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Summer Recipes 2020

I thought lockdown was going to be my perfect time to sort out my recipe collection. I have some on my computer, some on my phone, some on scraps of paper and others simply floating in my head!

Of course, this never happened. With my older children living at home, distance learning with my little one, Pesach, endless procrastination…. I realize now that it's just NEVER going to happen.

But what I did notice was that although Corona took over our lives, nature was carrying on as normal. When I eventually went to buy produce, masked and gloved, I noticed the lovely soft fruits had made their way onto the shelves. Blueberries, once very rare in Israel, were more commonplace (although very expensive) and watermelon - Israel's national summer fruit was peeking its red and green smile from the baskets.

What I did manage to accomplish during lockdown was to have healthier meals together as a family. No one was going anywhere or rushing off to meetings or activities - I had a captive audience.

I also taught my 23-year-old twins to cook simple recipes (my 10-year-old has been doing it for a few years now).

So here are my summer selection recipes using the best Israel has to offer - and to keep cooking time to a minimum.


Beetroot Salad with Bulgarit and Walnuts

The key to this salad is its simplicity – I always buy the beets ready cooked and keep them in the fridge. It's the vibrant purple against the stark white cheese that makes it such a showstopper. I always serve this on a flat platter for maximum effect.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4 - 6

Ingredients

3 cooked beets

100 grams Bulgarit or feta cheese

½ cup walnuts

½ teaspoon coarse salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Method

1. Slice the beets as thinly as possible (I recommend wearing gloves) and arrange them on a platter.

2. Crumble the Bulgarit or feta cheese over the beets. (For a less salty version use fresh mozzarella.)

3. Top with the walnuts and the salt crystals.

4. Drizzle with the oil and vinegar.

5. Chill for an hour before serving.


Smoked Mackerel Pâté on Toasted Pita

This can either be a fancy starter served in individual ramekins or it can be a midweek lunch. It keeps in the fridge for a few days after making, but trust me – there won't be any left.

Even family members who don't particularly like fish have enjoyed this flavorful, creamy spread.

I have paired it with pita in this recipe, but it can also be spread on celery sticks, rice cakes, or, with my favorite – the Italian grissini sticks.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4 - 6

Ingredients

2 smoked mackerel fillets

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Juice of half a lemon

1 cup low fat cream cheese

1 teaspoon chopped chives

4 whole wheat pitas for serving

Method

Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz for 30 seconds.

Alternatively, mix everything up in a bowl with a fork.

Chill in the fridge until needed.

Lightly toast the pita and cut into strips.

Serve together as a starter.


Nectarine Sangria

A sparkly fizzy refreshing drink is the perfect pairing with a summer meal. Either for a dairy lunch or a full-on barbecue this is my "go-to" beverage.

Don't worry if your nectarines have gone slightly soft – it doesn't matter! Just make sure to serve the Sangria VERY cold.

Note: You can make the non-alcoholic version of this using soda water and fresh orange juice.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Serves: 8 - 10

Ingredients

1 bottle sparkling wine

2 tablespoons orange liqueur

2 cups Sprite or Diet Sprite

1 handful chopped mint
3 nectarines, stoned and sliced

10 ice cubes

Method

Mix the liquids together in a tall pitcher.

Add the chopped nectarines and stir.

Stir in the ice cubes and top with mint sprigs.

Serve very cold. 

 

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Thursday, 24 September 2020

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