At this time of year we often entertain in the garden and even if guests come to dinner, drinks and hors d’ouevres are almost always served on the back deck. Because our deck is at the bottom of a terraced garden, it is a pretty sheltered spot, even from the cooler evening summer breezes we sometimes get here in Newfoundland. We’ve often planned an inside evening with friends only to find the gathering eventually drift outside. “Pub Grub” evenings in the garden are always a favorite with friends where we serve wings, grilled flatbread pizzas, sliders, ribs or pulled pork sandwiches with favorite beverages.
Today we have a couple of simple recipes that we’ve served in our outdoor garden space just this past week. The first is a delicious summer punch made from fresh watermelon, lime and mint. This is a very refreshing drink on a hot day and for kids and parents alike but the adults tend to like a spash of vodka or light rum in this one too.
The second is a very simple and quick hor’s d’ouevre made with fresh herbs from the garden, goat cheese and readily availble frozen puff pastry. I make these as little turnovers too but they are also very good as small pinwheels as shown in the photo below.
Watermelon Lime Punch
3 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1 1/2 cups ice cubes
juice of one lime
3 tbsp honey
4 sprigs crushed fresh mint leaves
sparkling water (optional)
4 ounces vodka or light rum (optional)
Place all ingredients except mint leaves in a blender and blend well until the ice is well crushed. Crush the mint springs just by twisting the leaves just to release their flavor. Place a spring in each glass and pour the punch over the crushed mint.
Goat Cheese and Herb Pinwheels
2 sheets frozen puff pastry
1 cup goat cheese
4 tbsp whipping cream
1 tbsp finely minced garlic
4 tbsp chopped fresh herbs
1 tsp crushed black pepper
Mix together all ingredients except the puff pastry until well blended.
Cut the puff pastry into 1/2 inch wide strips. Twist two pieces of pastry together and then lay the pastry down in a tight spiral shape onto a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet. Spoon a rounded teaspoonful of the goat cheese mixture on each pastry. Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.