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3 Refreshing Summer Recipes from Queen Creek Olive Mill

The last thing you want to do in the Arizona heat is turn on the oven. We asked Perry Rea, owner, master blender, and olive oil sommelier at Queen Creek Olive Mill to share with us some refreshing summer recipes to help you stay cool (and satiated).

Italian Picnic Pasta Salad

Time 30 mins, serves 6 (vegetarian)

Italian picnic pasta salad by Queen Creek Olive Mill

This is a fresh summer salad that can be made ahead for a dinner side or a picnic at the park.


Sea Salt
1 pound rotini pasta
1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup delicate extra virgin olive
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1/2 cup Grana Padano, grated

*Items sold at the Queen Creek Olive Mill Marketplace


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse. Set aside.
  2. In another large pot of boiling salted water, add the asparagus and blanch until bright green and slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and shock in icy cold water. Remove from the water and dry well.
  3. Cut the asparagus into bite sized pieces on the bias. Whisk together the mustard, garlic, olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Combine the asparagus and pasta in a large serving bowl. Add the tomatoes, basil, peas, Grana Padano and the olive oil dressing. Toss with tongs to coat the salad well. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if needed. Cool in the refrigerator.

Olive oil flavor recommendations: roasted garlic, 3 chiles, bacon, fresh crush rosemary, fresh crush basil, Meyer lemon.

Peach Balsamic Wine Cooler

Peach balsamic wine cooler by Queen Creek Olive Mill

“We decided to create a delicious, fresh and fun summer cocktail using a secret ingredient…balsamic vinegar,” Rea says. “This recipe is a simple twist on your favorite summer sippers.”


1 oz Peach White Balsamic Reduction
1 oz vodka
3 mint leaves


Combine all ingredients into a tall glass, pouring the Prosecco last to top off. Leave room for ice to make this wine cooler extra cool.

The Real Greek Salad

The Real Greek Salad by Queen Creek Olive Mill

Have you ever been to Greece? This authentic Greek summer salad has ripe red tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, sharp onions, green peppers, kalamata olives, extra virgin olive oil and feta cheese.


3 ripe Roma tomatoes
1 medium cucumber
20 kalamata olives
1/2 small red onion
1/2 green bell pepper
1 chunk of sheep feta cheese
6 tbsp Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp dry Greek oregano
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
Sea salt to taste
Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle

*Items sold at the Queen Creek Olive Mill Marketplace


  1. Cut the tomatoes into wedges.
  2. Peel the cucumber and cut in quarters lengthwise, then slice about 1⁄2 inch thick. Slice onion and green bell pepper into thin slices.
  3. Put tomatoes and cucumbers in a shallow bowl and combine. Place the thinly sliced onion and pepper on top.
  4. Add the olives. Sprinkle with oregano. Drizzle with some olive oil and a splash of vinegar.
  5. Add sea salt to taste.
  6. Place a piece of feta on top and sprinkle the feta with oregano and another drizzle of olive oil.


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