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A July 4th Celebration!

A July 4th Celebration!
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Celebrate the Fourth! Dine outdoors and serve a fabulous make-ahead menu.</p

Star-Studded Starter

Start with a sassy salsa of in-season sweet, plump Northwest cherries paired with peppers, onion

and cilantro! Serve cracker-like crisps — cut from pita breads using star-shaped cookie cutters — for


Cherry Salsa With

Star Crisps


  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon

    granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups pitted

    Northwest cherries, quartered

  • 1/3 cup finely diced sweet red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely diced

    purple onion

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • Star Crisps


  1. In medium bowl, place crushed red pepper. Stir in boiling water; let

    stand at least 10 minutes. Stir in lime juice, vinegar, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add cherries, bell pepper and

    onion; gently stir. Let stand 30 minutes. Stir in cilantro and serve. Serve with Star Crisps.

Makes about 4 cups salsa

Star Crisps


  • 2 packages pocket pita breads (6 inch or larger)
  • Olive or

    vegetable oil

  • Coarsely ground salt and pepper (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Using 2.4-inch or 3.23-inch star

    cutter, press and cut shapes from pita; pull apart into two pieces. Arrange on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush with

    oil. If desired, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned and


Makes 10 to 15 crisps

Salads Make the Meal

Toss orzo, chicken and sweet cherries with red wine vinaigrette and

pack into a star-shaped pan. Chill and then turn out onto a platter for serving. Add a simple mixed green salad

topped with glazed almonds, creamy goat cheese and fresh, antioxidant-rich cherries.

A Star of a Salad


  • 1 box (16 ounces) orzo
  • 3 cups diced cooked chicken breast or

    turkey breast

  • 1 1/2 cups diced green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1/2

    cup red wine vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon

    Dijon-style mustard

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed dried thyme
  • 1

    teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 3 cups pitted Northwest Red or Rainier cherries, quartered


  1. Line Star Pan with plastic wrap. Prepare orzo following package

    instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.

  2. In large bowl, combine orzo, chicken, bell pepper and

    shallots. In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, honey, mustard, salt, thyme and black pepper. Pour over orzo

    mixture; mix well. Gently stir in cherries. Pack into prepared pan. Chill at least 1 hour. To serve, place serving

    platter over star pan. Carefully turn over to release salad; remove plastic wrap.

Makes about 12 servings

Mixed Green Salad With Northwest Cherries, Almonds & Goat Cheese


  • 1/4 cup pitted Bing cherries
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic


  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound (about 8 cups) mixed salad greens, washed, dried,

    and chilled

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Bing or other

    dark Northwest cherries, split in half and pitted

  • 1 log (4 ounces) fresh white goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup glazed sliced almonds*


  1. In blender or

    food processor fitted with steel blade, puree 1/4 cup cherries, vinegar and oil until smooth; set dressing aside.

  2. In large bowl, gently toss greens with dressing. Add salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 1 cup cherries, goat

    cheese and almonds; toss gently. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 to 8


Updated Monday, June 22nd, 2009

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