The minute the summer starts I seem to resent time spent in the kitchen. I’m not even a huge sun-worshipper, it’s just that I can’t face cooking! (A bit problematic when you’re a chef!)
So, what I tend to do is pare down any laborious recipes and keep it simple – plus I use seasonal fruits and vegetables which are at their absolute best.
Green Bean and Feta Salad
Preparation time: 20 minutes
300g green beans, trimmed and washed
100g feta cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Boil the green beans in salted water for 5-7 minutes. Drain well and arrange on a platter.
Crumble the feta cheese over the green beans.
Toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan for 1 minute and sprinkle over the beans and feta.
Drizzle the olive oil on top.
Sprinkle the lemon juice over everything.
My memories of Shabbat lunch in England where I grew up were salads drowning in mayonnaise. Cole slaw, potato salad, pea and corn salad, all drenched in unctuous mayo served alongside an anaemic looking piece of cold roast chicken. I remember we did have a small bottle of olive oil, but this was from the pharmacy and for medicinal purposes only. This recipe is my homage to the 1970’s British Shabbat lunches – giving it a modern twist.
Chicken and Mango Salad
Preparation time: 20 minutes
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons mango chutney
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ roast chicken (leftovers from Friday night), removed from carcass and cubed
1 bag spinach leaves, washed and dried
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 ripe mango, cubed
In a bowl mix the mayonnaise with the mango chutney and the mustard.
Add the cubed chicken and stir well until everything is blended.
Arrange the spinach leaves on a large, flat platter.
Lay the sliced onion on the spinach leaves and then place the cubed mango on top.
Spoon the chicken mixture over the spinach, onions and mango.
Dust with paprika.
I’m a big fan of serving fruit for dessert – especially since making Aliyah. The fruit here is super sweet when in season, and delicious. The minute I see nectarines and peaches on the shelves, I’m happy.
I had a great red fruit salad recipe from the UK which I can never make here because strawberries and watermelon are not in season at the same time.
This time of year, there really is nothing more refreshing than a platter of watermelon and grapes. But if your sweet tooth is craving something a little special, here’s my delicious summer Semifreddo.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
4 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons chocolate liqueur
250ml cold whipping cream or pareve whip
1 tablespoon espresso coffee powder (or instant coffee granules)
A few coffee beans or 1 cube of chocolate grated into curls
Line a 1 litre loaf tin with cling film leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
In a clean, dry bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff.
In a separate bowl, whisk the yolks together with the liqueur, coffee powder and sugar.
In a third dry, clean bowl, whip the cream until it holds its shape. NOTE: If you follow this order there is no need to wash the whisk between bowls.
Carefully fold the coffee mixture into the egg whites and then gently fold in the whipped cream.
Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin. Fold the cling film over surface and freeze overnight.
When ready to serve, turn out onto a rectangular plate and decorate with coffee beans or chocolate curls.
I simply couldn’t help adding this final recipe because they are simply so easy and delicious.
1 small bunch grapes, washed well
Pop grapes into a freezer bag and freeze overnight.
This is the perfect low-calorie summer snack – or if you’re feeling naughty, add them to a glass of cold fizzy Rosé wine.