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Posts Tagged ‘light’

Melon and pomegranate salad

We had a small melon still in the fridge from our Abel & Cole delivery that, over a week on, was starting to look a little sorry for itself. It stuck in the back of my mind as we were doing our weekly shop this afternoon when I spotted some enormous pomegranates (about the size of small melons themselves) and knew I had to have one – I’d think about what to do with it later.

When I was younger, a friend’s mum would often give us pomegranates to hack at for the best part of an hour or so and making a terrible mess on fingers and clothes – no wonder I’ve always loved them! Thankfully, the grown up me now knows the secret to de-seeding a pomegranate with no mess and no wasted seeds – a simple bowl of water.

How to De-seed a Pomegranate

1. Cut the pomegranate into quarters
2. Pull away the areas of skin and pith that come away easily
3. Transfer the piece of pomegranate to a bowl of water and remove the seeds – it will be surprisingly easy to do so
4. The seeds will sink to the bottom, whilst the pith will float to the top. Scoop the pith out of the water with a sieve and then drain the water – you’ll be left with a glistening pile of beautiful pomegranate seeds.

There was also a lone orange in the fruit bowl and half a lime from Ted’s fajitas last night and so, a light summery dessert was born.

Melon and Pomegranate Salad
Serves 2-3
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: None

1 large pomegranate (2 standard-sized will do!)
1 small melon (any variety other than watermelon will do)
1 orange
1/2 lime
25ml vodka (optional)

1. De-seed the pomegranate (as described above), cut the melon into slices, remove the skin and cut into chunks. Grate the rind of approximately half of the orange onto a separate dish.
2. Cut the orange in half and juice both halves into a cup/small bowl then add a couple of squeezes of lime juice (to taste). If you fancy a bit of an extra kick add the vodka now!
3. Put the pomegranate seeds, melon chunks and orange rind into a bowl and mix well with your hands. Pour over the juice and mix again, then serve.

I really liked this. The crunchy pomegranate seeds and sharpness of lime provided a wonderful contrast to the sweet, soft melon – a delightfully refreshing dessert that was much needed in the desperate-for-a-storm heatwave we’re experiencing in SW London. We tried this both with and without vodka and I couldn’t really decide which one I preferred so will leave that decision entirely up to you!

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Warm New Potato and Peppered Mackerel Salad

I have overindulged recently. We didn’t post much at the weekend because we ate out for most of our meals, and I went out to lunch yesterday too. I’m also a keen cyclist but have fallen off the wagon somewhat, so tonight I chose to go for a cycle and have a light meal for dinner.

With a quick circuit of Richmond Park complete I came home and set to work. This recipe serves one generously (Erika is out tonight) so add a bit more if you are cooking for 2 or alternatively serve with some warm crusty bread. Also, it’s important to serve whilst the potatoes are still warm as it brings out their wonderful flavour.

Warm New Potato and Peppered Mackerel Salad
Prep time: 10mins
Cooking time: 15mins

4 medium-sized new potatoes
1 large fillet peppered smoked mackerel, skinned and flaked
1 medium-sized tomato, sliced
about 5cm cucumber, diced
couple of spring onions, sliced
handful baby spinach (watercress will do)
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Firstly wash then slice the potatoes, then cook in boiling water for about 10 minutes until they are done. I sliced mine to the thickness of perhaps two one-pound coins. Drain and set aside.

Next make the dressing. Mix 3 parts olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar then add some salt and pepper. Mix well. Whilst the potatoes are cooling, prepare the salad and put in a bowl. Add the sliced potato whilst it is still warm then pour over the dressing and stir through. Add the flaked mackerel before serving.

This tasted really good, although I messed up the dressing as I added too much balsamic vinegar. It’s also a light, summery dish and mackerel is a great source of omega 3.

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Summer soup

I’m really not a soup person. There’s something about the texture that I find to be really lacking so that getting through a bowl is more of a chore than enjoyment. However, I’ve recently been craving a bright green soup and yes, it really was the colour that I was thinking about rather than the flavour, which I assumed would include peas, mint and possibly not much else. It seems silly, but in my mind I could just see the freshness and set about finding a recipe. I came across a recipe for 15-minute summer soup and it looked like it was exactly what I was after. I made it tonight while Rob had his lamb koftas.

I pretty much followed the recipe exactly (half quantities) but with slightly less courgette (I didn’t have enough) and with rocket instead of watercress (not a watercress fan). The final result was surprisingly watery – I didn’t really mind, but you might want to use less water and then add more as you blend to get the consistency you want. It tasted great – exactly what I was after and I got through almost the whole lot (well, at 100kcal per portion, why not?!).

I’m definitely not a soup convert, but at least this is another one that will probably work for me at times (along with Rob’s delicious mexican bean soup!)

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