Friday, July 1, 2011

Summer Supper

by Lucy Arlington

I’ve set up my new website. Check it out and let me know what you think: www.lucyarlington.com

Today is July 1st! It’s amazing how the time passes when my head is buried in a book—whether it’s reading one or writing one. I’ve been very busy with writing projects, but with the summer here I’ve also been taking advantage of my favorite season. The summer, for me, is all about being outdoors—soaking up sun, being in the water, having drinks on the patio, and eating meals outside.

When it comes to preparing meals, I try to avoid the stove and oven as much as possible. In Bermuda, outdoor temperatures hover around 90F and humidity gets up to 75% (and this is only in June!), so the kitchen gets HOT. I try to prepare foods that require cooking in the early morning, before the sun toasts our island, and then serve cold dishes for supper.

One of my favorites is Salade Niçoise. What I love about that dish (in addition to the flavor) is that it’s a form of artistic expression, both in the fact that the ingredients can vary depending on the 'artist,' and with its presentation. I derive such pleasure from arranging the ingredients on the serving dish as if it were a work of art. Usually I use canned tuna, but at the fish counter in the grocery store one day, they had fresh tuna caught that morning. I coated it in sesame seeds, seared it and sliced it on my salad instead of the usual. Wow! It was the best Salade Niçoise I’d ever made.

The recipe is so easy, and you can substitute anything to accommodate what you might have on hand. It’s so beautiful that you can serve it to company. Enjoy!

Oh, by the way, happy Canada Day today to my Canadian friends and family, and happy Independence Day on Monday to my American friends. And happy summer!

Salade Niçoise

Chunk white tuna (or fresh, if you have it, seared and sliced)

Cherry tomatoes cut in half

Blanched green beans

Black olives

Boiled potatoes, sliced

Boiled eggs, cut in wedges

Artichoke hearts or hearts of palm

Lettuce leaves

Dressing:

1 garlic clove, chopped

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper

1 tsp good quality Dijon mustard

2 to 3 tbsp highest-quality wine vinegar or cider vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1. Mix all dressing ingredients except oil together, then whisk in oil.

2. Toss the potatoes with half of the dressing.

3. Line a serving plate with lettuces leaves, and arrange salad ingredients on top—draw on your artistic side!

4. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the rest of the salad.