|Great juxtaposition of colors and shapes here. (For those savvy enough to spot it, no, this isn't my new countertop.)|
Not all that long ago, inspired by what I'd bought, I set to work constructing supper for myself. It turned out pretty well, I must say.
First, pour yourself a glass of chilled white wine to sip as you work. One of those Portuguese vinho verdes would be good. Light and crisp. A jazz CD or some classical guitar would be fun, too. You might even want to put on a pretty apron if you still have one. (Obviously, adjust amounts for the number of people being served.)
1. Chicken. Use a boneless, skinless breast. Marinate all day in a little olive oil into which you've mixed a bit of turmeric. (Keep it covered in the fridge.) When ready to cook (that's when you put on the music, the apron, and pour that glass of wine), finely dice one shallot, saute lightly, then set aside. Add chicken breast to the same pan and brown a couple of minutes on each side. Turn down the flame, add a little water to the pan, cover, and cook slowly, maybe 25 minutes, adding a bit more water only as necessary. Let rest. To serve, slice. For a sauce, warm up the sauteed shallots in the pan juices, then add a little mayo.
2. Cold cauliflower soup. Saute 1 diced vidalia onion. Then add a touch of turmeric and saute for only a minute more. Add 3 c. of chicken stock, the florets of 1 small cauliflower, 1 t. vinegar, some salt, and maybe 3 T. couscous. (The couscous acts as a thickener.) Let cook partially covered for maybe a half hour. Puree and serve at room temperature. If you like, you can add a splash of half-and-half when serving. (This is my tweaking of a Julia Child recipe for a cold cucumber or zucchini soup which I haven't actually followed for many years but do want to give credit to.)
3. Filet beans (haricots verts). Blanche by dropping into boiling water. Test frequently to get the timing just right, then remove when cooked but still a bit crunchy. (This won't take very long.) Cut into pieces. Add very thinly sliced or diced red onion. Dress with a vinaigrette just before serving.
4. Easy ratatouille. Slice and briefly saute 3 very small zucchini in olive oil. Remove from pan. Do same with 1 onion. Do same with 2 small elongated eggplant. (Do them last.) Then mix all three and spoon in some tomato-basil sauce. (I used a bit of left-over pasta sauce, but fresh tomatoes and basil could be added quite simply.) Serve at room temperature with a wedge of lemon.
5. Dessert. Any berries now in season!! Add a spot of cream to the bowl. Or a bit of vanilla ice cream. Or nothing at all and just savor how lovely they are.
|It's great that berries don't all ripen at once ... first strawberries, then raspberries, then blueberries. Yum!|
What Makes July July
Swimming suits drying on the line
Fresh raspberries ...
And good people who let you go pick theirs