Fresh and Light

Gather the neighbors, the couple from down the block or the single guy at work to enjoy a flavorful outdoor supper together. The recipes are easy—make them ahead and have the salmon ready for the grill—so everyone can relax under evening stars and savor good food and fellowship.

Minted Cucumber Melon Salad

Sweet, luscious watermelon and honeydew pair with salty and tangy feta cheese for a delicious summer salad.

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  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups honeydew melon balls or chunks
  • 3 cups watermelon balls or chunks
  • ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 20 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 seedless cucumber
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 ounces)
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish
  • For dressing, in a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk in oil in a slow, steady stream until incorporated. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, toss together melon, red onion and mint. Using a vegetable peeler, peel ribbons of cucumber over melon mixture. Add dressing; toss to combine. Cover and chill for up to 8 hours. Just before serving, top with feta cheese. If desired, garnish with lemon wedges.
Melon Punch

Fresh fruits and vegetables infuse sparkling water to make a refreshing island-inspired cooler.

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  • ½ (1-pound) honeydew melon
  • 1 (1-pound) cantaloupe
  • 1 (1-pound) seedless watermelon
  • 1 cup seedless cucumber slices
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • 3 cups sparkling water
  • 4 ¼ cups (1 liter) chilled ginger ale
  • Using a melon baller, scoop flesh from honeydew melon into a punch bowl. Halve and seed cantaloupe; peel rind and thinly slice flesh and add to bowl. Slice watermelon and cut flesh into 1-inch cubes; add to bowl.
  • Add cucumber, mint leaves and sparkling water to bowl. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours to blend flavors. Prior to serving, add ginger ale.
Cedar-Planked Salmon with Cucumber-Dill Sauce

Planking a salmon adds lush, smoky flavors and keeps it moist by protecting it from the flame.

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  • 2 (6-ounce) containers Greek low-fat yogurt
  • ½ cup finely chopped seedless cucumber
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dried dill-weed
  • ⅛ tsp kosher salt
  • -
  • 1 untreated cedar or alder plank
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 (3-pound) skin-on salmon fillet
  • 1 medium lemon, cut into thin slices
  • 1 medium lime, cut into thin slices
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into thin slices
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh dill sprigs, optional
  • For sauce, in a medium bowl combine yogurt, cucumber, onions, lemon zest, lemon juice, dill and salt. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
  • Soak cedar plank in water at least 1 hour or overnight. When ready to grill, preheat grill to high heat.
  • Place cedar plank on hot grill, smooth-side down, for 10 minutes, being careful not to burn the plank. Carefully flip plank over and brush smooth side of the plank with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. (Preheating the plank allows it to begin releasing smoke and flavor.)
  • Place salmon, skin-side down, on smooth side of cedar plank. Brush salmon with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Top with lemon, lime and red onion slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Grill, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove salmon from grill. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs, if desired. To serve, cut into serving-size portions.
Triple Berry and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Treat family and guests to an extraordinary appetizer, pairing sweet berries with savory goat cheese on crusty bread.

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  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • -
  • 24 (½-inch-thick) slices baguette-style
  • French bread
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup goat cheese (chèvre)
  • In a large bowl, whisk together white balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in olive oil until smooth.
  • Add strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and basil; toss to coat. Cover and chill for 2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil. Bake until bread is pale golden and crisp, about 10 minutes.
  • Just before serving, arrange baguette slices on a serving platter. Spread about 2 teaspoons goat cheese onto each bread slice; top with 2 tablespoons berry mixture.
Rhubarb Rose Sorbet

Scoops of pink sorbet finish the meal on a light and healthy note.

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  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen cut-up rhubarb
  • 2 tbsp light-color corn syrup
  • In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Add rhubarb. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until rhubarb is tender. Remove pan from heat and let cool for 20 minutes.
  • Add rhubarb mixture and corn syrup to a blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. As soon as the mixture begins to thicken and lighten, transfer it to a freezer container. Cover and freeze overnight until firm.
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