ELITE LUNCH

(July 19) Impress your guests who want something a little more upscale for lunch. Scott Campbell, owner-chef of SQC Restaurant Bar in New York, developed a stacked tuna sashimi-avocado napoleon with cucumber seaweed salad. Here are the steps:

1. Spoon onto a plate a little avocado salad made of sliced avocados, jalapeno and red onion mixed with cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.

2. Top it with a fried wonton sheet.

3. Top the wonton with a little tuna tartar made of a diced raw tuna filet mixed with olive oil, chives, sesame seeds, soy sauce and wasabi paste.

4. Spoon more avocado salad on top of the tuna tartar.

5. Sprinkle a few kernels of popped popcorn on top.

6. Add another fried wonton sheet.

7. Spoon on another dab of tuna tartar.

8. Add more avocado salad and top with a few more kernels of popcorn.

9. Place a third fried wonton sheet on top and sprinkle with a few microgreens.

10. Drizzle a little sesame sauce on the plate. To make the sauce, combine sesame paste, sesame oil, sherry vinegar, soy sauce, a little water and wasabi paste.

11. Garnish with cucumber salad of tossed sliced cucumbers, red onions, sugar, mirin, sesame seeds, sesame oil, crushed red pepper, rice wine vinegar, seaweed salad, salt and pepper.

12. To finish, sprinkle with black sesame seeds.

BLT REWRITTEN

As if BLTs weren’t seasonal enough, here’s a watermelon twist to the popular summer sandwich. Add a thick slice of seedless watermelon, two slices of cheddar cheese and 2 tablespoons of pesto sauce to the classic sandwich and serve it on toast. Chef Harry Schwartz developed the recipe for the National Watermelon Promotion Board, Orlando, Fla.

NO TO FRIES

During a seven-week children’s menu test in three markets last winter, Spartansburg, S.C.-based Denny’s Corp. discovered that when given a choice between french fries and any of six new side items, half the children forwent the fries for one of the following:

Red grapes

Craverz (cucumber slices with a ranch dipping sauce)

Apple sauce with Teddy Grams

Deep Sea Salad (Salad with Gold Fish crackers)

Gold Fish crackers

Potato Volcano (mashed potatoes and gravy)

The response was so positive that Denny’s planned to launch the new children’s menu nationally on June 28, said Debbie Atkins, director of public relations.