The Perfect Summer Meal

With everything going on in my life, I rarely find myself at home long enough to cook, much to my chagrin. Summer cooking is one of my absolute favorite of life’s pleasures with the freshest, most beautiful produce so bountiful and the flavors so acidic and bright, it’s one of my raison d’être. This weekend, I made a point of setting aside time to cook a delicious meal and it did not disappoint. Over moans of pleasure over caramelized black cherries and peaches layered with haloumi cheese and sighs of contentment over a perfectly cooked, spicy tuna steak, both my fiancé and I declared this to be one of the best meals we have ever cooked. For your own summer delight, see the recipes below.

Spicy Grilled Tuna With Garden Salsa 

Note: Although this recipe has many steps, the overall cooking and preparation took about 25 minutes. If you aren’t a lover of spiciness, one jalapeño is plenty.

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Ingredients

6 large cloves of garlic unpeeled
3 jalapeño chiles, stemmed
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt, divided
4 tuna steaks (5 ounces each, about 3/4 inch thick
2 cups diced heirloom tomatoes
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
Vegetable oil cooking spray

Preparation

{1} Roast garlic and jalapeños in a small, dry skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until soft (both will blacken in spots), 5 to 10 minutes for jalapeños, 15 minutes for garlic. Cool, then peel garlic.

{2} Puree garlic, jalapeños, lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth.

{3} Scoop 1/2 cup puree into a 13″ x 9″ glass baking dish. Place fish on puree, flipping once to coat both sides. Cover dish; refrigerate 10 to 20 minutes to marinate.

{4} Transfer remaining puree into another bowl for salsa. Mix in tomatoes.

{5} Rinse onion in a small strainer under cold water; drain. Add to tomato mixture.

{6} Stir in cilantro, mint and basil. Season with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.

{7} Coat grill with cooking spray; heat to medium-high (about 375°F). Remove fish from marinade; place on grill. Cover grill and cook 3 minutes. Uncover, flip fish, cover again and cook until fish is done, about 2 minutes more for medium-rare.

{8} Transfer fish to plates; spoon salsa on top.

Seared Haloumi + Caramelized Peach Summer Salad

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Ingredients

4 cups arugula
Drizzle of olive oil
Splash lemon juice
Pepper to taste
2 tsp butter
1 cup cherries, halved and pits removed
2 small peaches, cut into wedges
5 oz halloumi, sliced 1/4″ thick

Preparation

{1} In a bowl, toss the arugula with olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper.

{2} In a small frying pan, heat the butter on medium-high heat. Once the butter starts to sizzle, add the cherries and peaches. Saute until soft.

{3} While the fruit is cooking, heat a large frying pan on med. Once hot, add the halloumi slices. Cook on each side until a nice golden brown, 2 – 3 minutes per side.

{4} On a serving plate, layer the arugula, the fruit, and the halloumi. Serve warm.

Bon appétit!

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