Summer is here! OK, I know it’s officially been summer for quite a while now, but first there were exams and then there was thesis writing and then what seemed like weeks of endless rain, so now that the weather is finally a bit more pleasant I’m determined to make the most of it by having lots of summery meals and picnics.
My boyfriend and I went to see The Dark Knight Rises yesterday but we wanted to enjoy the lovely weather before spending three hours at the cinema so we packed a few quick dishes and went to the beach for a little picnic. I’m not sure how clear the picture at the top of this post is (apparently taking clear food photos in bright sunlight is harder than I’d thought!) but we brought a nectarine galette, a chilled pea soup (recipe from Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights), a quick courgette and avocado salad, and some frozen grapes.
The galette was inspired by this recipe from the blog Oh, Ladycakes. I would’ve liked to make Ashlae’s recipe as written with the cherry-infused cream cheese but I didn’t have cream cheese or dried cherries so I ended up making a simpler galette with just nectarine slices. I was a little worried that the dough wouldn’t turn out because I didn’t have almond meal (and didn’t want to wake my neighbours by grinding almonds in the middle of the night) and I used rolled oats, instead, but the crust was great! I can only imagine how delicious this pie must be with the added cherry filling.
The pea soup was fine, but sadly I don’t think I’m very fond of cold soups in general. I just get bored with them after a few bites. I feel the same way about gazpacho, though I can usually remedy the problem by adding loads of extra toppings that make the soup more interesting by adding contrast and texture – chopped green onions and peppers, croûtons, maybe a little olive oil or cashew cream – so I’m definitely going to try some of those with the leftovers of this soup. The flavour itself was pretty summery and refreshing. My favourite thing about this dish was actually cooking it – I love how a few simple vegetables (peas, mint, and green onions) are cooked and puréed together to make such a brightly coloured liquid with nothing to take away from the beautiful pure green.
Inspired by the vibrant colour of the soup, I made another green dish by dressing some julienned courgette with a quick avocado lime sauce. It was a bit like this 15 minute avocado pasta from Oh She Glows but with slightly different ingredients and proportions – obviously the courgette strands weren’t as filling as pasta would be, but this still made for a nice quick side dish.
All these dishes made for a pretty tasty picnic, but I really should’ve brought more of those frozen grapes! On warm summer days, fresh fruit is my absolute favourite snack. I think I need to go to the market and find some watermelons.
Just a note on this blog: Since I have some free time now, I figured why not dust off my old food blog and give it a little makeover! I’m always fiddling with different WordPress themes and I can never find one that’s exactly what I want, but I’m pretty happy with this one so far. I like simple themes so I removed most of the widgets and like-share-tweet-social networking clutter and I think I’m OK with it for now! Of course I may well get bored with it in a few weeks, but thankfully WordPress still offers plenty of options for customisation.