Bring on the Summer

We are visiting with friends again tonight and I was always taught you never go empty handed.  It is a potluck and I am bringing one of  my favorite summer salads and a nice tropical dessert.  In the spring and the summer, we love to enjoy all the fresh produce of the season, and my corn and tomato salad is one of our favorite summer salads.  It is so easy and quick to prepare, and so full of flavor.  It goes anywhere, with anything.  Part of what makes this salad so refreshing is the fresh basil and lemon verbena that grows wild in my backyard.  It is just beginning to grow and has not yet taken over my back yard, but we are also just in early Spring too.  By mid summer, I will have way more than I know what to do with, so if anyone wants some, just let me know.   I try to add it to a lot of different things to give a fresh zippy, zesty, lemony flavor.  Anything lemon is just perfect for the warmer days of spring and summer.  It is also known as lemon balm, and  is a part of the mint family.  If not contained, it literally takes over your yard, as does mint.



Summer Corn and Tomato Salad

Frozen corn that has been thawed, but not cooked

grape tomatoes, quartered

red onion, diced fine

fresh basil, chiffonade (rolled and sliced very thin)

lemon verbena, chopped fine (optional)

salt & pepper to taste

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

Just mix everything together and chill.  Pretty easy-peasy and so delicious and very healthy for you too.


I was also asked to bring a dessert.  I had some left over cinnamon and powdered sugar mixture, and some left over toasted coconut, along with some fresh pineapple, so I went tropical and made a pineapple-macadamia tart with the toasted coconut.


Pineapple-Macadamia Toasted Coconut Tart

Make your dough or pate sucre dough first, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the dough set before using.

The Pate Sucre (Dough)

1 1/2 cups flour

6 TBSP COLD butter, cubed small

a pinch of salt

1 egg

6 TBSP heavy whipping cream

1-2 TBSP powdered sugar (I used mine with the cinnamon already mixed in)

In a food processor, add your flour, salt, powdered sugar and cold butter.  Blend until everything is well incorporated.  Then add your egg and heavy whipping cream and mix again until the dough forms a ball.  Remove from the food processor and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.


The Filling

3/4 cup macadamia nuts, cut coarsely

3/4 pineapple (I used fresh pineapple, but canned or dry is fine too)

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup or 5 TBSP butter, melted

3/4 cup light corn syrup

1/4 cup coffee liqueur (optional)

1/4-1/3 cup toasted coconut


Preheat the oven to 425* F

Once the dough is chilled, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to fit an 11″ tart pan (preferably with a removable bottom).  Press the dough firmly into the tart pan and cut off all the excess dough from the edges.  Place the pan in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and reduce the heat to 375*F.

Fill the bottom of the pan with the macadamia nuts, pineapple and coconut.

Mix all the other ingredients together in a mixer and mix until well blended then pour over the nut mixture and bake for about 30 minutes or until the tart filling is set and does not jiggle.  Let cool completely, then carefully remove the bottom of the pan, making sure to hold it securely with your hand spread out completely on the bottom of the pan.  You might need to scrape the edges of the fluted top part of the pan with a knife to make sure to remove all the spilled over filling first.  Once the tart is completely cooled, top with whipped cream (again, I used my cinnamon powdered sugar) and toasted coconut, if desired.




Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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