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The ultimate English tea sandwich is made with delicate cucumbers. With the addition of sweet Tarragon Butter, it becomes a heavenly addition to anyone’s summer tea table.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled, sliced thin
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp. fresh tarragon, minced
  • 2 tbsp. parsley, minced
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Dash of salt
  • 14 slices bread

Preparation:

Place cucumber sliced in a ceramic bowl. Add salt and vinegar and toss. Let them stand at least for 1 hour until most of the water comes out of the cucumber. Drain in a colander.

Put the softened butter in a bowl. Add minced tarragon and parsley, lemon, and salt. Mix well.
Spread Tarragon Butter on one side of each slice of bread. Cover with cucumber slices. Close sandwiches. Trim crusts and cut into triangles (halves or quarters). [Note: You may trim the bread before you assemble the sandwiches.]


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mufullettaThese tea sandwiches are spicy and make a great addition to a summer tea. They are based on the New Orleans favorite Muffuletta, a garlicky olive salad. You can also add thinly sliced meats to the cheese if you wish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. steak buns (6) (with sesame seeds if possible)
  • Olive Salad - Recipe Below
  • 12 slices Havarti Cheese, sliced paper thin
  • Herb Butter - Recipe Below

Olive Salad

  • 1/3 cup green olives, pitted, minced
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely minced
  • ½ tsp. oregano, finely minced
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 drops green pepper sauce

Preparation:
Mix all ingredients together.


Herb Butter

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced finely
  • 1 tbsp. roasted red bell pepper, minced
  • 2 tsp. parsley, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp. Dijon mustard, coarse stone ground
  • 1/4 tsp. each, marjoram, chives, oregano, tarragon (or any combination of fresh herbs), finely minced

Preparation:
Mix all ingredients into the softened butter.

Slice buns, if they aren’t pre-sliced. Butter inner side of each bun. Spoon 1 tsp. of Olive Salad on the bottom halves of the buns. Top with 2 slices of cheese each and the buttered bun tops. Slice into quarters. Let the Muffuletta sit for at least an hour and then serve.


Raspberry Tea
Raspberries are great in almost anything. When you combine them with iced tea, you have a winning combination.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 6 tea bags
  • ice and cold water to fill a half-gallon pitcher
  • one-half cup of frozen or fresh raspberries
  • sprig of mint (optional)

Preparation:
Boil the water and add 6 tea bags. Allow to steep for 10 minutes. Add raspberries and let the flavor develop for another 10 minutes. Strain and pour into a half-gallon pitcher. Add ice cubes and enough water to fill the container. Garnish with mint leaves.


LemonadeIt doesn’t get much simpler than lemonade. It’s refreshing, delicous, and works nicely in any season - particularly summer. While there are many variations, here is a recipe for the perfect, basic lemonade:

Ingredients:

  • 4 lemons, squeezed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Enough cold water to fill a half-gallon pitcher


Preparation: Squeeze the juice from 4 lemons and pour into a half-gallon pitcher. Add sugar and cold water, leaving room for ice. Stir vigorously to dissolve the sugar. Add ice, and garnish with lemon wedges.


Salad PlateSummer is just the right time to show off your artistic side, not only in an edible collage of colors, tastes, shapes, and textures in your salads, but also in your tableware.  Though a colorful salad will look good on any plate or bowl, sometimes you just want to make a more intense visual splash at the table. Salad plates are just one way to slow off your creativity. Smaller than a dinner plate, salad china can match your dinnerware or they can be bold solid colors that complement your tableware.  Mediterranean designs and rustic stoneware can also add a summer feel to your salad course. But, serving up a green salad on a sunflower-painted plate or putting a pasta salad on a plate that looks like a cabbage leaf will get your guests talking. This is an especially nice touch to do when you are hosting a summer luncheon or tea. And, if you are having trouble getting your youngsters or even your spouse to eat their veggies, put your salads on red or red-orange plates.  Psychologists say that these warm colors stimulate the appetite.


SaladWhen we think of summer, cooking in a hot kitchen is the last thing we want to do. That’s why salads, cold soups, and quick grilled entrees have become some of summer greatest culinary pleasures. This week, we’re going to look at salads and salad dressings.

Any vegetable can be used in a salad, either as the base or as a delicious tidbit in a lovely bowl of lettuce. Leftover cooked vegetables (lima beans, broccoli, peas, asparagus, carrots, beets, etc.) are great additions, as well as many of their counterparts served raw.  Sprouts, raisins, celery, various nuts, onions, garlic, capers, and olives are also great in salads. Even sliced apples, pears, mangoes, and oranges can add sweet taste and texture.  Cheeses and cooked meats and chicken can kick up a salad from a beginning or ending of a meal to its main attraction. Edible flowers have historically been used in salads. They can be ordered from organic gardeners or from food suppliers.

Chef Scott suggests serving a salad at the end of a meal or between courses to cleanse the palate and prepare for a luscious dessert or piquant course.


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