In the summer I make a lot of dishes that have a cool, light vibe. For instance, last night we made a terrific chicken satay dish from a blog with the delightful name My Kids Eat Squid. When I read the recipe, I knew I had to make it immediately because not only was it full of spice and flavor, it was accompanied by a delicious sweet-sour cucumber relish. Relish, salsa, sauces - these make a dish shine and make a simple meal seem a lot more exciting. I made the satay (substituting vinegar for the lime juice and adding coconut milk to the marinade instead of basting with it) and it was a complete, satisfying meal alongside jasmine rice.
Today I'm sharing two really simple recipes with you. One dish I make pretty frequently is somewhat similar in principle to the chicken satay recipe. I marinate salmon, grill or broil it, and then top it off generously with a flavorful salsa. It's the dish below on the right, served along with a potato gratin and some roasted asparagus.
Lemon or balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
1. Marinate the salmon for several hours in a small glass or ceramic dish in a quarter cup of wine and a few tablespoons of olive oil.
2. Chop up the tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro. Add some olive oil to moisten, season with salt and pepper, and add a splash of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar if desired. Toss lightly, and chill until serving time.
3. Take the salmon out of the marinade, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill or broil until it's done. Top with the salsa and serve.
Here's another recipe for a summery side dish that would be great with a main dish of broiled steak or chicken. Even though the ingredients are commonplace, it's the presentation that makes this appealing. And of course, using the freshest ingredients you can (think just picked, sun-warmed tomatoes) makes this sublime.
Chopped Cucumber and Baby Tomato Salad
Dressing ingredients (use what you have on hand and want to use - it can be as simple as olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper. Some chopped basil would be good too. Or sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar for an Asian-style meal).
1. Cut baby tomatoes in half.
2. Chop cucumber and onion as fine as you can. Top the baby tomatoes with the cucumber/onion mixture, then sprinkle with dressing right before serving.
Do you have any favorite recipes that are similar (a grilled or broiled main topped with or accompanied by a fresh, chopped vegetables?) I'd love some new ideas!