Sunday 27 July 2014

Summer dining

Good food doesn't have to be complicated. When you have good quality ingredients you don't need to do very much to them to make a nice meal. And in any case, when the weather is hot you don't really feel like spending hours slaving over a hot stove.

Yesterday was a hot muggy day, and since it was my turn to cook I decided we would have a salad-based meal, with the only hot element being some potatoes. This is what I produced.

Firstly, one plate of vegetables:

All those are from my garden: beetroot, cucumber, tomatoes, French Beans and a garnish of Leaf Celery.

And then one plate of "protein items" - all these are NOT from my garden!

That is French saucisson sec (foreground), Jamon de Teruel (A type of Spanish ham), some lovely ripe Brie cheese, and a couple of hard-boiled eggs.

Then a big bowl of lettuce - "Devin", from the garden.

This is a really good butterhead type of lettuce. The leaves are soft, and have an attractive buttery colour.

Not pictured in their cooked state, but nearly so, the potatoes. (No, we didn't eat all of those!)

Also not pictured, but worthy of a mention, were some slices of Jane's Juniper and Thyme Focaccia, going a bit stale by this point, but great when toasted. The toasting process really seemed to enhance the flavours.

The fact that there was very little cooking to be done meant that we had a good opportunity to relax, and we sat watching a classical music concert on the TV as we ate. After dinner we sat in the garden and sipped a glass of cool Chenin Blanc and watched for bats (which we often see at this time of year). We didn't see any bats, but we did see a Barn Owl flying over (and making its distinctive eerie cry), which was really special. Summer evenings should all be like this!


  1. It looks lovely. Especially the lettuce. My lettuce is in a pretty sad state with all the heat we have had.

  2. It's a good feeling when most of the things on your plate are home grown.

  3. What a nice meal. Homegrown veggies, a nice wine and a summer eve in the garden.

  4. That's a feast! We've been eating similarly here.

  5. To just sit, watch and listen. This time of year is magical Mark. Newly fledged birds, (or bats)) delicious simple garden food to eat, the body just unwinds and relaxes. Yes, Sue, it is a good feeling when things on your plate are home grown and one doesn't need a vacation when there is a garden and 'life' to watch. Breath deep and remember this, come winter. ;-)

  6. In the hot weather we are having, that kind of meal is just the ticket!


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