It has been really hot, at times hitting 35 C. I don’t know how the kids can find the energy to run around and play. I just want to lie down and melt. Even the grass is really warm and so is my picnic mat. I live near the forest, my complex has lots of big trees, which supposedly make the area cooler than in the city but truthfully? It doesn’t feel any different. It’s just HOT.
So when I come home, I want to eat something cooling, something light, something quick, because I’m fainting. And fattoush has been the answer for me. It is especially nice when I step on the weighing machine too!
How do you like your lentils? In a soup, I like them mushy thick. As an accompaniment to a meat protein, I like them in rather soft. But in a salad, I like my lentils to make a ‘dink dink’ sound when they fall onto the plate.
I made this earlier today in what I hope a good attempt to add a balanced meal into our diet. H is very much a sandwich guy. As long as there’s a bread (yes), a good cheese (always), and anything from ham, sausage, or tuna (plenty to all three), he would be happy to run on his own. Forget about the salad nor the fruits.
Truth be told, I’m rather egoist in this matter: I get bored easily so I need to try new things every so often.
This salad is rather whimsical in terms of ingredients and flavors. Each of them have their own bold flavor. The lentils are nutty, the salmon earthy, the radish bites sharply, the green apple is nicely sour & crunchy and the mint is refreshing. So I made vinaigrette with Dijon mustard to go along with it. It is a nice summery salad that you can ship onto the table in no time at all. My kind of salad.
Another recipe from Domenica Marchetti that we love so much.
Eggplant and mint are a classic Sicilian combination. Fresh mint is plentiful in summer, which is the best time to make this brightly flavored dish. Cavatappi, also known as corkscrew pasta, are great vehicles for capturing the creamy sauce.
Well, I have no Cavatappi and this is one of the coldest summer in a long time, except that there’s no rain so far. But this pasta is so full of flavors that we will be making often.
CAVATAPPI ALLA SICILIANA
(based on The Glorious Pasta of Italy by Domenica Marchetti)
1.5 tbsp EVOO 1/2 small yellow onion, diced 1 clove garlic, minced 1/3 medium sized eggplant, cut into 1cm cubes 2 medium sized tomatoes, grated ~ see note below sea salt freshly ground black pepper 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar Cavatappi or other short sturdy pasta (I used some bow tie & fusili) Parmigiano regiano, grated 1-2 drops of tabasco (optional)
Cook the pasta as per instruction. When it has boiled, drain and set aside about 1 cup of pasta water.
While the pasta water is heating, put the EVOO, onion and garlic in a large frying pan. Over medium heat, cook until onion turns translucent.
Stir in the egg plant and cook until it begins to soften. Pour in the tomatoes, season with salt & pepper and bring the sauce to a boil, until the sauce has turn thick into a creamy tomatoes sauce.
Sprinkle with half of the mint and balsamic vinegar, stir and simmer for few more minutes.
Add tabasco here, if you want it to be a tad spicy.
Add the cook pasta, gently toss. Add a splash of pasta water to loosen the sauce if necessary.
Transfer to individual plates, sprinkle with remaining mints and grated parmigiano. Serve immediately.
Note: grating tomatoes has become the easiest way to get the tomatoes pulp. Frankly, this is a novelty for me, but it’s so easy and fuss free. Much preferred to blanching tomatoes. Basically, cut the tomatoes in half length wise, scoop out the seeds if you prefer. Place a box grater over a curved plate to catch the juice as you grate.
Place the “inside” part against the largest hole of your box grater. Press the tomato gently and grate, until only the skin is left in your palm. Quick and mess-free, I promise!