It’s a pool, pool summer…
So you probably want summer by the pool recipes.
Let’s talk about pools for a minute. Where have pools been all my life? I hope for your sake you have had more outdoor pools in your life than I have had in mine. I never thought I liked pools before, but that is all due to a terrible misunderstanding. I don’t like indoor pools or pools dedicated to the pursuit of fitness (no offense to lap swimming, but putting your face under the water that much gives me anxiety and I like to pursue fitness on land). However outdoor pools where I can stick my children in life vests and they will have fun for HOURS while I feel very relaxed and have drinks and snacks on an inflatable chair or animal are A REVELATION.
Very few people in Northern Minnesota or Norway (my regular haunts) have outdoor pools. It’s cold here A LOT. But, we discovered that the parents of one of our good friends have one, and on a hot afternoon it is a little slice of paradise. We spent a whole afternoon and evening there last week with plenty of snacks and canned cocktails, and it was so blissful that I want to share the menu with you and tell you to find a pool to spend an afternoon at RIGHT AWAY because I know for a fact you deserve this kind of delight in your life. And, word to the wise, if you have our canned cocktails and these recipes at your fingertips, even a kiddie pool filled with refreshing water to dabble your toes in will do the trick.
Summer by the Pool Recipe Guide
First, make sure you have lots of chips. Potentially even a whole table of chips. More chips than anyone could possibly need in their life and yet it feels so right to have them arrayed there.
Second, coax a friend to make brisket. It’s the perfect way to close out the day as the sun is setting, and the temperature is dropping a bit, and your bodies are all pruny from the water. If brisket is too time intesive (I 100% get that, that’s why you find a friend who wants to do it), try a grilled pork shoulder, which is quicker but also bonkers impressive.
Then, you (or someone else) can contribute this wonderful Provençal style potato salad (vegan! Unlike the brisket) from our production assistant Ellen who also is an amazing vegan chef.
Provençal Potato Salad
- 2 lbs yellow or red potatoes
- 1 15 oz can of butter beans or garbanzo beans – drained (optional but good source of protein)
- 4 ribs celery – halved and sliced
- ¼ c red onion – diced small
- ½ c fresh flat leaf parsley – chopped
- 10-15 pitted green olives – halved – I prefer castelvetrano
- ¼ c capers – drained
- 3-4 kale leaves – stemmed and minced
- ½ cucumber – seeded and diced small
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 garlic cloves – grated or minced
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard – plus more to taste
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp salt or to taste
- Rinse potatoes and place them in a large pot, cover with cold water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a strong simmer until tender and easily pierce with a paring knife – about 20 min. Drain, allow to cool until you can handle them and cut into cubes.
- While potatoes cook, prep other ingredients.
- Add cooked potatoes, beans (if using), and chopped veggies to a large bowl.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, Dijon, salt & pepper together.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetables and stir to combine. Adjust salt and pepper as desired. This dish tastes best after it’s had time to sit. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Someone else should probably make a celery salad. And then for sweet treats, set out a tray of fruit along with this stracciatella dip that I am officially completely addicted to. (Don’t ask how many times I have made it in the last couple of weeks. It’s more than I can count.)
This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit and I can’t find the recipe online to link to, so here is my version!
Serves 6-8 as a dip
- 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
- 2 Tbs. sour cream
- 2 Tbs. powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tbs. Vikre Amaro Superiore (or Averna amaro)
- about 3 oz. dark chocolate, chopped finely
- Assorted fruits for serving (think berries, cherries, and stone fruit. Plain salted potato chips are also real good dipped in this dip)
- Combine all the ingredients from cream to amaro in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer (or by hand if you’re feeling really strong in your arm) until stiff peaks form. Then, gently fold in the chopped chocolate.
- For poolside enjoyment, fill the bottom of a small cooler with ice and nestle your bowl of whipped cream dip in the ice to keep chilled. Serve with fruit for dipping.
For drinks, Frenchie, Briar, and Vélo are all stars poolside, but imho Vélo shines particularly brightly in this context.