Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Colors of Summer with Tomato Crumble and White Peach, Lychee and Red Berry Pops

As I was saying...

I love summer. But mostly, I love the summers in cooler climates. I long for the crisp morning sun, afternoon naps with the windows wide open, just like I remember. I don't mind the heat, but I do need a break from it.

I am obsessed with all the reds, different ranges of blues, turquoise... The color of crushed berries and the ocean.

I took the day off from work one morning last week. I packed a picnic to take to the beach with the kids. Manchego and membrillo sandwiches, fresh cherries, and slices of olive oil cake. The beach was nearly empty and the skies threatened rain. Perfect really.

But it was also very, very hot. So hot that after an hour, Jon complained about it. "Can we go home now? It's just too hot amatxu!"

I couldn't agree more.

When we arrived home, we decided to just have our picnic under the tree behind our house. A quick one as the midday heat was still menacing.

I pulled out some savory crumble from the freezer and mixed it with black cherry tomatoes and sliced Brillat Savarin. Remember this heirloom tomato and almond crumble tart from last year? Something similar.

In 15 minutes we had tomato crumble, cheese sandwiches, and fresh cherries. As fast as we ate it, we were back inside.

The kids were running around in the kitchen. Restless. Jon chasing after Miren, always trying to get some kind of reaction from her. It was chaos and sometimes the only way I get to keep them quiet is by letting them help me cook.

"Bring your chair Jon" I asked him. He stood next to me as I was peeling the white peaches and the lychees. "I will help you with those red ones" he said. I don't think he had ever seen a lychee until that day and by the look on his face as he tried to peel one, he was not a fan.

"It will be good, I promise" I assured him.

We blended the peaches, lychees and yogurt to make some faux ice cream pops.

I don't think we left the air-conditioned house the rest of the afternoon. Lots of crayons, sheets and sheets of paper, a game or two of Go Fish, and some popsicles.

I suppose we are creating summer memories as is.

On another note, I am super excited to tell you about our feature in the new special summer issue of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine. A party we threw at our friends Lena and Ted's house with lots of food, some fishing, and pool time. I styled it and it was beautifully photographed by the amazing John Kernick. I hope you have a chance to pick it up. It is full of wondeful summer stories.

Thank you!

White Peach, Lychee, and Raspberry Pops

Makes 8 popsicles

1 cup (125 g) raspberries
1/4 cup (50 g) natural cane sugar
2 white peaches, peeled, pit removed, and diced
6 fresh lychees, peeled and pit removed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup (50 g) caster sugar
1 1/2 cups (175 g) full-fat, Greek-style yogurt

Start by placing your molds in the freezer.

Cook the raspberries and cane sugar together in a small saucepan over medium heat until it thickens, about 3 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and let it cool completely. Once cooled, pour in the popsicle molds coating the sides. Return molds to freezer.

In a blender, puree the white peaches, lychees, lemon juice, caster sugar, and yogurt. Pour in the popsicle molds and freeze until solid.

To serve, run hot water on the sides of the mold to help release the pops.

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