Independence Day is one of the biggest summer holidays in the United States where families and friends come together. On 4th of July, America paints itself in red, white and blue, and celebrates its history and traditions with fireworks, parades, concerts, games, picnics, barbecues, and so on.
We wanted to get in on the fun as well. So we asked some of our favorite European food bloggers to put their spin on this American holiday and create three simple but delicious recipes for a memorable Independence Day dinner. Meet the bloggers and discover their creations below!
The Red, White & Blue Caprese Bruschetta by Clémentine Vaccon
Clémentine, more famously known as Clemfoodie, is a 29-year-old food blogger from France obsessed with her home country's staples: cheese, bread, and an occasional chocolate bite. Clem focuses on healthy recipes that are easy to make and enjoyable.
When we asked her to create a recipe for the Independence Day, she jumped right on it with the incredible idea for a Caprese bruschetta that combines all the colors featured in the American flag. Decorated with tomatoes, blueberries, and mozzarella balls, it's an easy-to-make starter that everyone will love. Find the recipe below!
INGREDIENTS (serves 12-15 people): 5 large slices of sourdough or ciabatta bread | 15 cherry tomatoes | 4 oz (125 grams) of blueberries | olive oil | 3 garlic cloves | fresh basil | black pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F/180°C.
2. Cut the bread into bite-sized pieces, add a drizzle of olive oil to them and sprinkle with grated garlic. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the bread becomes crisp.
3. Remove the bread bites from the oven. Top with cherry tomatoes sliced in half, blueberries and mozzarella balls. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil on top, some pepper, and a fresh basil leaf. Enjoy!
The Independence Day Burger by Rui Ribeiro
Rui Ribeiro is the talented Portuguese chef behind the famous food blog, Faz e Come, which roughly translates to "make and eat." Indeed, Rui says he creates, photographs, and then eventually eats his recipes that are created with passion and commitment to good food.
In his 4th of July recipe, Rui puts a nice spin on the American favorite. His burger with homemade buns, black sesame seeds, and pickled red onion is a slightly more modern and gourmet way to consume this popular dish. Find the recipe below!
INGREDIENTS FOR THE BUNS (serves four people):
For pre-baking: 6 oz (170 grams) of bread flour | 4 tablespoons of water | 2.5 tablespoons of fresh baker's yeast
For the final dough: 11 oz of bread flour (325 grams) | 4 oz (125 ml) of water | ½ cup of butter | 4 tablespoons of sugar | half tablespoon of salt | 1 egg for brushing | 1 tablespoon of black sesame seeds
1. Start by mixing the pre-baking ingredients. Knead gently with your hands until all ingredients mix together. Shape the dough into a small ball and let it sit in a covered container until it doubles in size.
2. Once the dough has risen, add the remaining ingredients and knead until an even dough is formed. Transfer it to a clean table and knead for another 10 minutes. Lastly, place the final dough in a container greased with a little bit of olive oil, cover it with a cloth and let it proof once more until it doubles in size.
3. Once the dough has risen, roll it out and form a cylinder. Divide the cylinder into 7 servings of about 4.5 ounces (125 grams) each. With your hands, form small balls and place them on a large tray lined with parchment paper leaving some space in between. Mix egg yolk with a tablespoon of water, brush the buns and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Let them rest a little bit longer until they increase in size.
4. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Bake the buns for about 12 minutes until they become golden brown on top but light on the bottom.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING:
17 oz (500 grams) of minced beef | 4 tablespoons of caramelized onion | 4 slices of Cheddar cheese | 1 cup of pickled red onion | 4 lettuce leaves | 2 red tomatoes | ½ cup mayonnaise | salt and pepper to taste | extra virgin olive oil to taste
1. Shape the minced meat into four even burger patties. Drizzle them with olive oil and set aside for a bit.
2. Grill the patties. For medium rare, start with one side and grill it for 3 minutes. Then turn the patty upside down, season it with salt and pepper to taste, and grill for another 4 minutes.
3. Turn off the heat. Spoon some caramelized onion on the patty and top it off with a slice of cheese. Let it sit for a bit so the cheese would melt.
4. Cut the buns in half and season with mayonnaise. Put a lettuce leaf, two slices of tomatoes on the bun, place the burger patty on top and finish with some pickled onion. You're done and ready to eat!
The Star-Studded Lemon Olive Layer Cake with Mascarpone Cream and Berries by Inês Ginja
Inês Ginja is yet another Portugal native who is a veterinary surgeon by day and an amateur food stylist and food photographer by night. Inês shares her mouthwatering creations on her blog Ananás e Hortelã, which translates to "pineapple and mint." Her ideas usually come from strolling around the orchard and garden and are rich in seasonal fruits, vegetables, and berries.
To top off our Independence Day dinner, Inês offers a delicious lemon-olive oil cake with mascarpone cream, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Find the recipe below!
INGREDIENTS FOR THE SPONGE: 1 cup of caster sugar | 4 eggs | juice and zest of one lemon | 4 tablespoons of olive oil | 4 oz (125 ml) of Greek yogurt | 1 cup of self-rising flour | 1 teaspoon of baking powder |
INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING & ICING: 1 cup of mascarpone cheese | 4 oz (125 ml) of chilled whipping cream (35%) | 2 tablespoons of icing sugar | ½ teaspoon of vanilla bean paste | zest of half a lemon | fresh berries | 2-3 tablespoons of jam (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease two 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pans and line the bottom with greaseproof baking paper.
2. In a large bowl combine eggs, sugar and lemon zest and beat the mixture with an electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes until it gets light and frothy. Add yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice and beat again. Add the flour and baking powder into the mixture and fold in the dry ingredients gently until the mass gets even and smooth.
3. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans and bake for around 30 minutes each, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
4. For the filling and icing, use the mixer on low speed to beat the mascarpone cheese until it becomes smooth. Then add cream and beat on a higher speed until the mass becomes firm. Add sugar, vanilla paste and lemon zest and beat until it's creamy.
5. To assemble the cake, place one of the sponges on a cake stand or a serving dish, spread a couple of tablespoons of your favorite berry jam on top (this is optional). Spread half of the icing mixture over the jam or directly on the sponge and pop the second cake on top. Spread the rest of the icing on top of it and garnish with fresh berries. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.