Tuesday, September 28
08:20 AM

Summer meals: Light & Delightful

3 Aug 2021

Summer’s the time for bright colours. And summer’s the time to chill. So why not bring some of that on your dinner table when you’d like to relish something light yet delightful. Avoid using your burners as far as possible and churn out meals that bring in some good cheer at home.

 

Watermelon Gazpacho

This cool and refreshing watermelon gazpacho is simple to make and packed full of healthy summer produce. A delicious chilled soup, perfect for hot summer days, also quite filling.

Ingredients

1 red bell pepper – chopped, divided

¼ cup red onion – chopped

3cups chopped cucumber

1 garlic clove – minced

1 medium tomato – chopped

1 jalapeno – chopped

4 cups cubed watermelon – divided

½ cup chopped parsley

1tsp chopped coriander leaves

2 slices of beetroot

Salt to taste

4tbsp red vinegar

3tbsp olive oil

 

Method

In a blender, place ¾ of the bell pepper, onion, cucumber, garlic, tomato, beetroot, jalapeno, and only 2 cups of the watermelon. Blend. Add herbs, salt, vinegar and blend to combine well. Add the rest of the watermelon and pulse a few times. Taste and adjust salt. Chill until very cold and serve in a bowl topped with a few garnishes (chopped avocado, turnip, onion, cherry tomato and herbs).

……….

Burrata Salad with Tomato and Nectarine

This simple, yet elegant burrata salad is perfect for summer entertaining. It highlights local, ripe nectarines (or peaches), and tomatoes. Think of this as an elevated caprese salad of sorts.

Ingredients

2 balls burrata cheese, cut in half

2 large ripe nectarines or peaches

2 medium tomatoes

1 roasted or steamed beet 

½ red onion – thinly sliced

Few basil leaves

Pinch of salt

Cracked pepper, to taste

 

For the balsamic dressing

3tbsp olive oil

2½tbsp red vinegar

1tbsp honey

Pinch of salt and pepper

 

Method

Place each half of burrata cheese, open side down, in the center of 4 plates. Cut nectarines into thick wedges and divide among four plates in a crescent moon shape. Cut tomatoes into quarters and arrange between the nectarines, keeping the crescent shape. Chop up the roasted beet and scatter over the crescent. Add the onion and scatter torn basil leaves over the crescent. Season the plates with salt and pepper.

In a bowl whisk the dressing ingredients together and spoon it over the salads. Serve immediately.

 

Beetroot Gazpacho

This luscious beet gazpacho is full of healthy, fresh summer ingredients. A chilled beet soup, it is actually quick to make, if the beets are precooked. The finely diced veggies give it a wonderful texture and flavour. 

 

Ingredients

250g beets 

½ red onion – finely diced, divided

2 garlic cloves 

3 small cucumbers

½ cup fresh dill

2tbsp red vinegar, plus more, to taste

½tsp kosher salt, plus more, to taste

¼tsp fresh pepper

For garnish – Diced avocado, cucumber, beet, onion, dill, olive oil or yogurt 

Method

Place beets in a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer until tender. Chill beets and their cooking liquid. Once beets are cold, slip off their skins, slice and place 3 of the 4 beets in  blender with 2 cups of the cold cooking liquidor with ice cold water. Add half of the chopped onion, garlic, 2 sliced cucumbers, salt, pepper, vinegar and about ⅔ of the fresh dill. Blend until very smooth. Taste and adjust salt and vinegar. Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Now, prep the garnishes. Finely dice remaining beet, cucumber, avocado and chop the remaining dill. Pour chilled beet soup into bowls. Top with with the garnishes. Drizzle with a little olive oil or a swirl of yogurt. Serve immediately.

 

Tofu Katsu with Crunchy Salad

Light, crispy, perfectly seasoned, deliciously crunchy, katsu is typically made with chicken dredged in an egg batter, then coated in breadcrumbs and fried. But, vegetarians will love this recipe made with tofu instead of chicken. Great for mixed households.

 

Ingredients

For the katsu

800g normal tofu

Salt and pepper, to taste

½ cup flour or cornstarch

2tsp garlic powder or onion powder

2 eggs – whisked

1tsp soy sauce or sriracha (for heat)

1 cup spicy breadcrumbs

½tbsp sesame seeds

½tsp salt

3-4tbsp oil for searing

For the salad

1 avocado, peeled, sliced

2 pink radishes – sliced thinly

3 cups salad leaves (arugula, watercress, sorrel)

For the dressing

3tbsp olive oil

1tbsp sesame oil

¼ cup rice vinegar

3tbsp honey

1tbsp soy sauce

Method

Slice the tofu and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Now take three bowls. In the first bowl, mix flour and garlic powder. In the second bowl, whisk eggs and add a little splash of soy sauce or sriracha. In the third bowl, mix breadcrumbs, sesame seeds and salt. Place all three bowls near the stove and heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, dredge the seasoned tofu slices in the flour mixture, then in the egg mixture, and coat with breadcrumbs. Place in the hot skillet and fry on both sides till golden brown.

Now place all the salad ingredients in a bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients in another bowl and drizzle over the salad. Place the fried tofu pieces in the centre while serving.

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