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July 28, 2010
Recipe roundup: Pears, squash and chicken

With the bounty of summer produce, everything from pears, grapes and even bananas to bell pepper and squash, researcher Sheila Kern has created a list of recipes that use fresh ingredients that are on sale, too. Enjoy!

Curried Cashew, Pear, and Grape Salad


Makes 6 servings


3/4 cup cashew halves

4 slices bacon, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon melted butter

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup olive oil

salt and black pepper to taste


1 (10 ounce) package mixed salad greens

1/2 medium Bosc pear, thinly sliced

1/2 cup halved seedless red grapes


In a large, dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast cashews until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove cashews to a dish to cool slightly.

Return skillet to medium-high heat, cook bacon strips until crisp on both sides, about 7 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, and soak up grease with a paper towel. Coarsely chop bacon, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together butter, rosemary, curry powder, brown sugar, salt, cayenne pepper, and toasted cashews. Set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together white wine vinegar, mustard, and honey. Slowly whisk in olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large salad bowl, toss dressing with greens, pear slices, grapes, and bacon, and sprinkle with nut mixture.

Pear-Cinnamon Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream


Servings: 4


Filling Ingredients

4 whole (to 5) Large Pears

â…” cups Sugar

1/4 teaspoons Salt

Topping Ingredients

1- 1/2 cup All-purpose Flour

â…“ cups Sugar

â…“ cups Firmly Packed Brown Sugar

1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon

1/2 cups Pecans, Very Finely Chopped

1 stick Butter, Melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel, core, and dice pears. Place into a bowl and stir together with 2/3 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Stir together. Drizzle melted butter gradually, stirring with a fork as you go until all combined.

Pour pears into a baking dish; top with crumb topping.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Place pan on top rack of oven for an additional 10 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

"Cocoa-Nut" Bananas


From EatingWell: February/March 2005

Makes 4 servings


4 teaspoons cocoa powder

4 teaspoons toasted unsweetened coconut

2 small bananas, sliced on the bias


Place cocoa and coconut on separate plates. Roll each banana slice in the cocoa, shake off the excess, then dip in the coconut.

Spicy Bell Pepper Salad


Bon Appetit | June 1998

Yield: serves 4


1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds

2 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)

1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/3-inch-thick rings

1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/3-inch-thick rings

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/3-inch-thick rings

1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, separated into rings

6 3 x 1/2-inch strips lemon peel (yellow part only)

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Stir caraway seeds in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in oil and crushed red pepper. Add all peppers, onion, lemon peel and garlic. Increase heat to medium-high and sauté until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 7 minutes.

Transfer pepper mixture to large bowl. Mix in dill. Cool. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) Remove lemon peel. Mix in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Roast Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers


Cooking Light, January 2010

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 breast half and about 1/2 cup bell pepper mixture)


3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Cooking spray

2 cups thinly sliced red bell pepper

1 cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper

1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 1 large)

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, fennel seeds, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder, and oregano. Brush chicken with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; sprinkle spice rub over chicken. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over; cook 1 minute. Arrange chicken in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until done.

3. Heat remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, shallots, and rosemary; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve bell pepper mixture over chicken.

Pesto-Topped Grilled Summer Squash


From EatingWell: July/August 2009

Makes 4 servings


1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, (see Tip)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 medium summer squash, (about 1 pound), sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick

Canola or olive oil cooking spray


Preheat grill to medium-high.

Combine basil, pine nuts, oil, Parmesan, garlic, lemon juice and salt in a small bowl.

Coat both sides of squash slices with cooking spray. Grill the squash until browned and tender, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve topped with the pesto.

Tips & Notes

Tip: To toast pine nuts, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Summer Squash Casserole


Southern Living, May 2008

Yield: Makes 8 servings


1 1/2 pounds yellow squash

1 pound zucchini

1 small sweet onion, chopped

2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided

1 cup grated carrots

1 (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of chicken soup

1 (8-oz.) container sour cream

1 (8-oz.) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped

1 (8-oz.) package herb-seasoned stuffing

1/2 cup butter, melted


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cut squash and zucchini into 1/4-inch-thick slices; place in a Dutch oven. Add chopped onion, 2 tsp. salt, and water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook 5 minutes; drain well.

2. Stir together 1 cup grated carrots, next 3 ingredients, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt in a large bowl; fold in squash mixture. Stir together stuffing and 1/2 cup melted butter, and spoon half of stuffing mixture in bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Spoon squash mixture over stuffing mixture, and top with remaining stuffing mixture.

3. Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown, shielding with aluminum foil after 20 to 25 minutes to prevent excessive browning, if necessary. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Herbed Roasted Chicken



1 roasting chicken, about 4 to 5 pounds

juice of 1/2 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

1 small onion, peeled and quartered

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme

2 to 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley

4 tablespoons melted butter


Preheat oven to 350°.

Rub inside of chicken with lemon juice; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the onion quarters, dried herbs, and parsley to chicken cavity. Place chicken in a shallow roasting pan and roast at 350° for about 20 minutes per pound. Baste with melted butter several times. Internal temperature should register about 165° on a meat thermometer inserted into the meaty part of the thigh.

Roast Lemon Chicken


Serves 4


3-4 pound whole chicken

2 lemons

6 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 cups chicken broth


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the giblets and any fat from the chicken cavity. Roll the lemons on the counter with your hand to soften them, then prick thoroughly with a fork, going all the way through the rind to the flesh.

In a small bowl, mash the garlic with the salt until a paste forms. Rub half this paste inside the chicken and then stuff the lemons into the cavity.

Add thyme and pepper to remaining paste and rub on the outside of the chicken. Place in a shallow roasting pan, on a rack (you can use sliced onions for a rack for even more flavor), and pour the chicken broth around the chicken.

Roast for 60-65 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees F, juices run clear when pricked with a fork, and the drumstick moves easily in its socket. Cover the chicken and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with the pan juices (don't eat the lemons!).

Elegant Cheese Grape Cluster


Makes: 48 appetizers


1 1/2cups (8 oz.) slivered almonds

1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

2 oz. Gorgonzola cheese or other blue cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)

3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or parsley

48 small red seedless grapes (about 9 oz.)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Place almonds in single layer in shallow baking pan with sides. Bake at 350°F. for 8 to 12 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once. Remove from pan; cool about 5 minutes. Finely chop almonds.

2. In medium bowl, combine cream cheese, Gorgonzola cheese and chives; mix well. Wrap about 1 teaspoon cheese mixture around each grape to cover; roll in chopped almonds. Place in single layer in 13x9-inch pan. Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours before serving.

3. To serve, if desired, arrange on serving platter in shape of grape cluster; garnish with parsley or grape leaves.

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