Let’s take it easy as the summer season revs up with this crunchy Asian salad and and a few other recently requested repeats from the archives. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at iwrite33@comcast.net or 504-0545.

What’s your favorite thing about summer? One of my many joys is shopping at farm stands and farmers markets. Sometimes I make a day of it and return home with bags of summery delights. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, melons, corn, tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, peas, peppers, lettuces, asparagus, herbs and more. Lots to unpack and, yes, lots to celebrate. It makes a person feel rich.

Summertime is for easygoing, no-fuss, cool but filling meals and treats, and this Asian salad is a favorite on regular rotation for lunch and dinner here at the cove. If you want to go vegetarian, substitute garbanzo or other hearty beans, or marinated and grilled tofu. Pick up a crunchy baguette to go with it and all you need is a dessert, of course.

Running out for an ice cream cone or gelato is always a good idea, but if you want to be fancy in your very own kitchen, fruit soup is always nice. This melon soup is so refreshing and unique and can also be served as an appetizer in cunning little glasses or dishes rather than the bowls I favor for dessert-size portions.

If melon soup isn’t your thing and you want to go big, here is my very favorite of all summer desserts: strawberry pie. This is the most delicious thing ever and you will be so happy with yourself for putting in the effort. So happy, in fact, that you will make it more than once this summer. I’m willing to bet on it.

Crunchy Asian salad

2 cups cooked chicken breasts, shredded

3 cups Napa cabbage or sturdy lettuce, julienned


1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 cup fresh pea pods, garden peas or frozen edamame

1 cup carrot shreds

4 scallions, chopped

1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds

1 cup crispy chow mein noodles


Cilantro for garnish

Arrange all ingredients in four individual salad plates or bowls. (If using edamame, cook according to package directions, then rinse with cold water.)

Garnish with cilantro and serve with salad dressing.

Yield: 4 servings

Salad dressing

4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil


4 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Whisk together all ingredients.

Yield: 1/3 cup

Three-melon soup

4 cups seedless watermelon, chopped


Juice of 1 lime

2 large fresh mint leaves, julienned, plus 4 more for garnish

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup dry red wine or unsweetened cranberry juice

1/2 cup cantaloupe, finely diced

1/2 cup honeydew melon, finely diced


In a food processor or blender, place 3 cups of the watermelon chunks, lime juice, honey and julienned mint leaves. Puree until smooth, then pour into a large container. Stir in wine and finely dice remaining watermelon chunks. Add to soup along with diced cantaloupe and honeydew melon. Cover and chill for several hours. To serve, ladle into small bowls or glassware and garnish with mint leaves.

Yield: 4 servings

Fresh strawberry pie

1 1/2 quarts strawberries, divided

1/2 cup water

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch


1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon butter

1 baked and cooled 9-inch pie shell


1 pint whipping cream

1-2 tablespoons sugar, optional

Wash, hull and pat strawberries dry with paper towels. Arrange whole berries with their bottoms up in a pie shell. Depending on how large your pie pan is, you may not use them all. Reserve 1 1/2 cups berries for glaze.

For the glaze, place reserved berries in a medium saucepan with water, sugar, salt and cornstarch. Cook over medium heat, stirring until thickened. Add butter. Cool slightly and pour over berries in pie shell. Chill for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator.

Whip cream and sweeten with sugar if desired. Top each slice with whipped cream when ready to serve.

Yield: 6-8 servings

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