Three Simple Summer Recipes by Cornelia Guest

The tastemaker shares some of her favorite summer dishes from her book CORNELIA GUEST’S SIMPLE PLEASURES (Weinstein Books, 2012)

White Gazpacho

(Serves 4)

Active time: 18 minutes, Total time: 48 minutes


1⁄2 medium head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets

1 1⁄2 cups cold water

2 slices whole wheat bread, crusts removed

1⁄4 cup pine nuts

2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1 large shallot, coarsely chopped

1 1⁄4 cups blanched slivered almonds

1⁄2 medium seedless cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped, plus 1⁄4 cup finely diced cucumber

1⁄3 cup olive oil

Sea salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the cauliflower until tender, about 8 minutes. Strain, rinse under cold water until cool, and let drain well.

3. In a blender, combine 1 12 cups cold water with the cooked cauliflower, bread, pine nuts, garlic, sherry vinegar, shallot, 1 cup slivered almonds, and the coarsely chopped cucumber; blend until smooth.

4. Add the olive oil and pulse until just incorporated.

5. If necessary, add more water to thin the gazpacho.

6. Season the soup with salt and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

7. Spread the remaining almonds in a pie plate and toast for about 6 minutes in the preheated oven, until fragrant and lightly golden.

8. Ladle the gazpacho into bowls. Garnish the soup with the toasted almonds and the finely diced cucumber and serve.

Green Salad with Truffle Vinaigrette

Serves 8

Total time: 10 minutes



For the dressing:

1⁄2 cup lemon juice

1⁄2 cup olive oil

1⁄4 cup truffle oil

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Rigatoni with Asparagus, Artichokes, Lima Beans, and Peas

Serves 8

Active time: 45 minutes, Total time: 1 hour


1 lemon

8 baby artichokes

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 small sprig fresh rosemary

Sea salt and black pepper

3⁄4 cup lima beans, fresh or frozen

8 medium asparagus spears, cut diagonally into 2-inch lengths

1 pound large rigatoni pasta

11⁄2 cups shelled fresh English peas or frozen peas, thawed

1⁄2 cup loosely packed fresh tarragon leaves

6 tablespoons Earth Balance “butter”*

2 cups packed fresh spinach

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Finely grate 1 teaspoon lemon peel; set aside.

3. Cut lemon in half. Squeeze 1 lemon half into a bowl of cold water big enough to hold all the artichokes.

4. Trim the tough outer leaves on each artichoke until only pale green leaves remain. Cut 34 inch from the tops; trim stems.

5. Rub all cut surfaces with remaining lemon half to prevent discoloration. Drop artichokes into lemon water and let soak for 3 minutes. Drain and pat dry.

6. Place artichokes, lemon peel, oil, and rosemary sprig in a 9-by 9-by 2-inch metal baking pan. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cover baking pan tightly with foil and bake until hearts are easily pierced with a small knife, about 15 minutes. Steam will escape when you remove foil from pan, so be careful.

7. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add lima beans and asparagus. Cook until asparagus is crisp-tender, about 2 minutes; drain and transfer vegetables to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain and pat dry. Let stand at room temperature.

8. Cook rigatoni according to package directions.

9. Thoroughly combine artichoke mixture and vegetable mixture with peas, tarragon leaves, Earth Balance “butter,” fresh spinach, and rigatoni, and serve right away.

*Editor’s note: Earth Balance is the vegan form of butter, but regular butter or margarine maybe used as well.

By Cornelia Guest | Photography by Michael Mundy | All recipes Copyright Cornelia Guest, Weinstein Books, 2012.

For more recipes from this author, check out Cornelia Guest’s Simple Pleasures (Weinstein Books, 2012), or learn more about her in “Catching Up with Cornelia Guest.”