Photography by Janet Warlick :: Styled by Muriel H. Wilkins

 

This month, we’re featuring fun, easy-to-prepare, easy-to-eat, easy-to-clean up recipes for delicious summer meals that don’t require a grill.

I love the flavor and texture contrast of fruit in salad. For me, until recently, mixing fruits and greens was rare. It was only later in life that I discovered the concept of combining the sweetness of fruit with the savoriness of dark green lettuces and the tang of lemon. I’ve been hooked since. We feature two such recipes on our website.

Here you’ll find recipes for dessert and salad kabobs, which are all the rage.


Strawberry Brownie Kabobs prepared with large marshmallows and chocolate sauce.

Strawberry Brownie Kabobs prepared with large marshmallows and chocolate sauce.

Dessert Kabobs

Fruit by itself, fruit and cheese, or fruit and pound cake all make great finishes. Ideas to try include grilled pineapple, apples, bananas, or grapes. You can drizzle a combination of melted butter, vanilla, cinnamon and honey over the kabobs or pass around a Molasses Sour Cream dip.

Strawberry Brownie Kabobs

(photo above)

This recipe is truly indulgent, but it’s good to be bad every once in a while.

Ingredients

  • 1 box brownie mix
  • 2 16-ounce packages of large strawberries
  • 1 bag large marshmallows
  • 2 squares of melting chocolate
  • wooden skewers, cut in half
Strawberry Brownie Kababs ingredients

Strawberry Brownie Kabobs ingredients

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray mini-muffin tins with non-stick spray. Prepare the brownie batter according to the package’s instructions and divide batter among muffin tins. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. Allow brownies to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Clean, dry and cut the strawberries so both ends are flat. Layer the strawberries, brownies and marshmallows on the skewers and lay them out on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals until completely melted. Transfer to a piping bag or Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle over each kabob. Transfer to the fridge to allow the chocolate to set and until ready to serve.

Strawberry Balsamic Kabob

Ingredients

  • bite-sized pieces of Brie
  • small or cut strawberries
  • mint leaves
  • balsamic vinegar

Directions

Thread the ingredients onto toothpicks in the following order: bite-sized pieces of Brie, mint leaf, strawberry, then drizzle with a drop of balsamic vinegar.

Adapted from EatingWell

Sticky Fruit Sticks

Here is a recipe for a perennial favorite of kids and adults. It’s written so kids can create the kabobs themselves. Experiment with different fruits; apples, pears and pineapple are best for eating later because they stay crunchy longer. Bananas, strawberries and grapes get too soft if not eaten right away. 

Ingredients

  • 2 or 3 apple chunks
  • 2 or 3 pineapple chunks, canned is fine
  • 2 or 3 banana chunks, firm, not too ripe
  • 2 or 3 seedless red or green grapes
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • thin wooden skewers, one for each serving

Directions

Turn on the broiler — ask an adult to help if you need it. Thread the fruit chunks onto the skewers. Make one stick for each person. If you don’t fill the whole stick, break off the ends so they don’t burn in the broiler.

Melt the honey and butter together in a small bowl in the microwave. It only takes about 20 seconds. Lay the fruit sticks on a piece of foil and brush them all over with the honey and butter.  If you don’t have a brush, just use a teaspoon to pour it over the fruit sticks. Put the foil onto the broiler pan, and heat under the broiler until bubbly and very light brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.  Turn the sticks over about halfway through. Be sure to wear oven mitts!

These are quick and easy, and they are good hot or cold. They also can be eaten immediately — slide the fruit off the stick into a bowl because they will be HOT. Note: Eat the same day you make it … the fruit will get too soft if you keep it overnight.

Makes 1 serving.

Molasses Sour Cream Dip

A delicious pairing with the fruit kabobs.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup light sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses

Directions

In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, sugar, vanilla and molasses until smooth.

Variation:  Substitute 2 tablespoons honey for the molasses and/or ½ cup plain, low-fat yogurt for the sour cream.

Adapted from Epicurious.com

Salad Kabobs

You will need either thin bamboo skewers or toothpicks. Skewers make a pretty presentation; however, toothpicks are easier to eat with at a stand-up event.

