Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How To Stay Cool

Summer approaches and the heat is already getting to me.

This is the time when all I can think about is fresh fruit, chilled soups, salads, and lots and lots of sorbet pops.

I bought the first saturn peaches of the season a few days ago. They are nature's candy, if you ask me. (I seem to say that about all fruit, don't I?). Soft, full of water, and sweet. We have been enjoying them sliced for breakfast every morning.

"Let's make an orange and peach smoothie" Jon asked. It hit the spot after we came back from a swim.

It has been so hot that I barely turn on the oven at home. We grilled outside and I made a few salads with ingredients from the farm.

The kids and I went to pick tomatoes at the farm early in the morning. I guided them on which ones to pick and they quickly got the hang of it. Even as early as nine in the morning, it was unbearable to stand out in the sun, and we left quickly, just after saying hello to the baby goats and chickens.

Back at home, we turned the tomatoes into a mid morning snack. Drizzle of olive oil, squeeze of lemon juice, and a touch of pink salt.

For lunch, a refreshing red lentil, salmon, radish, and fennel salad inspired by a recipe I had seen at Elle à Table.

"No dessert?" C. asked. "It's too hot to bake" I replied.

All I got was a look.

So I pulled out some mulberries from the freezer and made a quick batch of mulberry, millet and poppy seed cakes. And to take advantage that the oven was on, I ended up baking a galette with leftover tart dough from a recipe for the book, saturn peaches,and raspberries.

And summer is almost here.

Mulberry, Millet and Poppy Seed Cakes

Makes 18 cakes

1/2 cup superfine brown rice flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/3 cup almond flour
1/4 cup potato starch
2 Tbs tapioca starch
1 Tbs poppy seeds
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup natural cane sugar
1/3 cup applesauce
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/3 cup melted ghee
1/2 cup mulberries (mine were frozen)

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the first nine ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the rest of wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until incorporated. Fold in the mulberries.

Pour the batter into muffin molds lined with baking papers. bake for 18 to 20 minutes until a skewer inserted in the center comes out dry.

Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. Store them in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Red Lentil, Salmon and Fennel Salad

Serves 4

1 cup red lentils, rinsed several times
8 ounces sockeye salmon
5 Tbs olive oil
1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
6 radishes, thinly sliced
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
Salt and pepper

Place the lentils in a medium saucepan and cover them with cold water plus 1 inch. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, cover the pot, and cook the lentils for 8 minutes until they are al dente. Drain them and rinse them in cold water. Reserve.

In a medium saute pan, heat 1 Tbs of live oil over medium heat. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Place the salmon skin side down. Cook for 3 minutes. Turn it over and cook it for 1 to 2 minutes longer depending on the thickness. Turn onto a clean plate and let it cool. When cool enough to handle, flake it with a fork and reserve.

In a large bowl, toss together the red lentils, salmon, fennel, radishes and greens. Make a quick vinaigrette with the dijon, lemon juice and 1/4 cup olive oil. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad. Season with salt and pepper. Toss well and serve in glass jars.

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