Bacon Wrapped Asparagus BundlesBroccolini Pasta SaladAvocado and Tomato Chickpea Pasta Salad with Lemon Basil VinaigretteGrilled Salmon and Pineapple with Avocado DressingPeanut Butter and Jelly Ice CreamPatriotic Parfaits

Fresh Produce and Outdoor Cooking Recipes

Summertime: Fruit and vegetable gardens are starting to produce lots of good ingredients and grilling outdoors is in high season. Here are a few recipes incorporating the fresh produce and outdoor cooking.

If you have a favorite summertime recipe that you would like to share, we would love to hear from you! Recipes, with photo (and a short story/history), if available, can be submitted to

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Bundles

1-1/2 lbs. asparagus spears, trimmed 4” to 5” long tips

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

A few grinds black pepper

4 slices center cut bacon or pancetta

Chopped chives or scallions, optional garnish


Preheat oven, if using, to 400 degrees F.

Lightly coat asparagus spears in extra-virgin olive oil. Season the asparagus with black pepper. Take a quick count of the spear tips. Divide the total number by four. Gather that number of spears and use a slice of bacon to wrap the bundle and secure the spears together. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

To grill, place bundles on hot grill and cover. Cook 10 to 12 minutes until bacon is crisp and asparagus bundles are tender.

For oven preparation, place bundles on slotted broiler pan. Bake 12 minutes. 4 servings


Broccolini Pasta Salad

1 (16-oz.) box campanelle or other short pasta

1 bunch Broccolini, cut into 1-inch pieces

6 T. olive oil

3 T. white balsamic vinegar

1 sm. shallot, chopped

1 sm. garlic clove, finely grated

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 pt. cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large

3/4 c. smoked almonds, coarsely chopped

1/2 c. fresh basil leaves, torn


Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions, adding Broccolini during last minute of cooking. Drain.

Meanwhile, whisk together oil, vinegar, shallot, garlic, and Dijon mustard in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Add pasta mixture, cherry tomatoes, almonds, and basil to vinaigrette; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to serve, up to 1 day. 8 servings


Avocado & Tomato Chickpea Pasta Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

For the pasta:

8 oz. whole wheat or gluten free pasta

1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved (about 1 lb.)

1/2 c. feta crumbles

1 ripe but slightly firm avocado, pitted and diced

1/4 sm. red onion, thinly sliced

Optional: 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives


For the vinaigrette:

1/4 c. fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)

1 garlic clove

1/4 c. olive oil or avocado oil

1/3 c. packed fresh basil leaves

1 tsp. honey or sugar, opt.

1/4 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper


To garnish:

Torn basil leaves


First make the vinaigrette dressing by adding all ingredients to a blender. You can also whisk them together in a medium bowl, but you’ll need to make sure that the basil is finely diced. The blender method minces the garlic for you. Set aside the dressing until pasta is ready.

Next cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Al dente is best here. Once pasta is done, rinse with cool water and drain, then add to a large bowl.

Stir in chickpeas, tomatoes, feta, avocado, red onion and optional olives. Fold in dressing and gently stir until pasta is well combined. Season with freshly ground black pepper and torn basil leaves. Serves 6


Grilled Salmon and Pineapple with Avocado Dressing

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil

1-1/2 tsp. chopped fresh basil, plus some sprigs, for garnish

1-1/2 tsp. chopped fresh chives

1 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon, plus some sprigs, for garnish

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

4 (4-oz.) skinless salmon fillets, each about 1” thick

4 (1/2”-thick) round slices (rings) of pineapple, preferably fresh

Avocado Dressing, recipe follows


Avocado Dressing:

1/4 c. fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)

2 T. chopped fresh basil

1 T. finely chopped fresh chives

1 T. extra-virgin olive oil

1-1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh tarragon

1/8 tsp. anchovy paste, opt.

1/8 tsp. kosher salt

1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 small clove garlic, smashed

1/2 avocado, diced


Avocado Dressing: Combine the lemon juice, basil, chives, olive oil, tarragon, anchovy paste if using, salt, pepper, garlic and avocado in a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of water and process until smooth. Cover the dressing and let stand for at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour for the flavors to blend.

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.

Whisk the oil, chopped basil, chives, chopped tarragon, salt and pepper in a small bowl to blend. Brush the salmon and pineapple slices with the herb mixture.

Cook the salmon until barely cooked through and still pink inside, about 4 minutes per side. Cook the pineapple until slightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Transfer 1 pineapple slice to each plate and arrange a piece of salmon slightly overlapping it. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the Avocado Dressing over each piece of fish. Garnish with basil and tarragon sprigs and serve.  4 servings


Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream

1-1/2 c. whole milk

2/3 c. packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 egg, lightly beaten

2/3 c. creamy peanut butter

2 c. heavy whipping cream

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 c. grape jelly or strawberry jelly, or other


In a large heavy saucepan, heat the milk, brown sugar and salt until bubbles form around sides of pan. Whisk a small amount of hot mixture into the egg mixture. Return all to the pan, whisking constantly.

Cook and stir over low heat until mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat; whisk in peanut butter. Quickly transfer to a bowl; place in ice water and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in cream and vanilla. Press waxed paper onto surface of custard. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Fill cylinder of ice cream freezer two-thirds full; freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.

When ice cream is frozen, spoon into a freezer container, layering with jelly; freeze for 2-4 hours before serving. Makes 1-1/4 quarts


Patriotic Parfaits

1/4 c. sugar

1/4 c. water

1 c. blueberries

1 T. fresh lemon juice

1 c. heavy cream

10 oz. angel food cake

2 c. strawberries

1/2 c. shredded coconut

8 canning jars


In 1-quart saucepan, stir together sugar and water. Heat to boiling on high, stirring occasionally; stir in blueberries and lemon juice. Remove from heat. Let cool completely.

In large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, whip cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold in cooled blueberry mixture.

Place a single layer of angel food cake on bottom of 1 canning jar. Top with 2 tablespoons strawberries, then 2 tablespoons blueberry whipped cream. Repeat layering of cake, strawberries, and whipped cream. Repeat with remaining 7 jars. Serve immediately. Before serving, top each parfait with 1 tablespoon coconut. 8 servings


Quote of the Week:

“The essence of America - that which really unites us - is not ethnicity, or nationality, or religion. It is an idea - and what an idea it is: that you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. That it doesn’t matter where you came from, but where you are going.” 

~ Condoleezza Rice



The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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