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The Cookstr Weekly: Greek Al Fresco Summer Menu

June 6, 2012

Longer days beg for al fresco dining: picnic tables adorned with dynamic salads and grilled entrees, candlelit desserts celebrating in-season fresh fruits, and big flavors that aren’t heavy or rich. Greek food answers the call, with a bright lemony tang and light creamy sauces to set off smoky meats and summer produce. Chefs of Greek origin as well as global enthusiasts have been inspired by the country’s rich cultural history. Mix and match the recipes below for an unforgettable warm-weather meal, with stars like Ellie Krieger’s Lemon-Garlic Marinated Lamb Chops: an effortless main course with a simple Greek-inspired marinade.

More Greek Recipes from Cookstr
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In Season: Strawberries

As summer arrives, it’s time for strawberries to reclaim their customary center stage in our hearts and our tart pans. Just fresh farmers’ market strawberries paired with freshly made whipped cream are unforgettable enough for the most formal occasions, but for a special treat, try making this Strawberry Frangipane Tart by Beth Allen. As she writes in the headnote to the recipe, “Traditional French frangipane is a rich almond crème pâtissière, or pastry cream, that is used for filling tarts and pastries. This one is flavored with fresh orange and rum as well, then topped with a spectacular “chrysanthemum” of strawberries.”

 Inexpensive and done in under an hour, calzones are an ideal weeknight dinner choice. They’re easy to personalize with individual fillings, and kids will love to help making their own.

 

 “A calzone is a stuffed pizza. Everyone can have their own piece of dough and fill it as they like. This is a great recipe for nights when the family cooks together. Start with homemade pizza dough, and let everyone prepare his or her own calzone. You may use any topping you like – just don’t fill the dough too full. I like to serve the calzones with extra sauce for dipping.” – Pat Sinclair

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