Quick and Easy Summer Meals

Wednesday, 24 July 2013
summerdishes-peach
summerdishes-1 summerdishes-2.1

When I think about summer in western Europe, visions of fruits, grilled veggies, antipasti and salads come to mind. It's no secret that I'm a lazy cook. Being stuck in the kitchen with sizzling pans during the hot summer months is like being boiled alive in the oven. Errr.... horrible visual there but you get my drift. So anything that doesn't require lots of chopping, basting and washing up gets a thumbs up from me.

I decided to try out Cupcakes and Cashmere's version of grilled peach salad albeit adapted to my taste. It's easy to do as it's a matter of putting together each ingredient. Grilling the peaches take a few minutes. Be sure you choose a ripe and still firm to touch peaches. Mine's simply drizzled with the best extra virgin olive oil I could get my hands on and balsamic vinegar (it would've tasted better with balsamic vinegar glaze). It was sublime.


 summerdishes-3 summerdishes-pork&gnocchi

I love my oven. I don't think I can live without one. These huge portobello mushrooms are so juicy and sweet when grilled simply with a sprinkling of sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, sprigs of thyme and a drizzle of olive oil. Served with crusty bread and perhaps some pate for protein. and you've got yourself a meal.

Pork loins and pork chops tend to be the more expensive cuts but I personally prefer the far cheaper shoulder steaks. The marbled fat makes the meat tastier and more tender when they're slowly cooked in medium heat. I often toss cloves of garlic, chopped rosemary (leaves but remove the stem), juice of 1 lemon, a spoonful of dijon mustard, a couple of glugs of olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Massage the ingredients into the steaks and roast for up to an hour. When the meat is cooked, boil prepacked gnocchi for a couple of minutes and toss in the juices on the bottom of the roast pan. Serve with tossed salad or grilled vegetables (courgettes, red pepper etc).



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Would you believe the large spread was for the 3 of us? We were stuffed, I mean, we had to roll ourselves from the chair to the sofa. Do share your favorite summer meals. What are your favorite summer recipes?




17 comments:

  1. Everything looks so yummy. My favourite summer meal...erm...does ice cream count? Seriously, though, when it's this hot I just can't be bothered with anything else.

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  2. In the summer I like to grill everything, even dessert if possible! On vacation I took to grilling big filets of salmon and serving them with pasta tossed with basil and grilled vegetables. I also love making gazpacho.

    Great post! The peach salad looks very gourmet.

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  3. In summer my best friends are the slow cooker and the food processor. Make some kind of pulled meat (beef, pork or chicken) in the slow cooker, whizz up some guacamole and salsa, and pile it all into tacos.

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  4. I'm going to do the pork one and freak the Grumps out. I'm only doing it because I like gnocchi. But cooking wise in the summer, we do a lot of salads and fajita wraps with grilled chicken or anything else to hand.

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  5. Marlene, you cook like a chef! Everything seems so delicious.
    Last weekend I tried a dessert from a cookbook that I love: "Alain Ducasse Nature: Simple, Healthy and Good". You have to heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 of honey in a pan with a vanilla pod and thyme. Then you add a bunch of fruit cut in chunky pieces, cover them in the sauce and leave in for 2-3 minutes. Serve them in bowls and sprinkle them with fruit with a tart taste like redcurrants or raspberries. It's very quick, easy and delicious.

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    Replies
    1. Anne, I didn't do anything other than marinating the meat and shoving them into the oven. I'm going to search for Alain Ducasse recipe book on Amazon.

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  6. This all looks so freaking yummy Marlene especially that pork dish. And the grilled peach combo sounds divine! :)

    xTheresa

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  7. My husband would love that pork chop and gnocchi dish especially if there was a lot of garlic! I really wish we had good tomatoes in this area as well as fresh burrata. Alas, that' what I get for living in Asia!


    xoxo,
    Chic 'n Cheap Living

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  8. I need to try that grilled peach salad!

    xoxo
    Stacey

    Five Minute Style 

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  9. Oh YUM! Brings back memories of your cooking which I miss so much! I love how fresh and light it all looks.

    - Mandi
    www.findmeamuse.com

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    Replies
    1. You'll have to come back and we'll have to have another eating fest :P

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  10. did you make all this? oh my, it all looks amazing marlene!

    steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I did, Steph. I'm no chef but these are really easy to put together.

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  11. OMG! All that food looks so delicious, you are so talented.

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  12. Goodness me that's got bigger since I lived there two years ago!
    They are the warehouses for some of the Borough market suppliers and where Monmouth Coffee roast all their beans so it's very much a working place. I love it there, there's something honest about a trestle table outside the place of manufacture. haven't been in ages. We must go eating somewhere together.x

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  13. that comments was from me by the way!

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    Replies
    1. Did you mention eating? I'll be there with bells on!!

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