Fire up the grill. Gather some fresh summer fruit and get ready for an easy summer dinner.
You might begin with a cooling gazpacho and end the meal with a slice of watermelon or other sweet melon or a simple cake like this one from the New York Times, substituting peaches for the strawberries.
Here’s an easy gazpacho recipe that requires very little effort especially if you use a food processor or immersion blender. It comes from a charming series of detective novels by American ex-pat Martin Walker who lives in the south of France. The Bruno detective series stars Bruno Courreges, the chief of police , of a small town in the Perigord region. There is usually a murder but the emphasis is on character, setting and food. Bruno is a wonderful cook! The series of 15 books makes quick, delightful reading with its (mostly) likable characters and descriptions of the area. It’s almost like being there.
1 peeled cucumber (if you use an English cucumber, there’s no need to peel it)
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 1/4 lbs. ripe plum tomatoes
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 glasses white wine (Bergerac sec)or rose (about 8-10 ounces)
glass of water
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon tomato puree
small glass of sherry (optional)
- Rough chop the vegetables and mince the garlic.
- Put them in a food processor or blender with the tomato puree, olive oil, wine and water.
- Process until broken up but still chunky. Alternately use an immersion blender.
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Add some good quality bread to thicken the soup if desired.
NOTES: No tomato puree; don’t worry. Leave it out.
11/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 pound skin-on salmon fillets (or 4 individual pieces)
2 to 3 tablespoons neutral oil ( avocado, canola, grapeseed,)
For the salsa:
2 heaping cups unpeeled diced peaches
1 medium ripe avocado, diced
1/4 c. finely diced red onion
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons finely minced jalapeno (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
slices of jalapeño
sprigs of cilantro
- Whisk together paprika, garlic, onion, brown sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne.
- Sprinkle spice mix evenly on all sides of salmon. Refrigerate uncovered while preparing salsa and preheating the grill, about 20 minutes.
- Preheat the grill to 500 degrees for at least 15 minutes for until you can hold your hand above the grate for 2 to 3 seconds .
- In a medium bowl, mix together the peaches, avocado, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lemon juice, and salt. Season to taste with more jalepeno and salt or a pinch of sugar.
- Brush all sides of the salmon with oil, about a tablespoon total. Brush a bit of oil onto the grill grates also so that the fish will not stick.
- Place the salmon skin side up on the grill pan and transfer the pan to the grill.Close lid and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Gently lift a corner of the fish. The grilled side should be opaque and show some sear marks.
- Gently flip the fish skin side down, close lid and grill for another 3 to 4 minutes. Open the lid and watch carefully until the fish is done, another 1 to 3 minutes. The salmon will be opaque with a slightly translucent middle. Continue cooking for more well-done fish.
- Remove from grill and serve immediately topped with salsa and garnished with cilantro and jalepeno.
- Serve with brown rice.
- The salsa would also be very nice with ripe mango and lime juice.
- Boneless chicken breast , boneless chicken thighs or even very firm tofu could be substituted for the salmon.
- Cook on the stove using an oiled grill pan, 4 to 5 minutes per side for the fish. Adjust cooking time for chicken breast, chicken thighs or tofu.
- Or bake skin down at 400 degrees for about 12 to 15 minutes depending upon desired doneness.