desired.