The summer inspires healthy eating. We all think of those light dishes we all need to tickle our appetites when the weather turns hot. Here we have put together some ideas that are designed to inspire a little summer healthy dishes created from fresh some times local ingredients which are all available from your local store. Remember you should use any recipe as a guide or a source of inspiration from which a beautifully unique dish will flourish.
Supreme of salmon.
This dish calls for a supreme of salmon which means a slice of salmon taken from a fillet of a whole fish. We some times think of salmon as a delicate fish and needs to be poached and treated in a gentle way. This is true to some extent but if we think about the life of the fish and the work it has to do in its life we realise it deserves more than just a plate of salad and some mayonnaise. The salmon is robust enough to take most of the rigours of a good hearty method of cooking.
Try to get your salmon with the skin on as this enhances the flavour, presentation and texture of the dish. In a frying pan put a dash of sunflower oil (donâ€™t use olive oil at this stage as the cooking temperature will make the oil taste bitter) heat the pan and season the fish. When the pan is good and hot place the fish flesh side down (this is the presentation side) donâ€™t shake the pan or turn or poke the fish let it cook and form a golden brown crust on the bottom.
While the fish is cooking prepare the asparagus by breaking the stems where they are tender. (Keep the ends of the asparagus in a bag in the freezer until October and you can have a taste of June when the weather is cold) Add some butter and a splash of olive oil to another pan and heat until the butter begins to foam. Add the asparagus and toss and season in the pan. Turn the heat down and toss occasionally throughout the cooking.
Mean while gently turn the salmon Supremes over onto the skin side. You should have a golden crust on the top. Again donâ€™t shake the pan just let the fish cook gently.
In-between tossing the asparagus put a packet of leaves in a bowl and dress lightly with a drizzle of olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Add a twist of black pepper and a sprinkle of sea salt. Dress the salad on the plates and top with the asparagus and then the salmon which should be just pink in the middle with a golden crust on the top and a crisp skin on the bottom. Take some raspberries out of their punnet and tip into the pan. Toss briskly until they just begin to lose some colour and collect all those juices from the fish. Pour these over the salmon. Serve with a glass of chilled white wine.
As an addition try a soft-boiled egg gently peeled and halved on top of your salmon.
Or some nice creamy Buffalo mozzarella or feta cheese tossed into your salad.
Warm duck salad.
Duck is some times branded as unhealthy meat as it contains a high quantity of fat. And that is true however if we cook it in the right way we can crisp the skin and drain off most of the fat. And in addition we have some tasty duck fat to use in other dishes!
Take your duck breasts and score the skin season the flesh side. Get a pan hot on the stove and add a small splash of oil. Place the duck carefully in the pan skin side down. Leave it alone and let the fat render out of the skin and make it crisp.
While the duck is cooking take the seeds out of a red pepper and cut paysanne style (into quite large pieces about the size of a 2 pence piece) do the same with a red onion and begin to fry in another pan until all the vegetables are coated. Turn the heat down and let the onions and peppers caramelise shaking occasionally.
When the duck fat is nicely golden brown carefully tip off most of the fat and turn the breasts over onto the flesh side.
When the onions have released their sweetness and have turned a very satisfying dark brown colour take the stalks off a punet of fresh cherries and add to the pan. Toss the pan and add a small slash of balsamic vinegar and reduce until sticky. Turn off the heat and cover the pan.
While the duck is finishing off Take some of last nights mashed potatoes and with your hands form them into balls. Roll them in flour and flatten them in the frying pan along with a little more oil, Fry them lightly until golden on both sides.
Take the duck out of the pan and put on a plate to rest while you tip off the rest of the fat and deglaze your pan with a drip of red wine. Place the potatoes on the plate top with the onions and cherry mixture and then with your carved roasted duck. Drizzle round the pan juices.