Now it’s hot. Really hot. Meals are all about how to make something delicious using as little heat as possible.
If you do use heat, which is sometimes unavoidable due to the deliciousness of the result, plan well so that you’re not laboring over a hot flame for long.
This is a great condiment: Roast red bell peppers, remove skin and seeds, slice thin. Mix with slivers of garlic, then drown in extra-virgin olive oil.
Here, the red bell peppers and garlic are put into action. Toast bread, layer with cheese and whatever you like, melt it in the oven, then top with red peppers. Serve with a big salad.
Aioli, dressed up for a dinner party. Put a slash on a plate and arrange blanched vegetables of your choice so they look appetizing.
Or, go the simple route and arrange vegetables on a platter, put aioli in a bowl, and let everyone serve themselves.
Macerate shitakes in extra-virgin olive oil, then either grill or fry them in a heavy skillet just until they are crisp and tender. Garnish with pine nut or pistachio oil.
Oven-fried new potatoes (for a less hot day). Heat oven to 425F. Thinly slice potatoes and blanch them in salted water for 1 minute. Dry, arrange on oiled baking sheet. Brush with oil and season with salt and piment d’Espelette or hot paprika. Bake for 20 minutes.
Heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella dressed in balsamic vinegar, raspberry vinegar, and extra-virgin olive oil, garnished with raspberries.
For dessert, a wonderful strawberry parfait!
STRAWBERRY PARFAIT WITH FRESH NORMANDY CREAM
For the berries in syrup:
½ cup (100 g) light brown sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) best-quality raspberry vinegar
About 10 oz (300g ) very fresh, sweet strawberries,
such as Mara des Bois, stems removed, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch (.65 cm) slices
For the whipped cream:
3/4 cup (185ml) crème fraîche
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
For the sorbet:
14 oz (420g) very fresh, sweet strawberries such as Mara des Bois
2-1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon (15 ml) orange flower water
4 tablespoons (40g) vanilla sugar
2 grinds of medium-coarse black pepper
For the garnish:
Fresh mint leaves
1. Prepare the syrup: In a medium sized bowl, mix the brown sugar and the vinegar. Carefully fold the strawberries into the syrup. Reserve for at least 1 and up to 4 hours, covered, stirring regularly, and very carefully, so the berries are evenly marinated.
2. In another medium-sized bowl, whisk the crème fraîche with the sugar until it hold soft points. Chill until ready to serve.
3. Prepare the sorbet: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the strawberries, lemon juice, orange flower water, sugar, and black pepper. Mix on medium speed until thoroughly combined and somewhat foamy. Transfer to a non-reactive bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to overnight. When the mixture is chilled, transfer it to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Hold in the ice cream maker until ready to serve.
4. To serve, spoon equal amounts of the marinated strawberries into each of 8 champagne flutes. Top with a spoonful of the crème fraîche. Top with equal amounts of the sorbet, then top with the remaining crème fraîche. Drizzle 2 teaspoons of the vinegar syrup from the berries over the top of each parfait, garnish with the mint leaves and serve immediately.