Strawberries at last! Strawberry panzanella, inspired by eat in my kitchen

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Walking through the market, looking for some supper inspiration after a long day, my eyes fell upon the first of the strawberries. My heart skipped. I think I started missing fresh strawberries from the moment they went out of season last summer! I was feeling too lazy to bake a pie and I can’t say strawberries inspire a proper supper. Then I remembered the last eat in my kitchen post, which was a strawberry-berry panzanella salad. I’d never made panzanella and as usual, love a challenge discovering new recipes. So, without following Meike Peters recipe, I imagined what my salad could look like. I have arugula growing, I could stop by the cheese chop and buy some mozzarella di buffala, grill my sourdough bread cut up into croutons and top it with a balsamic reduction. And by George, it was lovely! A light summer supper for a hot summer evening, bursting with berry flavour 🙂 I am one happy camper!!!

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RECIPE

1 small pint strawberries, hulled and quartered

1 small bunch arugula, roughly chopped in halves

1/2 muzzarella di buffala

Balsamic reduction

4-5 leaves, thinly sliced + more to garnish

2 cups cubed stale bread, lightly oiled, salted and grilled

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

To make the balsamic reduction, place 1 cup balsamic vinegar in small saucepan and simmer on low heat until reduced to a thick syrup. Place lettuce and strawberries in bowl with sliced basil and mix. Top with slices of mozzarella and drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Top with basil to garnish and serve. Serves one. Enjoy!

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A quick and easy dinner – Salmon, mango & avocado salad

IMG_0706Sometimes there are just too many things to do. Too much work, too many errands, too many projects. That’s when imagination is key, because despite being busy, I still want to eat well. And I still want it to be good. I am always amazed at the last-minute, 15 minutes or less dinners I come up with. When friends or colleagues say that they’re just too busy to cook, I have to scratch my head. Build up a repertoire of easy go-to recipes and from time to time, improvise. You’ll be surprised at what you come up with! The weather isn’t quite what it usually is at this time of year, however I really crave fresh fruits and veggies. Although these are not local, avocado, mango with tomato and basil really work well together and as a side to salmon, well it’s just really delicious!

RECIPE

120 gr. salmon filet,

1/2 avocado, thinly sliced

1/2 mango, peeled and thinly sliced

5-6 cherry tomatoes, cut in halves

Thinly sliced red onion

Basil, cilantro and mint, minced

1 green onion, thinly sliced, for garnishing

1/2 lime

Mexican chili

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Salt & pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat skillet on medium and add sesame oil to coat. Salt salmon fillet and place skin side up and cook until browned (3-4 minutes). Turn on other and cook a further 2-3 minutes or until salmon is cooked but just pink in center. Remove from heat. In a serving bowl, add avocado, mango, tomatoes and herbs. Season with salt, pepper and mexican chili. Toss to mix and top with salmon. Garnish with green onion slices and a squeeze of lime juice. Serves 1. Bon appétit!

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Victoria Day = Planting herbs and flowers, & Lobster roll!!!

IMG_0622In my neck of the woods, Victoria Day is when everyone plants their gardens, in my case that would be my planters. Although I would love to have a small patch of vegetables, the market being less than 10 blocks away makes it super easy to get my seasonal fruits and veggies with as little effort as walking. So out of the shed came the terrace furniture, into the planters flowers, herbs and a first this year some leafy greens. I can’t wait to pick out some lettuce straight from my little garden into my sandwich 🙂 I LOVE summer! And to celebrate the sun coming out and making it a perfect day, lobster roll! How happy am I?! I absolutely love lobster. I think its seasonal rarity keeps that flame alive, I truly get excited when they appear at the market! And the lilac have just come in bloom, and the lily of the valley… This is a very special time of the year, when colours, smells and senses just spring to life. Welcome spring!!!

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For the lobster roll

1 1/4 lbs cooked lobster

1 small shallot, minced

1 teaspoon mayonnaise

1 tablespoon greek yogurt

A few sheets of shredded lettuce

2 tablespoons minced chives

Salt & pepper to taste

1 sandwich roll, buttered and toasted in cast iron pan

IMG_0611IMG_0613For the potato salad

1 cup new potatoes, boiled whole until tender but still firm, quartered

3 sprigs of fresh dill, minced

1 tablespoon greek yogurt

1 teaspoon mayonnaise

1 green shallot, minced

Salt & pepper to taste

For the asparagus salad

5 asparagus spears, shaved with a vegetable peeler

1 tablespoon thinly sliced red onion

1/4 pickling liquid (water, sugar, vinegar, salt)

Instructions

Pickle asparagus and onion in the liquid while preparing the lobster and potato salad, set aside. Place all the ingredients for the potato salad in a mixing bowl and blend well, set aside. Using kitchen shears, cut up lobster, removing knuckle, tail and claw meat, try keeping the claws in their shape. Cut tail into 1/4 inch slices. Reserve.  Reserve shells and head in fridge to make stock, or freeze if not making the stock the next day. Place knuckle meat in a mixing bowl with all ingredients except roll and lettuce and mix to combine.

Place shredded lettuce on roll and top with knuckle mixture, top with reserved tail slices and decorate with claws. Plate with potato salad and drained asparagus.

Enjoy! Serves 1.

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