Greek Salad Kabob

Greek Salad Kabob

Greek Salad Kabobs

Greek Salad Kabob ingredients

Greek Salad Kabob ingredients

The classic Italian combination is tomato, basil and mozzarella, but to branch out, try a Greek version. The quantities will depend on how many and what size skewers you plan to prepare.

Ingredients

  • cherry or grape tomatoes
  • thin slices of English cucumber
  • pitted Kalamata olives
  • feta cheese, cut into bite-sized chunks

Directions

Thread each ingredient onto skewers or toothpicks using a repeating pattern. If you would like to include a dressing, combine olive oil with fresh lemon juice in a 2:1 ratio and whisk in a little minced garlic and snipped mint leaves. It can be drizzled or dipped, depending on whether you are sitting on the deck or standing around the grill.

Antipasti Salad Kabobs

Antipasti Salad Kabobs

Antipasti Salad Kabobs

Antipasti Salad Kabobs ingredients

Antipasti Salad Kabobs ingredients

Almost any meat that appeals will work. Just don’t make the slices or chunks too large, or it will be difficult to eat directly from the skewer.

Ingredients

  • prosciutto, salami, smoked andouille, turkey or ham, sliced or cut into chunks
  • lettuce leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • cherry or grape tomatoes
  • thin slices of English cucumber
  • any color bell pepper — red, yellow, orange or green — cut into bite-sized chunks

Directions

Thread each ingredient onto skewers or toothpicks using a repeating pattern. If you have slices of meat, fold them into quarters. Do the same with the lettuce leaves. Other ingredients you might like include artichoke hearts, roasted peppers or olives.

Peach Fennel Salad

I discovered the combination of peaches and fennel at some long-forgotten restaurant when I lived in San Francisco. The restaurant is gone, but the flavor profile has stayed with me.

Ingredients

  • 1 fennel bulb, fronds discarded, halved, cored and very thinly sliced on a mandolin
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • salt
  • 1 peach, skinned, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian parsley leaves, snipped
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • olive oil and lemon juice, drizzled to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to serve, to taste

Directions

Toss the fennel with the vinegar. Season lightly with salt, and let stand about 20 minutes until slightly wilted. Add the remaining ingredients. Toss carefully, and season with freshly ground pepper to taste.

Serves 4.

Kitchen Note: Peeling peaches is easier by dropping them into boiling water for 30 seconds first. Generally the skins will slip right off.

Variation: Use grilled peaches that have been cooled and sliced. Reserve any juice and add to the salad.

Apple and Ginger Salad

You may have had apples combined with ginger in a dessert. Here is a salad using the same flavor profiles.

Salad ingredients

  • 1 crisp apple, like a Gala or a Fuji
  • 4 to 6 leaves of romaine or red leaf lettuce, washed and torn
  • 1 tablespoon lightly toasted sunflower seeds
  • a few snips of cilantro to garnish, optional

Dressing ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • freshly squeezed juice of ½ lime
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Directions

Core and chop the apple into bite-sized pieces. Combine with the lettuce in a salad bowl. Whisk together the dressing ingredients, taste for balance and adjust if necessary. Pour over the salad. Toss to combine. Sprinkle over the cilantro and sunflower seeds. Taste, and add salt and pepper if necessary. Chill briefly before serving.

Serves 2.

Edamame Salad with Avocado Dressing

Salad ingredients

  • 1 10- to 12-ounce package frozen, shelled edamame, thawed and microwaved in a small bowl of water for 1 minute
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded, cored and chopped into pieces similar in size to the edamame
  • 4 handfuls fresh baby spinach, chard, kale, or baby lettuces, or a combination
  • a few snips of garlic chives or regular chives to taste, about 1 teaspoon

Dressing ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado, halved and pitted
  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • juice of 1 lemon, about 2 tablespoons
  • salt and pepper

Directions

Combine the edamame, bell pepper and chives, if using, in a bowl. Tear salad greens into bite-sized pieces and add to edamame. To make the dressing, combine the avocado, oil and half of the lemon juice in a blender and whirl until very smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust lemon/oil ratio if necessary, also adding salt and pepper to taste. Combine the salad and the dressing. Chill briefly before serving.

Serves 6.

Variation: Blend a handful of the spinach or other greens with the dressing ingredients.


Widget not in any sidebars